METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Alida Orzechowski and Chris Brown answered the city’s call for a downtown brewery and taproom.
Late this fall, the two longtime Acton home brewers will open Walden Woods Brewing, a name inspired by 19th century essayist, poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, on Main Street.
“It was never on our radar,” said Orzechowski, who has a background in marketing and information technology. “We never would have looked at Marlborough. It was love at first sight.”
For several months, Orzechowski and Brown, had been searching for a location to open their nano-brewery but ran into several hurdles. Some communities have bylaws prohibiting brewing and selling beer in the same location, said Orzechowski.
Their real estate agent notified them that Marlborough was seeking to bring a brewery to its city center. After visiting the city and meeting with Marlborough Economic Development Corp. officials, they knew it was the right spot.
Walden Woods will open with the help of the MEDC’s Marlborough Amenities Financing Program, which provides eligible new brewpub and restaurant owners one year of rent, up to $15,000, and 50 percent of equipment expenses, up to $10,000. The brewery will purchase a two-barrel system that will help double its output, said Orzechowski.
The city also put an ad in “Beer Advocate” magazine to attract brewpubs. City officials hope a brewery will attract more business and commerce downtown.
“We are beyond excited to welcome Walden Woods Brewing to Marlborough,” Meredith Harris, MEDC executive director, said in a press release. “The response to our marketing efforts has been tremendous, but Walden Woods are the first to actually come through on their plans to settle into our city.”
The brewery plans to open with a half dozen beers, but hopes to eventually offer as many as a dozen. Orzechowski described Walden Woods as a traditional European and American-style brewery that adds a regional or historic twist to its offerings. Walden Woods’ opening portfolio will feature the flagship American Pale Ale, an India Pale Ale and at least one New England style juice bomb.
“We believe the craft beer movement is here to stay,” said Orzechowski, who has a decade of homebrewing experience.
Orzechowski stressed the importance of partnering with local food trucks and restaurants. They also plan to use locally-sourced ingredients in their brews. They grow their own hops.
“We want to help make (downtown Marlborough) more of a destination,” she said. “We want to attract more business.”
A self-proclaimed history geek, Orzechowski said Thoreau is an odd choice as a mascot for the brewery because he did not drink. She noted, however, that his philosophies of living simply and in harmony with nature and the community are guiding principles for the new brewery.
“We want people from the neighborhood to walk down,” she said. “We want people to come in and feel like they belong there.”
For more information on Walden Woods Brewing visit www.waldenwoodsbrewing.com. The brewery will be open Thursday through Sunday.
This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.