From IRAs to IPAs, a Chat with Mast Landing’s Ian Dorsey

As a financial adviser, Ian Dorsey listened to dreams.

“A large part of my job was to meet with clients and check in with them and see how their lives are going and if their goals are on track,” the University of Maine Orono graduate says. As Ian asked about his clients lives, he began to ask himself the same questions. “You start to answer yourself truthfully. And I wasn’t fulfilled.”

When he finally asked himself what he wanted to do in life, he realized it was brewing beer.

In 2013, Ian began experimenting with a simple home-brewing kit. Before long, he was in his garage mashing, boiling and fermenting beer after work and every weekend. Two years later, Ian sat his wife Kelly down with their six-week-old son and said he wanted to quit his job and enter the beer world with friend Neil Fredrick. And so, the Mast Landing Brewing Company was born.

“His birth made me think about life in a whole different light,” says Ian. “I found myself with all this new motivation for him to look up to me as a role model like ‘yeah Dad works really hard but loves what he’s doing.’”

Ian and Neil spent 2015 finding a facility to brew, while tapping the crew at Maine Beer Company for advice. Sixth months later they found an old industrial tire manufacturing company in Westbrook, Maine. Initially they launched with a small two-barrel brew house that only produced eight barrels a week. Now, they’re up to 12 barrels.

“It’s definitely been a wild ride, it’s been a wide open uncharted territory,” says Ian.

The name Mast Landing originally came from Freeport, Maine, where Neil began his hobby brewing. In the 1700’s the seaside town was under British rule, and because the United Kingdom had limited timber supplies, coastal Maine became the primary supplier for ship building.

The tallest, most strongest robust trees were given the King’s mark, marking the trees that needed to be harvested,” says Ian, “and we’re striving to do the same with our beer.”

For Mast Landing, the name and philosophy has paid off. This past fall, Ian and Neil participated in Sunday River’s Maine Brew Fest, where they took home first place in Fan Favorite. It just so happens, that Ian has been snowboarding the mountain for years, attending Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine. Now he’ll be returning this winter for Tap Takeover.

“Sunday River has had a special place in my heart ever since I set foot on the mountain,” he recalls. “At Brew Fest we were blown away immediately. We’re always excited when people enjoy any of our beers but when you’re deemed the crowd favorite out of top craft breweries in Maine you can’t get better than that.”

This weekend, they’ll be taking over the taps at Sunday River’s Foggy Goggle where they’ll be showcasing the crowd-pleasing peanut butter stout, Gunner’s Daughter, as well as some of their more creative and limited release batches.

“We don’t want to be complacent,” Ian says. “We value our customers spending their hard earned money on our products and we always want to be able to give them the highest quality products.”

When asked about plans for the weekend, Ian says it’ll definitely be a party.