Mayflower Brewing Company to open new tasting room

PLYMOUTH — Mayflower Brewing Company, 12 Resnik Road, will host a grand opening for its new tasting room from noon to 8 p.m. April 22.

The celebration will include live music from local artists Jeff Hilliard and Ian Richardson. Food vendors will include Plymouth Waterfront restaurants, Blue Eyed Crab and Cabby Shack. Beer samples, flights, pints, growler fills and merchandise will be available. 
From noon to 6 p.m. April 23, the brewery will continue the celebration with food available from Farms to Forks.

When Mayflower first opened in 2008, tasting rooms in breweries were limited. Breweries were not allowed to pour full pints or samples. Mayflower focused solely on making beer and distributing it locally. While residents could visit the brewery to buy a growler or six pack, on premise consumption wasn’t part of the brewery until about three years ago. In reaction to efforts by Massachusetts Brewers Guild, the state created an additional license that which permitted Farmer-Breweries to pour full pints. Since that time, Mayflower has seen the interest in visiting the tasting room increase dramatically.

Mayflower will continue to support local food vendors and food trucks while still encouraging their customers to visit and support the downtown Plymouth restaurant scene. Mayflower has enjoyed highlighting the chefs behind some of these restaurants by including them in brewery events such as chef throwdowns, open houses and other fundraisers for the community. The tasting room will also be a Community Supported Agriculture pick up location for Plato’s Harvest this summer. 

“We’re proud to promote the brewery as a resource for the community when it comes to the farm to table movement. We’re partnering with everyone in the culinary community from the farmers who are able to use our spent grain to the bars and restaurants supporting local and seasonal food and beverages, right down to our customers enjoying farm fresh food from Farms to Forks on Friday nights,” Drew Brosseau, owner of Mayflower Brewing Co., said.
For more information, visit http://mayflowerbrewing.com.

Celebrating our legal warriors who fight the good fight – for craft beer

Today is national, “Be Kind to Lawyers Day.” Didn’t know that such a day existed?

We can see how you might overlook it – but we are grateful for our legal experts that help to sort out the dizzying legal system here in Massachusetts and ensure that our properties and trademarks are protected.

We recently did a Q&A with four of our associate members that also serve as a reference to the Mass Brewers Guild whenever we have a question or two --  Tawny L. Alvarez from Verrill Dana, John Connell, from the Law Offices of John P. Connell, John Moran from Bernstein Shur and Robert Young from Bowditch and Dewey. We asked them to weigh in on everything from who they’d love to have a beer with, to what they think is the most common, avoidable, legal mistake brewers make.

Check it out - (There’s no clock running … so soak up the free advice!) - and spread the love to your lawyer today who keeps you on the straight and arrow. 

About Tawny Alvarez: Tawny centers her practice on the understanding that the employment landscape is ever-changing—from medical marijuana’s effect on drug testing, to the effect of social networking in the workplace and mobile devices’ effect on wage and hour issues. In this evolving landscape she recognizes that for companies to remain profitable and successful they must be proactive, as opposed to reactive, to these employment issues.

MBG: What’s the hardest part of dealing with Massachusetts’ alcohol laws?
T. Alvarez: "Brewers are applying increasingly creative solutions to create and deliver to consumers a quality product, yet many of the alcohol laws in MA—and other states—have failed to adapt to the changing marketplace. When you have a quickly developing and highly regulated market in which the regulations are antiquated, it sometimes makes it difficult to assist brewers in achieving the long-term goals they are looking for."

MBG: If you could create your own six pack, what would be in it?
T. Alvarez: “This week: Jack’s Abby Hoponius Union; Wachusett Blueberry Ale; Trillium Brewing Wild Broken Angel; Allagash Goulschip (why I’m craving pumpkin in spring is anyone’s guess); Flight Deck Brewing Rye Wing Porter; and Night Shift’s Pfaffenheck.”

MBG: If you could have a beer with anyone, who would it be and why?
T. Alvarez: “My favorite beer is always one with the brewer so that I can understand what their inspiration was for the brew.  If I had to pick one person and why: President Barack Obama.  I need to find out whether Bud Light is really his beer of choice.

