Old Colony Brewing, Whitman, MA

Old Colony Brewing is a nano brewery in Whitman, MA. We have tried a few of their beers before we actually visited them. Sam and Dustin like going there, as it’s close to them.


We met Megan’s sister Sam and her friend Lindsey there one evening in November. They serve 5 oz pours and full pints. They also have growlers and crowlers to go, and they just started doing limited runs of 16 oz cans as well.



Boom Shak Azacca – IPA – 6.5%
Light and easy drinking, mildly hoppy, tropical notes up front with a slightly bitter finish, just like the description says.


Toll House Stout – 5.5%
A milk stout brewed with chocolate and chocolate malts. Good for a milk stout, more on the bitter chocolate side than a sweet milk chocolate flavor. With the Toll House name and billed as a ‘chocolate chip cookie stout’ we expected something sweeter and for it to somehow be more cookie like somehow.


Little sample trays and cards with beer info


Thanksgiving – 4.5%
A wheat beer made with apples and cranberries. Taste like a wheat style beer with a sweeter than typical cranberry flavor, probably from the addition of the apples, pretty good.


Money Line IPA – 6%
Super citrusy and fruity aroma. This was a tasty new england style ipa, hazy but not opaque, a little bit sweet but a good beer, Mark’s favorite overall.


Mark’s pint of Money Line


Pumpkin – 5.5%
An ale brewed with fresh pumpkin in the mash. Megan thought it had a good balance of flavors, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla all present but not overwhelming.



Mark went back a second time with Dustin in January and liked Money Line IPA again, and thought the Toll House Stout was pretty good.



The Dub – 7.8%
This beer was not great, thin and not very hoppy at all.


Snow Day – 5.9%
Interesting beer, a spiced porter. Better than Mark expected, cinnamon,  nutmeg and vanilla added some nice additional flavors to make this and interesting porter. Sam and Dustin have mentioned this beer a few times to us as well.


They have a short bar and a handful of tables, with plenty of extra standing room when crowded.




Current Hours

Thursday and Friday: 6:00 – 10:00
Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00


Ancient Fire Mead and Cider, Manchester, NH

We went to the pre-opening weekend for Ancient Fire Mead and Cider. The grand opening is March 15th, tomorrow!

We weren’t sure what we were getting into besides what they had posted on facebook, but expected the regular type of meads. We were surprised, and pleased, that they have started with what they are calling ‘crushable mead’.



Mead is technically a wine that is made from honey. Usually sold in a small wine bottles, 375ml, with a typical wine abv of about 11% – 16%. Ancient Fire’s ‘crushable meads’ are around 7% so you could actually sit down and have a pint of them.


They do samples sizes and pints, we started with a flight of all 6 meads.

Fire Pomme – 7.5%
Session mead with apple and cinnamon
Smells of cinnamon, taste like cinnamon, too. There is a subtle apple flavor but cinnamon dominates this one.


Cruising Elm – 7%
Session mead with concord grapes
Clear, but with a very purple-red tint. A dry mead with grape flavor, not sweet which is nice, we both really liked this one.



Maker’s Legacy – 7%
Traditional session mead
Definitely on the more traditional side, as noted in the name, and very clear. Strong honey flavor, not sugary sweet, but a flavorful mead.


Leaping Off the Ledge – 7%
Session mead with lemon and hops
Smells like lemon as well as hops. Mark thought it had a strong lemon flavor, as well as honey, with a pretty mild hop character. Megan thought the lemon was strong but thought the hops were more present than Mark did; Mark likes hoppy beers and Megan does not.



Rogue Flywheel – 7%
Session mead with pineapple and chilies
Pretty much taste like pineapple and chilies. The pineapple was a little subtle followed by a nice spice from the chilies.


Pint for Mark


Feeling the Love – 7%
Session mead with passion fruit and hops
This was a hazy, lime green color. Smells fruity, and tastes like juice. A strong passion fruit flavor that was complemented by some fruity hops. Megan really liked this one, she got a pint of it.


