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, wine, and liquor news for good measure, too.) This piece is updated most Thursdays, and the most recent additions are at the top. Email email@example.com with any Massachusetts beer, cider, wine, or liquor news that should be on our radar.
December 5, 2019
BOSTON — A traveling “wizard’s beer festival” (with a website footer careful to note that this is not a Warner Brothers or Harry Potter event — and a website header that, um, definitely doesn’t look anything like the distinctive Harry Potter font) is coming to Boston on February 9, 2020. Interested wizard and beer enthusiasts can sign up for a notification of Boston tickets going on sale; only 300 will be sold. The event will include tarot card readings, DJs, wand-making classes, and “dry ice to set the mood,” per a press release. “Appropriate wizard attire is 100% encouraged,” the release also notes. Ticket sites are already up for several other cities, such as New York, where the main image showcases attendess dressed in definitely-not-Harry-Potter-themed attire.
CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge’s three-year-old Lamplighter Brewing Co. is expanding within Cambridge, opening a new distillery, nanobrewery, and taproom called Luminati Spirits at the forthcoming Cambridge Crossing development in East Cambridge, near Lechmere, in summer 2020. Read yesterday’s story for more information.
CHARLESTOWN, BOSTON — Charlestown’s seasonal beer and wine bar the Anchor is reopening for a couple December weekends (December 13 to 15 and 20 to 22) to celebrate the holidays and winter with tree and menorah lightings, Santa photo ops, s’mores and waffles, and, of course, wine and beer (with some winter beverage bonuses, like mulled wines and hot cocoa).
GLOUCESTER — After a variety of delays and licensing hurdles, a planned brewery, taproom, and community space will no longer be opening. Agapé Brewing Community cofounder Rev. Jamie Green Klopotoski explained the situation via a video and Facebook post, with the final straw being the skepticism of Gloucester’s licensing board regarding Klopotoski’s plan to make the taproom family-friendly. All aspects of the brewery (which was already selling cans) will be closed by January 1, 2020, with several events happening throughout December. While the brewery is closing and the taproom will never open, the associated nonprofit organization will remain in operation. “We have formed an absolutely amazing community of people, and while I’m not quite sure what our next steps will be, I do know that this is not the last you will hear from us,” wrote Klopotoski.
November 21, 2019
NANTUCKET — Cisco Brewers has featured prominently in the last couple of updates (see November 7 and 14 below) with plans to grow its Boston beer garden into a winter event space (although apparently not this winter) and with a collaboration in the works with Not Your Average Joe’s founder Stephen Silverstein for a New Bedford “entertainment complex.” Mass Brew Bros. explores the question of whether the growing brand will be able to “have the same island vibe” — or be considered “craft” beer — once it comes under the giant AB InBev umbrella. (AB InBev’s Anheuser-Busch will acquire Craft Brew Alliance in a deal worth over $300 million, and Craft Brew Alliance includes Cisco Brewers, partially. Cisco maintains ownership of its original Nantucket location and additional retail opportunities, such as the aforementioned beer garden.)
SOUTH BOSTON — Norwood’s Castle Island Brewing Co., which is named for the Castle Island peninsula of South Boston, may be expanding to South Boston, fittingly. (Not to Castle Island, though.) It is reportedly eyeing a space at the old Cole Hersee factory, which will also be home to Tatte Bakery & Cafe’s forthcoming “bakery wonderland” (30,000 square feet of production space, offices, a test kitchen, and a cafe). The development as a whole, located at 60-70 Old Colony Ave., is meant to have around 10 restaurant and retail tenants.
It’s a beer-filled time for South Boston: In addition to Trillium and Harpoon in the Seaport section of South Boston, Lord Hobo also recently announced Seaport plans. Located between the Broadway and Andrew T stops, the Cole Hersee development is over a mile from the Seaport breweries, though, so Castle Island would have a bit of territory to itself. (Dorchester Brewing Company and Backlash Beer Company are also within a couple of miles, but there are no breweries right in that Broadway-to-Andrew span. Meanwhile, Castle Island would have a boozy neighbor: GrandTen Distilling on Dorchester Avenue.)
November 14, 2019
NEW BEDFORD — Not Your Average Joe’s founder Stephen Silverstein, who stepped down from his role as CEO for the restaurant chain in early 2018 after 24 years, is making moves in New Bedford. On the beer front, he’s collaborating with Cisco Brewers co-owner Jay Harman to open “much more than a restaurant ... more of an entertainment complex” at the former longtime Davy’s Locker site on East Rodney French Boulevard.
Cisco Kitchen & Bar, as it will be called, will feature an outdoor area for live music, portable food and beverage kiosks, a deck that looks like the bow of a boat, a fire pit, a boardwalk, beach volleyball, and a playground area for kids. Depending on how the permitting process goes, it could open around May 2020.
Silverstein also recently acquired the Black Whale, a New Bedford restaurant, but doesn’t intend for the Cisco project to feel like a Black Whale sequel — it’ll have a “different menu” and “different vibe.”
See last week’s update below for more Cisco news.
NEW ENGLAND — Paste Magazine has sussed out what its editors and writers think are the best 50 American breweries of the 2010s, considering factors such as consistency, contributions to the brewing community, major innovations, and more. New England makes a pretty strong showing on the list, with seven local breweries getting nods, including Massachusetts’ own Jack’s Abby, Trillium, and Tree House. (Night Shift didn’t make the top 50 but did get an honorable mention.) Tree House took the second spot — “one of the first breweries to rise to prominence specifically on the back of hazy IPA,” as the Paste team writes. Maine’s Allagash follows close behind at number four on the list. “Every time they put out a new beer, it feels like there’s a specific reason for it to exist ... They are the most intentional of breweries,” writes Paste.
November 7, 2019
SEAPORT DISTRICT, BOSTON — Cisco Brewers is ditching the usual seasonal beer garden strategy of obtaining numerous one-day licenses (what some refer to as an unfair loophole of liquor licensing, since regular bars and restaurants often pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for their liquor licenses) and putting down nearly half a million dollars to buy a full license for its thriving (and gigantic) Seaport District beer garden. The idea is that the attraction will be open during the winter as well as the summer, with winter full of ice skating, hot toddies, holiday markets, and the like. If the necessary approvals are obtained, Cisco could purchase the license from a recently closed Back Bay restaurant, Globe Bar & Cafe.
SOMERVILLE — Winter Hill Brewing Company is amping up its food offerings with a new full-time kitchen partnership with Scott Brothers, a catering company. The new brunch service began last weekend with dishes like shakshuka and breakfast tacos; brunch returns every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Scott Brothers is also working on new lunch and dinner menus in the coming weeks (with some dishes already available). Look for schnitzel, sausage, and more.
