Dorchester Brewing

brewing

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Meet the Team: Nafi Fraiman, Cellarman

When it comes to the brewing process, most people focus on the beginning process that starts in the brewhouse as well as the last piece that packages up the final product in those beautiful can labels. However, there’s quite a lot that goes into the process between those two pieces. Today, we’re introducing you to Nafi Fraiman, a Cellarman on our team who works with our fermentation vessels to keep a close eye on the brewing process as the magic all happens. Born and raised in Boston while also growing up in Israel, you can find Nafi playing music or snowboarding on the weekends and during the week, he can be found hard at work supporting our team to get the freshest, high-quality beer directly to your glass! Read on to learn more about Nafi:

How did you get into craft beer and join the brewing industry?

My background is in engineering, but after a few years in the field I felt I needed to do something different.  During my search for a new career path I got into homebrewing and fell in love with the beer making process. I got to know a lot of people in the homebrewing community, and by extension, got familiarized with professional brewers. I started volunteering at breweries to try to get my foot in the door and eventually got hired for a full time position.

What do you like best about the industry compared to other fields?

Every day I work with a product that I really enjoy and can connect with through my sense of smell and taste. I get excited about all the new products that go through our facility and the innovative processes we implement day to day to solve problems. I love the craft brewing work culture, where people are expected to work hard and to have fun!

Tell us a little bit about what you do at DBco on a day to day basis.

Most of what I do includes handling the big 1800 gal fermentation vessels – preparing them to receive new batches of beer and adding hops, fruit or other ingredients as necessary. I also monitor the beer fermentation to ensure the process is going well, and when it’s done, I transfer the beer over to be packaged. Lastly, a huge part of the job is making sure anything that comes in contact with the beer is absolutely sanitary.

Favorite part of your job?

Overcoming problems with creative solutions, executing complex tasks…and then the reward of having that beer you worked so hard to make and sharing laughs with the people you made it with.

Favorite beer style

Anything that is balanced, especially if it is low ABV. My go-to styles are Pilsners, New England IPAs and kettle sours.

Favorite DBco beer

Currently it’s The Gateway Sour, a beer I designed for those who are not accustomed to tart beers but want to dabble with the style. Past beers I have really liked are Heavy Metal Grampa (A Dunkelweizen), Born to Be Mild and our annual Festbier.

By in Meet Our Team 0

Meet Our Team: Peter Huhn, Assistant Tap Room Manager

Continuing on our tradition of sharing the faces in the Tap Room and our Brewery, we’re bringing you another familiar face you may know if you visit our Tap Room! Meet Peter Huhn, a local who joined our team after converting from a dedicated local customer into employee. Next time you swing by the Tap Room, make sure to say hello!


How did you get into craft beer and join the brewing industry?

I had always been passionate about craft beer, so my roommates and I decided to brew at home. Needless to say the first few batches were awful, but that’s where it all started. I found myself working in restaurants with a selection of craft beers and spent my time drinking only craft beer and figuring out what I liked and didn’t like. I would taste as many different things as I could, learn about the process when I had time and discuss it with whatever bartender would let me.

So while helping open and General Managing a restaurant in Boston, I would walk past Dorchester Brewing Co. every night and stop in for a few. The staff started to know me and when they weren’t busy, we would all chat and hang out. Eventually I got wind of a position opening up, my new friends urged me to apply, and then all of a sudden I was in. When this opportunity came up I knew I had to take it. Haven’t looked back since.

What do you like best about the industry compared to other fields?

My first job was working in my Uncle’s hardware store when I was young talking to guests and helping them find what they needed. Helping out guests and making them happy always made me feel satisfied. My dad was a chef in restaurants in New York City, so my love for food came from that. Ultimate, I decided to combine the two and work the front of the house in restaurants. Since my first job in college bussing tables, I never looked back. This industry is incredibly rewarding but brutal. You work long hours, you have a lot on your plate, and you have to be practically crazy to do it. But the networks you make, the satisfaction of making someones day, and the friendships along the way all make it worth it. I cant see myself in any other field, because no other field is as crazy and as tightly-knit as the industry.

Tell us a little bit about what you do at DBco on a day to day basis.

