The first blog we wrote for our website in 2016 was “Is There A Bay State Craft Beer Bubble?” For the 8th year in a row the total number of new brewery openings in Massachusetts has exceeded twenty. With twenty-one breweries opening their doors in 2022, it joins the following calendar years to reach that mark; 2021 (21), 2020 (27), 2019 (29), 2018 (29), 2017 (36), 2016 (20), and 2015 (22). During those years the brewery total in the Bay State has grown from 114 to 231* So we guess the short answer about a bubble is no, but the long answer is more complicated. We always speculate on the industry’s growth and what it means and it seems that the craft beer industry, in particular those with a large percentage of their beer in draft accounts, has leveled off in terms of financial growth and market share overall. With the proliferation of breweries, supply chain issues, harvest concerns for barley and hops, a CO2 shortage, alternative beverages such as seltzer, RTD (ready-to-drink) and non-alcoholic options and cannabis shops popping up all over, craft beer has had to fight hard to stay competitive.
However, it hasn’t deterred people from making the leap of faith to open a brewery. At the risk of sounding more romantic than pragmatic about entering the craft beer business, if we were in their shoes we would want to at least give it a shot. For some, running a brewery would be a dream job and who wouldn’t want to follow their dream. Not to be too philosophical here, but If you didn’t pursue your dream, it might be a big regret in your life. So at least making the attempt even if it does’t ultimately work out is probably good for your mind and soul.
As we stated in our blog “Seven Massachusetts Breweries Closed in 2022.” we see craft beer as more like the restaurant industry in that restaurants open and close all the time. They open with a concept and everyone is eager to check it out. Sometimes the concept can produce longevity or the business is very good at adapting its model while maintaining its core philosophy. And sometimes the idea falls flat or fizzles out after a short period leading to a closure, but there is always another restaurant and in this case a brewery, to take its place ready to make their concept and dream work.
Listed below are the breweries that followed their dream and took the leap in 2022. You can find these breweries and over 200 more listed on our Mass. Breweries page or use our regional maps to find a brewery to visit in every corner of the Bay State.
Slow Down Brewing kicked off the slate of 2022 Massachusetts brewery openings when they began producing beer for a handful of keg accounts in Central Mass. Long-range plans will hopefully include a brick and mortar brewery, but they have been advised to ‘slow down” and enjoy the process.
The pandemic and issues with the town of Lancaster had Bull Spit shifting gears ultimately leading them to open another location at the Mills in Maynard where the former Battle Road brewpub set up shop. A full food menu, expanded beer offerings thanks to a larger brewhouse and fermentation capacity, cocktails and a heavy rotation of live music have brought a buzz to this Metro West locale. They are also planning a future expansion project in Winchendon to include a brewery and distillery.
Lamplighter Brewing opened a second brewery less than a mile from their original location on Broadway in Cambridge dubbed Lamplighter CX (in Cambridge Crossing). It has bright windows, two floors and a barrel-aging program. This new space has allowed them to do more event-focused programming including live music, trivia nights and their NYE Masquerade Ball.
Longtime industry veterans Vilija Bizinkauskas and Jay Southwood, both of whom worked at long-since closed Blue Hills Brewing in Canton as well as Mayflower Brewing and Cape Cod Beer, teamed up to open Break Rock Brewing situated in Marina Bay Quincy. From the decor to beer names such as Quincy Method, USS Sour, and Misirlou, this brewery is steeped in local flavor that depicts Quincy’s storied history. They have even brewed a beer, “Abigail Adams,” to pay homage to legendary brewery Tod Mott who was the founder of the short-lived Quincy Ships two decades ago!
In the spring Lord Hobo Brewing Company opened Lord Hobo Seaport, a restaurant at 2 Dry Dock Avenue near Black Falcon Terminal in Boston’s Seaport District. Inside seats 160 while the expansive outdoor patio can accommodate another 380 patrons. A hearty menu featuring plenty of seafood and a cocktail program compliment 18 draft lines of Lord Hobo beer.
Loyal Foe Brewing began selling beer to go out of their production brewery in Harvard last spring. A “passion project,” they release a couple beers each month and sell it online with scheduled pickups. Presently you can’t drink onsite, but they do have future plans for a taproom at a different location.
A small, humble 1BBL nano brewery called Modest Roots Brewing popped up in Tyngsboro last May. This family affair features a father and son brew team and a mother who helps sling brews from the tap. They have limited hours, but are happy to serve you and show you a “delightful’ time.
“Family, Friends, Fate” is the motto that guides Twisted Fate Brewing, a nano brewery that opened next to the Light N’ Leisure Building on Andover Street in Danvers. Family-owned, they serve small batch, hand-crafted beers and a light food menu all with a smile.
The Girls Brewery was founded by Bob Pepin who states, ” With a wife, two daughters, even a female dog, it only seemed fitting to name the Brewery after all the girls in his life.” Plans are to contract brew for now and build a following and connection to his brand and beers with hopes to build a permanent brewery/taproom in Bridgewater or the surrounding area. Follow their social media to see where and when beers are delivered to local shops around southeastern Massachusetts.
