Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

White Lion Brewing Company comes to Amherst

Former NBA star Marcus Camby opens the newest location
Alexandra Hill

At 4 p.m. on Thursday, White Lion Brewing Company opened its newest location in Downtown Amherst through a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The venture was supported by University of Massachusetts basketball alumni and former NBA player Marcus Camby.

“I don’t know what a downtown is without a brewery and if we were going to have one, we were going to go for the best [one,]” Gabrielle Gould, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District said.

Gould was among many involved with helping White Lion add a location in Amherst. The founder of the brand, Raymond Berry Jr., started the company in 2014 in Springfield and spoke at the ceremony.

“Doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, at the end of the day, it’s about sharing in a common experience,” Berry said.

The company has since been very popular as the first local craft beer business in Springfield. For the past five years, opening a new location has been a dream of Berry’s.

“Ray [Berry is] not new to Amherst. He’s been coming for a long time, setting it up in the town common regularly. He knows our town so thank you, Ray [Berry], for being here [and] investing in our community,” Amherst Town Manager Paul Bockelman said.

A driving force of the new location opening in Amherst was because of UMass’ own Camby, who worked closely with Berry and the White Lion brand.

“The Marcus Camby brand and the White Lion brand can do some great things for the town of Amherst and the surrounding community,” Berry said.

The collaboration between White Lion and Camby began after Camby reached out to Berry, asking, “What can we do to grow or be a part of the White Lion conversation?” according to Berry.

“Marcus, we appreciate the time, the commitment [and] the energy you’re putting back into the town where you came,” executive director of the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship Management at UMass Gregory Thomas said, who was the main speaker at the ribbon cutting.

Camby will be returning to Amherst monthly to help at the brewery and feature his own New England IPA with White Lion.

“I came to Amherst straight out of high school. This place is always going to be symbolic to [me] and [being] able to come back here and not just bring my beer, but establishments like the White Lion, it’s almost like a dream come true,” Camby said.

“This  is gigantic for our town, [it’s] a game changer. If you just look at our downtown, there is less than [three percent] vacancy. This town is thriving, it’s growing [and] it’s really blossoming,” Bockelman said.

White Lion is not the only new business to come to Amherst recently. Julie Nolan Jewelry opened at the beginning of September. D.P. Dough (located right next to White Lion Brewing Company) is expected to open in October.

“This one’s going to be here for the decades and we’re really psyched to have [White Lion Brewing Company],” Gould said.

Alexandra Hill can be reached at [email protected].

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    JessieSep 18, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    Is this where the white horse used to be?