SPRINGFIELD — In January, UMass and NBA star Marcus Camby and Springfield’s White Lion Brewing Company formed a strategic partnership and launched Marcus Camby New England IPA. This fall, Camby and the team at White Lion will focus efforts on downtown Amherst, bringing White Lion’s strong community culture to the greater Amherst community.
“Our brand is built on the community’s fabric, creating a diverse, inclusive, and fun place to be in downtown Springfield,” said White Lion Brewing Company business partner and head brewer Mike Yates. “We look to replicate much of that exciting vibe in downtown Amherst. As a UMass-Amherst alum and a resident of the Happy Valley, I could not be happier to be back in Amherst. I built much of my professional brewing career here and I look forward to bringing brewing back to downtown Amherst. We plan to activate 104 North Pleasant St. with an eventual nano-brew house offering one-off experimental ales, a test kitchen, taproom, and outdoor social space.”
Gabrielle Gould, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District, said the partnership the culmination of an ongoing three-year conversation with White Lion founder and president Ray Berry. “Collectively, patience appears to have paid off — a partnership between White Lion and Marcus Camby is an all-star win for the business district.
“The Amherst BID’s vision is to curate businesses that complement our already outstanding and loved small businesses,” she went on. “This is just the beginning as we rebuild and create a vibrant downtown for residents, scholars, and visitors to enjoy over and over again.”
Said Camby, “our partnership extends beyond a conventional business venture; it was important for me to engage the greater Amherst community. I have witnessed White Lion do amazing things in the greater Springfield area; I am confident we can capitalize on that momentum and utilize my career relationships to enhance the downtown Amherst experience. Lastly, the centerpiece of success is to work with Umass-Amherst and the local education community to create opportunities for the next generation of leaders.”