Brewery of the Month:
This month's Brewery of the Month is Wormtown Brewery out of Worcester, MA. We would like to thank head brewer and co-owner, Ben Roesch, for taking the time to talk to us about everything Wormtown!
When did you open?: We served our first beer on St. Patrick’s Day 2010.
Where are you located?: Worcester, MA
Where can people find you?: MA, RI, NH, and the eastern portion of CT
What is the history of the Brewery?: I’ve been a professional brewer since 2001. Going from homebrewer to pro was the first dream, then owning my own brewery was the second dream. After 8 years of professional brewing experience, I felt I had enough experience to open up my own brewery. I just needed someone with more business experience to help get the doors open, which is where my business partner Tom came in. Tom owned two restaurants in Worcester. He saw where craft beer was coming from at the time and could see where it was going. His business knowledge coupled with my brewing experience made us a great team!
Our first brewery was located in an old ice cream shop which, believe it or not, had the right infrastructure for a small brewery- it had floor drains and a cooler already built in. Be Hoppy IPA was one of our first core beers. We also had 7 Hills Pale Ale- a single hop pale with Amarillo Hops; Worcester’s Bravest- a tribute to Worcester firefighters (Belgian Wit); and Turtle Boy Blueberry Ale (an homage to a famous statue in Worcester of a boy holding a turtle). We strive to include at least one Massachusetts ingredient in every beer we brew and all of our beers tend to be themed around Worcester.
Do you have a philosophy behind the beers you brew?: For us, we want to find a balance. The beer needs to be drinkable and complex, but it can’t be so over the top with intense flavor that the customer can only have one pint. It’s all about getting them to buy that second beer.
What was the local craft beer scene like when you opened?: We were the first brewery to open up in Worcester and there wasn’t a brewery open within a 30 mile radius from Worcester. For that reason, it was really important to me that I opened up a brewery in my hometown.
How has the Local Craft Beer Scene Changed since?: The local scene has started to gain a lot of steam. We helped Dave from Flying Dreams open up his brewery a few years ago with our equipment from the ice cream shop. So today there are 4 breweries in Worcester proper, and at least a dozen breweries within a 30 mile radius of brewery. It’s exciting to see!
What are your core beers?: Be Hoppy West-Coast style IPA is what we are most known for, but our seasonal lineup makes appearances every year. We often times use our seasonal lineup to try new and interesting things to maintain a variety for our customers every year.
Any plans for new and fun beers?: We have a Hopular Culture series that we limit to our taproom. We brew a beer that features new and interesting hops. We try to have them focus on a story. For instance our first iteration was a beer with all New Zealand hops, the second featured all South African hops, and one of the more recent iterations featured Michigan hops and Michigan malt. I believe a beer is more interesting when there is a story behind it.
What can we expect from Wormtown in the Future?: We are going to keep on trying to bring on new and interesting beer. We just came out with a new hazy IPA called “Don’t Worry” and we are going to continue to innovate with our seasonal lineup. Also, we have a taproom coming to Patriot Place this fall that will have a 7 barrel pilot brewery over there! It will be open 365 days a year- not just during football season!
Thanks again to Ben for taking the time to talk to us! You can currently find Wormtown's Be Hoppy on tap at the Malted Barley in Providence!