BAD TOM SMITH BREWING STARTED AS DOUBLE BARREL BREWERY, THE COMBINED BRAINCHILD OF CURRENT HEAD BREWER SEAN SMITH, ALONG WITH CHARLES BOUCHER, AND GREG BROWN.
They connected because their sons play soccer together, which led to socializing together, and later led to brewing together.
The trio settled on the current location at 4720 Eastern Avenue to make their dream come true, but little did they know how much work it would take.
“It was major sweat equity,” Sean said. “It was a hole in the wall. At the end of the day, it was like walking out of a coal mine. We were doing drywall, threading pipe, and we put the walk-in cooler together. It was total rehab. Because we were doing it ourselves, just construction took 14 months – that’s with no brewing of beer. In 2012, I used every vacation day I had to meet with inspectors,” Sean said, of the process.
The original brewing system was the second coming of Frankenstein, with the tanks coming from Wild Flavors, a flavor manufacturer in Kentucky. While Charles did most of the work in developing the breweries original recipes and managing the brews, Sean played the role of Steam Boat Willy in firing up and keeping the brewing system up and running. There was never a dull moment with each brew early on.
IT’S A LABOR OF LOVE AND A LOT OF SWEAT AND LONG HOURS
The first brew took place on January 1, 2013, Bad Tom Smith American Brown Ale, which became the flagship for the brewery. The taproom opened in March of 2013 to the Linwood community. While things took off, the following year a cease and desist order was issued by Firestone Walker, whose flagship beer was Double Barrel Ale, forcing Sean to develop a new name for the brewery.
One night in the brewery, after Sean poured a beer for his father Skip, a conversation started that would forever change the face of the brewery. One story led to another about a family legend, Bad Tom Smith, who had a murderous background. After a few more beers and a lot of family lore, Sean knew he had it.
“I felt like it was a good transition. Our name went from one that was generic to one that had a story. I’ve met nearly 20 distant relatives since then, and one who was a descendant of a man on the hangman’s crew,” Sean said. “He said his ancestor felt guilt, and had marks on his gallows lever from all the men he had killed, including Bad Tom Smith.”
“WE THOUGHT THAT BUILDING OUR BRAND AROUND THE BAD TOM SMITH STORY WOULD BE FUN TO PLAY WITH AND CREATE OPPORTUNITIES TO ENJOY CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR PATRONS,” SEAN ADDED.
IT’S SIMPLY A MATTER OF CONTINUING TO CREATE BAD ASS IN A GLASS WITH EVERY POUR
Hi Bad Tom Beer Club friends,
We would like to introduce ourselves. We are Fernando and Jaclyn Cruz, and we are new owners of Bad Tom Smith Brewing. Thank you for all of your patronage over the years. There are so many wonderful things on the horizon for Bad Tom Smith Brewing and we would love for you all to be a part of it.
The most recent updates include a beer garden patio, new delicious beers, popcorn machines and shades for that blinding 5 o’clock sun. We have added a TouchTunes jukebox to our taproom.
Our hours are:
Again, we want to thank you for your continued support and hope you enjoy!
Sincerely your friends,
Fernando and Jaclyn Cruz