Wormtown Brewery Launches Beer Garden at Patriot Place

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Wormtown Brewery announced it will host a pop up beer garden at Patriot Place each weekend until their permanent taproom is open to the public. Highlights of the beer garden include a tailgate atmosphere with picnic tables and astro turf, live music from Desi Garcia, yard and board games, and of course plenty of Wormtown Beer.

“Building a brewery isn’t easy and while we are getting close to opening at Patriot Place…we just couldn’t wait any longer!” said Managing Partner, David Fields. The scheduled events are the weekends of September 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th , and October 5th and 6th . All events will take place from noon to 6 p.m. in front of the Renaissance Hotel, next to the Hilton Garden Inn.

Founded in 2010, Wormtown Brewery is committed to brewing world-class beers using locally sourced ingredients regardless of cost. Our motto “A Piece of Mass in Every Glass” means our beers are crafted with the freshest ingredients for the freshest beer. This dedication to quality over quantity has earned us over 160 awards worldwide for a vast collection of recipes; but if it’s a premier IPA you are looking for, we know how to make you Be Hoppy®! Find out more by visiting: www.wormtownbrewery.com

Roca and Dorchester Brewing Co. helping young men of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan leave the streets and go to work

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This story originally appeared in the Boston Business Journal

By Laura Newpoff – Contributor

Aug 9, 2019

A few years ago, Denzel Florvil found himself fresh off a stint in prison and full of uncertainty about his future. He had no car, no high school education and no confidence that he could successfully interview for a job.

Then came Roca, the nonprofit which for three decades has used its “relentless outreach” model to help the highest risk young men stay alive, out of jail. 

As with most of the young gang- and street-involved men Roca recruits each year, Florvil was “a work in progress” from the start - rough around the edges, unready, unwilling and unable to even show up. After several starts and stops, Florvil’s hard work helped make him a candidate for Roca’s Bridge to Success program, which subsidizes employment for the first 80 hours at one of its many partner businesses. 

Matt Malloy, Dorchester Brewing Co. co-founder and CEO, decided to give the nearby resident a chance and hired Florvil to work on the packaging line for 20 hours per week.

“I didn’t want to know his background. I take people at face value,” Malloy said. 

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Roca Boston and Dorchester Brewing Co. are partners in the Lewis Family Foundation’s Jobs Action Tank, which supports key community organizations through its goal to place 700 young people from Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan into full-time jobs earning at least $38,000 in annual income by the end of 2020.

Carl Miranda, the site director at Roca Boston, said one of the strengths of its longstanding program with partner businesses across Massachusetts is that employers can always turn to the nonprofit for assistance with Roca participants.

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“Denzel had some hiccups here and there,” said Rajon Brooks, Roca Boston’s employment manager. “Instead of firing him or writing him up, the employer can use us as their support network. For someone like Denzel, it may be easier hearing constructive criticism from me as opposed to the employer trying to redirect him.”

Roca works with men aged 17 to 24 with a previous history in jail, with gangs, in violent street activities or drugs. Miranda describes it as focusing on a small group of young people with an incredibly disproportionate impact on violence in the city: those who need relentless outreach because they are not ready, willing, or able to participate in any other programming available. 

The “relentless” part of Roca’s four-year intervention model means not taking “no”’ for an answer. Roca youth workers knock on doors and show up wherever a young man is, whether that’s at his girlfriend’s house, a local hangout or prison to get them to engage in the program. 

The program helps young men through building relationships for the purpose of behavior change, engaging businesses and institutions as partners, offering stage-based life skills, educational and employment programming and performance-based management that rigorously tracks data and evaluates outcomes.

In 2018, Roca served 942 young men, and was able to keep 78% of them engaged in the four-year model. 88% of graduates had no new arrests and 66% held jobs for six or more months, an impressive outcome given the many challenges young people at Roca face and a 26% unemployment rate in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. While 76% of young adults in the nation go back to jail within three years of release, young people at Roca are re-incarcerated at a much lower rate of 33%. 

‘Part of the family’ 

Dorchester Brewing’s Malloy said the partnership with Roca is in keeping with their goal of supporting the neighborhoods of Boston and their people, no matter their background. A side benefit is it will help his company with an ongoing challenge of trying to build a high-quality diverse staff.

