By Sandi Barrett, Contributing Writer
What is your craft beer weakness? Do you love a crisp and hoppy India pale ale (IPA)? Do you crave a dark and coffee infused stout? Or are you a fan on the hip, fruity sours? Whatever your craft brew hearts’ desire, you will find great options right here in Central Massachusetts. You can sample some of the most flavorful artisan craft brews at local taprooms and outdoor beer gardens ready and waiting for you to enjoy a great night out with good friends.
With two of RateBeer’s 100 Best Brewers In The World for the Year 2020 located in Central Massachusetts, it is time to head out to your local brew yard and enjoy some fresh and tasty beers on tap.
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We have assembled a few of our favorite Central Massachusetts brewery options for you to explore. There is surely a wonderful brewing company close to you. The breweries listed below are in no particular order and represent a sampling of the wonderful craft brew artisans across Central Massachusetts.
Tree House Brewing Company, Charlton
The award-winning brewer voted #5 on RateBeer’s Best Brewers in the World 2020 list, Tree House Brewing Company has a devoted fan base. The gorgeous craft brews that rise out of the Charlton brewery are consistently tasty and brought to life by expert craftsmanship.
Try the Peanut Butter & Coconut Quad Shot, a rich Imperial Stout that will tickle your taste buds with this unique and fabulous combination. Of course, their showstopper IPA, Julius, is a force unto itself and has stood the taste test of time.
Beer lovers as far away as New York stand in line to grab a trunk full of Tree House cases. The line moves fairly quickly while allowing you plenty of time to consider your beer choices. Alternatively, you can grab a seat on the patio and take in the hillside views and a draft while your order is filled.
Jack’s Abby, Framingham
Another World Class Brewer, Jack’s Abby, ranked number 39 in the World on RateBeer’s 2020 top 100. Their fun outdoor beer garden and the casual indoor beer hall are the perfect spot to meet up for an evening with friends. Stop for lunch with the entire gang for casual, family-friendly dining.
Explore Jack’s crisp lagers like the Hoponius Union India Pale Lager and the Shipping Out Of Boston Amber Lager. Alternatively, tuck into a hearty dessert beer like the Cinnamon Roll Barrel-Aged Framinghammer, it will satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. This is what craft beer is meant to be, unique, interesting, and sometimes a little over the top.
Wormtown Brewery, Worcester
Wormtown Brewery is not your average brewery. With it’s hip industrial, downtown vibe and busy Shrewsbury Street location, you will happily fall into beer lovers heaven when you stop in for a pint. Want to stay for dinner — no problem — Volturno’s next door offers its full menu delivered while you relax in the beer garden.
Their very popular, super hoppy, Be Hoppy IPA sports a smiley face label that screams Don’t Worry, Be Happy! Wormtown loves to play with crafty beers and labels. You definitely need to check out the local “inside joke” brews like the American Lager Mass Whole and the Brown Ale Blizzard of ’78. Specialty brews like The Table Talk Pumpkin Pie Ale and Chocolate Pecan Pie Ale are perfect dessert beers.
Wachusett Brewing Company, Westminster
Since 1994, when the craft brewing scene was becoming a viable business enterprise, the Wachusett Brewing Company became a thing. And the folks in Central Massachusetts will be forever grateful. Now one of the largest in the area, they are continually crafting amazing brews for their guests.
Wachusett’s signature brew, Wally, is a Hazy and Juicy New England IPA and delicious fresh from the tap. The seasonal Boo-Yeah Pumpkin Spice Ale is perfect for chilly autumn nights sitting around the fire with great friends. The limited edition Bonspiel is an Imperial Maple Stout that is sweet enough to be considered a dessert treat.
Flying Dreams Brewing Company, Marlborough
Flying Dreams Brewing Co. has recently relocated their taproom to Marlborough, which is fabulous news for anyone in the area. Their Worcester brewery is in full swing cranking out tasty beers but is not open to the public at this time. Head on over to their fun and funky new digs and sample a pint.
The Cold Brew Coffee Stout stands up to its name with bold flavors and a beautiful coffee back note. The Pond Jumper IPA is a classic, refreshing, and fruity brew. For the sour drinker, the Hop Tart is a limited edition Sour Ale that is perfect for a hot summer, refreshing libation.
Craft Beer Tours
Sampling the amazing New England craft beers on tap is a great way to get to know a particular area. When you are heading into Boston try the Sip of Boston Guided Brewery Tour, where you will explore some well known breweries along with a few up and coming artisans. It’s a fun way to explore Boston’s taprooms.