In 2010, after attending the Siebel Institute for brewing, Eric began looking for a location for his new brewery. He visited over 60 different sites, but all were tainted 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 main ingredients that go into our beer. We strive to use the highest quality ingredients in our beer, and the water was no exception. 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 in the 16th annual Great American Water Taste Test. 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 before the first beer, an Oktoberfest, was released in 2014. The same month, Fort Hill Brewery opened its doors to the public, offering tastings, tours, and growlers, as we continue to do a year later today.