SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 30, 2012

Ipswich brewery moving forward with new building

IPSWICH — Construction has resumed at Ipswich Ale Brewery's new building, with a goal of moving into the new facility in June.

The brewery's new home will be the former Soffron Brothers clam-processing plant, which has been vacant since 1998. Along with the brewery, Ipswich Ale plans to open a pub restaurant on the first floor of the building, said Rob Martin, Ipswich Ale Brewery president.

The building lies in 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.

Martin said Brewery Properties Group now has nothing to do with the project.

"We've reached a settlement," he said. "We're moving forward."

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

Once finished, the new brewing facility will be roughly 31/2 times the size it is now. This means the company can brew almost double what it produces at the Hayward Street facility, Martin said.

"We have additional tanks on order," Martin said. "... We look forward to serving our customers even better in the new facility."

They're aiming to have brewery operations begin moving to the new building in June, with the restaurant space opening toward the end of the summer. The company will orchestrate the move so production won't have to stop through the process, Martin said.

Ipswich Ale's signature beer was introduced in 1991. A Topsfield native, Martin joined the company in 1995 as an employee of the original owners and bought the business at the end of 1999.

Staff writer Bethany Bray can be reached at bbray@salemnews.com and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

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