Supercharged newfangled beers that honor the brewery’s North Shore homebase
As a newspaper that’s been around for a quarter century, and that in said period has seen countless businesses pretend to pay homage to the area they’re occupying, it’s not easy to convince us that a business is paying proper respect to the locale they purport to admire.
Bent Water, however, seems to be doing it right in how it promotes without pandering. The Lynn-based dynamo is everything a brewery (and accompanying tap room) should venture to be these days; a proudly local operation and tap destination, they’ve fast become a leader in perfecting recipes that honor old traditions while leaving unique touches and stamps on the product. Put simply, they walk the walk …
“This is our playground, where we can have fun.”
Adam Denny Golab, head brewer and director of quality, guides us through Bent Water’s small-batch system. Located behind their taproom, this is where they test out new ideas before spinning them into marketable products.
“With our old [equipment], we could max out at about 4,500 barrels a year,” Golab says. “With our new facility, we’re basically at around 12,000 barrels a year.”
Bent Water’s transition, from small-ish to badass brewery, took place prior to the pandemic, in the summer of 2019. As anyone who’s dipped their toe into some Bent Water in the time since will attest, the change went smoothly, which helped them navigate the pandemic on strong footing.
“I definitely think our beer has gotten better since the expansion,” Golab says. As for the learning curve, he adds, “We figured it out.”
I mention that I hadn’t personally noticed any change, to which he replies, “That was the goal.”
With their foundation in place, the Bent Water gang has gone to serious lengths to honor their neighbors and region. The names of and inspirations behind their beers tell the story.
“Timeless is the second installment in our Lynn series, which we started to really pay tribute to our hometown.” Director of Communications Robin Leopoldo breaks it down for us.
“The first beer [in the series] was Supercharger, which is a nod to the first jet engine that GE built here in the ’40s,” she explains. “The thing I love about that beer and the can design is how it has the gorilla flying the jet. Our designer Mike found a story that when they made the jet engine, one of the test pilots would put on a gorilla mask, so people were used to seeing slow propeller planes and now all of a sudden they see this fast plane with no propellers that is driven by a gorilla.”
Things have certainly moved at a supercharged pace at Bent Water, which only brewed its first batch in 2015 and is now available in not only bars and coolers all across Mass, but outside the Commonwealth as well with additional states on the way. Leopoldo continues with the story behind Timeless, their follow-up to Supercharger and a “nod to the diamond historic district in Lynn” by the shore.
“We had industry and innovation [with Supercharger], we’ve got historical [with Timeless], we have another beer that will be in line with the arts, and then another one that is kind of a nod to Lynn Woods,” she explains. “That’s one of our biggest water sources, the reservoir there.
“It’s all to bring attention to Lynn and all it has to offer, but these beers speak to everybody.”
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.