Make sure the day runs smoothly! When I get in, I am in charge of making sure the staff has everything they need to operate smoothly. Guests have to be happy, beer has to be flowing, and rules have to be followed! You will either see me behind the bar, or strolling around the tap room making sure everything is fine and people are having fun. 

Favorite part of your job

Favorite part of the job has to be closing time. Not because people are leaving and the day is done, but because that tends to be the most personal moment at the bar. There isn’t much left for us to do, giving us a few minutes to actually talk and have more in-depth conversations with whoever is left at the bar. I get to hear about who they are, why they came to Dorchester Brewing Co., how we may or may not have made their day and whatever else is on their mind. Something about closing time just tends to be the most personal time of the day.

Favorite beer style

Tough to say! Beer is changing and evolving so much its hard to lock yourself in to one style of beer as your favorite. It all depends on the season and my mood I guess. If I absolutely had to choose, I would think I would have to go with any barrel aged imperial stout. So much flavor can be packed into it, plus you only need one or two to really feel it. Saisons are really starting to creep up on my list.

Favorite DBco beer

My favorite beer DBco has ever brewed was on tap when I was still coming as a regular. It was the Divination, a Bully Boy bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Heavy chocolate notes, very boozey, not overly sweet, and subtle smokiness from the barrel. I could drink gallons of it and never get tired of it.

By in Meet Our Team 0

Meet Our Team: Colleen Rankin, Brewer

With International Women’s Day on the horizon, we are working to celebrate all women in the beer industry and females worldwide. Read more about our special collaboration beer release with proceeds supporting several institutions to empower women everywhere. With that in mind, we’d love to introduce you to an awesome member of our brewing staff, who works to bring you fresh, tasty beer weekly in the DBco Tap Room and beyond. Meet Colleen Rankin.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I grew up in Akron, Ohio, where I lived through college. Since then, I have had stints living in Russia, Columbus, Baltimore, Washington state, Oregon, and Cleveland. I moved to Boston in July to work for Dorchester Brewing. When I’m not brewing, you can usually find me doing something outside  — biking, climbing, skiing, hiking, etc. — or reading a book, listening to music, or wandering around town looking for good cocktails, coffee, or beer.

How did you get into craft beer and become a brewer?

My fascination with craft beer began in my early 20s, when I had become bored of drinking Rolling Rock and Newcastle Brown Ale. Not too long after discovering craft beer, I started dabbling in home brewing. Looking for a more fulfilling career choice and dissatisfied with working for the man, I woke up one day and decided to become a production brewer. I was lucky enough to find a terrific brewer in Eugene, Oregon that felt that I had the stuff necessary to succeed in brewing, so he gave me an Assistant Brewer position with no production experience, which is quite a lucky thing in this industry. After working at Sam Bond’s Brewing in Eugene, I put in a good stint as an R&D brewer at Platform Beer Co. in Cleveland, Ohio, and now I’m here brewing up fantastic brews at DBco. Working hard to gain knowledge and experience, I hope to eventually open my own brewery.

What’s so special about the brewing industry?

I like brewing because it is both hands on and intellectually driven. An average day’s work allows me to work hard doing manual labor, which is really satisfying, and use my brain in the course of operating mechanical systems, trouble-shooting problems, or writing recipes. I have had successful jobs behind a desk and other, equally great jobs, working outdoors and in customer service; I find that brewing really feeds all facets of me as a human. It brings me good balance that keeps me feeling good about going to work every day.

What’s the favorite part of your job?

Since I started brewing, my favorite thing to do is to hose out the whirlpool vessel. It is so satisfying to me to start with a massive mess of a hop pile and end with a shiny and clean tank. The process of transformation from mess to cleanliness is a really satisfying thing. It is so laughable, I know, but it is the little things in life. On a broader level, I love the process of creating a beer from start to finish — beginning with an idea, writing a recipe, brewing it, caring for it during the fermentation process, then pouring it into a glass that the masses (and I) get to enjoy. I think that is a really rad thing.

Favorite beers?

