The Massachusetts brewing scene continues to grow rapidly.
We’re tracking local beer-related news bites right here, including openings, closures, features, and more. This piece is updated most Thursdays, and the most recent additions are at the top.
December 21, 2017
BRAINTREE — Our latest installment of Beer & Mortar features Widowmaker Brewing (220 Wood Rd.), which will expand its brewhouse and ramp up distribution in the coming year, all while keeping things community-driven at its taproom. Read it here.
FRAMINGHAM — Jack’s Abby’s offshoot, Springdale Barrel Room (102 Clinton St.), opened a year ago, and those who want to try its sour, barrel-aged, and experimental beers have only been able to try them at the taproom since then. But that changes on February 1, when Springdale will begin distribution, reports The Beer Nut. (Lucky fans may spot a few beers earlier; some kegs have already been sent to select locations.) First up, three year-round beers: Pearly Wit, Brigadeiro Breakfast Stout, and a yet-to-be-named pale ale; look for them in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. Several sours, both fruited and non-fruited, will also appear in stores in 500-milliliter bottles.
MARBLEHEAD — The North Shore is now home to an Orthodox Christian monastic brewery, Marblehead Brewing Co. (124 Pleasant St. at the Shrine of St. Nicholas), that “brew[s] out of a concern for others and respect for the power of beer to build community.” The brewery says that it donates a majority of profits to charitable work. Pint pours and growler fills are available at the bring-your-own-food taproom. Eventually, there could be six beers on rotation, but for now, it’s just one, a colonial-style pale ale called Marblehead Ale No. 2.
MAYNARD — Amory’s Tomb Brewing Company (76 Main St., Maynard) isn’t quite open yet, but here’s a new Wicked Local Maynard article on the forthcoming brewery, sharing some details about what to expect. The beer lineup will include “hoppy pale ales to stouts to brown ales,” and customers can bring their own food, per Wicked Local. The “rustic and industrial” taproom — which has a 46-person capacity — will include two long communal tables, bar seating, retail space, zero televisions, and lots of woodwork.
NEWBURYPORT — Marblehead’s not the only spot on the North Shore with a new brewery. RiverWalk Brewing Co. (40 Parker St.) has just opened the doors to its new taproom, where pints, flights, growler fills, and a full food menu are available. Currently available: Storm Door, a porter; Flannel Trousers, an English-style strong ale; and more.
WORCESTER — Wormtown Brewery (72 Shrewsbury St.) is releasing a new beer that is brewed with Dunkin’ Donuts Dark Roast beans. The beer, a stout called DDark Roasted Brew, is available starting today, December 21, only on draft at the Wormtown taproom. (Its release date deliberately coincides with the darkest day of the year.) In honor of the release, Wormtown and Worcester-based Dunkies franchise owner Rob Branca are also donating $11,500 to the Worcester Food Bank.
December 14, 2017
BOSTON — Sam Adams (30 Germania St., Jamaica Plain) could one day have a taproom in downtown Boston. Founder Jim Koch is eyeing the old Hillstone space near Faneuil Hall, among other possible spaces, as reported earlier today.
DORCHESTER — Our latest installment of Beer & Mortar features Dorchester Brewing Company (1250 Massachusetts ave., Dorchester, Boston), the first contract brewing facility in Boston proper; 11 different breweries make beer there. Read it here.
EVERETT — Down the Road Beer Co. (199 Ashland St., Everett), which recently opened its own taproom after several years of contract brewing (and self-distributing), has announced its new distribution partner, Atlantic Beverage Distributors. This move is aimed at helping the brewery continue to grow in Massachusetts as well as expanding to new markets, such as Rhode Island.
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Back in October, Portsmouth Brewery (56 Market St.) released a beer called Libeeration. The brewery didn’t make any medicinal claims about it but included a variety of ingredients that herbalists recommend for alleviating mood shifts that can accompany menopause, such as chamomile and stinging nettle. It sold out fast, and the brewery released a second run of the “menopause beer” this month. Available while supplies last on draft and in bottles at the brewery.
