Wormtown Brewery’s recent expansion was simply a matter of supply and demand. The Worcester-based brewery had routinely sold out of its sudsy wonderment and needed to increase production to meet the demand of hops zealots.
Since its start in 2010, Wormtown has steadily grown from a project employing master brewer Ben Roesch and one part-time employee to one backed by five additional full-time employees and distributing across nearly all of Massachusetts. Among the newbies is head brewer Megan Parisi, who joined the outfit last June, bringing 10 years of industry experience. Most recently, Parisi served as head brewer at Bluejacket Brewery in DC, where she helped build production from the ground up, acquiring practical experience she’s leveraging at Wormtown to get the new brewhouse system dialed in for production.
“I’m most excited about helping to facilitate the transition to the new, expanded brewery while maintaining the standards already in place by the existing team at Wormtown Brewery,” says Parisi.
As of this past summer, Wormtown moved to the 10,000-square-foot Buick building at 72 Shrewsbury Street. According to Parisi, they’re still ramping up, but soon the new digs will not only provide hella space to brew more (and more frequently), but will also facilitate public interaction through scheduled guided tours, and a tasting room where growlers are at the ready.
“For now, we have more space in which to operate that gives the illusion that we’ll be tripping over each other much less. However, we’ll be filling up that space in time and, while it will never be as crowded as the former space, it’ll never be as spacious as it is now,” says Parisi.
Increased production has already allowed for new recipes. Bottle Rocket Pale Ale and Warthog Wheat, two year-round styles that Parisi helped design alongside Roesch, will accompany Wormtown’s most well-known sipper, Be Hoppy, an American IPA and Parisi’s personal favorite. The brand-new Bottle Rocket recipe will have broader appeal for those who find Be Hoppy too aggressive, whereas Warthog Wheat, based on the MassWhole Hefeweizen recipe, is a Bavarian-style Hefeweizen, different from the American wheat beers typically sold year-round.
“Wormtown beers have been brewed with the same enthusiasm and passion from day one,” says Parisi, “We’ve established brands and styles over the last five years, so our loyal customers have high expectations. My job is to make sure that we meet those expectations each day and consistently produce outstanding beers. It sounds easy enough, but it’s going to keep me on my toes—we can’t let them down.”
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