December 11, 2018

As Built Brewing plans Franklin opening in late 2019

Photo | Courtesy
As Built Brewing plans to open a Franklin brewery in 2019. Pictured here is NIck Erickson, Jay Mello and Erik Trowbridge.

Franklin's first brewery and the only within a 20-minute drive of Franklin is slated to open in about a year.

As Built Brewing, a team of three high school and college friends and engineers, is building out a 6,000-square-foot space in downtown Franklin.

Co-founder Jay Mello and two friends have been perfecting their recipes in his home for about three years. Now, the group's plan is finally coming to fruition.

According to Mello, he and co-founder Erik Toubridge began homebrewing straight out of college about 10 years ago before the Massachusetts craft beer scene really took off.

"We gave it a crack then, but it wasn't anything like it is now," he said, commenting on the wide variety of craft brews.

Now with partner Nick Erickson, the three envision a brewery complete with a taproom and production in the same space, including a canning machine. As Built is predicting a modest start, brewing up to 1,000 barrels in its first year of operation.

The group plans to eventually have as many as 12 beers on tap at any given time, including flagships New England IPA Laminar and Press Play.

As Built plans to tap into the maintained demand for fruity IPAs and offer more drinkable, less-alcoholic beers as an alternative.

Even as more breweries crowd the market, Mello said he and his partners take solace in the fact that As Built will be the only brewery within a 20-minute drive.

The closest brewery is CraftRoots Brewing in Milford.

Further, he said the slowdown in growth of the craft beer market is more attributable to the West Coast, which has a higher density of breweries than the East Coast.

"We did a very in-depth market analysis everywhere from demographics data to production data to our core consumers," Mello said. "Franklin is kind of a hole."

Further, the brewery will be the only in the area with its own canning line.

The others, like Jack's Abby Craft Lagers in Framingham, are on the edge of As Built's target market, Mello said.

The group is planning to hire an experienced brewer and a canner to help with the day-to-day operations, but the team of engineers feel that their background in chemistry and biology will serve them well in the business.

"It's something that just kind of came naturally to us to do this," Mello said. "We're not afraid of tearing a pump apart."

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