ROSLINDALE — Nothing seems to get Boston beer fans more fired up than Trillium news, so there was plenty of anticipation for the brewery’s new (seasonal) expansion to Roslindale. It has arrived: The winter beer garden (4228 Washington St.) opened a week ago at the Roslindale Substation. It’s expected to remain open into the spring.
STURBRIDGE — Altruist Brewing Company (559 Main St., Sturbridge) debuts this weekend. Check it out between 5 and 10 p.m. on Friday, December 15, and between noon and 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 16. The opening lineup of beers includes ales of all kinds — IPAs and DIPAs, blonde ales, a brown ale, a pumpkin ale, and more. The brewery serves soft pretzels, plans to bring food trucks in frequently, and allows customers to bring their own food.
November 30, 2017
EVERETT — Our latest installment of Beer & Mortar features the newly opened Down the Road Beer Co. (199 Ashland St., Everett), with its wide variety of on-tap options, a bunch of pinball machines, and other fun features. Read it here.
MARSHFIELD — A microbrewery called Stellwagen Beer Co. is in the works at 100 Enterprise Dr., aiming for a spring 2018 opening. The team plans to create an “eclectic catalogue” of small-batch beers in a variety of styles, but with a special focus on “hop-forward New England-style ales.”
MAYNARD — Amory’s Tomb Brewing Company (76 Main St., Maynard) is getting closer to opening, having received the necessary town and state approvals for its retail alcoholic beverages license. The brewery will feature Belgian- and American-style farmhouse ales.
SOUTH HADLEY — Drunken Rabbit Brewing, South Hadley’s first brewery, debuts tomorrow, December 1. Just last week, the brewery completed a Kickstarter campaign to help tie up some of the final pieces of the puzzle, earning over $20,000 (the goal was $16,000.) Founders and longtime friends and coworkers Bruno Coelho and Dave Smith are behind the 10-barrel brewhouse and taproom, which is located at 749 New Ludlow Rd. (near Chicopee). Food trucks will appear regularly, and Drunken Rabbit features comfy couches, board games, foosball, a large projection screen showing sports, and a seasonal patio. Grand opening festivities continue throughout the weekend.
November 16, 2017
JAMAICA PLAIN — Sam Adams has been around forever, offering tours and tastings at its Jamaica Plain headquarters (30 Germania St.) — but unlike the multitude of breweries opening in the Boston area over the past few years, Sam Adams never had a taproom where customers could hang out, drinking pints and flights. Until now. The Sam Adams taproom debuted last week, featuring 80 seats, games like shuffleboard, and eventually events like karaoke and trivia nights as well as regular food truck visits. The brewery also has a new barrel-aging room, the Bier Keller, that customers can tour. The taproom is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, except for Sundays, when it’s closed.
MASSACHUSETTS — Sunday beer-drinking may get easier. A bill has recently passed the House that would allow Massachusetts pub breweries to sell bottles on Sundays and holidays. Farm breweries — which grow their own hops or grains — can already do so. The bill still needs to pass the Senate and gain Gov. Charlie Baker’s approval.
MEDFORD — Medford Brewing Company gets a feature in Northshore Magazine’s November issue, emphasizing the brewery’s approachability, from its logical naming system (the India Pale Ale is called India Pale Ale, for example) to its “deceptively simple brews.”
YOUR THANKSGIVING TABLE — For the Globe, Gary Dzen reached out to some experts for some beer-drinking advice pertaining to Thanksgiving. Avoid strong beers like double or imperial IPAs, for example, to avoid destroying your palate (or falling asleep) before you even get to the turkey.
November 9, 2017
IPSWICH — Ipswich Ale Brewery (2 Brewery Pl., Ipswich) is in hot water after an employee, while off the clock, attended the brewery’s Halloween party in blackface, dressed as late rapper Biggie Smalls. Both the brewery and the employee have apologized, and the employee will serve an unpaid suspension and undergo sensitivity training. He will also donate his $100 prize money from the brewery’s costume contest — where he won second place, as decided by audience applause — to the ACLU. On the brewery’s Facebook page, people are continuing to argue about the situation, where a shockingly large number of commenters do not understand that dressing in blackface is wrong, period.
