WACHUSETT BREWING COMPANY OPENS NEW TAP ROOM

Indoor Brew Yard Experience with Airstream Bar Now Open Six Days a Week

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Wachusett Brewing Company is expanding their on-site experience by bringing their successful summer Brew Yard concept indoors.  The new indoor Brew Yard extends the popularity of the outdoor version that opened this summer to now create a year-round destination for craft beer fans across New England.  Visitors can now buy pints, grab a bite to eat from the Brew Yard food truck and fill growlers to take home all in one visit.

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The grand opening will be this Saturday, December 16th from 12pm-10pm. There will live music, giveaways and more.

The Brew Yard, Growler Fill and Retail Store will now be open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 12pm-8pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm.

“We couldn’t be more excited to now offer a year-round experience that the Brew Yard was able to create this summer” said Ned LaFortune, CEO of Wachusett Brewing. “The Brew Yard will hopefully be a great addition to the local community as well as the overall New England craft beer scene.

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The new indoor Brew Yard was built using reclaimed wood from a 200 yr-old barn that the Wachusett team carefully took down and reconstructed in to the space.  It is also equipped with its signature, one of a kind Airstream bar, plus an enormous copper fire kettle, indoor games and garage doors that open up to the outdoor Brew Yard.

For more information about Wachusett Brewing Company, visit www.wachusettbrew.com

 

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Hitch A Ride To Your Next Brewery Tour

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There’s a lot of good beer out there.

With more than 100 tap room destinations in Massachusetts we want everyone to tour and taste responsibly. What's the best way to do that? Designate a driver for the afternoon, or better yet, hire someone else do the driving!

We've pulled together a list of the area’s best designated drivers for local residents and Beantown tourists alike. 

Looking for a last-minute holiday work party idea? Consider a day of brewery tours to ring in the season. Need a last-minute gift? All of these tour companies offer gift certificates.

Now buckle up for a thirst quenching adventure. 

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Boston Brew Tours presented by Craft Beer Lovers of Boston
There’s no better place to organize a celebration, and hey, there’s no better place to taste delicious and tasty craft beers, so why not put them all together? Boston Brew Tours presented by Craft Beer Lovers Boston, is a professional and stylish brewery, winery, and distillery tour company located in Boston. With the help of great brewery partnerships, Craft Beer Lovers are able to provide a one-of-a-kind, behind the curtain brewery experience. They bring together the very best in transportation, craft beer knowledge, brewery partnerships, and employees. Tours range from $90-$160. For questions or more information, visit www.tourbostonbreweries.com. info@tourbostonbreweries.com - GENERAL INFO, reservations@tourbostonbreweries.com - RESERVATIONS. 

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City Brew Tours
Celebrate any occasion by sharing an afternoon or evening with your friends, family, or coworkers. From 5 to 500 guests, City Brew Tours Boston can customize a tour specific to your needs and budget. City Brew Tours pairs unique craft beer tastings and meals at some of the best breweries in Boston. Grab a group of friends or colleagues and book an Original Brew Tour, an After Hours Brew Tour, or even build a unique personalized tour. Tours range from $70 to $99 and include a hand-rolled pretzel, City Brew Tour swag, roundtrip transportation, and up to 12 beer styles. For more information, visit www.citybrewtours.com/boston or call, 617-453-8687

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Mass Brew Bus:
The Mass Brew Bus offers a unique experience showcasing Massachusetts booming craft alcohol scene. They offer regularly scheduled and private all-inclusive tours in Greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts on bright green school buses that provide a behind-the-scenes look at craft breweries, distilleries, cideries, and more.