October 31, 2019
BRIGHTON — Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen (190 North Beacon St.) opened its doors over the weekend in Brighton. Fans of Brato’s pop-ups will recognize some of its grilled cheeses, brats, and fermented goods and will get to sample some of the brewery’s own non-collaboration beers for the first time. The starting list includes a pale zwickel-style lager, a west coast IPA, a Belgian table beer, a hazy IPA, a hazy pale ale, and a harvest saison. Read more and peek inside the brewery here.
ESSEX — Great Marsh Brewing Company (99 Main St.) will open next week, either on November 6 or 7, following a $10 million buildout. The brewery has a taproom on the first floor, a restaurant on the second, and a weather-dependent outdoor beer garden. There will be 16 beers on tap, including IPAs, ales, and lagers.
FOXBOROUGH — Worcester’s Wormtown Brewery opened a brewhouse and taproom at Foxborough’s Patriot Place on Saturday, October 26. The space previously housed a pop-up from Battle Road Brewery, but it has been renovated to include a white tile bar, a patio, and an indoor-outdoor fireplace. The taproom has 14 draft lines, and there will be a seven-barrel brew system in operation by the beginning of 2020, to be used for experimentation. The food menu consists of items like chips and salsa, cheese boards, and meat pies.
MASSACHUSETTS — The craft beer industry in Massachusetts has ballooned, growing from fewer than 100 breweries at the end of 2014 to hitting the 200 mark this year. Mass Brew Bros. breaks down that number by locations with taprooms, retail, or pure brewing operations, noting that there are 12 more breweries set to open by the end of 2019.
NEW SALEM — An orchard owner in New Salem (which is in Western Massachusetts, not near the North Shore’s Salem) is launching a new arm of the business: 92-year-old Carol Hillman has run New Salem Preserves and Orchards (67 South Main St.) for 51 years, and she’s now running New Salem Cider, a new tasting venture aimed at making the orchard sustainable. Read more on her story here.
ROSLINDALE — Turtle Swamp Brewing has settled into its second permanent home at the Roslindale Substation, and founders John Lincecum and Nik Walther are working hard to amplify the power of the square. The indoor beer garden doesn’t aim to be a restaurant (and can’t, due to permit restrictions); instead, it’s a gathering place that provides the beverages and the space for customers to bring in their own food from any number of places around the Substation. Read more on its new role in the neighborhood here.
October 24, 2019
BOSTON — Craft Beer Cellar has hired Plymouth franchise owner Tatum Stewart as its new COO, and CEO Suzanne Schalow will transition from a day-to-day management role to a support and marketing roll. This decision comes following a year where several Craft Beer Cellars closed and founders Shalow and Kate Baker drew some ire for management of the situation. There are seven Craft Beer Cellar franchises in Massachusetts with further locations spread out across the country.
FENWAY, BOSTON — Earlier this month, Trillium Brewing Company launched retail sales out of its new Fenway taproom (401 Park Dr., located on the lawn in front of Time Out Market Boston), and now it’s officially opening the full taproom and bar today (Thursday, October 24). To celebrate the launch, Trillium will hold a grand opening celebration on Saturday, October 26. But first, it will hide six metal arboretum tags in the Fenway and Fort Point neighborhoods on October 25, and customers who find the tags can redeem them for a $25 gift card at Trillium Fenway (hints will be posted on social media.) The taproom’s opening draft list includes Galaxy Lock & Key, DDH Pittsburgh Street, the Riverway IPA, and the Niyok Imperial Stout, among others. Trillium Fenway will operate Sunday to Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
MAYNARD — Battle Road Brew House (20 Sudbury St.) has closed in Maynard. The brewery has not made an announcement surrounding the closure, but a band scheduled to play there next month shared that its show had been cancelled as a result of the brewery closing. Any updates on the reason for the closure will be provided if available.
NORWOOD — A group of breweries comes together this weekend for the Norfolk County Beer Festival, held at the Norwood Space Center (83 Morse St.). The event is painted as part beer festival and part county fair, with local breweries including Barrel House Z, Castle Island, Widowmaker, Trillium, and Zelus Beer Company, among others. There will be food, live music, vendors, and children’s entertainment.
ROSLINDALE, BOSTON — Distraction Brewing Company (2 Belgrade Ave.) opened its doors over the weekend in Roslindale. The brewery has four beers on draft right now (RoslinPale, a pilsner-like pale ale; Hoppily Distracted, a New England-style IPA; Bank on Brown, a brown ale that’s a nod to the building’s former life as a bank; and Belgrade Tripel, a blend of two Belgian styles); with at least two more on the way. Customers are welcome to bring in their own food when visiting the brewery. Read Monday’s story to learn more.
SEAPORT DISTRICT, BOSTON — As reported earlier in the week, Lord Hobo Brewing Company has announced more details on its plans for a massive brew hall in the Seaport District, where it will fill the full retail space available at 2 Dry Dock Ave., near Harpoon. The development will include a brewery, restaurant, a large patio, and a “coffee concept.” Read Monday’s story to learn more.
October 17, 2019
BRIGHTON, BOSTON — As reported earlier this week, Notch Brewing will open a taproom and brewery in the Boston area. The Salem brewery will anchor a new development project called the Speedway, which will ultimately be a collection of food and drink vendors with communal seating and other shared amenities. Read Tuesday’s story to learn more.
CHARLTON — Cult-favorite Tree House Brewing has announced a massive expansion at its Charlton location in the form of warehouse space. The brewery has invested more than $1 million in acquiring land nearby to build a 76,700-square-foot warehouse. Since its founding in 2011, Tree House has grown to epic levels, with high production volumes and the addition of a farm and orchard in Connecticut. Still no distribution, however.
CHELSEA — Mystic Brewery, which recently announced its upcoming closure, has now set a date for its final day of taproom operations: Saturday, October 19. The team brewed a special farewell beer called “Think About It, Sam,” a double IPA made with the remaining inventory of hops the brewery had on hand after announcing its closure. It was “designed to be the hoppiest beer [Mystic], or any brewery, has ever brewed ... a dramatic celebration of the New England IPA style.” Chelsea’s acclaimed Ciao Pizza will deliver complimentary pizzas during the afternoon. Founder and brewer Bryan Greenhagen shared a message on Instagram about the brewery’s final day and the future. “While our social media channels may go dark after this weekend, we will be sure to make an announcement if we have anything to share in terms of developments,” he wrote.
EVERETT — Just when you think Night Shift might settle down for a while and enjoy the fruits of its expansion labor, the brewing company throws a new plan into the mix. The brewery just announced it will release its own line of hard seltzers on October 21. In keeping with the brewery’s owl-themed branding, Night Shift’s hard seltzers will be called Hoot, and they will be available at both the Everett and Lovejoy Wharf breweries (and through wholesale partners) in three flavors: raspberry lime, black cherry lemon, and pomegranate tangerine. Night Shift tested the seltzers in its taprooms earlier this year.
LAWRENCE — Spicket River Brewery (56 Island St.) made its debut this week in Lawrence, serving beers like a Smashin Pumpkin Ale. The brewery has two outdoor spaces, in addition to its taproom space, and there’s a mug club for regular customers.
