NORWAY — Beer is coming to Norway, straight from Norway.

A local man who worked as a brew master in the country of Norway told the Planning Board on Thursday that he and his wife want to set up a downtown microbrewery.

After weeks of speculation and after a Facebook page unexpectedly went viral, Erika and Charles Magne Melhus made the worst-kept secret in Norway public: Norway Brewing Co. hopes to be the area’s newest microbrewery by the end of the year.

“We want to provide something we see missing in the town, a social gathering space for weekdays, not just weekends,” Charles said.

Their tentative plans call for a 10-barrel, roughly 300-gallon brewery with bar space inside for 35. Food would be served on premises, but the site wouldn’t start out as a full-fledged restaurant. In the summer, they hope to open up an outdoor beer garden with a capacity for over 100 people. The brewery’s location has not been settled and the couple are exploring leasing or purchasing on Main Street.

“We want an establishment that’s aesthetically pleasing, classy, but approachable, that everybody can be in,” Erika said.

Charles, 31, whose father is from Norway, was born overseas and later moved to Maine. He met Erika, 29, at the bar Charles worked at in Portland while she attended the Maine College of Art.

After they received degrees just in time for the economy to crash in 2008, they jumped continents, where they said they gained experience crucial for a startup business.

After working as a chef, Charles made the switch to brewer, crafting new ales and lagers for Lervig Aktiebryggeri in Stavanger, Norway, a 340-mile drive from the capital in Oslo, while Erika was a bartender in the country’s largest craft beer bar.

After three years and the birth of their second child, they decided it was time to put down some roots. Since then, they’ve been scoping out possible locations and networking with Maine’s vibrant beer community for advice, contacts and know-how.

“We both love this town and want to see it succeed. Maine is becoming a destination place for microbreweries — they attract people plus give residents pride in their town,” Erika said.

The couple said they were amazed by the outpouring of support since their Facebook page went live a few days ago: Norway Brewing Co. gained over 500 likes in just 24 hours.

The couple said their model will cater toward locals looking for a pint after work as well as connoisseurs from away.

Most of the consumption will be on premises, with an option for customers to fill to-go glass containers called growlers. A small number of kegs will also be distributed to bars and restaurants.

The list of beers will include some year-round brews, including staples such as pale ales, IPAs, and stouts, but also odes to the “beer geek” niche like barrel-aged concoctions and sour offerings.

“It is a fantastic community in the brewery world. The difference between craft beer as an industry is people who love it, love it. There’s not a ton of brand loyalty and other brewers help out because what’s good for them is good for us,” Erika said.

The couple has yet to apply for local or state permitting, which they expect to begin once a site has been secured.

Once the issues of sewer, water and other logistics are addressed, Planning Board Chairman Dennis Gray said, “There’s no reason I can see it wouldn’t be feasible to do.”

The couple said they hoped to continue the strides taken to reinvigorate the downtown economy.

“We want to create a product the town can be proud of,” Erika said.

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