Brewery's flip-cup competition garners support for community, progressive ideas ahead of midterms
PROVINCETOWN - Plans for a new brewery founded on progressive ideals and centered around activism are flowing in Provincetown.
The Provincetown Brewing Co., launched this fall, hopes to open in town by Memorial Day, according to founder Chris Hartley. He wants the company, which has yet to find a local location, to encompass all of Provincetown - including its gay and craft beer communities.
Hartley, who currently lives in Sag Harbor, New York, came to Provincetown for the first time about seven years ago.
"I just fell in love with it immediately," he said.
Hartley, who currently works at a residential construction firm, says he is looking forward to moving to Provincetown once the brewery is open. "I'm really excited to become part of the community and give back."
Some initial plans for the brewery were a result of chance meetings in Provincetown - Hartley first met adviser Erik Borg in town.
Borg grew up in Minnesota and moved to Boston after college. He visited Provincetown on the weekends, and like Hartley, became enchanted.
"It's amazing that Provincetown doesn't have a namesake craft brewery," Borg said.
Borg, who used to write for the Provincetown Banner weekly newspaper, plans to help Hartley with branding and marketing, as well as navigating the regulatory process.
Hartley's venture could be one of two new breweries in town. Businessman Benjamin deRuyter announced plans earlier this year to open a brewery, although public opposition to the proposed location that would displace a popular theater have deRuyter reworking those plans.
Provincetown's water restrictions might be one of the main reasons why no brewery has ever opened in town, Hartley said. To address that issue, Hartley said he plans to have a small brewery in town to produce beer to be served on draft, while an out-of-town location will produce canned beer.
Cans will feature a charity on their label, with 4 percent of sales going to that charity and another 1 percent to the Provincetown community. Hartley hasn't picked his beneficiaries yet, but says he plans for the groups to be LGBTQ-focused.
"We just see a really great opportunity to take something fun like craft beer and do something good with this," Borg said.
Hartley said he hopes to sign a lease within two months, possibly on a property on Conwell Street or Shank Painter Road.
To mark the company's founding, a "Flip the House" flip-cup competition is planned from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 26 at Provincetown Town Hall, with proceeds to benefit The Shack, an LGBTQ center in town. Flip cup, a popular relay-race drinking game, will be played with nonalcoholic beverages at the event, but beer will be available.
The event is both celebratory and political. According to the company's website, the competition will engage residents and visitors in building community and showing support for progressive ideals in advance of midterm 2018 elections.
Hartley says another Massachusetts brewery - he declined to name which one - will brew a recipe for a golden ale that will be available at the competition.
Attendees also will have the chance to volunteer for Swing Left, a national nonprofit group that identifies and supports progressive candidates in key electoral districts across the country, according to the brewery's website.
Brewery representatives have not yet talked to the town about their plans, said Assistant Town Manager David Gardner, but are scheduled to so during the first week of November. The flip-cup competition will be held at Town Hall but the town is not involved, he said.
"Anybody can rent (Town Hall) to hold whatever kind of event they want," Gardner said.
The brewery plans to offer its customers a chance to enjoy the Cape town even when they aren't here, Borg said.
"Our goal in the long term for Provincetown Brewing Co. is to create something that people can get a taste of Provincetown wherever they are," he said.
- Follow Ethan Genter on Twitter: @EthanGenterCCT.