As the Massachusetts beer scene continues its fast-paced growth, we’re tracking beer-related news bites right here: brewery openings and closures, links to interesting features from other publications, and more. We’re throwing in some cider and liquor news for good measure, too. This piece is updated most Thursdays, and the most recent additions are at the top. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any Massachusetts beer, cider, or liquor news that should be on our radar.
March 14, 2019
ATHOL — The forthcoming Atlantic Brewers & Distillers has taken over the former Plotkin Furniture warehouse (105 Marble St.) and installed brewing equipment ahead of a targeted opening in May or June. Stay tuned for specifics on the beverages to come and a detailed timeline for opening.
BOSTON — More than 60 breweries will convene at a Power Beer Fest in the Castle at Boston’s Park Plaza, pouring beers and raising funds to support the Mass Brewers Guild non-profit. The event on Saturday, May 4, will have two sessions, one from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and another from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Like the name of the fest, the list of participating breweries is strong, and food vendors will include future brewers Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen (who also make food), as well as Flatbread Pizza, Jaju Pierogi, Khalahari Bitlong, and more.
In other Boston proper news, just a reminder that Everett-based Night Shift will debut its giant new Boston location at Lovejoy Wharf next week (March 20), and coffee will be a big focus. Here are the details.
CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Brewing Company (1 Kendall Sq., Kendall Square) will host a sour beer fest on March 30, serving the funkiest and most tart sour and wild ales from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. This will be the sixth year running for the brewery’s celebration of the sour, and it will share details on the beer list and food menus soon.
FLORENCE — Artifact Cider plans to build out a taproom in Florence (34 North Maple St.), where it has relocated its operations. Construction is underway, and it will likely open this spring, offering in-house pours and tours of the facilities. The expansion will allow Artifact to double its staff from six to about 12.
FRAMINGHAM — Jack’s Abby brewery manager Herb Lindtveit passed away unexpectedly at the end of February. To honor the beloved member of its brewery crew, Jack’s Abby has brewed a memorial beer, In Herb We Trust. Proceeds from the beer will go to support Lindtveit’s family. Jack’s Abby will hold a memorial celebration for Lindtveit life on April 14.
February 28, 2019
BOSTON — Harpoon Brewery will partner with Worcester’s Polar Beverages to develop a line of hard seltzers. The “arctic summer” line includes grapefruit, pineapple pomelo, raspberry lime, and black cherry flavors, and distribution will begin in April.
EVERETT — Bone Up Brewing Company has doubled the size of its taproom, making more room for production, seating, and event opportunities. The space now accommodates 98 people, with the addition of a front lounge area.
MEDFIELD — ZēLUS Beer Company plans to develop its own taproom after an 18-month search. The company strives to produce beer designed for an active lifestyle, through a process that “enhances flavor and creates a hydration-friendly beer at a low ABV.” Its plans for the taproom include serving its lineup of (for now) six beers, plus coffee, tea, and snacks. There will be community events like running groups and trivia nights, plus special events and more.
February 21, 2019
BOSTON — Beer gardens have boomed in Boston over the last two years, with brewers like Trillium, Night Shift, and Castle Island operating in various outdoor locations around the city. But some lawmakers are now working to regulate the licenses used for these operations, which are granted on a one-day basis. Proposals would restrict breweries from using more than 14 such licenses in a year. Stay tuned for further updates on the legislation of Boston’s popular beer gardens.
EVERETT — BearMoose Brewing Company (1934 Revere Beach Pkwy.) is now under construction, and it’s partnering with a sandwich pop-up that has appeared around the Boston area. Deep Cuts Deli will have its own area of the taproom for sandwich prep, providing the food element of the brewery and letting BearMoose handle the beer. Deep Cuts founder Ian McGregor plans to keep popping up elsewhere in Boston, too.
WEYMOUTH — Vitamin Sea Brewing (30 Moore Rd.) is now open, operating Saturdays from 12 to 8 p.m. The brewery offers full pours in the taproom and cans for off-site consumption, plus nitro coffee, merchandise, and more. Vitamin plans to expand hours in the future.
