Gritty McDuff’s alumni to open new brewery in Portland

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For more than a decade, Shane Noble and Jake Condon learned the ins and outs of the malty, British style of brewing famous at Maine’s Gritty McDuff’s brewpubs. Now, the Mainers and former Gritty’s employees are branching out on their own with Battery Steele Brewing.

Opening in February at One Industrial Way, Portland’s newest brewery will be the fifth in this growing beer cluster anchored by Allagash.

“We are very excited, but trying to keep a level head,” said Condon, who grew up in Presque Isle and was the general manager at Gritty’s in Portland until October. “We’ve brewed and drank enough English ales for a decade. We are excited to start to brew new beers and try new techniques.”

The co-owners are starting slow and steady with four varieties — two IPAs, a rotating farmhouse ale and rich stout. “A little something for everybody,” said Noble, who was the head brewer at Gritty’s in Freeport.

Located in a renovated carpet warehouse in the same complex as Austin Street and Foundation Brewing, Battery Steele expands the beer cluster that spawned Maine Beer Co. and Rising Tide.

“We dumped our heart and soul into this investment. We’ve been planning it for one year,” said Noble. “We knew we had to have this location because it opens the possibility to have more people show up.”

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Battery Steele’s 10-barrel system and 20-barrel fermentor will share the 1,500-square foot space with a rustic, industrial tasting room, where customers can purchase brews in cans. How does a newcomer keep its edge in a state with 88 active breweries and counting?

“There has to be someone doing every style of beer these days,” said Nobel. “We need to keep a variety going, stay innovative and come out with new beers to get the public excited and interested.”

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.