The Mass Brewers Guild Brings Together Industry Professionals During its Inaugural Mass Brewers Technical Brewing & Business Conference


On Monday, May 21 at Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, the Mass Brewers Guild (MBG) will host its inaugural Mass Brewers Technical Brewing & Business Conference. The day-long series of workshops and lectures will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and focus on learning best practices from industry experts and creating meaningful connections with peers.

It is the mission of the MBG to ensure that the brewing community is armed with the knowledge and skills it needs to remain successful, independent, small businesses that continue to stimulate the economy, revitalize downtown communities and employ locals. The two-track event will focus on quality and technical brewing and business and marketing practices. 

The MBG is the state’s nonprofit organization that works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth. Proceeds from ticket sales will provide critical funds to aid in the MBG’s government affairs efforts and help to provide marketing tools and resources to its member brewers. 

Tickets are $125 for MBG Member Brewers and Associate Members, and $175 for non-members. All are welcome. 

This event is made possible thanks to leading sponsor Bernstein Shur, and supporting sponsors, Acadia Insurance, Alpha Chemical, Amoretti, Bowditch Attorneys, Crosby Hop Farm, DrinkTanks, Econocorp, Fat Basset Design, Four Star Farms, GHM Insurance, Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers, MetroWest Visitors Bureau, New England Label and Pestex.

To purchase tickets, visit questions or more information about this event, contact Katie Stinchon at To Learn more about the Mass Brewers Guild, visit 


The Program: 

Registration, Breakfast & Vendor Exhibition
8 to 9 a.m.

President Welcome
Rob Burns, co-founder of Night Shift

9 to 9:10 a.m. 

Keynote Address -- “Quality: A Complete Picture”
Neil Witte – Quality Ambassador, Brewers Association

9:10 to 10:15 a.m. 
The talk is an examination of what quality means to today's brewer, the brewery and the industry as a whole. Quality programs are explored through the lens of the vast array of resources available from the Brewers Association, while at the same time encouraging Brewers to expand their understanding of what constitutes a quality program.

Morning Breakout Sessions 1
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. 

Business -- “Telling Your Story & Working with the Media” 
In today’s ever-changing media cycle, and with 154 breweries in Massachusetts, it’s tough to insert your brewery news into the news. Hear from local journalists, Dan Adams from the Boston Globe, Jackie Cain from Boston Magazine, Norman Miller, the Beer Nut from Wicked Local Publications and Andrea Shea from WBUR, on what they like to cover and the best way to make headlines. Moderated by, Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Mass Brewers Guild. 

Technical -- “Yeast Handling: Getting the Most from Your Culture”
Learn from quality control experts; Zach Boda from Allagash, Jaime Schier from Harpoon Brewery, Kate Steblenko from Jack's Abby, and Merritt Waldron from Rising Tide, on various fermentation-related topics and how to troubleshoot fermentation issues related to yeast-handling practices. Moderated by, Chris Sellers from The People’s Pint. 

Morning Breakout Sessions 2
11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.  

Business -- “Social Media Best Practices and a Beer Photography 101” 
Engaging with craft beer fans on social media can be one of the most effective ways to humanize your business, get to know your audience, drive event attendance and create brand loyalty. In this session we’ll discuss how to effectively and efficiently use social media to drive business results. Learn best practices from Rachel Poor, president of Thread Communications, Digital Strategist and Marketing Consultant, coupled with a beer photography workshop on how to create thumb-stopping content offered by Kelsey Roth from Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing.  

Technical -- "Break out the #BASustySledge and Break Down Your Barriers to Brewery Sustainability"
What’s stopping you from gaining a deeper understanding of your brewery, better controlling your operational costs, minimizing your environmental footprint, and further supporting our community of craft brewers?  Ian Hughes, Sustainability Ambassador at the Brewers Association, will show you how to smash through those barriers using a suite of free and awesome Brewers Association resources, lovingly referred to as the BA Sustainability Sledgehammer!

Luncheon & Vendor Exhibition
1 to 2 p.m.  

