Blaze Brewing Co., with breweries in Biddeford and Camden, is expanding into Piscataquis County, but the Dover-Foxcroft location is expected to be much more than a brewery when it opens.
Bangor native Matt Haskell, the owner of Blaze Brewing and the Blaze Restaurant Group, envisions the site — located along 1,800 feet of Piscataquis River frontage on outer Vaughn Street — to include not only a mixed-fermentation brewery, but also a distillery, eatery, wedding and events venue and sustainable farming site where he will raise Wagyu and Angus cattle.
Blaze Brewing at Dover Creek will join Haskell’s existing Blaze restaurants in Bangor, Bar Harbor, Biddeford and Camden, besides the breweries in Biddeford and Camden.
Haskell said the cattle farm at the Dover Creek facility will begin operating within weeks with support from at least two local businesses — neighboring River Run Farm and Herring Brothers Meats in Guilford, where Blaze is having meat processed.
Haskell already houses heritage pigs at a farm in Blue Hill.
“I recently started processing my own beef and pork for my restaurants as a means to diversify my business a little bit because as we all know the restaurant business has taken quite a hit this year,” he said.
“So I’ve got to do things differently to try and save my company and one of those things would be to start processing my own meat just to make sure that I can get it, but also so that I have a better understanding of where my meat comes from these days.”
Haskell said he will use the cattle operation not only to supply beef for Blaze’s restaurants, but also to sell to other restaurants and build a wholesale business to supply different markets throughout New England.
The remainder of the facility is expected to be up and running in early 2021, Haskell said.
That will include a 1943 F150 flatbed truck that will carry a wood-fired pizza oven and a wood-fired grill that will be parked in front of the large barn on site.
“Our tap rooms will have a full food menu six or seven days a week when we open next spring,” Haskell said.
The tap rooms will feature the barrel-aged sour mixed-fermentation beers to be produced at the Dover-Foxcroft brewery, as well as IPAs, pale ales, browns, stouts and porters brewed at the Biddeford locale.
“We will be utilizing as many ingredients from Maine as we can,” he said. “This means Maine-grown grain, fruit and other products that make fantastic beer.”
When the distillery at the Dover-Foxcroft site begins operations, it will produce vodka, whiskey, gin and fruited brandies, also using Maine ingredients.
Haskell, a 1996 Bangor High School graduate, got his start in the restaurant industry by working in Bar Harbor, and eventually moved into ownership when he bought the Bear Brew Pub in Orono in 2002.
Haskell then opened Finback Alehouse on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor in 2009. He sold the Bear Brew Pub in 2010 shortly after purchasing Finback Alehouse.
Haskell opened the first Blaze restaurant in Bar Harbor in 2011 and added a second in downtown Bangor in 2014.
In 2017, Haskell purchased longtime downtown Bangor coffee shop Giacomo’s, though it was open for less than a year before Haskell and his partner, Evelina Kacprzykowska, sold it.
The pair later opened Hoxbill, an upscale restaurant in Camden, which since has been rebranded as a Blaze restaurant.
Also in 2018, Haskell opened a craft brewery, Blaze Brewing Co. in Camden, and this year the company added a larger brewery as well as a fourth Blaze restaurant along the Saco River in Biddeford.