Shipyard is planning a 105-room hotel for its upgraded Portland, Maine brewery.
Beer-themed hotels—much like breweries themselves—have seen rapid growth recently. Craft brewing’s renewed focus on keeping things local has continued to drive the idea of beer tourism, and of course, if you’re traveling just for beer, it’s nice to stay somewhere that not only understands the purpose of your vacation but is willing to cater to it. For example, the Portland, Oregon-based brewpub chain McMenamins has multiple brewery-focused hotels in the Pacific Northwest. Delaware’s Dogfish Head opened its Dogfish Head Inn in Lewes. And plenty of other concepts are in the works, like BrewDog’s The Doghouse Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, slated to open later this year, which promises things like IPA on tap in your room and showers with stocked mini-fridges.
Maine has long been one of America’s top brewing destinations (it ranks third in breweries per capita), and now, the state’s largest brewery has pitched a plan to build a “brewtel” of its own in Maine’s largest city, Portland. According to the Press Herald, Shipyard has submitted a $65 million redevelopment plan to the city that was made public yesterday. Beyond renovating its existing brewery and tasting room, Shipyard would demolish the rest of the buildings on its two-acre site to build a 105-room hotel, a nine-unit residential building, an office building, and a four-story garage. “It just feels like an opportune time to take advantage of the demand for space downtown,” Shipyard founder and President Fred Forsley said of the multipurpose complex.
Of course, unless you’ve been desperately looking for a good parking spot in Portland’s East End, the most exciting part of this proposal is the beer hotel. Though Shipyard admits it’s still an “evolving” concept, Forsley said the plan is to offer amenities like a ground floor tasting room, a dedicated brewing TV channel, tours of the brewery, and potentially even beer room service where staff wheels up a keg to your door so you can pour your own draft pints. “It’s a new concept,” he was quoted as saying. Well, unless you were in a fraternity.