A nano farm brewery that debuted in 2013 as the first beer CSA in Western Mass., Stoneman Brewery is still a one-man business. But with help from two of the region’s veteran breweries, it’s no longer a one-man operation. What started off as a monthly delivery of one-barrel batches to CSA members and local liquor stores, has recently become a quickly growing and expanding contact brewing business. Founder and brewer Justin Korby has gone from brewing on his one-barrel pilot system and making deliveries with his pickup truck, to contract brewing 50-barrel batches at Brewmaster’s Brewing Services and shipping it to some 150 locations around the state thanks to Berkshire Brewing Company, a regional brewery with its own distribution network.
“I still have my awesome one-barrel brewery on my farm in Colrain,” writes Korby in his most recent newsletter. “It’s just that now it’s more like a studio to experiment and collaborate for special projects.” After a brief respite from brewing, during which Korby worked at The People’s Pint in Greenfield, he’s reworked the business plan. “Rather than doing everything myself, out of a 360-square foot nano brewery, I’m getting help with brewing, packaging, and getting my beer to market.”
Having freed up more of his time, Stone Man (a reference to his previous career as a stone mason) has been able to devote more effort toward his passion for brewing beers made with as many local ingredients as possible. His first release after making the transition was a Northeast style IPA called All In, made exclusively with hops from Four Star Farms in Northfield. The recipe uses red wheat and Pilsner malt from Valley Malt in Hadley, as well as organic flaked grain from Maine Grain Co-op. “We’ve been brewing nearly 50 barrels of this beer a month and it’s now available in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans,” he says
The recent production and expansion growth comes as Stoneman marks its fourth anniversary this November. To celebrate, the brewery will take part in the Crafts of Colrain Studio Tour on Novemember 11th & 12th. Among the festivities will be a tour of the studio brewery where Korby has created more than 100 different recipes. His All In IPA will be available for sale, as will his new ZzzIPA, and a special releases called King Korby, a 9% Imperial Stout brewed with Belgian candy sugar.
If you can’t make it out to the event, look for Stoneman’s beers on liquor store shelves near you. If it’s not already there, it should be making its way there soon.