The craft beer landscape is constantly evolving. In Orange, Mass, part of the North Quabbin Region, Honest Weight Artisan Beer will be the town’s first ever brewery, open to the public in early summer.
Friends Jay Sullivan and Sean Nolan signed a five-year lease for a space within a 100-plus-year-old factory building in Orange Innovation Center and hope to begin brewing this spring.
“For years, we’ve talked about how it would be a dream to work for ourselves and together. Our ideas began to get much more serious over the last year or so,” says Nolan, “The craft brewing industry is continuing to grow and we felt like this was the right time for us to insert our vision into the market, and in a community that we love.”
The owner-brewer duo first met about 10 years ago. Since then, they have built an impressive resume: Sullivan is a graduate of the American Brewers Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science & Engineering program and current head brewer at Cambridge Brewing Company, and Nolan, who completed the Brewing Technology program at the Siebel Institute of Technology/World Brewing Academy, also has a history brewing at Cambridge Brewing Company, along with Idle Hands Craft Ales and Enlightenment Ales.
“We’ve been really fortunate to work with and learn from some amazing folks in the brewing industry and look forward to applying that knowledge in our own direction,” says Nolan.
The 3,000-square-foot industrial space will be equipped with a seven-barrel, 220-gallon production brewery with the capacity to brew 2,500 barrels of suds, although the current plan is to produce and sell just 500 barrels within the first 12 months of operation.
Beers will run the gamut from European-influenced Grisette to hops-forward American-style lagers. The pair is particularly interested in Brettanomyces fermentation and suds that take more time to perfect, so expect a line of wild yeast styles and worth-the-wait barrel-aged beer. There’s also a collaboration beer planned with Smuttlabs, a project of Smuttynose Brewing.
Also in the space: a rustic tasting room with a custom-made bar handcrafted from local wood and rigged with up to six draft lines, pouring pints and growlers, and an outdoor patio space and beer garden.
The permitting process started late last week, and construction on the brewery and tasting room will begin in about 30 days, wrapping up by mid-April. Planning for the beer garden will begin shortly thereafter, with the goal of running a fully functional space by end of summer.