Lamplighter Brewing’s original location opened in 2016 in what was previously an auto repair shop called Metric Systems. The sign still hangs out front. Lamplighter’s home base is in Cambridge, Mass., and the brewery and taproom exude that classic neighborhood vibe — recycled building space, brick exterior, summer street patio and a cozy taproom with the steely brewhouse visible from behind the bar. In contrast, Lamplighter Brewing’s newest location, which just opened up this past weekend after a few years in planning, goes with a more modern feel.
Lamplighter CX is in Cambridge Crossing, a 43-acre, mixed-use project in Cambridge comprised of life science, tech office, residential, retail and open space. It’s run by DivcoWest, a real estate investment firm. The setting gives Lamplighter CX a fresh retail look. The new locale has over 6,000 sq ft of taproom and production space on two levels of “The Shed,” an architecturally unique, standalone building which also features the restaurant trio The Lexington, Geppetto and Café Beatrice by local restauranteur Will Gilson. The place looks amazing. From the press release:
“Lamplighter is all about creating unique beers and great experiences; in looking for our second location, we wanted to be in a community that shares our creative spirit,” said Cayla Marvil, cofounder. “Being a part of Cambridge Crossing and its mix of local restaurant concepts, innovative companies and abundance of outdoor spaces makes for a great setting. We’re really excited for our customers to experience this new taproom space among a dynamic new neighborhood.”
Lamplighter has a focus on Brett IPAs, New England IPAs, barrel-aged sours and special seasonals. Lamplighter sells a lot of beer through distribution with several hundred accounts. It self distributes about an hour’s drive in every direction of the brewery, and it uses a distributor to sell beer in western Mass, Maine, Rhode Island and New York. This second Lamplighter CX location was originally announced in early 2020, with the possibility of a distillery and brewing space as well, but a lot has happened since 2020. From last August:
“It’s no secret that COVID-19 has been extremely difficult for small businesses, and especially those in the hospitality industry. We feel fortunate to have received such wonderful support from our customers and community over the past year, and, in many ways, the pandemic has given us an opportunity to revisit and reassess our goals for the company,” said Marvil. “While we may pursue a distillery in the future, our current resources are dedicated to making the best beer we can and [re]opening neighborhood-focused taproom spaces.”
Lamplighter definitely has the space and locale to wow. Located at 110 North First Street in the heart of the CX neighborhood, the brewery joins a collection of locally curated retailers. The space will feature 16 beers on tap, a cheese and charcuterie board program and a community-based event lineup including weekly trivia, happy hour yoga and live music. It also has great al fresco opportunities. The Shed sits amongst five of the 11 acres of open space within CX and features outdoor seating connected to the Picnic Grove and a central waterway.
“We aim to deliver a more meaningful connection to our local community and are thrilled to welcome Lamplighter CX which embodies the spirit of Cambridge broadly, focusing on community, innovation, and craft,” said Mark Roopenian, Managing Director at DivcoWest. “Joining other local retailers at the Shed, Lamplighter CX is another important point of connection for CX residents, neighbors, and commercial tenants alike.”
Some tips from the website:
There’s not much parking nearby, so we’d suggest walking, biking, Uber-ing, or taking public transport. The Lechmere T-stop is right next door, and the 69 bus runs directly to the area. There’s also a blue bike station in the park outside the building. No other option but driving? We’d recommend parking in the 222 Jacobs St garage.
Just remember when visiting Lamplighter locations: Proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 is required for entry to the taproom, and masks are required while not actively eating or drinking.