Updated: Dec 29, 2018
This is an archival copy of what was originally posted on Facebook.
Last night I played a Kickoff the Fall celebration at Down The Road Beer Co..in Everett, MA, which is a neighborhood just 4 miles north of downtown Boston. In addition to me providing music, the brewery also had Island Creek Oyster Bar providing a spread of seafood.
I'm not too familiar with Boston, but this area seems to have a long industrial history that is currently going through a sort of hip revitalization... trendy looking apartment buildings, hotels, etc under construction, etc., and Down the Road is part of that. The brewery is tucked away in an older looking industrial complex (old brink warehouses) that you enter through a narrow pot-hole riddled driveway tucked between two other buildings, to the point where you're not quite sure you're in the right place, and then you see the brewery's logo ahead of you (see photo below) and you know you have arrived.
Down the Road Beer Co. - Everett, MA (just north of Boston)
Brews are available on tap or in cans to go at the taproom.
So what's crazy is you then enter this old, rustic brick warehouse, and suddenly it's like you arrived in some sort of beer utopia. The inside has been beautifully done in lots of wood, one wall (pictured below) has a giant trippy mural framing about a dozen pinball machines, and the bar is long and decorative with a cool arrangement of lights hanging down from above. The main room is set up like a big beer hall, with a formal stage at the end of the room opposite the bar. The wall perpendicular to the stage on the right serves as a screen for a giant projection. Last night they had the NL playoffs on for a bit, later this month they will be showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show, along with a live cast. Very cool use of the space!
The beers... many breweries seem to be brewing down a somewhat specialized path, Down the Road is rather adventurous and hitting a pretty wide spectrum of brews. As the photo of their menu board illustrates, they have a pretty big and varied selection, ranging from the current standards, to old European traditional styles, to pretty interesting experimentation.
The first one I sampled before my set was the Puk Wudgie Session IPA (4.5%). True to the style, it was an easy drinking, very refreshing, well balanced brew that you could easily drink in mass quantity. This one, for a session, was particularly citrusy and smooth, which I liked quite a bit.
Next was the Seventh Star IPA (6.5%), which also had a perhaps less pronounced hint of citrus, less floral than you might expect, and I found it a little on the bitter side. Not terribly bitter, or even bitter in a bad way... but a bit of bitter nonetheless.
During my set I sipped the Wolfgeist Dunkel Lager (5.5%), which seemed appropriate for the season, pouring a deep dark brown with a thick tan head. A bit of chocolate and perhaps molasses, and a roasted almost nutty flavor. It was nicely carbonated and perhaps a little lighter in body that I expected considering the complexity of the flavors... but the body was something I got used to and came to suit it well.
My last brew of the night was from their "experimental" line, which consisted of interesting options like the Cherry/Lime sour from their "Dessert For Grown Ups" line... but I went with the Project Bread Banana Bread Ale (4.5) which was fantastic. This brew was made in partnership with Project Bread, which is a charity benefiting those in need of food in the region. The aroma of this brew was just heaven... banana with a sort of liquor edge... but then the way it hit the palette was a complete surprise. I would have expected a bit heavy and thicker carrying the banana, but instead it was very crisp and refreshing, with a light and fizzy level of carbonation (almost like a dry champagne) and the banana floating above a slightly sour base. It was quite complex, and a real treat to try.
Down The Road Beer Co.'s tap room is pretty new to the area, and should be bragged about and promoted as a new must-visit destination on the Boston scene. The brews are fantastic, with a variety that can satisfy any taste (and well), and the tap room is a awesome space that just screams of big fun. It's a great room for live music, the film events sound like a blast, and with all the pinball, board games, etc. I could see be entertained there all day. I highly recommend visiting this one, and tell everyone you know!
Special thanks to Andrew for being such a knowledgeable host and help throughout my visit. He made it easy and enjoyable.
Next stop, Revival Brewing Company in Rhode Island on Sunday....