Lookout Farm Brewing and Cider Co, Natick, MA

 

Lookout Farm Brewing and Cider Company is located out in the suburbs of Natick, MA. We visited near the end of the summer with Megan’s sisters Heather, Sam and Sam’s fiancee Dustin.

It is one of the oldest operating farms in the USA, started in 1651. They have over 65,000 apple tree’s on their 180 acre farm. They grow 29 varieties of apples and have recently planted 14 varieties of hops.

 

 

They started making cider in 2015, we have tried a few varieties and liked them but never made it out for a visit. In 2017 they started making beer as well, and serve both out of their tap room on the farm.

 

They serve 8 oz and 16 oz pours as well as flights of four 4 oz pours. We all got flights to try as many styles as possible.

Beer

So Many Silos – kettle sour with guava and tangerine 5.4%
A kettle soured beer, tasted sour with a hint of fruit. Mark would have liked a little more fruit flavor but pretty good overall.

Super Yellow Pilsner – pilsner     5.6%
A regular Pilsner, not Mark’s favorite style but crisp and easy drinking, on point for the Pilsner style.

Hold Your Horses – neipa     6.3%
Listed as a New England IPA, but it did not look very hazy for a neipa, it was actually fairly clear. It was a decent ipa,  a little bit on the fruity hop side with a touch bitterness. It did not really come across as a neipa though, not hazy and not really ‘juicy’ like Mark expected from a neipa.

 

 

Harvest Day – IPA     6.5%
Decent ipa, a little bit malty with hop flavors more on the bitter side, a pretty good west coast style ipa.

Big Red Barn – red ale     6.1%
A red ale with a slightly darker flavor on the malt side, not sweet like Mark expected, a slightly interesting take on a red ale, a pretty good beer overall.

 

 

Ciders

Farmhouse – 5.2%
Megan and Sam said easy drinking, not too sweet, not too tart, not too dry. Heather said nothing really stood out about this cider.
Lazy summer – lemon grass and ginger     5.2%
Sweeter than the Farmhouse cider. Sam and Heather didn’t care for it, weren’t sure if it was too grassy for them, or if it was the ginger.
1st American Cherry –     5.5%
Good, with a cherry tartness to it. Nice aroma, and still very drinkable, everyone liked this one. At the time, cans were not available but if they had been, many would have gone home with us.
Row 7 – Heriloom blend     6.5%
More juicy, “like a jug of unfiltered (nonalcoholic) cider”. Everyone liked this as well. Sam said it was crisp, like biting into and apple.
They serve food as well, wings, pizza etc, but
we didn’t get anything.
They also had cans of beer and cider to go. There were a lot of different brands in cans than what was on tap to try.
They have a lot of other activities to do at the farm as well, apple picking, trolley rides as seen below, event spaces, barbecues and more.
Heather said the place was really cute
Hours
Wednesday – Friday: 3:00 – 10:00
Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 6:00

Fall Beer Fest, by the Boston Event Guide, Boston MA

We were lucky to go to Boston Event Guide’s Fall Beer Fest in November. They had three sessions; we went to the 12:00-2:30pm session.
We also had two pairs of tickets to give out to our readers- thank you to everyone that entered!
We hope that those of you that went had a great time!

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The Boston Event Guide prides themselves for being the leading resource for the best events in Boston. It was started in 1995 by Jeff Popkin to connect young professionals with events occuring across the city. He had been hearing about events AFTER they happened, instead of knowing first hand that they were happening. The Boston Event Guide also sends out a weekly newsletter to it’s members (membership is FREE) about what’s going on, what social events and netowkring events are approaching, and any great deals.

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The Fall Beer Fest was held at Cyclorama. The building was easy to find, however parking was not. Next time, we will definitely take the T in (the Boston area train).

When we arrived, we had our IDs checked outside, and then proceeded in.
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After checking in, we each took a cup to use for the day, and were given a map of where we could find the beer.

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map for the afternoon

 

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Cyclorama’s fun ceiling

Some of the many breweries present, and the beer we enjoyed…

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Foolproof Brewing Company
Foolproof Brewing Company opened 2 years ago in Pawtucket, RhodeIsland.
Farmhouse Ale Saison was very good
Backyahd IPA was pretty standard but tasty
Raincloud was a robust porter, good, chocolate and coffee notes
We recently added Rhode Island to our travels, so we will be visiting Foolproof sometime in the future
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Finch’s Beer Company
Finch’s is located in Chicago, Illinois. They are beginning to expand into the Massachusetts and New England market.
We had the Hardcore Chimera (double IPA) and Cut Throat (Pale Ale). Both these beers were really good.
Keep your eye out for these beers, and others by Finch’s Beer Company.