“We’re very much about hiring locally and trying to give people a chance,” Malloy said. “Very often, people in Dorchester still get redlined and the neighborhood is featured on the news for violence. But it’s wonderfully diverse, which is why I moved here.”

He said Florvil has thrived at Dorchester Brewing Co. In early July, Florvil celebrated his one-year anniversary at the brewery, where he works full time and was recently promoted.

Brooks called the partnership a “win-win.” Roca was able to find employment for one of its men and the brewery was able to hire someone with a diverse background from its neighborhood. 

He said Florvil now has a car, pays rent at an apartment and is working toward completing his high school education. “Education typically leads to employment, but this happened the other way around,” Brooks said. 

Florvil said, “the job has allowed me to focus on my education.” 

Florvil is considered a success story, but Miranda stresses that Roca allows for failure in its model.

“Many young men are going to struggle, and the best partnerships understand there will be challenges and they can turn to us for support,” he said. “We incorporate that so when men stop showing up or don’t follow through, we don’t just give up on them. That’s the time we chase them more.”

Interested in getting involved, or have a successful partnership story to share that focuses on hiring young people from Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan into full-time jobs? Visit the Lewis Family Foundation’s job page for more information.

The vision of the Lewis Family Foundation is that young people from Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan live in and reinvest their service, capital, and intellect to ensure that their neighborhoods continue to thrive and are places of opportunity and access.

Laura Newpoff is a freelance writer with The Business Journals Content Studio.

This feature is a part of a the MBG’s Inclusion & Diversity Success Story Series with the goal to share best practices, recruitment strategies, and event & program ideas that members can bring home to their breweries. Does your brewery or business have a story that they’d like to share? The MBG’s Diversity Committee wants to hear it! Reach out to MBG Executive Director Katie Stinchon at katie@massbrewersguild.org for more information.

Brewing Benefits

By: Taylor Kotas, R&D Tax Credit Consultant at Leyton

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Beer drinkers have had a significant reason to raise their glass and rejoice because new craft breweries open their doors across the US every day. The significant growth in the number of breweries year after year has created an environment where, as a brewer, you cannot sit still.  Innovation has become the lifeblood to brewing success.

Innovation can come from anywhere within a brewery – recipes, label artwork, unique taproom environments, production line processes.  However, certain types of innovation can benefit the brewery in more ways than originally intended, and one of the more surprising ways is by lowering income and payroll taxes.  

Breweries can reduce tax liability through the Credit for Increasing Research Activities, which is both a Federal and Massachusetts State Credit.  Although you might not think that breweries perform R&D, or at least not enough to be significant, necessary day-to-day operations are packed with R&D eligible activities.

From brewing and releasing new beers to incorporating new equipment into a production line, both have aspects of R&D that breweries can monetize through the R&D Credit.  For these R&D activities you can recapture the financial investments in raw materials such as hops, fruit infusion varietals, even cans, as well as the investment of employees’ time performing, supervising and supporting the R&D.

There is no doubt that a number of breweries across Massachusetts are already taking advantage of the R&D Credit, but this innovation incentive has flown under the radar for decades because it wasn’t a permanent tax credit until 2015.  The PATH Act changed everything - it established the permanence of the R&D Tax Credit so breweries can build it into their financial plans year on year and rely on it to assist cash flow.  

The Federal R&D Credit allows breweries to claim for R&D related expenses in the current tax year, as well as retroactively for the past three (3) years, making the first time you claim potentiallyfour timesmore lucrative than a single year claim.  This credit allows businesses to reduce, or potentially eliminate income tax liability and provide cash refunds for overpaid tax liability when you claim retroactively.  

With the capital investment required to open a brewery, it might take a couple years to be profitable so the standard R&D Credit will not give you an immediate benefit. Fortunately, for the newer breweries, there is a startup version of the R&D Credit.  Rather than reducing income tax liability, you can claim the Federal Payroll Credit to reduce the brewery’s payroll tax liability, which is generated from having W2 employees and is often one of the earliest expenses that a craft brewery incurs.

Being located in Massachusetts also has its perks because the state credit is one of the most generous across the US.  It operates in a similar manner to the standard R&D Credit, but rather than reducing income tax liability, it allows you to lower your excise tax liability.

