Maybe I’m just a little bit of a snob, but most of the time that I go out to brewpubs I only really like one or two of the beers that I try. Most I admire the attempt, but I’d rather see a brewery do eight beers well than 16 beers okay. But, I was out with friends in Salem, MA for a great summer’s day of shopping, wandering around, looking for records… before embarking on a ghost tour, we stopped into the Boston Beer Work’s Salem location for a bite and some beer.
I tried a lot of beer that night, and here’s a quick round up. Overall I was impressed with the quality of their beer, and by the knowledge and suggestions of the staff (something I also LOVE).
The first one I tried was their White Beer, which, sadly I didn’t catch the name of. This one had a strong wheaty smell, it was a cloudy light copper color and had very little head. Its flavor was sweet, wheaty and strong – a delightful start. I’m a little weary of whimpy whites, so this was a great strong start. This was very tasty and I’d recommend it, my friend who loves all things Belgian even gave it a nice nod, pretty cool!
Second up I tried their Kolch, which I tried because I’ve only had one other Kolch before (at the Elm City Brewery in Keene, NH) and I was curious to try another. It was cleary yellowy with a little head, it smelled light. The taste was all at the end with a really nice finish to it – an almost peachy tartness to round out the end of it. Really drinkable and interesting, I kept getting a different taste each time I sipped it.
Next I tasted their hefeweizen, which, out of all the beer that I sampled that evening was the only one that wasn’t excellent. The brew was okay, but it tasted a bit more watery than most hefe’s I’ve tried. It was properly cloudy, had a great smell and was served with a wedge of lemon, but the taste was a little less strong that I would have liked. Not an unpleasant beer by any means, just not the best hefe I’ve had.
Their blueberry was sweet smelling and sweet tasting, it reminded me of the Portsmouth Brewery’s blueberry but farther on the sweet end of the scale. Also served with fresh blueberries, this one is very drinkable and has noticeable blueberry taste in it. I’d say this was one of the better blueberry beer’s I’ve tried, and the best one on tap I’ve had to date.
My favorite of the evening, however was their watermelon beer. Now, I’ll admit that I have heard of watermelon wine but never of watermelon beer. So I ordered this one because I was very curious about how that combination would sit. It came with a huge wedge of watermelon on the side of the beer, another thing that I have never seen before! It was cold, refreshing, crisp and light with a completely natural watermelon taste to it. I could seriously picture myself sitting at a barbecue with it, or sitting outside on my front lawn (if I actually had one) in the heat of a summer’s day. It wasn’t intoxicatingly sweet which was a blessing. It was really well balanced, thirst-quenching and I left wishing that I could just pick up a six pack around the corner from my apartment in NH. A bonus was that the slice of watermelon even tasted good soaked in beer. Who’d have thought?
I’ve got to hand it to these guys. Despite being somewhat of a chain, their dedication to the beer stands out. If you’re in the Boston area, don’t be fooled by the new-feeling of this brewery. It has some great gems in it waiting for you to try.