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Strange Brew
Strange Brew is currently a beer and wine home brew supply store, that also offers classes. Rumor has it, they should be opening as a brewery sometime soon…
They had a lot of interesting beer flavors:
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Granny Strange was a sour and/or tart cider. Good but very different flavor.

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Sour Power, as they label it, is an extremely sour ale. A very interesting, very sour and tasty ale.

 

Downeast Cider
Very good traditional cider taste- as Megan says “it’s like getting a jug of cider, but it is alcoholic.”
We have had many family mebers and friends try this cider- and no one has disliked it. In fact, it it now the favorite of many!
We just visited here, look for our post coming soon.

 

 

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Spiked Seltzer
This was a different take on beer. They brew it like a lager, but it drinks like flavored seltzer, despite being 6% alcohol! Spiked Seltzer is all natural and has low sugar, low carbs and is gluten free. They had lime, orange, and grapefruit flavors available to try.

All the flavors were pretty good, grapefruit was subtle and the orange tasted like orange soda. Megan can’t wait until they are all over New England, so she can pick up a six pack! Want to see if they are available near you? Check here

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Redhook and Kona
They were both there. We tried the Winter Hook because we’ve had their other beers plenty of times. The Winter Hook is a super hoppy ale with dark malts.

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Goose Island
We tried their IPA and Festivity Ale.
There’s no doubt they are a craft beer maker, but now they are owned by Inbev, owner of Anheuser-Busch. They like it, they can get what they need when they need it, they have the support of a company that has some pull.

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Blue Point Brewing Company
Our options were their toasted lager (which is their flagship beer), and a pumpkin ale, which was good- not overly spiced so you could taste the pumpkin

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Off Shore Ale Company
One of the many breweries in Massachusetts that we haven’t been able to visit yet- this one is on Martha’s Vineyard.
They had their Beach Road Nut Brown Ale and Hop Goddess.

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Uinta

All of the beers we tried here were good. They had their Black Lager, Yard Sale, Double IPA, and Session IPA. Our only fault with them? We would have to go to Salt Lake City to visit!
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Cape Ann Brewing Company
They brought a fair selection. We both liked the Fisherman’s Brew, but the Pilsner we did not like that much.
If you are interested in visiting Cape Ann Brewery in Gloucester, check out our post about our visit there.

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Ballantine
They just relaunched the brewery after being closed for 10 years. They have been around for a long time, in the 40’s and 50’s the were sponsoring the Yankee’s, they were the 4th largest brewery back then. Now the only beer they make is the Ballantine IPA which was a pretty good, fairly standard IPA.

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They were giving out free waters, which was great- always a good idea to hydrate during and after drinking! This water has a pH level of 9.5, to help keep you hydrated

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We thought the beer fest was good, and different in a good way. The event space fit it well- and allowed for you to walk around without bumping into others. We also liked that we had the opportunity to speak with the brewery representatives at many of the tables. Many tastings/festivals you want to ask questions, but really aren’t allowed to because the focus is to push everyone through the line. Here, the focus was fun and education when wanted.

Interested in going to one of these events, or something else by the Boston Event Guide? Be sure to sign up for their newsletter list to stay updated!

Ready to go drinking? Their Spring Craft Beer Fest 2015 is right around the corner- April 12th.
Tickets are $69. but you can buy them for $19 through December 31st! It looks like an event you can’t miss!

While at the beer fest, we ran into a few co-workers of Megan. They had taken a bus to the event, which was such a great idea!
Group photo, post beer fest!

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Redhook Brewery

We originally went to the Redhook Brewery, in Portsmouth, NH last summer (2012) with my friend Jamie. Our goal had not been completely thought out yet, so I (surprisingly) did not take any pictures.

Redhook Brewery offers tours for only $1! If you feel that $1 is simply too expensive, you can find coupons for free tours on those cute, cartoon-y maps. We actually had no idea that it was simply $1 and had brought the coupons. If its free, it’s for me!

