Mast Landing Brewing Company, Westbrook, ME

We visited Mast Landing company with some family this spring. This was the beginning of a long day of brewery hoping in Portland. Mast Landing Brewing Company is in Westbrook, ME, about 20 minutes outside of downtown Portland.

 

 

Mark was pretty excited to visit here, he had heard lots of good things about them. They got their start in Freeport, ME and that’s where their name, Mast Landing, came from. They moved and expanded into a full scale brewery at their current location in Westbrook in early 2015.

 

They do flights of 4, single 5 oz pours and 10 oz pours. We did a little bit of everything.

Dash – American IPA     7%
A good beer, on the piney side of hoppiness, hoppy through out with a hoppy finish.

 

 

Perpetual Rewind – New England IPA     6.4%
Super juicy, hop juiciness and fruit juiciness. Mark could taste the real juice, it was passion fruit and guava. A super juicy and tasty beer.

 

Saccarappa – American IPA     7%
Fairly fruity hops, an orange type flavor. A good, clean, easy drinking ipa.

 

 

Paper Plates: Strawberry Shortcake – Session IPA     4.5%
Smells like strawberry, and taste like strawberries and cream, but also an ipa. A really good, fruited ipa, everyone liked it.

 

 

Gunnner’s Daughter – Peanut Butter Milk Stout     5.5%
Super peanut butter and chocolate smell, and peanut butter and chocolate taste. It tasted just like Megan wanted it too, great.

 

Oh yea, we played Guess Who as well.

 

 

 

They have a pretty large tasting room with
some cool, rustic benches and tables.

 

 

 

Cool rope light

 

Cousin Tommy and Mark at the bar

 

You can see part of the brewery on the way in.

 

The tasting room was nice and the beer was good. We didn’t try everything, but the beer we had was good. And we know they brew a lot of limited release beer that Mark still wants to try.

 

Hours

Tuesday – Saturday: 12:00 – 9:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00

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Widowmaker Brewing, Braintree, MA

Widowmaker Brewing is a fairly new brewery in Braintree, MA. They opened in September of 2017. We visited with Megan’s sister Sam and her fiancee Dustin, and our friends Nick and Sara, their first official Brew Wine Fun visit, wow!
Widowmaker Brewing is a 7 barrel brewhouse. They have a lot of room and we saw a lot of fermenters. They also have a huge tasting room, especially for a new brewery.

Big pictures so you can see the big tasting room

They serve half pours (6.5 oz), full pours (13 oz) and also serve flights of four 4 oz tasters. We all got flights so we could try as many beers as possible.

Bar area with designated ordering area

Donut Shop – coffee stout     6.5%
This beer is dominated by a bitter coffee flavor, Mark and Sam expected a sweeter or more chocolatey beer with name like donut shop, but if you ignore the name it is a pretty decent coffee stout.
Pure Hoppy – american ipa: citra     7.2%
Hazy, pretty juicy citra hop flavor, this was good, exactly what Mark was hoping for.
Greenbush – pale ale 6.8%
Not quite as good as Mark was hoping for, it is 80% Mosaic hops, lacking a little, maybe the ‘dry finish’, or just not as good as the Pure Hoppy: Citra in Mark’s opinion.
Nick didn’t like WMB Octoberfest that much, though it did grow on him as he drank it, Sam and Dustin did like it.
com-Rad – russian imperial stout     10.1%
We liked this beer, it is based on the Donut Shop stout recipe. It is slightly sweeter, definitely more chocolatey, with a strong coffee flavor.
Sarah Porter – classic porter     4.5%
Decent porter, bitter with mild caramel malt flavor.
Gowanus Canal Screw Job – american ipa     7.1%
Not very hazy, decently hoppy with a medium body or mouthfeel, minor tropical notes and a bit piney or ‘resiney’.
Old Oaken Farmhouse – saison     8.1%
Funky smell, which is a good sign. Strong peppery saison flavor up front with a nice mild finish. It’s hoppy which balances the saison flavor nicely. Described as a hybrid saison pale ale, and it tasted like it.
50-Year Storm – american dipa     7.8%
Hazy, really opaque. Good beer, has a super light malt bill with an oated body, hoppy and tasty with no hop bitterness.
Free snacks! Goldfish and Cheez-its with little trays to bring them back to your table.
They have Crowlers to go, and it says on their website they will have a limited runs of bomber bottles, but we don’t think that has started yet.

Swag area.

 Overall this was a good visit. They had beers that everyone liked, they have a nice, big space they can grow into. It should be interesting to watch what happens here.
 Current Hours
Thursday: 3:00 – 7:00
Friday: 3:00 – 10:00
Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00

Saco River Brewing, Fryeburg, ME

While we were up camping and tubing on the Saco River, we decided to visit Saco River Brewing Company, what a surprise! They opened just over a year ago, in July 2016, in Fryeburg, ME. They are located in a building or two out behind a restaurant with a decent amount of parking.

They do 4 oz pours and full pints. We ordered a 4oz pour of each beer so we could try all 7 beers they had on tap.

D.O.T. Special – Czech Pilsner     5%
Has a strong pilsner/lager taste. Strong additional flavors added by the spicy saaz hops. Not bad for a pilsner, which is neither of our favorite styles. 

Driftwood IPA – American IPA     6.5%
Pours super clear. Does have a malt presence but the hops balance that well and add a good amount of hop flavor to it. Good, not Marks favor style IPA but it’s pretty good and worth a try for IPA drinkers. 

Clearwater Pale Ale     4.8%
Pours pretty hazy. Flavor matches description ‘Easy drinking, silky mouthfeel and citrus hop character’, we agree. Nice overall hop profile (citrus) for a pale ale. 

Flip Flop IPA      6.7%
Marks immediate reaction “oohhh this is good”. Pours super hazy, you can’t see through it, a definite  New England style IPA. No malt character, all hops, on the herbal/grassy but still super tasty.

Sweet Fern Saison     4.5%
Good, easy to drink Saison while still having flavor, spicy and citrus notes. On the lighter side for a saison.

Buck Brown Ale     5.4%
Megan said it had an almost a dull coffee flavor, but in a good way, not an overly bitter coffee taste. 

Mark said pretty light overall, not very roasty, more sweet caramel with citrus. 

Old Colony Porter     6.5%
Sweet and roasty. Light body for the style, but more roasted here than the Buck Brown Ale. 

We sat outside to have our samples, it was a pretty nice day. They have several picnic tables with umbrellas and pop up tents for shade.

They have a fairly small bar area, but another decent sized room off of that with a ping pong table, shown above, and their outdoor space, so they have plenty of seating.

Mark at the bar. There is a whole wall of glass behind the bar so you can see everything happening in the brewery, shown below, not much happening on a Sunday afternoon though.

They have a cool, custom made cement bar with
the river built into it, cool details.

This was a nice visit. They are doing well for only being open a year.  It was better than we expected, as we went in assuming it was a “tourist trap.” However, it seems to be a nice combo of tourists and locals based on the amount of growlers we saw being filled.

Check Facebook for hours, we assume
they change with the seasons.

Canterbury Aleworks, Canterbury, NH

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Canterbury Aleworks is located at Hidden Wonders Farm, an operating farm in Canterbury, NH. You have to drive down a long, windy dirt driveway to get there, passing by several small ponds. The brewery has been open since 2012.

 

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Pond near the small parking lot.

 

“Canterbury Aleworks is a one barrel, water powered and wood fired showcase nano-brewery handcrafting Worldly Beer with Local Flare. A little out of the way, a lot out of the ordinary!”

 

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Try to ignore the reflection of Megan, and see the water wheel that helps power the brewery!

 

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And a composting toilet!

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With a comical sink.

 

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1oz samples are “On the House”, a single 4oz taster is $2 each, and four or more tasters are $1.50 each. We tried all 9 that were available.

 

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The Hops Bollocks – British IPA 6.1%
Decent hop flavor, not a super strong hop taste, some bitterness, finishes with a more malt taste.

 

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Canterbury Ale – APA 5.5%
Interesting flavor, some hops with a touch of bitterness. More of a flowery hop flavor with a hint of sweet maltiness.

 

Be Hoppy! – American IPA 6.5%
Mark likes this, pretty good hop flavor, smooth and light in body, a touch malty without much bitterness. Said to have “floral-citrus notes from the cascade hops” which Mark agrees with.

 

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Bright Idea – German Helles-style Ale 5.4%
Light lager type beer. Not a whole lot of flavor, described that way in the write up at the brewery, just not our style, looking for a little something more.

