Drink This Now: Bent Water Brewing Co.
Bent Water Brewing Co., launched its psychedelic cans—and balanced beverages—in the greater Boston area late last year, and Lynn’s first brewery is grandly opening its taproom with an all-day party and special beer releases this Saturday, May 21.
Bent Water is the passion project of Aaron Reames, a scientist-turned-homebrewer-turned-entrepreneur, and head brewer Jon Strom. The duo selected the former Lynn Lumber Yard for their first commercial brewing venture, thanks in part to the high quality of the city’s water. Sourced from three local reservoirs, Lynn’s water is some of the highest-quality in the state, Strom’s wife Priscilla says.
“It’s low PH, they don’t have to treat it much. It’s unique. No one’s making beer with our water [besides Bent Water],” she says.
It was also the community that helped lure them there, less than a mile from the Lynn Commuter Rail MBTA station.
“[The city is] making great strides in growing their economy in creative ways, and it was perfectly timed, our request to them,” Strom says. “Rules and laws had to be created for this, because they’ve never had a brewery before. They were very responsive and welcoming, and it really hasn’t stopped since we got here.”
Lynn Light, one of the taproom’s most popular drafts since it opened in March, is in homage to the local people who have embraced their brewery. On Saturday, Bent Water is releasing Lynn Light in cans as its summer seasonal. The 4.8 percent ABV brew combines American 2-row malt, and just a little wheat, plus a blend of German and American hops, in a crushable extra pale ale. The recipe was inspired by an early fan, Strom says.
“We had been doing tastings all over the North Shore, and people would come up and marvel at beer from Lynn. Maybe they weren’t really beer drinkers, or a more commercialized beer drinker, so they’d say, ‘Do you have anything light?'” she recalls. “One night, we were at a bar in Lynn, and a guy recognized my husband’s shirt. He said, ‘Bent Water! I love the stuff, but you should make a light beer,’ and that’s where the idea was born. It’s definitely not a Coors or a Bud Light. It’s got a little bit of a hop profile to it.”
Bent Water has a 15-barrel brewing system and a 3.5-barrel pilot system, and it debuted with its own canning line. Its eye-catching labels can be seen in package stores and bars around Boston and the North Shore. The taproom has 14 beers on draft, including flagships Thunder Funk, a juicy IPA, and Viskiss, an American pale ale with toasty English malts.
Bent Water has had a diverse lineup since day one, as a result of meticulous planning by Reames, Strom says. Her husband, also an avid homebrewer, completed a dual program at the Siebel Institute and Doemens Academy in Germany before opening Bent Water.
The company is among the first breweries in the country to use Sonoma Cast Stone concrete fermenting tanks, which impart a stony minerality to Altogether Now, an altbier that’s been on draft this spring. It’ll be available this Saturday, but beer geeks should take note of the staggered releases during the all-day party.
It starts with Blast Off, a white IPA and one of the Stroms’ favorite homebrews from their early experiments, Priscilla says. Other new releases include a “mystery beer” called Brewer’s Bomb, and a new release in Bent Water’s experimental X-Series, a golden ale. Aside from the special releases, the indoor/outdoor fest will feature live music and food from the Blue Ox. Tickets include two beers, a brewer-led tour and tasting, Bent Water swag, and more.
Strom is looking forward to officially welcoming the community that has already shown them so much love.
“Lynners are super proud of their city,” the Lynn native says. “Non-beer drinkers are coming in and trying something to find what they like. That’s the mentality. That’s why it’s been popular.”