Tiff Gillespie started her career with Sebago Brewing Company in Gorham. When she walked into the restaurant in 2001 looking for a job, the Elm Street building was still under construction.
Tiff worked at the brewpub as a server and bartender for a number of years before she transferred to the South Portland location to be the Bar Manager. A couple of years later, she moved to the Portland brewpub where she bartended for another eight years.
When Tiff heard the owners of Sebago talking about building a new destination brewery, she knew she wanted in. She met with all three of them to ask if she could be a part of it. Guess what? They said yes.
How do you like being back in Gorham?
I love it! It’s like coming home again. And it’s nice to have a parking space! Seriously, I have great personal friendships with Brad, Kai, and Tim. I worked a lot of shifts with them in the beginning, and over the years they slowly left the day-to-day stuff so they could expand the business and have more time with their young families. Now that the brewery and tasting room is also the company’s headquarters, I’m excited to be able to see them every day.
What’s it been like getting ready to open the Destination Brewery?
It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of work. One of my main tasks was to prepare the brewery tour and hire staff to give the tours. When I was hiring, I really looked for people who are outgoing, friendly, and engaging – you either have those qualities or you don’t. An interest in craft beer was important, but craft beer is something you’re always learning about. Education is an ongoing process, and that’s very much encouraged here. [Tiff doesn’t just educate others about craft beer. She is pursuing her Level 2 certification to become an official Cicerone!]
What are the tours like?
We have several tours a day, each one lasting about 30 minutes, depending on the group. We meet at the double-doors in between the brewery and the tasting room and talk briefly about the history of Sebago Brewing. Then we walk through the brewing process – and I mean literally walk to the milling area, the fermenters, the canning line. We have a great brewing platform where you can watch all the action but still stay out of the brewers’ way while they’re working.
What about tastings?
Guests are welcome to choose their own flight. The samples, pours, and prices vary depending on the day. The main thing is I don’t want any pretentiousness. I want people to feel welcome and comfortable enough to ask questions and try new things.
How can someone sign up for a tour?
People can come into the tasting room and sign up for a free tour. Eventually they’ll be able to sign up online. The explosion of beer culture that’s happened here in Maine is phenomenal. Sebago is one of the top five breweries in the state, and we want to keep it going, while staying innovative and relevant. And we invite folks to come see how it’s done!
Employees like Tiff are part of what makes Sebago Brewing Company a great place to work, bringing “Brewed For Times Like These” to life every day. We’ll keep sharing stories from other members of the crew. Think that Sebago Brewing Company might be the right fit for you? Check out current openings here!