 

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Smoke House Porter – Smoked Robust Porter 5.5%
Megan said “Oh yes, this is more like it”. A good balance of flavors, medium to heavy body with a rich coffee flavor. Subtle notes of chocolate with a strong smokey taste for a finish. Good beer, they acquired the smoked malts from their neighbor at Fox County Smoke House.

 

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Brit Wit – British Wheat Beer – 5.1%
A pretty tasty brew. A different mix of flavors, a flavorful ‘wheat beer’, unfiltered and dry. Has bergamant in it from English Tea which adds a little extra flavor to it.

 

Snappy Wit – Belgian Style Witbier 5.1%
Juicy, traditional style witbier, good and flavorful, hints of orange and coriander, we liked this beer as well.

 

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Granite Ledge Stout – Espresso Oatmeal Stout 5.5%
Smells of coffee, medium to heavy body, strong espresso flavor, but you can taste the oatmeal, too. Flavorful, but the coffee flavor is a little bit of a bitter coffee taste.

 

Black and Wit – Black Belgian Style Witbier 6.2%
A black, opaque beer. Starts lighter in body than you would think by the color, finishes with the Snappy Wit flavor, orange and coriander, and a little bit of bitterness from the ‘black’. A very interesting and pretty tasty brew.

 

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As well as water power, and the composting toilet, they have other plans to be self sustaining. “We are planting our 3/4 acre hops yard here at Hidden Wonders Farm this spring! We hope to be using 100% of our own hops by the fall of 2016.”

 

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Comfy chairs in the tasting room. This is a cool little place, nice atmosphere and the beers were tasty, better than we were expecting. If they had bottles or cans we would have bought some, but they just sell growlers of beer to go.

 

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Mark at the bar.

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They have a Polaroid camera that you can take pictures with and ‘post to their wall’.

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Hours
Saturday and Sunday 1:00 – 5:00

 

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Trillium Brewing Company, Canton (and Boston), MA

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We recently visited Trillium Brewing Company, the Canton, MA location. This was our 125th visit! We went with Mark’s brother Jason and his wife Maureen, Mark’s sister Michelle, and Megan’s sister Jess. We went on a Saturday afternoon with fairly high expectations, we have heard a lot about Trillium but have never tried any of their beers, until now.

 

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Trillium Brewing Company has been open since March of 2013, run by husband and wife owners JC and Esther Tetreault. They have built quite a following from their small scale operation in the Fort Point neighborhood of South Boston. In December 2015 they opened their secondary brewing location in Canton, MA with a tasting room and a much larger brewing capacity, a theoretical brewing capacity of 35,000 barrels annually. They still operate both locations. We had heard a lot about their beer, but waited until they opened their new Canton facility to visit them. They do not serve samples in the Fort Point location.

 

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Mosaic Fort Point Pale Ale – 6.6%
Smells very fragrant, tropical and fruity hops. Pours cloudy and unfiltered. Has a fruity hop taste to it, not super juicy, but pretty tasty. Fruity and tropical hops with a bitter finish.

 

Summer Street American IPA – 7.2%
Not nearly as fruity smelling or tasting as the Pale Ale. Smooth, not that hoppy or bitter, nothing really stands out with this beer, fairly standard IPA. Maureen thought it was pretty good and she doesn’t like most IPA’s.

 

Sleeper Street American IPA – 7.2%
This IPA was a little fruitier, with a hint of grapefruit. A little bit juicy, not too hoppy or bitter, but a little more interesting flavor, Mark thought. Jason liked the Summer Street better.

 

Pot and Kettle Oatmeal Porter – 7.5%
Not as heavy as we expected, but we liked it. Medium body, smooth, Jason tasted chocolate, Mark got a roasty chocolate flavor. Mark, Megan, and Jason all enjoyed this.

 

 

 

The tasting experience here was not as good as we had hoped. It is an improvement since they do not do tastings in their Fort Point location, but there was only 1 bartender serving most of the time, so it took a while for us to get served. They serve 2 oz complimentary samples.

 

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The most disappointing thing was they only had 4 beers to sample. Mark went with specific beers he wanted to try, but could not sample them. Since they do have such a good reputation, we bought beers that we could not sample there to bring home and try. Other people visiting, or people unfamiliar with Trillium’s reputation may not buy a $10 bottle of beer that they can not sample.