We met Jamie at the Cataqua Pub (connected to the gift shop & brewery), as we arrived before the tour started. We all enjoyed a pint, and then went to join the tour. We had the best tour guide. He was an older man, who was passionate about the beer that Redhook offers. He told us about Redhooks history, about how they make the beer, and then ended with a sampling session. The tour was similar to most breweries we had been to, but what made it was our tour guide. He had tons of different stories and you could tell loved the beer. For the sampling session, he poured pitchers and we passed them around the room. Due to this being before we made our goal, I do not have exact tasting notes, but I can tell you that we enjoyed most, if not all, of the beer. We all left with a tasting glass, as well as some new favorites.

Mark and I returned to Redhook last night (2013) for a late dinner in the Cataqua Pub. The Cataqua Pub was named after the Piscataqua River, which divides New Hamshpire and Maine and has the third fastest current in the world. “Piscataqua” is a Native American term, metaphorically translated to “a place where people come together, and where they part on their separate ways.”

 Our waitress, Sarah, was great and knew her beer well.

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On tap:

Long Hammer IPA 6.2%

ESB 5.8%

Pilsner 5.3%

Audible Ale 4.7%

Mudslinger (Spring seasonal) 5.8%

Wit (Summer seasonal) 5.3%

Saturnaleia Double Red IPA 10% (PEASE Project)

They also offered Widmer (Portland, OR) and Kona (Kailua-Kona, HI) as guest drafts.

IMG_2538[1] Menu description of each beer.

After looking at the menu, I knew that I needed to have the Wit, a perfect summer beer.

“Redhook’s twist on the Belgian style is the addition of fresh ginger, which adds a refreshing snappiness to this lighter-bodied wheat beer.  Redhook Wit is perfect for warm summer months of outdoor BBQ-ing, sitting by the pool, or just taking a break by hanging inside enjoying the AC and watching old re-runs of Gilligan’s Island.

STYLE………………….Belgian Wit

ABV…………………….5.3%IBUS…………………..8.0 IBU

ORIGINAL GRAVITY..11.85 degrees platoBREWED SINCE………2011″ –Redhook.com

Mark decided to first have the mudslinger…

“Ah, Spring…the season that keeps us guessing.  Will it rain, or will the sun be out?  Do I take advantage of the last days of skiing, or the first days of hiking?  Do I put on jeans, or dare break out the shorts?  The season comes with enough uncertainty, so Redhook gives you something you can always count on…our Mudslinger Brown Ale.  This medium dark beer is layered with rich malty aromas and flavors of chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of vanilla.  Although it may be dark in color, it’s refreshingly smooth and highly sessionable.  Mudslinger Brown Ale is the perfect beer for spring.

STYLE………………….Brown

ABV…………………….5.8%

IBUS…………….22 IBUORIGINAL GRAVITY..13.8 degrees platoBREWED SINCE………2003TIME FRAME………..Spring Seasonal” – Redhook.com

We ordered two appetizers to split-

Tap Room Chicken Strips, in Jamaican jerk seasoning & served with ranch dressing (homemade? It did taste that way)

IMG_2539[1] Nice flavor, definately needed the ranch to tame it down slightly, but all in all tasty. $10 (a little pricey for the size, but…)

We also ordered the Brew House Nachos with pulled chicken, bomber sized.

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THEY WERE LOADED! Tons of cheese, jalapeanos, olives, chicken… SO good!

The nachos were also layered, which meant you weren’t searching for toppings once you ate half of it.

Mark ended the night with the Saturnaleia Double Red IPA  (PEASE Project). Due to it being a PEASE Project beer, it is not on their website or their regular menu.

Mark said it was “pretty good, but defiantly heavy. Had the taste of a high-alcohol percentage beer.”  It had the taste of a red ale as well.

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Served in a fancy glass

A sign on our table told us about two beers that Redhook now offers that are gluten free.  Omission Lager and Pale Ale. Both are available in bottles.

****Addition 5/20/13: Omission is brewed by Widmer Brothers Brewing.****

Although neither Mark or I have a gluten intolerance, we know many people that do, and think that it is great that a company like Redhook offers these beers.

Redhook felt that everyone should be able to enjoy a beer.

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We will most likely return to Redhook for food and drinks another time.

Cataqua Pub Hours

Sunday: 12pm-8pm
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am – 11pm
Last call 30 minutes prior to closing

Public Brewery Tours

Mon: 3:00, 4:00, 5:00pm
Tue:12:00, 1:00,2:00pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Wed & Thu: 1:00, 3:00, 5:00pm
Fri & Sat: 12:00-6:00pm, every hour on the hour
Sun: 1:00pm – 5:00pm on the hour
Starts at the Gift Shop desk.