If you need a break from the IPAs of Burlington, Queen City Brewery gives the traditional styles from Europe a run for their Euros.
Located directly across the street from Zero Gravity Brewery, Queen City takes you on a tour of Europe all in one flight. First stop is Germany. The German beer lover that I am, needed to try a couple, of course. The South End Lager, or Helles, was a light bodied smooth lager with a crisp finish. My favorite, though, had to be the Hefeweizen. A traditional banana-clove taste with a hazy body. Traditional flavor done right.
Now I did say if you wanted a break from IPAs to try out Queen City, but Argument IPA isn't your typical American IPA, it's English. The best way to describe it would be an IPA for the non-IPA drinker. The caramel color lends to more of a malt and bitter taste than an IPA. Finally, the Bushwick Lager takes it all back to America. This smooth lager gives a nice nutty finish.
I absolutely loved the open U-shape bar concept allowing people to talk across the bar as well as to the people next to them. If you're not a social butterfly, they have smaller tables outside and on the side of the bar but Europeans love to make new friends while they down their beers, which is exactly how I am. Beer friends are the best friends.
I'm telling you, make some time to check out Queen City Brewery if you're in the Burlington area.
I have seen Medusa Brewing Company at various brew fests and had been planning to visit the brewery for at least a year now. Finally I made it down to the motherland to see where it all happens and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.
Just the feel of this place feels cool. Dimmed lights and chill vibe, but the beers are where it’s at.
The Mesmerit definitely had me under it’s spell. This IPL burst with so much citrus flavor that I could drink this for days. The Solo Galaxy, a Single Hopped Pale Ale, was made with Australian Galaxy hops which gives this beer a nice passionfruit flavor. Citra Legacy, as the name suggests, was a citrus-filled Rye IPA, which was very light bodied and full of flavor. Finally, Ruction was a slight change in the citrus filled flight. With a more piney and darker color, this IPA was the perfect finishing piece with just the right amount of bitter taste.
The only disappointment was that they didn’t have Lazer Cats on tap, which is my favorite. The taproom itself is much larger than I was expecting. There’s a huge bar that runs down the inside with tables upon tables throughout it. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to stay all day. It’s BYOF so stop around town and grab some food to bring before you head in. Time it right and you’ll catch some live music as well. I definitely can’t wait to visit again!
Zero Gravity Brewing, in Burlington, VT, is just as beautiful as the rest of Burlington. The taproom opens up to a large, gorgeous wooden deck out front. Inside, the taproom is very spacious and polished and even had a shuffleboard to play, which you don’t find in many breweries.
I have to say, I loved every single beer that I had here. Wilson’s Plover, the Saison, was full of orange peel flavor and and a light-straw haze look. This has to be one of the best Saisons I’ve ever had. Little Wolf, the Pale Ale, had a mixture of Mosaic and Citra hops giving it a citrus flavor and aroma. Very light and smooth beer making for a solid Pale Ale.
I’m not normally a fan of sour beers, but the Strawberry Moon was actually really good. The sour taste wasn’t too strong but it had a great strawberry flavor to it. Finally, Cone Head, which made me automatically picture Dan Aykroyd’s Conehead sipping on a beer, was a tame, hoppy IPA. This light, citrus-y IPA is perfect for the non-IPA drinker as well.
If you’re in the Burlington area or looking for a fun trip, make sure to stop by Zero Gravity Brewery. It’s located on the best beer street in Vermont as there’s 4 breweries (Zero Gravity, Queen City, Switchback, and Citizen Cider) within walking distance of each other.
I’ve heard about Foam Brewers being the next big thing since they opened a year ago. So when I was planning my trip to Vermont, I knew this had to be one of my first stops. It absolutely exceeded all of my expectations.
Located right along Lake Champlain, just the location alone is perfect. With a decent size taproom and an outside area out front, this place is perfect to grab a couple beers with some friends.
