John LeGassey, co-owner of Fore River Brewing, gazes fondly up at the massive chrome fermenter–one of four now shining inside of Fore River’s brand new brewery in South Portland. “It’s like Disney World and building a house all at once,” LeGassey laughs, “You walk in and it’s so exciting, but then you remember there’s a lot of work to do.”
The brewery equipment isn’t the only thing looking shiny and new. The steel structure housing the entire operation, the house that PATCO Commercial built, gleams in the February sunlight. Though understated and industrial in its appearance, PATCO’s expert design team and Steel Crew customized the entire building to fit Fore River’s unique brewery specifications and needs.
With extra drainage, specialized climate control, additional doors for ease of production and canning, the building fits Fore River like a glove. For LeGassey, PATCO’s responsiveness to his team’s design needs ensured the project’s success. “PATCO’s design expertise has been huge,” says LeGassey decisively, “You see it everywhere in the space, and it has allowed us to maximize every square foot.”
Although the building is complete and the brewery is starting to operate, PATCO maintains an active relationship with the Fore River team. “We had a door that started acting a little funky in the wintertime,” LeGassey points out, “We called PATCO right away, and they sent someone immediately. Their follow up is terrific.”
The Fore River team was so impressed with the work that they invited the crew back to the finished building for a private tour and informal lesson. Bob Nadeau, foreman of the crew, nods along as LeGassey explains the ins and outs of 21st century brewing. “It’s rewarding,” says Nadeau, “It’s pretty awesome to see what a space was supposed to be–not just an empty building.”
In the coming months, Fore River Brewing will complete their transition process from their “stick building on Huntress Ave” to their new steel digs.