SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 12, 2013

Ipswich Ale gets approval to start brewing downtown

IPSWICH — Ipswich Ale Brewery can now operate out of its new location downtown, but the taps aren’t flowing quite yet.

The company was issued a temporary certificate of occupancy July 31 by the town’s building department, which marks a significant step in the brewery’s move to the former Soffron Brothers clam-processing plant, which has been vacant since 1998. A brew pub is still in the works and could open by next year, said company President Rob Martin.

“This exciting development means that we are now allowed to occupy the building as a business and, of course, brew beer!” the company wrote in its monthly newsletter.

The company, which makes Ipswich Ale, Stone Cat Ales and Lagers, and Mercury Soda Pop, currently operates at 23 Hayward St.

Martin said the company’s 50 tanks will be moved to the new building starting next month. The process will take some time, with only one tank being moved each day, he said.

Both facilities will be used to brew beer as the tanks are moved, he said.

“One tank will be emptied and moved over,” Martin said. “It will be cleaned, and the next day we’ll be brewing in it.”

Once all the tanks are installed, the permanent occupancy certificate can be issued. The temporary occupancy certificate, which expires Jan. 31, allows the company to do everything it can do under a permanent one, Martin said.

“There is some structural steel work as part of the tank racks that we will be installing as we go,” he said.

The renovated building lies between Washington and Central streets (Route 1A), off Brown Square on what used to be called Soffron Lane but has been renamed Brewery Place. Construction began in 2009 but hit a snag when the project’s investors, Brewery Properties Group, filed for bankruptcy in May 2011. The group had purchased the building in late 2008.

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