It all began in an ice cream shop on Park Ave in Worcester.
Ben, who was brewing and selling beer for Honest Town Brewing, in Southbridge MA, had a vision for a brick and mortar brewery in his home town of Worcester. Tom was trying to figure out what to do with the addition on his restaurant that was the home to Peppercorn’s Ice Cream Factory. After a few pints on a bar stool one night a plan was formed to start a brewery that would be committed to being local both in our imagery and our ingredients.
After securing an SBA Loan from BayState Savings Bank with the help from The Clark University Business Development Center, a 10 barrel brew house was ordered. The walk in cooler from the ice cream stand would store the beer and an ice cream freezer would keep the hops fresh. All that was left was to make some beer and name the brewery.
Seven Hills Session Pale Ale was an easy tribute to Worcester and was going to be the flagship brand. Be Hoppy, Worcester’s Bravest Wit and Turtle Boy Blue rounded out the names for our first beers. Maybe Worcester Brewing Company?
The brewery officially opened on March 17, 2010 and we really weren’t sure what to expect. Worst case we’d have a lot of beer to share with our friends! But support came quickly with restaurants like Flatbread (Sommerville), Horseshoe Pub, Peppercorn’s and Prezo’s carrying our beers early on. Then the awards started coming in. Medals at the GABF & GIBF that first year. A World Beer Cup Silver the third year. More GIBF medals, Denver International Beer Fest gold medal and the ultimate honor to date: The Grand National Champion at the US Open Beer Championships with 3 Gold Medals and a Silver in Atlanta.
Brewing is a labor of love and it wasn’t easy to get started. Some of our favorite setbacks make great stories we love to tell. Just ask anyone of us about the story behind Elm Park Amber Ale (it may have been a mistake), Beer Goggles (ditto) or about the first time we pushed spent grains through our automated system in the new brewery (there is still some on the ceiling).
Finally in January ’15, after 13 months of construction and almost 5 years crammed in an ice cream stand, we brewed our first beer in our new location on Shrewsbury St. Located in the heart of Worcester the new facility allows us to make A LOT more great beer. It allows us to start selling beer to package stores in meaningful quantities. It will allow us to expand our geographic footprint when the time is right. But most importantly it provided us with space to build our awesome WT TapRoom that overlooks our entire brewing ‘pit’ as we call it. Customers can come have a pint while they wait for a growler and we get a chance to hang out with them while they enjoy our beer – and that’s why we brew – to make great beer and enjoy it with all of our friends, some old and many, many new ones.
Wait the name? Well Wormtown was simply way cooler than Worcester Brewing Company. And it allows us to have a little 3 decker attitude that we can put into our beers!