September 7, 2018

Redemption Rock Brewing hopes to open on Shrewsbury Street this year

Photo | Zachary Comeau
Brewer Greg Carlson and owner Danielle Babineau are hoping to open Redemption Rock Brewing Co. later this year.

Worcester's fifth brewery and second on Shrewsbury Street hopes to jump into the Central Massachusetts craft beer scene later this year.

Redemption Rock Brewing Co. is currently building out its 6,000-square-foot space in the former Coca Cola bottling plant on the street dubbed Restaurant Row.

Co-owner Danielle Babineau and brewer Greg Carlson told WBJ Friday construction on the space in the 78-year-old building has commenced. The couple have been leasing the space since January and began demolition work shortly after.

Aside from a mural at what will be made into an indoor patio space, the space is empty.

Their business plan is about six years in the making, which started when Babineau left her career as an architect to pursue an MBA at Babson College. She graduated in 2015 with plans to open a brewery with boyfriend Carlson, a longtime brewer currently with Framingham beermaker Jack's Abby Craft Lagers.

Since then, the pair has been perfecting recipes, securing a location and obtaining financing. Now, they look to join the city's small but lively craft beer scene.

"Worcester can definitely support a lot more breweries," Babineau said.

The brewery could be the second to open in Worcester in 2018, and the city's fifth overall. Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. opened on Millbrook St. in March. The three other breweries in Worcester are Wormtown Brewery on Shrewsbury Steet, 3Cross Fermentative Cooperative on Knowlton Avenue, and Flying Dreams Brewing Co. on Park Avenue.

According to Carlson, the brewery will make beer that caters to every beer drinker, but slightly more toward the drinkability side.

The space is being designed as a cafe or hangout spot of sorts. As such, the beer won't be overly heavy in alcohol.

To start, Redemption Rock will sport four to six beers on tap, but that will eventually expand given the 12 tap lines being installed.

Like most craft brewers, the company plans to source local ingredients, but its infrastructure makes it unique among other brewers in the state.

Redemption Rock is a benefit corporation, which per state law, is a company that considers the social and environmental impacts of their decision making.

Employees will also be given the company's books, as Babineau plans to utilize open-book management, a style of employment involving employees in the financial aspects of the company.

But first and foremost, any good brewery has to first perfect its craft, Carlson said.

"You have to make sure the beer coming out of those tanks is going to be good," he said.

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