After beginning operations in January, Redemption Rock Brewing Co. is releasing new seasonal beers and has turned experiments and collaborations with other Central Massachusetts companies into new products, including two new shandies and a maple sap-brewed beer. Co-founder and Head of Marketing Dan Carlson spoke to the Worcester Business Journal about the new taproom-only beers.
How many shandies is the brewery producing?
We currently have two on the menu. We make them served-to-order in the taproom. We’re testing for this summer. One is Beat Pray Love, which is our blonde ale, Elf, mixed with juice that features beet juice, apple juice, ginger and lemons made at Bedlam Book Cafe.
The other is Grapefruits of Wrath: Our hefeweizen, Edelstein, mixed with grapefruit, lemon and lime juice.
We buy jars of juice from Bedlam Book Cafe in Worcester in the morning and use it to make our shandies until it’s gone.
How are shandies made?
You literally just mix juice and beer. We pour about two-thirds beer and then just mix in juice.
Not too many new craft breweries make this kind of beer. Why go this route?
We have always loved them. When Founder and CEO Dani Babineau worked at the Craft Beer Cellar, it had a shandy bar. It’s an idea we’ve always loved. We thought doing them fresh at the taproom instead of a packaged version would be so much cooler.
The idea of adding fresh organic juice from another local company, we thought, was the best way to do it.
Are any more planned?
We could be flexible and roll out different recipes. We have a lot of different options depending on what beers we have on tap and what juices are available, but we thought these two were the best ones to start.
Is the brewery at a point now where it can experiment more?
We’ve always planned on rolling out new menu options as we’ve gone along. When we started we only had four beers on tap.
How many are on tap now?
We’re at nine right now. We’ve been able to ramp up our brewing and get more things on tap. It was for a while we took two steps forward and one step back. We’d roll out a new beer, and another would run out.
We’ve got a pretty good cadence now, and we’ve got our processes in a pretty good place where we’re able to expand options.
Local collaborations is the name of the game in craft beer. What else is planned?
We’ll be announcing a new seasonal beer that we actually released in the taproom last weekend called The Trees. It’s a maple-sap altbier. Instead of using water, it was brewed with pure maple sap from the Pure BS Maple Shack in Auburn.
It doesn’t taste very strong like maple syrup because it’s pure maple sap, but the quality of the maple sap makes it really good for brewing with darker malts. You get a lot of the cool dark fruit like cherry, plum, raisins and toasted bread crumb note from the dark malt we use.
This interview was conducted and edited for length and clarity by WBJ Staff Writer Zachary Comeau.