Designated Drivers, Thank You!

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The night before Thanksgiving is one of the most popular nights of the year to travel. Lyft and the Mass Brewers Guild are joining in on the festivities by partnering with Massachusetts breweries to provide over 2,000 rides this Thanksgiving eve.

As part of the "Thankful for Designated Drivers" program, Lyft and the Mass Brewers Guild will provide $10 off a ride between 8PM on November 22 through 3AM on November 23 to encourage safe holiday travel using code MBGTHANKFUL while supplies last.

This Lyft program is made possible in part by sponsorships with Jack's Abby, Lord Hobo, Wormtown, Harpoon, Sam Adams, Castle Island, Devils Purse, and Wachusett Brewing. 

These holiday ride specials are an extension of the recent partnership with the Mass Brewers Guild. 

Mass Beer Stands with Sonoma

Raising Pints and Funds for Sonoma Wildfire Relief

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On Saturday, Nov. 18 Thirteen local breweries will team up to help raise funds to support those impacted by the devastating wildfires in Sonoma County.

Castle Island Brewing Co., Brick & Feather Brewery, Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing, Harpoon Brewery, Idle Hands Craft Ales, Mayflower Brewing Co., Moon Hill/Gardner Ale House, Night Shift Brewing, River Styx, Saltbox Kitchen Brewery, Sam Adams, Trillium Brewing and True North Ale Co. will donate a $1 for every pint sold in their taprooms to the King Ridge Foundation.

The King Ridge Foundation, a Santa Rosa-based 501(c)3 non-profit, was founded in 2009 to raise money to support local youth development organizations. During times of heightened community need, its mission expands to focus on restoring normalcy in the community. 

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Today, they have teamed up with our friends at Russian River Brewing Company, to serve as a nimble nonprofit entity to address the community's most pressing needs. One hundred percent of brewery donations made through the “Sonoma Pride” fundraising initiative will be used locally in Sonoma County.

“We are grateful to the Massachusetts brewing community for raising funds to provide relief to the victims of the current wildfire outbreak --- many who have lost their homes,” says Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Mass Brewers Guild. “We are stronger together, and hope that our collective contribution will provide much needed aid and inspire others to get involved.”

To learn more, or to donate directly to the cause, visit www.sonomapride.com.

Hours of Operation on Saturday, Nov. 18 for participating breweries:

Castle Island – 31 Astor Ave., Norwood
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Brick & Feather Brewery – 78 11th Street, Turner Falls
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing – 81 Morton St. Framingham
Noon to 11 p.m.

Harpoon Brewery – 306 Northern Ave., Boston
10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Idle Hands Craft Ales – 89 Commercial St. Malden
Noon to 11 p.m.

Mayflower – 12 Resnik Rd. Plymouth
Noon to 8 p.m.

Moon Hill / Gardner Ale House - 74 Parker St. Gardner
11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Night Shift Brewing – 87 Santilli HWY. Everett
11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

River Styx Brewing – 166 Boulder Dr. Fitchburg
Noon to 11 p.m.

Saltbox Kitchen Brewery – 84 Commonwealth Ave. Concord
7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sam Adams – 30 Germania St. Boston
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Trillium Brewing Canton – 110 Shawmut Rd. Canton
11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

True North Ales -- 116 Country Rd. Ipswich
Noon to 11 p.m.

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North Attleboro Parents Honor Daughter and Complete Massachusetts Beer Trail Map on Her Behalf

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Kristen O’Leary, 32, of Attleboro MA was a true New Englander. A super fan of Massachusetts’ sports teams and craft beer, she loved to bring people together through celebrations, road-trips, concerts, camping, brewery tours and beer festivals.

She had a true wanderlust and loved exploring every nook and cranny of New England as well as abroad to Ireland to learn more about her heritage and enjoy a fresh Guinness on tap. She was always in search of her next big adventure and her parents, Paul and Kathy O’Leary, were often along for the ride.

On the weekends, she’d pack the car with snacks and friends and head out for a day-trip of brewery tours. Her constant companion during these visits was the original Massachusetts Beer Trail passport map -- which at the time it was published in 2013, featured 47 craft breweries. It took her more than two-years to collect 42 stamps in her passport. Her conquest was nearly complete.

Then, out of nowhere, a pulmonary embolism took her life in September 2016. Her parents, Paul and Kathy, found her passport that fall as they were sorting through her personal belongings. 

“Completing the passport was a goal she had set and we were determined to finish what she had started,” said Paul, Kristen’s father. “With each brewery visit we couldn’t help but have a lump in our throat as we remembered her and toasted to her life.”

