Massachusetts Beverage Business



Well, technically it’s in Somerville.  Somerville Brewing Company recently launched its brewing operations and is producing draft and 22 ounce bottles of Flagraiser IPA, Happy Sol Hefeweizen and Porter Square Porter.  Other beers are currently in the R&D phase and will be released in early 2O12.  The brewing project is the culmination of over two years of preparation by founders Caitlin Jewell and Jeff Leiter.  During the startup phase, Caitlin and Jeff did extensive travel and research on some of the most successful and innovative breweries around the country.  “We did over 1O,OOO miles of travel each year for several years in order to visit breweries and talk with brewers and patrons alike on what motivates them about the craft beer movement . . . the experience really informed our approach to the Slumbrew beers and community we would like to help create,” said Caitlin who heads up Somerville Brewing’s marketing, events and promotion initiatives. Critical to the launch of the brewery was the 35O-square-foot nano-sized brewery that Caitlin and Jeff built in a small structure on their property in Somerville. Building on ten years of home brewing experience, Jeff utilized this small brewery to develop and refine all of the recipes for their beer.  “The Brewlab, as we call it, was really key to developing recipes unlike a lot of other mainstream beers since it allowed me to experiment with many different ingredients and techniques.  The nano-size provided great flexibility in what I could do and yet a dedicated brewing space with scaled-down professional equipment allowed very repeatable processes.  This made for an opportunity to develop original beers that could be scaled up to commercial sizes when the time was right,” said Jeff, who is responsible for the production brewing, recipe development and procurement of all ingredients.

Although the company maintains a business and operational office in Somerville, the actual brewing is done similar to a lot of gypsy brewers in the US where the head brewer works with other larger breweries to produce batch sizes needed for commercial release.  Jeff is currently brewing at Mercury Brewing in Ipswich.  The bottles and kegs are then distributed through Arborway Imports in Burlington.  A local Somerville presence with a tasting room is in the early planning phases.  Good luck to them!

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