Winter Hill Brewing Company’s BEER ME!
Best Comedy Show
328 Broadway, (617) 718-2337
You might be surprised to learn that Somerville’s best comedy show is run by a brewery. And based on the caliber of Winter Hill Brewing Company’s beer program, you’d guess the owners were focused only on their beer. But Jeff Rowe and Bert Holdredge also want to make the brewery a community gathering place, in part by hosting “unique events,” Holdredge explains.
One of those events is BEER ME!, a standup comedy night featuring a rotating cast of a half dozen comedians that typically fills the brewery’s 60-seat cafe. With their “Winter Hill-first business” mentality, Rowe and Holdredge aim to give locals and regulars a place to kick back and, once a month, to laugh.
Longtime comedian Dan Crohn, who’s been featured on “Last Comic Standing” and “WTF with Marc Maron,” hosts the nearly two-hour show and kicks the night off by taking the stage for a 10-minute set.
The comedy is “usually tasteful, but those guys always like to push buttons,” Holdredge says.
Just as the brewery was getting off the ground in March 2016, “[Crohn] harassed us for a little while about doing a comedy show here,” Holdredge says. Once they were ready to start hosting events, “Dan was one of the first people we thought of.”
Crohn wanted to call the live standup show “Free Beer,” but that was quickly shot down. However, unlike other standup shows where a cover or a drink minimum is common practice, BEER ME! is free.
The success comes in part from Crohn’s connections. He’s able to rope in comedians who are on the road and in town for the night, Holdredge explains. Past comedians have resumes that include appearances on “Late Night with Craig Ferguson,” Comedy Central, and “Laughs” on Fox.
Crohn himself is also a pull: “He’s a good dude and he’s funny, so it works out well,” Holdredge explains. The brewery’s bar eats—which range from cauliflower buffalo wings to pork shoulder sliders—keep the crowd happy too, he says.
While BEER ME! is a fun night, it also serves a crucial business purpose.
“Winter Hill’s a pretty small community, so there’s only so many days you’re going to go out to the same place and eat the same food and drink beer … We’re happy to get people in and give them a different reason to come,” says Holdredge.
With beer available six days a week and the cafe seven, Winter Hill Brewing Company wants to be the place you never have to leave.
“Come in on a weekday and ‘work from home’ with our free wifi and have breakfast and coffee, and then afternoon hits, you can have lunch and beer— we’re here for you all the time,” Holdredge says.