Blog

What We’re Thankful For

By Dani Babineau

We have a lot to be grateful for.

Building a brewery is no small task. But it’d be straight-up impossible without the help of so many people supporting us.

We, unfortunately, have been so focused on getting to the finish line — i.e. opening this brewery — that we often forget to stop and reflect on everything that we’re thankful for. But today, we think it’s important to give a shout out to many people that we owe thanks to.

First and foremost, we’re thankful for the friends and family that continue to support us in so many ways. From helping with construction to spreading the word to just being excited for us. We simply could not do any of this without them.

We’re also thankful for all our new fans. In a weird way, the Facebook likes and Instagram comments keep us going. Being able to interact with our future customers before we’re even open continues to give us a big boost of energy.

We’re also thankful to be a part of the craft beer industry. Over the years, we’ve received enormous amounts of advice and encouragement. It’s wonderful knowing that we’re a part of such a welcoming community.

Finally, we’re grateful to be a part of the City of Worcester and the people in it. We’ve had a great experience working with the City of Worcester, as well as being embraced by both individuals and various groups, including the Young Professional Women’s Association and Leadership Worcester. We’ve met amazing people and learned about aspects of the city we otherwise never would have had the chance to. From people in public service roles, to members of the local press, and other business owners and residents, the people of this city continually reaffirm our decision to locate here.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Now stop reading beer blogs and get back to your family. It’s probably time for dessert.

Beer for People: Why We’re Running a Crowdfunding Campaign

By Dani Babineau

Last week, we launched a crowdfunding campaign through WeFunder, and it’s generated a lot of excitement. You can find all the nuts & bolts – investor perks, our goals, etc. – on the campaign page. But there’s one question we’ve been getting that we want to focus on here.

What’s it for?

The answer: It’s all about beer for people.

Yes, that’s the motto all over our website and the WeFunder site. But it also perfectly captures all the reasons we decided to launch this campaign.

When we talk about the “people” in “beer for people,” we mean three things: our customers, our employees, and our community. And this campaign is centered around all three.

For customers, we’re using the funds to put the finishing touches on our taproom. We’ve long envisioned a beautiful, comfortable, and dynamic space that people just feel good being in and want to stay in. It’s a key part of the delightful craft beer experience we’re trying to build, and these funds will help us finish it.

For employees, we want to give them the tools to be as successful as they possibly can – in the taproom, across our business, and throughout their careers. These funds will help us take the first steps toward a robust training program that will empower our team in many areas – beer, finance, operations, or whatever professional direction they want to go in. We aim to enable them through both hands-on training, and by providing access to conferences, classes, and other educational tools.

And for the community, we launched this campaign because we wanted to share this with craft beer fans around Worcester. This type of campaign is more inclusive than raising money through equity or bank loans, and, unlike Kickstarter, it allows the community to share financial success with us. If our goal is to create a better craft beer experience for the community, then it only makes sense that the community can join in.

And finally (y’all knew this was coming), we’d love your help in reaching our goals for this campaign. If you’re interested in contributing, or know someone who would be, visit https://wefunder.com/redemption.rock.brewing.co.

About the Taproom Mural: A Q&A with Marka27

By Dan Carlson

We’re not afraid to say it: our taproom mural straight up rules.

If it sounds like we’re bragging, we’re not. We’re thrilled to have it in our space, but we can’t take a shred of credit for it – we just provided the wall. The mural itself is the work of Victor Quinoñez, or Marka27, an ultra-talented artist and former POW! WOW! Worcester alum.

We often get questions about the mural — what does it represent, who is the woman, etc. But it ain’t our mural so we ain’t gonna answer those questions. However, we recently reconnected with Marka to talk about the mural, plus a few other things. Read the Q&A below to learn more.

  1. After our team reached out to you, what was your process for coming up with the concept and design?

Redemption Rock was very supportive with the creative process. They gave subtle direction and trusted what I do as an artist. We wanted to create a mural that felt organic and not cliché for a brewery.

  1. What ideas are you trying to convey with this mural?

The mural represents the connection between humans and nature. The owl represents wisdom for many native cultures and the woman in the mural is a symbol for mother earth. We incorporated subtle graphic elements of barley and hops, two key ingredients for brewers.

We wanted the mural to feel welcoming and inspiring for guests to enjoy while spending time and connecting with friends and family at Redemption Rock.

