Boston's dirty water was not going to cut it for Bent Water Brewery. That's why its founders headed a few miles north to Lynn where the water is, apparently, fresher than its reputation.
For Aaron Reames, pouring his heart into Bent Water Brewing Company is “a hobby on steroids.” Once his fraternity brother opened Switchback Brewery in Vermont, he knew it was time to tap into the craft beer world.
Reames began brewing his own beer in 2007 and decided to go bigger once he saw how many opportunities his bio-studies background created. Now, he plans to take his potion production from the basement into the big times, joining over 60 breweries in Massachusetts.
“You might think that seeing how people have been brewing beer or something like it for over 2,000 years, we might have found every way to make beer,” Reames said. “But on a chemistry level, that is not the case at all. In fact, the field is pretty much wide open.”
Having studied molecular genetics at Ohio University, he knew the key to the best brew was in the water source. His pursuit of water purity combined with the need for an ideal location to brew lead him to the old industrial center.
“They pull water from three lakes and it’s very clean,” Reames said. “They don’t have to add any Chloramine, which is the really toxic stuff that will kill just about anything. So technically, we don’t even have to run the water through carbon filters. We do everything right. When you analyze the water quality here, we see that this is prime water to brew with.”
The site is currently under construction, but the vision is in place.
“All of us who are on board with Bent Water see great things happening in the future of Lynn,” Reames, who lives in Swampscott, said. “I am an optimist who can see a shiny dollar in a dirty nickel in the first place, but with Lynn, you’re already seeing a revitalization of a city with an ideal proximity to Boston. We’re excited to be a part of it.”
Bent Water aims to brew up 10 to 12 thousand barrels a year, focusing heavily on their extra pale IPA and IPA as their flagship, plus a rotating series of seasonal brews. They’ll have a tap room, an open beer garden, a staff of 12 to 20, and will be the first brewery east of the Mississippi River to use concrete vintner tanks, which are expected to arrive by mid-November.
“The concrete tanks are commonly used in Sonoma,” Reames said. “The molecular properties in this specific style of concrete augment the yeast fermentation and create a very smooth, almost Merlot style taste.”
Their head brewer, John Strom, is currently over in Munich, Germany studying at the World Brewing Academy before heading back to the States to take over the production. Reames, who is the primary investor, will be more of a weekend warrior in the process.
“I’m not hanging up the day job,” Reames, who works in financial services by day, said. “But instead of going out and buying a sports car or something like that, I decided I wanted to invest in brewing beer.”
They will open their doors and brew for the public in January 2016.