All Hopped Up
As the owner of celebrated local beer bar Lord Hobo, Everett native Daniel Lanigan knew precisely who to consult when he started thinking about making his own beer: the same craft brewers he was buying from. “You ask a lot of brewers in quiet moments, ‘What mistakes did you make when you first started?’” Lanigan says. Their advice: Build big.
So Lanigan went big. Really big. Last fall, he purchased 47,000 square feet in Woburn to house his $3 million brewery startup—making Lord Hobo Brewing Company one of the most ambitious projects in New England (second only to Two Roads’ 103,000-square-foot property in Connecticut).
Walking around the immense space, with its glossy blue epoxy floor (it’s slated to include a retail area for growlers and cans, private tasting areas for large parties, and a cavernous barrel-aging room), one can easily imagine how Lanigan’s dream brewery could eventually eclipse New England stalwarts like Long Trail and Shipyard. The facility’s sheer size could accommodate production rates exceeding 200,000 barrels of beer annually—which would position it among the 25 highest-producing craft breweries in the country.
And even with the build-out of the 4,000-square-foot taproom, scheduled to be completed this summer, there will still be room to spare. “This place is so big, we’ll never have to move,” Lanigan says. “If we did, I guess that would be a good problem to have.”
The Space: Lanigan’s massive facility has had past lives as a post office, a stone and marble manufacturer, and, most recently, a movie studio in which scenes for movies like American Hustle were shot.
The People: Lanigan (above, right) assembled a local dream team: head brewer Vince Tursi (above, left), from Everett’s Night Shift; cellar operator David Kushner, from Harpoon; and brewer-engineer Michael Labbe, from the MIT grad-founded Aeronaut.
The Beer: In its first year, Lord Hobo Brewing Company will produce a relatively modest 10,000 barrels, the bulk of which will be three IPA-style “hoppy ales,” and a fourth, called Boom Sauce, that’s a blend of the first three. Lanigan says that not only will that allow for a more consistent product, it will also add complexity, like some of his favorite bordeaux blends in the wine world.