I started this journey in June of 2014. As someone who enjoys a well made beer and observing what was unfolding in the industry, I found myself wanting to know more about the people who are behind the scenes crafting the beer we get to enjoy. Craft beer in New England is as varied as the individuals making it. These are hard working men and women whose mission is to produce the best beer they possibly can. As a photographer, I decided that by making portraits of brewers throughout New England, I could provide the viewer with an introduction to the people brewing beer and advancing the craft in this current period of historic and explosive growth.

Living in New Hampshire, I decided to start there. There are 43 breweries in New Hampshire alone. The thing I learned early on was everyone I met loved what they do. It’s hard work but they truly love it. They are a band of brothers and sisters always willing to help one another out. I can’t think of another industry where that is the case.  They take a lot of pride in what they do and love to see people enjoying what they have created.

The Brewers Association states that: The Craft Brewing Industry Contributed $55.7 Billion to the U.S. Economy in 2014, more than 424,000 Jobs. Craft breweries are a vibrant and flourishing economic force at the local, state and national level. As consumers continue to demand a wide range of high quality, full-flavored beers, small and independent craft brewers are meeting this growing demand with innovative offerings, creating high levels of economic value in the process.

Behind The Beer is more than a collection of portraits. It’s a celebration of the New England craft beer scene. Each portrait connects brewer and brewery to the craft beer enthusiast. Breweries are becoming destination points for tourist visiting throughout New England.

I invite you to crack open your favorite New England brew and enjoy meeting the community of craft beer makers throughout this great region.


Michael Penney