Julia Dilger from Foulmouthed Brewing recently sat down with the Chamber to share more on their homebrew back story and a particular brew (and cause) that's near and dear to their hearts:
How did you and Craig end up in Maine, and what inspired you to get into the brewery business?
We’re both from NJ, but we were living in Salt Lake City - I was working as a teacher and Craig as a newspaper photographer. We wanted to live closer to family but didn’t want to return to NJ or NYC. It was between Providence and Portland when a photographer friend in Maine offered to get Craig into the wedding photography scene. We had been talking about having a brewery since we met (Craig had been doing a lot of home brewing in Utah), so when we moved to Maine, we met Bill (who’s still one of our brewers) and it went from there. After we had our oldest daughter, I had a hard time seeing myself go back to teaching so we looked into whether opening a brewery made sense and it did!
You recently took a Foulmouthed staff field trip to Allagash to tour their operation. How has the collaboration in the Maine craft beverage scene impacted how Foulmouthed works?
As far as the brewing scene in Maine – everyone is so friendly and kind. We’re always helping each other. I know if I have a question there will be 5 other breweries who have an answer for me. We’ve done a lot of collaboration with others - like Fore River, Barreled Souls, XOTA, Norway Brewing - and everyone is just so open to doing things together. For example, when Craig was an amateur home brewer, he paired up with Barreled Souls for Pro-Am to create SEALAB [a chocolate and seaweed stout that each brewery periodically re-releases].
What are some of the challenges facing your industry here in the state?
There are a LOT of breweries, and more opening up all the time - a lot of (friendly) competition. Getting enough commercial storage space is a problem. The supply of cans is a big issue. Rising Tide has been buying bulk cans and has become the storage/supplier for other breweries!
Your Mr. Giggles brew was highlighted during a recent Foulmouthed event to help raise awareness for suicide. Can you elaborate on the story behind that particular beer and perhaps the importance of using your platform to raise awareness for social issues?
Our friend Tim committed suicide 5 years ago. He was a good friend of ours, a really wonderful guy. Mr. Giggles was his nickname – he was a guy who always had a smile on his face. The image on the can is him. When he passed away, he had a homebrew set that no one knew what to do with, so we used when we were still home brewing to create a golden strong that we then brewed every year. And when we opened Foulmouthed we thought this was a good way to honor his memory and to help support Maine Suicide Prevention Program through awareness and donations.
You run a weekly Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night (on Tuesdays), but are there any other upcoming events you’d like to mention?
Our annual Billtober Fest is on September 28, from 12pm – 10 pm. It’s our version of Oktoberfest – we'll have German ales and food, and a Stein Hoisting Competition! The winner wins a Mug Club Membership. We open up our parking lot - it’s a lot of fun.
Thank you, Julia!