Brewer grew up on a farm in Barre, in central Massachusetts, and throughout his time in the State House has worked to protect agricultural land and open space. In 1971 he earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a master’s in history from Assumption College in 1974.
His political career began in 1977 when he was elected to the Barre Board of Selectmen where he served until 1984. In the 1980’s he worked as an aide to state Sen. Robert Wetmore before being elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1988. In 1996 Brewer was elected to represent the Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex District, the second-largest Senate district in the state, made up of 28 communities.
During his time in the Senate, Brewer chaired the powerful Senate Committee on Ways and Means and served on the Senate Committee on Ethics and Rules and the Joint Committee on Rules. Previously, he served as Senate vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture, as vice-chair of the Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee, and as a member of the Joint Committee on Public Safety.
Senator Brewer retired in 2014 after 26 years in the state Legislature. He continues to be involved in a variety of events at MWCC, where the Brewer Center for Civic Learning & Community Engagement is named in his honor. He is a resident of Barre, where he lives with his wife, Valerie, and is the proud father of their two daughters, April and Audrey.