Top 3 Highlights from Brew Talks New England

Last week, Brewbound hosted their final Brew Talks for 2016 in Framingham, MA at Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers. We heard a lot of discussion on Jack’s Abby’s brewery operations as well as on the state of the beer industry in Massachusetts. Here are some of the highlights of this Brew Talk!

Brew Talks New England

Top 3 Things We Learned from Brew Talks New England:

1. Keep Your Brew Specific and Focused for Best Business Results

Brew Talk’s kicked off with Cofounders of Jacks Abby, Jack Hendler and Sam Hendler discussing recent growth and plans for the future. Out of the 122 active brewing permits in the state of Massachusetts, Jacks Abby Craft lagers is one of the more impressive and fast-growing breweries. When they started their brewery, realizing there are very few large scale sour beer programs, they set out to only do sour beer, but it takes years to produce – some of their barrels have been aging for about three years. An exclusive focus on Sour beers creates additional process and capacity restraints. So, they supplemented their sour beers with other brews – non sour wood aged beers, 100% bread aged beers, and lagers.

Along their brew variations, Jack’s Abby maintains a strong focus on German style lagers, and holds true to the specific core of their business.

Our distributors know what’s important to our company and executing a launch is much more successful long term when the product is specific and focused, instead of launching ten different brands.

When asked about expansion of the Jacks Abby brewery in the near future, they stated that they do not have plans for expansion, but instead want to focus on their growth in their current, focused markets.

2. Massachusetts is Recruiting a Task Force to Reform Alcohol Laws

Next, John Connell, Bill Kelley, and Rob Burns discussed reforming Massachusetts outdated alcohol laws. Connell, a Boston Alcohol Attorney, explained that there will be an overhaul task force for Massachusetts alcohol laws. The task force will look at all permit and licensing laws from top to bottom for the state, which hasn’t been done since prohibition ended. The task force will figure out which laws should go and which laws should stay. The task force will be an autonomous body completely full of all control and will be ongoing for about a year. They will look into these laws, make recommendations to the treasurer’s office, and the treasurer’s office will then make recommendations to the ABCC. As of now the group is not yet completely put together, but soon the group will be comprised of 5-7 people, divided into subgroups, and will be looking into:

  • Filing Fees
  • Manufacturers (Brewers)
  • ABCC
  • Every Liquor Licensing Issue


Connell also stated that an important initiative of this task force is to create a clearer understanding as well as an easier process for licensing.

3. Bill Kelley is Hilarious

Brewbound Brew Talks

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