Afternoon Breakout Sessions 1
2:15 to 3:15 p.m. 

Business -- “Two Lawyers and an Insurance Agent Walk into a Brewery”
In this panel discussion, three industry experts will share their “Top Ten List,” of questions brewery ownersshouldbe asking to protect their business, employees, intellectual property and lower risk. John Moran, lawyer from Bernstein Shur, James Sanborn, an insurance agent from GHM and Bob Young, a partner at Bowditch Attorneys, will answer all your questions without the meter running. Moderated by Rob Burns, MBG President and co-founder of Night Shift Brewing. 

Technical -– “Hop Selection and Working with Suppliers”
Hop farmers, suppliers, and brewers will come together to talk about industry trends, negotiating contracts, and how to best work with our supply chain partners. Industry pros, Liz L’Etoile, co-owner of Four Star Farms, Blake Crosby, CEO & President of Crosby Hop Farm, Judy Nadeau, sales manager at BSG, and Matthew Steinberg, co-founder of Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Co., will take part in this discussion and take questions from attendees. Moderated by Jeremy Cross, Battle Road Beer Co. 

Afternoon Breakout Sessions 2
3:30 to 4:30 p.m. 

Business --  “Finding Funding to Grow & Thrive”
Whether your brewery is in start-up mode or is well established and producing award-winning ales, pilsners or lagers, chances are at some point your business will need financing to purchase equipment or hire staff. Kelly Arvidson, VP, Business and Economic Development at MassDevelopment Erik Adams Sr. Vice President, Director of Marketing and Lending at Bay Colony Development, and Keith Sullivan, co-founder of Medusa Brewing Co., will talk about the different ways that breweries can acquire the funds they need to grow. Moderated by, Sam Hendler, MBG Treasurer and co-founder of Jack's Abby Craft Lagers.

Technical -- “The Flavor Leadership Criteria for Beer and How to Measure It.”
Roy Desrochers will deliver an interactive lecture on the basics of sensory analysis, beer flavor evaluation, and what is important to beer drinkers using the Flavor Leadership Criteria. The session will include a tasting component to review terminology including basic tastes, aromatics, mouthfeels, order of appearance, balance, fullness, and aftertaste. This will be followed by the evaluation of several spiked beers while presenting the detail and importance of the Flavor Leadership criteria and its application to developing and maintaining successful products.

Happy Hour, Networking & Vendor Exhibition
4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

Night Shift Brewing to Open Second Location on Boston’s Waterfront

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EVERETT, MA - In late 2018, Night Shift Brewing will open a craft brewery, taproom, and kitchen just steps off the Harborwalk and Freedom Trail on Boston's restored Lovejoy Wharf. Located on the ground floor of the Converse building and around the corner from Boston's TD Garden, the location will feature a 10-BBL microbrewery, 30 taps, a full kitchen, and approximately 325 seats in its expansive 12,000 s/f space. 

“The owl is flying to Boston,” says Night Shift Co-Founder Michael Oxton, whose company currently runs a production brewery and taproom out of Everett, MA. “This second location has taken almost two years of searching, but we’ve found an incredible space in Boston’s West End to share with everyone." In addition to beer and food, the location will offer waterfront patio seating during warmer months, a beer-to-go retail market, and a coffee bar for daytime guests. 

While Oxton notes that their Everett location has continued to grow in popularity, he emphasizes that Night Shift has long-sought a second location within Boston proper. “We have such a strong following of beer lovers living and working within the city,” Oxton says. “Night Shift needed a Boston zip code.” Their search finally ended at Lovejoy Wharf. Just minutes from North Station and with views overlooking the water, the location seemed like a truly unique opportunity. 

Partnering with Helios Design Group and Cafco Construction, Night Shift is aiming to create a turn-of-the-century look and feel that honors the location’s history. “They used to make everything from submarine parts to Schrafft’s candy here,” says Oxton. “We’ll keep the raw elements and add modern touches when it makes sense.” Where function meets aesthetics, Oxton notes that the goal is a layered, textured space that holds a big crowd, but offers opportunities for more intimate conversations and experiences. 