The five final breweries on Kristen’s map included Amherst Brewing Co., Paper City Brewing Co. Northampton Brewery, Berkshire Brewing Co. and Cisco Brewers. “In August, we ventured out to Nantucket to Cisco Brewers for the last stop and the sun was shining down on us as we did it,” says Paul. “The mission was complete.”

Paul also inherited Kristen’s craft beer chest full of, “weird old beers,” as he put it, and he’s determined to try and taste each bottle, he says.  She frequently tried to convert her mother, Kathy, to a craft beer drinker.  It is still in the works but she does now add an orange wedge to her macro beers to spice them up a bit.

We raise our hearts and glasses to the O’Leary family and thank you for sharing your story with us. Sending love and good beer to you always.

Sláinte,
The Mass Brewers Guild Team

 

Meet the MBG's 2018 Board of Director Candidates

In 2018, five board seats will be up for election and there are eight candidates vying for a seat. MBG members will have the opportunity to hear from these BOD hopefuls at our next member meeting being rescheduled for December. Only members breweries that have paid their 2017 dues can vote. 

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Jeremy Cross, Battle Road Brewing Co.
Jeremy Cross is the owner/head brewer of Battle Road Brewing Co., in Maynard. A 20-year beer industry veteran, Jeremy has worked as the production brewer at several breweries including local favorites Ipswich Brewing Co. and Boston Beer Works, before opening his own brewpub in 2013. This past year, Jeremy served on the MBG’s membership committee fostering relationships within the brewing community and performing outreach to new and existing breweries and securing members. Jeremy is a constant presence at Guild meetings and events, including standing with craft brewers at the State House in our fight for franchise law reform. Jeremy hopes to join the board for a two-year term and would like lend his support to form/lead a technical committee for the MBG with the goal to offer presentations and workshops for Guild members. Topics would include sensory analysis, packaging, QA/QC, brewery chemicals, safety, etc. He states that he is deeply dedicated to the brewing community and wishes to do everything he can to support an organization that is dedicated to protecting, promoting, and propelling forward all Massachusetts brewers.

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Maureen Fabry, CraftRoots Brewing
Maureen Fabry is a co-owner/head brewer at CraftRoots Brewing in Milford. Maureen has been in the beer industry for nearly 17-years, brewing at several local breweries including John Harvard’s, Beer Works and Berkshire Brewing Company before opening her own brewery this past year. She is passionate about increasing the communication and education around agricultural and sustainability practices that pertain to producing craft beer. She’d like to help preserve the reciprocal nature of our businesses and underscore the positive relationships we have with farmers, maltsters and consumers through the MBG’s marketing efforts. She is hopeful to join the board of directors for a two-year term and states that she has a strong desire to further contribute to the people and a cause that she cares deeply about. The CraftRoots team has been a familiar face at MBG hosted events, including the Mass Fermentational and Meet the Brewers: Freshman Class event. They also shared their knowledge with brewery-in-planning hopefuls during the New Brewery Bootcamp serving on a panel discussion.

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Dave Fields, Wormtown Brewery
Dave Fields is a co-owner/managing partner of Wormtown Brewery located in Worcester. Dave hopes to join the board of directors for a two-year term in an effort to better identify the ‘pain’ points that the industry faces as a whole, while also developing a priority list of items that the majority of the membership is concerned by and interested in. He’d like to bridge the gap for members so they have a deeper understanding of how the MBG can help their individual businesses grow and thrive. Most recently, Dave volunteered his time on the MBG’s event committee helping to secure the location for the Mass Fermentational and served as the host facility to coordinate, manage and deliver inventory for breweries to the Worcester Common. He states that he would bring a unique depth of experience including professional management, sales and marketing, distribution, and legislative efforts in the beverage industry to the MBG’s board.

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Sam Hendler, Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers / Springdale
Sam Hendler is a co-owner/founder of Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers / Springdale located in Framingham. Sam joined the MBG Board of Directors in the fall of 2016, and is rerunning for a two-year term. He currently serves as the MBG’s treasurer and manages all of the finances for the organization including its end-of-year filings. As an integral part of the government affairs committee, Sam spends a considerable amount of time speaking with government officials advocating for brewers and the craft beer industry on Beacon Hill, as well as in D.C. He also participated in the ABCC’s alcohol task force working committees. Sam volunteers his time to meet with associate members and forges relationships with business leaders that will bring unique programs to MBG members, including its newest partnership with Lyft. The Jack’s Abby team provides a tremendous amount of event support to the MBG including donating its space as the host site for the New Brewery Bootcamp, and providing volunteers to execute both MBG festivals, Power Beer Fest and The Mass Fermentational. He desires to continue his work on the board to drive the nonprofit forward.

