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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From the Barrel, Londonderry, NH

 

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We recently stopped at From the Barrel with a few friends one Saturday. The plan was to visit a few places in the Derry/Londonderry, NH area that day with From the Barrel being the day’s first stop.
From the Barrel was the 110th place we have visited.

 

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We have heard good things about From the Barrel so we went to check it out for ourselves. They have been open for just over a year and just had their one year celebration. They are a nano brewery, creating small batches of each beer. Luckily they had some of the Anniversary DIPA leftover for us to try.

 

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They sell a flight of four 4 oz tasters for $5. They also sell single tasters, so we tried all 6 beers that they had on tap that day.

 

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Lily IPA – Double Dry Hopped – 7.5%
A strong citrusy hop smell, with a lighter hop flavor than aroma. The hop flavor mixed with malts made for a well balanced IPA with tropical notes.

Anniversary DIPA – 8%
Another well balanced IPA, not an overly hoppy taste but a little more hop flavor than than the Lily. Made with Columbus and Citra hops.

These first two were Mark’s favorite of the IPA’s/DIPA’s. If they had bottles of either of these in stock he would have bought a few.

 

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MK DIPA – 8.1%
Double IPA, with a Citra/Simcoe hop flavor but more bite and more malt.

Big Elle – 10.5%
We didn’t like this as much, as it had more of a bitter hop taste. I think everyone with us liked Lily and the Anniversary Double better.

 

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Howl – 8.5%
Coffee flavor, sweet, chocolatey notes, good body. We bought a bottle of this.

 

Know Your Enemy – Russian Imperial Stout – 10.2%
Heavy flavor, a touch sweet. We liked the Howl a little bit better, but Stephanie (visiting with us) liked this one more.

 

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Both the owners were there when we arrived. We were served mostly by the head brewer. He answered questions about the beers and chatted with us. He told us he named most of the beers after his family, his daughter, sister, Mom, and wife.

 

We were visiting with a small group of friends that day.

 

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Mark’s brother Jason and sister in law Maureen were there.

 

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Ian and Stephanie enjoying their beers.

 

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Taylor and Lance might be enjoying themselves….

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And us.

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They have cool glasses for sale as well.

Want to Visit?
Hours 

Friday: 4:00 – 7:00

Saturday: 12:00 – 6:00

 

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Special Release NH Beers, Somewhat Recent

Here are some special release beers we have tried over the last several months. All of them are NH beers, and most are not available anymore, but still an interesting read.

 

Smuttynose – Big Beer Series
Gravitation – Belgian Style Quadrupel Ale – 11.5 ish %

 

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A heavy style Belgian beer, red in color and flavor, Belgian base with lots of flavor. Mark enjoyed it, Megan did not.

 

Smuttynose – Big Beer Series
Zinneke – Belgian Style Stout

 

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Complex flavor. A dark, robust taste with a roasty and malty flavor, all built over a dark Belgian base.

 

Smuttlabs – Smuttynose Specialty Line
Gose – 4.75%

“tart wheat beer brewed with coriander and salt”

 

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That’s what’s on the bottle, and that’s what it taste like. A light style wheat beer, a tartness, not overly sour, with a coriander taste and a slight salty finish.

 

Smuttlabs
East Coast Common Ale

 

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This was a Smuttlabs collaboration brew with Stoneface and Great Rhythm Brewing. Mark had this on draft and several bottles. Hoppy with a hint of citrusy smell. Medium body with slight bitterness or malty taste. Very good overall beer, too bad it’s a special release.

 

Smuttlabs
Farmhouse Pale 
‘ale brewed with French Saison yeast and Brettanomyces’

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Really light in body, definite Saison taste/ finish. There is a little tartness to it which compliments the Saison nicely. We both liked this better than the Daily Brett.

 

Smuttlabs
Daily Brett – 5.9%
‘ale brewed with Brettanomyces’

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Smells like a sour but only has a slight tartness to it. The tartness fades quickly and you get more of the malty  beer flavor. Medium body with a with a slight off taste. We were hoping for more sour.

