Brewing on the South Shore

Photos courtesy of Ally Donnelly.

November 30, 2021 Submitted by Ally Donnelly

It was like a raucous family dinner with really good beer. In today’s episode we belly up to the bar with three local brewers to talk innovation, inspiration, what’s next after a sexual harassment scandal in the craft brewing industry, who's eyeing the empty Beer Works spot in the Shipyard and what beer has made these brewers the most proud. Here’s a sampling:

Ally: How does the creative process get started for you?
Dino Funari, Vitamin Sea Brewing: We travel and we might be at a tiki bar trying a crazy cocktail and say, 'Boy, I wonder if we could translate this into a beer?' Or flipping through a cooking magazine–could we make a flourless, chocolate cake beer?

Ally: Brewers are using a lot of funky ingredients, everything from donuts to Pop Rocks. How do you safeguard your brand from crossing a line of innovation to gimmick?
Russ Heissner, Barrel House Z: Innovation and experimentation are a part of who we are. Ultimately our customers will tell us whether or not they like it.

Ally: Is there one ingredient you'd never use?
Funari: Chicken.

Ally: There are only so many styles of beer. How do you differentiate yours?
Mike Dyer, Untold Brewing: You know, anyone can have a recipe to a particular dish, but you could give 10 different brewers all the same recipe and the results are going to be 10 different beers.

Ally: What did you think when a female brewer on the North Shore exposed a culture of discrimination and sexual harassment in the brewing industry?
Heissner: It's about time.

Ally: Which of your beers makes you most proud?
Funari: Just Another T-Shirt Shop
Heissner: Sunny and 79
Dyer: Layers on Layers.

Tune in for the rest of our great conversation!

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