NEWTON — Night Shift’s not the only local brewer getting into the hard seltzer game: Hopsters has doubled the size of its Newton brewery, eliminating the brew-it-yourself function of the operation (though folks can still brew at the Seaport District location), and it has announced a new line of hard seltzer called “UnHoly Water.” The new beverage is gluten-free and available on draft in both locations. Eventually, Hopsters will distribute four-packs of 16-ounce hard seltzer cans in various flavors, including stone cherry, key lime pie, and grapefruit.
October 10, 2019
BOSTON — The time has come once again for Sam Adams to roll out its most expensive beer. The limited edition Utopia goes on sale October 15 and retails for a whopping $210 per bottle, with a combination of factors contributing to that hefty expense. Utopia is a small-batch production, barrel-aged and hand-bottled with an ABV of 28 percent, a number that makes it illegal to ship the beer to 15 states. The beer also comes in a custom bottle designed to look like a still. This year’s version of Utopia features a blend of batches aged in Scandinavian Aquavit barrels as well as Moscat barrels. The brewery has an online tool to help customers find Utopia in retail locations.
In other Boston news, Trillium Brewing Company’s Fenway taproom (401 Park Dr., located on the lawn in front of Time Out Market Boston) partially opened over the weekend to provide retail sales. Customers can now purchase cans and bottles onsite, but the bar area has yet to open. The retail portion of the business is operating daily from 12 to 8 p.m. Keep apprised of any updates to the status of the taproom on Trillium’s social media.
SOMERVILLE — Small Change Brewing Company, a Somerville-based company that contract brews and distributes locally, has signed on with Night Shift Distributing. Small Change, run by Mike Patterson and Emily Vides, saw a summer of growth, with new accounts signed weekly, and this partnership will just about quadruple the reach of its product. Small Change contract brews out of Great North Brewing in Manchester, New Hampshire.
October 3, 2019
BOSTON AND BEYOND — For Mass. Brew Bros., Rob Vandenabeele explores whether Massachusetts has reached “peak beer,” wondering how many is too many when it comes to craft breweries. Is the bubble about to burst? “The short answer is probably not,” he predicts, “but it’s complicated.” Read on for a closer look at the topic.
CHELSEA — Chelsea’s Mystic Brewery (174 Williams St.) will slowly wind down its operations over the next few weeks, ultimately shutting down for good. Founder and brewer Bryan Greenhagen shared the news on Mystic’s Instagram account last week, thanking customers for their support, and citing several reasons for the closure in spite of the brewery’s strong sales numbers. Read more in last week’s story, and keep an eye on Mystic’s social media for updates on a closing date.
EVERETT — Down the Road Beer Company mourned the loss of founder and brewer Donovan Bailey in early August. The brewery closed its taproom at that time, and it has not yet reopened. The remaining owners met with the Everett license commission to discuss its license status, and the city agreed to hold the license while the company works to find a way forward with operations, including brewing and managing the taproom. The brewery dramatically expanded its production about a year ago.
September 26, 2019
DOWNTOWN BOSTON — Somerville’s Winter Hill Brewing will sponsor the two-day Boston Local Music Festival set to take place on City Hall Plaza on September 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. The brewery will be revealing a new beer at the event.
FENWAY, BOSTON — Trillium Brewing is on the verge of opening its Fenway taproom (401 Park Dr.), just awaiting some final sign-offs from the City of Boston. The greenhouse-style design features an indoor taproom with two service bars and 18 draft lines. Inside, the building will accommodate 150 people, with that same capacity for its patio, which overlooks a public green space. While an exact opening date is still to be determined, when it opens, the Fenway taproom will serve beers made in Trillium’s Canton and Fort Point breweries, including lagers, IPAs, stouts, and more. There’s also a one-barrel brewing system onsite that will allow for some experimental brews, and there will be limited cans available for purchase. Trillium Fenway will operate from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and from 11 a.m. until 12 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth’s Mayflower Brewing has run into a snafu with its beer garden at the Pinehills (33 Summerhouse Dr.). The beer garden will not be granted any further one-day alcohol licenses to operate unless certain safety issues are addressed. The venue has reportedly received complaints about parking issues and traffic and came under scrutiny of the town’s select board, which called upon issues with carding and operational hours. Mayflower Brewing Company’s founder and president Drew Brosseau says his company is taking the necessary steps and working to address the parking issues.
September 19, 2019
FOXBOROUGH / WORCESTER — Wormtown Brewery will get a new leader with a vast history in Texas craft beer. Scott Metzger, the founder of San Antonio’s Freetail Brewing Co., joins the Wormtown team this month and will provide management support to the growing Worcester brewery.
In other Wormtown news, the brewery’s forthcoming Foxborough expansion — see May 30 update below for details — is coming along, but in the meantime, it’ll host a pop-up beer garden at Patriot Place for the next few weekends, including September 21 and 22, September 28 and 29, and October 5 and 6, from noon to 6 p.m. in front of the Renaissance Hotel. There will be live music, yard and board games, and plenty of beer.
SALEM — Notch Brewing in Salem will reportedly open a second brewery and taproom at an undisclosed location. Owner Chris Lohring shared the news in a Facebook post, indicating that more details are coming soon. The Salem location opened about three years ago, following six years of contract-brewing with a focus on session beers.
September 12, 2019
ALLSTON, BOSTON — Somerville’s Aeronaut Brewing Co. will run the final nights of its seasonal Allston beer garden this week. The dog- and kid-friendly space will have food on hand for purchase, operating until 10:30 p.m. Thursday night and 11 p.m. Friday night, September 12 and 13.
CAPE COD — Boston has cemented itself as a hotbed of craft beer, and the scope stretches beyond the metro area. Cape Cod in particular has a solid lineup of its own craft breweries, with seven operations stretching from Provincetown to Sagamore. The Boston Globe takes a closer look at the beer scene down on the Cape.
Speaking of the Cape, Bad Martha Brewing Company has opened a brewery and tasting room in Falmouth, expanding from Martha’s Vineyard. The island brewery first opened in 2014, and its beers have won acclaim at international festivals, in addition to local media attention. The bulk of brewing will now take place in Falmouth, and customers at the news space will find samples, beers by the glass (including flights) and growler, crowler, or can purchases.
DOWNTOWN BOSTON — Boston Public Market has a new retail haven for craft beer. Boston Beer Alley is now open inside the 100 Hanover St. market, selling a lineup of local beer, liquor, and ciders from breweries and distilleries like Bully Boy, Lamplighter, Idle Hands, Fiddlehead Brewing, and more.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND — Rhode Island’s best-known beer, Narragansett, has big plans to establish a firm foothold in Providence. The iconic company will open a brewery, taproom, and beer garden on Providence’s Fox Point waterfront in 2020. While the company will maintain its existing brewing structure in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and Rochester, New York, the new development will accommodate Narragansett’s smaller batch beers, plus some experimental beverages down the line.
