Like so many Americans before them, Jeremy Cross and Scott Houghton looked to the Battle Road as a symbol of freedom.
The hallowed stretch from Concord to Lexington (and from there on into Boston) along which colonial militias once engaged the British Regulars in a running battle, has quenched many a thirst over the years: For freedom, for innovation, for grape juice and, now, for craft beer.
Brewers with 35 years of industry experience between them, Cross and Houghton have decided to branch out on their own, starting Battle Road Brewing Company. While finding a name that evokes a reaction is considered crucial for breweries, it was an easy choice for Cross and Houghton. In Battle Road Brewing Company, they’ve got one that neatly combines a quintessentially New England branding opportunity with Houghton’s love of history and a subtle nod to the underdog narrative.
“It’s sort of an American idea that we all have something bigger than ourselves that we fight against,” said Houghton. “Craft beer is Little Guy vs. Big Guy. If we can pull this off, it’ll be kind of a great Horatio Alger moment.”
Click on the video above to hear Cross and Houghton talk about Battle Road Brewing Company.
Correlating the their branding with regional history made sense on multiple levels, Cross said.
“We’re in Massachusetts, we want to make beer in Massachusetts for Massachusetts people; what more encapsulates that than the Revolution,” he said. “And from a marketing perspectives, the names are just out there for us to pluck.”
So, about the beer.
Right now, BRBC has a lineup of four beers that will be brewed this year and they expect those four to be the brand staples moving forward.
First is the 1775 Tavern Ale, which was brewed in December and hit shelves a little earlier this year. The second offering, Barrett’s Farmhouse Ale, was brewed earlier this week and should be available soon. Following that will be a Lexington Green East India Pale Ale and a Midnight Ride Tavern Porter.
Here in Lexington, Battle Road Brewing Company selections were not available as of last week. Over in Concord, the 1775 Tavern Ale be found in 22-ounce bottles at The Cheese Shop and West Concord Liquors ont tap at the Colonial Inn.
In tying the beer names with locations, the brewers looked for connections that made senses. For instance, the farmhouse ale honors a place and describes the type of beer. And, obviously, the 1775 tavern ale recognizes starting points for the company and the country.
“We came up with that name just through organic discussion,” Cross said last week, chatting with Patch before a launch party at Concord’s Colonial Inn. “We thought if you’re telling a story, tell it from the beginning, and 1775 is where it started, right where we’re sitting right now basically.”
In this early stage of Battle Road Brewing Company, Cross and Houghton are contract brewers making their beer up in Ipswich and running the business from their home offices. However, their plan is to have a brewery one day and hopefully somewhere along the Battle Road.
Meanwhile, they're in the process of forging partnerships with local Minute Man companies and hope to have a presence at area events.