Port People: Meet BareWolf Brewing

Let us introduce you to one of our newest members, BareWolf Brewing! If you’re looking for your next happy hour spot or in search of a hip holiday party location, check out their taproom in Amesbury and try some of their ever-changing selection of brews.

We interviewed one of the owners, Paul Bareford, to get a sneak peek behind the brewing business and to share what is truly unique about their process and ingredients.

Q: Tell me about the name of the brewery and where it originated.

A: My daughter-in-law Jenn combined our last name, Bareford, with my wife’s maiden name, Wolf, and voila! BareWolf Brewing!

Q: What three words would you use to describe BareWolf?

A: We wouldn’t!  Words are so limiting – we recommend trying 3 different beers.

Q: How long has the brewery been up and running?

A: We opened our taproom and began self-distribution in August of 2017. The Funkyard, our barrel room and weird beer project space, opened in October of 2019 and will continue to host special releases of our rarer and stranger concoctions.

Q: Why did you decide to lay roots in Amesbury?

A: This lil’ city is surprisingly unknown, even by MA natives. Between its millworks history, hardworking reputation and scrappy good looks, it’s truly a gem and we’re lucky to be here.

Q: What brewery comes in second to your own? If you could go anywhere, which brewery would you go to and have a beer? Why?

A: When we’re not drinking beer we really enjoy coffee. Currently we’re collaborating on a really fun coffee-beer project with our cool cat buds at Broadsheet Coffee down in Cambridge. We love stopping in for a fresh cup when we’re delivering nearby, and highly recommend that anyone who loves EXCELLENT coffee do the same!

Q: What got you into brewing?

A: Drinking. Duh! But really, beer has the unique capacity to centralize many of our passions: focused and intensive tradecraft, the arts and music, and community. There’s no other industry we know of where so many cool people can cross-pollinate in such bodacious and interesting ways.

Q: What is truly unique about your ingredients that is different than any other brewery? What can you offer that no one else can?

A: In addition to carefully sourcing only the absolute best caliber brewing ingredients, we are committed to not using any chemical stabilizers or additives, animal products or refined sugars, and our beers are all unfiltered, unpasteurized and super yummy.

Q: Who are the owners of the business and how did it all come together?

A: Paul & Stevie are the father-son team that dreamed up this crazy venture 5 years ago. After a career in start-ups, Stevie asked Paul: “Aren’t all your B2B business ventures boring? Let’s do beer – beer is fun!” And he was right! Stevie then recruited his friends from other New England breweries and it was off to the races.

Q: Do you have a success story that you’d like to share with the membership?

A: We love doing business in our own backyard. Traveling all the way to Boston weekly to self-distribute beer is hard work, so developing meaningful business relationships locally has been our long term goal.  Many of our best wholesale accounts are in Newburyport and the surrounding area.

Q: What does BareWolf offer besides beer?

A: Our fun, funky laid back taproom vibe, and unending dad jokes.  In addition, we offer our taproom and our barrel room, The Funkyard, for event rental. We hosts lots of birthday, graduation and shower parties, as well as corporate ‘off-sites’ for smaller companies all the way up to New Balance. It’s a phenomenal space to hold a Christmas or Holiday party.

Q: What is your distribution?

A: Other than our taproom, we self-distribute our beer in cans to discriminating bottle shops, and in kegs to the best bars and restaurants.  Our range pretty much follows the arc of Rt. 495 down to the Pike, and then east throughout Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. 

Q: What advice would you give to a young aspiring brewer?

A: Strive to only make great beer. Everything else is unimportant.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Newburyport? Are you from the local area?

A: A day in the life: Start with a lox bagel from Abraham’s, go to the beach on Plum Island, get a lobster roll from Bob Lobster, hole up at the Grog for a beer or two, and then catch a show at the Fire House Center for the Arts.   

Q: Do you have any special talent(s)?

A: Nope.  Just making outstanding beer.

Q: What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?

A: Turning BareWolf into a great neighborhood destination for families and dog owners. We love our regulars!

Q: How is BareWolf involved in the community? 

A: BareWolf supports local artists by hanging interesting new art from local artists in our taproom. We have Amesbury’s poet laureate, Stephen Wagner, do trivia night the first Thursday of the month. Last month the Amesbury Public Library held their annual meeting and trivia contest (thank you Stephen Wagner!) in our taproom.  

Last May during our first outdoor beer garden of the year, we decided to invite as many local “makers” (artisans, artists, weavers, potters, etc.) as possible to help them get exposure. We had artisans from Newburyport, Amesbury, Haverhill and Newton, NH. We offered them space at no charge so that they could get exposure and benefit as much as possible.  

Additionally, every Saturday night we have live music in the taproom and many of the musicians are local talent. We prefer that – it helps them and it helps us.

Generally, we support local causes that are non political – such as raising money for the Greater Amesbury Kiwanis Club whose goal was to recondition a basketball court about 2 blocks from our brewery.

Q: What are your goals for the future?

A: To grow our business while maintaining our core value – making the highest quality beer we know how. As we’re successful doing that, we look forward to interacting with people in all the local communities. 

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