David Kushner was attending law school at Suffolk University and waiting tables at John Harvard’s Brewery in Harvard Square when he had a revelation.
“One of the things coming from John Harvard’s that was always a little bit frustrating is brewers start their days early, at 6 or 7 in the morning,” said Kushner, who eventually worked his way up to the brewing team. “And by the time the business is open for the beer, they’re wrapping up. You don’t really get to be a part of it.
“I remember times sweeping up, and people would ask me what I was doing, and I said, ‘I’m kind of just cleaning now.’ ”
Kushner has kept that memory with him and vows to use it to shape the customer experience at Remnant Brewing, a new brewery set to anchor Union Square, Somerville’s Bow Market.
Full details on the market are still being fleshed out, but think dozens of vendors offering food, drinks, and other goods out of tiny stalls. Tenants are expected to include popular Boston-area purveyors opening their first brick-and-mortars. The brewery will occupy 2,700 square feet — significantly more than the other vendors — with an additional 1,000 square feet of outdoor space.
“When I used to dream about having my own brewery, this fits the footprint of that dream,” said Kushner. “I always wanted a small brewery in a densely urban setting.”
The Remnant team includes Kushner and cofounder Joel Prickett, who came from Lord Hobo, as well as head brewer Charlie Cummings, whose most recent stint was at Mystic, the Chelsea brewery known for making some of the most innovative beer in the Boston area.
“I’ve been helping others create and fine-tune the beers they want to make for a long time, and now I’m lucky enough to have a chance to really let it fly and follow my vision,” said Cummings. “Fortunately, it seems like that coincides pretty well with what people are into lately.”
That vision includes saisons and sours — barrel-aged and kettle-soured — juicy IPAs, and session beers and stouts.
“We’re going to make use of a lot of interesting fruits, spices, local and seasonal ingredients, and Brettanomyces,” said Cummings.
As for that customer interaction, Kushner said the brewing space will be visible from the tap room through a window. All-day coffee service will ensure that customers are around to ask questions when he and Cummings are there to answer them. The brewery has no plans to distribute, meaning if you want to buy the beer, you’ll probably have to talk to someone who had a hand in making it.
“It’s a philosophical decision,” said Kushner. “We’re people people.”