Eagerly anticipated: New taproom, Burgy Brews, to open soon in Williamsburg

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  • Mike Charpentier of Brewmasters Brewing Services in Williamsburg delivers a bundle of cedar siding to install on the 1873 building in preparation for the opening of Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House. Photographed on Monday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Dennis Bates, co-owner of Brewmasters Brewing Services in Williamsburg, visits a room being fashioned into a game room for Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Dennis Bates, left, and Mike Charpentier of Brewmasters Brewing Services in Williamsburg stand in what they are calling the game room of their new endeavor, Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Mike Charpentier, left, and Dennis Bates of Brewmasters Brewing Services in Williamsburg are preparing to open Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House after extensive renovations inside and outside of the building that dates to 1873. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Dennis Bates, left, and Mike Charpentier of Brewmasters Brewing Services in Williamsburg are preparing to open Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House after extensive renovations inside and outside of the building that dates to 1873. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Dennis Bates, left, and Mike Charpentier of Brewmasters Brewing Services in Williamsburg are preparing to open Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House after extensive renovations inside and outside of the building that dates to 1873. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A view from one of the seating areas at Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House south toward the planned beer garden. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • This pergola was constructed for the beer garden at Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Dennis Bates and Mike Charpentier of Brewmasters Brewing Services in Williamsburg are preparing to open Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House after extensive renovations inside and outside of this building at the corner of Main and Williams streets that dates to 1873. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Dennis Bates, left, and Mike Charpentier of Brewmasters Brewing Services in Williamsburg stand in the new pergola constructed for the opening of Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • A beer garden is under construction on the southeast corner of the Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House lot. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Plans for landscaping and a beer garden outside Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 6/23/2021 4:47:54 PM

WILLIAMSBURG — A new taproom is set to open in the building that once held The Brewmaster’s Tavern, which promises to feature food, music, games and beers produced next door by Brewmasters Brewing Services.

“There’s not much up here so people are anxious to have somewhere to go,” Mike Charpentier said. “I think people miss coming here.”

Charpentier will co-own the taproom, called Burgy Brews Taproom and Meeting House, with Dennis Bates. The duo also own Brewmasters Brewing, a brewery that makes beer for other breweries, most of which are based in Massachusetts.

“We need a place to sell directly to customers,” said Bates. “We want to start a brand for here.”

Bates said that they considered renting the space at 4 Main St. out to another restaurant, before ultimately deciding to run it as an establishment that would sell their own beer. He said that the Burgy Brews name comes from Williamsburg’s commonly-known identity as Burgy, and he said that it’s a name they “bounced around for years.”

Bates also said that the community is excited for the establishment.

“Everyone’s supportive,” he said.

Bates said that the menu will be a small one, featuring items like burgers, sliders, cheese curds and hand-cut fries.

“Simple good eats to go with the beer,” said Charpentier.

Charpentier also said that they’re looking to put soft serve ice cream outside as well.

Bates said that the restaurant will try to emphasize fresh and local ingredients.

“All of our beef, for now, we’re getting from Porter Family Farms,” Bates said. “All of our spent grain from the brewery goes to Porter Farm for raising their cattle.”

Brewmasters Brewing also plans to make a maple cream soda that uses locally-sourced maple.

Bates said that the establishment will have three bars, two inside and one outside on the patio. He also said that counter service will be emphasized over servers, and that they’re currently hiring.

“We’re definitely accepting applications,” said Bates.

Charpentier said that they’re looking to hire 25-30 people for the business.

As for when it will open, Bates said that will happen sometime in July, although the brewery is currently doing curbside pickup for cans

Because of their license, Brewmasters will only be selling the beers they brew. However, that doesn’t mean the selection will be a small one.

“Luckily we brew for about a dozen different breweries,” said Bates. “We’ll have a pretty good variety.”

Charpentier said that they’ll also start a house brand.

In addition to beer, the brewery also makes sodas and hard seltzers. “We produce for a lot of people’s hard seltzer,” said Bates.

He said that the taproom will use its hard seltzer base to make cocktails at Burgy Brews. “We can make it taste like a gin and tonic,” Bates said. “We should be able to make some pretty fancy stuff.”

He also said that Brewmasters would like to eventually make wine and spirits, and sell them at Burgy Brews.

“It’ll be a full bar eventually with our own products,” he said.

Charpentier said that the brewery will feature 29 taps inside and around eight taps outside, although some taps may be dispensing the same beverage. And Bates noted that the brewery was selling more than 50 kinds of beer curbside at one time.

“It’s going to be whatever’s fresh and what we’re brewing at the time,” he said.

Both Bates and Charpentier have backgrounds in the restaurant industry.

“Which is why we knew better and had a brewery,” Bates joked.

Both men also talked about Burgy Brews becoming a community space. The taproom will have cornhole outside, shuffle board, foosball and darts as well as board games, and Charpentier expressed openness to people organizing a board game night. There are also plans to have live music at the establishment.

The heating and air conditioning systems for the building have also had UV and ozone filtration systems installed in them.

Charpentier and Bates started Brewmasters Brewing Services in 2016 and bought the 4 Main St. property, which includes both the building where Brewmasters makes its beer and the restaurant space, in 2019.

The building that will house Burgy Brews was originally built in 1812, and was rebuilt in 1873 following a fire that same year. Previously it housed The Brewmaster’s Tavern, which abruptly shut it doors in January of 2020, leaving a significant number of people with gift cards that could not be used.

Charpentier and Bates were the landlords of The Brewmaster’s Tavern, but were not a part of its ownership.

“There was no one that was more bummed at the loss of this place than us,” Charpentier said. “We were out way more than any gift card owners.” Bates said that the gift cards that The Brewmaster’s Tavern sold will not be honored at Burgy Brews.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.




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