Pint for Megan


They have a limited food menu as well, snacks, soup, sandwiches, and we ordered the meat and cheese plate, which was good. There were three different cheeses, two meats, dried cranberries and pistachios as well as three types of crackers.



They have about 6 or so tables with the classic brewery stools. They also have a bar with a dozen stools along it as well. There is other open space/ standing room.



Swag corner


We can’t wait to see what they do next. The mead was all delicious. None of it was overly sweet, it was well balanced with the flavors they were using.

They had a list of coming attractions, including three Cysers and three Standard Meads. They all sound great, we’ve already sent messages to family to plan our next trip there!


1620 Winery and Wine Bar, Plymouth, MA

We visited the 1620 Wine Bar in Plymouth, MA with Megan’s sisters, boyfriends, and a few cousins back in November.

1620 Winery and Wine Bar opened in 2016, so they are a fairly new place, sort of. The new owners bought the Plymouth Winery when it went up for sale and transformed it into 1620 Winery and Wine Bar. Not to be confused with Plymouth Bay Winery, which we visited, again, on the same day.


Lindsey, Megan & Mark


1620 is a reference to the year that Plymouth, MA was first settled. We visited the ‘Bar’ location that is in the downtown Plymouth, in the same plaza where the old Plymouth Winery tasting room was. They also have the ‘winery’ location where the wine is made that also is their function area for weddings, and also tastings on the weekends.


Jessica, Sammy, Dustin, Heather and Pete


We had a pretty big group and they were nice enough to put 2 tables together so we could all sit at 1 table.


Pete, Jenn, Richard and Lindsey


They sell wine by the glass, the bottle, or a flight of 3. They also have some local beers on tap as well as mixed drinks.


Apple Blossom
A sweet wine that is also spiced. It was ok, but Mark thought the spices actually detract from the wine, it would have been better as a plain, sweet wine.


Megan and Jess both ordered a flight of 3 small pours of wine.


Billington’s Blend
Dry with a hint of cranberry, also notes of black currant, cedar, and green bell pepper. A nice, dry flavor with a good mouthfeel.


Mark and Megan


Hints of blackberry, plum, chocolate and pepper. Jess thought it was very good, Jenn liked it but thought it needed to be paired with food, a savory dish.


Apple Crumble
Megan, Jenn and Jess all liked this, like drinking apples, with vanilla, cinnamon and caramel.



Everyone liked the wine they got for the most part, we didn’t get extensive notes from everyone there. It was a little pricey but not too bad. The place was pretty fancy and had a nice vibe inside.


They have a pretty decent sized deck that you can see the water from as well. A little too cold to sit out there in November though.



Art outside


And toys for Richard



The whole group, almost everyone smiling!



Barrel House Z, Weymouth, MA

We visited Barrel House Z a little while back, for our 150th visit! We went with all of Megan’s sisters as well two significant others. We have actually been back again since our first visit.


They are located in an industrial park In Weymouth, MA not too far from Megan’s family. They use old barrels for decoration everywhere, outside, leading into the tap room, and all over the walls. They have a decent size patio area, but since our visit was in the winter time, we stayed indoors.


Barrel House Z is a fairly new brewery that focuses on small batch, and mostly barrel aged beers. The brewery is run by the original head brewer of Harpoon. They have a partnership with Harpoon that we’ll get into a little more later.



They have 5 oz, 10 oz, and 16 oz pours of most of their beers. Some of the higher ABV beers are not available for 16 oz pours. A few of the beers they had two options- either barrel aged or ITB, ‘in the buff’ (not barrel aged). Others were just one or the other.  We tried a variety of pours of most of the stuff available, all barrel aged versions when available.


Bamboozled By Hops – IPA     6%
Not much aroma, light in body and not very hoppy with and odd, bitter finish. Grassy and bitter, not great, not barrel aged.



Townie – Irish Ale     8.4%
Aged 1 month in Bully Boy Whiskey Barrels
Smells like whiskey, pretty boozy in flavor but that flavor is complimented well by the base beer. This was a good beer, a pretty perfect blending of flavors, better than Mark expected it to be, and he took some home.


