A Startup Is Brewing: The Lamplighter Brewing Co. Story

At Patriot Software, we’re committed to providing online accounting and payroll software that lets entrepreneurs keep their time and money for what they love: running their small businesses. Each month, we speak to our small business customers with #PatriotSpotlight. These customer success stories both celebrate and inspire U.S. small business owners.

For this #PatriotSpotlight, we caught up Cayla Marvil, co-founder of the up-and-coming Cambridge , MA microbrewery, Lamplighter Brewing Co. She divulged the delicious details behind the excitement—and inevitable setbacks—that stem from the startup process.


Why a microbrewery?

The idea originally emerged when [co-founder] AC Jones and I moved to Cambridge and noticed that there weren’t many breweries (especially distributing breweries) in the surrounding area. We were both avid homebrewers and beer drinkers and ready to move to another profession, so we decided to take the plunge and start our own. We went and got formal brewing educations from the Siebel Institute, developed a business plan, and began to hunt for a location.

We want to brew beer that matches the innovation and tradition of the marvelous city of Cambridge, where we call home. We also want to create a taproom that’s welcoming, friendly, and accessible. All in all, we’re excited to brew some unique and delicious beer, and open a space where you can come hang out, learn about the process, and taste our goods.


What were some valuable lessons learned in the startup process for Lamplighter Brewing Co.?

We were told from day one that it will take double the money and double the time that we projected. We brushed these comments off and said, “No. We’re different. We’ll have it open in a year.” But, here we are, three years later and with no brewery … and it really has taken us triple the money and triple the time that we had thought.

There are so many variables that are out of your control. No matter how fast you push to open and how hard you try to stay on budget, little things pop up constantly.  But, we’ve learned to deal with them with laughter and a shrug rather than with anger and frustration.


Really? Any disaster stories?

Well, we’re about a month away from brewing, and we’re all itching to get started. But, when we were digging up the floor to slope it, we found a 3,000-gallon underground oil tank. Oh boy. There goes the next week of our time as we coordinate a safe removal with the fire department, our landlord, and the removal company … but it could be worse! The soil wasn’t contaminated, nor was the groundwater, so there’s always a plus side to these situations. And I guess we should have expected this when we signed a lease on an old auto repair shop …


How has Patriot Software played a role during Lamplighter Brewing’s startup process?

We chose Patriot Software because we needed a reliable and affordable payroll processing system for a small startup company. Based on online reviews, it seemed like the way to go, and we certainly haven’t regretted our choice. I’ve never run payroll before, and Patriot Software has made it easy to figure out how it works and set up employees. The tax features are amazing, and the direct deposit is also wonderful. Plus, who doesn’t like getting paid!?


Lamplighter Brewing Co. has garnered a significant following in a short period of time. How have you been able to build hype for your business before it’s even opened?

We’re really lucky to be in Cambridge where the community members are involved and incredibly supportive of small startups and projects. There have been quite a few licensing hoops we’ve had to jump through, so we’ve gotten to know the neighborhood well, and every single person has spoken up in support of our project. Again, we’re incredibly fortunate.

This has led to a solid amount of local press in blogs and publications, so I think people start following us that way. We advertise our construction progress on the windows of our building, so a lot of people get our social media handles from there and start following us out of curiosity. We get emails almost daily from Cambridge residents saying how excited they are for the project. That is absolutely huge, and keeps us pushing forward over each hurdle. Its exciting to know that we’re not the only ones obsessed with bringing a distributing brewery to the area.


Temporary window signage goes up for the world to see! #lamplighterbrewing #cambridgema #lbco #weloverenovating

A photo posted by Lamplighter Brewing Co. (@lamplighterbrew) on Nov 6, 2015 at 6:44am PST


Quick: What are the three essential things we should know about Lamplighter Brewing Co.?

  1. We love beer!
  2. We’re so excited to open in the next few months and share our beer with the world!
  3. We love Patriot Software! Thank you guys 🙂


Lamplighter Brewing Co. is set to open in June 2016. You can find Cayla setting up the microbrewery in Cambridge, MA with her co-founders, AC Jones and Tyler Fitzpatrick. Stay up-to-date with their startup journey at lampligtherbrewing.com, and follow Lamplighter Brewing Co. on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Every small business has a story worth telling. We’d love to hear yours—share your own story and photos with the hashtag #PatriotSpotlight so we can check it out.

These views are made solely by the author.

Aurora de Peralta

Aurora DePeralta formerly served as the Social Media Specialist at Patriot Software Inc.

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