NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

June 27, 2013

Hopping to it

Beer company brews up a grand opening celebration

It all started the night the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011.

While Boston’s hockey team didn’t enjoy the same success this year, Newburyport residents Bill Fisher and Chris Webb are celebrating the fruition of their own winning idea this weekend.

On Saturday, Newburyport Brewing Co. officially opens to the public with a free, family-friendly celebration featuring tastings, tours of the brewery, food trucks, children’s games and live music.

Webb, a former guidance counselor and sales and marketing professional, and Fisher, who previously worked as a marketing director, were watching that 2011 game together when they came up with the idea for the brewery. They quickly got to work putting together an advisory team, securing $1 million through investors and a small business loan, finding the location in an industrial park off Graf Road, and obtaining all of the proper equipment.

With the help of brewmaster Mike Robinson, they developed three canned beers, all made with natural ingredients: Newburyport Pale Ale, Plum Island Belgian White and Green Head IPA.

“Fresh, local, high-quality beer, that’s what we’re all about,” said Fisher, 38.

Their first batch was brewed this past Valentine’s Day. And the last piece, their pouring permit, fell into place a couple of weeks ago.

While the beers pay tribute to the city, the tasting room will soon follow suit. Pointing to the empty walls earlier this week, Webb explained his vision for the space, which will feature “then and now” photos of Newburyport landmarks, along with work by local artists. He also hopes to display a history of the city, as well as a guide to the brewery itself.

“We want people to think of this as their brewery,” said Webb, 43. “We want this to be a showpiece center for the city.”

Fisher and Webb are not just passionate about beer, they are also both musicians who are members of the funk band Das Pintos. Webb is the lead singer and guitarist, and Fisher plays the trumpet and keyboard.

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