Tours are led by knowledgeable guides in addition to a dedicated non-drinking driver to ensure the best possible experience for participating guests as well as for the businesses with which they partner. All tours feature a local snack or meal, trivia, behind-the-scenes experiences, and of course delicious beer and beverages. Tours range from $80-$100. For questions, more information or to book online, visit themassbrewbus.com or call, (617) 651-5200 or email, info@massbrewbus.com

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Lyft:
Lyft is a proud partner of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild providing affordable, reliable transportation to more than 100 member breweries across Massachusetts. The partnership provides a growing number of craft breweries, craft beer lovers, and Lyft passengers with special promotions. Make your own brewery tour using the MBG’s “Mass Craft Beer” mobile application and set off on and adventure and let Lyft do the driving.

Another Hometown Home Run: Samuel Adams is Named “The Official Beer of the Boston Red Sox”

The Partnership Marks a New Era for New England’s Independent Craft Brewer and the Rising Tide of American Craft Beer

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(BOSTON --- 12 December 2017) Samuel Adams, New England’s leading independent craft brewer, has been named the “official beer of the Boston Red Sox.” Samuel Adams and the Red Sox have entered into a multi-year partnership, bringing together two beloved, Boston icons.

In 1984, Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch hit the streets of Boston, going door-to-door to introduce bartenders to his new full-flavored beer, Samuel Adams Boston Lager.  Sam Adams’ flagship beer, a leader of America’s craft beer revolution, was born in Boston.  Many of the first bars and restaurants that carried the local brewer’s beer were around the Fenway neighborhood, giving special meaning to the new partnership.

“I moved to Boston the year of the ‘Impossible Dream Season’.  Now visitors to this historic ballpark will enjoy the freshest Sam Adams beer, while watching an incredible team, playing under our sign over in right field.  It’s my personal impossible dream come true,” said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams.  “We got our start right here in Boston, and for the past three decades we’ve worked our butts off to stay independent and brew great beer. As the official beer of the Red Sox, we get to celebrate our New England roots with millions of other fans as soon as the season kicks off.”

Visitors to Boston’s storied Fenway Park will start to see the multi-year partnership come to life as soon as January 2018. Details of the agreement include:

·         Two Sam Adams experiential bar areas: the right field roof deck will now be known as the “Sam Deck,” and a bar area located beneath the third base stands will be known as “Sammy’s On Third.”

·         In addition to crowd favorites like Boston Lager and Summer Ale, fans will be able to enjoy new brews launching in 2018 like the highly anticipated Sam ’76.

·         Visible signage throughout the ballpark including the iconic right field sign which last changed nine years ago.

·         As the official beer of the Boston Red Sox, Sam Adams will have opportunities to partner across New England and in Fort Myers at JetBlue Park.

Sam Adams is the first American craft brewer to enter into a partnership with a Major League Baseball franchise, for this length of time and at this level.  The move continues to highlight an important cultural shift as the popularity of American craft beer provides new opportunities for Independent craft brewers.

“Both the Red Sox and Sam Adams are rooted in Boston tradition and history, and Jim Koch and the entire team are as passionate about beer as we are about baseball,” said Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy. “We are excited for this long-term partnership, and look forward to working collaboratively to represent Boston through our two brands.” 

This also marks the first professional team partnership, of this scale, for Samuel Adams.  The local craft brewer has also been the official beer of the Boston Marathon for several years, and over the years has had limited sponsorships or other arrangements with the Red Sox, The Patriots, the Celtics and the Bruins.  Since opening the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery, the brewer has donated beer and tour proceeds to support hundreds of local and regional charities, as part of its commitment as a New England neighbor.

For more information regarding the Samuel Adams and Boston Red Sox partnership, visit: www.SamuelAdams.com.

About Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams is a leading independent, American craft brewer that helped to launch the craft beer revolution.  The brewery began in 1984 when Founder and Brewer Jim Koch used a generations-old family recipe to brew beer in his kitchen. Inspired and unafraid to challenge conventional thinking about beer, Jim brought the recipe to life with hopes drinkers would appreciate the complex, full-flavor and started sampling the beer in Boston.  He named the flagship brew Samuel Adams Boston Lager in recognition of one of our nation’s founding fathers, a revolutionary man of independent and pioneering spirit.  Today, Samuel Adams is one of world's most awarded breweries and remains focused on crafting the highest quality beers through innovation and experimentation in the relentless pursuit of better.  Samuel Adams remains dedicated to elevating and growing the American craft beer industry overall, including providing education and support for entrepreneurs and fellow brewers through its philanthropic program, Brewing the American Dream, which helps others pursue their American Dream. 