In better Ipswich news, True North Ale Company (116 County Rd.) officially opens tomorrow (Friday, November 10); it’ll be open from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and noon to 11 p.m. the following day (with Phoenix Rising Pizza popping up from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday). Going forward, True North will be open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday. The opening beer lineup includes a New England-style double IPA and session IPA, as well as a Belgian blonde ale and Mexican lager.
ROSLINDALE — Boston Magazine reports on a tantalizing rumor about Trillium Brewing Company possibly eyeing the Roslindale substation. One Reddit user claims that it’ll be a temporary winter beer garden, an indoor equivalent to the brewery’s popular summer beer garden on the Greenway. A rep for Trillium tells Eater that there is nothing to report, so don’t get too excited yet, but time will tell.
October 26, 2017
EAST BROOKFIELD — Timber Yard Brewing Company (555 E. Main St., East Brookfield) could open its brewery, taproom, and beer garden by summer 2018, reports Mass. Brew Bros. According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Timber Yard will be a family-friendly spot that also serves house-made sodas and other non-alcoholic options, along with snacks. The owners plan to feature music and other entertainment and community events.
EVERETT — Tonight (Thursday, October 26), Bone Up Brewing Company (38 Norman St., Everett) is kicking off “Movember” (an organization — and a mustache-filled month — that raises money and awareness for men’s health) with the release of Mo’Biscuits Brown Ale. Buy a pint, and you’ll have the opportunity to keep the special edition glass for an extra $2, which Bone Up will donate to the Movember Foundation USA.
In other Everett news, Down the Road Beer Co. (199 Ashland St., Everett) is slated to open its taproom on Friday, November 3. With room for 200+ customers and 36 draft lines, the taproom will also feature a number of vintage pinball machines, regular food truck visits, and a parking lot.
JAMAICA PLAIN — Booze-related permitting can be complicated, as Turtle Swamp Brewing (3377 Washington St., Jamaica Plain) is finding out. The fairly new brewery was cited by BPD licensing detectives, per Universal Hub, for serving full pours of beer inside the brewery and on the patio. Turns out the brewery shouldn’t have been serving full pours with its current “farmer brewery” license, which allows only sample-sized pours (and sale of beers for off-site consumption). Plus, the brewery’s current licensing only allows for pours on the patio, not inside the brewery, due to a lack of a permanent certificate of occupancy. Stay tuned as the JP brewery gets the necessary paperwork straightened out to serve full beers inside and out.
MAYNARD — Amory’s Tomb Brewing Company (76 Main St., Maynard) could open shortly after Thanksgiving in downtown Maynard, reports Mass. Brew Bros. Founded by brothers-in-law Allen Quinn and Richard Barron, Amory’s Tomb will have a manual three-barrel system and will mostly serve beer for drinking onsite, but there will be occasional bottle releases. Don’t expect television or wifi at the taproom; it’s meant to be a community spot, conversation encouraged. The beer lineup will highlight farmhouse ales, both Belgian and American styles.
STURBRIDGE — Altruist Brewing Company (559 Main St., Sturbridge) is getting very close to opening, telling Eater that it’s just a matter of getting the glycol system hooked up (slated for next week) in order to begin brewing and then opening for business shortly after that. The team has also added a third partner.
WHITINSVILLE — Purgatory Beer Company (670 Linwood Ave., Whitinsville) will open on November 4, 2017. Per Mass. Brew Bros., cofounders Brian Distefano and Kevin Mulvehill — home brewers since college — will be working with a three-barrel system inside of the Linwood Mill Complex, serving up a range of IPAs, porters, and more; flights and full pours will be available, as well as growler fills to go. Purgatory will feature a patio with waterfall views and room for around 50 people inside. Distefano and Mulvehill are planning on distributing limited kegs to nearby restaurants.
