Central Massachusetts’ remarkable brewing culture didn’t unfold by accident. The region’s sterling reputation among beer aficionados can be pinpointed to a single weekend five years ago.
Location: 455 B Park Avenue, Worcester, MA
Hours: Thursday 4-9 p.m., Friday 3-10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Flagship: Pond Jumper
Flying Dreams may have inherited the original home of Wormtown Brewery, but they have built up a culture that is all their own. Their Mass style IPA, Pond Jumper, was brewed in honor of the first hole at Maple Hill Disc Golf Course where the players favor hazy juice bombs to refresh and invigorate.
Location: 72 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, MA
Hours: Opens at 12 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
Flagship: Be Hoppy
Wormtown Brewery was born in a small ice cream stand and has quickly grown into a 50,000-square-foot space on Shrewsbury Street. A “three-decker-attitude” and a mounting list of accolades render Wormtown a popular patio destination for patrons hoping to taste seasonal and underground offerings. Lines are rare and bar service is efficient. More than a dozen restaurants are located within walking distance.
Location: 120 Sturbridge Road, Charlton, MA
Hours: Wednesday 12-8 p.m. (cans only), Thursday and Friday 2-8 p.m. (cans only), Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Acute attention to craftsmanship and consistency have gained Tree House Brewery a dedicated cult following from all over the country. The brewery’s new facility in Charlton marks a physical departure from Tree House’s origins in a humble garage. Given Tree House’s rapid growth, the brewery’s quality and attention to detail. remain unbelievably intact. Food trucks frequent the property including Say Cheese to keep you well fed while you brave the inevitable lines.
Location: 195 Arnold Road, Sturbridge, MA
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 3-9 p.m., Thursday and Friday 3-10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m., Sunday 12-8 p.m.
Rapscallion is located in a 1940s apple barn surrounded by a 150 acre orchard. The brewery is both dog and family friendly, regularly hosting festivals and offering an on site food truck. Members of the mug club enjoy 20 ounce pours. Their flagship brew is made with local wildflower honey.
Location: 175 State Road East, Westminster, MA
Hours: Opens at 12 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Flagship: Country Pale Ale
Wachusett Brewing was founded by three college buddies in 1994 who delayed their careers in Engineering and Biology to pursue their passion for beer. Recognizing recently that they had taken a backseat in beer tourism to wunderkinds like Tree House, this summer Wachusett launched a brew yard to create a more welcoming atmosphere for visitors. The brew yard includes an Airstream bar and an enormous copper fire kettle. With the addition of the MBTA’s new Wachusett Station last year, Wachusett Brewing instituted a shuttle to transport visitors to the brew yard with no hassle.
Location: 55 Millbrook Street, Worcester, MA
Hours: Opening soon!
Flagship: Pulp – Imperial New England IPA
Greater Good Imperial Brewing is America’s first all-imperial brewing company, meaning that all of their ales and lagers range from 8%-14% alcohol by volume. From pillowy farmhouse ales to crisp German classics, Greater Good’s brews are dangerously drinkable.
Location: 4 Knowlton Ave (26 Cambridge Street by GPS)
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday 5-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12-10 p.m., Sunday 12-6 p.m.
Flagship: 3Cross offers a rotating, seasonal selection, but we’re partial to Whirlwind (named for Major Taylor)
The 3Cross name references a classic spoke lacing pattern for a bicycle. You’ll find cyclist culture woven throughout the industrial taproom where live entertainment and bike shorts are a near constant. You can bring your own food or take home a growler at your convenience.
Location: 111 Main Street, Hudson, MA
Hours: Monday to Thursday 3 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Friday to Sunday 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Flagship: Laser Cat (Now available in cans!)
Medusa’s eye catching 50-foot bar was constructed from salvaged steel and white oak. The full service Beer Hall allows guests to comfortably enjoy a range of American style ales along with European-inspired recipes.
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