With the number of breweries growing not only in Massachusetts, but across the entire US, the need to innovate continues to increase. If you innovate to stay at the forefront of your industry, you need to take advantage of the tax incentives that are out there.  It can sound almost too good to be true, but, in reality, you’re brewing more than just beer, you’re brewing tax benefits too!  

Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials Can All Find A Home in Our Breweries

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By: Maureen Fabry, head brewer and owner of CraftRoots Brewing Co., board member of the MBG

CraftRoots co-founder and taproom GM, Robin Fabry, has always had a strong drive towards outreach to seniors. She regularly bring beer tastings to Cornerstone At Milford, a senior residence nearby the brewery.  Robin takes a personal interest in making sure that as beer lovers age, they remain in touch with the social benefits that come from sharing a well-crafted pint of beer with friends old and new.  

Milford has a tremendously vibrant Senior Center which hosts a variety of programs: educational workshops, personal fitness classes and enrichment opportunities including off-site field trips. When they approached CraftRoots about hosting their Men's Group for a field trip, she was thrilled. 

"We planned to make a day of it and walk them through the entire brewing process from grain to glass,” says Robin. “We did an in depth tour of the brewing equipment and followed with a beer tasting paired with lunch. It was a great afternoon."

Their visit began with brewer and co-founder Maureen Fabry teaching about the local craft malt and hops she brews with and explaining the brewing process but it didn't take her long to realize that the group of fifteen retirees had as much knowledge to share with her as she did with them. Their range of work experience was broad---a food inspector for the US government, a professional musician, and even a former Anheuser-Busch employee who schooled her on the quite liberal policy for on-the-job "sensory analysis" back in the day.

The significance of the craft beer movement was front of mind for this group and they were definitely beer savvy. "Nearly all of the guys had experienced drinking iconic beer styles like pilsner and Kolsch in the homeland where they originated. It was very cool. This group was sophisticated in their knowledge about beer and were even early adopters of the NE IPA style," laughed Maureen. 

Boomers didn't grow up on craft beer like Millenials and some Gen Xers have, but their openness to exploring new beer styles and brands and linking them with new experiences can be just as strong as the later generations. In many ways, Boomers have passed into a new life phase reminiscent of young adulthood in their drive to experiment and explore. As they retire from careers and the drive for productivity, they have newfound freedom to venture out and enjoy building relationships with new breweries and their brands. 

This feature is a part of a the MBG’s Inclusion & Diversity Success Story Series with the goal to share best practices, recruitment strategies, and event & program ideas that members can bring home to their breweries. Does your brewery or business have a story that they’d like to share? The MBG’s Diversity Committee wants to hear it! Reach out to MBG Executive Director Katie Stinchon at katie@massbrewersguild.org for more information.

Marijuana Legalization Sparks Debate on Brewers’ Responsibilities

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By David Travers and Robert Young, Bowditch & Dewey LLP

With recreational marijuana now legal in Massachusetts, many brewers are wondering whether they will be at increased risk of liability for the acts of patrons who have sampled both beer and cannabis products in the same evening.  As with many things in the law, it’s a mixed bag.  The good news is that the baseline standard for liability has not changed: a brewer may be liable in a negligence lawsuit if the brewer sold alcohol to an “intoxicated” person and that person then caused some kind of personal harm or property damage.  The bad news is that the intoxicating effects of legalized marijuana add another factor for taproom staff to take into account when deciding whether to serve (or cut off) a patron.  But there are some things a brewer can do to minimize the liability risk.  

The first, and most important, is to train staff on the signs of intoxication, including from marijuana and other drugs.  Part of that training should include ways to recognize cannabis products: a patron who is sitting at a table with a package of edibles in plain sight is most likely mixing experiences (and certainly breaking the law: marijuana is legal for in-home consumption only, not in public).  Staff should also be trained to err on the side of caution and should remember:  the standard is whether the customer appears intoxicated, not whether the customer has been served enough to reasonably cause them to be intoxicated.  In this way, the challenge is much like that imposed by the potential mixing of alcohol and prescription medication: a patron may become obviously intoxicated after only one drink, and the reason why becomes irrelevant.  What remains relevant is that from that point on, that customer should not be served.     

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A brewer can also post signs warning patrons not to mix alcohol with marijuana (i.e., don’t drink our beer if you have already consumed cannabis products).  Additionally, signage can warn patrons that consumption of cannabis product is prohibited on the brewers’ premises.    

