In 2007, the Massachusetts Brewers Guild was formed to help promote the explosive growth of the craft beer industry in the state. At the time, according to the guild’s website, there were 34 licensed brewers, but that number was increasing every month. There are now well over 100 in 2016, and that number is growing seemingly by the week. In an effort to promote these brewers and their beers, the Guild created an annual festival. Now in its seventh year, the Mass Brewers Fest is a must-attend event for anyone interested in local brews. It’s obvious that all beer brands are good business for the Bay State, as we’ve long embraced our beer culture, but unlike other beer festivals that now dot the Commonwealth, the guild has created a festival that only promotes and invites homegrown offerings. That’s unique, but more importantly, it’s central to the Guild’s core mission of promoting local brewers, local people, and local beer.
The beer I prefer to drink on a day-to-day basis is not always local, I’ll be the first to admit, but I go out of my way to find local brewers that are challenging the notion of styles and brewing that I want and like, and lately I’ve been impressed more often than not at the quality and integrity of the beers. Like many people, my first local beer was a Samuel Adams Boston Lager, but almost immediately I was also drinking a Harpoon, or a CBC, Commonwealth, Berkshire, Northampton brew. While some of those beers still exist, the variety and commitment from new brewers such as Tree House, Notch, Jack’s Abby, Castle Island, Riverwalk, Lord Hobo, Night Shift, Mystic, and so so many more are astounding and make me realize how small the local options were. To steal a quote, we’ve come a long way, baby.
This Friday, you’ll have a chance to see exactly how far. While there won’t be all 100+ brands from the Bay State present, you’ll be able to sample over 100 beers from more than 30 local brewers during the fest. The event is open to the public and a majority of the attendees are just beer fans, but you won’t find a more concentrated gathering of local owners, brewers, and passionate local beer folk anywhere else under one roof.
MASS BREWERS FEST. 200 SEAPORT BLVD., BOSTON. FRI 8.26. $40. TICKETS AVAILABLE AT MASSBREWERSGUILD.ORG