Dorchester Brewing

team

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Meet the Team: Tap Room Manager, Steph Berman

As we move into to-go and delivery orders only, the team at DBco is working just as hard and we are so lucky to have an amazing team at the Brewery, both the front Tap Room and back of the brewery! If you’ve visited the Tap Room recently or stopped by for a beer pickup, you may have run into Steph Berman, a Tap Room Manager, who came on board last year! Read on to learn more about her journey to joining our team:

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I was born and raised in New England and have been here all of my life.  I love all of the changes in the seasons, with summer being my favorite!  I enjoy going to the beach, BBQ’s, beers, and all done with good company.  In my free time, I can be found hanging out with my son, daughter, wife and our new dog, Sawyer. My guilty pleasure is watching reality TV, particularly (and shamefully), I have watched every season of The Bachelor and Bachelorette. I also love tattoos and am working on a passion project about them and promoting body positivity (I have 17 tattoos so far).     

How did you end up in the hospitality industry?

I started as a hostess and server when I was a teenager but then took a long hiatus from it. After I graduated college, I worked for my family business for 15 years, which specialized in the distribution and marketing of women’s medical devices. During my time there, I also started my own business where I created and launched a new product. One fun fact about the product I invented is that I was awarded a US patent for it (which makes me feel like Laurie Greiner on Shark Tank). After leaving the family business, I got back into hospitality and haven’t left since!  

What do you like best about the beer and hospitality industry?

I love the unpredictability of each day.  Things can change by the minute, so you always have to think and move quickly. I also love getting to meet such a wide variety of people. If you take the time to engage with guests, you can really learn so much about them and create an experience that makes them want to keep coming back. I strive to have every guest that walks into this place feel that way.  

Favorite part of your job?

We have such a wonderful staff and crew here. We all spend a lot of time with each other, so we really become like a second family to one another. It’s also so refreshing to work for a company that promotes diversity and welcomes everyone. I love having an open and comfortable platform to share my ideas and be myself!       

Favorite beer style?

I love fruit beers. One of my all time favorites is Forbidden Fruit in VT. I also love everything from Burlington Beer Company. In the fall/winter season, I am partial to a nice red ale.  

Favorite DBco beer?

The Warp Rider quickly became my favorite, as it’s a perfect red ale.  Otherwise, my go to would be the DOT’s Buzzwig Cider. It’s awesome that DBco has so much variety in their offerings. It makes it hard to pick a favorite!  

Favorite M&M BBQ item?

Dumpster fries are my favorite indulgence. However, when I don’t have the luxury of taking a nap after eating them lol, I am partial to both of their salads with the smoked chicken on top. The cornbread croutons are my favorite! I could eat them alone as a snack! 

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Meet our Team: Brad Johnson, Lead Bartender

As we continue to share the faces and stories of our team members, we can’t help but appreciate their dedication shown during this pandemic. They are truly the lifeblood of Dorchester Brewing Company as we make our way through this challenging time. To that, here’s another Meet the Team Blog post, introducing Brad Johnson, one of our kick-ass Lead Bartenders, helping to make your experience at DBco as awesome as possible!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I grew up in South Carolina, but moved to Boston for work after I graduated from Clemson. I spend my free time mountain biking, streaming on Twitch, and appreciating craft beer. I have lived in Boston since 2017 and fell in love with the city. I ride my bike everywhere so please say “hi” if you see me!


How did you get into craft beer and bartending? 

I started at DBco part time as a door person while I was doing sales. It’s been such a fun place to work that when the expansion opened up I took the full time position bartending.


What do you like best about the industry?

The people! Everyone is so fun and passionate about what they do. Boston is a great place for microbreweries and the energy is contagious.


Favorite part of your job

Introducing people to beer. Lots of people come in not knowing much about beer. It’s always great to pass on knowledge and get others as excited about brews as I am.


Favorite beer style?

Juicy New England IPAs, all day, every day!


Favorite DBco beer?

Clapp’s Cream Ale. I know the Lightyear Journey fits my favorite style description but Clapp’s Cream is nearly a perfect ale.


Favorite M&M BBQ item?


Brisket dumpster fries! No contest.

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Meet our Team: Brendan MacDermott, Packaging Line/Sales

Here at DBco, we love that our staff members are so passionate about what they do and love to see them grow as individuals and in their career. So when Brendan joined the Packaging Line and showed his chops at as a team player, he was an obvious choice to support our sales growth when we started to dip our toes into the wholesale beer game. In the last year and a half, we went from canning our first 4-packs and only selling them in-house to offering 8 different varieties of 4-packs, which are sold at over 60 locations throughout retail and restaurants in the Boston area. (Check out our map to see all of the locations!) Read on to learn more about Brendan, our Packaging Line team member who also supports sales.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve been in the Boston area my whole life, I grew up on the South Shore and I live in Quincy now, less than 5 miles from the brewery. Along with being active and lots of sports, I love any activity that includes drinking beer, like Cornhole at a backyard BBQ, golfing, or just spending a day at the beach. I also love to travel and visit other breweries, especially in New England.  

How did you get into craft beer industry and end up at DBco?

I actually have a background in wine. I graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in Wine Business Management. But here in Boston there aren’t many opportunities to grow in the wine industry and I jumped at the chance to be a part of the growing craft beer scene. When I saw a job opening at DBco, I quickly grabbed up that opportunity and hopped on the packaging line. Since then, I’ve continued to package up the beer while also growing into a sales role as DBco started to ramp up their wholesale business.

What are your dual roles at DBco and what you do day-to-day.

