Don Chandler, owner of the Oak Pond Brewery in Skowhegan, provided the Waterville Rotary Club with a behind the scenes look at the craft brewery industry and what Oak Pond Brewery is doing to produce a high quality beer for the region.
Rotary Meeting for Monday, March 29, 2010 held at the Alfond Youth Center - Here is a recap in case you missed our meeting!

Sergeant at Arms


Janet Parkhurst served as our Sergeant of Arms today. Thanks, Janet!!!!!



George Myers were our Greeters today. Thanks, George!! Deb Schmid will be our Greeter for the April 5th meeting.

50/50 Tickets


Frank Prelgovisk sold $90 for the 50/50 raffle today and Kim Lindlof was the winner of $45 Kim will sell tickets on April 5th . Sheryl Milliard won 10 free tickets for next meeting's 50/50 drawing.

World Service Cup


The beneficiary of the donations for this month's World Service Cup will be earthquake relief.

Fined for pictures in the Paper


No Rotarians had their pictures in the paper this week.

Cell Phones


A $10.00 fee for cell phone ringing continues for the 2008-2009 Club year. No fines assessed today.

On Leave


Cam McKay

Joan Phillips-Sandy

Paul LePage

Visiting Rotarians and Guests


Deb Knox introduced Rene Hawthorne, the manager of the Skowhegan Savings Bank Fairfield Office.

Tom Longstaff introduced Don Chandler, the owner of Oak Pond Brewery.

Sheryl Milliard introduced Chris Markos from the Savings Bank of Maine.

What can you do?


* Tell Board Members what you are passionate about for community projects

* Tell the program committee about interesting speakers/topics you would like to listen to

* Be involved, join a committee

* Be active

* Be positive

Happy Dollars


Glenn Leavitt had 3 Happy Dollars: 1) Saturday night on Facebook he was talking with his son, who shared that they were going to be having twins in September. Congrats, Glenn! 2) His second son will be getting married this summer on July 17th; and 3) He just started in a volunteer capacity at City Hall and is really enjoying getting back out into the community.

Suzanne Uhl-Melanson went out to their camp over the week end and saw that a beaver has been busy at work over the winter. She asked of some leads for individuals who can assist with this kind of a problem.

Mark Ford shared some good news about his daughter Lindsay, who recently completed a project dealing with engaging students in Uganda to use entrepreneurship to affect social change. Apparently, after writing it up when she returned to the US, she went back to present it to some government officials and they decided to use it as a model for change. Mark noted that it was recently written up in the Boston Globe.

Peter Garrett was very thankful for our club and for everything that Glenn is doing.

Sarah Sugden had a Happy Dollar for the fact that in 4 months, she'll be working in a building that doesn't leak!!!



Peter brought the group up to date on his recent visit to Ecuador to assess a water project that is being supported by our District. He noted that there was a problem with salt in the well and fortunately, he was able to recommend a significantly less costly alternative solution to their issue involving the development of a horizontal well.

Peter also shared information about the Group Study Exchange events coming up in May. He indicated that the members of the group visiting the area are from an island in the Southern Indian Ocean. The visits organizers are looking for 1 more host family and Peter asked for anyone interested to give him a call. Peter also invited the Club to participate in the events which will be occurring during the group's visit.

Nikki Desjardins shared that the Downtown Waterville Clean up Day is scheduled for April 17 and asked for volunteers to sign up from 10 to 2 to assist. Sarah shared that this will be a great opportunity to wear our new Rot ray T-shirts!

Suzanne Uhl-Melanson shared that the Foundation Committee distributed letters today with individual updates to members regarding their contributions to date to the Foundation. While most have picked them up, she ask ethos who didn't to get them before they leave today.

Suzanne reminded the Club that the Spring Fling will be on May 8, the Saturday of Mother's Day Week-end. Tickets are $20/person for Lobster and Steak and can be purchased from her, Gary, or anyone on the event committee.

Upcoming speaker schedule:


April 5, 2010 Classification Talks

April 12, 2010 Leila Musacchio/ Maine Biz

April 19, 2010 Patriot's Day-NO MEETING

April 26, 2010 Mary Ann Samuels / Maine's Job Bank Career Center

Waterville Rotary Club Web Site


Today's Program: Oak Pond Brewery (Don Chandler)

Jeff Jolicoeur introduced Don Chandler, owner of the Oak Pond Brewery in Skowhegan.

Don provided the membership with several perspectives of the beer production industry, discussing it in general, the Maine market, and finally, OPB.

In general, the beer industry generates over $25B in sales annually. It can be broken down into 4 categories: Major commercial (80%), Imports (8%), International (7%), and craft breweries (5%). Last year most domestic breweries lost 2%, while the craft and sub-premium beer market increased sales by 2%. In general, the craft segment outperformed the others significantly.

Craft breweries started about 20 years ago in Maine with David Geary when he opened Geary's brewery. Others that evolved are Shipyard, Allagash, Gritty's, and Sebago. In the Maine craft market, the major components are the brewers, distributors, and retailers (bars and outlets). In Maine, small breweries with less than 50,000 gallons can have a pub on site.

OPB opened in 1996 and closed in 2002. Don and his wife bought it in 2003. Don described the things he and his family needed to do in order to get it up and running and the challenges they faced. They are trying to maintain a controlled growth ...... last year they sold 15,000 gallons and expect this year it will increase 10-15%. Their business plan includes a focus on the beer (consistent and good); the customer (if we have it, we'll deliver it); and the business. Don distributes the product himself within a 50 mi radius of Skowhegan. They have only 4 lines of beer and use a European process. Ingredients include water, malted barley, hops, and yeast.

In 2007, they started to go green, looking at CFLs, insulation, water exchange systems, production schedules and the manner in which they are generating electricity. The results are as follows: oil consumption is down by 50%, electricity is down 9%, and the production is up 30% over the past 3 years.


1. Where can we buy locally? Jokas

2. How did you capitalize? Mostly thru sweat equity.

3. How many employees do you have? 3 ..... Don, his wife, and his son.

4. Do you sell ingredients to backyard brewers? Yes

After his presentation, Sarah presented Don with a certificate noting that 6 children will receive polio vaccinations in her name as a token of appreciation and with the thanks and best wishes of the Club.