How did you and your two partners Keith Antul and Tom Sutter get into the beer business?
Tom Sutter began traveling the globe for business about 20 years ago and has since been able to try some of the most important and hard to find beers in the world. He has been an avid home brewer for almost as long and is part owner of the world class restaurant and bar, Armsby Abbey. Tom’s acquired knowledge of the business runs deep and is essential to the success of our business.
Keith Antul began as a home brewer who quickly transitioned to an all-grain system. He has spent the last 9 years mastering the craft and learning to develop his own recipes. Some of which have been brewed commercially as collaborations at Honest Town Brewery, Haverhill Brewery, and Wormtown Brewing. Keith’s Robust Porter was chosen to be Wormtown Brewing Company’s submission to the 2010 GABF’s Pro-Am competition where it took home the Bronze Medal. It is still brewed and distributed today, and holds a score of 93 (outstanding) on Beer Advocate.
This is my first venture into the business itself, but I have been drinking and following craft beer for the better half of the last decade or so (my buddy Mark introduced me to Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale and that was it for me). Keith Antul and I used to work together and would carpool to work from Worcester on most days. As you can imagine, a lot of beer talk and brewpub plans were born on these rides.
How did you come up with the name Medusa for your brewery?
Since his early success in the home brewing community, Keith Antul has been toying with the idea of opening a brewery. The name “Medusa” has stuck through every idea he’s thrown on the table, so the time has come for it to finally become reality. The name was chosen for its very strong presence and iconic nature. It will allow us to be more easily recognized as a brand among the many microbreweries out there today.
The underlying, and more poetic meaning could be as follows: Medusa was the most beautiful of the Gorgon sisters until she was cursed with the head of snakes; making her so ugly that men turned to stone when looking upon her face. Those opposing ends of spectrum represent the breadth of beer we plan to create at Medusa Brewing Company. Beautiful, enchanting and fruitful beers, to the dark, powerful, and monstrous beers are what you will find at Medusa. Will you be turned to stone at first sip? No promises.
When will your brewery and taproom be open?
We are targeting a mid/late summer opening right now. As things progress, we will get a better idea on an exact day.
What style of beers will you be brewery at your brewery?
As stated in the previous question about the “name”, this project is going to be all about variety over volume. It’s why we have chosen to outfit our design with the ability to handle over 20 beers at a time. Medusa Brewing Company will build a reputation for handcrafted beer using time-honored methodology and the finest natural ingredients from around the world. The brewpub will have a magnitude of product offerings including, for example: Cream ale, Pale ale, Scottish 80/-, Imperial IPA, Belgian pale, Helles bock, Porter, and Stout. The Brewmaster has experimented with many recipes and found several he believes will have mass appeal based on consumer testing. Future products will include unique seasonal and special one-time brews. We plan on following tradition just as much as we experiment and will offer a barrel-aging program to further enhance the spectrum. You might even find a Sour beer on tap from time to time.
How much beer will you be brewing in the first year?
Our goal is to produce 1100 barrels of beer in our first full year (2015). 2014 is difficult to project at the time due to so many different factors.
Will you be bottling/canning your beer or will it only be available at your brewery?
We have no current plans to bottle or can our beer at this time. We will, however, be opening with one hell of a growler program.
The Craft beer industry has had significant growth in the last 10 plus years do you think the industry can sustain this growth?
We see a lot of young breweries quickly hit their brewing capacity in their early years, so the demand for craft beer has certainly not slowed (and probably never will). Shortages of ingredients are already being reported today, so I think this is a sign that things will eventually begin to change. It tells me that we have technically begun to approach a somewhat unsustainable rate, but resource availability should naturally begin to balance it out. Until suppliers can catch up, it will be up to the brewer’s and their creativity to push through supply shortages and survive. Could this be called Craft Beer Darwinism? It isn’t necessarily a bad thing; I think that new twists on styles and ingredients will be born from shortages in common ingredients.
If you could have a dream six pack what would be in your six pack?
This is one of those impossible-to-answer questions! At the moment, the answer would have to be a six pack of Trillium Fort Point. Since that’s not exactly an option yet, then I suppose I will just “dream” of it.
If you and your co-owners Keith Antul and Tom Sutter could be a cast members in any TV show in the last 10 years which show would you be on and why?
It would definitely have to be a comedy; I know that for certain. I think that we would have to be cast to re-dub MXC (Most Extreme Elimination Challenge). It’s the only way that our senses of humor could be aired on television appropriately. I remember that show making almost no sense at all, which is the same thought that I have after most of the stories we come up with in between brewery matters. We are all quite creative, really. Especially Antul.