Irish Brewing Boston located in the Norwood Space Center building previously occupied by Percival Brewing Company is Greater Boston’s “first and only Irish brewery.” In addition to beer, they offer a full bar, wine by the glass, onsite coffee roasting, live football and sporting events on tv, live music every Friday night with traditional Irish music played on first Sundays and are also working on curating a whiskey programl. Slainté! ?
Established back in July, Easy Company Brewing contracts their beers then donates 100% of after-tax profits to charities that support veterans, first-responders, and their families. Based in Springfield and available primarily in Western Mass, you can use their beer finder to locate their products and help support their mission and foundation.
Another military themed brewery, Drop Zone Brewery is a veteran-owned business nestled in the small seaside town of Winthrop. Brewing a wide range of beer styles, dedication to service and community focus are the points of emphasis for Drop Zone. By establishing a mug club, hosting local groups and clubs and throwing an Oktoberfest party, they are well on their way to building a community brewery and meeting spot.
Wild Hare is “An Experience by Medusa Brewing Company.” It is restaurant and beer cellar at The Landing at Hudson Mills serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are also invested in a barrel and foeder program to present Medusa beers in a different way than at their original brewery just up Main Street. They are also the exclusive retailer of Devoción coffee!
Named for a landmark that was used to mark the boundary between the Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Angle Tree Brewery in North Attleboro wants to create a community where everyone can “Share stories, memories, and a few beers.” Check out their current tap list and give this brewery a visit.
We love breweries in mill buildings and Mill 77 Brewing definitely fits that category. This particular mill building in Amesbury once built carriages that carried people throughout the United States. They are aiming to provide an atmosphere that “harkens back to the days of the old public house” where family and friends could gather for lively conversation over tasty brews.
Good Luck. Better Beer., states the Clover Road Brewing motto. Opening in Hudson in the former Ground Effect space after the preceding owners sold, Clover Road has been welcoming the previous clientele as well as establishing new fans by fostering community through a mug club, an Ugly Sweater Party and a recent storm where patrons were encouraged to bring flashlights to enjoy beer and a musical performance as they rode out a power outage.
“It is always cool under our trees or warm by the fire.” The Back Room Brewing Company in Northfield has a small but cozy taproom with a warming stove for the colder months and outdoor seating under the shade trees for warmer days. And if beer isn’t your beverage of choice, you are only 10 steps away from Cameron’s Winery and their “medal winning wines and ciders.” They serve dry, sweet and everything in between.
Tree House Brewing opened their fourth Massachusetts location Tewksbury – Greater Boston in October. At present they are only open for beer to go which can be ordered on their website. Simply select your pick up time and then drive to the venue for pick up. You park in a beer to go parking only space, click “I am here” in your email order confirmation and a Tree House representative will walk the beer out to your vehicle. Expect onsite pours to happen in the latter half of 2023.
After a couple of summers hosting a beer garden at Derby St. Shops in Hingham, Untold Brewing opened a permanent location there that features all the tasty brews you’ve come to expect from Untold, but will also have some exclusives from their onsite nano system. Food is provided by Clandestine Kitchen and feel free to browse the numerous merchants that fill the complex.
Grab a Pint, Catch a Flight…a steampunk aesthetic permeates Dirigible Brewing in Littleton. Brothers-in-law and co-owners Colin and Chris love to brew beer and dress in period clothing reminiscent of a Jules Verne novel. Opening just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, they are working tirelessly to build up their beer portfolio and establish their connections to the local community.
Station One by Shovel Town Brewery next to the Foxboro Town Common is a restaurant and nano brewery adding a secondary locale for Shovel Town Brewery. Their original brewery is in North Easton, but they hope to expand their footprint and win over new customers to their brand with a scratch kitchen, their own specialty spirits and tap lines filled with Shovel Town beer.
Other Notable openings:
Article XV Brewing returns from hiatus. Originally opening a brewery in Weymouth in 2018, Article XV spent more than a year without a taproom before reestablishing themselves on the Massachusetts brewery map with a new brewery and taproom space in Rockland.
Brewing at various established breweries and collaborating on recipes since 2018, Brockton Beer finally has a place of their own in Brockton. Having overcome many obstacles in the process, food made in-house and beer brewed on-premise is their vision realized.
Small Change Brewing began contracting in 2018, but became the “brewery-in-residence” at Artifact Cider The Station location in Cambridge providing them a dedicated space to serve their beer to customers.
Only selling beer to go for over two years, Kismet Brewing excitedly welcomed patrons to their taproom in Westfield for full pours this past September.
Another long-awaited taproom opening, Roundhead Brewing in Hyde Park now has full pours, flights and pizza after just selling cans to go and running a beer garden to introduce people to their beer.
On the heels of their 10th anniversary, Big Elm Brewing added a second taproom located in Great Barrington to go along with their brewery/taproom in Sheffield.
Drawing Board Brewing christened their taproom in Florence after selling beer to go and hosting weekend beer gardens for the past year and a half.
In December, Medford Brewing opened a brewery/taproom in West Medford after several years of contracting their beer. Nick Bolitho and Max Heinegg have built a local pub focused on community and pleasing pints and are eager to welcome you.
*This total reflects the closing of around 70 breweries during the same time period.