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In Defense of Local Brews

April 27, 2010

I’d like to take a minute to talk about the importance of being adventurous, at least when it comes to beer. Too few people seem to realize that here in Massachusetts, we are literally surrounded by great local breweries, run by people who are dedicated to discovering (or rediscovering) what makes great beer. Breweries like the Berkshire Brewing Company in South Deerfield, Pretty Things in Cambridge, and the Blue Hills Brewery in Canton, among many others, consistently produce innovative and great-tasting beers that challenge people to reconsider what beer can be.

It’s understandable, that when confronted with a wide selection of craft beer, it is usually easier to just grab a six-pack of some bland, widely advertised brand, especially when it is a little cheaper. What I’m recommending is this: take a chance. Try some of those obscure beers from the local brewery you’ve never heard of, you may be surprised. Discovering for yourself what you like and dislike when it comes to craft beer is part of the fun, and you may find that some of your favorite beers were right under your nose all along. For beginners in the craft beer scene, I’d suggest trying B.B.C’s Steel Rail Ale or Gold Spike Ale, or the Blue Hills Brewery’s Munich Lager, all of which are relatively sweet and easily drinkable. For more adventurous types, Pretty Things offers a wide variety of  beers that play on old beer styles such as the Belgian saison, but from a new and unique perspective. These are merely a few examples of what is available in the wider world of craft beer.

The important thing to remember is that brewing can be a tough business, and it is very difficult for small local breweries to break into a market dominated by giant, corporate brands. Local brewers work hard to craft exceptional beers that are meant to remind us what is great about beer (and perhaps more importantly, what is possible with it), and they want nothing more than to share the end result with you. I, for one, think that’s worth saluting. Besides, if it weren’t for enterprising local brewers stepping up to the plate, then Bud Light Lime would be seen as the pinnacle of American beer innovation. I can think of few things more terrifying.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Catie permalink
    April 29, 2010 2:43 pm

    Amen to that! My new fav is Stone Cat, Hefeweizen………Love local brews!!!!!

  2. Tom Ellis permalink
    June 25, 2010 11:05 am

    great post but surprised no mention of the brewery in Haverhill. I think some of their beers are quite impressive.

    • Deron Zambruno permalink
      June 25, 2010 9:39 pm

      You’re right, I really like their Leatherlips IPA and their Gestalt Brown Ale. There are a lot of great brewers in the area and I couldn’t really list them all, I really just wanted to encourage people to explore.

  3. Tom Ellis permalink
    June 26, 2010 6:05 am

    You were indeed successful at encouraging to folks to explore breweries. Still a great post.

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