Strange Brew & Tackle Box Brewing, Marlborough MA CLOSED

Discussion in 'New England' started by palphen, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. palphen

    palphen Devotee (427) May 17, 2006 Massachusetts

  2. rdecker679

    rdecker679 Initiate (37) Oct 8, 2015 Massachusetts

    Bummer. Any suggestions for a good alternative in the area for supplies and ingredients?
  3. Rysk22

    Rysk22 Aspirant (224) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts

    First time ever hearing of them... perhaps that's part of the reason why?
    seakayak likes this.
  4. Aaron58

    Aaron58 Initiate (182) Dec 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    They were both very new. Only maybe since Novemberish?

    Tough location, but i feel for them. Strange Brew guys have been trying to set up shop as a brewery for years and just ran out of money.

    I guess its telling that I never went there and I live in town, love beer and work in yhe business.
    Sheppard and seakayak like this.
  5. Resuin

    Resuin Meyvn (1,266) Jun 18, 2012 Massachusetts

    Strange Brew wasn’t too new - I went a couple years ago for the first time. It was always completely empty when I went.
  6. palphen

    palphen Devotee (427) May 17, 2006 Massachusetts

    reports of their demise may be slightly exaggerated. According to Facebook Strange Brew is still serving beer but will be “closing soon”. Tackle box is closed now but claims they will be re-opening soon. Have to wonder if Tackle box is looking to take over the lease from Strange Brew.
  7. Aaron58

    Aaron58 Initiate (182) Dec 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    It's a very large space, in a bad location. If they keep going, I hope they try and find a better spot. I have actually heard good things about their beer.
  8. Aaron58

    Aaron58 Initiate (182) Dec 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    The store has been there for over 20yrs, but the taproom and brewing operation is a newer venture. He brewed a couple batches in the past and send them out to the restaurant that used to occupy a space in the plaza.
  9. Resuin

    Resuin Meyvn (1,266) Jun 18, 2012 Massachusetts

    My first time there a couple years ago was to the Taproom. It could’ve been new at that point, not sure.
  10. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (400) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Strange Brew as a homebrew shop has been around for over 20 years. They were down the road for a while, where the Institute of Rock is now, they moved to the current plaza maybe 7 or 8 years ago, give or take? They were in the end by the road, then moved to the current space a few years ago. He'd been trying to get a brewery going for a while, and finally did maybe 2 years ago or so?
    Tackle Box is subletting their space.
    I was in last night and tonight - I had some credit to use -
    THey were basically saying that with the cost of getting the Brewery set up, dealing with red tape, licensing, costs up the wazoo, etc, he basically ran out of money. This was exacerbated by the homebrew side not doing as well - honestly I'd seen that writing on the wall for a while - the stock in ingredients has been spotty to say the least for the past year or so - several times I've gone in for more or less standard stuff and he'd been out of stock.
    The sublet to Tackle box was hoping to take some of the burden of a huge space.
    They did say that TB is trying to negotiate with the landlord to split the space - maybe take a third or so? That's up in the air at the moment. I kinda feel bad for them - they were supposed to open in another space in Marlborough a couple years ago, but literally last minute there was issues with sewerage or something. They did put a lot of work into their area, so I hope something can be worked out.
    meefmoff, palphen and Resuin like this.
  11. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (439) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Thanks for all the info. It sounds like you're a homebrewer so I'm curious what your sense is of where the hobby is at these days (and by extension what business is like for homebrewing stores generally).

    Has the explosion in breweries fueled more people to try homebrewing? Or has it instead made people decide it's not worth the bother? And then I suppose there's always the question of how big a bite the internet has taken out of things too.
  12. Capt_Quint

    Capt_Quint Initiate (132) May 29, 2015 Massachusetts

    I homebrewed for a few years but I gave it up because it didn’t seem worth the time or effort with so much good beer readily available in the area.
    davlo and meefmoff like this.
  13. rdecker679

    rdecker679 Initiate (37) Oct 8, 2015 Massachusetts

    I know I can never get results anywhere near actual local brewers, and that has never been my homebrewing goal. It's more just an enjoyable activity to experiment and see what makes what.
    meefmoff and JrGtr like this.
  14. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (400) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    I am a homebrewer, for about 12 years or so.
    It's hard for me to tell where the hobby is and where it's going - I just brew for myself; I'm not a member of any clubs or anything.
    It's hard to say about the explosion in breweries - I see many that seem to be run by people that have brewed a couple times on a Mr. Beer kit, and think that makes them a brewmaster (not taking anything away from mr beer - it can make decent beer, but....)
    So it seems that a lot of homebrewers seem to be going pro - I would hope that many folks starting a brewery have actually brewed before - not exactly a recipe for success to learn as you're trying to make money.
    I think that like a lot of things, the internet and the big online places are taking business from the local shops - and Brian at Strange Brew said as much as well. The rub of that is, you may be able to get better prices, but if you're factoring in shipping, it comes to about the same for most places. Also, it's nice to have a place nearby (10 minutes from my house, and I drive by every day from work) that I can run if I find myself in a pickle missing something halfway through a brew day, or if I have a problem, to have someone local to talk to to find a solution.
    There's a couple other places, but they're 45 minutes to an hour away, not exacly convenient.
    I'll have to start planning my brew sessions far further in advance. I guess I'm glad I got a grain mill last fall; whole malt is easier to store and lasts longer than ground.
    Sheppard and meefmoff like this.
  15. hudsonvalleyslim

    hudsonvalleyslim Aspirant (292) May 29, 2003 Massachusetts

    Sorry to hear this. I visited fairly recently and thought it had a lot of potential. Got a beer from each brewery and it's a big space. Bought stuff from the old Strange Brew homebrew shop many times. Got a Commonwealth Brewery glass there that I treasure.

    Seems like more than a few businesses go under that run out of funds while jumping through hoops for the town, building regulations, etc. Sadly you've got to have pretty deep pockets just to get rolling.