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August 31, 2017

Iraq War vets expanding W. Boylston brewery

The Henry and Fran Brewing Company is looking to expand in Central Mass.

A small West Boylston brewery creating one new beer about about every week is looking to expand in Central Massachusetts. 

The Henry and Fran Brewing Company, based in a small converted barn on a small farm in West Boylston, told the WBJ Wednesday the brewery is looking to expand to a much larger facility.

Though he didn’t say where, co-founder Zach Laegel said he and business partner Tim Westerman have no intention of leaving Central Mass. 

The pair currently operate a five-barrel production brewery on a small farm in West Boylston. The beer is only available in local restaurants, and the brewery isn’t open to the public.

Because of the small operation, Laegel said the brewery already can’t keep up with the brewery’s draft orders.

“It’s a wonderful problem to have,” he said.

The brewery only began production this spring but has made 17 different beers, according to Laegel.

Both founders are Iraq War veterans who served together in the Marine Corps. They were both stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, but neither could read or understand Arabic.

To help navigate, Marines would replace Arabic street names with American names of men and women. At the center of town, two streets intersected: Henry and Fran. 

The beer enthusiasts reconnected after leaving the military in 2010 and began talking about beer. Shortly after, they began pursuing a brewery. 

So far, the brewery has specialized in making aggressively-hopped beers, like IPAs.

Laegel was hesitant to disclose any information about the new location, including if the brewery has any particular spot in mind.

He did, however, say the new location will feature a taproom.

“Just like any other place,” he said. “People can come check us out.”

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