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Kelsey Roth, Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing
Kelsey Roth is the general manager of Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company located in Framingham. He currently leads all of the branding, marketing, retail management, event creation, staff education, and graphic design work at Exhibit ‘A’. He previously served as the brand and marketing Manager for the Craft Beer Cellar franchise helping to grow the business from 2 to 25 store locations. Kelsey, a Certified Cicerone, hopes to join the MBG’s board of directors and bring his creativity and skills to the table to benefit the organization’s marketing and event committees. He’d like to focus on the creation of educational programming and resources for both brewery owners and their staff, and small-scale, community focused events that would bring added value to MBG members. He states that he is eager to help elevate the mission and message of the MBG with the goal to have every Massachusetts brewery join the Guild as a proud member of the organization. Kelsey has been a consistent face at MBG meetings and events including the organization’s festivals and at the State House.

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Chris Sellers, The People’s Pint
Chris sellers is head brewer at The People’s Pint located in Greenfield. His career began doing odd jobs around the brewery before enrolling in a brewing and malting course and taking his home brewing passion pro. In 2010, he took over as brewery manager at the 20-year-old brewpub and has been honing his craft ever since. Passionate about the environment, sourcing homegrown ingredients, and producing quality craft beers, Chris is interested in spearheading a committee that would help connect the dots to local businesses and brewers, as well as executing a technical conference focused on quality and safety. He states that with so many craft breweries emerging on the scene, some industry veterans and some brand new to the space, providing this type of training and education would be invaluable for members.

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Keith Sullivan, Medusa Brewing Co.
Keith “Sully” Sullivan is a co-owner/founder of Medusa Brewing Co. located in Hudson. Sully joined the MBG Board of Directors in the fall of 2016 and is rerunning for a two-year term. He currently serves as the head of the marketing committee where his creative and artistic talents helped to design, execute and launch the MBG’s rebranding initiatives including its new logo, website and festival branding for both Power Beer Fest and the Mass Fermentational. Sully also reviewed proposals, interviewed candidates, and worked with the MBG’s ED to select a developer for the new Mass Craft Beer Trail mobile application. The Medusa team has been instrumental in providing volunteers to execute both of the MBG’s festivals, where Sully also serves as the event photographer. Sully is a frequent spokesperson for the MBG’s government affairs work and has testified at the alcohol task force commission hearings and at the State House this past September. He also served on the ABCC’s task force working committee this summer. He desires to continue his work on the board and to build the MBG's brand with consumers and brewers. 

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Ed Valenta, Harpoon Brewery / Mass Bay Brewery
Ed Valenta is the operation manager at Harpoon Distribution Co. / Mass Bay Brewery, in Boston. He has worked in the beer industry for more than a decade and held nearly every position in a brewery -- from a brewery representative, to bottling line operator, brewer, and general manager. In his current role, he is responsible for hiring, training, developing and retaining a team of 18 staff members as well as maintaining a fleet of delivery vehicles and a warehouse for order picking, CDL/non CDL drivers, A/R collection and reconciliation. He is interested in joining the MBG board of directors and states that his unique blend of experience in Massachusetts and surrounding states, including serving on the marketing committee of the Vermont Brewer’s Guild, will help the MBG continue to grow, protect and improve the landscape for independent craft brewers in the Commonwealth. He is interested in lending his time and talent to the membership and government affairs committees to share his passion for the industry and spread the mission of the MBG. 

The Law Office of Robert J. McGovern Joins Massachusetts Brewers Guild

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The Law Office of Robert J. McGovern joins the Massachusetts Brewers Guild as an associate member to provide comprehensive legal services to existing and aspiring brewers.

The Law Office of Robert J. McGovern provides legal counsel and guidance to small businesses and entrepreneurs, with a specialization in the alcoholic beverage and hospitality industry located in Massachusetts. Having worked with many breweries over the years, its founder understands the difficulties and barriers, including financial constraints, that brewers face when trying to open and during the operation of their businesses. The firm's goal is to work with each client to help them realize their goals – making great beer! 

The alcoholic beverage industry is heavily regulated, containing many nuances and pitfalls that even the most diligent business owner may have trouble navigating. The Law Office of Robert J. McGovern provides comprehensive legal advice on a wide range of issues that impact every brewery, such as business start-up and development, licensing and regulatory compliance, financing, contracts and leases, employment matters, and more. Whether a brewery is just starting out or has been in business for years, they can tailor solutions to your specific needs while providing counsel and guidance along the way. 

