If you want something done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself.
Daniel Lanigan, proprietor of Inman Square-pedigreed suds haunt Lord Hobo and two kin craft beer destinations in New York and Baltimore (see: Alewife), wants more excellent beer that’s easy to procure. And he will make it happen by opening a brewery.
Although Mass has become home to many new microbrews in recent years, Lanigan says New England still lags behind the “gold standard” of California and the Pacific Northwest when it comes to beer, and he thinks there’s an opportunity for another significant player in the industry.
With plans to transform a 46,500-square-foot space in Woburn into Lord Hobo Brewing Company, which adapts its name from the cultish Cambridge brew haven and will feature a similar 80-seat taproom, Lanigan says this is the next logical step in his career as a beer steward.
“I know how to manage people and I understand the landscape of craft beer. Plus, I’m as passionate about the industry as anyone,” he says.
Along with his years of experience presiding over ever-changing, handpicked drafts, dispensing domestic all-stars and local standouts, Lanigan’s enthusiasm for sharing high-quality liquid is exactly what’s needed to enact change in the local beer scene. He acknowledges the fact that there are phenomenal beers brewed in the region by world-class breweries (think: Hill Farmstead), but those brews are hard to come by because of capacity issues, or the owners’ plans to stay small and local to maintain freshness.
Lanigan will kick off beer production in early December with the aggressive goal of producing 10,000 barrels within the first year (eventually ramping up to 50,000 barrels annually), which, he says, will make Lord Hobo Brewing Company suds, like the trademarked flagship IPA Boom Sauce, “actually available—and not because nobody wants to drink it.” Think of his goal as creating a superior ale like the glorious Heady Topper, the highly coveted Double IPA that’s the calling card of Vermont’s The Alchemist, but with the accessibility of something more mainstream. “It comes down to a balance of availability and quality,” says Lanigan.
While Lanigan focuses on quality control, a team of hops zealots will be at the ready, crafting recipes and brewing beers that meet Lanigan’s standards of non-suckage. Booze aficionados will be hard-pressed to find a dud among a roster of half a dozen IPAs, sours, saisons, and other styles chosen by Lanigan simply because these are the beers he likes to drink, each one a far cry from the cheap American lagers be swilled before he knew better.
He’s trusting his beer will hold up not just to his standards, but to standards that get people elsewhere to buzz about the product.
The pressure is on. At least there are beers to take the edge off.
LORD HOBO BREWING COMPANY. 5 DRAPER ST., WOBURN.