It’s past the Drawing Board for this new brewery in Florence

  • Antonia and Corey Lynch puts wheels on fermentors to get ready to start brewing beer at the new brewery they have started in Florence called the Drawing Board. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Corey and Antonia Lynch put wheels on fermentors to get ready to start brewing beer at the new brewery they have started in Florence called the Drawing Board Brewing Company. The business expects to open in the coming weeks. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Corey Lynch puts wheels on fermentors to get ready to start brewing beer at the new brewery he and his wife, Antonia Lynch, have started in Florence called the Drawing Board. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Corey Lynch talks about the brewing business called the Drawing Board he is opening in Florence. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Antonia and Corey Lynch puts fermentors together to get ready to start brewing beer at the new brewery they have started in Florence called the Drawing Board. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Corey Lynch talks about the brewing business called the Drawing Board he is opening in Florence. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 6/2/2021 6:39:18 PM

FLORENCE — On a recent evening, Corey Lynch stood in the middle of a former sewing machine factory building at 37 Main St. He was unpacking boxes of brewing equipment — barrel fermenters, a mash tun, a boil kettle — in preparation for his first batch of New England IPA for Drawing Board Brewing Company, a new business venture for Lynch and wife Antonia Lynch.

Nearly a decade after his first home brew — an emulation of Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA — Lynch is in the final phases of opening a brewery of his own. One he expects to open in the coming weeks.

“When I first started out brewing it was just a little hobby right out of college to get me between graduation and my first job,” Lynch said, who graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2011 with a degree in environmental science. “We cracked my first batch of beer at my college graduation and it was an absolute hit.”

And the hits kept on rolling.

A couple years later, Lynch entered a brewing competition with his take on an Oktoberfest brew and, to his surprise, his draft took home first place.

“After the success of that beer, we really dug in and figured out what we could do and figure out where all the stops were,” Lynch said. “And we haven’t found any yet.”

From then on, Lynch has found a lot of success at various brewing competition around western Massachusetts.

The first batch of Drawing Board’s beers for sale will be a New England IPA called “Bird in Pants,” named after the artwork that will be found on the cans. After that, other Drawing Board brews will include a Belgian-style witbier, a Czech-style pilsner, a hoppy amber ale, and a chai tea milk stout, among others.

“Every recipe we’ve brewed before,” Lynch said. “Many of them have appeared at festivals, some under different names.”

The road to opening a brewery was not without a few twists. Take the name, for example. Originally, Lynch and Antonia wanted to call it Pilgrim Brewery, only to find it used to belong to a now defunct brewery from Worcester.

When Lynch and Antonia found out, he lamented, “Well, I guess its back to the drawing board,” and Antonia suggested they use that for their brand.

Then, they shifted their business model once the pandemic hit last spring. Lynch and Antonia had planned on taking the contract brewing route: they would develop recipes to hand off to a contractor to be brewed, packaged and sold.

The pandemic slowed down many contract brewers and the pair had to reconsider their approach.

“Instead of forging forward in a down market, we decided to refocus and do some more experimental brewing and honing our recipes we wanted to get started with,” Lynch said.

Plus, with lockdown measures in place, they had more time to home brew.

When they decided to pursue opening their own microbrewery, Lynch took a crowdfunding approach with Mainvest, an online investment platform that raises funds for entrepreneurs and pays investors in the long run.

From February to April, Drawing Board raised $50,000 from investors. In turn, investors will be paid back 40 or 60 percent — those who invested early get a higher return — over the course of the next few years once the company starts generating revenues.

Lynch is anticipating to sell cans from the brewery in the near future. Perhaps a keg or two will go out to local bars, or maybe some cases to package stores, Lynch said, but the focus will be selling from the brewery.

Reflecting on his journey from home brewer to brewery owner, Lynch said, “In the back of every home brewer’s mind it’s always something everyone wants to do. It’s kind of like a dream … We just feel like our beers have been well received enough that we decided to make a go of it. It seemed like a lot of things lined up at the right time.”

Luis Fieldman can be reached at lfieldman@gazettenet.com


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