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Bissell Brothers Debuts a Wild Beer Brewery in Central Maine

Summertime is prime time for a beer road trip, and there’s a new destination way up in Maine—especially for folks who like the great outdoors. Buzzy Portland brewery Bissell Brothers has expanded with a second production facility and taproom called Three Rivers in Milo, Maine, the founders’ rural hometown located nearly 150 miles north of Portland.

Bissell Brothers Three Rivers—aka the Milo Project—has been in the works for more than two years, with Noah Bissell and his brewing team starting the first Milo-brewed batch of beer about six months ago, Peter Jensen Bissell told local TV station WABI. It softly opened on Friday the 13th, and had a full day of pints and a food pop-up on Saturday, July 14.

Three Rivers uses a 10-barrel brewhouse that was in Bissell Brothers’ original Portland location (the five-year-old brewery moved from Industrial Way to Thompson’s Point in 2016). The Milo system has been accessorized with a few new, stainless steel fermentors, nine wooden foeders, a coolship custom-engineered by Portland fabricator Forest J. Stone, and roughly 60 wine barrels—all tools for fermenting and aging wild, spontaneous, sour beers.

The unpredictability of such funky fermentations requires serious breweries to separate production from the daily grind of more traditional ales and lagers; it’s among the reasons why the Jack’s Abby team took over the space next door to open Springdale Barrel Room, for example, and is also a large part of Trillium Brewing’s continuing growth in Canton and Boston.

“Needing a second location for these types of beers was a given, but Milo was deliberate and the only option,” Peter Bissell said on social media.


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