Within the space, Night Shift will build a fully operational brewery in full view from the Taproom. Managing that brewery will be Night Shift brewer Anna Jobe, who notes that consistent recipe development will be center stage at Lovejoy, adding, “This will be an innovation playground.” Production will revolve around small-batch, experimental beers with the goal of fueling Night Shift’s recipe pipeline. Their 10-bbl brewing system will support sixteen 10-barrel tanks, giving the team about 2,500 barrels of annual capacity. 

Jobe emphasizes that the majority of beer brewed on site will stay on site. Of the 30 taps available, most will pour house-only beers, with the remaining lines dedicated to NSB’s core brands, such as their award-winning Santilli IPA, Whirlpool New England Pale Ale, and Nite Light Craft Light Lager. 

Supplementing their beer will be a food menu developed by Night Shift themselves. While food truck partnerships offer a great solution in Everett, Oxton says that Lovejoy calls for an in-house kitchen. The team has turned to RealFood Consulting to help them build and design a food program that matches their vision. “The goal is a focused menu that offers both small plates and shareable items,” says Oxton. “One page. Same menu all day long. Creative, elevated takes on familiar dishes.” 

As for getting there, Night Shift Lovejoy aims to beckon runners, walkers, bikers, and pretty much anyone not driving their car. Says Oxton, “There’s no dedicated parking. We’re hoping that encourages responsible transportation.” Regarding open hours, the current plan is seven days a week, early morning until 1am. “We want people to use and enjoy our space during all hours of the day for any number of occasions,” says Oxton. “Whether it’s grabbing a 4-pack and coffee during lunch, after-work drinks and snacks, a weekend family visit, or a full corporate outing, we want Night Shift Lovejoy to be your go-to beer destination in Boston.”

Night Shift will provide updates as more details are finalized this summer. Follow @nightshiftbeer on social media to follow live updates on the buildout and opening events.


CraftRoots Brewing Named Among Fastest Growing Craft Breweries of 2017 by the Brewers Association

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CraftRoots Brewing was named one of the fastest growing small and independent craft breweries by the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers. The inaugural list offered insight into the diversity of growth within the craft brewing industry.

“This is really exciting for us and such a cool illustration of the vibrant creativity that is originating and taking off in craft breweries nationwide. Our grassroots approach to brewing genuinely local beer from New England agriculture meant we had humble beginnings, but our community loves what we’re about and the beer we brew. For us, this isn’t about chasing big growth and the big guys. It’s about being genuine, local and fresh. Thanks to everyone who supports our brewery and taproom, Milford and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are #1 on this list.” said Maureen Fabry, brewer + co-founder, CraftRoots Brewing and Mass Brewers Guild board member. 

CraftRoots Brewing was ranked #1 among 50 small and independent breweries from across 25 states. Median growth from 2016 to 2017 for these breweries was 216 percent; the median size of breweries on the list went from 284 barrels in 2016 to 963 barrels in 2017. These brewing companies represent 5.5 percent of craft’s growth by volume for 2017 and include eight brewpubs, 40 microbreweries and two regional craft breweries.

“With 5 percent growth overall for small and independent brewers in 2017—and microbreweries and brewpubs delivering the majority of that—we wanted to spotlight some of the breweries driving that growth,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “As the growth base for craft becomes more diffuse, these fast growing brewing companies illustrate that a diverse set of success stories still exist.”

Methodology: The list presented includes only small and independent breweries with all of their production at their own facilities. Breweries had to have opened 12/31/2015 or earlier to be considered. It only includes breweries that reported to the Brewers Association’s annual Beer Industry Production Survey; breweries with staff estimates or data from state excise tax reports were not considered. Finally, breweries must have had data from at least three years to be considered.

About CraftRoots Brewing
Founded in 2014, CraftRoots Brewing is grounded in a grassroots approach to beer. We brew fresh and flavorful beers that highlight New England-grown grain and hops, connecting you to local farmers and craft maltsters.

