home brewed with will fisher & austin street brewery
Will Fisher takes his job seriously, but he is anything but serious. Born and raised in New Gloucester, ME, he and his buddy Jake started Austin Street Brewery in the garage of Jake’s then home on Austin Street, located just outside downtown Portland in Westbrook, ME. What started as a home brewing hobby has turned into a Portland local hot spot, featuring 10 “home brewed” masterpieces.
While the assembly line is mesmerizing, Will’s passion and spirit are even more so. Measuring in at a towering 6’4”, Will strives to follow the mantra, “it’s not about having time, it’s about making time.” So it goes with his budding business, as they expand to a new location this spring and continue to grow quickly. Things are busy, but Will and his business partner Jake seem to move at a pace that makes time for the things that matter most while still operating like it’s all on the line, every single day.
As you step into the tasting room, amid the local art on the walls and merchandise in the corner, one thing will quickly stick out: a wooden symbol seen hanging above the main counter. To the untrained eye, it looks like a boat oar of some kind or a lightning rod. When asked, Will explains that it’s a mash paddle, used by traditional brewers to stir or mix malt and water into mash. “When we first started,” Will recalls, “we had a very small brewing system. So my father made us a wooden mash paddle that we used during the first two years of operation. It is now showcased in our tasting room and will forever be a component in our branding.”
A reflection of their hard work and humble beginnings, the mash paddle stands for more than just a small brewing system. It tells the story of two young guys crazy enough to give it their all (savings included) to follow their passion, inspired not by one person, but by many who have gone before them. “With the fear of sounding cliché,” Will suggests, “I'm not inspired by one particular person, but I find inspiration in the hard work and success of others. I'm especially motivated by those who suffer hardship or obstacles and find a way to pull it together and make the most out of their time on Earth.
To see more from Austin Street Brewery, follow them on Instagram: @austinstreetbrewery