MANSFIELD -- In April 2014, the owners of The Phoenix Brewing Company opened the doors to their new downtown brewery. They hoped the community would support them and wondered how guests would respond to their four, freshly brewed beers.
Five years later, as the brewery is preparing to celebrate its fifth anniversary from Tuesday, April 23 through Sunday, April 27, lack of support turned out to be a non-factor.
“In the beginning, we thought we might be missing the timing for opening a craft brewery, so we wanted to get it open as quickly as possible, Duncan Macfarlane said.
He had recently quit his full-time job, as had two of his business partners. The had poured their time, money and passion into the brewery, and now waited at the mercy of the community.
Mansfield didn’t disappoint.
“It was just overwhelming to see the support of everyone coming out and just exciting in general. It was so nice to see all our family and friends come out and support it, and then to meet all the new people that were coming into our lives. It was just fantastic,” Carmone Macfarlane said.
Five years later, while preparing for the brewery’s anniversary celebration, she’s still touched by how supportive the community has been.
“I absolutely thought we’d be here, but being here right now, it’s just very exciting and humbling, and it’s sometimes it’s overwhelming, but it’s just a fantastic feeling knowing that we’ve been able to really become a part of the downtown community and the craft beer community in general,” she said.
The first year at The Phoenix Brewery focused on “slow growth.”
“We didn’t want to overextend. We wanted to be able to maintain a steady pace, so it was nice because as we built the business a little bit, we added more staff, more equipment in the first year. And we added on a lot of different beer styles,” Macfarlane said.
By the end of the first year, the brewery had between 25 and 30 of its own beers.
In the second year, the owners began placing their beers in contests and were recognized for their brews. They also added a second set of fermenters.
The following year, they purchased new brewing equipment.
“(It was) continual growth and good times in the community,” Macfarlane said.
That growth stretched into years four and five, too.
“This last year was just absolutely fantastic,” Macfarlane said. “Each year gets better and better. We just continue to meet amazing people.”
The Phoenix ought the next-door building in 2018. The space already houses a portion of its brewing equipment, but will later be renovated to include offices and maybe event space, too.
“We’ve had so much fun this past year. It’s even difficult to think about the years before because there’s so many things that have just happened in the past six months, three months,” Macfarlane said.
The anniversary celebration
In honor of its fifth or “wooden anniversary,” the brewery will offer a private tasting of barrel-aged beers from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The event is not open to the public and reservations are required. Cost is $40 per person.
“There’s some really fun combinations and some of the barrels were Buffalo Trace barrels and they’ve melded really well with the different beers we’ll have available,” Macfarlane said.
Wednesday will offer customers a special tapping of Century IPA 007 and another beer that tastes similar to the chocolate oranges that can be found around Easter and Christmas.
On Thursday, Phoenix’s beers will be featured at an off-site tasting at Dan Lew Exchange on Main Street.
Friday kicks off the weekend with live music by Charles Geil & His Ghost Band, food trucks and more than 20 beers.
Saturday features more than 30 beers, including the barrel-aged ones, live music, food trucks and more.
The fun wraps up Sunday with a fitness class by POUND at 11:30 a.m. The taproom opens at 12:30 p.m.