A big congratulations to Ray Berry and his team on the successful launch of White Lion Brewery. TSM Design is proud to have been selected to create what will no doubt–thanks to Ray’s vision and hard work–be an epic brand for the City of Springfield.”
By George Lenker | October 21, 2014
SPRINGFIELD — Budweiser may be the “king of beers,” but the king of beasts may soon be taking a bite out of the the royal market share locally.
White Lion Brewing, Springfield’s first craft brewery, held a launch party at Springfield Museums Tuesday night, drawing an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd of more than 300 guests. Founded by Raymond Berry, the nascent operation currently contract brews in Ipswich, but hopes to open a brewing plant in downtown Springfield within the next two years.
The event was populated by movers and shakers in the city, including Mayor Domenic Sarno, former state Sen. Brian P. Lees and others.
“This is great for Springfield. Ray has really done this the right way,” Lees said. “As a former marketing major, he really has set it up to have the ability for it to be a home run.”
Berry was thrilled with the turnout. He said holding the event at the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History was both humbling and fitting.
“This is history for the city of Springfield, and it feels good to in this environment surrounded with all the great historical firsts of Springfield,” he said.
Berry also praised his brewer Mike Yates. Yates is also the brewer at Cambridge House in Granby, Conn., as well as former head brewer at Amherst Brewing Co. and Berkshire Brewing Co.
“We are extremely excited the way the beer came through the process,” he said. “Mike is a first-class brewer and he ensured quality control every step of the way.”
Berry was amazed to learn that Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s parents owned a brewery back in the early 1900s. It was a total bit of serendipity that Berry took the stage to speak to the crowd in front of a display about the Geisel’s brewery. That brewery was very successful but Prohibition drove it out of business.
“I had no idea about that. It’s amazing,” he said with a laugh.
Speaking in front of the crowd, Sarno needled Berry about the event, which gave every attendee two tokens for free beer.
“Hey Ray, a piece of advice right off the bat: If you have an open bar, no one’s going to listen to you speak,” he said to laughter.
Sarno then called the day “historic” and praised Berry for being “bullish on the city of Springfield.”
The beer which has already locked down wide distribution, should soon be available in stores, restaurants and bars.