  1. What was your painting process like?

I only used spray paint for the entire mural. The sketch was done beforehand and approved by Redemption Rock. I painted the mural mostly at night using ladders and a scissor lift to reach up high.

  1. This obviously isn’t your first mural in Worcester. What other projects have you done in city?

I have a seven-stories-tall mural across from the Hanover Theater on Main Street that was painted for the first POW! WOW! Worcester in 2016. Big shout out and thanks to Che Anderson for all the support!

  1. What projects are you working on now?

I’m working on several projects. This 2018 has been a pretty busy year for me and Street Theory. The most recent mural we completed was for the Somerville Arts Council in Union Square. We have other projects coming up in Cambridge, Detroit, and Berkeley to name a few. Street Theory, our creative lifestyle agency, also has some amazing projects coming up. You can find out more by following us on Instagram: @streettheorygallery  and @marka_27.

What’s Next?

By Dani Babineau

So, it finally happened — the “worst-kept secret in the city’s brewing industry” is out there for the world to see.

We’re beyond excited, and the last two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. We closed on our SBA loan, officially kicked off construction in the brewery and taproom, and launched our social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Just so you know). And we talked to a lot of reporters.

Like, a LOT of reporters.

So many reporters.

So many interviews.

Just a lot of PR going on over here. It’s all great stuff, and we’re beyond thrilled that so many people are finding out about us for the first time.

It’s been quite the transition for us. I went from working from home and playing the waiting game for months to suddenly (or finally, really) running around non-stop and answering questions. Last Monday, I went into the brewery with a folding table and my laptop to work from the site for the first time (note: !!!). It would’ve worked out better if we had, you know, wi-fi — but I’ve been saying for months that I was looking forward to getting to this point, and I stand by that one-hundred percent. It’s been crazy and hectic, but I absolutely love the fast pace and making progress.

So. Now what?

The real work is just beginning and the breakneck pace is going to continue. Here’s what’s on our plate:

Licensing: Well, we can already check off another big box because we received our federal brewery permit from the Tax & Trade Bureau last week — which means we’re officially a brewery in the eyes of the federal government (note: !!!). It feels damn good.

Brewery licensing is a bit of a cascading system (you need to get federal before state, state before municipal), so this is a huge step towards getting open. Next up: going to the MA ABCC to get our state license. After that, we can start brewing beer (!!!).

Building Stuff: But first, floors and brewing equipment. We’re currently installing trench drains and rough plumbing, which will be followed by grinding out the old floor finishes and putting down an epoxy floor in the brewhouse. Once the floors are done, we will have our brewhouse and tanks shipped (manufactured here in the good-ol’ US-of-A by Practical Fusion in Portland, OR) and installed. Then, we brew.

In the meantime, we’re also working on painting the perimeter walls, ordering everything from toilets to coffee makers, and quite importantly, starting to build the bar.

Building the Team: We ain’t gonna be able to do this alone, so we will begin to recruit taproom staff in the next couple of weeks! If you’re looking to get into or make a move within the beer industry, keep an eye out for forthcoming job postings.

Our sleeves are rolled up. If you want to keep up with our progress, join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What’s in a Name

By Dani Babineau

Here’s another frequently asked question: Why the name Redemption Rock Brewing Co.?

For background, the O.G. Redemption Rock is an impressively large granite ledge that has a rather complicated history involving colonialism, kidnapping, and war. You can learn more about that by visiting the Trustees of Reservations site. These details, however, didn’t factor much at all into why we took this name.

We named our brewery after this landmark for three reasons. First, you might imagine, we sought a name that’s locally significant and evocative. I grew up close to Redemption Rock (the rock) and, like many who grew up in central Massachusetts, I visited the site and learned of its history during elementary school field trips. It’s a bit of a hidden gem.

(And unlike a different historical rock that’s close to where some people on our team grew up, Redemption Rock isn’t a tourist trap locked in a cage).

Second, Redemption Rock, as a hiking trail, gives our urban brewery a natural, rustic element. Beer is equal parts industrial processes and raw ingredients – similar to how Worcester balances both a city culture and a proximity to nature. We like having a brand that reflects this balance.

Third thing – honestly, we just think it sounds cool. We heard the GPS voice say “turn left onto Redemption Rock trail,” and it just stuck with us. It felt positive and strong.

Local, balanced, positive, and strong. These are good characteristics, and the name Redemption Rock reminds us that we should strive for them.

Or maybe we’re just suckers for alliteration.