NORWAY — The town’s first microbrewery will be in a historic brick rail depot at 237 Main St.

Norway Brewing Co.’s owners announced Wednesday they’ve purchased the former Passenger’s Rail restaurant, once the disembarking point for the town’s commuter trolley service.

Erika Melhus, who will run the brewery with her husband and brewer, Charles Magne Melhus, said Wednesday that the site is ideally suited for a brewery because it has a kitchen, bar, tap lines and a parking lot.

In January, the couple announced plans to launch a 10-barrel, or roughly 300-gallon, brewery with bar space inside for 35. In addition to serving beer and some food, they aim to construct an outdoor beer garden with a capacity for over 100 people.

Melhus estimated doors wouldn’t open for at least seven months. Renovations will be planned in the next few weeks, and afterward they’ll need to finalize bank financing and contact potential investors. Once those steps are squared away, she said it could take three months to order equipment, and another three months to receive state and federal permitting.

The couple plans to attend a large brewery trade show in April to scope out potential vendors and talk to other brewers about what works best for them.

Brenda Melhus, Magne’s mother and a proponent of the town’s historic downtown area, said work needs to be done to bring the building up to code, but the site is perfect for the brewery.

Although several restaurants have occupied the building, only to fold within a few months, she said the brewery was distinct enough to be a hit.

“It’s going to be so different than anything there before,’ she said. “It will be primarily a brewery with a tasting room. I think it’s going to be a real asset to the town. People can come in there who won’t necessarily be having dinner, but getting beer,” Melhus said.


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