Learn more by checking us out at:

Facebook: @CraftRootsBrewing

Instagram: craftroots_brewing

Twitter: @CraftRootsBrew


Craft’d Company Partners With Local Breweries for Beers with the Brewers Events During Mass Beer Week

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Craft’d Company announces three Beers with the Brewers events and the launch of their fourth county series during Mass Beer Week taking place April 20 through April 28, 2018.

Beers with the Brewers events allow attendees to experience their neighborhood's best beers
while learning the story behind the brews. Each event includes an exclusive guided tasting of
the featured brewery's beers with the brewers themselves.

Special edition Mass Beer Week events will be held at the following breweries:

Beers with the Brewers: Battle Road Brewing
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 from 7-9PM
Maynard, MA [Middlesex County Series]

Beers with the Brewers: Shovel Town Brewery
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 from 7-9PM
Easton, MA [Bristol County Series]

Beers with the Brewers: Beerworks Brewing Co.
Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 7-9PM
Boston, MA [Suffolk County Series presented by Mass Bay Credit Union]

Each Beers with the Brewers series is grouped by county so attendees can learn about all of the breweries in their surrounding communities. Craft’d Company has been running three series in Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk counties over the past ten months. The company will launch it’s Bristol County Series with Shovel Town Brewery in Easton, MA; Craft’d Company Founder & CEO Christine Healy’s hometown.

Of the company’s fourth series launch, Healy said, “The reception for our Beers with the Brewers events from both partner breweries and attendees has been overwhelmingly positive. Each event has been a unique experience and has allowed each brewery’s distinct spirit to
shine through. It’s exciting to be hosting three events back-to-back during Mass Beer Week and


to launch our Bristol County series. Working with Shovel Town Brewery, a fantastic community-focused brewery located in the town where I grew up, is the cherry on top.”

As a special addition to the Beers with the Brewers events during Mass Beer Week, Craft’d Company will be giving back to the Mass Brewers Guild, the state’s nonprofit organization that works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth. 

The company will donate $1 when attendees share the official event hashtags, #MassBeerWeek and #BeersWithTheBrewers, on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter from their events. Mass Beer Week, organized by the Mass Brewers Guild and BeerAdvocate, celebrates Massachusetts-produced beer and the local craft beer community with numerous events. The week will culminate with the Power Beer Fest on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at the SoWa Power Station in Boston.

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Tickets for the Beers with the Brewers events are on sale at

About Craft’d Company: Craft’d Company is an events and marketing company based in Boston, MA that specializes in working with craft brands. Founded in 2017, Craft’d Company launched the Beers with the Brewers event series to give attendees a behind-the-scenes look
and exclusive guided tasting at local breweries. In addition to creating signature events, Craft’d Company helps brewery clients elevate their branding through events, marketing, and more.


Celebrate National Pretzel Day and Mass Beer Week with a Special Collaboration Beer Release from Dorchester Brewing Company, Wicked Twisted Pretzels and the Mass. Brew Bros.

Beer Release Party to be held on National Pretzel Day, Thursday, April 26th at Dorchester Brewing Company in Boston, MA

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Boston, MA, April, 2018 - Dorchester Brewing Company (, Wicked Twisted Pretzels (, and the Mass. Brew Bros. ( are excited to announce their collaboration beer release and event to celebrate National Pretzel Day, taking place on Thursday, April 26th. The release coincides with Mass Beer Week, a celebration of Mass. produced beer that runs from April 20-28.


The Mass. Brew Bros., in collaboration with Shawn and Josh Briggs of Grafton-based Wicked Twisted Pretzels and their longtime friend and bandmate Todd Charbonneau, head brewer and co-founder at Dorchester Brewing, put their heads together and figured out how to combine pretzels and beer to create the ultimate brew. A five-barrel pilot batch is called Brew Bros. Twisted Dunkel, it's a German style dark lager made with Munich malt, added salt, and 40 pounds of Wicked Twisted Pretzels tossed in to the mash. The beer will be available on draft and in crowlers to go only at the Dorchester Brewing Company taproom.