February 7, 2019
BOSTON — Boston Public Market will play host to Castle Island Brewing in February and March. The Norwood brewery will appear Thursday through Sunday, selling beer for consumption onsite in the market’s Hub space. (No retail beer will be available through this pop-up — just the onsite drinking.) Castle Island has previously popped up in Boston, operating a Constitution Wharf beer garden in Charlestown over the summer.
CHARLTON — The coveted beers of Tree House Brewing inspire long lines at its Charlton facility. Now, the company has established a different arm of its operation: Tree House Orchard & Farm Fermentory will be a 100-acre farm in Connecticut with a cattle-grazing pasture, heirloom apple trees, and a produce and flower program. Team member Eric Nelson will manage the farm, and Tree House will aim to offer farm shares in addition to producing barrel-fermented beverages and pressed cider.
January 24, 2019
BOSTON — Downtown, Boston Public Market (100 Hanover St.) is seeking proposals for a taproom to add to its ranks. The market aims to bring in a local company to “develop a taproom experience under their own brand...and offer local beer on tap as well as in cans, bottles, and/or growlers to purchase and take home.” The taproom can also offer other local ciders, cocktails, and spirits, according to the call for proposals. The market was previously home to a beer shop, Hopsters Alley, but it closed in January.
In Fort Point, Trillium is introducing brunch at its giant new brewery/taproom/restaurant, beginning on Sunday, January 27. Dishes include a parfait made with dehydrated spent grains from the brewery and locally sourced oats and yogurt, as well as a liege waffle made from a brioche-like dough and pearl sugar. Trillium is also serving coffee and nitro cold brew made with local company Barrington Coffee Roasters.
And over in East Boston, Downeast Cider House (56 Marginal St.) has proposed a taproom for its operation that would allow the business to sell full pours of cider onsite. (It currently serves samples and gives tours but cannot sell full pours.) Authorities have granted permission for a 90-day trial period, and if all goes well, Downeast could eventually build out a 3,500-square-foot taproom at the facility.
WORCESTER — Redemption Rock Brewing (333 Shrewsbury St.) opens Saturday, January 26, in Worcester, bringing the city’s total breweries to five. The brewery will celebrate with a grand opening that includes live music, food, and retail beer sales, and the taproom will have four beers on offer.
January 10, 2019
MASSACHUSETTS — In December, Craft Beer Cellar’s parent company mounted a crowdfunding campaign to cover “past, present, and future legal demands,” one of which is a lawsuit against employment website Glassdoor, in which Craft Beer Stellar, LLC, is alleging that the site is allowing anonymous users to post negative reviews that contain confidential business information. As of January 10, the campaign is at $2,380 out of a goal of $250,000, or just under 1%.
In other statewide news, as the federal government shutdown has left workers without pay for weeks now, it’s also impacting the beer industry in Massachusetts: Operations that distribute out of state can’t get beyond the required Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approvals for labels on new beers to be sold in stores, because that agency is not operational during the shutdown. Already, breweries like Exhibit A and Jack’s Abby are feeling the effects.
MAYNARD — Amory’s Tomb Brewing Co. (76 Main St.) is now open and serving beers on tap, including Belgian-style farmhouse ales. Founders (and brothers-in-law) Allen Quinn and Richard Barron try to use local ingredients in their beers and plan to open the brewery’s taproom Wednesday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 2 to 9 p.m.
QUINCY — Rewild Plant Food & Drink (1546 Hancock) will close — for now — after service on January 13. Leading up to its opening, the business dubbed itself a vegan beer hall (and cafe by day) but ended up debuting in a temporary Quincy Center space, slated for demolition, with permitting that only allowed for alcohol service on weekends. Thus, Rewild version one leaned more on the restaurant/cafe side of the equation. Now the team is seeking a permanent space — or multiple spaces — in Boston, Quincy, or elsewhere around the South Shore to fully realize its vegan beer hall dreams. Stay tuned for updates.