Brad Moll, co-owner of Brickyard Hollow, stands in front of a mural of the Yarmouth village 1923 winter carnival in the brewery’s flagship location in Yarmouth. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Inside Brickyard Hollow Brewing Co.’s original location on Main Street in Yarmouth, Brickyard co-founder and president Brad Moll points to a mural on the back wall that he says illustrates both his company’s origin story and its mission.

The mural, made from an antique photograph obtained from the local historical society, shows sledders and other revelers gathered in the center of Yarmouth for the town’s 1923 winter carnival. Moll explained that the relatively low-lying area where the brewery is located at 236 Main St. was known in the 19th century as Brickyard Hollow.

“And it was basically a wasteland, always flooded out. There was a brickyard and that’s about all it was,” Moll said, noting that the side of the hollow closest to the ocean was populated by moneyed fishing industry magnates, while the inland side was where the workers and farmers lived.

“They didn’t get along, the two sides of town,” said Moll, who has a background in construction, though he’d been an avid homebrewer before opening Brickyard Hollow.

In the early 20th century, Yarmouth’s town leaders chose to fill the hollow in with black ash from a local paper mill, and turn the once-dividing ground into a community gathering area where they’d eventually build a library, school and Masonic Hall.

As Moll and his partner were first launching Brickyard Hollow in 2018, they realized the significance of the winter carnival photo. “We were trying to create a craft brewery that was a gathering place for this little community, and that picture really helped present that,” Moll said.


“Brickyard Hollow helps to solidify a real interesting corner in our village,” said Scott LaFlamme, director of economic development for Yarmouth. “It’s a gathering place for families and folks of all ages to connect. I think Brad in general is a wonderful steward for the community, and he’s a great example of good local development.”

Some of Brickyard Hollow’s more popular dishes, clockwise from bottom left: Maine blueberry pizza with ricotta and lemon zest; maple-bacon burger; smoked pulled pork pizza with Fuji apple and red onion; mashed potato-bacon pizza with a sour cream drizzle; crispy pork banh mi bowl. Photo by Clara Ellis


Brickyard Hollow has since opened eight other locations around the state, five of them in the last 12 months. The company launched in Skowhegan and Eustis last December, then in Brunswick and New Gloucester last spring, and Augusta in mid-October. Moll estimated Brickyard has about 250 employees.

Brickyard’s head-spinning expansion will continue into 2024, as the company plans to open a location on Main Street in Biddeford and is collaborating with Sugarshack Music Channel to launch a “live music restaurant” in Bonita Springs, Florida. Beyond those projects, Moll said the company has no other openings planned for 2024.

Moll said Brickyard remains focused on its foundational elements – craft beer, highly creative pizzas and community support – even as it grows around the state and beyond. While the other two elements were firmly in place in 2018, Brickyard’s pizzas weren’t even a part of their business model until they opened their second location in Freeport in 2019.

In fact, food wasn’t even part of the original plan at Brickyard until they realized that Yarmouth zoning bylaws wouldn’t allow for a brewery on Main Street that didn’t serve food. So Brickyard launched in Yarmouth with what Moll called an “eclectic brew pub menu,” offering everything from burgers to pad Thai and enchiladas.


“We tried to do each of those things well,” Moll said, noting that burgers and pad Thai remain among the top-selling menu items in Yarmouth.

But Moll said Brendon Medeiros, Brickyard’s vice president of operations, who had professional pizza-baking experience, wanted the Freeport menu to be centered around pizzas.

“At some point, it really caught on,” Moll said. “The quality was very well received by the community and also by tourists coming through Freeport.”

Brickyard opened a dedicated pizzeria next to its Yarmouth brewery in 2021. The brewery won the people’s choice award at the 2021 Portland Food Fights “Lord of the Pies” competition, and pizza has been the centerpiece of the menu at each location they’ve opened since.

“The craft pizza is a really important piece of our brand,” Moll said. “When people think about Brickyard Hollow, they think of craft beer and craft pizza. That’s who we are now.”

Medeiros is unsure how to classify Brickyard’s style of pizza. “I wouldn’t say it falls neatly in any category,” he said. “I kind of classify it as Portland pizza style. We’ve been seeing people around here do this for a while. It’s thin crust, not quite New York-style pizza, and a lot of creative toppings.”


Creative toppings like those on one of their signature pies, topped with Maine blueberries, roasted shallot, lemon zest and ricotta. Or a pizza topped with smoked pulled pork, gouda, mac & cheese, jalapeño and cornbread. Or another Brickyard customer favorite made with peaches, balsamic reduction, goat cheese and basil.

“There are lots of interesting options. At the end of the day, most people order cheese or pepperoni,” Moll laughs.