 

 

About John Connell: Throughout his legal career, John has concentrated his practice in the area of civil litigation and licensing, particularly that area of licensing having to deal with alcoholic beverages, entertainment and professional licenses. John has represented individuals and businesses of all sizes in many areas of civil litigation, including contract matters, employment discrimination, real estate disputes, securities’ fraud, professional misconduct and corporate management disputes. With regard to clients in the alcoholic beverages industry, John represents alcoholic beverage wholesalers, brokers and retailers from all over Massachusetts

MBG: What do you think is the biggest misconception about lawyers?
J. Connell: “They exist to separate you from your money.”

MBG: If you could have a beer with anyone, who would it be and why?
J. Connell: “A Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, because they seem interesting.”

MBG: What’s the most common and avoidable legal mistake brewers make?
J. Connell: “Getting too far into a Lease or taking a site with a landlord who demonstrates he/she is unreasonable to begin with or failing to fully understand the site, and later finding there is no drainage; the ceilings are too low for tanks; no room for expansion; the tanks don't fit into the space or the basement; the loading dock is not for their exclusive use; not enough parking; no room for dumpsters; zoning does not permit pouring as a bar; zoning does not permit manufacturing; the triple net includes unreasonable common area improvement expenses, etc...  Site selection and lease terms seem to be the most common issues brewers seem to wish they could come back and revisit after they are too far down the road to make necessary changes.” 

About John Moran: John practices in all areas of business law, providing counsel and advice to a broad array of corporate clients on matters ranging from mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financings, intellectual property development and licensing, as well as general business and corporate matters. As a dedicated counselor, John provides his clients with thoughtful guidance through the ins and outs of starting and scaling a business in a rapidly changing and expanding industry.

MBG: What do you like about working with breweries?
J. Moran: “The people.  I have found it very rewarding and worthwhile to work directly with various brewery owners whose primary goals are to produce great craft beer and also to operate a successful small business that takes care of its employees.  It has also been very fulfilling to advise these brewery owners on starting and growing their own, distinct breweries – from the start-up phase to the development phase.  The four-packs are awesome, too.”

MBG: What’s the hardest part of dealing with Massachusetts’ alcohol laws? 
J. Moran: “The state liquor laws that touch on some of the most emerging trends in the craft beer industry are either non-existent or open to multiple interpretations.  As a result, it is sometimes challenging to advise breweries on a particular issue when the state liquor laws do not provide much certainty or concrete guidance.”

MBG: What’s the most common and avoidable legal mistake brewers make?
J. Moran: “Not properly vetting and securing the brewery’s brand before beginning brewery operations. Once the brewery is up and running, it is very costly and challenging to undergo a complete rebrand.”

 

About Robert Young: Robert advises businesses, municipalities, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations on a broad range of employment matters. He defends these clients against a variety of claims, including discrimination and retaliation, non-competition, trade secrets, and wage-and-hour matters. He has litigated disputes in state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies. He counsels clients in matters outside of litigation, including the negotiation of agreements, medical leaves, and accommodation requests, as well as employee discipline and termination matters. In addition, he conducts internal investigations on behalf of clients, including alleged harassment, whistleblower, and other employee claims.

MBG: What do you think is the biggest misconception about lawyers? 
R. Young: “That, in the words of C. Montgomery Burns, we are all “vipers” who “live on pain and misery.”  We’re nice people.  Really.” 

MBG: What do you like about working with breweries? 
R. Young: "I find the passion, dedication and outright talent for brewing to be inspiring, and I have marveled at the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen I have seen that allows the art of brewing to develop into a thriving enterprise. 

I have also witnessed on several occasions what I would call “collaborative competiveness,” where experienced brewers have been willing to share their knowledge and experiences with others just starting out, even though they may someday compete for the same customers’ dollars.  That spirit of helpfulness and cooperation is a refreshing change of pace from the cutthroat world of other industries.  (And, if it leads to collaboration brews, all the better . . .) " 

MBG: If you could create your own six pack, what would be in it? 
R. Young: “What a great question.  In no particular order:

  1. Anything made by Trillium that starts with the words “Double Dry Hopped” (or containing the words “with cold brewed coffee . . .”)
  2. Bean Porter by Night Shift (I had genuine difficulty deciding between this and Trifecta)
  3. Coffee Barrel-Aged Framinghammer by Jack’s Abby (though the Mole variant could also make its way in there)
  4. Big Ern by Castle Island (just edging out Candlepin and Keeper)
  5. Bottle Rocket by Wormtown Brewery (I also considered Be Hoppy, but felt like I needed one pale ale)
  6. Citra Legacy by Medusa (only barely edging out Indian Summer by Cold Harbor Brewing; I’m thinking that the rye in Citra Legacy would add a bit of change of pace to the other IPAs)

    Did you notice how I was able to use the parentheticals to expand my six-pack?  Lawyers . . . always looking for loopholes!”

