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Old 04-12-2011, 11:31 AM
 
5 posts, read 22,016 times
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Hi all - my husband and I are looking to move to a small town near Boston where a brewery would thrive. I am an architect and would be commuting to Boston for work. My husband is a brewer right now in Seattle and wants to open a brewery in a small town (think on the water, quaint, good foot traffic). Which town do you think is close enough to Boston (under an hour of commute) that would welcome a brewery? Thanks!

ps - the brewery would start as a nanobrewery, small system, probably 3 barrel (6 kegs). Looking to have a small tasting room where people can order pints, no food (besides pretzels etc).
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Newton, Mass.
2,954 posts, read 12,308,854 times
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First, eliminate all the towns that are basically dry.

I don't know, one thought is Scituate. It's on the water and Scituate Harbor is a cute downtown with a pub or two. This is a list of breweries in MA (don't know if it's comprehensive) and there's not much right near Scituate.

Massachusetts Brewpub and Microbreweries

It is a pretty quiet town. There wouldn't be foot traffic like you'd find in a city, but there might be a market. For what it's worth I knew a couple of people from that area and they drank a LOT of beer.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
324 posts, read 1,090,478 times
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Maybe Salem? They've got some tourists, but it's also a cute town in and of itself. There are some other breweries in the area (Ipswich brewing, if I remember correctly). I'm probably going to [**** someone off] "make someone mad" by saying this, but I'd consider the South Shore to be budweiser country, so I'd be looking on the North Shore.

Do you have to be on the water? Does it have to be small town quaint? You might have more success with the young adult crowd in Somerville or Cambridge. Also, watch out for weird Massachusetts laws on alcohol. see:
How many 'dry' towns in Massachusetts?

And even those that aren't "dry" can have quite a lot of restrictions governing the sale of alcohol.

Last edited by NotAPrincess; 04-12-2011 at 12:00 PM.. Reason: oops.....I said a bad word.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Providence, RI
12,874 posts, read 22,050,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAPrincess View Post
I'm probably going to [**** someone off] "make someone mad" by saying this, but I'd consider the South Shore to be budweiser country, so I'd be looking on the North Shore.
.
No argument with the North Shore being great .In addition to Salem, Gloucester, Newburyport or Rockport come immediately to mind.

However, while your comment doesn't p*ss me off, I do think it's fairly inaccurate. When I think of the South Shore/Coast, I think of high quality beer. Westport MA has Just Beer (formerly Buzzard's Bay Brewing), Plymouth Has Mayflower Brewing (one of the top five biggest brewers in the state, and IMHO, one of the top in quality). Two of my favorite craft beer bars in Massachusetts, The Pour Farm and Rose Alley Ale House, are in downtown New Bedford (I prefer them to almost anything in Boston/Cambridge due to quality, selection and frequently rotating menu) and they're wildly popular.

In fact, if you don't mind sharing "turf" with someone (Mayflower), Plymouth would be a great choice. Lots of foot traffic, waterfront location and some great places to grab a brew (British Beer Company has a Plymouth Location and there are a number of bars with good craft selections).

Scituate has already been mentioned and came to mind immediately. Pretty area, close to Boston and I'd guess they'd be open to some sort of microbrewery.

One of the problems I think you may run into in some of the moderate to very affluent communities in MA is neighborhood opposition. While the "Blue Laws" are slowly becoming a thing of the past, alcohol is still a controversial topic. This tends to be amplified in wealthier towns (i.e. Hingham, Marblehead,, Manchester-by-the-Sea, etc.-- all of which would be great fits otherwise). Coming from the West Coast, I think you may find it difficult to an off-putting level to open a brewery in one of the wealthier historic towns north or south of Boston.

For that reason (and a number of others which I'll get into), I'd like to toss New Bedford(and neighboring Fairhaven)'s hat into the ring. New Bedford is a historic seaport city on the South Coast (50 minutes from Boston, 30 from Providence). It has a long history of being a destination, but had sort of fallen off the radar for a few decades (70s, 80s, 90s) due to the loss of the textile and manufacturing industries. The past decade or so has been very good for New Bedford. 13 cobblestone blocks of the downtown area have been designated a National Historic Park since 1999. over the past 3 years (the recession), the city has had more than 40 new storefronts (including Rose Alley and Pour Farm which I mentioned previously) open up downtown. The downtown historic district is anchored by the Whaling Museum (Herman Melville Called NB home when he wrote Moby Dick), Art Museum, Ocean Explorium, The historic Zeiterion Theatre, and part of UMass Dartmouth's urban campus (including their Star Store art gallery). There are many more private galleries, restaurants and other small businesses in a compact, attractive, walkable area. Needless to say, there's plenty of foot traffic.