By 2020, Brickyard had outgrown its five-barrel brewhouse in Yarmouth. The company couldn’t supply enough beer to its various locations or to retail vendors, and so had to outsource some of its beer production to other area breweries.

Moll started looking around Maine for land where Brickyard could build a new production brewery. In 2022, he learned of a brewery space in New Gloucester – being vacated by the former NU Brewery – that would spare the company a two-year project of building a facility from scratch.

The space had a 30-barrel brewhouse and a canning operation, just right for Brickyard to ease its growing pains. “It was the size brewhouse that we needed to expand our brewing capabilities and grow into,” Moll said.


They added a 5,000-square-foot warehouse to the New Gloucester facility, and turned the existing warehouse at the site into a commercial kitchen. Brickyard opened in New Gloucester in May, and has since been able to terminate their outsourcing contracts and brew all their beer in-house once again.

“It’s taken us the last six months to get things up and running (in New Gloucester) and dialed in to where we wanted it to be,” Moll said.

“That space has allowed them to bring their production in-house, which allows for better control over the whole process,” said Shea Cusick, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild. “We are always pleased as a guild when a member is having success, and we certainly extend our congratulations to them.”

The New Gloucester operation has also given Brickyard the luxury of using its barrels in Yarmouth for test batches and limited runs. Moll said Brickyard has four or five “core” beer styles, but has brewed more than 70 styles of beer over the years, and the company has seen about 20 percent growth annually in beer sales.

A mural of shipbuilding workers at Brickyard Hollow’s Portland location on Commercial Street. Photo by Powers Media House


All Brickyard Hollow’s satellite locations feature murals and blown-up antique photos, iconic images depicting local industries of the brewery’s host towns, part of what Moll calls a “rustic industrial” aesthetic. The Portland location features historic shots of the city’s shipbuilding industry, for instance, while Brickyard in Brunswick has photos of the paper industry, and Skowhegan’s brewpub displays logging photos.


“With each expansion, the first calls we’re making are to the chambers of commerce and the historical society (in each host town),” said Kendall Harnett, Brickyard’s vice president of marketing and community outreach.

Some of the places Brickyard Hollow has opened make immediate sense, like Brunswick, Ogunquit – where they’ve been the only craft brewery in town since opening in 2022 – and their Portland location in the former Arabica coffee shop on Commercial Street in 2021. “That (Portland) location was a difference maker for our brand,” Moll said. “Suddenly we’ve gone from a little unknown brewery on a quaint little Main Street in Yarmouth village to being in downtown Portland and people are coming off the cruise ships and seeing us.”

Moll explained the reasoning behind other, more remote Brickyard Hollow locations opening in places like Skowhegan and Eustis, where personal history plays a role. Moll grew up in the tiny town of Canaan, and went to high school in nearby Skowhegan.

“I loved every minute of growing up there, and always felt a sense of community when I lived there,” he said. A friend called him in early 2022 to see if he’d be interested in bringing Brickyard Hollow to Skowhegan.

“I thought I would love to be reengaged with that community in this way,” Moll said. Still, he was motivated by more than nostalgia in opening the Skowhegan location.

“For me, having grown up in rural Maine, I have an affection for the rural parts of Maine. Skowhegan is a hub for a very large region up there,” he said. “A lot of people come to Skowhegan from 40 to 60 miles away to take care of their everyday needs, like grocery shopping. They pour through that town.”


And he suspects Maine’s population distribution has shifted since the pandemic. “I’d say since COVID, a lot of these places aren’t so far out of the way anymore,” Moll said. “And you’d be amazed at the amount of growth and revitalization that’s happening in these communities. Places like Portland have become hard for people to afford to live. So you’re finding more and more people moving to communities in rural parts of Maine, and they’re looking for a restaurant experience that we can provide.”

At the end of 2022, Brickyard opened in Eustis. Moll had spent plenty of time over the years skiing at Sugarloaf and snowmobiling in the area. Acting on a tip from a friend, Moll and his team bought an 1850s barn on Flagstaff Lake that had been converted to a bed and breakfast. He says the location services skiers, snowmobilers, mountain bikers, hikers, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts year-round.

“It’s a really awesome part of the state that I just wanted to be more involved with, and I wanted to bring this concept there. I felt there was a need,” Moll said. “These rural communities are craving some newer restaurants coming into town. It’s exciting for them, especially if it’s a local Maine brand.

“When you think about why Maine is such a great place to live, it’s because we have these communities,” Moll continued. “The people of these towns rally around what is theirs. And being engaged with people in the community is rewarding.”


Talk with Moll long enough, and you’ll hear the word “community” repeatedly. Helping support local communities is one of Brickyard’s key tenets, which Moll and company leaders give at least as much attention as they do their craft brews and creative pizzas.