My favorite beer style generally changes with the seasons, but I love them all. Dark, light, Belgian, American, sour, IPA, or cask, I try not to get stuck in the rut of drinking one style more than the rest. Every style of beer has the prefect time and place for appreciation and enjoyment. To date, my favorite DBco. beer (that I wasn’t the mastermind behind) is Born to be Mild, an English Mild Ale that we released a batch of a while back. My favorite partner beer is probably Stupid Head by Stillwater Artisanal, a delicious double-dry hopped Hefeweizen style ale.
By in Brew Blog 0

Happy Birthday To Us!

As we approach our one year anniversary, we can’t help but remain in awe about how much support and love we’ve gotten from our friends, customers, partners, family, neighbors and industry folks to help us get to this point. Thank you just doesn’t seem enough – you all are the reason why we are celebrating this milestone!!!!

It seems incredible that it was only one year ago when we were planning to open our doors for the very first time and getting all of the last minute details finalized in the tap room and prepping for our ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor. And today we are doing our final prep for our biggest party of the year on Saturday! It seriously went by in the blink of an eye. And, we are beyond thrilled for where we are today and even more invigorated at what’s to come for the future!

Here’s some of the bigger milestones we’ve hit throughout our very first year:

36: Number of Dorchester Brewing Co. Beer Styles Brewed

12: Total Number of Partner Breweries

33: Number of Partners Beer Styles Brewed

4,167: Total Barrels Brewed

33: Total Number of Employees

81: Total Number of Charitable Partners Donated Towards

34: Number of Food Trucks and Vendors Hosted at the Brewery

253: Instagram Pictures Posted

541: Number of Events and Parties Hosted

1,800: Current Barrels Brewing Per Month

LIMITLESS: Happy Customers Who Love Our Beer

Thank you again to everyone that made this last year the best one yet! Please join us in celebrating our birthday on Saturday. The city of Boston has given us a one day permit to double our capacity, so that means no long lines to get in – we’ve got double the space and double the fun. As part of our celebration, we’ve got a pig roast and food from the Bacon Truck, a very limited fresh beer release honoring our 1 year anniversary, live music and LOTS of giveaways, including our limited edition 1 year anniversary glassware, free cupcakes and pretzels and more. Here’s the full schedule:

ALL DAY: Pig Roast, Beer Release and 25% off all Merchandise

Captain Squib BEER RELEASE: To celebrate our one year anniversary, we brewed a classic East Coast IPA fermented with the Sac Trois yeast strain for pronounced pineapple character, accompanied by tropical fruit notes from Idaho 7 and Citra hops. 6.5% ABV

11:30am: Free Custom Limited Edition 1 Year Anniversary Glassware for the first 150 people in the door

12pm-2pm: FREE Soft Pretzels from the guys at Wicked Twisted

12:30-1:30: Special Surprise Musical Guest (may or may not be a large bear playing a keytar) 😉

1pm-8pm: The Bacon Truck (they are serving from their truck and the pig roast should be ready late afternoon around 3ish)

2-5pm: Live music from Summer Beard

6pm: Celebratory Cupcakes for ALL

7:30pm – Close: DJ Sprino Spinning 80’s Dance Party

By in Meet Our Team 0

Behind the Brewing Scenes with Jim O’Neil

As part of our “Meet the Team” blog series, we thought it would be fun to take a peak behind the scenes at our Boston brewery to show everyone how the magic really happens. You know we’ve got a talented team of brewers and some amazing staff up front in the Tap Room, but how does it all come together logistically? One aspect of how that happens is through Jim O’Neil, our Operations Manager, so we’ll take some time today showing you how Jim brings it all together!

Jim went to Boston University (Go Terriers!) for undergrad and then spent twelve years working in the travel and hospitality industry. His career in beer started off as a volunteer at Blue Hills Brewery doing a lot of cleaning and helping to bottle. After paying his dues, he was hired full time as the Office Manager and then was promoted to Director of Operations with Blue Hills. He helped manage the brewery for over 5 years, responsible for everything including inventory, payroll, sales team, AP/AR, events, social media and more.