Zelato – coffee stout     8.8%
Aged 10 months in Rum Barrel
Kind of thin for a barrel aged stout. It had a good amount of rum flavor that blended well with the coffee flavor. Mark thought the coffee was strong on the nose but subtle in the flavoring at first, the rum dominated at first but you tasted more coffee as you drank it.



Quaker State – american oatmeal stout     10%
Aged 10 months in Double Oak Bourbon Barrels
This seemed a little thin as well, boozy with a lot of bourbon and oak flavors.


Dustin enjoying his beers


Adeline – stout     8.8%
Aged 1 month in American Whiskey Barrels
A good stout with the right about of barrel aging character, this was everyone’s favorite stout, and Mark’s, he bought some of this as well.



Sunny & 79 – ginned pilsner     6.2%
Aged in Tequila Barrels
The tequila flavor dominates this beer, but in a good way, not overwhelming.



Jess got the Sunny Radler, the Sunny & 79 pilsner mixed with Spindrift sparkling lemon seltzer. Jess just thought it was ok, she’s not much of a beer drinker and didn’t want anything else. Mark thought it was decent for what it was, a Radler.



Macanadas – mac and cheese filled empanadas


Mark was curious about the brewery set up and just had to ask. They have a very small 2 barrel system to brew most of their beer on. They have some 5 barrel fermenters so they can double batch into those. They also have some 20 barrel fermenters that they use. Harpoon will brew up a batch of beer for them and ship it over so Barrel House Z can ferment it. That’s how they achieve some of the volume so they can distribute while still being able to make fun, small batch, one off beers.


Visit #150!



They have a pretty good sized tap room. A couple picnic tables on 1 side, a big long bar in the middle with several more big tables on the other side.




Wednesday – Friday 4:00 – 10:00
Saturday – 12:00 – 10:00
Sunday – 12:00 – 5:00




Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Sheffield, MA


Berkshire Mountain Distillers was established in 2007. They create award winning spirits in small batches in Sheffield, MA. This is a fairly new facility for them, and quite large. We weren’t familiar with them, but stopped on our way to Big Elm Brewing, also in Sheffield, MA.



They have a decent sized tasting room. The shop area and bar are in one big room right when you walk in. They have tables inside if you want to sit down, and also have tables outside for nicer weather visits.


They do tours but we chose to not partake


The bar was really crowded when we got there. There was a group on a bus and there were people waiting to go on the tour. By the time we were done sampling the bar had emptied out.



We did not take as extensive notes as we usually do while tasting because the bar was crowded and we were trying to sample.


They make a Gold Medal winning Bourbon Whiskey and well as a New England Corn Whiskey.



What was a little more unique was their line of cask aged whiskeys. They use barrels that had beer in them and put the already oak aged whiskey in the casks. They use barrels from breweries around the country, Sam Adams Utopias barrels, barrels from Ommegang, Hale’s Ales, Two Roads, Troegs and more.

Megan enjoyed trying the different cask aged whiskey. They started the same, but the way the flavor changed was so unique with each different barrel.




They have their regular line of Greylock Gin that was good.

But again, their more interesting and unique batches  we liked a lot. They basically have a rotating line of Ethereal Gin, made with different botanicals for each batch and season. Some of the botanicals they grow on their site. We tried a few of these and they were really good, the extra ingredients made these interesting and complex. They also had a Sam Adams Utopias cask gin.





They also have another smaller bar where they make mixed drinks to sell. We both got whiskey sours and took them outside. It was pretty nice out when we were there in late October.


They had corn hole set up outside, and a few tables with umbrellas.



They have some small gardens outside where they grow some
of the botanicals that they use in their spirits and gin.




Check Facebook or their website for updated hours, it looks
like their hours change seasonally.