WORCESTER — Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company (55 Millbrook St., Worcester) is heading towards an early 2018 opening for its 10,000-square-foot facility, according to Mass. Brew Bros. Founded in 2016 as a contract brewing company, Greater Good exclusively produces imperial ales and lagers within the strict ABV range of 8% to 14%. The forthcoming Worcester space will include a tasting room, music, food, and tours, per a Facebook comment from the company.
October 12, 2017
PORTSMOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Experiencing menopause? Portsmouth Brewery (56 Market St.) apparently has the beer for you, dubbed Libeeration. The brewery doesn’t make any “medicinal claims” about the beer, reports the Globe, but the gruit-style ale contains ingredients that herbalists recommend for mood shifts, including chamomile, mugwort, stinging nettle, and more. The Globe notes that it has “fruit, spicy notes.” Get it by the bottle at Portsmouth Brewery while supplies last.
SALEM — Founded in 2014 under the name Massachusetts Bay Colony Brewers, a brewery now called East Regiment Beer Co. is finally putting down roots with a tasting room and brewing facility at 30 Church St., sharing a building with a coffee shop.
SCITUATE —Tomorrow is opening day for Scituate’s Untold Brewing (6 Old Country Way), with full pours available in the taproom, beer for purchase to take home, free snacks, and “good times all around.” Learn all about the brewery in this previous Beer & Mortar feature.
October 5, 2017
EVERETT — In a saga that has been going on since 2015, a judge has now upheld a state ban on “pay-to-play” practices in the beer industry, thus eliminating a potential chance for Everett-based distributor Craft Brewers Guild to get out of a record $2.6 million fine.
NORWOOD — Percival Brewing Company (83 Morse St.) is now open in its own home in Norwood, having spent the last few years contract brewing after debuting in Dorchester in 2011. The taproom’s opening lineup includes an oatmeal stout, a pale ale, and more.
SOMERVILLE — A brief reprieve for the Somerville Brewing Company beer garden at Assembly Row: Thanks to nice weather, it’ll stay open through this Thursday, September 7, instead of closing last week. Next up, the company will open American Fresh Brewhouse soon at Assembly Row (490 Foley St.)
WATERTOWN — Our latest installment of Beer & Mortar features Branch Line (321 Arsenal St.), a restaurant that features great hospitality, rotisserie chicken, bocce, and a killer beer list. Read it here.
September 21, 2017
FENWAY — The beer is “fine” at the recently opened Cheeky Monkey (3 Lansdowne St., Fenway, Boston), reports Gary Dzen for Boston.com, who notes that there’s no traditional brewer in-house. Instead, Cheeky Monkey’s recipes come from “celebrity BrewMaster” Brian Watson, who is based in New Zealand and sells brewing equipment that allows restaurant owners to brew “fresh, world-class beers onsite with very little effort.” Try the East Coast IPA, which has aromatics that “distinctly recall tangerine” and has “a pleasant toasty finish.”
GOVERNMENT CENTER — A Wachusett Brewing Company beer garden dubbed the Brew Yard is popping up at Boston’s City Hall Plaza on several Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (September 21 and 28, as well as October 5), reports Boston Magazine. Look for the Airstream trailer serving up eight beers by the pint, including Green Monsta IPA, Bella Czech Pils, Belgian White Mamba, and more. Plus, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., there will be food trucks and live music onsite.
September 14, 2017
BRAINTREE — An opening timeline update from the forthcoming Widowmaker Brewing (220 Wood Rd.), via Facebook: “This week we finally received our approved variance from the state for the use of our brew house. We can now move forward with the town and work on getting our doors open ASAP. Thank you for your patience, no one wants us to be open more than we do.”
NATICK — Beer is now available at Belkin Family Lookout Farm (89 Pleasant St.), not just cider. As previously reported, the farm has added a brewery next to its existing hard cider operations. The beer is only available at Lookout Farm’s taproom (no distribution is planned), and it features some fruit from the farm. The taproom is currently open Wednesday through Sunday.
ROXBURY — Backlash Beer Co. is getting closer to finally opening its own space, starting with the retail portion, at 152 Hampden St. in Roxbury. There are still permitting and construction hurdles to overcome to open it as a taproom, as Boston Magazine reports, but retail could begin by the end of this month. This is the first permanent home for Backlash, which has been contract brewing since 2011, most recently out of Dorchester Brewing Company.
SCITUATE — Untold Brewing (6 Old Country Way) kicked off brewing today; the opening timeline is still TBD, but the brewery was originally aiming for an October debut for its family-friendly taproom, which is located in a revamped old schoolhouse.
SOMERVILLE — Somerville Brewing Company’s Assembly Row beer garden will have its last day in business on Sunday, October 1. At some point in October, the company’s new American Fresh Brewhouse is expected to open at Assembly Row (490 Foley St.) with 126 seats, brewing on-site, a full kitchen, and 24 draft lines of Somerville Brewing Company beers. The space will be family-friendly and will have a seasonal dog-friendly outdoor beer garden.
September 7, 2017
AMESBURY — BareWolf Brewing (12 Oakland St.) celebrates its grand opening this Saturday, September 9, from noon to 8 p.m. As previously reported, the brewery was founded by a father-and-son duo, and the opening beer lineup includes a Belgian ale, brown ale, pale ale, and more.
BRIGHTON — Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen may have a location: It could open near the Boston Landing development in Brighton. While the owners have a letter of intent in place, they’re still exploring other possibilities. Co-owner Jonathan Gilman had previously told Eater that Somerville and East Boston were at the top of the list for potential locations. Wherever Brato does end up, expect lots of session beers and plenty of complementary food. “The main crux of it is grilled cheese and sausage,” Gilman said previously.
EVERETT — Our latest installment of Beer & Mortar features Bone Up Brewing Company (38 Norman St.), which recently celebrated its first anniversary. The owners are looking forward to “more of everything” in year two. Read it here.
IPSWICH — True North Ale Company (116 County Rd.) is getting closer to opening; check out these snazzy light fixtures. The brewery is heading towards a fall 2017 opening, but an exact date will be announced later.
SOUTH END — The upcoming Copenhagen Beer & Music Festival, taking place on September 22 and 23, has moved from City Hall Plaza to the SoWa Power Station (540 Harrison Ave.) Tickets start at $65 and include admission and unlimited two-ounce samples of beers from roughly a bajillion breweries. There will also be food available for purchase from Tasty Burger, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, and more.
August 25, 2017
MARLBOROUGH — Marlborough is getting its first brewpub: Walden Woods Brewing is slated to open in late fall 2017 at 277 Main St., courtesy of “two beer geek brewers who also love history, particularly when it comes to this fella named Henry David Thoreau, and his unusual, yet compelling example of living deliberately.” Owners Alida Orzechowski and Chris Brown of Acton are longtime home brewers who were drawn to Marlborough because the city was specifically looking to bring in a brewery and offered some financial incentives to help out, as the Metrowest Daily News reported. Walden Woods Brewing will debut around November or December with six beers but will eventually serve up to a dozen “traditional European and American-style” beers with “a regional or historic twist.” Expect an American Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, and “New England style juice bomb” in the opening lineup, per the MDN.
WORCESTER / KEENE, NH — Wormtown Brewery in Worcester (72 Shrewsbury St.) has some new owners: Co-founder Tom Oliveri has left the brewery, selling his stake to former beer distributors Richard Clarke, Jay Clarke, and Kary Shumway, who are longtime friends of Wormtown’s other owner, David Fields, who bought a majority interest from Oliveri and master brewer Ben Roesch three years ago. Alongside the ownership change comes expansion on two fronts. Wormtown will expand to Keene, NH (472 Winchester St.) in early or mid-2018 with a 10-barrel brewhouse focused on barrel-aged beers, sours, and more. Plus, the existing Worcester space is getting a $2 million renovation that will allow for increased production, up to 37,000 barrels per year.