I start early in the morning at the brewery on the packaging line.  I assist in preparing and sanitizing our packaging line and getting a batch of beer ready to be filled in either cans or kegs or both.  During a packaging “run” the line is very quick with plenty of moving pieces, so I help maintain quality control and efficiency. After our first packaging run, I begin my second part of the day as an account manager for the wholesale team. I’m part of our sales team that handles Dorchester, Quincy and the South Shore.  

What do you like best about the beer industry?

It’s craft as well as an art. I feel like I’m a collaborator and seller of these fantastic pieces of art. Whether it’s a keg of Cream Ale or a can of V1 Double IPA, you have something to see, hold, taste, and appreciate. But, yes, also part of quality control is tasting beer. I mean, part of my job requires me to taste beer before 8am! There aren’t many industries or jobs that mix art, science, and drinking beer in the morning.

Favorite part of your job?

I absolutely love being able to see the DBco brand on the shelves of retail stores, bars and restaurants. There’s so much that goes into that can of beer and I know it’s rewarding to everybody that works in the brewery from ownership, bartenders, brewers, to packaging line personnel to see their beer in the market being enjoyed by thousands of people.

Favorite beer style?

I enjoy so many styles of beer because I’m exposed to and have the opportunity to try so many styles Typically, my favorite beer style would correlate to what I was doing, eating, or the season. If I’m spending the day in the backyard playing Cornhole my choice would be an ice cold lager. I’d probably choose a heavy stout if I’m on the mountain taking a break from skiing!

Favorite DBco beer?

Cream Ale, it’s my Gatorade.

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Meet Our Team: Associate General Manager, Cody Grabowski

When we were opening up our expanded space and moving the Tap Room from about 2,000 square feet to over 9,000 square feet, we knew we’d need to call in the big guns. For us, that included expanding our current staff and bringing in an Associate General Manager to oversee the entire Tap Room. With that, we are beyond excited to have Cody Grabowski join our team and take helm a few months back to officially open our new space. If you’ve spent any time in the Tap Room recently, you’ve probably met him already, but today we’re officially introducing you to Cody. Read on to learn more:

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. I have never moved out of the state, but I have moved around a lot and have resided in Dorchester for the past 12 years. I love it here! I am so happy to be a part of Boston. It just feels like home. I like to do a lot of things which include dining out, watching movies, taking care of my dog Quinn, and traveling whenever possible. When it comes to the weekends, you will find me at work. That is one thing that I like about this industry, on my end. My “weekends” fall  into the middle of the week, which I find to be a bit more relaxing.

How did you get into craft beer and bartending/managing?

I have a passion for knowledge when it comes to food and beverages. I try to put myself out there to try new things and learn as much as I can. I was working recently down the street where we were trying to bring in a lot more craft beers. We were carrying Dorchester Brewing Company’s V1 Double IPA and Clapp’s Cream Ale already, but I was able to start to try to more beer as time went on, as our beer list was in constant rotation. It got me excited about tasting different beers I have not had before.

What do you like best about the industry and working in a brewery?

I have always worked in the hospitality industry, from serving to bartending, to managing. I love people. I love to make sure that people have a great experience and really enjoy themselves. When an opportunity opened up at Dorchester Brewing Company, I immediately thought that this could be such a great new adventure, and I am very happy that I have been able to be apart of such a great team!  

Favorite part of your job?

The team! Being able to work together makes having a super fast paced job easier, because you know that everyone has your back. 

Favorite beer style?

I’d say I have a couple. I love a good porter and when I want something completely different, I’ll take a good sour.

Favorite DBco beer?

Stove by a Whale

Favorite M&M BBQ item?

The Columbia Road

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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.

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Meet the Team: Joe Carani, Packaging Manager

You may know all about our folks up front that serve the beer in our Boston brewery..and a little bit about those folks that actually brew the beer. But, there are a bunch of other vital areas of the production process which helps to bring you the freshest craft beer to your bellies. For example, we could not do what we do everyday without our Packaging Team! They are the real heros that manage the process of taking the sweet nectar from product to package so you can drink it up. So, today, we’re excited to introduce you to Joe Carani, our Packaging Manager here at Dorchester Brewing Company.

So, how exactly did a finance guy with a college degree in Political Science/Religion working at a bank in Portland, Oregon trade in his suit for rubber boots in Boston? Joe bought a home brew kit on a whim and basically went crazy getting into it with a buddy of his and his side hobby snowballed from there. Still working in finance, he moved to Illinois and took a side gig as a bartender at a local brewery to continue being around beer as much as possible. He hopped in to help the brewery with some brewing needs and ended up with an actual job in the back of the brewery, working his way up from job to job. He’s done pretty much every position from Racker, Cellar Manager, Brewer, Packaging Manager, which led him to us at DBco!

So, what exactly does Joe do at DBco every day?

  • To start the morning every day, Joe prepares the canning line for production. That means sanitizing it and setting it up to run cans for the day.
  • Next, is actually running the cans. We can run anywhere from 15-20K cans per day with up to two different beers.
  • Some days also involve kegging and racking.
  • At the end of the day, we clean, sanitize, get some more cleaning in and then get prepped and ready for the next morning.
  • Set to repeat!

Where does Joe’s passion lie?

Joe initially thought he wanted to be a brewer when he first got into beer, but he actually found his passion elsewhere in the process…by looking at challenges and fixing problems that arise with his quick-thinking problem solving skills. For example, he’s always looking to create efficiencies to make processes better and faster. Which is a great fit as a Packaging Manager!

Lastly, and most importantly, what beer does Joe like to drink?

His favorites styles to sip on are Kolsch, ESB or Oktoberfest depending on the season of course, but his absolute favorite DBco made beer would have to be our German lager, Zwickelbier.