Fort Hill Brewery was established in 2014 in Easthampton, MA. Our goal is to brew high quality ales and lagers combining German brewing traditions and American innovation.
In 2010, after attending the Siebel Institute, Eric began looking for a location for his new brewery. He visited over 60 different sites around Boston, but all were marked by levels of contamination. Refusing to put the quality of his future brews in jeopardy, he looked west, considering locations in Southampton, Three Rivers, Palmer, and Easthampton. He ultimately settled on a former hay field in Easthampton at the base of Mount Tom, located on Fort Hill Road.
Why Easthampton? The water.
Per the German purity law, water is one of only four ingredients that go into our beers. With a we wanted to make sure the water we use is top quality. Easthampton’s water comes from the Barnes Aquifer system, a complex of several productive aquifers extending about twelve miles underground. In 2015, Easthampton won the gold medal for best tasting water and the 16th annual Great American Water Taste Test, held as part of the Rural Water Rally in 2015. We like to think better water means better beer, and we think you’ll agree.
Finding the right location was just the beginning. In November 2012, Fort Hill Brewery rose under the watchful eye of Mount Tom. Construction went on for two years, wringing Eric and Striker of their sweat and blood until they laid the first young beer to rest. That beer was an Oktoberfest, first poured in August 2014. The same month, Fort Hill Brewery first opened its doors to the public, offerings tastings, tours, and growlers, as we continue to do a year later today.
Though the property wasn’t originally up for sale, the owners, who had the land in their family for generations, liked the idea of turning the field into a brewery and decided to sell.
The equipment delivery posed great challenges in late 2013. Riggers from Cotton Tree Service helped to bring in the large brewhouse and to bring 27-foot tanks through a 26-foot door.
The purpose-built building is furnished with modern equipment to help its brewers make excellent, high quality lager beer. Stainless steel is abound because Fort Hill Brewery takes quality seriously.