Having lived in both Germany and Pennsylvania, the latter where National Pretzel Day was established in 2003, the Briggs Brothers are perfect local ambassadors for such an affair. You'll find their hand-crafted, all-natural Bavarian style pretzels, made in Grafton, at dozens of breweries through Massachusetts. A perfect combination, the average American eats more than two pounds of pretzels and drinks more than 20 gallons of beer per year.

The non-ticketed free event, open to the beer-drinking, pretzel-eating public, will be held at the Dorchester Brewing Company taproom at 1250 Massachusetts Ave, Dorchester, MA on Thursday, April 26 from 5:00 to 9:00. Festivities will include the debut of the special collaborative beer, commemorative glassware (free for the first 20 people to buy a pint of the beer), and a raffle for free tickets to the Mass Brewers Guild Power Beer Fest on April 28, as well as some DBC swag. And of course there will be plenty of Wicked Twisted Pretzels (soft and hard) and gourmet mustard available for purchase.

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For more information about the event, visit: national-pretzel-day-celebration-brew-bros-twisted-dunkel-beer-release/

If you would like more information please contact us at

About Wicked Twisted Pretzels
As kids, Shawn and Josh were introduced to warm, hand-crafted Bavarian style pretzels from the Bavarian Pretzel Hut on family trips to upstate New York. Coincidentally, Josh later lived in Philadelphia and Shawn in Munich, Germany, cities with incredibly delicious pretzels. Unable to find them anywhere else in the U.S., they soon moved back to Massachusetts and set out solve the problem. They perfected their recipe (featuring natural ingredients like fresh malt and roasted barley) in Shawn's kitchen, and are now found in craft breweries, bars and restaurants all over New England, as well as in Whole Foods Markets. Recently they added a line of gourmet mustards.

About Dorchester Brewing Company
Founded in 2016, Dorchester Brewing Company is a partner brewing facility and public taproom located at 1250 Massachusetts Ave in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. With plenty of fresh beer flowing daily, visitors can enjoy up to 20 different drafts on tap including Dorchester Brewing Company house beers as well as partner beers. Dorchester Brewing Company also offers on-site food trucks, events and private events with tours and fresh beer to go.

About the Mass. Brew Bros.
Described as unofficial ambassadors of the Bay State beer scene in a story that appeared in Hop Culture, the Mass. Brew Bros. aspire to be the go-to resource for craft beer drinkers in Massachusetts. Longtime friends whose motto is "spreading good beer," Rob and Bob (they're not actually brothers) have traveled to every one of the Commonwealth's visitable breweries. Their informative website and influential social media presence serve as a statewide database for tracking news and developments on local breweries, as well as trends and insights within the fast growing industry. 

Local Breweries Raise a Pint and Funds for the Mass Brewers Guild During #MassBeerWeek

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Local breweries are coming together to host “MBG Pint Nites,” with the goal to raise awareness and funds for the Mass Brewers Guild during Mass Beer Week.

Mass Beer Week, held from April 20 through April 28, is the state’s celebration of locally made craft beer.

All breweries, tap rooms, restaurants and bottle shops are encouraged to get involved in the festivities by hosting their own unique events. The only requirement to be involved in Mass Beer Week is that the event must focus exclusively on beer brewed in the state of Massachusetts.

Battle Road Brewing Co., CraftRoots Brewing, Harpoon, Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers, Mayflower Brewing Co., Medusa Brewing Co., Moon Hill Brewing Co., Night Shift Brewing Co., and Sam Adams, will all hold a designated MBG Pint Nite during the weeklong celebration, where a $1 of all beer sales that day will come back to the nonprofit organization.

The Mass Brewers Guild is the state’s trade association that works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth.

