Northampton Brewery, Northampton, MA

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We recently visited Northampton Brewery out in Northampton, MA. We were on our way out to western Mass with our friend Bre and stopped there for beer samples and dinner. This has been on our list for a while, they have a long history and connections with some local breweries in NH.

 

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Northampton Brewery opened in 1987 and was the second brewpub to open in the region. They are currently the oldest operating brewpub in New England. A brief history: Northampton Brewery was founded by brother and sister Janet and Peter Egelston. In 1991 they opened another brewpub, Portsmouth Brewery in NH. In 1994 they opened another brewery, a small production brewery called Smuttynose Brewing Company. In 2000, Janet and Peter bought each other out of their respective businesses, which left Janet the sole owner of Nothampton Brewery, and Peter owner of Portsmouth Brewery and majority owner of Smuttynose.

 

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Similar frothy mug to Portsmouth Brewery

 

Northampton Brewery has gone through several renovations over the years, which leaves them with a pretty good sized brewpub, which includes a rooftop bar area, which we did not go to since it was December.

 

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One of the renovations added this large back room with high ceilings and exposed beams.

 

 

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They do flights of 4 beers, you can pick any 4 off the menu so we each got a flight so we could try as many beers as possible.

 

Redheaded Stepchild 5%
Pretty good for a red ale, described as ‘well balanced’, we agree.

Deckbier 4.5%
A golden ale with slightly more flavor than a typical golden ale. A light bodied beer with a light citrus flavor.

 

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Greyhound IPA
Smells like grapefruit. Light in body for an ipa, super cloudy with a very strong grapefruit flavor. Bre liked this and isn’t usually a fan of ipa’s.

ESB 5.7%
Better than a standard ESB, not quite as bitter, balanced and drinkable.

 

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Blue Boots IPA 6%
Slightly hazy, smells citrusy and piney but tastes more piney. Decent ipa.

Hoover’s Porter
Megan smelled vanilla, Mark smelled coffee and chocolate. A good porter, smooth, well balanced, a hint of coffee and vanilla, not bitter at all. We were pleasantly surprised by this porter.

 

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Milk and Cookies 5.6%
A dark beer, medium to heavy body. A touch of chocolate with some roastyness, with a cookie sweetness to the finish. Bitter start, smooth sweet finish. Not quite as good as we were hoping for from the name, but pretty good.

Old Brown Dog 5.2%
A smooth brown all, creamy, with a touch of sweetness on the finish, not very malty at all.

Mark asked about Old Brown Dog, since that is one of Smuttynose year round beers. When the businesses separated they both had rights to the Old Brown Dog recipe. We think this tasted a little different than Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, but not quite sure.

 

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Northampton American Pale Ale 5.7%
Pretty good, nice and hoppy for a pale ale.

 

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Bre enjoying her samples

 

Food

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

 

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Green Mountain Burger

 

All the food was very good and so was the service.

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We were pleasantly surprised by the beers as well. They do make some of the less interesting, ‘typical brewpub’ beer styles, like a Golden Ale, ESB, Porter, but they put their own unique twist to their recipes, which makes the beers more interesting and enjoyable.

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They makes all their own beer in the brewery. The also can and bottle all their own beer in house as well. We bought cans and bottles to go, which is nice to have offerings other than growlers.

 

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Mark, Bre and Megan

 

Hours

Monday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 1:00 am
Sunday: 12:00 – 1:00 am

As always, check their website or Facebook for updated hours and offerings.

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Coddington Brewing Company, visit number 80!

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Coddington Brewing Company is in Middletown, RI. This was our 3rd stop on our first swing through Rhode Island. We went for dinner and some beers with Sam and Dustin. Coddington is actually less than a mile away from the Newport Storm Brewery, so if you are in the area it is worth stopping at both.

 

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Founded in 1995, Coddington Brewing Company is committed to creating and serving the best beer available – period. Hand-crafted on the premises, all our ales and lagers are 100% natural and delicious. It’s the kind of taste and the kind of freshness that isn’t available anywhere but a brewpub like Coddington Brewing Company.

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Brewing tanks, with Dustin in the foreground

They have a 7 barrel capacity at the brewpub. That means they can brew about 217 gallons of beer at a time. They had a good amount of beers on tap.

 

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Placemat

 

Golden Ale – 4.3%
Really light, not too much taste to it, made for the person who doesn’t really like craft beer.

 

Blueberry Blonde
Subtle, not overpowering blueberry flavor. They start with the Golden Ale base to make it. Megan thought it was sweet. Dustin and Sam both liked the floating blueberries.

 

IPA – 5%
English style IPA, not as hoppy as Mark and Dustin expected, and a little bit bitter. Only 5% so not that strong for an IPA.

 

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Pumpkin Ale – 4.5%
The pumpkin taste was strong, a little sweet, but a good taste. The beer is an ale and fairly light in taste.

 

Munich Lager – 6.3%
Smooth, good tasting lager. Described as robust but was a pretty drinkable beer. Sam and Dustin liked it.

 

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ESB – 5.5%
Hoppy, smooth with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste, pretty good overall. Reminded Dustin of an IPA.

 

Barley Wine – 10.5%
Strong, a little sweet, robust taste. Described as a wine-strength thick bodied ale.

 

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Sam thoroughly enjoying herself

 

Irish Stout – 3.5%
Good stout, fairly typical, with a little bit of a roasted malty flavor, but only 3.5%, not sure why?

 

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The sampler was much bigger than we expected. It has 8 glasses at 7oz each, so you get a lot of beer for a sampler, and it costs $19, which is not that expensive considering how much beer you actually get.

 

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Megan got the turkey dinner, Good overall, plenty of food.

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Dustin got the cheeseburger, pretty average.

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Mark got the Tex Mex Burger, good, a little messy to eat, but tasty.

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Sam got the Pulled Pork Sandwich, really good, very filling.

Everyone thought the fries were really good. Spicy, flavored curly fries.

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It was kind of dark in the restaurant, maybe they were trying to ‘set the mood’ with the lighting, which seemed a little odd for a brewpub. That’s why some of the pictures didn’t come out that great.

Want to Visit?
Open Daily 11:00am
Serving Sunday through Thursday until 10pm
Friday & Saturday until 11pm

Mayflower Brewing, Plymouth MA

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Mark, myself and a few friends went to Mayflower Brewing Company, located in Plymouth Ma, as part of my birthday celebration. My sister Samantha joined us- it was her 1st brewery (she had joined us a few weeks before for a trip to Cape Cod Winery). Mark’s brother Jason and sister Michelle joined us (they had both been with us when we visited Blue Hills Brewery, and Michelle when we had visited Flag Hill Winery and Distillery). Our friends Andrea (went to Cape Cod Winery with us), Bre (went to Gilmanton Winery with us) and Katrina joined us as well. After we visited Mayflower Brewing Company, we went to Plymouth winery! See that post soon!

Mayflower is located in an industry park area of Plymouth, off of exit 7 near Colony Place.

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When we entered, we were welcomed and quickly started our tasting. The glasses were larger than dixie glasses, and we were given decent sized pours for each beer.

100_0570100_0579 Mayflower Brewing had us try 7 beers. We were lucky enough to be able to try both the Summer seasonal as well as the Fall seasonal.

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Our tasting:

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Summer Rye Beer: A Belgian style rye. Good flavor, but wouldn’t be my first choice for a summer beer. Michelle shrugged, that it was ok. Katrina doesn’t care for Belgians in the least (so I enjoyed most of her pour). Mark liked it, stated that it is defiantly a summer beer, but doesn’t have a fruity taste as many summer beers do.

Golden Ale: A crisp and dry ale with a malt flavor. I did not enjoy the Golden Ale. Sam enjoyed it more than the Summer Rye Beer, but stated that it needed more of a flavor. Andrea agreed with Sam, that it was better than the previous one. Michelle said it “tastes like beer.”

Pale Ale: British in style has more bitters in it. I actually liked it, which surprised me (I usually don’t enjoy Pale Ales). When I mentioned this to the woman pouring our beer, she mentioned that their Pale Ale is British in style, and has more bitters in it than an American Pale Ale.

Mayflower IPA: surprisingly good. Mayflower uses four varieties of American hops to create a balanced flavor. Both Michelle and I are not typically IPA lovers, but we could say that we enjoyed Mayflower’s IPA. Sam enjoyed drinking it, but did not like the after taste, she wanted a piece of gum after.

Autumn wheat: A dark wheat beer. Michelle, Sam and I thought it was really good. Katrina loved it, as she tends to love fall seasonal. Jason: thumbs up

Mayflower Porter: Mayflower uses five varieties of malted barley to make this delicious porter. Not heavy tasting. Sam stated that “it look(ed) like soda” when it was first poured.  Good porter.

We also tried the Single Hop Ale as well as the Mild. Both were part of the “Cooper Series.” I really enjoyed the Mild, it was delicious, but definitely a beer I could only do a pint or two of.

Katrina stated that she has enjoyed Mayflower beers before, but finds it is only good when it is super fresh (not in a bottle, or an old keg/tap line).

Jason didn’t have one he didn’t like.

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Take 2

Our tour:

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At the beginning of the tour, we were instructed to keep our shoes on and not to touch anything. And to keep our shoes on. Apparently people feel the need to walk around without their shoes on in a factory?

The brewery smelled like a farm, as someone pointed out. The scent was due to the grain that is being used by the brewery.

The brewery was started in 2008, when there was no other brewery on the South Shore. The location of Plymouth was easy for two reasons:

1. soft water of Plymouth makes an easy starting point to make beer

2. the owner is a 10th generation descendant of the cooper on the Mayflower (John Alden).

A cooper? What’s that? John Alden was responsible for the many barrels of beer that were on board the Mayflower. According to the tour, those on board the Mayflower had thought about landing in Provincetown, but did not because there wasn’t a running water source for them to make beer (which they needed to survive).

The tour went over the brewing process, image (13)and the tour guide compared the beer making process to something most are familiar with: making tomato sauce. We found out that all of their bees, with the exception of the Summer Rye are filtered (Summer Rye still is, but not to the same effect). We had the opportunity to see their Mill Room, where they keep the grist.100_0586

Mayflower Brewery tries to be as green as possible, and they send the spent grain to local prisons for farm land. Mayflower does not use chemicals to help close and seal their bottles.

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100_0591   100_0589 100_0590Michelle commented at the end of the tour that it was good and the tour guide was personable.

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We had to end our tour with a couple of group photos:

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Back row: Mark, Sam, Andrea, Jason

Front row: Michelle, Katrina, Me, Bre

image (6) image (10)For our last picture, she told us to JUMP!

Thank you very much to Bre, who stole my camera (and then proceeded to take photos with her phone when it died)!

What else did we do for my birthday celebration? Soon to come, Plymouth Winery!