Community Creates Better Beer: Origins of The CitraBus

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Newburyport, MA – On the north shore of Massachusetts, breweries help each other out. Whether it’s lending a key ingredient, collaborating on recipes or just stopping by to bend an ear, this growing “neighborhood” of craft beer north of Boston is unique. It’s like an episode of Leave it to Beaver…with really good beer.

One such example is the origin story of CitraBus, which was literally and figuratively born out of good beer karma.

When upstart Old Planters Brewing Co. in Beverly, MA was in the planning stages, owners Matt Sullivan and Ben Garry stopped by RiverWalk Brewing Co. in Newburyport to kick around ideas and drink a few pints with brewer and owner Steve Sanderson.

Sanderson reminisces, “They were just starting out and had a lot of great ideas, but wanted to bounce them off someone to see if they were practical. We had just gone through a similar process and were more than happy to share some of the lessons we’d learned.”

And so went another day in the ever expanding universe of the north shore craft beer scene. A few months later, the self-proclaimed “Townies” returned bearing the ultimate brewer’s thank you gift- HOPS!

“Steve’s advice was very helpful when were starting out. So once we’re up and brewing, we wanted to show our appreciation by bringing him some hops that were a little hard to come by at the time.” says Sullivan.

Sanderson remembers the feeling, “We didn’t currently have a beer showcasing Citra hops, but we were given this free shot to play around. It was a golden opportunity dropped in our laps that we may not have taken otherwise. It was fate.”

The beer gods were smiling that day. What started as another friendly gesture on the north shore would eventually become CitraBus. Known for it’s hop forward notes of Citra paired with a sturdy backbone of Columbus (hence the name CitraBus) this regular offering has become a fan favorite throughout Massachusetts.

And all because a neighbor was willing to lend a hand. We think The Beav would approve!


RiverWalk Brewing Co.
Discover our worldly vision for what beer can be.

Old Planters Brewing Co.
Built on the foundation of friendship, hometown roots, and a love for creating hop forward ales.

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