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, as well as some New England booze news beyond Massachusetts.) This piece is updated most weeks, and the most recent additions are at the top.
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Check out the archive of fall 2020 beer news here.
January 20, 2021: Cape Ann Brewing Company Closes After Nearly Two Decades in Operation
Dorchester Brewing Company recently announced on Instagram its hibernation plans. The brewery and taproom — as well as its onsite restaurant, M&M BBQ — will be remain closed for indoor dining and drinking until March 1, though it remains open for takeout and delivery.
“It’s with sadness and hope that we have made the proactive decision to close the tap room and restaurant for on-site consumption for eating and drinking starting on January 1st through March 1st,” reads the post. “Based on what we have seen over the last few weeks, we have to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our staff, community, and customers safe. We hope this encourages others to do the same including the city and state, who should frankly just shut restaurants down at this point. Small businesses and restaurants can not operate in the current climate and with all the appropriate restrictions.”
“It is with much sadness that I announce the permanent closure of the Cape Ann Brewing Company,” wrote Goldberg. “During the summer of 2002, a casual conversation spawned the, perhaps ill-thought, idea of what would become the Cape Ann Brewing Company. Since that day, we strove to create a brand and a place that would represent ‘the courage and spirit of the North Atlantic Fishing Fleet.’ We are proud of what we’ve created over the past 18 years. During this time we’ve weathered many storms, at times enjoyed smooth seas, and have always been thankful for the stong headwinds that have guided our voyage. Unfortunately, the current climate has proven to be our last sail. (Is that enough sailing cliches?)”
Cape Ann Brewing occupied a large footprint at the corner of Washington Street and Rogers Street in downtown Gloucester. It was best known for its Fisherman’s Brew, which was also the first beer it brewed all the way back in 2004. It leaves a big hole in the north shore beer scene, and it will be missed.
Aeronaut Brewing is now offering drive-thru beer pickup at its new location in Everett, the Aeronaut Cannery. Aeronaut said in a press release that the drive-thru window provides customers with “the chance to grab fresh beers from the warmth of their car and with minimal contact with our team.” Aeronaut expects to offer 18-20 different cans each week. In a town that loves its drive-thrus (see: a Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner), this is perhaps the smartest decision in the history of beer distribution.
Speaking of doughnuts, north shore icon Kane’s Donuts recently teamed up with Woburn-based Lord Hobo Brewing Company on a particularly tempting confection. Made with Kane’s sticky bun glaze and a reduction made from Lord Hobo’s Godmother Imperial Stout, the Godmother Donut is on offer through the end of January 2021. It joins a short but growing list of collaborations between local breweries and doughnut shops. (Who could forget the Harpoon/Dunkin’ jelly doughnut IPA?)