Check Out The Growing Central MA Craft Beer Scene


Posted: February 12, 2019

Today, Central Massachusetts is a hot spot for beer enthusiasts. With major breweries like Wormtown Brewery, new-to-the-scene breweries like Redemption Rock, and bars like Oak Barrel Tavern, the Heart of the Commonwealth is a destination for superb local ale.

Altruist Brewing Co.

559 Main Street, Sturbridge

The folks at Altruist believe that great beer has the power to do great things. It can bring people together, and make friends from strangers. They know this because that's what beer did for them.

When the husband and wife team moved to a new town and started home brewing in their garage, the neighbors started stopping by to check out their delicious elixirs. Amazing friendships were forged, and the desire to build a taproom was ignited. 

Their hand-crafted recipes are brewed with love - never skimping on ingredients or quality. They're on an endless path of brewing perfection to make the most amazing craft beer you've ever tasted. The brewery also boasts a stage for live music, shuffleboard, board games and freshly made pretzels. 

altruist – {al'-troo- ist}a person unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others. Love the Beer.

Try: Johnny Fry – a New England IPA style beer.


Flying Dreams Brewing

455B Park Ave, Worcester

Long before Flying Dreams was born, Dave Richardson spent years experimenting with flavors and honing his skills in brew school and as a master brewer at the legendary Gardner Ale House.

Since then he has been recognized as one of the top beer innovators in the region; collecting over thirty-five awards for his pure, unfiltered and unadulterated brews.

Try: The Become – a double IPA, orange, mango, grapefruit tasty ale


Greater Good Imperial Brewing Company 

2804, 55 Millbrook Street, Worcester

Did you know that America's first all Imperial beer brewing company is located in Worcester? Imperial beers have an alcohol content of 8% and up, and contain more hops and malt than a traditional brew. Paul Wengender fine-tuned his hand-crafted recipes for over a year before officially opening Greater Good in 2018. All beers at this unique tap room range from 8% - 12% alcohol content, so we advise to consume on a full stomach! Their on-site test kitchen, TOAST, has a creative menu with dishes like gooey grilled cheese, Hawaiian Maui-Wowi panini, and cheese plates that pair perfecltly with their brews. This family-friendly brewery also has a kids menu with classics like hot dogs, PB&J and root beer floats.

Try:  Pulp - an Imperial New England IPA with a hop profile that includes dominant citrusy and tropical notes with minimal bittering notes, a citrus grove aroma, smooth mouthfeel, and a subtle hazy yellow-orange color.


Moon Hill Brewing Co. 

74 Parker Street, Gardner

Beer is their first love, but their love of food, people and community is a close second. The taproom is a craft beer pub, with cozy food and a warm sense of belonging.

Moon Hill Brewing Co. began brewing in 2006, starting with classic European ales and lagers and later brewing sours, Belgians, IPA's, and barrel aged beers.

Try: Candy Mountain,Charlie! (Plum) – a fruit infused kettle soured wheat ale


Purgatory Beer Co. 

670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville

Named after the legendary hiking destination, Purgatory Chasm, and set up in a former mill, Purgatory Beer Co. maintains beers on tap and offers growler fills to-go. 

Their flagship beer, The Mumford River, is a tribute to the Blackstone River, which once acted as a power source for local mills and factories. Purgatory is a dog/family friendly brewery where you can BYOF or order from a local restaurant. Keep an eye out for visits from local food trucks, sports on the big screen, live music, and bar trivia. 

Try: Mumford River Rye 


Rapscallion Brewery

195 Arnold Road, Sturbridge 

Stemming from the Old English word meaning “a playfully mischievous individual,” brewery co-proprietors Peter and Cedric Daniel adopted the name Rapscallion. As two young brothers from humble beginnings and a long line of small business owners, the name appealed to them for its history, uniqueness and most of all - its association with rebelliousness.

This family/dog-friendly brewery is housed in a historic apple barn and surrounded by a 150-acre orchard. Along with their fresh and small batch beers available on tap, you can look forward to live music on most weekends, food trucks, and a 18 hole disc golf course.

Try: Honey - an extra pale ale brewed with wildflower honey; not sweet, a refreshing session ale made with local wildflower honey.


Redemption Rock Brewing Co.

333 Shrewsbury St, Worcester

The folks at Redemption Rock are self-professed beer geeks, but their brews are for casual beer drinkers, not just beer nerds (although they are certainly welcome too!) In fact, they welcome everyone at this community-centered brewery, taproom, and cafe on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. 

The founders think craft beer should be an experience centered around camaraderie and community. They want to see their patrons having a good time with their friends while exploring all that beer has to offer. This comfortable and colorful brewery serves as both a coffeehouse and a bar. 

Try: Good Hang: Azacca – a single-hop ale that has delightful tropical and citrus fruit aroma along with subtle floral and dank notes, a grainy, light bread flavor, light body, and bone dry finish.


Tree House Brewing Company

129 Sturbridge Rd., Charlton, MA 

Tree House Brewing Company offers a wide array of seasonal ales that know no bounds! Co-founders Nate, Damien and Dean love to create their artisan brews based on their moods and driven by their curiosity to experiment with unique ingredients.

They are a draft-only brewery, which allows them to constantly rotate their offerings, and introduce new ones. You can still enjoy these artisan brews at home though by filling up a growler at the retail shop.

As part of their founding principles, the brewery aims to reduce their carbon footprint each year with their sustainable business practices - like reducing water consumption.

Try: Julius - is a bright, juicy American IPA filled with flavors and aromas of mango, peach, passion fruit, and a melange of citrus juice. 


Wachusett Brewing Company

175 State Road East, Westminster

Wachusett Brewing was founded by three college buddies in 1994 who delayed their careers in Engineering and Biology to pursue their passion for beer. They have since grown to become one of The Top 50 Breweries in the United States. 

Their brew yard includes an Airstream bar and an enormous copper fire kettle. The brewery also has a shuttle to transport you from Wachusett Station to the brew yard with no hassle. 

Try: Country Pale Ale - a perfect balance of hop bitterness and malt sweetness. Crafted the same way since the early 90's with American two-row pale and Crystal malts; Northern Brewer, Willamette, Tettnang and Cascade hops.


Wormtown Brewery

72 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester

Ben Roesch was brewing and selling beer for Honest Town Brewing in Southbridge MA when he had a vision for a brick and mortar brewery in his hometown of Worcester. After starting small in an old ice cream stand, Ben teamed up with David Fields and grew into their current 50,000 square-foot space. Located within walking distance to dozens of restaurants on Shrewsbury Street, the award-winning brewery also has a tasting room and popular outdoor patio.

Try: Be Hoppy - a dry and highly drinkable IPA, and the well-balanced and fruity Bottle Rocket Pale Ale.


Local Beer Bar Favorites

After a visit to the local breweries, there’s no better place to stop and grab a beer than the local bars making a name for themselves. Brew City Grill & Brew House, a must-see in Worcester, features 37 beers on tap 9 canned beers and 101 bottled beers. 

Brew City Grill & Brew House104 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester

Oak Barrel Tavern – 229 Grove Street, Worcester 

The Duck  502 Main Street, Sturbridge

Peppercorns - 455 Park Avenue, Worcester

Quinn's Irish Pub - 715 West Boylston Street, Worcester

The Railer's Sports Tavern - 90 Commercial Street, Worcester

O'Connor's Restaurant and Bar - 1160 West Boylston Street, Worcester

Smokestack Urban BBQ - 139 Green Street, Worcester


Tagged As:

Food + Drink
REGION
Worcester
TOWNS
Sturbridge
Worcester