 

Massachusetts Brewers Guild Seeks Mobile Application Developer to Launch New Beer Trail Map

Massachusetts Brewers Guild Request for Proposal
Mobile Application / Beer Trail Map

Statement of Purpose
The Massachusetts Brewers Guild, a nonprofit organization that exists to protect and promote craft brewers across the Commonwealth, seeks a mobile application developer or agency, to help create, execute and launch a new beer trail map application that can be used as an incentive program to drive travel and tourism to its member breweries. Member breweries of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild have stated that the passport program / beer trail map is the number one reason for joining the association.

Responses should be sent to Katie Stinchon at Katie@massbrewersguild.org by May 8, 2017.

Maximum budget for first year costs (Design, Launch & Maintenance): $15,000

Background Information
Founded in 2007, by a group of committed and passionate brewers, the Massachusetts 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. In 2016, there were 122 active breweries including 91 Farmer Brewers, 7 Manufacturing Breweries and 24 Pub Breweries with more than 90 visit-able destinations. In 2017, coinciding with the hire of its first full-time executive director, the organization will focus on a rebranding effort with a new website, revitalized passport program / beer trail map, and the creation of innovative beer festivals with the goal of hosting 2,000 attendees and 80 breweries from across the state and region. The board will also continue 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.

In 2013, a passport program / beer trail map was launched in print form by the Massachusetts Brewers Guild. The map included every visitable brewery in Massachusetts with respective logos, addresses and tap room hours. Patrons would use the map to plan their own tours and would receive stamps at each visited location. After touring eight or more breweries, patrons would then mail their map into the Mass Brewers Guild to receive a prize pack; hat, glass and T-shirt.

This program ran into some issues early on -- the Massachusetts craft beer scene rapidly grew and the map was quickly out of date. Additionally, with no fulltime staff dedicated to the project, passports were never re-distributed to the appropriate visitor centers or breweries after depletion.

With more than 30 new Massachusetts breweries emerging on the scene this year, maintaining a printed beer trail map would prove not only to be costly and time consuming, but difficult to keep current. We need to modernize this program in 2017.

Tasks to be Accomplished
The finished project should result in a downloadable mobile application that is compatible will all smart phones and tablets with the following features/capabilities:

  • An artful, integrated design
  • Easy to use interface for the user, outlining breweries and regions across the state with information such as tap room hours, food on premise, outdoor patio, full pours or samples, dog-friendly, etc.
  • Ability for users to create their own trail for the day/weekend, or select from a list of suggested tours
  • Application sends tour directions to their Google Maps application
  • A check-in system that’s geo programmed by location to replace the “stamps”
  • Incentive system for user, as they check-in they received reminders and notifications of how many more breweries they need to visit until they get the prize – additional badges, opportunities, discounts for “next level” MA Craft Beer Lovers
  • System automatically notifies the MBG when someone visits the required brewery number, with name, address, T-shirt sizes, etc. for prize pack
  • Built-in sponsorship opportunities: based on location --  mobile application recommends restaurants along the route or sends coupons via text from restaurants that sponsor the app
  • Share system that prompts user to upload photos and activity on social media
  • A space to promote upcoming events hosted by the MBG or legislative initiatives that need public signatures
  • Data collection of name, email, address, sex, location, age, and their brewery habits 
  • A profile that catalogs where user has been, what they’ve favorited, place for beer notes
  • Easy to use backend portal for MBG/brewers to make data entries and add new breweries
  • Ability for breweries to login as admins to update and control their information - promote special events and list what’s on tap and available to go
  • Ability to sign-up/authorize through Facebook and Google accounts

Proposals Should Include:

