Introducing the Raps HOPS Foundation

We are so pleased to announce the formation of the Rapscallion HOPS Foundation. Spearheaded by Spencer and Sturbridge mug members, HOPS — which stands for Helping Others through Philanthropic Support — provides financial support to mug members in need and community-centric charitable organizations.

Mug Members and Rapscallion work together to host charitable events that raise funds for these important initiatives. Working as a team, we are able to provide funds to mug members and the community at large when the need arises.

Reach out to HOPS@visitrapscallion.com with any questions or inquiries. All correspondence is completely confidential.

Mug Members Take First Place in Spencer’s Parade of Lights!

Float Participation + Charitable Initiatives = Huge Success!

We are so thrilled to announce that Rapscallion’s mug members won first place in the float portion of the 2023 Spencer Parade of Lights! This year was Rapscallion’s third year participating in this event.

The Spencer Parade of Lights is a very special annual event where vehicles from Spencer, MA and surrounding communities come together to put on a spectacular light show during a two mile car crawl parade through town. The event attracts well over 100 entrants broken into four categories: Fire Truck, Float, ATV, and Jeep. Prior to the parade itself, which ends at Rapscallion’s Spencer Brewery & Taproom, the entrants are judged and prizes awarded.

2021

In the first year, mug member Chris Lindquist generously offered his mini truck for some Christmas wrapping! We designed the wrap and had it done locally, after which our incredible mug members got to work decorating it. The mini Christmas rig looked incredible, and mug members and staff enjoyed walking in the parade and all of the amazing warm wishes and fun exchanges with the incredible amount of people camped along the route!

2021 Parade of Lights Rapscallion entry

2022

Last year, mug members caught the competitive bug and decided to really step up their game! Deciding on a Christmas Vacation-themed float, they held numerous planning meetings and building sessions at the brewery and eventually built what would become the Parade of Lights 2nd place float! Read about last year here.

Rapscallion mug members took 2nd place in the 2022 Parade of Lights with their Christmas Vacation float

2023

This year, our fun-loving mug members were adamant that they were going to win. And they also wanted to do a little bit more. Spearheaded by mug member Michelle LaRiviere, mug members decided they wanted to start a charitable arm of their membership, which is when Giving Trees came up. But first they had to decide on a theme, which “had to be iconic, something that people really connect with,” according to Michelle — and that let them to a Charlie Brown Christmas.

For several weeks before, mug members came together on a regular basis to design and build the float. The number of mug members who contributed significantly to the project are too numerous to list here, but suffice it to say we have the BEST mug members and they know who they are!

They built Snoopy’s doghouse complete with working propellor, Lucy’s full size psychiatrist booth, Pig Pen’s bass cello, and a giant Charlie Brown Christmas tree. They also decided on who would be playing which part, and who would be walking the parade.

At the same time, the team designed and sold Raps bracelets at the Spencer Brewery and Sturbridge Pub in an effort to raise money to help with costs and raise funds for a local charity. Also, mug members Tom and Karlene Lowkes stepped up and connected the Rapscallion team with Toys for Children Spencer, organized by ERA Key Realty. Toys for Children fulfills Christmas wish lists for Spencer children and teens who would otherwise not receive Christmas gifts, and in one short week, Rapscallion collected over 100 gifts for 15 children, completing their wish lists, much of which was clothing and other basic necessities. But of course mug members went the extra mile with their generosity and there should be some big smiles Christmas morning!

Finally, the float was done and mug members brought it to the parade where they were rewarded with a first place win! After all category awards were announced, the parade started and it was an incredible turnout on a beautiful 50 degree night!

There was an after-party at the Brewery where mug members hung their first prize plaque in the middle of the brewery. Mug members, staff, and guests alike enjoyed the evening and take great pride in our wonderful win.

Mug members have decided that their fundraising money will be split equally between the local food pantry and Toys for Children Spencer. And yes, they are already planning for next year! See all the photos below. Thank you so much to our wonderful mug members who continue to amaze us with their generosity and community focus each and every day.

Mug Member Food Drive a Huge Success!

We always say we have the best mug members, and we can prove it!

Mug members from Sturbridge and Spencer hosted a food drive at Rapscallion Brewery and Rapscallion Pub. They decorated boxes and partnered with Raps to create signage and promote the drive. Boxes were placed at both locations and we all worked to spread the word.

The food drive only lasted for 10 days, from 11/15-11/25. In that time this is what we collected:

Above ^^ is the haul from Spencer.

And that ^^ is the haul from Sturbridge!

Sturbridge items were donated to Wales Community Food Pantry serving the tri-community area of Wales, Holland, and Brimfield. Spencer items were donated to Mary Queen of the Rosary Church Food Pantry serving Spencer and the surrounding area as needed.

Thank you to our mug members for organizing and to our patrons for donating!

New Hours, New Food, All Locations!

Hi, friends! We have updated our hours for the summer at all locations.

Acton is fully open with a brand new kitchen and menu, and Sturbridge is also sporting a brand new spring menu!

In Spencer, we have some exciting news: Savage Wraps Food Truck is on site every Wednesday and Friday until 6pm! Their food is absolutely amazing and goes perfectly with our hand-brewed beer.

Acton, Spencer, and Sturbridge Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 4-10pm
Friday and Saturday: 12-10pm
Sunday: 12-8pm

Savage Wraps Food Truck at the Brewery!

We are so excited to announce that Savage Wraps Food Truck will be at the Brewery to offer amazing, fresh-cooked food for you! Check out their menu:

Snack Wraps

Pretzel-Wrapped Glizzy
A delicious frank wrapped in a warm, soft pretzel

‘Merica Fries
House seasoned fried potatoes. Served with ketchup or spicy aioli

Fried Lasagna Wrap
Mama Mia! Homemade meat sauce smothered with ricotta and mozzarella, then wrapped in lasagna noodles.  Finished off by topping with panko bread crumbs and deep fried.

Chicken Fingers & Fries
Fried chicken breast tenders and ‘Merica fries all wrapped up in a flour tortilla.

Wraps

Bacon Cheeseburger Meal
Toasted Flour Tortilla stuffed with seasoned shoestring ‘Merica fries, 1/4 lb. of seasoned ground beef, bacon, American Cheese. lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and house special sauce.  No super-sizing necessary!

Deli Crunch Wrap
Your choice of meat (Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef, Capicola, Salami) all wrapped up with American Cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pepperoni, deli mustard, mayo and smothered with crunchy potato chips.

Savage Wrap
Our Deli Crunch Wrap with all meat options included, as well as Cheddar cheese and banana peppers.

Fiesta Crunch Wrap
Best Wrap north of the border! You choose chicken or beef, then we complement it with shredded lettuce, tomato, green onion, shredded cheese, avocado cream, cilantro-ranch salsa.  All rolled together with nacho cheese Doritos!

Buffalo Chicken Wrap
Probably the only good thing about Buffalo!  Your choice of Grilled or Fried Chicken wrapped up with lettuce, tomato, onion, shredded cheese, blue cheese and tortilla chips.  Too Hot?  Try with BBQ instead.

Sweet Wraps (Dessert, yo!)

Fried Xango
A flour tortilla filled with creamy cheesecake and your choice of fruit (Apple or Strawberry), then deep fried and tossed in a bath of cinnamon sugar.

Rapscallion’s Parachute Tables Have a Rich History

Painting of a parachute factory during World War II

Originally manufactured by US factories including Wrights Mill in West Warren, MA, parachute tables were constructed of solid steel and wood specifically for sewing parachutes during World War II, a job typically held by women. Understanding that the parachutes they manufactured would eventually save the lives of the men they loved, female parachute workers worked with extremes of both gravity for the task at hand and pride for their contribution to the war effort. Parachute women were well-respected and appreciated by enlisted people as well as the general public.

The women who sewed and manufactured parachutes maintained a bit of celebrity during WWII

To manufacture the parachutes, sewing machines were bolted through holes in the tabletop, while the smooth, steel surface prevented tears or pulls in the parachute’s silk material, allowing it to be easily and safely manipulated during construction.

Shown are the same type of tables now at Rapscallion being used for parachute manufacture during WWII

Today, these parachute tables are used at our Acton and Sturbridge venues, although the bolt holes have been covered and the original surfaces etched with the Rapscallion R. Otherwise, they are intact. We are proud that these historically significant tables are a permanent part of our decor.

 

Fun History: Harvard Brewery’s Prohibition Seizure

Harvard Brewing Company in the early 1900s

In 1893, Consumers’ Brewing Company set up shop in Lowell, Massachusetts. In 1898, the decision was made to change the name to Harvard Brewing Company, and this newly branded business successfully expanded its product line, production capabilities, and market reach over the next two decades.

