Article by: Andrea Pyenson
Photos by Ken Rivard
At around 5:30 on a sunny afternoon in late April the taproom at CraftRoots Brewing in Milford is starting to fill up. The early arrivals, sporting business casual, most likely work in nearby buildings. After the rainiest April on record, it finally feels like we have turned a corner. Late-afternoon sun streams through the front windows of the converted warehouse, throwing light on the hand-made and painted tables and their color-coordinated metal stools. A 24-foot-long reclaimed wood bar spans the length of the back wall, with a blackboard above the taps highlighting the day’s selections.
CraftRoots Brewing is the first 100%-woman-owned brick-and-mortar brewery in the history of Massachusetts. Owners Maureen and Robin Fabry live in Milford with their 12-year-old twin boys. They picked the location, in an industrial park a stone’s throw from Route 495, in large part because of its proximity to their home. “I can ride my bike here,” boasts Maureen, who is the company’s sole brewer. They started the business in 2014, sold the first keg in 2015 and moved to the current space in 2017.
With a focus on sustainability, Maureen makes beer using only ingredients grown on small farms in the Northeast—primarily New England. In 2017 the National Brewers Association named CraftRoots the fastest-growing brewery in the country. Which doesn’t mean it’s big. In a 4,800-square-foot seven-barrel brewery adjacent to the taproom, Maureen brewed 469 barrels in 2018, up from 308 the previous year. She expects to break 500 this year. “It’s good growth, but it’s manageable,” she says. “We know there’s opportunity in this marketplace to generate more beer, but for Robin and me also it’s a commitment to having a balance in our life.”