TBJ: Brewers caught on camera

The Beer Journal, Lifestyle
Local photographer Michael Penney captures portraits of area beer-makers

Typically, beer brewers do their work out of sight, toiling away and concocting their barley potions in private laboratories. But one local photographer is striving to put regional brewers in front of the public’s eye.

Durham resident Michael Penney has spent the last two years traveling around New England photographing craft brewers in their natural habitats. He is working on a coffee table book called “Behind the Beer: Portraits of New England’s Craft Beer Makers,” aimed at “putting a face with the beer.”

Penney’s goal is to celebrate regional craft brewers while also documenting this period of explosive growth in the craft brew industry. His portraits feature larger craft breweries like Sam Adams and Smuttynose, as well as smaller brewers like Newington’s Stoneface Brewing and Dover’s 7th Settlement. He’s also photographed brewers at acclaimed facilities like The Alchemist in Vermont, makers of the insanely popular double IPA Heady Topper.

To date, Penney has photographed more than 80 brewers. He launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in May with the goal of raising $45,000 to help fund his book, but the campaign fell well short of its target. Penney is now seeking other ways to fund the project; he has no clear timeline for when the book will come out. In the meantime, he plans to keep collecting photos of craft beer artisans.

“I will continue to work on the project, as there is no shortage of breweries throughout New England,” Penney said