Mid-Cambridge is getting a new brewery: Lamplighter Brewing Co., in the works for more than a year, has signed a lease to build its production facility and taproom at 284 Broadway.
The company was actively looking to tame the "elusive beast" that is Cambridge real estate, and in February, the team reported it had a location in mind that "isn't going to slip from our grasp." They optimistically said their home would materialize before 2016, and though it's not known if the Broadway building is the space to which they referred, the team kept its word.
Lamplighter co-founder Cayla Marvil excitedly shared the news yesterday, as noted on the Craft Beer Boston blog and on a Beer Advocate forum, though they dotted the I's and crossed the T's back in March. The reason for nearly five months of silence? Zoning stuff.
The 10,000-square foot space, currently an auto shop, is located right across the street from Bondir Cambridge, steps away from the beer bar Lord Hobo, and a few more steps from Cambridge Brewing Co. in Kendall Square. The area is zoned for a number of uses. But "brewery" isn't on the list — nor, apparently, in Cambridge's zoning codes at all, Lamplighter shares on its company blog. Such businesses are categorized as "bottling facilities," a heavy industrial use not allowed in the business zone where the future brewery is located, despite the fact that Lamplighter's equipment will not resemble the old cola plants of yore that the zoning designations were designed to prohibit.
It took Lamplighter two months to get its blueprints in order, and then it was another two months before it was granted an audience with the Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeals. On July 16, at 10:30 p.m., they were finally able to make their case, and Marvil shares a heartwarming story of community support. "As you may have guessed since I’m writing a blog post, the board unanimously granted our zoning variance," she says.
Marvil acknowledges it may be an optimistic timeline, but she says Lamplighter could be open for imbibing in spring 2016. Construction on the building is slated to begin this fall.
When it does open, Lamplighter will offer brews potentially including a cream ale, a hoppy saison, and "the best IPA in Massachusetts." Stay tuned to the company's progress on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.