Brews for the Community at Remnant Brewing
Remnant Brewing opened in Bow Market in Somerville, Massachusetts, in May 2018. Inspired by the history of the Union Square neighborhood where it’s located and the history of the brewing industry, Remnant looks to create something new and unique to share with guests. The brewery’s team seeks to build an inclusive community environment for guests and employees. In addition to beer, Remnant’s café also offers coffee and locally-made pastries.
We spoke with General Manager Brittany Lajoie and Head Brewer Charlie Cummings to learn more about the brewery’s passion for good beer and clean water.
Nature.org: Where does Remnant Brewing get the water it uses to make beer? Why is water—and thus forest protection in Massachusetts—important to the process?
Charlie: We get our water from the Quabbin Reservoir, which is high quality and great for brewing. We only have to run it through a carbon filter and it is ready for mashing—which is the process of combining malt and water to extract sugars. It’s important to have good water since it makes up over 90 percent of beer and is definitely an underappreciated ingredient!
Nature.org: Do your operations include any sustainable practices?
Brittany: On our cafe side, we sell a spent-grain product called Brewer’s Crackers. The maker of these crackers takes what is typically a waste product in the industry—the grains that have been used to create the mash—and they formulate a delicious snack out of what most breweries send to compost piles.
Charlie: On the production side, like many breweries, we re-capture the water we use to chill our wort. As the wort cools to fermentation temp, the water heats up, and is then is hot and ready to go for brewing the next batch. This saves water and energy. I’m always cognizant of sustainability and use the least amount of water I can in any brewery process while not compromising quality.
I also have the ability to turn on the heating for our brewing water remotely, meaning I can save lots of energy by leaving it off at night and turning it on when I wake up in the morning—it’s then ready to brew with by the time I get in.
Nature.org: Do you source your ingredients locally? Where from?
Charlie: We are lucky to have farms that produce the other main ingredients in beer located right here in our state. We work with Four Star Farms, a family-run hop farm that gives a New England terroir-twist to standard hop varietals, and Valley Malt, a specialty maltster that provides us with a variety of not-so-ordinary ingredients, including oats and maize. We even use homegrown hops in one of our beers.
Nature.org: You’re very involved in the Somerville and greater Boston community. What made you decide to participate in TNC’s OktoberForest campaign?
Brittany: As a new and community-focused brewery, we are always looking for ways to reach new people and facilitate awareness and fundraising partnerships. The Nature Conservancy is a highly respected organization, and it’s an honor to partner to raise awareness about the importance of forests and clean water—which is truly an integral part of making beer!
Join The Nature Conservancy in Massachsuetts and Remnant Brewing for an "OktoberForest" celebration. Enjoy brews and snacks, and learn about the connection between beer, water and forests. RSVP today!
What is Oktoberforest?
We're working with 150 breweries across the U.S. to raise awareness about healthy forests and what they mean for beer. Learn more!