If you are an aspiring brewer (or even an existing brewery looking to brush up on the basics), they have created a comprehensive Legal Guide to Opening a Brewery, an educational tool offering legal, business, financial and operational factors to consider when opening a brewery.

Have questions or need more information? Contact Rob at (617) 608-4716 or via email at Rob@RMcGovernLaw.com 

The Massachusetts Brewers Guild aligns with experts, thought leaders and industry professionals to help bring tools, resources and guidance to its member breweries. For more information on how you can join the MBG as an associate member, contact Katie Stinchon at katie@massbrewersguild.org.

 

New Partnership With Lyft Makes it Easier to Get to Your Favorite Brewery

Lyft Announced as the Official Rideshare Partner of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild

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Massachusetts, October 24, 2017 -- The Massachusetts Brewers Guild  is proud to announce a partnership with Lyft, the fastest growing on-demand transportation service in the United States, to provide affordable, reliable transportation to more than  90 member breweries across Massachusetts. The partnership will provide a growing number of craft breweries, craft beer lovers, and Lyft passengers with special promotions and operational benefits from each organization.

As the official rideshare partner of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, Lyft will have a presence at upcoming festivals and events as well as provide special benefits and promotions to Guild members throughout the year. Lyft is offering each member brewery unique coupon codes for new Lyft riders and a pool of Lyft credits so that breweries can guarantee employees, guests, and patrons a reliable ride home when they need them.

"Craft breweries are a huge part of Massachusetts’s culture. We’re excited to be the official rideshare partner of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and to help support the brewers, employees, and patrons of the local craft beer industry. We look forward to supporting the Massachusetts economy with Lyft’s best in class transportation services,” said Tyler George, General Manager of Lyft New England. “This partnership ensures everyone can enjoy craft beers and on-demand rides across Massachusetts.”

The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization that exists to both protect and promote the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth. The association is membership based and open to all licensed Massachusetts breweries.

“Visiting our breweries is the best way to support the craft beer community in Massachusetts and we are thrilled to have Lyft join the family and provide a safe and economical way for craft beer lovers to explore the MA burgeoning scene,” says Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild. “Breweries employ locals, drive traffic and tourism to the state and pour world-class craft beer to thirsty residents and travelers. We hope this new partnership helps craft connoisseurs find their next favorite brewery.”

To celebrate the partnership, Lyft is offering 10% off rides to Massachusetts Brewers Guild member breweries with code MBG17 between 10/24 - 10/29.

About Lyft
Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S and is available to 95% of the US population. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities.

About the Massachusetts Brewers Guild
Founded in 2007 by a group of committed and passionate brewers, the Massachusetts Brewers Guild serves as the collective voice for brewers on Beacon Hill while also providing marketing and educational resources for breweries across the state. Promotion and protection are at the forefront of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild’s work. Despite the success of the craft beer industry, brewers face many challenges including access to market, cost of raw materials and ingredients, and operation in a highly regulated and taxed industry making protection an essential component of the organization’s mission.

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Your Guide to #MABeer is Here!

Mass Brewers Guild Launches New Mobile Application & Beer Trail Map Available for download on iPhone and Android

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Attention craft beer lovers - your next #MABeer is closer than you think. The Mass Brewers Guild, the state’s nonprofit organization that works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers, has launched “Mass Craft Beer,” a new mobile application and beer trail map.

The free app, now available in iTunes and Google Play stores, includes every visit-able brewery across the Commonwealth in its passport program. Users can now carry their passport on their phone to tour, taste, check-in and never miss another stamp.

Features include: finding breweries near you via your geo location, check-in to breweries you visit and add them to your passport, earn rewards and merchandise by collecting stamps, get the latest event news with links to purchase tickets, create your own brewery tours with an interactive brewery map and directory, save your favorite beers to purchase later, and more. 

Mass Craft Beer launches just in time for the Mass Fermentational, the organization’s upcoming beer festival and fundraiser set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 on Worcester Common. The festival tab within the app holds the event map, food vendor information, parking details, the list of participating breweries and where to find them, along with what they are pouring at the event.

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“Massachusetts needed a beer trail map that could evolve and change as quickly as its craft beer scene,” says Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Mass Brewers Guild. “Consumers have been asking for an updated map of breweries, and brewers wanted a guide that could help drive traffic to their doorstep. This new mobile application does both.” To date there are 120 breweries across the Commonwealth with more than 30 in-planning slated to open before the close of 2017.

