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.

So What Kinda Beer You Making?

By Greg Carlson

Now that’s a Frequently Asked Question.

It’s a tough one to answer succinctly. Brewers often say they brew the beer they want to drink. For us, that’s, well, all of them (and that works out great, because we want to brew beer for all the people, too). Sometimes life calls for a hoppy, pink, sour ale. Sometimes it calls for pale lager. Often, it calls for something in between. They’re all fascinating and beautiful and wonderful – and, to hell with it, we’ll brew them all.

The truth is, we’ve spent the better part of a decade experimenting with recipes and “product strategies” or whatever and we’ve found three truths to be self-evident:

  1. Variety is the spice of life: We love everything hoppy, hazy, funky, fruity, tart, dark, creamy, crisp, and clean. Expect us to throw a lot of different styles your way.
  2. Every style is sacred, no style is sacred: If you’re going to brew a classic style, you gotta do it well. No shortcuts and nothing second-rate. But we’re also not afraid to put a unique spin on a style if we think it works.
  3. Quality matters most: That’s the bottom line. Everything else is fair game.

We’ll roll out a more specific tap list as we get closer to opening — but for now, you can count on us having various pale lagers and pale ales (German! American! Belgian!) as staples in the taproom. And we’ll almost certainly offer an IPA (or, like, dozens of them). We’ll also get weird — incorporating coconut, spices, coffee, cacao, or any number of local fruits into our rotational brews. It’s gonna be exciting, and it’s gonna be done right.

Why We’re Opening Redemption Rock Brewing Co.

By Danielle Babineau

New taproom in Worcester, Mass.

Why are we opening a brewery?

This is not a Frequently Asked Question. We’ve literally never had to answer this question. To anyone that knows us, the reason’s always been clear:

We’re f*cking obsessed with craft beer.

After falling in love with beer, the overwhelming temptation of “following your dreams” and “doing what you love” took over for us rather quickly. And with a hefty amount of learnin’, thinkin’, and workin’, here we are — opening a brewery.

That’s why we’re opening a brewery – but why are we opening this brewery. Redemption Rock Brewing Co., in particular?

Let’s start with a bit of history. When it comes to craft beer, our team was born and raised in the beer festival scene. From Drink Craft Beer to NERAX, there’s nary a fest we haven’t volunteered for in Boston in the last several years.

When we think about what we love about craft beer, the beer fest experience is a good place to start. To us, craft beer is about getting friends together and exploring the wide world of craft beer. It’s about trying new and exciting things, making new friends along the way, and getting to meet the good people that brew the stuff. And it’s about getting swept up in it all.

That’s what we’re trying to capture at Redemption Rock Brewing: good times with friends, an opportunity to explore all that beer has to offer, and a strong sense of camaraderie and community.

We’re about good beer and good times – for both hardcore beer nerds and casual fans, and traditionalists and experimentalists alike. We’re not interested in chasing trends and we’re not guardians of history, either. We’re dedicated to high-quality, fun beer – in all its forms.

And we’re dedicated to doing it the right way. We’ll work to be a positive contributor to our community and our environment. While beer is important to us, these are the things that really, actually matter. 

If this all sounds simple, it’s because it is. We’ll be the ones keeping eyes on the details. For you, it’s just good beer, good times, and good people. We think that’s a winning combination, and that’s why we’re opening Redemption Rock Brewing Co.