Better than Budweiser?

Click here for a Cape Ann Brewery slideshow

Click here for my adventures in brewing

The Samuel Adams brewery tour is polished. Large crowds follow the quick-witted tour guide and weave through the brewery, smelling hops and tasting beer in their free glasses.

The Cape Ann Brewing Company tour is a little more rustic.

Cape Ann Brewing is a family-owned Gloucester business known mostly for its Fisherman Ale. Located on a shore-side dead-end street (easily accessible via the commuter rail), the front door sign says “If Front Door is locked, please check around Beach Court Side Door.” Meandering around back, the Beach Court Side Door opens into a huge garage, littered with kegs, equipment and giant vats of beer. Jeremy Goldberg, head brewer, works swiftly amidst the mess.

Goldberg runs Cape Ann Brewing with his brother-in-law and they’ve only recently hired their first non-family employee. The company holds strong familial roots.

They also hold strong local fishing roots, brewing a Fisherman Ale, a Fisherman IPA, a Fisherman Navigator, and more.

Cape Ann Brewing also annually donates a portion of their proceeds to the Northeast Seafood Coalition, a nonprofit organization that represents commercial fishermen, shore-side businesses and fishing community supporters throughout the Northeast. Goldberg says it was a “no-brainer” to help out the coalition. After all, the local fishermen are the ones drinking the Fisherman Ale.

But now the microbrewery is working to expand its range by marketing to non-Gloucester natives, including twentysomethings, within the Boston area.

A 2005 Boston Globe article titled “A new generation of wine enthusiasts,” noted “The generation who grew up with free-range chickens, organic vegetables, and working moms who stopped for take-out on the way home were exposed to all kinds of food from an early age….you have one possible explanation as to why the diversity of flavors in wine are appealing to this group.”

And Josh Witkowski, beer manager at Bauer Wine and Spirits on Newbury Street says that same appeal applies to twentysomethings and beer. Quarter-lifers’ growing love for microbrews can be credited to their parents, he says. Witkowski turns 31 next month.

“People who are my age, their parents drank shitty beer and now more people are being raised around Sam and Sierra,” he says. Witkowski adds that our familiarity with craft beers makes us more willing to try local or microbrews.

Devon Regan and Jeff Wharton are the founders of Drink Craft Beer, a website devoted solely to young professionals in their twenties “who want to drink better than Budweiser.”

In an email interview, Regan says “It seems people in our age group are much more interested in drinking beverages that taste good and are high-quality than past generations.” So Regan and Wharton created the site, during their twenties, as a way to cater to their crowd who wanted to know about good beer, but didn’t want to get into all the technical details.

The point is to make it accessible and fun, they say, especially for twentysomethings.

They've conducted tons of interviews with small breweries around the country, set up a review and rating system for microbrews and even started to build a beer directory mashup map.

Perfect for a quarter-lifer looking to learn about beer.    

City:
Gloucester

Name of Place:
Cape Ann Brewing Company

Location:
27 Commercial St., Gloucester, Mass. (click for directions)

Hours:
No set hours, just call ahead and let Jeremy know you’ll be stopping by for a visit.

Admission:
Free

Commuter Rail Stop:
Gloucester, Newburyport/Rockport Line

Departs From:
North Station

Zone:
7

Fare:
$7.25

Gloucester Population:
30,273 (2000 Census)

Gloucester Year Founded:
1623

Gloucester Fun Fact:
Sebastian Unger’s popular book “The Perfect Storm” was based on the true story of a 1991 Halloween storm that killed six crewmen of a Gloucester fishing boat. The film adaptation, starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, was also immensely popular and hurled Gloucester into the public eye. If you’re interested in visiting some of the sites portrayed in the movie, download a copy of “The Perfect Storm Landmarks Map.”

 


Links

Gloucester Tourism

Official Gloucester Site

The Gloucester Times