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Meet Gary and Jake Rogers of True North Ale Company in Ipswich

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary and Jake Rogers.

The True North Ale Company is a business that has been “in the making” for decades. It was more than thirty years ago that Gary, fed up with the poor selection of beers available from US brewers, tried his hand at his first batch of homebrew. It was a pale ale, the first of many styles. Gary enjoyed conducting blind taste tests where friends sampled his beer versus commercial brands. He took pride that his was often the preferred choice.

Jake was born during Gary’s early years of home brewing. He grew up in a home filled with the aroma of boiling malt and pungent hops. When Jake was in grade school the family moved to France. There, Gary was exposed to wonderful Belgian, German, and English brews that further opened his palate to the vast world of beer varieties.

Following three years in Europe, the family returned to the Boston area in 1997 to find that the craft brewing industry had taken root and was flourishing. For several years Gary set aside his home brewing kit and explored the new offerings in the domestic market. Fast forward to Jake’s college years in Washington state where he frequented a pizza restaurant that was also a nanobrewery. Discussions with the brewers piqued his interest and, during a winter break from school, he and his dad dug out the kettle and brewed an IPA. Gary’s passion for brewing was reawakened. Since, the two have brewed scores of batches of beer of many styles to the delight of their family and friends.

Following college graduation, Jake took a job at a smaller regional brewery to learn the business. There he worked in all its operational areas, gaining valuable, broad-based experience. Gary retired from his long career in high tech sales and marketing and dedicated more of his leisure time to brewing. Ultimately, the two decided to put their experience and passion for brewing to good use, opening a brewery near their hometowns – Beverly and Byfield. The True North Ale Company in Ipswich, Massachusetts is the result.

Has it been a smooth road?
Once we decided to open the brewery, we were faced with three major challenges — finding a location, building a world class team, and constructing the brewery and taproom. After months of searching in several North Shore communities, we found a defunct car dealership building in Ipswich and began lease negotiations. We were not aggressive enough, however, and Aubuchon Hardware scooped it on us. The landlord offered to construct a purpose-built building to our spec on the site. We agreed and inked a lease. We immediately went to work on building our team. Jake flew to Portland, Oregon and convinced Seth Barnum, a Lead Brewer at Breakside Brewing, to return to New England and join us as our Head Brewer with an ownership position in the business. Jake and Seth had previously worked together and recognized Seth’s talent. Gary recruited a former college buddy who had recently retired from a career in banking to serve as our Chief Financial Officer, also with an ownership position. With Jake running the operation and Gary focused on sales, marketing and business administration, the team was complete. Fairly smooth sailing thus far. But construction of the brewery was another story. The landlord ran into issues with the site during excavation. Delay. The general contractor ran into a host of issues. More delay. Our opening date was pushed out from early summer to mid fall. But in the end, we had a fabulous production facility for brewing great beer and a beautiful taproom for serving that beer to thirsty locals as well as visitors to the North Shore.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with True North Ale Company – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
From a business perspective, we are most proud of the integrity and honesty of all that we do in our business — the “True” part of True North Ales. But as brewers, our day to day focus is on brewing great beer. We brewed our first batch of beer in our brand new facility in mid-October of 2017 and served it to our first customers in November. Feedback on the beer was outstanding! In February we entered our beers into our first ever brewing competition, the New York International Beer Competition. We were just 3 months old, but our Mexican Lager, named “Cerveza”, was awarded a silver medal and True North Ales was named Massachusetts Lager Brewer of the Year. We were amazed! In April we entered our beers for judging at the World Beer Cup, the largest and most prestigious brewing competition in the world. More than 8,200 beers from over 2,500 breweries from 66 countries were judged covering 101 distinct beer styles. True North Ales Belgian Blonde Ale, “Vincianne”, was awarded a GOLD award. This is the highest accolade in the brewing industry. And we won it in our 5th month of existence. Brewing one of the best beers in the world is the goal of all brewers. We are most proud of this achievement. We will continue to brew great beer with every batch and build on our early success.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
We are both life-long residents of the North Shore, born and raised here. We live and die by the Red Sox, the Bruins, Celtics, and Patriots. Gary spends as much time as possible fishing the shore for striped bass and bluefish. Jake is an avid farmer. Both of us enjoy spending real quality time with family and friends. Opening a brewery and taproom has enabled us to share good times with a wider group of people, to make new friends, and to relish in seeing others do the same at our taproom and at events we sponsor.

Contact Info:

  • Address: True North Ale Company
    116 County Road Ipswich, MA 01938
  • Website: https://www.truenorthales.com/
  • Phone: 9783126473
  • Email: info@truenorthales.com


Image Credit:
True North Ale Company

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