SALEM AND BEYOND — Beer overload? The Boston Globe’s Gary Dzen has you covered with some recommendations for six Massachusetts beers to try right now, including Notch Brewing Co.’s Zwickel, an unfiltered German pale lager that “is anything but a juice bomb” and has a “nice balance of malt sweetness and hop bite.” Get it at the Salem taproom (283 Derby St.) and look for 16-ounce cans in the fall.
August 15, 2017
MALDEN — The ghost of Enlightment Ales lives on. WBUR featured Idle Hands Craft Ales this week, highlighting the brewery’s “Funky Town” experimental saison program, which originated from the dregs of past Brettanomyces beers created by former head brewer Ben Howe, who left in 2015 to be head brewer at a farmhouse brewery in Denmark. Howe’s previous project, Enlightenment Ales, had become a sub-brand of Idle Hands when Howe took the position of head brewer, becoming Idle Hands’ first full-time employee in late 2013. Current head brewer Brett Bauer “can still taste the bright lemon notes from previous Enlightenment brews in new batches” from the Funky Town tank, writes WBUR. But after the current batch is complete, the tank will be sterilized; Funky Town will start with a clean slate for 2018.
SCITUATE — Untold Brewing is heading for an October opening in an old schoolhouse at 6 Old Country Way in Scituate, on Massachusetts’ South Shore. Read the full Eater Boston Brick & Mortar feature on the forthcoming brewery, published today.
SOMERVILLE — Somerville Brewing Company (the brewery behind Slumbrew beers) will close down its Assembly Row beer garden after a farewell party on September 30 after having been open for nearly three years. Around the same time, its new Assembly Row project will open: American Fresh Brewhouse, right by the Assembly T stop. This one will be permanent and indoors (plus some seasonal outdoor seating), featuring a full kitchen and beers brewed in-house. The company’s main brewery and taproom in Somerville’s Boynton Yards neighborhood (just outside Union Square) will remain open as well.
August 7, 2017
AMESBURY — Brewery Silvaticus is heading towards a September 2017 opening at 9 Water St. in the Carriage Mills complex in downtown Amesbury, reports the Globe, and while several local restaurants will carry Silvaticus beer on draft, the team “expect[s] to sell most of their product under their own roof.” The taproom will serve full pints, plus crowlers to go, and there will be an outdoor beer garden on the Powwow River. Per the Silvaticus website, the team “share[s] a deep respect for the traditional beers of Europe and our goal is to pay homage while innovating and adapting our craft to push it forward.” The focus will be on Belgian farmhouse ales and German-style lagers. Two of the brewery’s four founders, Mark Zappasodi and Caroline Becker Zappasodi, own Tamarack Farmstead in Merrimacport, where they’ll grow their own hops for some Silvaticus beers, according to The Improper Bostonian.
In other Amesbury beer news, BareWolf Brewing will open a tasting room at 12 Oakland St. in late August and also expects to begin distributing around the Boston area this month, reports the Globe. Founded by father-and-son duo Paul and Stevie Bareford, BareWolf will likely do 80% of initial business via retail sales but ultimately expects more of an even split between retail and in-house sales. The opening lineup of beers will include a Belgian ale, brown ale, pale ale, and more, per the website.
HUDSON — Medusa Brewing Company is reportedly looking to expand into a vacant lot at 1 Houghton St. in downtown Hudson, thanks to a $5.5 million investment, reports The Metrowest Daily News. Currently located at 111 Main St., the brewery has a taproom that serves full pours and has seating for over 100.
NATICK — Belkin Family Lookout Farm is already home to Lookout Farm Hard Cider Company, and now it’ll brew beer too: Lookout Farm Brewing Company is slated to debut on September 8 at the Lookout taproom, reports The Metrowest Daily News. Head cider maker Aaron Mateychuk already has beer experience; he was previously head brewer at Waltham’s now-closed Watch City Brewing Company. Plus, Lookout’s bringing on an assistant brewer, Will Morris, who previously worked at Barleycorn’s Craft Brew in Natick. The brewery will be located in the same building as the cidery, and the beers will feature the farm’s fruits. One of the debut brews, for example, is Natick Nectar, a Belgian-style witbier made with Lookout peaches. The beer will only be available at Lookout.