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.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any local booze news that should be on our radar.
Check out the archive of summer 2020 beer news here.
November 9, 2020: Here Comes a Lot More Tree House Brewing
CAPE COD AND WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
Over the weekend, Central Massachusetts brewery Tree House Brewing Company — a cult favorite among beer nerds in New England and beyond — announced not one but two big expansions coming up. Charlton-based Tree House is coming to Cape Cod (Sandwich) and Western Massachusetts (Deerfield).
The Cape Cod location will be on a deck with bay (and sunset) views, walking distance from the Sandwich Boardwalk and Town Neck Beach and a very short bike ride from the Cape Cod Canal bike path. “A brewery and taproom on the ocean or beach is rare and we couldn’t be more pleased to jump at the chance to enjoy it with you,” writes the Tree House team. It could open by summer 2021 (pending the state of the pandemic) and will feature taproom space, cans to go, and food trucks. (To-go service could begin sooner.) Post-2021 renovations are already in the works, too, aimed at “transform[ing] this experience to something else altogether ... we can assure you it will be something to behold.”
The expansive Western Massachusetts location will “mirror and improve upon the experience” in Charlton, with a taproom and to-go service, plenty of parking, space for private and public events, and acres of land near Mt. Sugarloaf. It could open for to-go service in mid-to-late winter 2021, with a full opening likely following around summer 2021.
Tree House is nearing a decade in business, having been founded in a barn in Brimfield, Massachusetts, back in 2011 before moving into a larger facility in Monson. In 2017, Tree House expanded to Charlton. The company still operates the Monson brewery, the Charlton brewery (which also includes a coffee roastery), and a farm fermentory in Woodstock, Connecticut. Tree House is known for beers like Julius, an IPA, and Haze, a double IPA, but it’s not all IPAs: The current selection also includes options like Peach Tart, a tart ale with peach puree; Free to Roam, an oak-aged helles lager; and Homemade, an imperial milk stout with fudge, walnut, and maple syrup.
During the pandemic, customers can purchase cans (minimum: one case) and merch via online ordering for daily curbside pickup at the Charlton facility.
Whitman’s Old Colony Brewing has expanded to a second location. The original at 605 Bedford St. remains open for brewing, while the new spot (599 Washington St.) features a taproom with space for 60 and a brewing system for small-batch trials. The new taproom is currently open for onsite drinking and dining (reservations available) as well as to-go cans and crowlers.
Old Colony Brewing’s lineup of beers includes IPAs Hoppy Patriot and Moneyline; Snow Day, a spiced porter for the winter; and more. The taproom also offers several flavored hard seltzers on tap.
September 29, 2020: A Cidery in Central Square, Non-Alcoholic Sam Adams, and More
BOSTON AND BEYOND
Samuel Adams plans to introduce a non-alcoholic IPA, Just the Haze, early next year; the company says it spent two years working on it and consulted with brewers worldwide, including those at the Weihenstephan beer institute and brewery in Germany.
Brewed with Sabro, Citra, Mosaic, and Cascade hops, Just the Haze is meant to have a citrus aroma with tropical and stone fruit notes. It will be sold in 12-ounce cans in six-packs and individually.
In other Sam Adams news, the company has reopened its new downtown Boston taproom — with strict rules in place — after closing it temporarily in July as a response to an “influx of out-of-state visitors from COVID-19 hotspots.”
And in other downtown Boston news, Trillium Brewing has reopened its Greenway beer garden for the fall, this time featuring an onsite brewhouse for small-batch special releases. Open Thursday through Sunday at High Street and Atlantic Avenue, the beer garden is encouraging reservations and using a contactless ordering system. Due to state regulations about accompanying drinks with food, customers must order from one of the onsite food trucks, such as Pennypackers or Zaaki.
Artifact Cider Project announced last week that it is on track to open its Cambridge taproom this fall, an expansion the company initially announced in early 2020. “Having a brick and mortar presence on both sides of our state will give us new opportunities to experiment, collaborate, and make cider that celebrates the Northeast and the people who live here,” Artifact said at the time; its home base is in Florence in the western part of the state.
The new location — dubbed the Station by Artifact Cider Project — will open in the coming weeks at 438 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, the former Economy Hardware space. The Station will have up to 14 ciders on tap, including some of Artifact’s core offerings as well as small-batch projects, plus beer collaborations with local producers. There will also be food: toasts and platters with options for meat-and-cheese lovers as well as those following gluten-free or vegan diets, plus packaged snacks (Takis, Cape Cod chips, shrimp crackers, and such). The Station will also have some production space onsite.
“We had planned to open this spring and then life threw us all this huge curveball,” co-founder and cider-maker Soham Bhatt said, via press release. “So when it came time to consider opening, especially during this crazy and trying time, we went back to basics — at the end of the day, cider is easy-going and enjoyable. We all could use a little bit of that right now, socially distanced of course.”
In other Cambridge news: boozy frappe alert. Earnest Drinks opens tomorrow, September 30, in Kendall Square (399 Binney St.). It’s a Gracie’s Ice Cream sequel with wine, beer, cocktails, and other adult beverages, such as pandan whiskey frappes. (And ice cream. And lawn flamingos.)
A new distillery, Working Man Distillers, is now open at 42 Commonwealth Ave., Unit 4, in Attleboro Falls. The distillery is producing whiskey, cinnamon whiskey, bourbon, and moonshine at the moment, with vodka coming next year. Working Man is currently open for bottle purchases and pickups, with a taproom opening at a later date.