SOMERVILLE — A sandwich pop-up that had a brief tenure at Everett brewery BearMoose has shifted its plans: Deep Cuts Deli founder Ian McGregor previously planned to open a musician/artist-friendly sandwich shop but now reportedly aims to open a sandwich shop/brewery somewhere in Somerville’s Winter Hill neighborhood. McGregor has teamed up with Jeff Wetzel, a cofounder of BearMoose Brewing who has since left the Everett brewery, and the team (including manager Daniel Hastings) is working to finalize a lease. Once secured, the space could accommodate a three-barrel brewing system, and the business will pursue a full liquor license to serve cocktails and wine, in addition to house beers. Winter Hill is also home to Winter Hill Brewing Company.
September 5, 2019
BEDFORD — Weymouth’s popular Barrel House Z brewery and taproom will expand to Bedford, opening at 54 Middlesex Tpke. possibly around the end of the year. The brewery opened in Weymouth three years ago; founder Russ Heissner was no stranger to brewing, as he was the first head brewer at Harpoon back in 1986. In 2015, Heissner told Eater that the main focus of Barrel House Z would be collaboration — a “community-first” brewery specializing in small-scale production. Three years in, that’s what Barrel House Z is doing — brewing an ever-changing list of small-batch, barrel aged beers made in collaboration with a variety of brewers and in a variety of styles. The current list includes everything from a red wine barrel-aged cream ale to a New England IPA to a “tropical” stout.
BOSTON — Did you catch the Eater Boston Fall 2019 Restaurant Openings Guide? It’s not just for restaurants; it’s full of new breweries, too. As many as seven new breweries and taprooms could open in and around Boston in the final months of 2019, including Trillium’s Fenway location, Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen, Faces Brewing Co., and more. It’s going to be a beer-filled season.
August 29, 2019
BOSTON — Harpoon Brewery has released a true hometown beer as a nod to one of Boston’s neighborhoods. “Allston X-Mas” is a New England-style IPA named for the magical time of year when seemingly everyone moves apartments in Allston and leaves furniture and sundry items strewn about the curbs and sidewalks. Those drinking Allston X-Mas may notice some citrus, mixed berry, and rye-like spice flavors. The beer is available for a limited time, just like Allston’s street-side bounty.
In Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, a former Craft Beer Cellar has transitioned into the Fenway Beer Shop, chock full of local craft beers, wine, and liquor. The number of Craft Beer Cellar locations has dwindled in recent months, while locations remain in Belmont, Newton, and elsewhere.
BRAINTREE / CAMBRIDGE — Tapped Beer Truck, from chef Avi Shemtov of Sharon’s Simcha and the roving Chubby Chickpea food truck, begins its season at the Braintree Beer Garden (786 Washington St.) on September 7, operating 12 to 5 p.m. The truck will reappear in the same location on Saturdays throughout September and October.
CHARLTON — A cult favorite brewery in Central Massachusetts just launched a new arm of its business: Tree House Brewing Co. is now roasting its own coffee, taking yet another step towards “direct control of every variable possible in our product and presentation,” as its website notes. Ultimately, Tree House will have cold brew, nitro cold brew, and hot coffee available in its retail shop, along with to-go bags of roasted beans.
EVERETT / PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — Night Shift Brewing has had a big year: The Everett-based company opened a second brewery and restaurant at Lovejoy Wharf in Boston proper, simultaneously adding a coffee roasting branch to its sweeping operation and reviving its Owl’s Nest Esplanade beer gardens for the second summer. Now, in addition to brewing, roasting, and distributing, Night Shift has announced it will open a brewery and taproom in Philadelphia, possibly by the end of 2020.
Night Shift co-founder Michael Oxton estimates the Philly brewery will be able to produce about 30,000 barrels once it’s open, with room for more growth, and while there will be some flagship beers making the trip from New England, the team will take a read of the Philly community to learn its tastes. There will be a 3,500-square-foot taproom to accommodate 300 people at the facility, plus a three-season patio with plenty of room for outdoor activities.
“We can utilize this huge parking lot for festivals and events and just connect with that community and that neighborhood,” Oxton told Eater. As if expanding out of Massachusetts weren’t enough, Night Shift is also growing locally, increasing capacity at its Everett brewery with a new 60-barrel brewhouse (compared to its current 20-barrel setup) customized to best suit its recipes and processes, according to Oxton. On top of that, the company now has its own food truck, Night Shift Eats, which builds off the Lovejoy restaurant to provide lunchtime food at the Everett brewery on weekdays, with the flexibility to move to the Owl’s Nest locations when needed.
SOMERVILLE — Aeronaut Brewing Co. (14 Tyler St.) releases a beer in partnership with Mass Audubon on August 29. “For the Birds” is a New England-style IPA brewed with malted millet (a type of bird seed) and four types of hops, brewed with a goal of supporting Mass Audubon’s conservation efforts within the state. Artist Allison Tanenhaus designed four can labels featuring birds the organization aims to protect, and the brewery will sell For the Birds shirts during a September 3 event, with 50 percent of proceeds going towards Mass Audubon.
August 22, 2019
TAUNTON — A massive beer distributor in Massachusetts just got even larger: Quality Beverage has acquired Williams Distributing and will be responsible for distributing 20 percent of all the beer sold in Massachusetts. The merger also makes Quality the largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch InBev, another huge name in beer known for brands like Budweiser, Corona, Hoegaarden, and many more.
WORCESTER — Bay State Brewing Company, which has been around since 2012, will open a taproom in Worcester, taking over for Nonna’s Pizza & Pasta within the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. Construction will begin on the forthcoming brewery and taproom in October. The company is currently based out of Leicester and produces its beers in Western Massachusetts.
August 15, 2019
DORCHESTER, BOSTON — Dorchester Brewing Company works in conjunction with a group called Roca Boston, a non-profit that helps individuals avoid poverty and incarceration. In partnership with Roca and the Lewis Family Foundation’s Jobs Action Tank, Dorchester Brewing brought on a staff member, Denzel Florvil, who recently celebrated a year with the company. Read more of Florvil’s story and learn more about how Roca works via the Boston Business Journal.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — Everett’s Night Shift Brewing is in talks to acquire warehouse space near Philadelphia, which may extend the company’s growing distribution arm. The space was previously used by Penn Beer Distributors.
WORCESTER — Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co., Redemption Rock Brewing Co., Wormtown Brewery, 3cross Fermentation Cooperative, and Flying Dreams Brewing Co. will team up to brew a coffee-brown ale called “Snoopy Cap,” using beans from Acoustic Java. The five Worcester breweries have never worked together to brew one beer but chose to do so as a show of strength — rather than competition — in the city’s craft beer community. The group will debut Snoopy Cap at the Massachusetts Brewers Guild’s collaboration-focused beer festival in September.
August 8, 2019
BOSTON — Local philanthropic beverage company Proud Pour has developed a hard cider in conjunction with the New England Aquarium. Cider for Sea Turtles, offered at the aquarium’s Reef Bar and in stores throughout the Boston area, contributes proceeds towards the aquarium’s animal care center and the Brevard Zoo’s Sea Turtle Healing Center.
