Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: March 11, 2024

Meet the new executive director of the Maine Brewers' Guild

Sarah Bryan Photo / Provided Sarah Bryan is the new executive director of the Maine Brewers' Guild.

Sarah Bryan made her first public appearance as the new executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild at last week’s New England Craft Brew Summit in Portland. She succeeds Shea Cusick, who led the group for less than a year.

Mainebiz caught up with Bryan to learn more about her view of the industry and what tops her to-do list.

Mainebiz: What’s your professional background?
Sarah Bryan: I have worked in New England craft alcohol since 2011. My roles have grown organically over the years, by and large through a heuristic process and by what had needed doing. But these past few years have largely focused on the operational management and branding needs of small to midsize craft breweries. As a New Hampshire native, I have worked in short-term consulting and longer-term, in-house roles in breweries such as Portsmouth Brewery, Earth Eagle Brewings, Schilling Beer Co. and Twin Barns Brewing.

My last two-plus years in New Hampshire, I served on the executive board as the elected secretary for the New Hampshire Brewers Association, and for a year as a board member of the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association. I professionally moved to Maine in January 2021 — though I had been living in Kittery for some years prior — to accept the role of director of operations and branding for Après, a craft-complementary hard cider and seltzer startup in Portland’s East Bayside neighborhood. 

MB: What sparked your interest in applying for this role at the Maine Brewers’ Guild?
SB: It was in New Hampshire, and through the period of working with the New Hampshire Brewers Association and with the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association, that my passion of industry-wide advocacy was truly born.

In working with the dedicated folks who volunteered their often already overextended time to better the legislative, educational and cultural landscapes for the entire professional community that I was able to realize: Many of the challenges I had experienced in the breweries I had been working for were actually communal hurdles across the state and often on a national level. The opportunity to work towards shared progress on behalf of my chosen craft beverage profession at a scale beyond individual institutions was an opportunity that I felt compelled to pursue.

MB: What about Maine's craft brewing industry most excites you and why?
SB: It is my belief that the Maine brewing community is the crown jewel of the New England craft scene. The profound concentration of truly excellent people and liquid found here is entirely unique. Here, the culture of beer is as quintessential to state identity as blueberries and Bean Boots, and it is with a real pleasure and pride that I hope to contribute to furthering the Maine Brewers’ Guild's continued vision for brewers all across this special place.

MB: What's on the top of your to-do list in your first month?
SB: At the top of my to-do list is to connect with as many of our brewers and partners as possible through the coming weeks and months and to gather detailed information directly from the sources as to not only where we’ve been and how we’ve been doing, but also our hopes and plans for the future, a sort of new census-taking, if you will. There is tremendous opportunity in this moment, and I look forward to the chance to get into the work of our common aims and to execute the legacy and innovative initiatives with the dedicated sitting board of directors that will carry us together into a deeper synergy with our neighbors here in our Maine home and beyond.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF