Visit Cambridge’s Lamplighter Brewing Co. in the evening or on a weekend and lines out the door are a regular occurrence.
It’s been a good problem for Cayla Marvil and AC Jones, who founded the brewery just over a year ago in an airy space whose whitewashed walls wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard of Santorini.
“We’ve been super flattered by the reception so far,” says Marvil. “But we feel so bad when people are waiting in line.”
Lamplighter fans will be glad to know that a second tap room, which opened on site last weekend, has doubled the brewery’s capacity, helping to alleviate those long waits.
“This was never our original plan,” says Marvil, who notes that the city was great in helping the brewery work through the paperwork for the expansion.
With rare exceptions, a line is almost always a good thing at an eating or drinking establishment, and that’s especially true at Lamplighter, where the beer is good and the nuisance is usually worth the wait. Lamplighter’s original space features 18 beer taps, and 14 or 15 of them are routinely pouring soft, juicy IPAs like Major Tom and Rabbit Rabbit, as well as stouts, Belgian dubbels, and a variety of brews kissed by the funky pineapple inoculation of the yeast Brettanomyces.
“We try not to have a flagship,” says Marvil. “We are always putting something new on.”
The new tap room, down a hallway and past the restrooms, has the same tap setup and beer selection, and the extra 1,000 square feet doubles the building’s capacity to 200. Marvil plans to use the colorful space for events (calligraphy classes, food pop-ups) nearly nightly. She says Lamplighter may eventually rent out the back tap room for private events.
Lamplighter launched its new tap room with grand opening events including Filipino rice bowl pop-up Tanám Thursday, an Olympics viewing party and Manoa Poke Shop pop-up Friday, and a grilled cheese pop-up from Brato Brewhouse & Kitchen Saturday.
Lamplighter will also be making more beer. Marvil says the brewery has been building up capacity within the last few months in preparation for serving more beer on site, but also to ship to more accounts, which tend to run through product quickly. Lamplighter drops in stores are typically brief Instagram-to-sold-out affairs.
Hours for the back tap room will vary, but Marvil expects it to be open Tuesday through Saturday. The original tap room is open Tuesday through Sunday, with Longfellows coffee filling the daylight hours.Gary Dzen can be reached at email@example.com.