Big Elm Brewing, Sheffield, MA

We visited Big Elm Brewing in Sheffield, MA, while we were on vacation out in the Berkshires. They have been brewing beer as Big Elm Brewing since 2012. The owners are a husband wife team who have plenty of experience brewing. They actually owned and operated a brewpub in the area, but left the business of running a restaurant to focus on just brewing.
They have a small bar, but a pretty big tasting room, basically 2 adjoining rooms.
Cool lamps above the bar that they made from malt bags.
They sell flights as well as 8 oz pours and 16 oz pours. We
got 2 flights of 4 so we could try most of the beers.
American Lager      5%
Clean, crisp and on point for the style, but a little too boring for us.
Luna      6%
Pretty good for a blonde, apricot notes maybe, it had a little something extra that was nice.
413 Farmhouse Ale      6%
Had a slightly fruity/funky aroma. Megan liked this beer, easy drinking with a pleasant farmhouse funk to it.
Lion’s Ale      5.3%
Darker in color, we were not sure quite what it was, the style was not written on board, it was not hoppy. Megan was not really a fan. We found out from their website it was an amber ale.
Zorro – Golden Sour      6%
Not very sour. Had a golden-mildly tart flavor upfront with a dry finish, but not in a salty gose way.
Thunderlips – New England Pale Ale     6%
Fruity hoppy smell, but that does not come through on the flavor. Kind of bland flavor in the middle with a hoppy bitterness at the end.
Big Elm IPA      7%
Mark- super different hops. Spicy and clove. Unusual flavors for an ipa. Megan said it was creamy, which was different for an IPA
Gerry Dog Stout      6.5%
This was the best beer we thought. Mildly chocolate flavor, really smooth, no bitterness.
 We peeked out back, they have pretty decent sized tanks. They also do all their own canning. They sell their beer to go in cans, on a limited rotation it seems, and also do growler fills.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 12:00 – 6:00

Backyard Brewery and Kitchen, Manchester, NH

Backyard Brewery and Kitchen is a fairly new brewpub in Manchester, NH. They opened in July of 2017 and have been getting pretty good reviews from what we have heard.


Backyard Brewery and Kitchen is a new venture to revitalize this very large restaurant space. The Yard restaurant was in this location since 1975. The owner wanted to modernize and update the restaurant. Two of his children are co-owners as well, they decided a brewpub was the way to go.


The restaurant is really big inside with plenty of space for functions. The bar and main restaurant area have all been updated, but one of the side rooms still has old chairs and furniture. The inside is decorated fairly rustic, with lots of fencing made to look like you are in a backyard.



Since they are a restaurant they serve 4 oz tasters, half pints and full pints as well as flights. We all ordered a flight of 4 tasters, which was only $7.



Lazy Daze IPA – New England IPA     6.2%
A very good IPA. Classic New England style IPA, hazy, fruity tropical hoppyness dominates this beer, and it is very good.


MONKee Bars – Belgian Dubbel    7.6%
A dark Belgian Dubbel, malty and sweet with notes of clove and pepper, a classic Belgian Dubbel.


Marks flight


A – Line IPA – Classic IPA     7.5%
Fairly clear with a reddish tint. Hoppy as well as malty, with grapefruit and pine hoppy notes. Ok for a classic style ipa, but not really what Mark and Ian are looking for.


Aussie Oatback – DIPA     8.6%
A good beer, you definetely get the oats on the mouthfeel and gives it that haze. Not super hoppy for a DIPA, may be the Australian and New Zealand hops they used, very smooth at 8.6%


Megans flight


Kafija Alus – Baltic Coffee Porter     8.1%
A nice bitter coffee flavor. The coffee is well balanced in this beer.


Oh My Gourd – Pumpkin Spice Ale     5.5%
Megan really likes this beer. Nice pumpkin spice flavoring, a good fall beer.


There She Gose – Gose     4.1%
It is sour but not much else to it. It has a decent base, needs more to it though, maybe make it a fruited Gose? There wasn’t that typical salty dry finish either. We thought it was lacking a little bit.


Novemberfest – German Festbier     6.3%
Darker than an Oktoberfest, but pretty smooth and easy drinking, malty with a decent amount of flavor. Pretty good.




We were there mid afternoon so we just got a few appetizers to split. The Trailer Pork Nachos, Smothered Pretzel Tots and Chicken Fingers were all good.




Monday – Wednesday: 11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Thursday: 11:30 am – 11:00 pm
Friday and Saturday: 11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm