What to do on a frigid afternoon hanging out in the Boston area? Go visit a couple of breweries and continue my Field Research Series (this research helps refine my appreciation for Vermont beers!).
Like Vermont, there has been an explosion in the number of new breweries opening up in Massachusetts. On this day, I travelled to the ‘burbs to try a couple: Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company in Framingham, Massachusetts and Castle Island Brewing Company in Norwood, Massachusetts.
Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company. Located in Framingham off of Rt. 135, you stumble on this brewery in a small commercial space set amidst a sea of aging apartment complexes. The entrance belies the cool interior that the Exhibit ‘A’ proprietors have set-up … the retail area has a window that looks in on the brewing operations, and there is a set of rooms available to hang out, drink their beer, and indulge in some snacks (I like the jerky!). The beer:
- Good Two Shoes. A Kolsch-stye ale (4.5% ABV). Light and crisp. Not generally a fan of this style, but yet this was appealing.
- The Cats Meow. An IPA (6.5% ABV). Pours with a cloudy-orange color … not too bitter.
- Hair Raiser. A double IPA (8% ABV) … hard to pin down the flavor of this bad boy.
- Demo Tape Fourteen. Light tasting with fruity after-tones (5.5% ABV).
Castle Island Brewing Company. This brewery being in Norwood, I’m not sure where the actual island (or castle is). Never-the-less, it’s quite the operation. Aside from the beer, they regularly welcome guest foods (today was cupcakes!) and put on yoga classes in the brew space.
Lots of picnic benches inside (away from the cold) where you can sip on the beers and one of their snacks. They have corn hole, foosball, and a bunch of board games to enjoy. The beer (sample of three):
- Good Morning Vietnam. A blonde ale with coffee, cinnamon and vanilla flavors. (5.5% ABV). Loved this beer!
- Dank Sinatra. A rye-based double IPA (8.2% ABV). Definitely could taste the rye … nice job!
- Hi-Def. A double IPA (8.4% ABV). Many varieties of hops go into this creation: Citra, Mosaic, and Idaho 7. Pours a bit dark … fine DIPA.
The Cicerone says: There is lots of choice when it comes to Boston-area breweries … but I still prefer the Vermont choices!