Call me blessed (or spoiled) by beer for 2017. The towns of Sturbridge, Charlton, and Southbridge will offer not one, not two, but five different stops for you to taste hop infused madness. Why does this matter? I live in the middle of all of them…a few being within a 5 or 10 minute commute. Let’s take a quick look at what I’m referring too….shall we!
1 – Rapscallion Brewery – Sturbridge, MA (Owner Cedric Daniel making beer in the old Hyland Orchard Apple barn since 2013)
2 – TreeHouse Brewing Co – Charlton, MA (a new and much bigger location opening in mid-summer of 2017 with a current location in Monson, MA)
3 – Bentley Brewing Company – Southbridge, MA (as of this post, thier social media sites have limited updates and their twitter account lists another brewery called Lost Elm in nearby CT)
4 – Homefield Brewing – Sturbridge, MA (new place that just opened in 2016)
5 – Altruist Brewing Company -Sturbridge, MA (opening early 2017, was originally called Exit 9 Brewery)
Technically, there are six breweries but the Charlton Beer Company is a nano-brewery with an undisclosed location but growing fast. I met head brewer Nick D’agostino over a year ago at Rapscallions and you could tell he had a passion for brewing. I recently reached out to CBC to see if I could sample some of their libations, the reply was answered with, “…soon!”
In addition, there are a few breweries that fall outside a 20 minute drive from where I reside. Starting with Stone Cow Brewery in Barre MA, Kretschmann Brewery & Beer Garden in Webster MA, and The Spencer Brewery in Spencer, MA. The latter is beer made by monks and the town I grew up in for the first 25 years of my life. Spencer Brewery makes several awesome concoctions but the brewery is only open once or twice a year to the public.
Last but definitely not least are my good friends Shawn Rich and Chip Jarry from Bay State Brewing Co., both who reside locally, have a great assortment of frothy goodness but their product is contract brewed in Western MA. In a conversation with Chip, he mentioned he would like to create a small taproom in the area but that plan has yet to unfold.
Just an aside to all of above, located on Rt. 20 in Sturbridge MA, within throwing distance to most of the brewery establishments listed here, is one of the most coveted barbecue places in New England; BT’s Smokehouse! I will confirm, having been there many times, their food is just awesome!!! If you find yourself in the area, stop in at BT’s and reward yourself with some of the best pulled pork you will ever taste, and it is BYOBeer, which makes the visit even that much better. Guaranteed you will be back for another visit soon.
So it looks like my 2017 will be filled with many stops to get my beer geek face on. I will do my best to reach out to the people and places I visit to witness their love for making beer. I promise to share the journey right here…and I hope you enjoy them.
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Thanks for reading…