Massachusetts Treasurer Deb Goldberg keynotes milestone event for one of the state’s fastest growing industries
WOBURN, Mass. | More than 160 craft brewers from across Massachusetts gathered at Lord Hobo Brewing in Woburn to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild. The event was the largest yet in the organization’s history, and showcased the growing importance of craft brewing to the Commonwealth’s economy.
"The Massachusetts craft beer scene has continued to evolve at a rapid pace and it's critical for us all to be unified and work together," says Rob Burns, co-founder of Night Shift and president of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, a nonprofit organization that works to protect and promote the interests of craft brewers. "Promoting and protecting the brewery business that we are all so passionate about is key to maintaining our reputation as a world-class beer state. We are honored to have State Treasurer Deb Goldberg meet with brewers and celebrate the successes we have all had."
Many of the laws governing craft brewers were written more than 85 years ago, when the beer industry was vastly different than it is today. Most of the rules are outdated, vague, and create unnecessary and onerous burdens on businesses. Goldberg, who oversees the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC), had previously announced a 2017 effort to review and recommend changes to the state’s antiquated alcohol laws. She plans to create a task force, led by legal experts, to examine the various rules and regulations and make recommendations.
The Mass Brewers Guild meeting also included educational sessions, including a panel discussion on sour beers with Tyler Fitzpatrick from Lamplighter Brewing Co., Bryan Greenhagen from Mystic Brewery and renowned expert, Will Meyers, from Cambridge Brewing Company as well as updates from the organization’s board of directors.
Since 2007, the Massachusetts Brewers Guild has been instrumental in protecting Massachusetts state breweries and creating a community for brewers and enthusiasts alike. Founding members Gary Bogoff from Berkshire Brewing Company, Drew Brosseau from Mayflower Brewing Company, Dan Kenary from Harpoon, Ned Lafortune from Wachusett Brewing Company, Rob Martin from Ipswich Ale Brewery and Michelle Sullivan from Boston Beer Co. remain the backbone of the organization. Fresh faces to the nonprofit include the hire of its first fulltime executive director, Katie Stinchon, as well as changes to the board including president, Rob Burns from Night Shift Brewing, Ryan Daigle from Gardner Ale House, Sam Hendler from Jack’s Abby, Adam Romanow from Castle Island Brewing Co. and Keith Sullivan from Medusa Brewing Company. Steve Sanderson from RiverWalk Brewing Company was also re-elected to serve as the Massachusetts Brewers Guild vice president.
In 2016, 122 active breweries were making suds in the Commonwealth, including 91 farmer brewers, seven manufacturing breweries, and 24 pub breweries. In Massachusetts, breweries in planning are emerging on the scene every day.
In the New Year, the organization will focus on a rebranding effort with a new website, revitalized passport program, and the creation of innovative beer festivals, with the goal of hosting 2,000 attendees and 150 breweries from across the state and the New England area. 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. For more information, visit, massbrewersguild.org or email Katie@massbrewersguild.org.