BRAINTREE / CAMBRIDGE — Tapped Beer Truck, from chef Avi Shemtov of Sharon’s Simcha and the roving Chubby Chickpea Food Truck, will participate in a one-off Cambridge beer garden before settling into a two-month series in Braintree. On Thursday, August 8, the Tapped truck will appear at the Binney Street Beer Garden from 4 to 9 p.m., with selections from local craft breweries. (Food trucks Sa Pa and Roadies will be onsite, too.) Starting Saturday, September 7, the Tapped truck will be part of the Braintree Beer Garden (786 Washington St.), operating 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays in September and October.
EVERETT — Down the Road Beer Company founder Donovan Bailey died unexpectedly on July 31. “We are forever disheartened and will miss his leadership, dedication and creative abilities, but most of all, his big heart,” the company wrote on social media.
FLORENCE — Artifact Cider officially opened its taproom in Florence (34 North Maple St.), featuring work from Austin Design, the same firm behind New England breweries like Tree House, the Alchemist, and Lawson’s. The Artifact taproom has 14 draft lines, serving four-ounce samples or full 16-ounce pours. There are retail cans, bottles, and merchandise available, and the taproom is providing an outlet for Artifact’s limited-batch ciders as well. The taproom operates Thursday through Sunday.
PROVINCETOWN — This Cape town’s first brewery is ready for business. Provincetown Brewing Co. (141 Bradford St.) is now open, with a formal grand debut slated for Monday, August 12. The brewery started up in the fall of 2018 during the midterm elections. Founders Chris Hartley and Erik Borg embrace political activism and support various causes and organizations that promote LGBTQ+ rights, environmental protection, and more. PBC’s been working on three beers: a golden ale, a cranberry sour, and a hazy New England-style IPA. The brewery doubles as an all-day restaurant, serving coffee and Iggy’s pastries in the morning (and a breakfast sandwich that pays homage to the Bradford Natural Foods Market the brewery replaced), plus smoothies, juices, bean burgers, wings, and more.
August 1, 2019
CANTON — It’s like summer camp, but for beer: Trillium Brewing Company has pulled together a group of breweries from across the country and Canada for its second Trillium Field Trip. The likes of Bellwoods Brewery, Evil Twin Brewing, J Wakefield, Bottle Logic, Bissell Brothers, and more will be on hand offering pours, and there will be food trucks on-site as well.
MALDEN — A brewery in development in Malden is now approaching a fall 2019 opening. Faces Brewing Company (50 Pleasant St.) began installing brewing equipment in July, and the team is currently developing its beer recipes, including an American pale ale and a hefeweizen with touches of strawberry and vanilla, as well as stouts and New England-style IPAs. Faces comes to Malden from the Martignetti family (of Lanes & Games fame), and it will produce the city’s first true hometown beer, as Malden’s Idle Hands got its start in Everett.
NEW ENGLAND — Harpoon’s parent, Mass. Bay Brewing Company, introduced a new craft cider called City Roots. The hard apple cider is now available in New England, and the company will donate a percentage of sales through 1% for the Planet, a New England-based organization that financially supports environmental nonprofits. City Roots comes in several varieties, including an original dry cider and a rose. A pumpkin cider is in the pipeline for fall.
July 25, 2019
BOSTON / WOBURN / NEW YORK — Lord Hobo Brewing Company has some enormous expansion in the works locally and a bit farther away, too. Check the story from earlier this week for details on the brewing company’s plan to expand its Woburn taproom nearly threefold while finalizing plans for a huge taproom and restaurant in Boston’s Seaport District and getting close to finalizing a space for a New York taproom.
In other Boston beer news, Boston’s beer gardens received some support from a local politician this month: Kathleen Judge, who chairs the licensing board, announced her opposition to a proposed bill that would restrict the number of one-day licenses such operations could secure within a year.
MAINE — Lucky Maine (?): Pabst Blue Ribbon selected the state to test a canned hard coffee beverage. As weird as that sounds, several retailers have reportedly shared that they’ve had a hard time keeping it on the shelves. PBR has also rolled out testing in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Florida. This is the only non-beer product PBR produces. Sold in four-packs of 11-ounce cans, Hard Coffee is a malt liquor made from coffee bean concentrate, coffee flavors, milk, and sugar, and it comes in at five percent ABV.
July 18, 2019
BOSTON — Lawmakers are trying to make it easier for smaller scale breweries to distribute their beer. Proposed legislation will give breweries more flexibility in negotiating distribution arrangements for their brands without getting locked into lifelong contracts.
CHELSEA — A Chelsea brewery will no longer make a previously planned move to Malden. In early 2018, Mystic Brewery shared plans to relocate to 11 Charles St. in a move that would give Mystic more space and potential growth in brewing capacity. Those plans have changed, however, Mystic has confirmed with Eater, and it will remain in its current home in Chelsea.
EVERETT — After joining Everett’s new BearMoose Brewing Company for its opening, Deep Cuts Deli will no longer operate inside the brewery. BearMoose is looking for other options for food for its patrons, while Deep Cuts will carry on with pop-ups elsewhere.
FRAMINGHAM — Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing received the necessary licensing for its new beer garden and will open the space this weekend. The outdoor area has picnic tables and benches and will operate Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth’s Mayflower Brewing has teamed up with Wahlburgers to operate a beer garden at the Pinehills (33 Summerhouse Dr.). The Wahlburgers food truck appears every Friday, while the beer garden operates Thursday through Saturday throughout the summer.
July 11, 2019
CAMBRIDGE — Longtime Harvard Square brewpub John Harvard’s recently closed, but its space will not remain vacant for long: Wachusett Brewing Company will set up a brewpub at the 33 Dunster St. location, reviving a 15-barrel brewing system and filling the taproom with beers (especially sours), flatbreads, and more.
EVERETT — BearMoose Brewing (1934 Revere Beach Pkwy.) just became the fourth brewery to open in Everett, and there’s a bonus along with it: Deep Cuts Deli is also open inside, sharing space with BearMoose. The brewery operates Thursday through Sunday, and the Deep Cuts menu features items like grilled cheese, curry chickpea sandwiches, and roast beef.
ROSLINDALE — Turtle Swamp Brewing has received approval to make a more permanent operation at the Roslindale Substation, where it operated a winter beer garden this past season. The permission allows Turtle Swamp to expand its hours, potentially opening the space to live music performances and allowing customers to order in food from local establishments.
June 27, 2019
FRAMINGHAM — Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company (81 Morton St.) has proposed a beer garden for a parking lot situated across the street from the brewery, having recently purchased the property from a former electrical company. The new property includes a building spanning 12,000 square feet on the ground floor and a similar-sized basement, and Exhibit ‘A’ has plans for developing the space, but nothing specific is set in stone yet.
