The state’s flourishing craft beer scene saw continued growth in 2019 with 28 new breweries, 9 new taprooms, and 3 major expansions debuting across the Commonwealth. It was the sixth time since 2012 that 20 or more new breweries debuted in the Bay State, with this year’s total third only to the previous two years. The Massachusetts brewery count briefly surpassed 200 in October – its Beercentennial if you will – but has since dipped below that number due to several low-profile closings we recently discovered.
An additional milestone was the realization that more than 100 cities and towns in Massachusetts now have their own beer maker, and that an estimated 95 percent of the state’s residents live within 10 miles of a brewery. It was a dynamic year packed with news. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll highlight some of the major happenings with our year-in-beer review of 2019, tell you about the record number of breweries that closed, and preview the 30-plus breweries that plan to debut in 2020. For now, here’s a rundown (in chronological order) of every new brewery and taproom that opened in Massachusetts this year.
In early January Channel Marker Brewing opened its nanobrewery and taproom in Beverly.
Southwick’s Black Rabbit Farm debuted its first batch of Wild Ales at its tasting room and retail space in mid January.
In late January, the state’s first B-Corp brewery, Redemption Rock Brewing, opened its microbrewery and taproom in Worcester.
Nanobrewery and taproom Holyoke Craft Beer opened in Holyoke on Groundhog Day.
After launching brewing operations in December of last year, Vitamin Sea Brewing debuted its microbrewery and taproom in Weymouth in early February.
Beverly-based Contract brand Wandering Soul Beer Co. launched with the release of Melody Maker IPA at the end of February.
Easthampton-based contract brand Four Phantoms Brewing, a side venture for lead cider maker at Artifact Cider Project, Drew Phillips, launched in March.
Everett-based Night Shift Brewing debuted its Nightshift Lovejoy Wharf microbrewery and taproom in downtown Boston in March.
Sena Farm Brewery, a microbrewery (taproom pending) in Worthington, started brewing in late March.
Fieldcrest Brewing opened its microbrewery and taproom in Wilbraham in mid April.
Lost Shoe Brewing & Roasting opened its microbrewery and taproom in Marlborough at the beginning of May.
Two Weeks Notice Brewing in West Springfield debuted its taproom in mid May.
Also in mid May, Leadfoot Brewing opened its microbrewery and taproom in Chicopee.
In late May, Granite Coast Brewing opened its microbrewery and taproom in Peabody.
Salem microbrewery & taproom East Regiment Brewing opened on the last day of May.
Microbrewery 6A Brewing moved its operations to Bourne and opened a taproom in early June.
Also in early June, Gloucester-based Agapé Brewing* began producing beer for distribution.
Existing contract brand Zelus Beer Company opened its own taproom in Medfield in mid June.
Contract brand Old Planters Brewing opened its own microbrewery and taproom in Beverly in late June.
BearMoose Brewing in Everett also opened its microbrewery and taproom in late June.
In July, Hopkinton’s Start Line Brewing re-opened after taking over the former Water Fresh Farm space for a major taproom expansion and kitchen addition.
Berkley Beer relocated to Taunton and opened a microbrewery, taproom and kitchen in late July.
Provincetown Brewing Company started contract brewing in late June and opened its taproom in Provincetown in early August.
Bull Spit Brewing at Kalon Farm in Lancaster opened its microbrewery and taproom in August.
Bad Martha Beer opened a second microbrewery and taproom, this one in Falmouth, in early September.
A contract brand for the time being, Holyoke-based Loophole Brewing Services started gypsy brewing in mid September.
Hitchcock Brewing moved to Bernardston and opened a microbrewery and taproom in late September.
In October, after a 6-month closure, Abington’s 10th District Brewing completed its cross town move and debuted its new larger space.
Tacklebox Brewing opened its nanobrewery and taproom inside Marlborough home brew shop Strange Brew in mid October.
Lawrence saw its first microbrewery and taproom, Spicket River Brewery, open in mid October.
Trillium Brewing opened its Trillium Fenway nanobrewery and taproom in late October.
Another Boston brewer also opened in late October, Distraction Brewing, which debuted its microbrewery and taproom in Roslindale.
And another Boston brewery debuted in late October when Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen opened its microbrewery, taproom and kitchen in Brighton.
Merrimack Ales in Lowell turned its dog-friendly space into a full-fledged taproom in late October.
Wormtown Brewery opened its Foxboro pilot brewery and taproom at Patriot Place at the end of October.
Also in November, 7th Wave Brewing in Medfield converted its dog-friendly space into a taproom and began serving pints and flights.
Great Marsh Brewing opened its microbrewery, taproom and restaurant in Essex in early November.
Just before Thanksgiving, LlamaNama Beer Labs debuted its nano brewery and taproom at Dirty Water Distillery in Plymouth, taking the place of the previous tenant, Plymouth Beer Company.
In December, Skyline Beer Company moved to a new location across town and debuted its new microbrewery, taproom and kitchen in Westfield.
On the last day of 2019 Dorchester Brewing Company debuted its huge new taproom expansion, in-house kitchen, and rooftop beerhall.
Additionally, brand new contract brand FAB Beer, created by Aeronaut Brewing cofounder Ben Holmes and brewed at DBC, debuted its first offerings on New Year’s Eve.
*Agapé Brewing recently announced that it will not be opening its taproom in Gloucester as expected, and will cease brewing operations.
Westport’s Buzzards Bay Brewing opened a new satellite taproom in Bourne this fall, but they don’t appear on our list because it’s not a brewery taproom, i.e. no beer is actually brewed on premises.
Natick’s DIY brewing outfit (formerly known as Barleycorns), which also has its own nano brewery and taproom, changed its name to The Kells Beer Company.
The story’s featured image, “Drink Beer Here”, is courtesy of Skyline Beer Company.