  • A technical approach, which describes how you will carry out the tasks outlined above
  • A summary of your recent and relevant projects
  • A firm estimate of the fees to be charged and an estimate of expenses that would be incurred
  • A detailed project timeline with launch date
  • Bios of all consultants who would be involved in the project, identifying the lead POC
  • Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three clients during the last eighteen months and whom we can contact as references

We will hold interviews with finalists during the week of May 22, 2017. If you have questions, please email them to Katie@massbrewersguild.org

 

 

Start Line Brewing Toasts the Boston Marathon Runners with Marathon American Wheat Ale

The Boston Marathon is woven within the fabric of Start Line Brewing Company’s culture.

From its name, to its location -- less than one mile away from the start line of the historic race -- founder, Ted Twinney, wanted to ensure that his new brewery was a nod to the community, and to all of the people who help make marathon season so special.

From the runners to charities, cheerleaders and volunteers, Hopkinton is where it all begins. In honor of the 121st race, set for Monday, April 17, Start Line Brewing Co. has released Its Marathon American Style Wheat Ale showcasing citrus and floral notes, balanced with bready maltiness, delivered in a smooth mouthfeel. Designed to be distinctively refreshing with an ABV of 5.5%

“This beer celebrates our community and all who take on the 26.2-mile challenge to raise money for charity or to test their personal strength along the course,” says Twinney. “We are proud to support the runners and wish them luck next month.”

During the past few months, Start Line’s tap room, located at 151R Hayden Rowe Street in Hopkinton, has played host to several charity events for runners helping them to reach their fundraising goals.

The Start Line crew will also be at the finish line, donating beer and support for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Center team, which worked with many of the Boston Marathon bombing victims, to help get them back on their feet.

For tap room hours, or more information on how you can get your hands on Start Line Brewing Co.’s Marathon American Wheat Ale, visit startlinebrewing.com.

 

Unique Tax Breaks for Breweries

Is your business familiar with the unique tax breaks available in the brewery industry?  AAFCPAs has provided for your convenience the top five tax insights that could have a major impact on reducing your tax burden:

Section 179 Depreciation

Breweries are capital intensive businesses, and equipment investments can be significant. Section 179 allows breweries to deduct the property placed in service in the year of acquisition as opposed to depreciating it over its useful life. There are dollar limitations on how much you may deduct in a single year, as well as business income limits, so we encourage you to consult your AAFCPAs tax partner.

Bonus Depreciation

Breweries may also take an additional 50% bonus depreciation deduction for qualifying property in the year the property is placed in service. There is no business income limitation for bonus depreciation, so in the early stages of business that often result in net operating losses, these can be carried forward to offset future taxable income.

Cost Segregation Studies

The shorter life span attributable to capital purchases, the quicker your company may realize the tax benefit. For build outs of your brewery, AAFCPAs recommends that you evaluate the benefits of a cost segregation study. In a cost segregation study, certain commercial building costs may be reclassified to shorten the depreciation time for taxation purposes, which reduces current income tax obligations.  This may add up to substantial savings


Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD)

The DPAD is a 9% deduction on qualified production activities, which could equate to a 3% reduction in your tax rate depending on the tax bracket the company falls in.

Research & Development Tax Credit

A credit is always better than a deduction, but AAFCPAs recommends a cost benefit analysis be performed to ensure it makes sense to take the credit. Breweries can qualify for R&D tax credits for certain activities such as improving brewing processes or creating a new beer.

When applying the above tax benefits, note that they are specific to brewing operations.  The existence of ancillary businesses, such as restaurants, retail, etc. may impact your ability to utilize them. In addition, certain states make tax benefits available to brewers who locate within their borders.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Dan Stanhope, CPA, MSA at (774) 512-4134, dstanhope@aafcpa.com.

 

Dan Stanhope, CPA, is a partner at AAFCPAs based in Westboro, Boston and Wellesley. He has over 12 years of experience providing tax, assurance and business advisory solutions to closely owned, privately-held businesses. Dan can be reached at 774-512-4134 and at dstanhope@aafcpa.com  

Dan Stanhope, CPA, is a partner at AAFCPAs based in Westboro, Boston and Wellesley. He has over 12 years of experience providing tax, assurance and business advisory solutions to closely owned, privately-held businesses. Dan can be reached at 774-512-4134 and at dstanhope@aafcpa.com

 

What's on Tap for St. Paddy's Day?

