Quincy, MA– Breweries in Massachusetts abound, and often in the most unlikely places. Woburn has Lord Hobo. Norton has Bog Iron. Amesbury has not one, but two; Silvaticus and Barewolf. So it seems puzzling that of all cities in the Commonwealth, Quincy cannot lay claim to a single one.
I lived in the city in various iterations for a span of over 20 years and can attest that Quincy knows its beer. Quincy loves its beer. Quincy can hold its beer. And Quincy has lived and fought over its beer. But still, not a single brewery resides in the City of Presidents, where package stores seem to greet you at every corner and Irish bars have remained unchanged in both decor and clientele since the 1960s.
That could change shortly. But not without controversy.
Wicked Local reports that Eric Zhang of Bayfort Holdings LLC submitted a recent proposal for a mixed development center in Wollaston which would include 75 new apartments with four ground-floor retail spaces on Beale Street, including one that could house a brewery, a taproom and a restaurant. According to Zhang’s attorney, Edward Fleming, the proposal falls in line with mayor Thomas Koch’s plans to revitalize the neighborhood, which has been designated as an Opportunity Zone in accordance with the 2017 Investing In Opportunity Act.
“We met with the planning department and had a long meeting to discuss the city’s hopes and interests in redeveloping Wollaston Center. We talked to them about input that neighbors shared with them during the meeting ... and incorporated those things into our plan,” said Fleming.
The proposal, however, would include demolishing retail buildings along Beale St. as well as nearby family homes to make way for the new building and a two-story parking garage in the rear of the property. Similar plans for redevelopment efforts in Quincy Center and Marina Bay have also met with controversy.
Zhang’s proposal comes on the heels of the recent announcement of a potential new venture, Break Rock Brewing Company, which hopes to find a home in Quincy by 2020.
Ward 5 City Councilor Kirsten Hughes will host a public meeting on Zhang’s proposal on May 30 at Quincy High School. The meeting is the first step towards the process of permitting the project, which requires approval from local planning and zoning boards.