Abandoned Building Brewery Set For Debut
Easthampton is on the verge of adding two new breweries to the state. Fort Hill Brewery will focus on lagers made with hops grown on site and Abandoned Building Brewery will brew both Belgian and American style beers. There’s no word yet on when Fort Hill’s beer will be available to the public, but Abandoned Building’s owner, Matthew Tarlecki expects to release his Lola’s Saison (5% ABV) and Pennhurst Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) starting next week.
Tarlecki is a 28-year-old former civil engineer from the Philadelphia area who has been home brewing since his college days at California Polytechnic State University. On weekends, when Tarlecki wasn’t brewing at home, he volunteered his time at McKenzie Brew House, a Pennsylvania brewpub that now has three locations.
“I really credit the brewers at McKenzie’s with getting me interested in Belgian-style beers,” says Tarlecki. I poured for them at GABF [Colorado’s Great American Beer Festival] a couple of times. Their Saison Vautour won gold three times [in 2007, 2009, and 2010]. That’s a tall order for a small brewpub outside of Philadelphia.”
Tarlecki left his job as engineer in 2012 and moved to Easthampton to begin renovations on the first floor of a 1910 mill building. But the site of his brewery, purchased from a former plastics manufacturer, has nothing to do with the name of his brewery.
“That’s a mistake most people make,” says Tarlecki. “I really named it after my childhood hobby of exploring old, abandoned buildings.”
Abandoned Building will begin by first distributing in the Pioneer Valley area. Afterward, he hopes to open his taproom by mid-April, offering free two-ounce pours and half-gallon growler fills. Later this spring, Tarlecki’s saison and pale ale will start making their way into Boston area bars.
As for Abandoned Building’s beer lineup, Tarlecki is working on an IPA brewed with Cascade, Chinook, and Cascade hops, a Belgian Tripel and Quadrupel, sours aged in wine barrels, and a stout aged in whiskey barrels.