Here at Dorchester Brewing Company in Boston, Jim basically keeps everyone on track. As he said, ” In a nutshell, I work with CEO Matt and the Brew Team to make sure that they have everything they need.” Jim helps to make sure that the brewing and packaging dates are kept on schedule for our partner beers as well as ensuring that the brewery has all of the correct raw materials are on site. He also works with distributors on pick ups for the finished products.

Jim’s job at Dorchester Brewing Company is certainly a little bit different then an Operations Manager at another brewery for sure. As he says, “What makes Dorchester Brewing Company different from other breweries is that we work with such an interesting group of partner brewers. Some are local, while some are international. They each have a different perspective, and everyone’s beers are so unique. It’s very cool to work with brewers from all over the country and world.”

So, how exactly does he do it all? Jim says, “It’s a pretty manual process.” and he has to stay organized and keep on top of it all – every single day. Similar to all things in life, Jim’s advice for others in a similar position  would be to do what works for you. “In terms of organization, I’d say come up with a plan that works. If you are not effective, data will get lost and things just won’t add up. Also, you need to be diligent. Data entry is a daily task. Our partners might want an update as to where things stand NOW, and if I haven’t updated the sheets in days, the info in our system will be out of date. We try to keep things in “real time” here.”

“My favorite part of the job is when a particular job is done and we have a cooler full of pallets of yummy beer cans. I like to think that I helped make all this beer that is going out to the market for thirsty beer lovers to enjoy. I wish consumers could see how much work our team puts in to make this great product. It’s a labor of love.”

So, what does Jim drink when he’s not pouring over excel? He prefers a nice porter or stout any time during the year, especially our bourbon barrel aged version of Stove By A Whale, a Baltic Porter!

 

 

 

 

 

By in Brew Blog, Meet Our Team 0

All About Quality Control (And Fred!)

As part of our “Meet the Team” series, we’ve been introducing you to members on our team that make it all happen! Today, we’re excited to get to the down and dirty of actually making the beer…good beer at that. In fact, the best. We’re extremely proud of the steps we put in place to ensure the highest quality beer production for all of our beers including our house beers as well as our brewing partners. To that end…have ya met Fred?

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Fred Hamp, DBco’s Lab & Quality Assurance Manager became involved with DBco from his old friend Todd, our Head Brewer, from their days at Harpoon. Fred had been a stay at home dad for a few years and the timing was right for him to re-emerge into the craft beer scene at Boston’s newest startup. Fred has been with us since our building was a bit of a construction zone and he helped us design our QA program from the ground up (literally from the dirt floor!).

Fred’s love affair with brewing started long ago, fresh out of college. He hounded every brewpub and brewery in the Buffalo area until finally Tim Herzog of Flying Bison Brewery took pity on a him and let him clean kegs and access his brewing library. While there, Fred became committed to brewing professionally and saved his pennies to pay for the Master Brewers Program at University California Davis. After graduating, he took a job with Harpoon and did pretty much every job in the business until finding his passion for Quality Assurance and Control. After working with Todd at Harpoon, the rest was history!

When we tasked Fred with developing our lab and QA program, we told him to go big or go home.  As Fred mentioned, “The lab and QA program at DBco is state of the art for a brewery even 5 times our size. We place the quality of our brews on a pretty high pedestal.” When pulling it all together, he purchased the best equipment out there to ensure a high quality end product including: A Haffmans combined CO2/02 meter with piercing station for cans/bottles, a laminar flow hood that is PCR ready for micro work, a pharmaceutical grade spectrophotomer, a microscope for quantification of yeast, an autoclave, incubator, and more! We’ve got quite the science lab in the middle of the brewery.

When he’s not elbows up in beer, Fred loves to immerse himself in the craft beer culture. When we asked him his favorite beer, he said, “
I think choice is incredibly important. As an example, who wants to listen to the same album over and over again?  Sometimes you want speed metal, other times EDM, funk or classic rock. When I drink beer, I usually let the season/ time of year influence me. My favorite DBco beer right now is the soon to be released Baltic Porter.  It is incredibly balanced and complex… a real treat.”
And, as a last word from Fred, he believes”Beer is culture.  People come together over beer and this allows an environment for ideas and beliefs to swirl together.  The diversity of the community in Dorchester makes this dynamic even more exciting.”