Master Brewer Ben Roesch is a Worcester native and graduate of Wachusett Regional High School and UMass Amherst. It was during his time at UMass that Ben began enjoying craft beer and home brewing. The Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts is full of micro-breweries like Berkshire Brewing Co., Paper City, Amherst Brewing, The Peoples Pint, and Northampton Brewery to name a few. During a memorable evening of drinking, Roesch contemplated the differences between the local craft beers and the mainstream macro brews. Unable to get any definitive answers from his drinking buddies Ben started reading home brewing books and was soon brewing ten to fifteen gallons a week on the kitchen stove. After college a short-term job at a local homebrew shop led Ben to an interview for his first professional brewing job at Cambridge Brewing Company.
In 2001 after interviewing and accepting a job at Cambridge Brewing Co., Ben started his professional career. Under the tutelage of head brewer Will Meyers, Roesch learned how to brew on a commercial scale. The differences between home brewing and micro brewing are vast. The days were long but the foundation of hard work and perpetual education in the beer industry was started. Cambridge Brewing Co. is a brewpub that brews all the beers on tap and have a constantly rotating portfolio of seasonal and specialty beer offerings. The position with Cambridge was part-time and Roesch yearned for a full time brewing position, and in a unique turn of events Wachusett Brewing Co. needed a part time brewer and a combination of brewing at the two companies made Roesch a fulltime brewer in 2002.
Wachusett Brewing Company was a perfect place for Ben to learn the industrial side of brewing. During his time at Wachusett he ran the labeler on the bottling line and brewed over 5000 gallons a week. Brewing on such a scale takes consistent attention to detail and repeatable processes. Every batch of beer has to taste like the previous - no small feat when dealing with seasonable harvested food products.
After being with Wachusett for 2 years Roesch was given an opportunity to be in charge of a brewery as head brewer and distiller for the first time at Nashoba Valley Spirits in Bolton, MA. After rewriting the recipes for all of the house beers, Ben began wholesaling to bars and restaurants and doubled sales in the first year. A cornerstone of his time there was production of single malt whiskey and using local ingredients in seasonal beers.
Always ready for a bigger challenge Roesch consulted for a start up in Southbridge, MA. Bringing together mismatched pieces of used equipment from former New England breweries, Roesch then accepted the job as head brewer of Honest Town.
Yearning to bring craft beer to Worcester Ben searched and found a perfect fit and location with Peppercorns and the Oliveri family. What started as a conversation in June of 2009, culminated with the opening of the first brewery in Worcester since 1962 with the opening of Wormtown Brewery on St. Patrick’s Day, 2010.