The emergence of new Massachusetts breweries in recent years has been nothing short of dizzying.
A record 39 breweries opened in the Bay State last year, and 25 more are expected to come on board in 2018, according to Katie Stinchon, executive director of the Mass Brewers Guild, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the interests of the industry here. There are currently 154 active breweries across the Commonwealth.
In an effort to help consumers keep up, the Guild is hosting its second annual “Meet the Brewers” event, a roundtable tasting featuring some of the brewers who came on line in the last year.
The lineup includes Medfield’s 7th Wave Brewing, New Bedford’s Moby Dick Brewing Co., and Jamaica Plain’s Turtle Swamp Brewing, as well as River Styx Brewing Co. in Fitchburg, Shovel Town Brewery in North Easton, and Untold Brewing, Widowmaker Brewing, and Shakesbeer on the South Shore. The event takes place at Lookout Farm Brewing Co. in Natick, which serves an eclectic mix of both beer and hard cider, including dry-hopped versions and a variety made with hot peppers.
“This event makes it easier for our craft beer fans to keep track of our freshman breweries, and gives them the opportunity to wrap their lips around some of the new beer,” says Stinchon. “It’s a different approach to a beer festival that both our attendees and brewers really enjoy.”
Unlike a traditional festival, where attendees wait in line for 2-ounce pours with minimal interaction with the brewer, the Guild event aims to maximize face time. Brewers will split off into small groups of attendees, talking through the samples and answering questions.
“Meet the Brewers: Freshman Class of 2018” will take place at Lookout Farm Brewing Co., 89 Pleasant Street South, Natick, on March 3 from noon to 3 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit mtbfc2018.eventbrite.com.Gary Dzen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.