NORTH QUINCY — Braintree’s Widowmaker Brewing is now hosting a weekly beer garden at the Adams Inn Pub in North Quincy. The brewery is taking over the pub’s gazebo (29 Hancock St.) every Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m. The setting overlooks the Neponset River, and Widowmaker will have a rotation of six beers each week.
June 20, 2019
BOSTON — Boston’s overflowing with beer gardens, but not everyone loves the bounty: The Massachusetts Restaurant Association claims the system of issuing licenses for these seasonal operations is flawed. Meanwhile, Mayor Marty Walsh reportedly has no intention of trying to limit licenses for this use. Boston.com breaks down the history of the legislation surrounding these liquor licenses and what’s at stake with a new bill proposed to balance the impact on restaurants located near the beer gardens.
BROOKFIELD — Oakholm Brewing Co. could open this fall at Oakholm Farm. Founder Andrew Woodward is working with farm owners Chris and Christina Predella to build up the farm’s offerings and accessibility, and the brewery will be part of that plan, with construction already underway, with designs courtesy of Greenfield-based firm Austin Design, which also worked on Tree House, Lawson’s, and the Alchemist. Woodward is already working on Oakholm’s beers, which will eventually be available in the 100-person taproom.
FRAMINGHAM — Chef Ian Maschal (previously of Eventide Fenway, Menton, and Bar Mezzana) signed on as executive chef for Jack’s Abby this June. Maschal will overhaul the menu, which will retain some of the brewery’s current wood-fired pizzas while adding more rotating and seasonal dishes.
JAMAICA PLAIN — Turtle Swamp Brewing recently celebrated two years in business, and founders Nik Walther and John Lincecum reflect on that time and how the brewery has cemented itself as a community gathering spot.
QUINCY — Break Rock Brewing Company aims to open in Quincy in 2020, and founders Jay Southwood and Vilija Bizinkauskas have partnered with MainVest to raise funds for the operation, targeting $50,000 by August 14. Southwood and Bizinkauskas describe Quincy as “the largest city or town in New England without a brewery,” and they’re hoping to change that.
June 13, 2019
ARLINGTON —Aeronaut Brewing Company’s beer garden has returned to Whittemore Park as of June 1, and it will recur every Saturday from 12 to 7 p.m. through September. The kid-friendly, dog-friendly space has live music, lawn games, and beer, plus snacks available for purchase. People are welcome to bring food in as well.
MASSACHUSETTS AND MAINE — Budweiser maker Anheuser-Busch is market testing mead — or what they’re calling a “honey alcohol beverage” — in parts of Central Massachusetts, the Boston area, and Portland, Maine. The company selected the region to roll out two versions of “B,” made from honey, water, and fruit juices. The cherry and blueberry varieties are each 3.5 percent alcohol, available in packs of four.
June 7, 2019
BACK BAY, BOSTON — Charlton-based Tree House Brewing Co. will bring its coveted beers to Boston for four days only this summer. Tree House is famously available for retail availability only at the physical brewery (and it’s not currently distributing to draft accounts, either), but this summertime partnership with Berklee College of Music will see a rotating list of eight Tree House beers available on draft on the Prudential Center’s South Garden, alongside musical performances. Beers will be between 12 and 16 ounces, available for $8 each. For each of the four dates — June 13, June 27, July 18, and July 25 — patrons will be able to access the beer garden between 5 and 9 p.m. Entrance is free, but beer and food will be available for purchase.
CHARLESTOWN, BOSTON — Castle Island Brewing has returned to Constitution Wharf with another seasonal beer garden. With a 20-tap trailer, the Norwood brewery will be on hand Thursday and Friday from 3 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 12 to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. In addition to beers of its own, Castle Island will serve wine and non-alcoholic and gluten-free beverages, and there will be food trucks and snacks available. The beer garden is kid- and pet-friendly.
LAWRENCE — Spicket River Brewery is forthcoming in Lawrence, and it comes with a tap truck and mobile kitchen that will be available for events and scheduled pop-ups. The brewery’s tanks were delivered in May, and it’s aiming for a grand opening on July 13.
ROXBURY, BOSTON — Bully Boy Distillers will run a Saturday cocktail garden at its facility in Roxbury (44 Cedric St.) this summer. The distillery will open its garage and set up a semi-outdoor bar, serving Tiki drinks and other cocktails accompanied by food truck offerings, lawn games, and more. There will be a rotation of food trucks each week, with the cocktail garden operating from 2 to 7 p.m.
May 30, 2019
FOXBOROUGH — Worcester’s Wormtown Brewery will take over management of production for Maynard’s Battle Road Brewery and will open a brewery and taproom at Patriot Place in Foxborough this summer. Battle Road previously operated a pop-up in the Patriot Place space during the fall and winter of 2018. The 4,000-square-foot taproom will allow customers to order in food, and there will be outdoor space as well.
JAMAICA PLAIN, BOSTON — The Loring-Greenough House will operate a beer garden during its First Thursday events this year. Hive will manage the beer garden, bringing in its Airstream trailer to serve craft beer in a roped-off area of the lawn. Thursday events will also feature local food trucks. Look out for the Hive trailer’s first appearance on June 6, with others following on July 11, August 1, and September 5.
PEABODY — Granite Coast Brewing Company has opened at 77 Main St. in Peabody. The brewery is kid- and dog-friendly, and customers can bring in their own food. Operating Thursday and Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m., Granite Coast serves a variety of beers, including a blonde ale, a witbier, a session New England-style IPA, and a porter. The brewery will also host food pop-ups.
WORCESTER — Wachusett Brewing Company will open a taproom at the Worcester Public Market, overlooking Kelley Square. It will span about 3,000 square feet, and will serve areas of the market’s food court, as well as outdoor plaza seating. The market as a whole could open early this fall.
May 23, 2019
BOSTON — Night Shift Brewing has officially reopened its seasonal Owl’s Nest beer gardens at the Esplanade and in Allston; check Instagram for weather-related scheduling updates, but in general, both gardens are open Thursday through Sunday, with the Esplanade location also operating on Wednesdays. The gardens sell beer, wine, a selection of non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks, and there will be a rotation of food trucks over the course of the season.
Somerville’s Aeronaut Brewing Co. has reopened its Allston beer garden for the season, and it will be full of beer and live music all summer. The venue, at 267 Western Ave., operates Wednesdays from 5 to 9:30 p.m., Thursdays from 5 to 10:30 p.m., and Fridays from 5 to 11 p.m., and it will run through September 13. The space is kid- and dog-friendly as well, and it will feature a rotating lineup of food trucks throughout the season.
In the mobile beverage category, Boston’s 90+ Cellars will launch a wine truck that will appear at various events and beer gardens. The Rosé & Bubbly Wine Truck will start its summer tour on June 1, full of wine and with its own mobile setup of wine barrel tables, picnic tables, and some lawn games. Wines will be available by the glass (or can, in some cases), and 90+ Cellars has a full list of the wine truck’s summer engagements available online.
