Former Channing Bete building to become new Tree House Brewing location

  • Tree House Brewing announced Friday that it plans to open a new location next year at the site of the former Channing Bete Co. on Routes 5 and 10 in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/ZACK DELUCA

  • Tree House Brewing announced Friday that it plans to open a new location next year at the site of the former Channing Bete Co. on Routes 5 and 10 in South Deerfield. STAFF PHOTO/ZACK DELUCA

Staff Writer
Published: 11/6/2020 1:18:17 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — The Charlton-based Tree House Brewing announced Friday that it plans to open a new location next year at the site of the former Channing Bete Co. on Routes 5 and 10.

“Tree House will open an expansive, beautifully located facility in Deerfield in 2021 … relieving pressure from our home campus and making the experience of having a beer with us much more pleasant all around,” the company wrote in a post on its website.

The location will be a taproom, an “On the Fly” (can pick up) location, and more, according to the post. The company plans to open in winter of 2021 as an On the Fly location, and — depending on the COVID-19 situation — hopes to open in summer 2021 with a “full onsite experience that will mirror, and in many ways improve upon, the experience in Charlton.”

Tree House Brewing, which also announced this week the planned opening of another new location in Sandwich, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Carolyn Shores Ness, chair of the Deerfield Selectboard, said in an email statement that the town is “thrilled” to welcome the company.

“The expansion to Deerfield solidifies their commitment to Massachusetts and New England,” she wrote. “Because they are a non-distributing brewery and their beer can only be bought on site, they will bring much-needed synergy to the existing local breweries especially in these pandemic times and be an economic multiplier for businesses in Deerfield as well as the county.”

She noted the new brewery will bring jobs to town and “stabilize Deerfield’s tax base after the closing of Channing Bete.”

“This is truly a long-term boost to the local economy and a real win for all,” she said.

The Channing Bete Co. — a for-profit publishing company founded by Channing L. Bete Sr. in 1954 — was located in Greenfield until 1978, when it moved to the roughly 100,000-square-foot facility on a 40-acre campus at 1 Community Place in South Deerfield. The company produced booklets, folders, handbooks, presentations and other publications, typically pertaining to public health and wellness

In addition to being a contributor to the town’s tax base, Channing Bete Co. supported many local institutions, including schools, the library, sports and South County EMS, according to past interviews with the Bete family.

In April 2019, Channing’s grandson, Mike Bete, former president of Channing Bete Co., announced his intentions to close the company after 65 years, 40 of which were at the South Deerfield campus. At the time, the company employed 105 people.

The property was last listed for sale at $4.95 million, according to Real Living Real Estate.

Bete said Friday that he is grateful to the community for its 40 years of support while the company was headquartered there, and that he is thrilled Tree House Brewing chose South Deerfield for its new facility.

“Our buildings were created to bring people together, and we are pleased that Tree House will continue to use them this way,” he wrote in a statement. “Tree House is a welcome addition to this exceptional community.”

Tree House Brewing’s primary location is in Charlton. The company also has locations in Monson and Woodstock, Conn.

Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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