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August 16, 2019 / 40 Under Forty Class of 2019

40 Under Forty Class of 2001: Ned LaFortune

LaFortune in 2019
LaFortune when he won the 40 Under Forty award in 2001
Photo | Erika Sidor From the 20th anniversary of WBJ's 40 Under Forty are (from left) 2019 winner Patrick D. Hare, 2005 alumni Carla McCall, 2019 winner Daniel Stanhope, 2001 alumni Ned LaFortune, and 2019 winner Carolyn J. Perla at Wachusett Brewing Co. in Westminster.

Ned LaFortune

Then: Founder and president of Wachusett Brewing Co.

Now: Founder and CEO of Wachusett Brewing Co. in Westminster

LaFortune was one of the original craft brewers in Central Mass., well before the thriving craft beer scene came to be. Since 2001, Wachusett has become one of the largest breweries in Massachusetts. Under LaFortune’s leadership, recent innovations from the brewery have included the Bella Czech PIls, Wally series and a new line of hard seltzer. Brewing nearly 70,000 barrels of beer annually, Wachusett is now the 43rd largest craft brewery in the country, rising from last year’s No. 49, according to the trade group Brewers Association. Since LaFortune won 40 Under Forty in 2001, he’s since taken a few steps back from the brewery, handing over day-to-day operations to President Christian McMahan. LaFortune co-founded the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and served on the board for 10 years. He co-founded the Cape Cod Bay Challenge stand-up paddle event and and participated in the charity event 10 times. – Profile written by Zachary Comeau

What did 40 Under Forty mean to you? It was an honor to be chosen among the amazing group and great to meet them.

What advice do you have for this year’s winners? They obviously have been doing things right to be recognized, so keep it up!

The 40 Under Forty alumni Class of 2001

Click here to read about the other featured alumni from the WBJ 40 Under Forty 20th anniversary edition and meet this year's winners!!

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