During last fall’s midterm elections, about 200 people gathered at the Provincetown Town Hall for a “Flip-the-House” flip cup tournament in support of progressive political candidates.
The event raised $2,500 for The Shack, the town’s new LGBTQ Welcome Center, and acted as the unofficial launch for Provincetown Brewing Co., at the time existing in spirit rather than as a physical brewery. The winners, Team DTF Tokyo Drift, won a free summer stay in P-Town. “First loser” Shalloween won a trip to DC to, according to a press release, “represent us in opposition to the Trump presidency.”
That Provincetown Brewing is political is sort of the point.
“The times that we are in now, I think it’s really important that we show there’s a lot of community, and that we build on that and support one another,” says Chris Hartley, one of the brewery’s founders.
Activism is at the base of everything Provincetown Brewing plans to do. The brewery team comes largely from the gay community, which the founders say their work and donation efforts will focus on but not be limited to. Hartley and co-founder Erik Borg say they’re not worried about turning away folks who may sit somewhere else on the political spectrum.
“I think being politically out is going to turn away certain people,” says Borg. “But overall it’s about these kind of progressive ideals, and making sure everybody’s rights are heard. I don’t think in a long-term sense it’s going to be a detriment to us.”
The brewery recently secured permitting for a space on Bradford Street, in an old mechanic’s garage that is currently a natural food market. The plan is to open sometime in July. Hartley has been apprenticing at Turtle Swamp, in Jamaica Plain, and with the help of the staff there has started crafting Provincetown Brewing’s first three beer offerings, which include a golden ale, a hazy New England-style IPA, and a cranberry sour.
“The brewing community is just so communal and supportive,” says Hartley. “They’ve definitely surpassed expectations.”
Once the brewery is up and running, future plans include distribution to local bars (and maybe beyond), and an outdoor beer garden. Borg and Hartley hope the brewery will be a welcoming place for everyone.
“I think it goes back to the idea of what P-Town stands for,” says Hartley. “To me it’s this Utopian community where people from all different walks of life can come, and you can kind of just go up and be yourself.”