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April 2, 2023

Bissell Brothers expansion is brewing at Portland location

Alexis Wells Bissell Brothers is expanding into a space formerly occupied by Rosemont Market at Thompson's Point.

Bissell Brothers Brewing, a Portland-based craft brewer that features a warehouse-like taproom on Thompson's Point in Portland, is expanding the business into space formerly occupied by Rosemont Market. 

A Bissell Brothers staff member told Mainebiz, "The footprint will stay the same as far as the bar goes. It will be an expansion of their existing space. Down the line, it will be used for events, private parties, things like that."

Alexis Wells
Bissell Brothers

There has yet to be a set opening date for the space. The company is awaiting permits and does not yet have a timeline in place for the expansion. 

Co-owner Peter Bissell told Portland Food Map," The larger kitchen will enable the launch of an in-house bakery program to support the breads needed for their existing menu and to expand their food offerings. The new space will also enable the launch of a full-service bar with some differentiated options in addition to their existing menu. A brass Lukr tap system is being installed at the bar." 

Bissell Brothers was launched in 2013 by brothers Peter and Noah Bissell. In 2018, the brothers expanded to their hometown in Milo and opened their second production facility and taproom called Bissell Brothers Three Rivers.

Bissell Brothers is Maine's sixth-largest brewer, according to the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists, based on its production of 13,000 barrels a year. At the time, the company listed 60 employees. 

Thompson Point shift

Thompson's Point has seen a change in tenants over the past few months. Rosemont Market closed; the International Cryptozoology Museum announced in December that the museum would be moving to Bangor this year.

The former Rosemont Market and Bar on Thompson's Point opened in August 2021 and closed in January of this year. 

Rosemont Market said in a Dec. 19 Instagram post that it would focus on its other markets: "Our departure will provide us the opportunity to allocate resources from this location toward our seven other neighborhood markets."

Mike Mwenedata of Rwanda Bean Co. at Cape Whoopies
File photo / Jim Neuger
Mike Mwenedata of Rwanda Bean Co.

As recently reported in Mainebiz, Rwanda Bean Co. also said it would shut down its retail presence at Thompson's Point on May 1, but plans to maintain its roastery, production and wholesale operations at the location.

Rwanda Bean aims to expand its subscription and wholesale services by making the changes. It also intends to keep operating its coffee shop at 463 Stevens Ave. in Portland, gradually increasing the hours of operation to seven days a week with an expanded menu.

"In order to further drive growth and stability for Rwanda Bean and to continue to deliver on our mission to support the community of Rwanda coffee farmers by sharing their harvests with the wider world, we are going to focus exclusively on our roastery operations, production and wholesaling out of our Thompson's Point location," the company posted on Facebook.

When asked if Thompson's Point has seen a shift in the last few years due to the pandemic, Chris Thompson of Thompson's Point Development Co., replied, “Yes, absolutely. Everyone in the event, hospitality, food and beverage, and arts industries saw the world close in around them in 2020, and what followed was a slow and incredibly challenging re-opening with very little predictability. Those who survived and are fortunate to see themselves very busy again had to be tenacious, creative, and hopefully a little lucky … and had to take very good care of their employees, customers, and each other.”


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