Take a Taste-Filled Tour
- Visit North Central
- Posted on October 27, 2021
When it’s time to relax and raise a glass to the joy of a great vacation, the end of a work week, or just an enjoyable moment with friends, what’s your pleasure? A dry red wine with a rich bouquet of berry and plum? A toasty Winter Ale hinting of malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla to warm you on a cold winter night? A fresh semi-sweet hard cider made right at the farm?
Whatever your preference, you can find the taste you crave right here in North Central Massachusetts! Yes, this region — long known for the bounty of its farms and orchards — has become home to a host of wineries, breweries and cider barns crafting an array of fine adult beverages, many of them based on locally-grown produce.
And while you can find them at area shops and restaurants, you can also check out many of them right at the source! Take a brewery tour, enjoy a wine tasting, sip a fresh cider on a sunny farm porch to find a favorite you’ll want to take home.
Bolton Beer Works
With its home at the Nashoba Valley Winery’s farm, these brewers are not only producing a locally crafted beer but supporting Massachusetts agriculture, too. Every beer produced here is made with 20% malt from a Massachusetts-based business.
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton
Boltonbeerworks.com | 978-779-5521
Bull Spit Brewing Co.
Don’t let the name put you off. These are serious brewers with beers crafted from only the freshest of ingredients, taking you back in time to a simpler life of living off the land.
Bullspitbrewing.com | 978-706-1479
Moon Hill at Gardner Ale House
Moon Hill Brewing Co. is housed in Gardner Ale House, a popular local restaurant. Whether your tastes run to a lager, India session ale, German pilsner or a sturdy Earthshake Imperial/Double (8% ABV), you’re sure to find something you liken here.
74 Parker Street, Gardner
River Styx Brewing
Like other craft breweries, River Styx — planted in the middle of Fitchburg’s downtown — offers a constantly-changing line-up, from Phosphorus God of the Morning stout to Morpheus Sour Patch Watermelon Ale and Proteus 14, a New England IPA.
166 Boulder Drive, Fitchburg
Riverstyxbrewing.com | 978-407-6014
Stone Cow Brewery
Stone Cow Brewery is located at the 1,000-acre Carter & Stevens Farm — a fifth-generation dairy farm.
500 (B) West Street, Barre
Stonecowbrewery.com | 978-257-8600
Wachusett Brewing Co.
New Englanders love Wachusett’s Wally and Green Monsta IPA brews— with their references to the hometown team — and the company’s Blueberry Ale evokes thoughts of summer days. Take a seat in the Brew Yard and relax!
175 State Road East, Westminster
Wachusettbrew.com | 978-874-9965
Thirsty Robot Brewing Co.
Our focus is on aroma-packed and flavor-driven beers, with an emphasis on New England IPAs. We will also offer barrel-aged sours and special releases while paying homage to traditional styles . We brew a variety of one-off batches that allow us to pursue our various whims. We won’t shy away from the funk or twists on traditional styles while highlighting unique ingredients.
265 Summer Street, Fitchburg
thirstyrobotbrewing.com | 978-895-5931
The Cider Barn Taproom at Carlson Orchards
The Cider Barn Taproom at Carlson Orchards in Harvard has a host of hard ciders for you to try, from Shapley’s Gala (made with Carlson’s Gala apples) to Shandy Stand, a union of Carlson’s flagship Oak Hill Blend hard cider and its gourmet lemonade.
115 Oak Hill Road, Harvard
Carlsonorchards.com | 800-286-3916
Moon Hill Brew Barn & Cidery
Red Apple Farm in Phillipston and Gardner’s Moon Hill Brewing have teamed up to produce cider, and the Cidery Tap Room pours out the team’s own Hard Cider in traditional and seasonal flavors (as well as non-alcoholic drink options) from Memorial Day weekend through the end of the fall pick-your-own season.
Red Apple Farm
455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston
Redapplefarm.com | 800-628-4851
Hillside Cellars at Kalon Farm
Owner Keith Kopley imports some grapes and grows others to produce these small-batch products.
28 Corey Hill Road, Ashburnham
Hardwick Vineyard and Winery
Hardwick’s wines bear names reflecting its history and location, from Yankee Girl Blush to Massetts. Cranberry, Bay State Blueberry, and Quabbin Native.
3305 Greenwich Road, Hardwick
Hardwickwinery.com | 413-967-7763
Home Fruit Wine in Orange
This small producer creates fruit-based wines like Strawberry Peach, Blueberry Sunrise, and Caramel Apple.
382 S Main Sreet, Orange
Homefruitwine.com | 978-633-4395
Nashoba Valley Winery
This is a beautiful setting to find familiar wines like Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Merlot— but try something a bit more “New England-y”, like the Strawberry Rhubarb Wine. Reservations are required for tastings.
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton
Nashobawinery.com | 978-779-5521