Downeast Cider House Expanding to the Boston Harbor Shipyard in Eastie
Downeast Cider House is expanding into East Boston, marking the Charlestown-based cidery’s fourth expansion in as many years.
Downeast signed a five-year lease for 16,000-square-feet inside the Boston Harbor Shipyard on Marginal Street, effectively tripling its production space. It will require “substantial interior renovation,” but the facility is expected to begin operation in mid-2016.
Cofounder Ross Brockman tells Boston that Downeast has simply outgrown its Charlestown facility. “It hit, maybe six months ago, that point between crowded and inconveniently crowded,” he says. The cidery, which currently produces 20,000 barrels (640,000 gallons) per year, expects the expansion could increase its production tenfold.
“We wanted to be close enough to the city to be accessible for people who wanted to live in the city, yet not be crushed by rents. We looked in the Seaport, and it’s multiples higher than East Boston. We don’t need somebody to be walking down the street, out of Del Frisco’s, and say, ‘Hey, it’s Downeast! Let’s pop in!'” Brockman says. “We just need a place to do our work, and East Boston has it.”
Downeast expects to extend the lease on its Charlestown facility at 200 Terminal Street, which will remain open while the East Boston location undergoes renovation. Brockman credits cider’s surging popularity to the rise of the craft beer movement.
“When we started this company, which was only four years ago, cider did not yet have the momentum it has now,” he says, noting consumers’ expanding palates, expanding from yellow, fizzy macros to pale ales, bourbon barrel-aged stouts, and fermented sours. “All of a sudden, it’s not so outlandish to be drinking hard cider. And it’s delicious.”