Paying homage to Massachusetts’ rich colonial history, app adventurers can earn ranks (private to major general) as they travel and explore MA craft breweries. Incremental badges are earned after visiting five breweries, and regions can be conquered after checking into 15 or more breweries from that part of the state. Collect all of the regional badges to earn the Beer Trail Commander Badge and a Mass Brewers Guild Prize pack which includes a pint glass, T-shirt and your name glorified on the Mass Brewers Guild website. Collect 100 stamps or more and have your name entered to win a beer dinner with Sam Adams’ Jim Koch, Harpoon’s Dan Kenary, and Night Shift’s Rob Burns. Five entries will win. The runner up will receive a private guided beer tour from City Brew Bus with 10 friends.

“Visiting our breweries is the best way to support the craft beer community in Massachusetts,” says Stinchon. “Breweries employ locals, drive traffic and tourism to the state and pour world-class craft beer to thirsty locals and travelers. We hope this new program helps craft beer lovers find their next favorite beer.”

The mobile application was developed by Brewers Marketing, and made possible thanks to the generous support of the Mass Brew Bros who assisted with data collection, Fat Basset Design who created all of the badge artwork, and to New England Label for financial support. Funds raised through the Mass Brewers Guild’s festivals, Power Beer Fest and the Mass Fermentational will help to launch and maintain this program.

For more information about the Mass Brewers Guild, visit MassBrewersGuild.org.

About the Mass Brewers Guild:
The Mass Brewers Guild is the state’s nonprofit organization and trade association that works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth. Founded in 2007, by a group of committed and passionate brewers, the association is membership based, and open to all Massachusetts breweries licensed by the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau and the Commonwealth’s Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

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Follow the Hop

Four Star Farms, a second-generation family farm, is working to meet the demand of the growing hop market across the Commonwealth suppling more than 30 breweries with wet, whole-leaf and pelletized hops. 

Despite the fact that hops haven’t been a viable crop in New England since the 19th Century, the L’Etoile family in Northfield is looking to change that.

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Since 2007, at Four Star Farms, 17 acres of its 280-acre property have been dedicated to growing and harvesting budding green cones used to make some of Massachusetts most renowned liquid, beer.

While New England can be tricky for any farmer to grow anything -- extreme weather and unpredictable seasons being a large factor -- hops in particular are difficult to nurture in this humid and often rainy climate.

“Similar to tomatoes, hops are susceptible to mildew and insect pressures,” says Liz L’Etoile, director of sales and marketing at Four Star Farms. “They want a difficult combination of a desert like environment, yet a lot of access to water. The whole plant does not want to be wet, just the roots. You have to have a strong program in place to control for these challenges or the overall flavors, aromas and hop quality can be affected.” 

Four Star Farms offers their hops to brewers three ways; wet hops, which are picked fresh and need to be brewed with-in 24-hours, whole-leaf-hops which have undergone a drying process and pelletized hops which are ground and pelletized for ease of use and better storage.

Hops are a perennial plant which is a benefit to the L’Etoiles, which also grows sod and grain on its farm. However, as with any farming there is still a great risk. “We can’t harvest a hop plant until its second year, and it won’t be fully mature until year four,” says L’Etoile “So unfortunately, if there’s a high demand for a variety of hop that we don’t have, we can’t be as nimble as we’d like to be in that moment. We also won’t know the yields that we will get from a particular variety until we’ve invested four years of time and resources. We rely heavily on our brewing customers and our knowledge as farmers to hand select each variety we grow for the characteristics that we need.”

Shipping in wet hops from the West Coast is costly, and due to the work involved, only a handful of brewers in Massachusetts grow their own hops, namely Hitchcock Brewing Company in South Deerfield and Start Line Brewing Co. in Hopkinton, MA.

Four Star Farms harvests more than 12,000 lbs. of hops a year that are sold to 30 different breweries in the state of Massachusetts. They also supply breweries in neighboring states, Vermont and Maine.

Wormtown Brewing Co., in Worcester MA has been one of Four Star Farm’s biggest and longest customers, with their hops featured in every “Be Hoppy” batch brewed, a left coast style IPA.  

Abandoned Building, Aeronaut Brewing, Bone-Up Brewing, Exhibit ‘A’, Lamplighter Brewing Co., Medusa Brewing Co., People’s Pint and True West are among the breweries that will receive wet-hops this year from Four Star Farms. 

"We are grateful to be able to work with Four Star Farms and utilize ingredients in our beer that were grown and produced in the state in which we are operating," says Keith Sullivan, co-founder of Medusa Brewing Co.  "That makes these particular beers that we are doing even more special."