BELFAST – Waldo County is home to 26 different farms and farm-share programs that help keep community members fed with locally grown food. It’s something people living in that county are proud of. Now there’s another similar program in place, but it’s not offering produce.
It’s another day at Frosty Bottom Brewing. Members are mixing, pouring and tasting the most recent creation.
“We started in 2014 as a hobby group,” said Frosty Bottom Brewing Owner Roy Curtis. “Home brewers that just wanted to brew beers together…share the expense.”
In the beginning it was a 10-gallon operation. That changed when Curtis and his fellow home brewers were presented with an opportunity. A 30-gallon brew system for sale by the Friars’ in Bucksport.
“We brew two barrels of beer a month, so essentially 60 gallons a month,” said Curtis.
In a county rich with community supported agriculture, better known as CSA’s, Curtis and company came up with an idea.
“What we noticed is that it’s not just about farmers and vegetables, but there’s folks doing it with breads and cheeses, and so we said, ‘why can’t we do it with beer?’,” said Curtis.
They started a beer-share program. For around 325 dollars a year, up to 40 members can stop at the brewery to fill up on their favorite Frosty Bottom brew.
Anybody who thinks they don’t like beer cause all they’ve ever had is like Budweiser or Miller Lite, there’s probably a beer out there that they would actually enjoy,” said one of the founding members Zafra Whitcomb. “Something that’s darker or maltier or sweeter or drier and more effervescent or slightly tart”
Frosty Bottom Brewng makes two different beers a month, all in its self-sustaining, solar-powered building. It also features an Airbnb for those travelers looking for something extra during their stay in Maine.
Curtis says he’s not sure how the operation will grow, but it’s all about community.
“We want this to feel like a hobby and not necessarily feel like work right now,” Curtis said. “And so I think a one-barrel system is kind of where we’re at for the time being. Maybe down the road when some of us retire and move on we’ll look at maybe doing something bigger if the need is there.”