An employee works on the high-speed bottling line at Geary’s Brewing in Portland. Auburn-based The Strainrite Companies, which has been making liquid filtration products for at least six industries for the past 40 years, has acquired the Portland brewery. Submitted photo

AUBURN — Five years after rescuing Maine’s D.L. Geary Brewing Company from certain extinction, Alan and Robin Lapoint have acquired another struggling Maine craft brew legend, Belfast Bay Brewing, makers of Lobster Ale and McGovern’s Oatmeal Stout.

Belfast Bay Brewing, makers of Lobster Ale and McGovern’s Stout, has been bought by Auburn business owners Alan and Robin Lapoint. Submitted photo

The Lapoints also own Auburn-based The Strainrite Companies, which has been making liquid filtration products for at least six industries for the last 40 years.

Pat Mullen started the Belfast Bay brewpub in 1996 and hired legendary brewer Dan McGovern, dubbed the “Godfather of Maine Craft Beer” by Maine Magazine. The partnership lasted some eight years, with McGovern as head brewer, and brought the namesake McGovern’s Oatmeal Stout to the forefront, winning a World Brewing Championships silver medal, and gaining national notoriety.

Fast forward to 2023. “We have a really good relationship with Marcy and Pat,” Alan Lapoint said. “Pat started the brewery and he was getting to the point where they weren’t sure what they wanted to do. They wanted to kind of move on, but they’re still passionate about the brand because they started it, they’ve been around a really long time.”

Twenty-seven years and counting. Lapoint said Mullen approached them to see if they would be interested in continuing to brew his product under the Geary’s brand — and the rest is Maine craft brew history. The Mullens stayed involved during a transition process, but the brand is now 100% owned by the Lapoints.

“They’re one of the original craft brewers in the state of Maine, so they wanted to see if they could maintain the legacy of the brand so it didn’t lose its allure and it’s iconic lobster, just like ours is a lobster as well,” Lapoint said, noting the Geary logo incorporates a lobster.


The Lapoints have been contract brewing beer for Belfast Bay for two years already, saying their focus is on boosting the marketing and distribution of what Alan Lapoint calls the “iconic” Lobster Ale and McGovern’s Stout.

Lobster Ale 2

Lobster Ale and Geary’s beers both incorporate the lobster and are now owned by Alan and Robin Lapoint, Auburn business owners. Submitted photo

What’s unique about Belfast Bay Brewery is that it used open fermentation, a process popular in the UK and Europe to produce the types of beers preferred in Europe. When the Lapoints bought Geary Brewing, the brewery also used open fermentation, so they added closed fermentation to the Portland facility.

“We added the closed fermentation after the acquisition,” Lapoint explained. “And that was to allow us to contract brew for a lot of other people and also to create new styles of IPA for Geary’s brand.” Most modern breweries use the closed fermentation process.

“That’s why we brought in different yeast strains to get those nice off-flavor profiles for IPA, lagers, hefeweizen… you can’t really do that if your whole brewery is open fermentation because of cross contamination,” he said.

The Geary brewery in Portland is 17,000 square feet and Lapoint said the facility is only at about 50-55% capacity, leaving plenty of room for growth.

Belfast Bay beers will continue to be available in kegs and bottles and the Lapoints plan to add a 12-pack of 12 ounce cans for convenience, ease of shipping and for those places where bottles are not allowed or encouraged, like some beaches or other public spaces.


For now, the focus for both Belfast Bay and Geary will be growth within Maine, where the Lapoints hope to reinvigorate interest in the iconic brands and increase sales. They also brew a full line of nonalcoholic beer, which is being marketed nationally and shipped directly because regulators consider the product as a food and not an alcoholic beverage.

The question inevitably comes up, is the Maine craft beer market oversaturated? It depends who you ask. Alan Lapoint said he’ll leave that question to consumers to decide, but he notes the trend nationally is a slower annual growth rate of 1% to 2%. But that doesn’t concern him, because he believes a big change is already underway in the industry and that’s growing competition for craft brews.

“I think we’re going to see more health-conscious products that still provides you with that euphoric feeling, without the calories or the hangover that you might get from alcohol.”

He’s referring to the current popularity of probiotics, kombucha-style fermented drinks. Who knows, there could be a chaga brew in the offing. Lapoint believes we could see that change coming by early next year.

In the end, another original Maine craft brew has a new lease on life.

“For us, it was to maintain the legacy of the brand so that we could really steward the brand for the next generation of consumers and share with them really the history of Maine craft beer,” Alan Lapoint said.

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