Random Beer Thoughts: June 2021

My beer thoughts column is relatively short this month, between my “real” job and my family commitments I just don’t have a ton of time to hang out on beer social media right now, so it makes it harder to compile these lists. I am hoping things will get back to some state of “normal” come September and I can devote a little more time and effort towards Hoppy Boston, but for now it is what it is. That being said, here are my thoughts/links for the month!

The fallout from a string of revelations about sexism and other inappropriate behavior at breweries continues (and is probably far from over). The Worcester Business Journal detailed a string of allegations against Wormtown Brewing, numerous people in high levels at the brewery have taken a step pack from daily operations, and now some former employees have filed a lawsuit against the brewery. Lord Hobo was also mentioned in a variety of stories about harassment, which has also led to a shake-up in leadership. While management changes are a start, I am not in any rush to support either of these breweries until some much more significant changes are made.

Level99, which features interactive challenges, a restaurant, and two beer halls run by Night Shift, is now open in the Natick Mall. This place sounds amazing, I can’t wait to check it out!

Gary Dzen has a profile of Tilted Barn brewing in Exeter, RI, a brewery that is thriving during the pandemic. Some of their beers have started landing in Massachusetts and I have really enjoyed the one’s I’ve tried.

Sam Adams has brewed a collaboration beer with Rhythm Brewing, which is being hailed as an important step towards large brands embracing collaboration with more diverse breweries.

Popular local cidery Bantam cider has decided to close after 10 years in business. It sounds like they couldn’t expand anymore without sacrificing quality, something they were unwilling to do. I admire their integrity, and wonder if many other businesses would make the same choice, but it’s sad that it had to come to that.

Kells Brewing in Natick, which operated out of Barleycorn’s brew-on-site, has decided to close. While an initial release said they would be re-opening in a new location, they have recently been selling off equipment and furniture. It’s clear that the pandemic was especially hard on these brew-on-site and taproom-reliant breweries.

The Brewing Industry guide has an article on ways to reduce packaging, which is better for the environment and saves money for breweries. Top f the list is getting rid of PakTech carriers, which are notoriously difficult to recycle.

Thrillist has a list of beers you need to try this summer, and I definitely agree with a couple of local options they highlight!

That is all for June, a brief rundown but I am glad I was able to get it out. As always, feel free to share anything that you think I should include, and thank you for continuing to read Hoppy Boston and follow/share/like posts on social media! I have some trips to Maine coming up so make sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram to see which breweries I visit and beers I try.

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