Maybe the most impressive thing about Redemption Rock Brewing Co. founders Dani Babineau and Greg Carlson is how nonchalantly they’re planning their wedding.
“Oh that’s pretty much done,” says Babineau, when asked about the difficulty of preparing for the event next fall while running a nascent brewery.
Redemption Rock opened in January, in a city, Worcester, that until recently had been known beer-wise for Wormtown Brewery, standout bars Armsby Abbey and Dive Bar, and not much else.
“To us that seemed insane for New England’s second-biggest city to have one brewery,” says Babineau.
The couple, who met volunteering at beer festivals, started multitasking the planning of the brewery several years ago, leaning on his background in brewing and hers in business and architecture (Carlson’s twin brother, Dan, does marketing). Several breweries — including Greater Good Imperial Brewing Co. and Flying Dreams Brewing — have opened in Worcester since, but the void was plenty big enough for Redemption Rock to help fill.
“Worcester’s aggressively local,” says Babineau. “People in here love to support Worcester stuff. It’s also very arts-driven. Both things work really well with craft beer.”
Carlson describes Redemption Rock’s approach to the beer as “accessible to people who aren’t huge craft beer nerds,” though the brewery also has esoteric offerings for those who want to dive deep. An ideal trip to Redemption Rock starts in the late morning or early afternoon with a half-and-half concocted of Blackstone Stout, of the dry Irish variety, and nitro cold brew from Atomic Coffee roasters.
“I think we get the most comments on the dry stout,” says Carlson. “The black barley brings those really nice coffee and roasty flavors.”
The Bees, a weissbier brewed with honey and citrus peel, should be next, and is a good palate cleanser and accompaniment to the warmer weather ahead. The Birds, a red saison, has flavors of clove, banana, raisin, and toasted bread. War Castle, the New England IPA, is the brewery’s best-seller, though given the popularity and ubiquity of the style you probably already knew that.
Redemption Rock’s beers are available to consume on site or to take away in crowlers (cans are coming). For the summer months, the founders are infusing a tiki vibe into the patio space.
For hours and information on the brewery’s other beers, visit redemptionrock.beer.Gary Dzen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.