Hanging around for the start of the Boston Marathon on a unusually snowy Sunday in April, I decided to head out to Springdale Barrel Room in Framingham, Massachusetts. Springdale sits abreast and atop it’s cousin, the more well-known Jack’s Abbey brewery. If you’re not into the many lagers of Jack’s Abbey, then Springdale is perfect with its array of IPAs and sours.
Springdale has a huge space for both tastings and events. On that snowy day, there was a community arts exhibit/sale going on … lots of families with children (odd for a place that primarily serves beer).
There was quite a long queue to get samples ($2.50 each for a 2 oz. pour … flights of four), but my companion and I endured. Here’s what we found:
But I Digress IPA (6.0% ABV). Very hoppy with a little bite. Fantastic mouth feel … thick! Makes sense with all the Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra hops.
Appearance: 5.0 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 5.0 | Taste: 4.7 | Overall: 4.7
Pearly Wit Witbier (4.8% ABV). Golden yellow color; sour overtones. With the appearance and aroma, I was hoping for more, but felt let down by the lack of flavors.
Appearance: 4.5 | Aroma: 4.4 | Feel: 4.0 | Taste: 3.5 | Overall: 3.75
Yawp Pale Ale (6.0% ABV). A blend of five different hops … very bitter.
Appearance: 4.0 | Aroma: 3.5 | Feel: 4.0 | Taste: 4.0 | Overall: 4.25
Melanges De Mures (6.0% ABV). Aged with Marionberries(?) in wine barrels for six months. Awesome purple/violet color … loved this beer.
Appearance: 4.8 | Aroma: 5.0 | Feel: 4.8 | Taste: 4.5 | Overall: 4.5
So Anyway IPA (7.0% ABV). Pretty good IPA … brewed with Comet, Denali and Eureka hops.
Appearance: 4.5 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.5 | Taste: 4.5 | Overall: 4.5
Proper Daft British Pale Ale (4.0% ABV). This beer is served with a hand pump … go figure. Is this really the way the British like their pale ale? Interesting coffee overtones; however, my overall impression was that the beer tasted flat, i.e., no bite at all.
Appearance: 4.8 | Aroma: 4.7 | Feel: 3.0 | Taste: 3.0 | Overall: 3.25
Between the Clouds Pale Ale (5.5% ABV). A mix of Belgian yeast and German hops … good drinkable ale.
Appearance: 4.0 | Aroma: 4.0 | Feel: 4.0 | Taste: 4.25 | Overall: 4.25
Parcha (6.4% ABV). The winner in my book by a mile. This sour is aged in barrels with passion fruit juice … great aromas and taste!
Appearance: 4.0 | Aroma: 4.25 | Feel: 4.5 | Taste: 4.5 | Overall: 4.5
Terroirdome (7.6% ABV). Aged in barrels with locally-grown Chambourcin grapes … interesting tastes.
Appearance: 4.25 | Aroma: 4.25 | Feel: 4.0 | Taste: 4.25 | Overall: 4.25
Apriculture (7.5% ABV). A sour that is aged in barrels for 18 months with apricot. Fruity aromas (no surprise!) … this is on my list of beers to drink in the summer.
Appearance: 4.0 | Aroma: 4.0 | Feel: 4.25 | Taste: 4.5 | Overall: 4.4
Ghost Species (6.0% ABV). Another great sour, this time with coffee undertones.
Appearance: 4.8 | Aroma: 4.5 | Feel: 4.4 | Taste: 4.7 | Overall: 4.6
The Cicerone says: You can see the huge variety of ales and sours offered up by Springdale … combined with the large space, this is a great brewery to host an event and experience a wide range of flavors.