Unless you live in the neighborhood, it’s unlikely you’d ever have a reason to go to 30 Germania Street. Unless of course, you had friends in from out of town. In which case, you’d probably take the MBTA orange line to the Stony Brook stop – and emerge from the station convinced you were in the wrong place. 30 Germania Street is in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston – in a neighborhood known for, among other things, its abundance of flat-roof triple-deckers. It does not seem like the kind of place where you’d find the second largest craft brewery in the county.
Technically, 30 Germania Street is the research and development hub of the Boston Beer Company. Commercial operations have grown so much that production facilities now span over 1.0 MSF in Cincinnati and Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. But, as the tour guides will tell you, 30 Germania Street is where all the Boston Beer Company beers were created – with the exception of Samuel Adams Boston Lager – which was born in founder Jim Koch’s kitchen.
Like many other craft breweries, the Boston Beer Company has evolved – from a purveyor of hops, malt and specialty ‘turbulator’ glasses – into a destination. The Brewery complex has grown up around it – and is now home to a restaurant, a wholesale producer of artisanal food, an architectural woodwork showroom and a handful of community-based non-profits and retailers.
Across Massachusetts, small breweries are having similar transformational effects – landing where industrial space is abundant and affordable. And bringing with them vibrant energy and a sense of place to industrial parks, idle neighborhoods and, in the case of Worcester’s Wormtown Brewery, a vacant auto dealership.
We’re not saying beer will change the world. But we know it has the power to positively transform entire communities.