ESSEX — Great Marsh Brewing Company, located right by the shoreline on the Causeway at 99 Main St., is set to open the end of next week.

Opening day is still not set in stone — it could either be Wednesday, Nov. 6, or Thursday, Nov. 7. Great Marsh Brewing owner John Collins is not looking for a flashy opening. Instead, he’s hoping to take it slow and iron out any kinks the business may face initially.  

Right now, workers are completing the final touches on the $10 million brewery and restaurant — cleaning, getting the trimming details installed, and filling up the last remaining kegs.

“We got all of the hard stuff out of the way,” Collins said. “I’m just going around and fixing all the little stuff that annoys me now.”

On Friday and Saturday, friends and family of GMBC will partake in a “soft opening,” something like a dress rehearsal for the nearly dozen wait staff and bartenders already hired by Collins. 

Out of the gate, GMBC promises to have 16 different types of beer on tap, including multiple IPAs, ales and lagers. 

“We’re not focused on one type of beer,” Collins said. “We’re looking to offer something for all beer palates.”

Guests can sip either in the first-floor tap room, the second-floor restaurant space, the open overhang that overlooks the brewing floor below or in the beer garden outside, weather permitting. Once the canning line is installed sometime after Thanksgiving, customers will also be able to bring packs of their favorite brews home to enjoy.

Passers-by on Main Street can peak into the brewery’s main control center through the building’s large, front-facing window display to see much of the brewing equipment, most of it made by German manufacturer BrauKon.

All restaurant operations are being handled by Webber Restaurant Group, which owns and operates Bancroft & Co. in Peabody, Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton and Scarlet Oak Tavern in Hingham. The 5,000-square-foot dining area  features a full bar with beer, wine and liquor. 

According to Asia Webber, one of the Webber Restaurant Group’s three co-owners, the menu is an updated take on traditional pub food. Restaurant staff were tight-lipped on specific menu options, but dished that it will feature a wide selection of reasonably priced flatbreads, steaks, salads, burgers and sandwiches. 

“There’s a lot of shareable stuff,” Asia said. “It’s the type of things you’d want to eat while hanging out.” 

Josh Webber, another WRG co-owner and Collins’ neighbor, was one of GMBC’s first taste-testers when Collins began brewing in his Hamilton home’s basement. Now, he plans on carrying GMBC beer at each of his company’s restaurants in the near future. 

“I think they’re great,” he said of Collins’ product. “It was really exciting to see him peruse this commercially. Not a lot of breweries have a location like this, with great views of the marsh in the front and back. It’s spectacular.”

Collins said he’s excited to see his vision come to fruition after three years of hard work. 

“It feels good,” he said. “It’ll feel better once we open. We’re juggling a lot of balls right now but we’ll catch them all. I’m confident in that.”

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or



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