A Major Milestone for an Inventive Brewery

Lithermans Limited celebrates their first anniversary this month

photo courtesy of lithermans limited
The brewers at work

This month, co-owners Stephen Bradbury and Michael Hauptly-Pierce are celebrating year one of business at Lithermans Limited Brewery.

Driving through the Concord Business Center trying to find the shop, I wondered how a brewery would work in this space. I thought my GPS might have led me astray until Michael pulled up next to me, blasting Dispatch’s “The General” from his speakers, bobbing his head and singing along to every word. I knew I was in the right place.

Stephen and Michael don’t only know good beer; they know good music. In fact, it was their love for music that brought them — and their dream to own a brewery — together. Originally, Lithermans Limited was Litherman’s Load, and instead of a brewery, it was Stephen and Michael’s rap group.

According to Michael, a Litherman’s load is an archaic term meaning “carrying too much.” As he frequently explains the phrase, a Litherman’s load is when the car is full of groceries, and instead of taking the three trips it should take to unload them, you take one, which ultimately ends up taking more effort than the three would. Very relatable.

When the duo segued from band-mates to brew-mates, they decided to keep a slice of their original name, as they still felt that they were carrying an awful lot.

From the name alone, you can tell that these are some inventive, imaginative brewers — so it should come as no surprise that the brewery’s décor follows suit.

The walls and chalkboard behind the counter are adorned with posters and illustrations resembling those of Alice in Wonderland, while the stools that surround the high-top tables feature vinyl records secured at their centers.

“While shopping with my wife at an antique store in Newburyport, I saw four stools and, right next to them, used records,” Michael says. “I saw the chocolate and the peanut butter melt together in my head.”

It’s this creativity and artistic intuition that make Stephen and Michael’s brand so unique. Like their look, their love for music serves as inspiration when they’re trying to come up with the name for each beer they brew. Each one is a music pun.

For instance, one of Lithermans’ Belgian pale ales, Self Titled, is a reference to bands that put out albums that are named after themselves, like Led Zeppelin’s album, “Led Zeppelin.” Other brews are odes to deceased legends, like Ground Control, which was named shortly after David Bowie’s passing, and some just have a nice ring to them, like the brewery’s tribute to Snoop Dogg, Bow Wow Yippie Yo IPA.

“Nobody says ‘Bow Wow Yippie Yo’ and doesn’t smile,” Michael says. “It’s impossible to do, so it sticks with you.”

I tend to lean towards IPAs, so I was surprised to find myself taking home a growler of Stephen and Michael’s ode to Prince, a saison/farmhouse ale called Raspberry Beret. As if hearing Stephen and Michael’s story wasn’t enough, this fruity fusion was a sweet reminder to stray from your norm and try something new. I was pleasantly surprised.

As I’m finishing up my conversation with Stephen and Michael, their mailman pops his head in to ask how late they’ll be doing tastings that night. “If you see the lights on and people in here, just come on in,” Stephen says. After all, he and Michael attribute much of their success to the support and business they’ve received from their loyal, local costumers. Having already increased production from three to seven barrels a week in less than a year, Lithermans Limited has made quick progression, putting them in year three of their business plan after only one year of actual business.

Here’s hoping for more good things in year two.

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