Rising Tide Brewing Company

Craft brewing has become big business in Maine, and no one recognizes that more than Heather and Nathan Sanborn, owners of Rising Tide Brewing in Portland. Starting off with a small 1,500 foot location in 2010, the company quickly outgrew their space with the help of the Portland Small Business Development Center and found a new location in 2012. Equipment upgrades in 2013, financed with SBA 7a loans, allowed the company to add new fermenters and a bottling line, allowing them to increase production and distribution capacity.

Using the “foodie” culture of Portland to their advantage, Rising Tide offers tours of the brewery and caters to the various brewery tour companies that now operate in the city, as well as food trucks that park outside their location. Nathan has also focused on creating traditional beer with unique tastes, trying them out at home before introducing them to the public. This strategy has allowed the company to see steady growth over the past several years growing from $300,000 in sales in 2012 to well over $1 million in 2015.

Heather Sanborn doesn’t want to stop there though, she serves as president of the Maine Brewers Guild, advocating for the various small breweries now located throughout the state, and forging partnerships that allow newcomers to learn from the existing brewers. In this too, she has been successful, as craft brewing in 2015 contributed nearly as much to the Maine economy as the iconic lobster. Going forward, it is not hard to imagine the impact that Heather and Nathan can have on this truly local industry.

But Rising Tide doesn’t only support the local beer economy. As the name evokes the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats”, the company truly focuses on improving its community. By contributing to the local trail organizations, food banks, various local non-profits, and Heather’s serving on the boards of the Portland Development Corporation and the Maine Center for Graduate Professional Studies, Rising Tide has exemplified the best of small business owners who are engaged with their communities.