The best part, though, is the beer. Ka-Bloom, like the name suggests, is bursting with flavor. The passion fruit and citrus of this Session IPA was so light, sweet and refreshing. Perfect beer for the summer. With a tap list mostly of DIPAs, of course I had to try all of them. My favorite had to be Rated R. Very appropriate name as it makes you say “fuck, that’s good”. The mango and pineapple make this beer so juicy and smooth. Experimental Jet Set, like the Rated R, was full of tropical flavor. Ugly Casanova was more like a creamsicle while Manteca had that bitter pineapple taste. Needless to say, these juice bombs are some of the best.
If that doesn’t make you believe that these beers are killer, the line for growlers will make you believe. Especially the guy getting 15 growlers to bring home. Yes, it’s THAT good. So excited that they’ll start canning in a couple weeks just in time for my next trip.
Ever since Castle Island opened up their new taproom, I’ve been dying to head down to visit it. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
First thing I noticed when I walked in was the big projector screen on the wall playing the Mighty Ducks. Did someone tip them off that I was coming or something? One of my favorite movies of all time.
Castle Island has some of the best beers around, in my opinion. Ever since having Big Ern at a beer fest, I’ve been dying for more. This DIPA is full of body and flavor.
My favorite though had to be the Mosaic Hopped Candlepin. This session Ale is taken to the next level of the original with this dry hop. It gives it a more citrus taste. Perfect beer that I could drink forever or until my liver gave out. Swipe Ripe, another DIPA had more of an apricot and melon taste to it that mellowed out the strong DIPA taste. Not quite Big Ern, but good nonetheless.
The beertender we had was amazing. Anything I wanted to try he was there. Though they do not offer flights, you can sample anything and everything before grabbing your beers. The open space overlooks the brewhouse so you can sit and actually see the brewery process in action.
Castle Island Brewing Company 31 Astor Ave Norwood, MA
You would never expect a high quality brewery to be in the middle of a market and ice cream shop, but that’s exactly where you’ll find Start Line Brewery in Hopkinton, MA.
Start Line’s beers, to me, are some of the most high quality beers around. The Hazelnut Cold Brew tastes like something that I could drink for breakfast instead of coffee. The smooth hazelnut flavors remind me of a Guinness but with much more flavor. Honestly, if I could get away with bringing this to work as coffee, I’d probably survive my job much better anyways. Drunk me is always a more productive and happy me , so who would argue against that.
The Honey Pale Ale was just that. A Pale Ale that’s bite was calmed by the honey flavor. Very drinkable with a much more honey subdued taste. The Hop Load IPA bursted with grapefruit, papaya and citrus. The sequel, the Hop Load Citra was actually a calmer taste that the original. Both very good and drinkable for the summer.
For a brewery with flavors and beers like these, i hope to see this brewery expand a lot more and have a space of their own. And I definitely can’t wait til they reach a place where they can distribute as I NEED that Hazelnut Cold Brew Stout.
Start Line Brewery 151R Hayden Rowe St Hopkinton, MA
Yes, I’ll admit, a brewery named Wormtown isn’t the most appealing in the world but let me tell you, the beers definitely are.
Wormtown Brewery in Worcester is the definitely the place to be. With a little patio outside where you can play giant Jenga. The inside is a small but great tap room with a number of great beers on tap.
For the longest time, the only beer I knew from Wormtown was Be Hoppy. But let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be hoppy? Perfect name for a beer. With the right amount of hops, this IPA is very drinkable and has a slight citrus taste.
My favorite had to be the Cougar Blonde Ale. Yes, partly for the name as I consider myself a part time cougar even though my man is less that a year younger than me. Still counts right? This smooth blonde ale had a melon flavor with a hazy smoothness like no other. The hefe, Warthog Wheat, was a traditional banana and clove flavor with a very hazy body. Great hefe none-the less. Finally the Birthday #7 was a Blonde Ale with a little hop to it. This light beer was very drinkable with just the right amount of hops.
The only thing disappointing about this place was the balls missing from the Hungry Hungry Hippo game that made me almost leap out of my seat when I saw it. Guess they really were hungry…