 

Stoneface Brewing Company
Special Releases

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Hopulization – Double IPA – 8.9%
Smells of hops. A malt flavor base with lots of hoppy after flavors. Definitely a strong, hoppy beer. Good beer, and definitely worth trying if you can, but not quite as good as the regular IPA.

Hopulization was first released in late October, then again in late January, with the RIS in between.

 

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Russian Imperial Stout – 9.5%

It’s been a while since we had a taste, we were holding onto the bottle for something special, I guess. They have bourbon barrels that they are aging another batch in, hopefully we get our hands on some of that, too.

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Mozaccalypse – Double IPA – 8%

This was a really good beer. Great taste, bright, smooth flavor. This beer was double dry-hopped with Mosaic & Azacca hops. Hopefully they consider bringing this back. Update: They brought it back! We wrote this after the first growler-and-keg-only small release.  Then they did quite a large bottle release, and 2 weeks later still had bottles and then offered growler fills.

What have you tried recently that is worth sharing? Let us know here or on our facebook page!

Stoneface Brewing Company, Newington NH

IMG_1229A few weekends ago, we ventured over to Stoneface Brewing Company, located in Newington, New Hampshire. They have a very convenient location for travelers heading up north- right off route 16 at exit 4! They are located in a good sized-warehouse space with room to grow!IMG_1228

While we were there, we enjoyed trying a few beers, and learned about Stoneface (what they are doing and planning on doing) from the Brewer himself! The brewer went to school at the University of New Hampshire, so he knows the area well. For upcoming beers, they plan on making a sour summer style beer (should be coming out soon, if not already!) and a Russian Imperial Stout around October.

IMG_1231Our tasting: IMG_1230
Pale Ale: pretty hoppy 5.6%. Very hoppy upfront, with a smooth ending.

IPA: 7.2% surprisingly smooth, not bitter at all. Sweeter than expected, especially for 7.2%, a more floral hop taste This is their most popular beer.

India Red Rye: very good, 5.5%. Megan’s favorite of the three. Wasn’t what she expected for it based on it being both a red and a rye.

If you want to try Stoneface’s beer, but can’t make it for a tasting while they are open, you can head to a local bar. They have their beer available at many local bars, including Gaslight in Portsmouth. Gaslight goes through about 11 kegs/week of their beer du to having it at all four of their bars. 11 kegs!! Stoneface Brewing has also been pairing up with local establishments for “Meet the Brewer Pint Nights,” which proves to be helping business.

IMG_1234They have such a cool growler filler- and there is one other of this kind in New England! It first fills the growler with CO2, which helps the beer preserve it’s flavor and aromas. Oxygen+beer=bad. To use this machine, they turn a lever, it fills up with CO2 and then the beer of your choice!

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love their logo!

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what we went home with- IPA and India Red Rye

 

Update February 2015:

This has become one of our favorite breweries in the Seacoast area. Stoneface IPA is one of Mark’s favorite beers, he tries to introduce it to as many people as possible. They have done some work to the facility and have added more tanks so they can keep up with the demand.

We did get to try the Stoneface Summer Vice as well. It was interesting, and tasty, a sour beer. They had 2 types of syrup to add to it that totally changed the flavor of the beer. Cut the sour and made it more sweet.

This winter they have had a Porter available as well. At only 5%, this is a very smooth and drinkable.

 

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Special bottle releases

 

They did their first limited bottle release in late October, I think, of Hopulization, a Double IPA. They followed this with a Russian Imperial Stout in November, and another round of Hopulization in January 2015.

 

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Hopulization – DIPA – 8.9%
Smells of hops. A malt flavor base with lots of hoppy after flavors. Definitely a strong, hoppy beer. Good beer, and definitely worth trying if you can, but not quite as good as the regular IPA.

 

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Russian Imperial Stout – 9.5
It’s been a while since we had a taste, we are holding onto the bottle for something special, I guess. They have bourbon barrels that they are aging another batch in, hopefully we get our hands on some of that, too.

 

Want to Visit?

Hours have expanded significantly since first opening

Monday – Friday: 12 – 7

Saturday: 12 – 4

As always, just Facebook for the most up to date info.