Two out-of-town breweries will bring select beers to Boston in June. Through a program called Guest Brewer, Illinois’s Two Brothers and Oregon’s Good Life Brewing will distribute beers to the region for a limited time. Two Brothers will feature its French-style ale Domaine DuPage, while Good Life will have an ale and an IPA on offer at bars and restaurants in Boston.
May 16, 2019
BOSTON — Two big names in beer are joining forces: Boston Beer Company, the maker of Sam Adams, and Delaware’s Dogfish Head recently announced a merger valued at $300 million. This move will give Dogfish Head founders Sam and Mariah Calagione a stake in Sam Adams, and both breweries will continue running their operations, while working to merge distribution and financials.
In other Sam Adams beer news, the company announced a delayed opening timeline for its forthcoming downtown taproom. Under construction at the site of the former Hillstone restaurant (60 State St.) the taproom was initially slated to open this summer, but the timeline has shifted to November.
Meanwhile, in the Seaport District, Nantucket’s Cisco Brewers has officially reopened its family-friendly, dog-friendly seasonal beer garden at 65 Northern Ave. with a selection of Cisco beers; wine from Nantucket Vineyard; tacos from Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar; lobster, shrimp, and crab rolls from Luke’s Lobster; and pizza from Flatbread. It operates six days a week from 4 to 11 p.m. on weekdays (closed Mondays) and from 12 to 11 p.m. on weekends, and there’s live music, too.
Over on the Greenway, it’s opening day for the Trillium Brewing Company beer garden, returning for the season on Thursday, May 16, coinciding with the release of a new beer, a helles lager called Central Artery. Trillium plans to expand its draft offerings this year, operating across from Rowes Wharf Wednesday to Friday from 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. There’s also usually a food truck parked adjacent to the beer garden.
In further beer garden news, Brighton’s Boston Landing plans to launch one of its own, recurring once a month throughout the summer on May 23, June 20, July 25, and August 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. The complex has not yet announced the participating breweries, but Braintree’s Widowmaker Brewing has indicated it will be part of the series at some point.
QUINCY — Break Rock Brewing Company aims to open in Quincy in 2020. Jay Southwood and Vilija Bizinkauskas are behind the business and will update future customers on their progress through a blog on the company’s website.
WEYMOUTH — Vitamin Sea Brewing has exceeded even its owners’ expectations, per a feature in the Globe: On the first day in business, more than 1,000 people showed up for beer, and since then, the brewery’s following has grown, vaulting it to a win in a local brewery bracket. Right now, the brewery is only open Saturdays from 12 to 8 p.m., serving a mix of beers including dry-hopped New England-style IPAs, hazy IPAs, coffee session stouts, and more.
May 9, 2019
CAMBRIDGE — An all-vegan beer hall and cafe plans to open in Cambridge’s Central Square. Rewild previously popped up in Quincy, and now its founders are pursuing a permanent space to fill with meat- and dairy-free food like pizza, wings, burgers, and tacos, along with beer, wine, and kombucha. Rewild is crowdfunding a portion of what it will cost to build out the space in Cambridge.
ESSEX — Salem’s Notch Brewing has partnered with Woodman’s of Essex (119 Main St., Essex) to bring its mobile biergarten to the restaurant’s tented outdoor space on numerous dates this spring and summer. Customers will be able to get Woodman’s seafood and Notch beer overlooking the Essex River on select dates throughout the season.
LYNN — Bent Water Brewing (180 Commercial St.) is expanding its facilities, giving the brewers more space and allowing for some experimentation. The brewery will celebrate this expansion on May 18 with live music, food, lawn games, and beer, of course.
May 2, 2019
BOSTON — Nantucket’s Cisco Brewers will return to Boston this spring to run a beer garden in the Seaport District at 65 Northern Ave. again. This year, the expanded pop-up will feature Cisco beers, wine from Nantucket Vineyard, and tacos from Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, along with other snacks and food truck offerings. The beer garden will also have live music, with family- and dog-friendly accommodations. Starting May 14, it will operate six days a week from 4 to 11 p.m. on weekdays and from 12 to 11 p.m. on weekends.
Meanwhile, Trillium Brewing Company’s Greenway beer garden will also return this year, as noted below. The company has now announced an opening date: Thursday, May 16. The brewery will expand its list of draft beers this year, including new lagers and wild ales. The beer garden takes up its familiar space at the corner of High Street and Atlantic Avenue, across from Rowes Wharf, for the third consecutive year, and it will operate Wednesday to Friday from 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m.
And in wine garden news, the City Winery wine garden mentioned below opened for the season on Wednesday, May 1. In addition to its own red, white, and rose wines, which are available on tap, City Winery on the Greenway serves a selection of Harpoon beers and ciders, along with a food menu featuring Mediterranean-style charcuterie, cheese, olives, and nuts. The wine garden operates Wednesday and Friday from 3:30 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with live music Friday through Sunday.
MASSACHUSETTS — Craft Beer Cellar locations in Swampscott and Winchester reportedly closed on April 30, following suit with others in Roslindale, Fort Point, Framingham, and elsewhere. The franchise-model business began in 2010 and grew to around 30 locations around the country. The relationship between the founders and some franchisees has been strained of late, resulting in lawsuits, closures, and rebranding, in some cases.
PROVINCETOWN — Provincetown Brewing Co. (141 Bradford St.) got its start during the 2018 midterm elections: The founders promoted political activism through a fundraiser to support progressive political candidates along with Provincetown’s LGBTQ Welcome Center, the Shack. Founders Chris Hartley and Erik Borg will aim to open the physical brewery this July, and Hartley has been apprenticing at Turtle Swamp in Jamaica Plain. Provincetown Brewing Co. has three beers in the pipeline for its arrival: a golden ale, a cranberry sour, and a hazy New England-style IPA.
ROSLINDALE — Speaking of Jamaica Plain’s Turtle Swamp Brewing, the brewery is making moves to turn its pop-up beer hall at the Roslindale Substation into a permanent operation. The brewery will have a community meeting and will seek a zoning change to complete the process. (The space is currently zoned for restaurant use but needs to be zoned for a brewery-related use.)
SPRINGFIELD — White Lion Brewing Company is in the midst of building a brewery at 1500 Main St., but folks can drink its beer as early as May 22 at a summer beer garden in Springfield, which will feature beer, cider, wine, food, and live music. The beer garden will operate in Tower Square Park (1477 Main St.) through August 31.
April 25, 2019
BEDFORD — Bedford prepares to celebrate the start of summer with its first beer garden on the town common. The Summer Solstice Festival will take place on June 22 from 12 to 5 p.m., with Notch Brewing supplying the beer garden and six food trucks providing dumplings, barbecue, dessert, and more.
BOSTON — The South End’s SoWa Open Market returns on May 5, and this year it has a stacked selection of breweries filling out its beer garden, including Fiddlehead Brewing Company, Banded Brewing, Finback Brewery, and others, each featured for one-to-four weeks. The beer garden will also offer cider, wine, lawn games, and live music. The market operates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Sunday through October.