 

Double Dry Hopped Fort Point Pale Ale – 6.6%

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They sell their beer in 750mL (25.4 oz) bottle. This was one of the ‘tastings’ we did at home. This is a super cloudy beer with a huge hop nose. It is a pretty tasty beer, mostly citrusy hops, a little bit of a piney taste mixed in there, Mark liked it a lot. The only minor critique is it is all hop flavor up front with not a whole lot of flavor on the finish, but Mark did like it and will buy it again. This was the stand out of the ‘at home tastings’.

 

One of the benefits of the new facility is that there is an area for filling growlers and buying bottles that is separate from the tasting room. This separates the crowds and makes it easier if you want to just stop in and pick up some beer.

 

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Bottles behind the counter, and brewing tanks behind them.

Hours
Canton Location

Monday – Wednesday: 4:00 – 7:30
Thursday and Friday: 12:00 – 7:30
Saturday: 12:00 – 6:00

603 Brewery, Londonderry, NH

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We stopped at 603 Brewery recently while in the Londonderry area. We had a group with us, Mark’s brother Jason and wife Maureen, friends Taylor and Lance and friends Ian and Stephanie.

 

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603 Brewery was formed in 2012 by three longtime friends. They started in a smaller space in Campton, NH. They became well known and liked locally. It wasn’t long before they realized they needed more space. They found their space in Londonderry and was able to quadruple their output. They keg, bottle, and can their beer and distribute all over NH.

 

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Ian checking out the brewery.

 

Each couple chose a few beers to enjoy, with most deciding on the “Brewery Tasting Tour,” a placemat tour and a pint glass. Walking tours were available earlier that day.

 

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Our tastings:

18 Mile Ale – Rye Pale Ale 6.6%
Made with rye malt and pilsner malt. A fairly easy drinking beer, but Mark wasn’t a big fan, the main taste being the rye malt. The beer was named after the 18 miles of coastline New Hampshire has, with Rye being one of the coastal towns.

 

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Ian double fisting his samples and Jason getting ready to sample.

 

Winnie Ale – Amber Ale 6.6%
Basic, easy drinking amber ale with a sweet malty base. It’s their best selling beer, because it’s easy drinking. Named after Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest lake. This was 603’s first beer.

 

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our placemat tour, with a couple of extras we added

 

White Peaks – White IPA 6.6%
Light, describe by Jason as ‘crushable’ IPA. Light and crisp, it is made to be drinkable but still has good flavor to it. Named after New Hampshire’s White Mountains and the first IPA released by 603.

 

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Mark and Megan. A little tired after so many stops!

 

Cogway IPA – American IPA 6.5%
Heavier, malty IPA with medium body. Hoppy bitterness and a malty sweetness dominate this beers flavor profile. Named after the World’s first mountain cog railway which reached the summit of NH’s Mount Washington in 1869.

 

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Jason and Maureen, enjoying their samples?

 

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There we go, enjoying samples.

 

Anniversary Ale- pale ale 5.2%
This beer was brewed in honor of the brewery’s anniversary, as well as the state of New Hampshire. Hoppy and smooth, with a slight citrus flavor.

 

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Lance drinking his sample.

 

Summatime Ale – summer seasonal 4.5%
Megan and Steph tried this and liked it. Good flavor, light but flavorful, a good amount of ‘sunshine’ , which is a spiced wheat beer, with fruit flavors and malt.

 

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Taylor, Maureen, and Stephanie

 

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Swag for sale.

 

 

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Lance is sad, or mad, that there is no beer in his free glass.

 

Want to visit? Hours.

Thursday and Friday – 4:00 – 7:00

Saturday – 1:00 – 5:00

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Other Breweries in the Londonderry/ Derry area

Kelsen Brewing Company, Derry, NH

From the Barrel, Londonderry, NH

Rockingham Brewing Company, Derry, NH

Moonlight Meadery, Londonderry, NH

Garrison City Beerworks, Dover, NH

 

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Garrison City Beerworks is a new nanobrewery in Dover, NH. They opened in December of 2014. They operate on a 3 barrel system and make “batches of original, hop-forward beers, with a focus on uniqueness and quality over quantity.” We have heard a good buzz about this place, and they have not disappointed. We waited to finish writing this after a second visit, knowing we would be back again.

