After a year of anticipation, Odd Alewives Farm Brewery opened its wood-fired commercial kitchen and debuted its pizza menu earlier this month.
The Waldoboro Planning Board approved the brewery’s plan to add a commercial kitchen with a pizza oven March 13, 2019. The building’s construction followed, and in November, members of the community came together to build the oven.
“We received help from customers, friends; anyone who was interested in it stopped by and helped out,” said Sarah McNeil, who owns the brewery with her husband, John McNeil.
Leading the construction of the oven was Patrick “Pat” Manley, of Washington. In addition to being a customer of Odd Alewives, Manley founded Masons on a Mission, a nonprofit that builds safe cook stoves in Guatemalan homes.
“When we were planning this and looking into master builders in Maine, we reached out to Pat,” Sarah McNeil said. “We really resonated with Pat and his mission, and we were just so lucky to have him so close and that he was already a customer!”
With construction completed, Odd Alewives officially opened the wood-fired kitchen on Feb. 1 with three pizza offerings. Similar to its beer selection, the pizza menu will have rotating specialties based on in-season ingredients, Sarah McNeil said.
“We kept it simple by design, a lot like our small-batch beer,” Sarah McNeil said. “There may be a favorite pizza that we only bring back once a year because that’s when the ingredients are available.”
The commercial kitchen will be open whenever the brewery is open, Sarah McNeil said. She hopes to host pop-up dinners and guest chefs in the future.
As a farm brewery, Odd Alewives grows produce and herbs for its beers and collaborates with local food producers. The same will be true of the wood-fired kitchen, Sarah McNeil said.
Recently, pizzas have featured pepperoni from Morse’s Sauerkraut, bacon from East Forty Farm, and beer brat sausage from Woodhaus Farm. All three businesses are located in Waldoboro.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, Odd Alewives will host a benefit for Masons on a Mission from noon to 8 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from pizza sales will help fund the organization’s March trip. Manley plans to be at the event from 2-4 p.m. to share stories and pictures from previous Masons on a Mission trips.
“It seemed like a really natural way to give back, and it’s such a great project,” Sarah McNeil said. “A little goes a long way with what they do, and we wanted to help where we could.”