Want to support the cause? It’s easy. Flex your pint lifting biceps and belly up to a tap room on the following days to help raise funds for the MBG:

Battle Road Brewing Co.
20 Sudbury St., Maynard, MA
Tuesday, April 24

CraftRoots Brewing
4 Industrial Rd, Milford, MA
Wednesday, April 25

306 Northern Ave., Boston
Wednesday, April 25

Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers
100 Clinton St., Framingham, MA
Thursday, April 26

Mayflower Brewing Co.
12 Resnik Rd # 3, Plymouth, MA
Thursday, April 26

Medusa Brewing Co.
111 Main St., Hudson, MA
Monday, April 23

Moon Hill
74 Parker St, Gardner
Thursday, April 26

Night Shift Brewing
87 Santilli Hwy, Everett
Thursday, April 26

Sam Adams
30 Germania St., Boston
Thursday, April 26

Be sure to share, and tag, your delicious beer on social media #MassBeerWeek -- For questions, or more information about the Mass Brewers Guild, visit

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What Does Microbrewery Insurance Cover?

 In addition to being a  craft brewery insurance  expert, Ben Cavallo is the owner and principal of C&S Insurance, a proud member of the Mass Brewers Guild. He holds degrees from Emory University and Boston College, as well as CIC, AAI, and CISR insurance designations. He can be reached at  508.339.2951  or .

In addition to being a craft brewery insurance expert, Ben Cavallo is the owner and principal of C&S Insurance, a proud member of the Mass Brewers Guild. He holds degrees from Emory University and Boston College, as well as CIC, AAI, and CISR insurance designations. He can be reached at 508.339.2951 or

By: Ben Cavallo, owner and principal of C&S Insurance

When breweries are shopping for insurance the most common questions we hear are: 


  • What does microbrewery insurance cover? 
  • What comes in the “standard” startup package?
  • Which coverages am I required to have in place so I can open a microbrewery, nanobrewery, or brewpub?

Folks starting new breweries—and plenty of long-time owners, too—call to ask for the baseline minimum. After all, running a business comes with all sorts of hidden costs and unforeseen expenses. No one wants to shell out extra money for insurance—which is basically a business tool you can’t see, can’t touch, can’t even use unless something goes wrong.

Unfortunately, we have to give these brewers the same answer: it all depends. Not very helpful in the immediate sense, but individualized needs are the reality of craft brewery insurance. There’s not much standard about it, despite the results you can find online for “business insurance packages.” What’s more, shopping for a cheap, generic option often leaves craft brewers exposed to serious gaps. Here’s a quick look at some examples:

1.     Property Insurance

Unlike a typical restaurant or bar, the products and equipment inside your microbrewery are especially costly and time-consuming to replace. In the event of a fire, prolonged power outage, tank leak or other machinery failure, you have to consider the potential loss of business income, product spoilage, and other unique concerns. Only an agent with experience in microbrewery insurance can advise you property coverage blanket limits based on your in-house capacity.

2.     General Liability Insurance

Allegations of wrongdoing don’t just damage your brewery’s reputation; they’re often expensive and drawn-out legal events—and that’s before they even get to a courtroom. It’s difficult to anticipate how much liability coverage you’ll need (on a “per occurrence” basis and in aggregate) without enlisting an industry professional. Even if you opt to forego certain coverages as a startup operation, it’s important to at least understand the different types of risk and protection—from liquor liability, to special events, to employment practices liability (employee lawsuits)—as your brewery grows and evolves.

3.     Workers’ Compensation Insurance

We know lots of microbrewery startups begin with a pair of spouses, siblings, or hometown buddies, which might seem to negate the workers’ compensation discussion… But the truth is that most small businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are  required by law to have a valid workers' compensation policy at all times—even for a staff of just two people. If your business is an LLC, LLP or otherwise qualifies for exemption, there’s still a conversation to be had. Chances are you don’t intend to be a two-man (or two-women) show forever. Anticipating the measures and protocols that will affect your workers’ comp rates is a smart thing to start doing now. Take advantage of the free advice you can get from a dedicated brewery insurance agent.

Bottom line: when you ask yourself, “what does insurance cover?” you should be prepared to sit down and have a longer conversation with an agent who is an expert in your industry. He or she will listen to your complete business description and ask a series of questions designed to map your unique risk profile. Meanwhile, learn more about the factors that affect microbrewery insurance rates and carrier options: