EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 29, 2012

Hopping to Port

Riverwalk Brewery raises a glass to new home

NEWBURYPORT — Riverwalk Brewing Co. is no longer located along a rushing body of water. It recently relaunched in a strip mall on Graf Road that includes a frame shop, glass company and local cable TV operation.

And the brewing company’s transition from cramped quarters in Amesbury to a modern production space in the Newburyport Business and Industrial Park appears worth a toast — at least among the business founders.

“The transition from Amesbury to Newburyport has taken some time, but we are now brewing beer here,” head brewer and founder Steve Sanderson said. “We are going to be reaching out to bars and restaurants in an effort to supply them — and customers now can come here to taste the product.”

Sanderson, a native of West Newbury who studied at New England Conservatory of Music before trying the finance field, has been an amateur brewer for years.

He started Riverwalk Brewery at 44 Main St. in Amesbury, but it was a temporary solution to a long-term goal.

Sanderson acts as the head brewer and in recent weeks has also served as construction majordomo. He said he set up refrigeration units, ran the forklift and helped to actually activate the brewing process.

Riverwalk expects to have weekly tasting sessions on Fridays from 3 to 8 p.m. when those interested can come to the site and taste the label’s four different kinds of beers.

The tasting glasses hold just 2 ounces of brew; managers say there will be no retail operation resembling that of a tavern.

What they will be selling are growlers, 64-ounce containers in which its fresh brew can be transported. The first growler will cost $15; thereafter, to encourage recycling, the second container full of beverage will cost $10.

The company is currently supplying about a half-dozen local restaurants and hopes to expand that roster in coming months.

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