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND — Dann and Martha Paquette shook Boston’s craft beer world to its core when they closed their wildly popular Pretty Things brewery in 2015. Their beers had become favorites locally and beyond, but the growth prospects were not what the pair had imagined for themselves. They departed, following formal farewells for their beloved saison Jack D’Or, leaving behind a craft beer community that continued to grow in their wake. Last year, the duo resurfaced with a new brewery in Sheffield, England. Saint Mars of the Desert, as the brewery is called, has brewed a beer called “Jack D’Or is perhaps not actually dead,” a nod to the flagship Pretty Things beer (but an update on the original recipe). Read more on the Saint Mars brewery from Food & Wine.
April 18, 2019
BOSTON — Fresh off the debut of its Lovejoy Wharf brewery, cafe, and restaurant, Night Shift Brewing is gearing up for a second summer of riverside beers. The brewery’s Owl’s Nest beer gardens return to Boston starting May 4, with one operating near the Hatch Shell and another in Allston near the Herter Park Amphitheater. In addition to Night Shift’s own beers, each location will also serve options from Night Shift’s distribution partners.
CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Brewing Company is celebrating 30 years in business on May 4. The craft beer institution has stood the test of time and immense change in its Kendall Square neighborhood, pouring Belgian-style ales and training up a generation of craft brewers all the while. To celebrate the last three decades, CBC will hold a party on May 4, serving 30 beers on tap along with food and live music. The brewery will share the food and beer menus on its Facebook event page.
April 11, 2019
DOWNTOWN BOSTON — As noted in the February 21 update below, new regulations may one day stifle Boston’s beer garden boom, but until then, new seasonal outdoor drinking spots keep joining the fray. Two more to report this week:
City Winery, a national chain of music venue/restaurant/wineries with a location in Boston’s West End, is adding a seasonal wine garden at Dewey Square on the Greenway, near South Station. It will open in May and will operate from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. City Winery on the Greenway will serve a variety of reds, whites, and rosés on tap, and for those who prefer beer or cider, there will be options from Harpoon. The garden will also serve charcuterie, olives, nuts, and cheeses.
Also beginning in May: Brewer’s Alley at Boston Harbor Hotel on Rowes Wharf. The rotating outdoor beer garden will feature a variety of breweries, starting with Cape Cod-based Devil’s Purse on May 23. Each resident brewery will pop up for about a month; Jack’s Abbey, Night Shift, and Lord Hobo will follow Devil’s Purse, with the final segment — September 25 through October 26 — taking on an Oktoberfest theme and featuring eight different New England breweries. Weather-permitting, Brewer’s Alley will be open every day: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
FORT POINT, BOSTON — Following the recent closure of the Roslindale location of Craft Beer Cellar, the Fort Point location (34 Farnsworth St.) will follow suit at the end of April.
April 4, 2019
DORCHESTER, BOSTON — Dorchester Brewing Company is poised for a massive expansion that will see the addition of 5,000 square feet of taproom space, along with a restaurant run by a local barbecue food truck, a roof deck, and a glass greenhouse. The $3 million renovation project began April 2 and will likely be ready by October.
DOWNTOWN BOSTON — City Hall Plaza’s beer garden returns this summer, with the reopening of the Patios on Thursday, May 2, at 5 p.m. Once again, Wachusett Brewing Company will anchor the beer yard, which will also have mini-golf and dog-friendly days. Accompanying the spring and summer plaza program will be evening food truck appearances, Monday through Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m., as well as a regular daytime food offerings from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In other downtown beer garden news, the ever-expanding Trillium Brewing Company announced today that it will be bringing back its seasonal Trillium Garden on the Greenway for the third time. The (weather-dependent) opening date will be announced later, but when it returns, Trillium Garden will serve a variety of beers as well as the company’s Fresh Press collection: Trillium Wild Ale combined with juices (such as a strawberry and watermelon combo or cucumber and pear). Also available: wine from Westport Rivers. Plus, attendees will be able to bring in their own food. When it opens, the Garden will be at the corner of High Street and Atlantic Avenue, across from Rowes Wharf, operating from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Keep an eye on Instagram for an opening date, which will likely be around late spring.
WEST END, BOSTON — Jack’s Abby has now officially unveiled its North Station taproom as of April 3. The Framingham brewery is set to run the space for at least two years. The Track Zero Taproom, as it is called, has 10 draft lines of beers from Jack’s Abby and its offshoot Springdale, including the House Lager, Hoponius Union, a few small-batch beers, and more. Information about hours will be shared on the Track Zero Twitter feed.
NANTUCKET — Cisco Brewers, founded on Nantucket in 1995, will donate a portion of sales from its Whale’s Tale Pale Ale to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, which supports the health of ocean habitats. The brewery also adopted a humpback whale named Coral. Funds raised from sales of Whale’s Tale will be donated throughout 2019.
March 28, 2019
CANTON — Cult-favorite Boston and Canton brewery Trillium is reportedly working to take over the former Reebok headquarters at 100 Royall St. The brewing company appears to be planning a venue similar to its second Fort Point location for the new Canton space, including room for dining, drinking, and retail purchases. The space spans 135,000 square feet. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, visit Trillium’s existing Canton taproom and brewery at 110 Shawmut Rd.
ROSLINDALE, BOSTON — Distraction Brewing is on its way to opening in Roslindale this May, and the founders have launched a Kickstarter campaign to invite the community to be part of building the brewery. The fundraising isn’t necessary for completion of the brewery, but it will be helpful in upgrading some equipment and increasing brewing capacity. This will be the neighborhood’s first permanent brewery.
As Roslindale prepares for the arrival of Distraction, it’s also on the verge of losing a source for beer: the Craft Beer Cellar in the Roslindale Substation will close once it runs out of inventory, which has already been discounted 25 percent.
March 21, 2019
BOSTON — A celebration of sours is coming to Boston this summer: Funk Boston at the South End Cyclorama will feature 40 breweries and more than 130 sour, funky, and otherwise wild beers over the course of a weekend in June. On June 14 and 15, the event space will fill with beers from Allagash, Fiddlehead, Jack’s Abby, and lots more breweries.
FRANKLIN — The planning board has approved a plan for Franklin residents Patrick and Beth Downing to open a distillery, tasting room, and restaurant at 860 West Central St. (Rte. 140), which formerly housed the restaurant Incontro, pending any appeals that come up during a 20-day period that started on March 16. The former pharmacy owners plan to produce gin, vodka, whiskey, cordials, and more.
SOMERVILLE — Small Change Brewing Company has been operating for about a year, contract brewing and self-distributing its lineup of beers around Greater Boston. Founded by wife-and-husband team Emily Vides and Mike Patterson, the company will explore some different beer varieties in the future and is looking for an opportunity to open its own brick-and-mortar space, potentially somewhere in the East Somerville area.
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.