 Finally, brewers should monitor their property if cannabis use is a potential (for example, if the taproom is close to a dispensary).  Again, it remains unlawful to consume cannabis in public, and an occasional scan of the parking lot may help a brewer identify persons who may not be aware of (or are ignoring) that aspect of the law.  Such persons can then be denied access to (or service in) the taproom. 

 While, of course, these tips cannot eliminate the risks of patrons mixing cannabis products and alcohol, they can go a long way in helping brewers minimize the chances of being embroiled in a lawsuit down the road.  

“The Great Mass Collab” Debuts in Worcester this September

The Mass Brewers Guild Brings 50 Breweries to the Worcester Common
Saturday, Sept. 21 

WORCESTER, Mass. | The Mass Brewers Guild returns to Worcester on Saturday, Sept. 21 with a new beer festival and fundraiser – “The Great Mass Collab.”

This one session beer industry event will feature more than 50 Massachusetts breweries, a collaboration tent where patrons can taste special beers brewed by teams of local breweries, food trucks, yard games and more.  

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This is the third consecutive year that the Mass Brewers Guild has hosted a beer festival in Worcester. New this year, organizers offer a unique twist for craft beer lovers and attendees, shifting from the Mass Fermentational to The Great Mass Collab. 

“This festival will be a true showcase and blend of our talented craft beer community,” says Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Mass Brewers Guild. “We’ve asked our breweries to team up with a fellow craft brewer from across the state, or in their neighborhood, brew a special beer together, and debut that beer at The Great Mass Collab. So far we have more than 25 commitments from participating breweries – which means more than 25 beers that you can try first only at this event.”

A list of all the beers featured at the The Great Mass Collab will be available in the coming weeks through the Mass Brewers Guild’s mobile app, Mass Craft Beer. Tickets are $45 for general admission and $10 for designated drivers. General admission includes unlimited beer samples from participating breweries. 

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Breweries on tap include local favorites such as Wormtown Brewery, Redemption Rock Brewing Co., and Greater Good Brewing Co., as well as Tree House Brewing Co., Night Shift Brewing, Medusa and Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Co. New to the craft beer scene breweries includes Faces Brewing Co., Loophole Brewing and Two Weeks Notice Brewing Co. For a complete list of featured breweries, visit masscollab19.eventbrite.com

The Mass Brewers Guild is a membership based trade association that works to protect and promote the interests of Massachusetts craft brewers. Its festivals are the only beer events run by brewers for brewers -- with all proceeds benefitting the craft beer community to provide resources, education and government affairs support. Last year, the event raised $17,000 for the nonprofit. 

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“We are excited to continue to grow this signature event in the heart of the Commonwealth and are grateful for all the support we’ve received from the city of Worcester and Discover Central Mass,” says Stinchon. This event is also made possible thanks to our sponsor MassLive.com.

For more information about the Mass Brewers Guild, visit MassBrewersGuild.org. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit masscollab19.eventbrite.com or download the Mass Brewers Guild’s mobile app, Mass Craft Beer, available for free in iTunes and Google Play Stores.  

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About the Mass Brewers Guild
Founded in 2007 by a group of committed and passionate brewers, the Mass Brewers Guild, is organized for the purposes of promoting craft brewing and protecting the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth. 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. The nonprofit creates a community of brewers while shining light on the broad range of breweries and styles offered throughout state.Through industry and educational events, its mobile application beer trail map, and by providing resources and marketing support to brewers, the nonprofit works to highlight Massachusetts as a top travel destination for craft beer in the U.S. The board of directors also continues its work at the legislative level, fighting for license and franchise law reform, and serving as the voice of craft brewers on Beacon Hill. The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit corporation.

All Styles Welcome at Night Shift’s Lovejoy Location

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Brewery owners remove barriers and foster inclusion and community for all in their taproom 

When the founders of Night Shift Brewing were opening their sister location, Lovejoy Wharf in downtown Boston, they wanted to ensure that its environment was welcoming, inviting and reflective of the community and neighborhood around it. 

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The space tells a story -- not only of the company’s history through its origin mural and rich artwork throughout – but every detail was thought through — including a neon sign that hangs above a nook by one of the bathroom areas. The sign reads, “All Styles” which the owners say references genders as well as beers. It also indicates the brewery’s unisex restrooms.  

