Westfield River Brewing Company, Southwick, MA

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A few weeks ago we went to Six Flags and were looking to visit a brewery, of course. Westfield River Brewing is nearby in Southwick, MA. They say on their website they are the “primary location for those who are seeking both drinkability in their beer and adventure in their glass”.

 

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They are located on a 100 year old dairy farm. The building had been converted into a steak house for many years, but that closed. The brewery moved into this location a year ago from an industrial park. They have a farmers license so they can sell anything they make on the property as retail. They have 3 years of commercial brewing, the owner has been home brewing for 15 years.

 

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History of the property

 

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We ordered two sampler trays for each couple, four 6oz pours for $10. They had nine beers on tap, so they gave us the extra beer sample for free.

 

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Louie and Pepe’s – Mexican lager
4.7%    10 IBU
Really light beer, it was served with a lime in it, you can taste the lime. Megan, Sammie, and Dustin all liked it, a good summer beer.

 

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Strawberry Shandy – 1/2 strawberry blonde 1/2 lemonade
5.3%    6 IBU
A strawberry taste upfront, lemonade as the second taste. Pretty good balance, another good summer beer. We all went home with a few cans!

 

 

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Red, White and Raz – raspberry wheat ale
4.9%    11 IBU
Great raspberry taste, not super sweet but tastes like raspberries. Good taste. We all went home with a few cans!

 

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Sam and Dustin enjoying their samples

 

Oatmeal Stout – ‘hints of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla’
5.9%    14 IBU
Smells like coffee, toasted taste up front, a bit of a sweet 2nd taste. Sammie agree’s with us, Dustin thought it had a hint of a sour taste.

 

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Copper Roaster – copper ale
6.1%    19 IBU
Brewed with brown sugar as an english style ale. Pretty good for this style of beer, everyone liked it. Darker in color but light in body with a hint of sweetness. ‘Not offensive to the mouth’ according to Megan (she was super surprised that she liked it).  Dustin thought it was smooth.

 

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Big Red Barn – malty imperial red
9.5%    12 IBU
A heavy taste but light in body for this style and percent of alcohol. A little strange, sweet, maybe tangy, a strong flavor. Megan and Sam thought it tastes like dates, almost like one of their mom’s Christmas cookies.

 

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Farmhouse Honey – saison style ale brewed with honey
5.6%    10 IBU
Light in body, honey flavor, slight tartness or saison flavor, we would have liked to taste a little more tartness, but all in all it was good!

 

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Charlie – rye ipa with citrus notes
5.3%    57 IBU
Different than the other beers, it taste bitter. Citrus notes, but even that taste a little bitter, citrus and rye taste a little overpowering. This might be because everything else was so low in IBU’s and this was 57 IBU. Dustin felt that there was a juniper flavor.

 

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Session – ‘light in body with tropical fruit hops’
4.5%    42 IBU
Right on in the description, pretty good flavor, session ipa with a light body and flavor with tropical fruity hops.

 

A lot of the beers on tap certainly had a summer theme to them. We liked most, if not all, of the beers. The thing that stood out to Mark was the IBU’s. 7 of the beers on tap were under 20 IBU’s, the the Charlie was 57 IBU’s and the Session was 42 IBU’s. They make their beers to be drinkable.

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Unfortunately, when we were there the most popular beer was sold out, the El Dorado IPA at 7.5% with an IBU of 82. Must be good!

We all liked the atmosphere here. This is a place we would all hang out at if it was near where we lived. The building itself is welcoming, never mind the people who work there. We were very impressed with the whole feel of this visit, and really wish we could go back soon!

 

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Before leaving, we tasted an cask Honey Nut Brown beer they made in collaboration with the home brew shop that is attached to the brewery. This was tasty, and was Sam’s first experience with a cask beer.

 

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They have a decent size restaurant area inside. The place has a cool vibe to it, all old beams and rustic decor. We didn’t get any food, we were actually there on July 4th so the kitchen wasn’t open. They did however have AMAZING pretzels available… more on that below…

 

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The brewery out back, you can see from the restaurant. And lots of cans.

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They have a single canning machine behind the bar. You can get any beer you want that is on tap. You can also get any combination of beers, a 6 pack of them same, 3 and 3, or 6 different beers. We thought this was awesome.

 

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Sam and Dustin got 3 of the Shandy and 3 of the Red, White and Raz. The filled them right in front of us.

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We got a 6 pack of each of the Shandy and the Red, White and Raz.

 

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They also make giant pretzels to go from spent grain and home made spicy honey mustard. The flavor and texture were to die for, and the size- whaat. Well worth it.

 

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 Want to visit?
Hours

Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

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Cape Cod Brewing Company

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We visited Cape Cod Beer last month with Sam, her boyfriend Dustin, and our friend Andrea. We had been there before, but it had been quite some time.

 They opened in 2004. We were there a few years ago and they have expanded their tasting area since then. They produced about 5,000 barrels in 2012.

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 They have 4 year round beers. The Red, Porter, IPA, and Beach Blonde Ale, as well as a few seasonals.

 

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There are 3 bar area’s and 2 tasting area’s. It was a little confusing when we walked in because it was busy and there were a lot of people around. You also walk into the gift shop area. Eventually we figured out we could go into the back area and order samples there and sit at a picnic table.

 

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When we were their they had 8 beers on tap. You can get five 3oz samples for $5.

 

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They give you these little coins when you pay, so each time you want a sample you go back up and get a nice cold pour.

 

Beach Blonde Ale
Mark, Megan, Andrea, and Sam all liked this beer. It was very light with a hint of fruit. Dustin thought it tasted like a Coors. This is the only beer Andrea liked, she usually drinks just Bud Light.

 

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Andrea and Megan

 

Harvest
Megan thought this had a good flavor with a slight spice. Mark thought it was a little light for a harvest but liked it. Sam and Andrea both thought it was too flavorful for them. Dustin would drink a pint of this but wouldn’t search it out.

 

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Dunkel Weizen
Spicy, reminded Megan of Christmas, maybe nutmeg or spruce tips.

 

Red
Mark liked it, a fairly typical Red. Megan actually liked it and she is usually not a fan of Reds.

 

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Farmhouse Saison
Mark, Megan and Dustin all liked it. Light, flavorful, good saison. Sam thought the flavor was slightly weird.

 

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Dustin, deep in thought, thinking about the beer

 

Porter
Megan liked it, good flavor, not too heavy. Sam actually liked it. She got a maple syrup taste first. She thought it taste better than it looked, she liked the flavor but it wasn’t familiar to her.

 

Pale Ale
Dustin said ‘not bad’ but it had a weird after taste. Sam was not a fan.

 

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above the tasting room

 

IPA
Hoppy, fairly straightforward ipa, good taste.

 

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Back room where we were sitting

 

There were kids running around and being a little noisy. It was kind of distracting and annoying. Not the breweries fault, the parents weren’t paying attention. As we mentioned, it was a rainy day on the Cape so people were looking for something indoors to do.

 

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The have a food truck outside during the summer months. It is run by local teenagers, who were looking for a job before they started the food truck. It was not open when we visited, but we heard good things about it.

 

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Funny shirt

 

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Good plan

 

They have a big gift shop with all kinds of merchandise.

 

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Want to visit? Retail Hours:

Weekdays (M- F): 10am to 6pm
Saturdays:  11 am to 3 pm
Sundays: CLOSED
Guided Tours: Once daily at 11am

Please note that they stop selling samples about  30 minutes prior to close and stop selling pints about 15 minutes prior to close.