The Benefits Jack’s Abby Gets in Contracting

It just made sense.

Sitting in the taproom of Jack’s Abby for an interview with the three brothers and co-founders of the Framingham, Massachusetts brewery, I noticed a large group going over a slide presentation during my interview for the November/December issue of Brewer (check your mailbox for the edition right now).

Sam Hendler, the company’s CEO and “founding brother” explained the brewing staff was going over some beer recipes with the Night Shift Brewing staff.

Joe Mashburn, the head of production, was in the brewery to talk through all the beers with the Jack’s Abby staff to make sure that they are very familiar with the products and producing the beer that Night Shift wants.

Later, while talking to fellow founder, brother Jack Hendler, we broached the subject of working with a “competitor” and the benefits the brewery gets from contracting products for area breweries.

“We’re taking on a decent amount of that Night Shift volume, which really helps to make a lot more sense of what we’re doing,” Jack said. “You take two breweries at around 40,000 barrels that were running inefficiently independently and put all that production together. All of a sudden, it makes a lot more sense from both sides to run that production in one space.”

READ MORE: How Jack’s Abby Defined Its Founders Roles

Jack Hendler added that there is a lot of efficiency in brewing more beer.

“I think we’re also realistic that it is a very challenging market right now,” he said. “There’s only so much you can grow. There’s still more breweries opening than there are closing and being able to make decisions that allow you to put out the beer quality that you want, but also makes sense for the infrastructure that you put in place are really important.”

Contracting to fill tanks wasn’t originally the plan.

“During COVID we lost all of our on-premise business,” Jack said. “At that point, everyone lost all their on-premise. So there were a lot of breweries that needed the canning ability.”

Jack’s Abby canned for breweries like Medusa and Night Shift.

“That was all sort of COVID-driven where they needed canning, they didn’t have that sort of capacity in their space,” Jack said. “It was a good partnership to make sure that when there wasn’t any draft beer to go around, everyone still had the product that they needed to get to market.”

Jack said it was all personal relationships that built the business plan.

“It’s people who we have respect for their beer that they’re producing, and understand the challenges that they’re having,” Jack said. “They’re very close, they’re really passionate about their beer.

“Some of those partnerships make it really easy when he’s only 20 miles away to come into the brewery and be involved in how we’re producing the beer here.”

Photo courtesy Jack’s Abby

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