“It was a fairly easy decision to incorporate this into our new build-out,” says Michael Oxton, co-founder of Night Shift Brewing “One of our brand's core values is inclusivity, and this was a very clear way of creating an inclusive customer experience at our new spot.” 

Feedback about the all-gender bathroom stalls has been overwhelming positive, with a little bit of confusion thrown in here or there. “Sometimes we’ll be asked where the men’s room is, or you’ll see a customer hesitant to enter then as they re-read the sign they’ll audibly say “oh right – got it!” and continue into the restrooms,” says Michael.  

The Lovejoy Wharf location also goes above and beyond to ensure that families and new moms feel welcome. The space provides a nursing room and a changing table — amenities typically not found at all breweries. 

“Our staff is made up of young families and new moms -- we’ve all been to a place that doesn’t have a changing table and it’s a nightmare,” says Michael. “We wanted to remove any barriers possible to ensure everyone feels comfortable in our second home. We are optimists at Night Shift and believe the world is moving in a positive direction more often than not. If we can help move it there a little more quickly, all the better.” 

This feature is a part of a the MBG’s Inclusion & Diversity Success Story Series with the goal to share best practices, recruitment strategies, and event & program ideas that members can bring home to their breweries. Does your brewery or business have a story that they’d like to share? The MBG’s Diversity Committee wants to hear it! Reach out to MBG Executive Director Katie Stinchon at katie@massbrewersguild.org for more information. 

Local beer enthusiasts can help make  Quincy's first craft brewery a reality

Break Rock Brewing partners with MainVest to bring world-class craft beer to the City of Presidents

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QUINCY, MASS. – Quincy is the largest city in New England without a local craft brewery – but that’s about to change and Boston beer lovers can help make it a reality. 

Break Rock Brewing LLC has announced a partnership with MainVest, the crowd-source funding site devoted to reshaping America’s Main Streets with innovative, locally owned businesses, many of them celebrated new brands in the food & drinks space. 

The fundraising campaign began on June 13 and ends on August 14. 

“We are committed to bringing a world-class craft brewery to Quincy and we’re excited to offer this opportunity to our neighbors to help make it a reality,” said Break Rock Brewing founder, brewer and president Jay Southwood. “Working with MainVest affords the hard-working, beer-loving people of Quincy and neighboring communities a chance to invest the city’s only craft brewery while helping enhance this diverse, dynamic community.”

MainVest offers residents, neighbors, craft beer fans and investors an easy opportunity to help open Break Rock Brewing Co. 

Details of the opportunity are found here on the MainVest website

Southwood is a South Shore native, Dorchester resident and Boston beer industry veteran who currently works at Mayflower Brewing Co. in Plymouth. Break Rock’s brewhouse will be headed by Vilija Bizinkauskas, also a South Shore native who currently brews beer for Drop In Brewing Co. in Middlebury, Vermont.

 Southwood and his team are working to a secure a location in Quincy. The Break Rock brand and its motto – “Work Hard. Drink Well” – pays homage to the city’s working-class heritage and industrial history, specifically the city’s internationally celebrated former granite quarrying industry. Bunker Hill Monument, among other iconic buildings and monuments around America, are built of Quincy granite. 

Break Rock will brew and distribute beer in an around Quincy, and also serve beer in its own neighborhood taproom.

 “Drinking beer should be casual and fun, something to enjoy after a hard day of work,” said Southwood. “We expect our brewery to be a little bit different than most contemporary craft beer taprooms.”

“Guests will find a warm, welcoming neighborhood tavern that happens to brew world-class American craft beer. Break Rock Brewing will be a place for everyone from local sports fans to experienced craft beer aficionados, offering great beer in a casual, laid-back environment.”

Southwood and the Break Rock team is working to finalize a location in Quincy and anticipates opening and serving the community by 2020.

For more information about investing in Break Rock, visit the MainVest website. You can also follow Break Rock here on its website or on FacebookInstagram or Twitter

“Break Rock will combine the best of the modern taproom with everything you love about your favorite neighborhood pub – a fun and inviting atmosphere, a sense of community, and great beer,” said Southwood. 

Quincy was briefly the home of Quincy Ships Brewing Co., featuring beer from legendary New England brewer Tod Mott. But that operation closed its doors in 2002.