METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Brian Powers, owner of Strange Brew, a homebrew shop in Marlborough, plans on opening a brewery and taproom in the same building later this summer. The brewery will take up about 1/2 of the space, which will remain a homebrew shop.
For more than two decades, Brian Powers has been helping to teach people to brew beer at home.
Now, the longtime owner of Strange Brew homebrew shop, plans on opening the Strange Brew brewery and taproom, and he hopes to educate consumers about the art or brewing.
“I’ve been teaching people for 20-plus years and I still want to do that,” said Powers, 46, of Holden. “I’ll be running the taproom myself, I’ll be able to talk about the beers, the process, what went into it. I want to help people appreciate the beer.”
The brewery and taproom will share space with the homebrew shop at its 416 Boston Post Road East location. The space, home of the former Laser Zone, is more than 16,000 square feet and has more than enough space for both businesses, Powers said.
Powers first began homebrewing in 1994 before taking over Strange Brew in 1997. Since then, the business has moved numerous times as it kept expanding, until it moved into its current location in 2015.
Powers said he has been working to open a brewery for more than two years, and he felt the time was right now after the Marlborough Economic Corporation, a quasi-public entity, advertised in beer magazines seeking breweries to come to the city. Another brewery – Lost Shoes Brewing Company – is expected to open this year in Marlborough.
His original goal was to open the brewery by the homebrew shop’s 21st anniversary on June 21, but he said that is unlikely. It will open later this summer, he said.
The taproom itself will take up about 1,000 square feet inside the building. There will be a bar area with eight draft lines to start. There will also be the “Strange” room, which will have a tie-dyed motif and arcade games and another room with high-topped tables for people to bring their own food in.
There will also be an outdoor beer garden that will include picnic-table seating and possibly a game like corn hole, he said.
To help pay for the taproom build out, Powers plans on starting a crowd-sourcing campaign next week on Indigogo. People can make donations in exchange for rewards. The highest reward will be “The Norm,” in reference to the character Norm from “Cheers.” A person will be able to pick a seat in the taproom, and it will be their seat every time they come to the taproom, even if someone else is sitting there, Powers said.
As for beer, Powers said he plans on doing something unique. Instead of brewing eight different beers, he will brew two different versions of the same beer.
“I’ll have the regular version of the beer on (tap) and I’ll have the ‘Stange’ beer,” said Powers. “It’ll be the same beer with a twist, like a golden ale with a lot of hops. It’ll be different variations.”
Powers initially plans on brewing on a two-barrel system (a barrel of beer is 31 gallons), but has a seven—barrel system that he can expand to when the need arises.
He also hopes to start the Alumni Series, where he brews beers with former customers who have gone on to become professional brewers around the state.
The beers will be available in the taproom as well as growlers and one-liter bottles to go, he said. He hopes to have the beers on tap at “a couple” of local bars and restaurants.
Once construction is done on the taproom, Powers said the taproom will be open Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m. The outdoor seating area will close at 8 p.m.
“I’ve been planning this brewery in my head for more than 20 years,” said Powers. “The first batch I brewed was on Sept. 4, 1994. It was OK…it was fresh and drinkable alcohol. This beer will be much better.”
This article by Norman Miller originally appeared here.