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
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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.

 

 

Hours

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

 

 

 

Pipe Dream Brewing Company, Londonderry, NH

We visited Pipe Dream Brewing with our friends Ian and Stephanie. Pipe Dream Brewing is in Londonderry, NH and opened in June 2016. They are veteran owned and inspired by the west coast. A lot of their beer labels and imagery relates back to the ocean, the beach, surfing, etc.

 

They have a decent sized tasting room. We were there in early fall, they had a pretty big outdoor area with tables where we sat.

 

 

They sell 4 oz, 12oz, and 16 oz pours of their beer. Flights come in a set of 5.

 

 

West to East IPA     6.8%
Hoppy, hazy with a mild bitterness and a sweet finish. This was a good ipa, Mark and Ian both agreed.

 

 

Coffee Stout     8.5%
A good coffee stout, dark with hints of coffee, did not have that bitter coffee flavor though. Stephanie thought it was a little sweet. Megan and Ian thought it was a little thin, light in body but still pretty good.

 

Single Hop Columbus     6.8%
An earthy and bitter ipa. Mark did not like this that much, maybe just not a fan of Columbus hops on their own. We like to see them experimenting though.

 

 

Ian tried the Double IPA and liked it.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Stout     11.1%
This was on nitro. Smells like a pb cup. Taste like peanut butter chocolate, sweet and not bitter, a very good beer. This was on nitro, probably added to the beer, the smoothness and mouthfeel of nitro.

 

Sour Brown
A dark sour beer, obviously. Sour and a little bit sweet from the malts. Pretty good sour brown.

 

 

They are technically a brewpub because they serve food. They have a variety of sandwiches, hot and cold, pizzas, nachos and a few other options. We did not eat while there, just stopped in for a quick sample of beers. We had never been here but Ian and Stephanie had visited shortly after they opened. Ian thought the beer had improved over the last year. We liked that they could do a variety of beers well.

 

Swag room

 

 

Hours

Wednesday and Thursday: 12:00 – 8:00
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00