For more information, please visit www.samueladams.com.

 

Fix the beer distribution laws

BY RICK WALTON

With the explosion of small breweries in the U.S., it is not unusual to hear stories enumerating the problems encountered by these breweries as a result of outdated alcohol laws and regulations. It begs the question: What changes in the law can be made to allow these small breweries to thrive?

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There are three brewing licenses defined by Massachusetts law: farmer brewer, pub brewer and manufacturer. Farmer and pub are responsible for the boom in small breweries.

Most breweries opening today are licensed as farmer brewers. Does that mean they are a farmer or are obtaining product locally from farmers? No, none of that. It means they can only sell their alcohol product at their bar or tasting room, plus they can freely self-distribute their product to other retailers and wholesalers. So what's the farmer thing about? I'm not sure, but I think the intention was to inspire farmers to grow their own barley and hops and create value by retailing these products. However, I cannot think of a single farmer brewer licensee that does this, though I'm not saying there isn't one out there. The situation for farmer brewer licensees is pretty good, since they can self-distribute and sell retail. Their one big problem – a problem for all brewery licensees – is limited access to markets due to Massachusetts Franchise Law.

Franchise law requires the brewer and distributor/wholesaler relationship to be permanent in a particular region of distribution. In other words, brewers are stuck with a distributor unless they can demonstrate a serious grievance and have bottomless pockets for legal fees. A distributor not selling your beer, or not selling it well, can just sit on your product, effectively putting you out of business. Franchise law was meant to protect small distributor/wholesalers from big breweries back in the 70s. 45 years later the landscape has flipped and the now very large distributors are still being protected. And they love it!

The pub brewer license is for businesses wanting to to retail alcohol other than their house-brewed beer. Properly licensed pub brewers have the ability to pour anything they want along with all of their own beers. However, this license is restricted from self distribution. Pub brewers must use a distributor/wholesaler (along with that permanent relationship dictated by franchise law) - a very expensive option for a brewery trying to get started in distribution.

Massachusetts currently has around 140+ breweries (and that number is growing), which ranks us at about 17th among states in the U.S. Another statistic, breweries per capita, ranks Massachusetts 24th! Clearly there is room to grow.

It may take a while to clean up the brewery laws – and good people are working on it – but in the meantime, if issues surrounding the franchise law can be remedied and self distribution can be legalized for pub brewers (both have bills pending on Beacon Hill), small breweries can enjoy unfettered access to markets and Massachusetts can get back on track as a leading brewing state.

Rick Walton is owner and president of Moon Hill Brewing Co. in Gardner.

Originally posted on WBJournal.com

Originally posted on WBJournal.com

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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Warren Dibble, Harpoon Brewery / Mass Bay Brewing Company, Inc. 
Warren Dibble is the Chief Financial Officer at Harpoon/Mass Bay Brewing Company, in Boston. He has worked in the beer industry for almost three decades and has held nearly every position in a brewery -- from a brewery representative, to bottling line operator, delivery driver, benefits and payroll manager, and overall financial manager. In his current role, he is responsible for all of the administrative and financial affairs at Harpoon.  Warren has played a significant and very helpful role in getting the Guild to where it is today while attending board meetings from the Guild’s inception and serving as Guild Treasurer for many years.  He is looking to replace Dan Kenary, Harpoon’s co-founder and CEO, on the board and states that his unique blend of experience at Harpoon, local business associations, and the MBG will allow him to 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 government affairs committee to share his passion for the industry and spread the mission of the MBG. 

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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.