New breweries have been popping up all over the place in recent years as interest in craft beer spreads at a frenzied pace. For many novice beer drinkers, there’s a desire to try new stuff, but often the comfort of sticking with the established breweries wins out.
So, to make it easier for you to venture out of the norm, we came up with a list of great local beers that you may not have heard of. Some are my personal favorites, while others come as popular suggestions from some of my most beer-savvy friends on Twitter.
Framinghammer Baltic Porter
Jack’s Abby Brewing was formally founded in January, 2011 by three brothers – who conveniently happen to own a hops farm in Vermont as well. Their up-coming winter seasonal, the Framinghammer Baltic Porter is, as they describe it, a “big, bold, and black” lager style with similarities to Imperial Stouts – ABV 10%. If those sound too intimidating, don’t worry. Their year-round Jabby Brau is a a nice light Session Lager that’s smooth and balanced with very low bitterness and ABV 4.5%.
Wormtown Brewery opened on St. Patrick’s Day, 2010. They have laid claim to being the first and ONLY brewery to use Massachusetts grown ingredients in EVERY beer they make. Their Wintah Seasonal is a medium-bodied American Brown Ale with a nice malty kick and an aftertaste of roasty cocoa. 6% ABV
Idle Hands Craft Ales
Idle Hands was founded in 2010 by husband-and-wife combo Christopher and Grace Tkach. Their flagship beer is a medium-bodied Belgian Pale Ale / IPA with flavors of citrus & grapefruit, light toast and hints of white pepper and allspice. ABV: 6.0%
Night Shift Brewing
Taza Chocolate Stout
Night Shift was founded in 2011 by three friends living in a Somerville apartment and launched in 2012. Their Taza Chocolate Stout is a brew that is packed with a light, but creamy, buttery, and chocolatey goodness – with a hint of ginger spice. Also, in case you couldn’t guess, it’s made with Somerville’s finest – Taza Chocolate. 6.3% ABV.
Founded in an Allston Apartment
Founder and brewer Helder Pimentel grew up in Taunton and started messing around with brewing while living in Allston. Backlash doesn’t have a permanent home at this point. Pimentel has collaborated with Night Shift to create OnceMade Beer, but we’ll save that one for a different post. Backlash’s Groundswell is a crisp and refreshing Belgian Style Blond Ale. ABV: 6.4%
Attic and Eaves
Caitlin Jewell and Jeff Leiter studied up and messed around with homebrewing for more than a decade before launching in 2011. They’re based in Somerville, but brew out of Mercury Brewing Company in Ipswich. They just debuted a brand new late-autumn seasonal brew Attic and Eaves. It’s a brown ale with a nice strong toasted malt flavor. ABV 7.5%. They also make a fantastic not-quite-as strong porter — appropriately named Porter Square Porter.
As mentioned, the list of great beers is growing. Along with a few of the brews listed above, our friends “the Twitter experts” suggested the following awesome breweries that we have featured in the past:
Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, Somerville
Blue Hills Brewery, Canton
Fisherman’s (Cape Ann Brewing Co.), Gloucester
Mayflower Brewing Co., Plymouth
Ipswich (Mercury Brewing), Ipswich
And in case you didn’t notice, we limited the list to Mass. brews. Here are some other great New England beers worth trying if you haven’t already:
Allagash Brewing Co., Portland, Maine
Rising Tide Brewing Co., Portland, Maine
Baxter Brewing Co, Lewiston, Maine
The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont
White Birch Brewing, Hooksett, New Hampshire
Tuckerman Brewing Co., Conway, New Hampshire
Newport Storm, Newport, Rhode Island
And finally, two Mass. breweries that are on our radar for the next edition:
Cody Brewing Co., Amesbury
The Tap Brewing Co (formerly Haverhill Brewing Co.), Haverhill
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