Field Research: Turtle Swamp Brewing

Thanksgiving found the Cicerone in the Boston area this year, and he decided to do a little more field research … this time is was at Turtle Swamp Brewing in Jamaica Plain (Boston). In the old days (circa 1900), this part of Boston featured 24 breweries. Then Prohibition hit, and by the year 2000, only Samuel Adams had an operation in JP.

Turtle Swamp opened its brewery in May of 2017 and they have gradually increased their following. I met one of the founders, John, who gave me a quick tour around the operation before the holiday crowd started drifting in. The tap room has some great spaces for revelers to hang out, including an upstairs loft.

After the tour, my partner and I shuffled up to the bar to try what was on tap. We were offered a few samples, before we each settled on a favorite and ordered a full pour.

Here is what we found:

November 28, 2018 - Sample from Turtle Swamp Brewing in Boston, Massachusetts

Fine (3.6% ABV) A sour beer made with hibiscus. An easy-drinking sour and looks great in the glass.
Appearance: 4.7 | Aroma: 4.4 | Feel: 4.4| Taste: 4.6 | Overall: 4.5

Monument (9.0% ABV) A double IPA with strong, hoppy flavors.
Appearance: 4.6 | Aroma: 4.4 | Feel: 4.3| Taste: 4.6 | Overall: 4.5

Orange Line (7.75% ABV) The brewery’s best selling beer … “flies out of the joint”. By the hoppy sweetness you would swear it had some kind of citrus added … but not so! I ordered a pint of this after the samples.
Appearance: 4.5 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.3| Taste: 4.7 | Overall: 4.6

All Ears (4.7% ABV) A light golden ale, bittered with Cascade hops.
Appearance: 4.4 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.4| Taste: 4.6 | Overall: 4.5

The Cicerone says: I loved the beers at Turtle Swamp. Overall, the ones we sampled tasted rich and fresh. Also, to settle your hunger after drinking, right around the corner is Santias, a Dominican bakery that serves up empanadas straight from the oven … yummm!

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