Earlier today I took the afternoon off so I could make a trip up to Newburyport and visit a couple of breweries. First on my list was Newburyport Brewing. My hosts were none other than co-founders Chris Webb and Bill Fisher, accompanied by brewmaster Mike Robinson.
Chris and Bill’s story is quite fascinating. To summarize, in 2011 the two noted a lack of craft beer in the Newburyport area and decided to start a brewery. In 2012 equipment started rolling in and by spring 2013 brewing operations were in full swing. In it’s first year, Newburyport brewed 5000 barrels, making it one of the fastest growing breweries. Today, despite the recent significant addition of equipment, the brewery can’t keep beer on shelves. Further expansion is planned.
Some of the success can be attributed to amazing foresight. For example, one of the first investments the two made was in a canning line. Even earlier than that, long before beer was being brewed on premise, they purchased rights to relatively rare strains of hops.
Bill spoke fondly of Brewmaster Mike Robinson, saying that “Mike was a huge part of the success we have seen”. Robinson, has quite a resume including New England Home Brewer of the Year and Samuel Adams Longshot winner. An original bottle of his Old Ale that won the award is pictured in the gallery below.
In addition to beer, Chris and Bill have a passion for music. The two play in a funk band together (Chris is lead vocals, while Bill is on horns) and the brewery regularly hosts local bands, who are featured in the Live from Newburyport Brewing series of shows. The brewery also supports local artists, featuring and selling art out of the tasting room. Fisher explained how important it is for Newburyport Brewing to invest in the local community, saying “We wanted this space to be a community place.”
If you’re in the North Shore area, I HIGHLY recommend swinging by the brewery!