Boston Beer Confirms Plans to Open Faneuil Hall Taproom

The maker of Samuel Adams beer is planning to set up shop in the heart of downtown Boston, today confirming plans to open a taproom in the summer of 2019.

Boston Beer Company — which makes and markets a variety of beer, cider, and flavored malt beverage products – is “in the final stages of negotiating” a lease for another Samuel Adams taproom to be located at 60 State Street.

The new retail establishment, which was previously home to the Hillstone Restaurant that closed in late 2016, is located across from Boston City Hall at the entryway to the famed Faneuil Hall marketplace.

“When I started Sam Adams back in 1984, I hit the streets of Boston literally going door-to-door to introduce bartenders to a new beer called Boston Lager,” Boston Beer founder and chairman Jim Koch said via a statement. “Many of those first bars and restaurants were in and around the Old State House, Government Center and Faneuil Hall. With our new taproom, we remain committed to brewing innovative beers for our fellow Bostonians and attract even more beer enthusiasts to our hometown of Boston.”

Speaking to Brewbound, a Boston Beer spokeswoman said the company still needs to secure the proper permits and licenses to operate the new space and additional details will be shared in the coming weeks.

As of press time, the company wasn’t able to confirm whether it planned to brew onsite, or what its capacity would be.

The announcement comes about 10 days after the company said it would open a 9,000 sq. ft. Samuel Adams-branded taproom in Cincinnati just steps away from its current Ohio production facility.

The forthcoming Cincinnati taproom, which is located at the entrance to Findlay market, is aimed at introducing the Samuel Adams brand to the more than 1 million people who visited the destination in 2016.

According to the Boston Globe, citing New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which owns the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, an estimated 18 million visitors passed through the downtown Boston shopping area in 2016.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the new Sam Adams tap room to the neighborhood,” Linda DeMarco, the president of the Faneuil Hall Merchants Association, said via a statement. “For decades, Sam Adams has been a champion for small business growth and job creation across the city and a committed New England neighbor, supporting local and regional charities and organizations.”

If approved, the Faneuil Hall location would be Boston Beer’s third Samuel Adams taproom. The company opened a larger, remodeled taproom at its Jamaica Plain research-and-development brewery last year.

It also has a significant presence at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, thanks to a multi-year partnership that made Samuel Adams the official craft beer of the Major League Baseball club.

Over the last two years, brewery-owned taprooms and satellite retail outposts have become big business. The Brewers Association (BA) — a national trade group representing the interests of America’s small and independent brewers — estimates that as much as 2.7 million barrels of beer were sold directly to consumers from brewery taprooms or retail shops in 2017.

Boston Beer has been slower to react to the emerging taproom trend, and Koch has repeatedly blamed recent sales declines on increased competition from smaller upstarts that have lured consumers away from on- and off-premise retail locations with the opportunity to buy product directly from the brewery.

Boston Beer Company, which owns the Angry Orchard, Twisted Tea and Truly Spiked & Sparkling product lines, as well as the smaller Traveler Beer, Coney Island, Concrete Beach and Angel City offerings, was ranked as the second largest craft brewery in the U.S. by the BA last year.

Through March 25, the company’s volume sales were up more than 22 percent, according to market research firm IRI Worldwide, which tracks category-wide sales trends at large off-premise retailers.

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