2016 Could Be A Record Year For Brewery Openings in Massachusetts
Hopefully you’re thirsty, because craft beer continues to boom in the Bay State. Including Lamplighter Brewing, who debuts this week, sixteen new breweries have already opened in 2016, and at least six more expect to launch by year’s end. That would be a record for brewery openings in Massachusetts, which currently has 127 commercial beer makers (see them all on our Mass. Beer page). Bay Staters better drink up. To help you, here’s an updated list of all the Commonwealth’s newbie brewers, Cheers to more local beers.
Summer Brewery Openings:
11 Brand New, 2 Not So New
Hog Island Beer Co., the Cape’s outermost brewery, successfully opened its Orleans taproom and is now filling crowlers.
Another new beer you might have seen on Cape Cod this summer was from contract brewer Wash Ashore, who started distributing on Martha’s Vineyard.
West Concord’s Saltbox Kitchen added a nano brewery, Saltbox Brewery, to its successful down town restaurant.
One we missed in our last story was Hitchcock Brewing, a micro farm brewery and hopyard in Whatley. Brewing since May, their new tasting room debuts this week.
The South Shore’s growing craft brewery scene welcomed Weymouth’s Barrel House Z. They’re currently selling beer to go while awaiting ABCC approval for their taproom.
Majestic Stone Cow Brewery debuted its farm brewed beer and field to flame BBQ on their working farm in Barre.
Boston got its first new brewery in three years, Dorchester Brewing Company. In addition to its own house brews, beer from partner brewers such as Brazo Fuerte should be flowing from its 20 tap lines in the coming months.
Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing took over the former Jack’s Abby space in Framingham and began brewing. After a brief hiccup, they’re back to serving full pours in their taproom.
Lamplighter Brewing plans to serve its first beers later this this week, just before the official end of summer. The opening of their Cambridge taproom for growlers and then pints shouldn’t be too far behind.
8 More Massachusetts Craft Breweries That Could Open by Year’s End
Start Line Brewing (formerly Craft Life Brewing), a nano brewery with a its own hydroponic hop garden, has ambitious plans to open in October as part of the Water Fresh Farm marketplace in Hopkinton.
The launch of Medford Brewing Company‘s contract brewing operations is under way. Their American Pale Ale should be available in October.
Another contract brewer, Battle Road, is likely to open its new brewpub in Maynard’s historic Clock Tower Mill in late October or early November.
Craft Roots Brewing should be finished with its brewery expansion at about the same time. Milford craft beer drinkers can look forward to more beer as well as a new taproom.
Greasy Luck appears to be winning the race to be New Bedford’s first brewpub (read about the other contender below). They are targeting a late November opening, possibly by Thanksgiving Eve.
Shovel Town Brewery in Easton has secured all licenses and approvals and plans to be pouring from its taproom in Late November or early December. You can sneak preview a few of their offerings at the South Shore Farmer Brewfest on September 25.
What started as a Father’s Day home brew kit will culminate with the opening of Skyroc Brewery in Attleboro this December. They plan to serve fights, full pours and growlers from their taproom.
Vanished Valley, a nano production brewery affiliated with Europa Restaurant in Ludlow, hopes to be producing commercial beer by the end of the year.
Massachusetts Craft Breweries Planned For 2017
North Central Mass., long overdue for a craft brewery, will finally get one when River Styx opens in downtown Fitchburg in the first part of the year. Their 7,500-square foot space will feature a 10-barrel system and a full taproom.
Look for Altruist Brewing Company (formerly Exit 9 Brewing) to open its brewery and tasting room in Sturbridge around the same time.
The revered Tree House Brewing Co. has begun construction on their new brewery and taproom in Charlton, look for them to open by next summer.
The South Coast will welcome a pair of breweries in 2017. Watch for Moby Dick Brewing’s brewpub to debut in downtown New Bedford around March, and for Fall River’s Troy City to open a production brewery for local distribution shortly after.
Another brewery to look for in the spring of 2017 is True North Ale Company, opening in Ipswich.
In nearby Beverly, successful boutique nano brewer Old Planters recently contract brewed a batch of its popular Crop Rotation IPA for the first time. If demand keeps up, they, “a couple of townies.” will look to open a commercial brewery somewhere in town.
In Everett, Down the Road Brewery is hoping to have its new brewery and taproom open in the first half of 2017.
South of Boston, established Cape Cod contract brewer Naukabout plans to open its own brewery in Mashpee, and popular home brewer Widowmaker has secured funding to open a commercial brewery on the South Shore, likely in Braintree.
Custom craft brewery Hopster’s (brewpub, taproom, DIY on-premesis brewing) will open a new Boston location on Sleeper Street in the already beer-centric Fort Point district.