Berkshire Brewing Company

Not to continue witth the decidedly New England-ish bent that this blog has taken recently or anything, but there was another rather pleasing element of our recent Invasion of Western Mass that Bill touched on only briefly in his post. On our way home, we made a quick stop at, as Ron over at Hop Talk would say, a “candy store” to pick up a few selections not available to us in New York.

There was a nice cover story on Berkshire Brewing Company in the December issue of Yankee Brew News (click here and scroll all the way down to view it). In reading that piece, you get a good feel for what BBC is – a small brewery that makes good, solid beers and has been successful self distributing their beer within a pretty limited radius. They are located in South Deerfield, MA, about 100 miles from Albany, but none of their beers are yet available outside of New England. Hopefully, that will change soon, as BBC has recently expanded and are poised for growth, as our man Lew so presciently pointed out last summer.

Anyway, back to the candy store. We’d had a couple of BBC brews here and there, and the Yankee Brew News article served as a friendly reminder that we should pick some more up as soon as was convenient. BBC beers are only available on draft and in 22 oz. bombers. Since we had already had the Lost Sailor IPA on draft at Ye Olde Forge, and the trunk of a Saturn SL1 is more conducive to transporting a selection of bottles than multiple kegs, we elected to purchase a few 22’s of BBC stuff to smuggle back across the border. Thankfully, there is no known video footage of me giddily giggling like a school girl in front of the cooler with an armload of carefully chosen BBC bombers.

We ended up with six lovely beers that Bill and I managed to work our way through over the balance of the weekend:

  • Berkshire Ale – An enjoyable, easy drinkin’ tranditional Pale Ale
  • River Ale – Dark ale? Old Ale? Brown Ale? Whatever, it’s damned tasty.
  • Lost Sailor IPA – A nice, English style IPA that ventures close to ESB territory
  • Holidale 2007 – An excellent barleywine. Full bodied and balanced, with a big grapefruity finish. Right Bill?

Most of the beers share a sort of soft, almost nutty, creaminess that was quite pleasant. Not sure if it’s the yeast, or a soft water, but it is nice. Despite the similarity, they manage to remain distinctive, without the flavour of one blurring into that of another at all. Just a really enjoyable experience with a really likable brewery, made slightly more exotic by the fact that they aren’t available in our home state.

Add in the fact that (other than the big beer, Holidale, which was also handsomely screen printed a la Stone beers) they were sold at the very popular price of only $3.60 each, and we’re already plotting our next journey to the Commonwealth. Here’s hoping that their promised expansion pushes Berkshire Brewing’s availability a bit farther westward.

~ by bojangles on January 26, 2008.

One Response to “Berkshire Brewing Company”

  1. Or you could, I dunno, visit me. I can readily get you Lost Sailor and Shabadoo. They serve the Lost sailor in 22 at Penguin. And who wants a Shabadoo, hmmm, hmmm?

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