Here are six ways to get your shamrock on this weekend that do not involve green beer:


ONE:
Poured on nitro and released for a special St. Patrick's Day event, "For The Love of Ireland", is a partnership between Aeronaut Brewing and the Irish International Immigrant center. These incredible friends are playing a tremendous role in assisting families from all over the world, fighting hard for Muslim immigrants affected by US policy changes. Available on Friday, March 17 at Aeronaut Brewing.

TWO:
Join Dorchester Brewing Company for a full day of St. Patrick's Day fun on Saturday, March 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The day kicks-off with a “Savin Stout” beer release -- an Irish dry stout served on Nitro, bittered with Chinook hops, and fermented in a British yeast strain. This stout contains roasted barley, creating its deep brown color, and smoky, cocoa notes. Live Irish music will play from 2 to 5 p.m. alongside a food truck serving up bites from 4 to 9 p.m. For more details, click here.

THREE: 
Wormtown is celebrating its 7th anniversary on Friday, March 17 from noon to 10 p.m. The full day celebration will open up “Fermentation Alley,” and include live music, sweet treats, giveaways and a special birthday release, "Brew #7." Cellared beers including Tennessee Tats, an Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in Jack Daniel barrels, will be in the line-up along with many others. For more information, click here.

FOUR:
Navigation Brewing Co’s St. Paddy’s Day celebration will kick-off Friday, March 17 from 5 to 9 p.m., with Phoenix Rising Pizza paired with three Irish offerings – an Irish Stout, Irish Porter, and an Old Irish Ale. Other suds on tap include a Milk Stout, Double Porter, Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, Lowell Common and Citra dry hopped Pale Ale. The party keeps ShamRocking on Saturday, March 18 from 2 to 8 p.m. with HomeKitchen serving up bites.

FIVE:
On Friday, March 17, Element Brewing Co. will host Dan and the Dirty Catechism from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The Western Mass group sings and shouts songs about life, love, and sin. They weave their way through a variety of musical styles while performing the musical sermon about the virtues of sin and dirty living. Step right up and be saved...but it’s more fun if you get involved. For more information, For more details, click here.

SIX: 
Cape Cod Beer will launch their "Top Notch Stout" and raise a pint or two in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. They've taken their velvety smooth Oatmeal Stout to the next level and aged it in Notch whiskey barrels (from Triple Eight Distillery). This dark brew with a hint of whiskey will be available only at the brewery in 750 ml. champagne bottles. 
OG: 16.7°P   ABV: 5.5%   IBUs: 42

 

 

Freshman Brewers Raised $2,500 for the Mass Brewers Guild

The Mass Brewers Guild packed Castle Island Brewing Co. in Norwood, Mass.,  on Saturday, March 4 during its sold out, “Meet the Brewers: Freshman Class” event, where seventy patrons participated in an afternoon of speed-dating for beer.

Groups of ten were given ten-minutes with each brewery to hear their story, taste their beer, and ask questions before rotating to the next brewer.

The roundtable style event was the first of its kind hosted by the Mass Brewers Guild, with the goal to foster learning and education of the brewing process, and inspire deeper connections between brewers and craft beer lovers.

The line-up of freshman brewers included; Barrel House Z, Bone Up Brewing Co., Castle Island Brewing Co., Craft Roots Brewing Co., Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing, Lamplighter Brewing and Start Line Brewing.

“The afternoon was a huge success, and just as much fun for the brewers as it was for the guests,” says Rob Burns, co-founder of Night Shift and President of the Mass Brewers Guild. “We hope to launch several "Meet the Brewer" style events in the future and turn it into a series that our friends and fans can follow and attend.”

Thanks to the generosity of the brewers donating their time and beer, and the craft beer loving community for purchasing tickets, the event raised $2,500 for the Mass Brewers Guild.

The Mass Brewers Guild is a nonprofit organization that works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers across the Commonwealth. From lobbying on Beacon Hill to creating marketing and educational programs for brewers, the Mass Brewers Guild works to ensure that breweries across the state remain successful and independent businesses.