The early beginnings of Hopothecary Ales centered on the maturation of the craft beer culture. Founders, Mike and Steve Gabardi, were typical bickering brothers that united to form a strong bond over their love for craft beer. Many trips to Vermont and southern California, long lines and bottle releases only deepened their passion. The dream of owning a brewery started during a long night at a local brewery that was making good, but not great beer. Despite the quality, the place was jam-packed with a great vibe, which sparked a conversation that “We can do THIS. We could do THIS, but better!” They were soon joined by fellow beer traveler, co-worker of Steve’s and future brewmaster, Kevin McComiskey. Brewing commenced using simple equipment in Kevin’s kitchen.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), Steve, our resident pharmacologist/pharmacist, was dismayed at not being able to control simple processes, in a clinical manner, that had major implications to the outcome and quality of the beer. You have to understand that pharmacists are an anal-retentive breed. This led to the creation of the pilot brewery complete with professional, albeit small-scale, brewing equipment that could control most aspects of brewing and fermentation. While this happened, Mike, our truck-driver/accountant, developed the financial model and business plan. The pilot brewery opened January 27th, 2019 for our first brewday with the promise that if we could brew a beer we all loved within 6 months, we would give the commercial brewery a go. Coincidentally, Mike missed that brewday because he was, umm, “pre-occupied”. The team focused on 3 beers, Elixir (DIPA), Tonic (NEIPA) and Tincture (Pale Ale), with repeated split-fermented experiments. Their self-proclaimed eureka moment came about 3 months later with the first batch of Elixir that all 3 team members were proud to dispense to others.
With the commitment to now open a commercial brewery, the three began to figure out how to accomplish this. The guys were on the “older” side compared to other start-up brewers and did not want to risk the financial future of their families to get the brewery off the ground. So began the recruitment of the Hopothecary Ales team. Through their networks of friends and their friends’ friends, the team was formed (see below for more on all of our team members) and began the process of creating our brand.
At Hopothecary Ales, we missed the boat on opening a small, minimalistic brewery in an industrial location that could expand over time. The New England craft beer consumer had lived through that over the past 5-10 years and was thirsting for something more. We needed to open in a location that was comfortable, but cool. It needed a killer atmosphere.
So, our brewery will offer a multitude of experiences ranging from our taproom, lounge, bar, sit-down restaurant, to our 3-season beer-garden. We did not want to be constantly upgrading our brewing equipment to handle bigger and bigger batches, so we had to start with at least a 10-barrel brewhouse. We needed to offer our customers delicious food on premises.
To that end, we partnered with local restaurateurs, Jim Dietz and Jim Dietz II, to provide a menu that will appease even the most ardent foodies among our visitors. Finally, we wanted to be an integral part of the fabric of our local community. As an innovative, locally-owned business, we hope that our brewery and kitchen will serve as a community hub and a catalyst to promote other small, locally-owned businesses, as we all make our way through the post-COVID landscape.
We welcome you to come, stay and enjoy our establishment, the food and most importantly the BEER! Cheers and bring on the good times!