New Bedford's far from perfect. It's still very early (relatively speaking) in the gentrification process. While the downtown area (and surrounding residential neighborhoods) are pretty great, the city (pop 95,000) has some tough neighborhoods and more crime than it should in certain pockets (though it's hardly overrun with crime). Unemployment is still pretty high (dropping), and schools aren't very good (if children are in the plan). I love New Bedford (don't live there, for the record so I'm not a "homer"), but don't want to make it out to be some sort of utopia.

Still, New Bedford is an incredibly attractive coastal city. Seafood is excellent (highest grossing fishing port in the nation for the past 10 years), but the craft beer culture is fantastic. Whereas in some of the wealthier communities, you will likely find some obnoxiously staunch opposition; in New Bedford you will certainly be embraced. They mayoral administration has made huge efforts to encourage small business growth (hence the 40 new storefronts downtown in the past 3 years), including those involved with serving/producing alcohol, and it has clear that it's paid off. The businesses that already exist work hard to encourage the continued growth and have excellent organizations (some resources for you: Chamber of Commerce, Downtown New Bedford Inc., Aha New Bedford). The owners of the small businesses really work to support each other.

Finally, perhaps the biggest selling point (you never mentioned budget) is the price. New Bedford (and the South Coast region surrounding it) is just about the best coastal value you'll find in New England (with the exception of "Downeast Maine which is near absolutely nothing). It's also a very attractive area. You'll find a home and workspace for a fraction of the cost of towns like Hingham, Manchester, Salem, etc. Perhaps even a historic structure.

I suggested Fairhaven earlier. It's right across the harbor from New Bedford, but much more quiet and "quaint." It does have a nice Main St. and walkable center. West Island (part of Fairhaven) is one of the prettiest places in the state. If you like New Bedford but find that the city is a bit too large and schools are too weak, Fairhaven is less than 5 minutes away, equally as beautiful, but much more laid back. Certainly worth a look.

You certainly can't go wrong with a place like Scituate, Salem, Newburyport, etc. But I would consider a look at New Bedford if you get a chance.

Regardless, good luck! I'd love another brewery in MA!
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
324 posts, read 1,090,478 times
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This is actually great news. I didn't realize there was so much on the S. Shore! I'll be making a trip down there soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
No argument with the North Shore being great .In addition to Salem, Gloucester, Newburyport or Rockport come immediately to mind.

However, while your comment doesn't p*ss me off, I do think it's fairly inaccurate. When I think of the South Shore/Coast, I think of high quality beer. Westport MA has Just Beer (formerly Buzzard's Bay Brewing), Plymouth Has Mayflower Brewing (one of the top five biggest brewers in the state, and IMHO, one of the top in quality). Two of my favorite craft beer bars in Massachusetts, The Pour Farm and Rose Alley Ale House, are in downtown New Bedford (I prefer them to almost anything in Boston/Cambridge due to quality, selection and frequently rotating menu) and they're wildly popular.
And to the OP, whatever you do, please please come to MA!!! The more beer the better :-)
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:09 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
3,689 posts, read 7,436,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty02 View Post

...the brewery would start as a nanobrewery, small system, probably 3 barrel (6 kegs). Looking to have a small tasting room where people can order pints, no food (besides pretzels etc).


Your husband may want to re-think that business model. Brew pubs make most of their money on the sale of food, not on the sale of beer. It's food and service that keeps people coming back, not the beer.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:14 PM
 
40 posts, read 114,833 times
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Why not just open one in Cambridge or Boston?

Considering how many crap hole pizza and sub shops we have, rent can be that bad for the size of place you are talking?

Too bad the worlds tiniest pub isnt available anymore 38 Capacity!

The Tiniest Pub is Closing - Bostonist
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:51 AM
 
16 posts, read 37,188 times
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Couldn't open in Rockport, restaurants are only allowed to serve with the purchase of dinner. And local guys just opened an amazing brewery in Gloucester and Cape Ann will always support local first. Beverly or Ipswich come to mind, but what about Nahant? Or Marblehead?
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:57 AM
 
16 posts, read 37,188 times
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Newburyport would be great too I bet!
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