"It creates a little bit of a rising tide for local municipalities," he explained.
The facility brews about 2,000 gallons of beer a day, with another 2,000 being packaged.
Castle Island Brewing Company's mantra is displayed on the sign above the loading dock: "If you're not proud of it, don't ship it." Ironically, the sign came with the building. But it is a philosophy that everyone has taken to heart.
"It was a literal and figurative sign that told us that things were going to work out," Romanow said. "We wanted to build beer around the idea that it should be inclusive, approachable and excellent."
One aspect that customers enjoy is being able to see the beer production and view the 60-barrel tanks.
"It breaks down the barrier between manufacturer and consumer," he said. "You smell it. You see it going on, and it's a very connected experience. We have a team that has a love of the liquid and a shared camaraderie."
The brewery found several ways to get around the limitations imposed by the pandemic. In March 2020, there was $60,000 worth of beer that could not be sold. Three hundred gallons were shipped to a South Boston distillery, where its alcohol content was increased to form liquid hand sanitizer.
"It was a fun little experiment," he said. "But we lost a lot of money, so I probably wouldn't do it again. It smelled just like hops, which was awesome."
Another example of creativity was creating online beer tastings over Zoom.
"It was really designed for corporate clients, but we did some social groups as well," Romanow said. As many as 50 guests participated at a time. Castle Island delivered four-packs of different flavored beer to Massachusetts locations so people could connect over brews.
The brewery also started curbside service, which helped the business skyrocket. It then teamed up with Katsaroubas Bros. during that time to offer $30 produce boxes as well as weekly fish pickups provided by Wulf's Fish.
"It was a nice pivot that allowed people to have one-stop shopping and to drive traffic here," he said.
All the employees were able to stay on board since April 2020 through government assistance to the business. This has been crucial at a time when employers are struggling to find staff.
The South Boston taproom and brewery opened up the experience to younger urban consumers, but that also was delayed by COVID-19.
"We were ready to start construction in April of 2020," Romanow said. "But of course, in March 2020 the world came to a screeching halt."
Construction began last December, with the opening this September due to supply chain constraints.
"In many ways it is a dream come true," he said. "We are manufacturing in Southie, so you have that old-school feel. But you can come in and have a beer and a bar pizza to bring in the new school mix with a high-class restaurant."
To read about the Bardo's South Shore bar pizza the brewery serves, click here.
However, it was not Romanow's original dream. He studied economics and philosophy at Connecticut College and worked as an executive compensation consultant.
"I didn't like the feeling of that, so I volunteered at a brewery and worked as an unpaid apprentice," he explained. "At the end of that, I said, 'I think this beer thing's for me, and I'll start my own company.'
"We've created something really special," he added. "We've employed a lot of people and created a lot of happiness."
To learn more, go to the company's website.
Source : https://patch.com/massachusetts/norwood/norwoods-castle-island-brewing-company-spreads-cheer-southie640