Harnett said Brickyard has raised more than $50,000 since 2018 for nonprofit organizations and charity partners around Maine. Brickyard’s locations host regular “community nights” where local groups use the brewpub as headquarters for a one-night event, then receive a portion of the proceeds at the end of the night.

In late 2022, Brickyard started a regular fundraising initiative for Full Plates, Full Potential that Harnett estimated amounts to a $500 monthly contribution to the group, which fights child hunger in Maine. The Ogunquit location held a community night this month to raise money for the Great Works Regional Land Trust, while the Yarmouth flagship brewpub hosted a fundraiser for a local family who were recently displaced by a devastating apartment fire.

A November event at the Portland location raised funds for The Parent’s Closet, a nonprofit group that provides toiletries, clothing and other items to pediatric and neonatal intensive care patients at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, while the Freeport location raised about $400 for Durham AmVets on Veteran’s Day this year.

“Brickyard has done a great job of providing a space for school boosters and nonprofits and others to do fundraising and other community outreach,” LaFlamme said. “They’re first on a lot of folks’ Rolodexes to call if they’re doing fundraising.”

“These people need help, and the businesses in town are the people who need to help them,” Harnett said. “This is like a slow drip. We believe that if we can make an impact, even in little ways, it’s helpful. And I think the model for what we’re trying to do – looking out for your neighbor and doing what you can – is achievable in other businesses.

“This certainly isn’t a novel approach or just a Brickyard Hollow thing,” Harnett continued.  “But there’s a model where businesses can be successful and grow, and that co-exists with the opportunity to help lots of organizations in the community.”


Brickyard’s “slow drip” philanthropy approach seems like the perfect recipe for success and admiration in Maine’s hospitality industry: The more you grow, the more you give back.

“Anything that we can do to engage and help and find ways to give back to the community – that’s what I built this brand around, and I want that to be at the core of what we do,” Moll said. “There’s always a need.”

Brickyard Hollow’s flagship location in Yarmouth. The brewpub has undergone a remarkable expansion, opening nine locations in six years. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer


As the saying goes, if a little is good, then a lot must be better. A number of eateries in Maine – all casual sandwich shops, pizzerias and breweries – have adopted that theory. Here are a few that, like Brickyard Hollow, have four or more locations.

Amato’s: The business dates back to 1902, when the original sandwich shop opened on India Street in Portland. Famous for its Italians, Amato’s has franchises in Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as Maine, altogether almost 50 locations.

Batson River Brewing & Distilling has four locations: the original in Kennebunk, which opened in 2018, as well as businesses in Portland, which houses the distillery; Wells; and its newest spot in Biddeford. It offers pub fare like smash burgers and fried chicken sandwiches, made upscale with ingredients like duck fat, truffle oil and shishito peppers.


Governor’s dates back to 1959 and today has six locations, mostly in the central and northern part of the state: Bangor, Ellsworth, Lewiston, Old Town, Presque Island and Waterville. The restaurants serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, including items like red hot dogs, Moose Burger (a hefty beef burger), fried scallops and homemade pie. You can test your Maine expertise by whether or not you recognize Governor’s top-hatted, bespectacled, tuxedo-outfitted mascot.

Otto’s Pizza, born on Congress Street in Portland in 2009, has locations in Maine (11), New Hampshire (two) and Massachusetts (11). It’s known for its unconventional pizzas with toppings that variously incorporate mashed potatoes, cranberries and Buffalo chicken.

Pat’s Pizza dates back to 1931 (as Farnsworth Café), although pizza wasn’t added until 1953. Today, it operates as a franchise with 15 locations around the state, as far north as Hampden, south as Scarborough, and perhaps most famously, its pizzeria in Orono.

Portland Pie has nine locations around the state, including in Bangor, Waterville, Windham and Portland. Pizza, yes, as the name implies, but the restaurants also offer wings, tater tots, and sandwiches like pastrami and turkey with brie.

Sam’s Italian Foods has 11 locations, mostly in the Lewiston/Auburn area. The fast-casual Italian restaurant specializes in Italians, pizzas and pastas.

Sea Dog Brewing has eight locations, including two in New Hampshire and one in Florida. Locally, find them in South Portland and Scarborough. Founded in Camden in 1993, it makes traditional style ales and lagers and serves an eclectic menu of beer-friendly meals and snacks.

Sebago Brewing Co., founded in 1998, has four locations, all in Southern Maine: Two are in Gorham, the others in Kennebunk and Scarborough. Sebago Brewing serves casual pub food and small-batch beers of all sorts.

By Staff Editor Peggy Grodinsky

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