Dining » Highlights » Vol. 57

Check out Central Mass’s local (beer) flavors

Check out Central Mass’s local (beer) flavors.

Wormtown Brewing Co. T
72 Shrewsbury St., Worcester
Wormtown offers four year-round brews, including the renowned Be Hoppy IPA. The brewery also has four seasonal beers and an underground series. Wormtown proudly use local ingredients, and its beers can be found on tap in hundreds of bars across Massachusetts.

Flying Dreams Brewing
455 Park Ave., Worcester
Flying Dreams can be found at several local establishments. It boasts five beers over 8% ABV, including the delicious Belzacca, a Double IPA with smooth malt, punchy hop and tropical fruit flavor notes.

3cross Brewing Co. M
26 Cambridge St., Worcester
3cross has a great mix of beers that it offers in tasters, full pours and growlers. There is also house-made kombucha and soda. In addition to providing some of the area’s best local music entertainment, 3cross allows you to bring in food to eat along with its brews.

Stone Cow Brewery M F
500 West St., Barre
Instead of farm-to-table, this is a farm-to-glass brewery that is on Carter & Stevens Farm. The farm opens for the season in April and offers delicious food. The brewery offers tastings, pints and growlers, as well as live music. Our favorite beer: Cows Out Milk Stout.

Nashoba Valley Winery & Brewery T F
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton
You may not have realized that this winery, famous for its delicious fruit wines, has an alter ego called Bolton Beer Works. Ingredients are grown on site, and with more than a dozen beers to choose from, you really can’t go wrong. We recommend the Wattaquadock Wheat for traditionalists and the Rhodium, which fuses beer and wine together, for the adventurous.

Tree House Brewing Co.
160 East Hill Road, Monson
Tree House has hit true status, selling out of its beers quickly due to their popularity and taste. With a focus on true freshness, the beer is only available on tap and as draught cans at its location. The availability and buy limits change constantly. Always check the website before visiting. We love the Haze and the Julius.

River Styx Brewing
166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg
We are patiently waiting for this new 100-seat taproom to open this summer, but while we do, start getting your palette ready for the Poseidon Double Trident.

Jack’s Abby T F
100 Clinton St., Framingham
Jack’s Abby brews lagers and only lagers, the most well-known being the Hoponius Union and the Smoke & Dagger. Using local ingredients and traditional German brewing standards, the company strives to create distinctive brews.

John Harvard’s Brew House F
1 Worcester Road (Route 9), Framingham
This fully functioning restaurant/brewery is a favorite stop for locals and travelers alike, offering delicious American fare such as burgers, steaks and our favorite, the Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. The award-winning beers, such as the Oktoberfest and Nut Brown Ale (both of which took home a gold medal), are must-trys.

Exhibit A Brewing
81 Morton St., Framingham
Exhibit A offers its signature “Demo Tape” beers, what the brewery calls its test batches. Exhibit A doesn’t make food itself; however, it does have food trucks come in on weekends. The brewery can be booked for private events, too.

Moon Hill Brewing (Gardner Ale House) M F
74 Parker St., Gardner
(978) 669-0122
The brewery offers at least six distinctive, house-made brews at all times and continues to develop new recipes. There is tons of musical entertainment and a full menu. Themed nights throughout the week include Blue Monday (blues music), Italian Tuesday and Prime Rib Wednesday. There is also a live jazz lunch buffet on Saturdays.

Harvard Cider Company
325 Ayer Road, Harvard
If you like a break from the hops from time to time, or just want something sweet, tart and refreshing, cider is the perfect drink. Harvard Cider is moving to Boston this year, but it will be worth the trip for its amazing Paradise cider, which is steeped with orange peel. If you can’t make it out, many local stores carry Harvard Cider products.

Medusa Brewing Co.
111 Main St., Hudson
Medusa offers tasters and pours, as well as growlers. The brewers are able to get intense flavors in their beers, and Medusa boasts brews in almost every style, including the Varlet (a sour) and our favorite, Involontaire, which has notes of raisin and toffee. Medusa recently donated more than $7,000 to a veterans’ home, too.

Craft Roots Brewing
4 Industrial Road, Milford
Opening soon is the Craft Roots Brewing taproom in Milford. The brewery has seven beers which have sold well, our recommendation being the Red IPA. Before the taproom opens, try the beers out at Depot St. Tavern or pick up some at Hickey’s Wine & Spirits. These brewers believe strongly in using locally sourced ingredients for the beers.

Bentley Brewing Co.
12 Crane St., Southbridge
This brewery resides in an old factory, which gives it a great industrial feel. There is a rotating selection in the tasting room. If you’re palette is pronounced and you’re a fan of sour beers, Bentley Brewing’s Farmhand is a great choice.

Spencer Brewery
167 North Spencer Road, Spencer
America’s first Trappist brewery (yes, monks in an abbey make this beer), Spencer Brewing has succeeded at making classic ales and craft beers. The Trappist Ale is honestly one of the best beers on the market. Unfiltered, it has notes of fruit and light hops. As is tradition, the proceeds from these beers are used to help others in need.

Rapscallion Brewing Co. T, M
195 Arnold Road, Sturbridge
With this brewery in Sturbridge and a restaurant and taproom in Acton, Rapscallion is causing people to take notice. The flagship beer, Honey, is brewed with local wildflower honey, but isn’t too sweet. There are free tours on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., and becoming a member of the Mug Club allows for discounts at Rapscallion locations.

Homefield Brewing M, F
3 Arnold Road, Sturbridge (Fiskdale)
With farm-to-table food and farm-to-glass beers – along with other drink choices like wine, cider and sodas – Homefield has the slogan “A taste of Massachusetts in every glass.” Homefield offer six beers, simply named Homefield 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The company has collaborated with several other breweries, but the brews are all Homefield’s own.

Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company
Sturbridge (brewing under contract in Connecticut)
Greater Good brews only imperials that range from 8%-14% ABV. It currently has five beer offerings: a five-hopped IPA, a farmhouse ale, a cherry sour, a milk porter and an American IPA. These can be purchased at 20 locations in and around Worcester, including The Fix burger bar.

Kretschmann Brewing Co. M
9 Frederick St., Webster
KBC’s community-style taproom offers an interactive Surface table. You can bring your own food in to enjoy with the beers and take in some local music. Ingredients are locally sourced from farms in the area, and there’s an outdoor beer garden for the warmer months. We recommend the Hefeweizen, an award-winning wheat with banana and clove notes.

Cold Harbor Brewing
108 Milk St., Westborough
This draft-only brewery loves to experiment with taking beers to the next level. In addition to the taproom, you can find Cold Harbor beers at several Worcester establishments, including Via, The Hangover Pub and The Muse. These beers offer great flavor, so try Salty Kay’s Peaches (gose) and the Hot Smoke (porter).

Wachusett Brewing Co. T
175 State Road E., Westminster
Wachusett has definitely made a name for itself with its widely loved Blueberry Ale, but it offers so many other options we insist you try. The Green Monsta IPA is another great year-round brew, and the brewery’s autumn seasonals, like the Imperial Pumpkin and the Octoberfest, are top-notch.

T – Tours
M – Music
F – Food

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