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First Visit Beers:

Citra – American Pale Ale – 5.1%
Smells fruity – citrusy and tropical, as well as hoppy. Citrus flavor forward taste, hoppy second taste, dry finish. Citrus flavor is balanced nicely by the hops, we both liked, Mark got a Crowler to go, more on that later.

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tasting paddle

Balefire – American IPA – 7%
Somewhat standard IPA taste, though a little more malty than hoppy, a hint of piney taste, fairly easy to drink. Hoppiness was not overbearing.

 

Tropic Rage – American Double IPA – 8.4%
Malty flavor, more robust than Balefire, Mark liked this better. Good balance of malty flavor and hops. Not what Megan was expecting from a DIPA, better taste and easier to drink than she anticipated.

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Crowbar – Porter – 5.8%
Dark color, chocolaty, slightly roasted taste, easy to drink. Easy to drink enjoyable.

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We came in and ordered at the bar, they told us we could take a seat and they would bring the sample trays over to us, which was nice. It was a good touch

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Megan sipping some Crowbar.

 

 

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The Crowler

 

The Crowler is in place of the traditional glass growler. It is a 32oz can that they will fill up for you, fresh that day. There is no charge for the Crowler and you just recycle it. This is refreshing, because at many breweries we visit, we have to buy a growler (can’t use another brewery’s growler due to the law), so to be able to leave without paying a deposit on the container…
They had a few they had filled up earlier when it was slow, so we didn’t get to see them fill it and seal the top on, but we know it was fresh that day.

 

Second Visit:

We had a similar experience the second time we visited. The service was good, people were nice and friendly, and the beers were good.

 

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Jenaya and Ryan

 

On this visit we brought our friends Ryan and Jenaya. They enjoyed trying all the beers that were on tap, as did we.

 

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full paddle!

 

 

They had 6 beers on tap this time, several different from our last trip.

 

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Enamored – 4.6%
Chocolatey, really good flavor with notes of coffee. This stout was somewhat light in body but good and flavorful. This was most people’s favorite.

 

Anomalous – 7.5%
Really good Double IPA, says Mark. In this new style of northern New England IPA’s, it is a bright and slightly fruity IPA with a low and bitterness but lots of hop flavor. Mark got a Crowler of it to go.

 

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Citra was on again as well, this seems like one of their flagship beers. Everyone enjoyed this beer, citrus and hoppy pale ale.

 

Mosaic – 5.1%
Hoppy, piney pale ale, a powerful taste. We enjoyed this, but not as much as some of the other beers, Megan was not a big fan. Exclusively dry hopped with Mosaic hops.

 

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Crowbar was on again as well. Everyone enjoyed this beer as well. Smooth and a bit roasty, fairly standard porter, not quite as flavorful as Enamored.

 

Balefire on again as well. Again, we all enjoyed this. Seemed slightly more favorable than Mosaic. Flavorful IPA, piney and hopped with Simcoe and Centennial.

 

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We generally liked all the beers. Mark is excited to have a place like this close by. Jenaya usually doesn’t like IPA’s, but she did like these. Ryan agreed none of the beers were terrible, quite a compliment from him.

 

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They have 3 tables that can seat 6 people and a bar that seats about 12.

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You can see some of the tanks and brewing equipment through the windows

 

 

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Shirts for sale

 

Update Spring 2016:

We have visited quite a few more times since this original post. The bad news is they have pretty much phased out the 32 oz Crowler can to go, which is too bad, Mark liked those. The good news is they have been canning all their beers in 16oz cans, so you can still get every beer they make to go in cans, 4 packs or single cans.

Their strong point seems to be their hop forward, New England style IPA’s. They are currently releasing a very delicious IPA called Daybreak about once a month that Mark highly recommends. Citra is still being released regularly and is still quite tasty and flavorful. They have released a bunch of other new beers that are all worth going in to sample.

There have been several limited bottle releases in the past year. Brett Raspbeerience was a sour ale brewed with raspberry’s and brett yeast, if you couldn’t tell from the name. A good, tart beer with a raspberry flavor and light body.

Nefarious was a flavorful and strong russian imperial stout, and Authenticity was a barrel aged saison fermented with wine yeast, we still have our bottle of this. They have several more specialty bottle releases planned for this year, with varying wild yeast strains and several different barrel aged beers set to be released.

 

Want to Visit?

Right now they are opened:

Thursday 4 -7

Friday and Saturday 12 -7

Check their facebook page for the most current hours