PIONEER BEER is owned by


First Brewed



Massachusetts, United States

Pioneer Brewing Company was founded in 2004 in Sturbridge, Massachusetts by John Sullivan and Tim Daley. The two had met while working together as brewers at Mill City Brewing Company in Lowell, Massachusetts. In 2003, Sullivan left Mill City and began brewing at Hyland Orchard and Brewery in Sturbridge, which the following year shut down. The owners at the time offered Sullivan the chance to purchase the operation, and Sullivan brought on board Daley to help make it happen.

Pioneer moved to a larger location in 2009, but by 2013 the brewery was facing challenges, and sold off the brewing location to Rapscallion Brewing. That brewery, owned by Cedric and Peter Daniel, had been contracting their beer through Pioneer for two years. Sullivan retained the rights to the Pioneer Brewing recipes, meaning that in a reversal, the company would now be contracting through Rapscallion’s operation. Sullivan had said that he wanted to scale back the operation, as he was beginning brewing at 8am and not leaving until the taproom closed at 10:30pm. The change allowed him to focus more on selling the beer, while still brewing once to twice a week.

In 2015, Pioneer was acquired by Connecticut Valley Brewing, owned by husband and wife Steve and Lori Palauskas. Though they purchased the brand, Sullivan was hired on to act as head brewer. Sullivan stayed on for the next two years before leaving the operation to start Progression Brewing in Northampton, Massachusetts. The current head brewer of the company is now Jason Desroches.

Connecticut Valley still brews beers under the Pioneer label out of its South Windsor Location, though they have scaled back the brand in recent years.

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