For Steve Gorrill, the owner of Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company in Whitefield, Maine, it's not about getting as big as possible, it's about finding a happy balance. With experience in the corporate world, Gorrill chose to pursue the path less traveled and opened up his own brewery where he could be his own boss and make beer in a way that suits his needs. Corporate America may not agree, but that doesn't stop Gorrill from enjoying his unique take on the craft beer industry.
For most, the craft beer industry brings images of high-volume, low-cost brews, churned out in an attempt to beat out the competition with little thought towards quality. But there’s a shining exception to this model — and it’s found in Maine’s Sheepscot Valley. The brewery’s leader, Steve Gorrill, has achieved what most would consider the impossible: he’s forged his beloved craft beer business into the epitome of sustainability and quality.
Corporate America may look at a brewer like Steve Gorrill of Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company out of Whitefield, Maine, and see a man with his priorities out of whack: His business could grow and he could be a lot more aggressive in the market, but Gorrill likes things just the way they are.
For Gorrill, the goal of maintaining a successful brewery has little to do with taking home a larger paycheck or expanding the company to larger markets. The main goals of the owners and brewers at the Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company are to:
For Gorrill and Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company, providing an exceptional product and customer experience are paramount. From the hand-picked malts to the carefully measured hops, each beer consistently delivers a smooth balance of flavors.
The bar staff works to ensure that customers experience a personalized, informed recommendation on the right beer. All the while, Gorrill fosters a warm and welcoming atmosphere in the tasting room. Guests are encouraged to interact with the brewers and staff, ask questions, and enjoy the experience.
When Steve Gorrill and his team acquired the Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company, they had to make a major commitment to sustainability if they wanted their business to stay afloat. The company upgraded their existing brewing equipment with recycling and reclaiming capabilities, and implemented water-efficient technology to reduce reliance on local water resources.
Gorrill also works to improve sustainability within the brewing process itself. By carefully filtering ingredients, reducing brewing waste and utilizing renewable energy sources, the brewery is ensuring a higher quality product with a smaller environmental impact.
By focusing on core values and solidifying relationships within the local community, Gorrill’s brewery has seen immense success. The brewery is home to special events like live music, fundraisers and beer releases. Everyone who walks through the door becomes part of a local culture that operates on camaraderie, quality beer, and a love for the craft.
Local business owners and residents alike love the brewery and Gorrill’s commitment to sustainability and quality. Through their involvement in the Whitefield Chamber of Commerce, workforce-based initiatives, and other community-boosting endeavors, Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company continues to go above and beyond for their hometown.
With its commitment to sustainability, quality, and the local community, Sheepscot Valley Brewing Company has achieved success that many only dream of. Through their commitment to fulfilling the needs of their customers and employees, Gorrill and company have managed to become icons in the craft beer world — and in the Whitefield and Lincoln County areas, they’re helping to make Maine a craft beer mecca.