Northshore Magazine

Northshore March 2019

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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108 But that didn't stop Justin Negrotti, Jake Crandell, and Tim Corcoran, the team behind Beverly's Channel Marker Brewing. Defying bankers' reservations and the bitter chill of winter, they opened their brewery's doors in the Porter Mill Building, nestled among the art studios, in January. "It's difficult to find a bank nowadays that's willing to take a risk on a startup business, let alone a startup brewery," Negrotti says. "Banks are cognizant of the fact that this industry is…" Crandell jumps in without missing a beat: "Flooded." Negrotti agrees. "In their eyes, they're like, 'Have we reached a saturation point where . . . they're not going to pay this loan back because there's just too much competition?'" he describes ruefully. Saturated market or not, they managed to secure their loan on the strength of their pitch. "We were able to sell them on a different mind-set," he says, and references the philosophy of Paul Gentile, co-founder of Beverly's Gentile Brewing. According to Negrotti, Gentile favors the "rising tides lift all boats" adage. When your business is beer, competition isn't a detriment. It's essential for business to thrive. Crandell, Negrotti, and Corcoran had been homebrewing together for five years, and their business venture grew out of that experience. As Crandell noted, "Once you start sharing with family and friends, and they liked it, the word spreads and more and more people want to try—that's sort of where we got the idea. Opposite, left to right, Owners Tim Corcoran, Justin Negrotti, Jake Crandell. Above, Negrotti has been homebrewing for five years. Like, okay, maybe this could happen?" When you're passionate about independent brewing and you brew your own beer, and then the people you share your beer with can't stop talking about it, funneling your energy into a brewery is the logical next step. It also helps to live in a region experiencing an independent beer boom. "It's a renaissance," Negrotti says. Today, Massachusetts is reaching new beer heights as new breweries appear in towns across the state seemingly every day, providing social cornerstones for their communities where folks can commiserate over the world's best social lubricant. "As beer drinkers ourselves and fans of micro- and nanobreweries, we've seen the explosion; they're popping up everywhere." Beverly also has Gentile Brewing and Old Planters Brewing, and surrounding Beverly, there's Amesbury's Brewery Silvaticus and BareWolf Brewing, Newburyport's RiverWalk Brewing, and Salem's Notch Brewing. To the Given the independent beer industry's impressive growth over the last decade, opening a new brewery should be a slam dunk. But the process is capital intensive; cash is needed up front to find a space and build it out, purchase the gear for a brewing system, and handle licensing, and that doesn't include the ingredients for actually making the beer. Hops aren't cheap, costing upwards of $60 a pound depending on varietals.

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