Taste on Tap

  • David Ginisi

Taste on Tap

Did you know there are more than 150 craft breweries in Massachusetts — and that a healthy handful of them are right here in the North Central region? While you’re following the Johnny Appleseed Trail, you’re sure to enjoy a little trip (or two) along this “beer trail” to discover some tasty brews and enjoy the countryside. The actual number of Bay State breweries is growing constantly, so you’re never far from the home of a lovingly-crafted glass of golden goodness.

Stone Cow Brewery at Carter Stevens Farm

500 (B) West St., Barre


Stone Cow Brewery is located at the 1,000 acre Carter & Stevens Farm — a fifth-generation dairy farm. In addition to being a passion project born of a love for craft beer, the brewery is an effort to sustain the farm for many generations to come. How about a Roll in the Hay IPA? Or a double India pale ale? Or a dark Cows Out Milk Stout, with “aromas of coffee liqueur and dark fruits… followed by flavors of milk and bittersweet baker’s chocolate as well as roasty notes of espresso.”

Moon Hill at Gardner Ale House

74 Parker St., Gardner


Moon Hill Brewing Co., housed in the popular Gardner Ale House, is on a roll, stocking its beer (on tap or in cans) in dozens — no, scores! — of establishments throughout Massachusetts. Oh, did we mention Moon Hill’s collaboration with Red Apple Farm in Phillipston, now home to a lively brew barn? 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 like on the list.

Wachusett Brewing Co.

175 State Rd. East, Westminster


Local residents knew they had a winner when Wachusett Brewing started bottling some tasty brews in Westminster. Today, beer lovers across New Englanders celebrate Wachusett’s Wally and Green Monsta IPA, with their references to the hometown team, and the company’s Blueberry Ale evokes dreams of summer days. Want a wider world view? Try a Czech Pils or a Belgian Wheat Ale. Grab a beer and a seat in Wachusett’s Brew Yard or new Tap Room & Restaurant and enjoy!

River Styx Brewing

166 Boulder Dr., Fitchburg


Bring the kids. Bring the dog. Yup, this brewery planted in the middle of Fitchburg’s downtown district loves families (and Fido). Scott and Jackie Cullen have firmly settled into this relatively new brewery and launched a mythical line of great-tasting

brews. Like other craft breweries, River Styx has 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.

Bolton Beer Works

100 Wattaquadock Hill Rd., Bolton


There’s a lot of farming going on at this brewery, farm, winery (Nashoba Valley) and restaurant (J’s). When you buy a beer from us, the brewers say, you are not just enjoying a locally crafted beer but supporting Massachusetts agriculture. From their Bolt 117 lager to Nashoba IPA and Golden Pilsner, the beers produced here fairly scream “New England”! Every beer produced here is made with 20% malt from a Massachusetts – based business

Bull Spit Brewing Co.

339 Seven Bridge Rd., Lancaster


Don’t let the name put you off. These are serious brewers with a brand new brewery, tap room and brewhouse at Kalon Farm. In their own words: Our beer and wines are crafted from only the freshest of ingredients, taking you back in time to a simpler life of living off the land. Check out the progress of their facilities on facebook

Honest Weight Brewery

131 West Main St., Orange


Founded by two friends, Honest Weight Artisan Beer, with its friendly tasting room, is a hidden gem in an old industrial complex. Its goal is simple: to provide inspired, hand crafted, artisan beer to the region. Like many local breweries, their products carry names with a local twist, with references to the Quabbin Reservoir and towns that were flooded to create it: Gate 73 Buckwheat Grisette; The Tully, an American IPA; and Prescott, an unfiltered pilsner.