Brewerism - Boston and North Shore

This past holiday season I spent a few weeks along the Eastern coast of the USA visiting friends and family.  Although we experienced some abnormally frigid weather for late December, my wife and I were still able to make our rounds to visit some of the breweries around Boston and the surrounding suburbs to the northeast.  

Trillium Brewing Company (Boston - Canton, MA)

Trillium is probably Boston's most sought-after brewery since their beers are currently not distributed outside of the brewery.  At around $17 for a 4-pack of pint-size cans it is certainly not the cheapest but that seems to be the going rate for the NE IPA around town.  We visited their Canton location outside of Boston since it features a tasting room and take-out - and it opened before noon which was clutch.

I really enjoyed their range of sour beers, IPAs, and dark beers.  They don't have "flights" of tasters, but instead individually price 5oz pours that range from $2.50 - $6.50.  I'm just blown away that this brewery started in 2013 and have blown up to this degree of popularity.  

Report Card:  

Overall - A

Atmosphere - B

Quality of Beers - A

Variety of Beers - A

Comment:  Tasters were very expensive!  People come for the IPAs but the sours are also very nice.

Must Try:  Free Rise (Citra dry-hopped Saison), Heavy Mettle (DIPA), Double Dry-Hopped Melcher Street (IPA), Trillwater (Gose)

 

Night Shift Brewing (Boston - Everett)

Report Card:  

Overall - A

Atmosphere - A

Quality of Beers - A

Variety of Beers - A

Comment:  Really cool industrial space with school-like furnishings.  Loads of IPAs but a wide range of other beers - didn't taste anything that was flawed.

Must Try:  Morph (IPA with constantly changing hop schedule), Everglow (IPA), Pfaffenheck (Pilsner), One Hop This Time (single hop ales)

 

Lamplighter Brewing Co. (Boston - Cambridge)

Report Card:  

Overall - A

Atmosphere - A

Quality of Beers - A

Variety of Beers - A

Comment:  Ask for free snacks (Cheez Its)!

Must Try:  Birds of a Feather (IPA), Blitzen (Belgian Strong Ale), Raspberry Fields (sour ale)

Aeronaut Brewing Co.  (Boston - Somerville)

Report Card:  

Overall - B

Atmosphere - B

Quality of Beers - B

Variety of Beers - A

Comment:  Neat industrial space.  Plenty of hop-forward styles that were decent but forgettable compared to other beers that we tried in town.

Must Try:  Unionator (Doppelbock)

 

Mystic Brewery (Boston - Chelsea)

Mystic was a late addition to our brewery tour in Boston.  Expectations were zero, but this was easily our least-favorite of the day.  Tons of locals came in to buy take-away beers and it was clear that they were all after the NE IPAs that they are pumping out.  To me it seemed that they should just focus all of their capacity on those styles.

Report Card:  

Overall - C

Atmosphere - B

Quality of Beers - C

Variety of Beers - B

Comment:  There's a clear local neighbourhood following here with a clear demand for their IPAs and DIPAs that were tasty.  Other beers had "home brew" character and some significant flaws.

Must Try:  Voltage (IPA), Illegal Dance Moves (DIPA)

 

Riverwalk Brewing Co. (Newburyport, MA)

Newburyport has a few little breweries in town and Riverwalk seems to be the one that is growing the fastest.  Their new facility is almost comical since there is so much room to grow.  Looking forward to seeing how these guys develop in the coming years.  Clearly there is a local following that will improve the atmosphere in their high-ceilinged space.

Report Card:  

Overall - B

Atmosphere - B

Quality of Beers - B

Variety of Beers - A

Comment:  New location with loads of space and potential for expansion.  

Must Try:  Stormdoor (Porter), Citrabus (IPA)

Throwback Brewery (North Hampton, NH)

This was the only brewery in New Hampshire that we ventured to but it is a really cool, family-friendly farmhouse brewery complete with great food and animals to pet for the kids.  Beers weren't exceptional, but they did have a big variety.

Report Card:  

Overall - B

Atmosphere - A

Quality of Beers - C

Variety of Beers - B

Comment:  Really cool farmhouse brewery with excellent food.

Must Try:  Donkey-Hote (DIPA)

 

Brewery Silvaticus (Amesbury, MA)

This little gem was a pleasant surprise with a cool little high-ceilinged, brick location and some very nice beers.  We didn't try the full range, but they focus on Belgian farmhouse and German Lager styles.  They aren't distributing beer outside of their taproom in Amesbury, but I can tell that it won't be long for these guys to expand - the beers are solid and they aren't competing with all of the IPAs in town.

Report Card:  

Overall - A

Atmosphere - A

Quality of Beers - A

Variety of Beers - B

Comment:  Try the hot pretzels with sweet and spicy mustard.

Must Try:  Plebian (Berliner Weiss), Apropos (Saison), Sabotage (Saison)

 

--Mr. Jackson