Harvard Brewing Company circa 1900

Prohibition went into effect in 1920 and the brewery’s plans to succeed by selling colas, ginger ale, and near-beer (<0.5% alcohol beer) weren’t working. With failure looming, Harvard executives added the beer back into their near-beer . Profits came back, and so did federal agents, culminating in August of 1925 when a truck filled with 100 barrels of illegal Harvard beer was hijacked in Lowell. As the hijackers were transferring the kegs to their cars, their movements were noticed by the neighborhood. And everyone wanted some of that!

Lowell Sun newspaper front page on August 19, 1925

As reported by the Lowell Courier-Citizen, “As soon as it became known in the locality what was going on, hundreds appeared and surrounded the truck. They all clamored for a chance to secure a barrel of the beer. Men came to blows and bedlam reigned. Besides the men involved, it is known that several women even procured barrels and rolled them along the sidewalks or in the streets to homes thereabouts.”

Due to the ruckus, police showed up to the scene and the mob scattered in all directions. When the liquor squad inspected the back of the truck, they discovered only two dozen kegs still remaining. Tracing the truck to Harvard Brewing, the police called in federal agents from Boston.

In the meantime, police picked one of the hijacker’s cars and chased it almost into neighboring Chelmsford before it crashed in a ditch. Its occupants leapt out and escaped on foot, leaving their precious cargo of two kegs of Harvard beer behind. The car had been stolen that morning by the rum-runners, who were not caught.

Harvard Brewing Company flag icon now incorporated into Rapscallion’s Harvard Lager can

Knowing agents were coming, brewery workers scrambled to ditch the beer, going so far as to dump barrels into the River Meadow Brook, which still runs along the Lowell Connector today. Arriving agents were initially refused entrance to the Brewery for lack of a search warrant. However, upon hearing workers smashing barrels inside, the officers forced the door open and five inches of beer cascaded out over the steps and onto the agents struggling to climb into the building — a veritable river of beer. The workers escaped. Nearly 500 barrels of beer didn’t. The agents had hit the motherload.

The raid was the largest in New England’s prohibition history with over 100,000
gallons of full strength brew confiscated by the government.

Circa 1916 advertisement for Harvard’s Green Label Export Beer, the 1898 recipe that is now Rapscallion’s Harvard Lager

Mug Members Win 2nd Place in Parade of Lights

Our Spencer Mug Club Members took it upon themselves to enter a Rapscallion float into the Spencer Parade of Lights. Spearheaded by Creative Director Chris Lindquist, the team of Mug Members created a “Christmas Vacation” themed float complete with camper, green-tinted smoke machine for Randy Quaid’s famous Cousin Eddie scene, and recliner for Uncle Lewis. Their talents and efforts won them Second Place overall (out of over 100 entries!).

The crew gathered at Raps Spencer after the parade and packed the house. Special thanks and shout out to our Raps family for making such an amazing creation.

Come Join Our Team!

We are hiring hiring hiring!

ACTON: Front of House and Back of House

We are looking for enthusiastic FOH servers/bartenders to provide an excellent guest eating and drinking experience, with ability to create classic and innovative drinks exceeding customers’ needs and expectations. Compensation includes base server rate and tips. We are also seeking line cooks either part-time or full-time to assist in our busy kitchen. Ability to work weekends a must.

STURBRIDGE: Bartenders, Servers, Food Runners

We are looking for enthusiastic bartenders, servers, and food runners to mix and serve cocktails and beer, deliver food to guests, bus tables and clean, and assist bar staff. Ability to work weekends a must.

SPENCER: Taproom Bartenders

We are looking for enthusiastic taproom bartenders to provide an excellent guest experience by serving our hand-brewed beer and other selections. This is not a cocktail position, no experience necessary — we will train! Compensation includes base server rate and tips. Ability to work weekends a must.

To apply, please email hello@visitrapscallion.com, or stop into our Acton, Sturbridge, or Spencer locations. We look forward to meeting you!

 

Honey Ale Brew Biscuits for Doggos!

Rapscallion is a proud partner of Brew Biscuits, a local micro-business that works with local breweries to up-cycle spent grains into dog biscuits. Brew Biscuits are made with simple ingredients: peanut butter, eggs, flour, and the spent grains from one of our flagship beers, Honey Ale. Born out of a love of dogs, beer, and baking, these dog-tested and lab-approved treats are lovingly hand-baked in a fully licensed residential kitchen out of Holden, MA. They are 100% safe for dogs and tested by an external lab — and that is a laboratory, not Labrador, although they approve, too!

Learn more at www.brew-biscuits.com, and don’t forget to tag them and us on social media in a picture of your pup enjoying a treat. Available at any Raps location. Thank you for shopping local!