Wag Wednesday: Dogs Are Now Allowed in the DTR Taproom!

We love dogs here at Down The Road. Many of us on staff own one, or several. (That's Winston the bulldog down there; you'll be seeing him around.) And we know lots of our current and future customers do, too. Without a doubt, there is a unique pleasure in enjoying a fresh draft beer with your best furry friend snuggled up at your feet. 

This is why we are excited to announce that beginning Wednesday, Nov. 29, and on Wednesdays only thereafter, dogs will be allowed inside the Down The Road Beer Co. taproom all day, from 11am to 11pm.

We understand not everyone wants their taproom visit to feel like the dog park. Please know we have every intention of keeping this respectful and enjoyable for all visitors — we feel our space is large and airy enough to accommodate everyone. But It's one of the reasons we're limiting the policy to only Wednesdays for now, and also why we'll be posting and enforcing a set of rules. 

Rules for bringing your dog to Down The Road:

  • All well-behaved, house-trained dogs are allowed.
  • All dogs must be on a leash for the entirety of their stay.
  • All dogs must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Owners with dogs that are overly noisy or otherwise causing a disturbance might be asked to leave.
  • We kindly ask that your dog not use our new taproom as a toilet. Repeat offenders will be asked to leave.
  • No dogs will be allowed in the brewhouse.
  • The DTR staff reserves the right to ask pet owners to remove their pet at any time.

Questions or concerns? Please email: info@dtrbrewery — See you next Wednesday! 

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Alex E. Weaver
DOWN THE ROAD BEER CO. IS OFFICIALLY OPENING TO THE PUBLIC

This has been a long time coming, we know, but it turns out opening a massive brewery and taproom so close to Boston (or anywhere, for that matter) isn’t exactly easy. After years of blood, sweat, and beers (fine, some tears, too) we are exceedingly happy to announce that Down The Road Beer Co. is officially opening to the public.

The brand new space, located at 199 Ashland Street in Everett (across the street from the Wynn Boston Harbor casino) is a testament to founder and brewmaster Donovan Bailey’s love of, and obsession with, producing inspired craft beer across a wide spectrum of styles. With dozens of taplines, a state-of-the-art brewhouse currently churning 4,500 bbls. annually, and comfortable space for you and 210 of your closest new friends, it’s an inclusive and accessible destination for those looking for good food and drink in an atmosphere that’s light on pretension and high on fun.

“The mantra for Down The Road, from the beginning, has been to offer a craft beer experience  — whether you’re a certified #beersnob or just dabbling — that’s fresh, local and inspired,” says Bailey. “From the beer to the entertainment to the atmosphere, we aim to be your neighborhood watering hole no matter where you live.”

DTR Beer Co. has been shipping beer to hundreds of accounts throughout Massachusetts since 2015, but the plan has always been to anchor the company in a taproom and brewery all our own. With this launch, we’re finally doing it, and we’ve got to be honest here: it feels pretty damn good. 

We know taprooms are sprouting up in a neighborhood near you faster than you can say “Pukwudgie.” That’s great. But while we love (and frequent!) the many fantastic breweries within striking distance of our new digs, there are some features of our own we’d like to call out:

  • Breadth of styles. From our Undine DIPA to our Rasenmaher Kolsch, Darkest Night Imperial Stout to Citra Pukwudgie (and many, many more), there is truly something here for every palate. 
  • Brand new beer. We'll be pouring some new beers for the opening, including Citra Pukwudgie, Peach Feyborn Berliner Weisse and Wolfgeist Dunkel Lager. 
  • Elbow room. We love a good hole in the wall taproom, we really do, but this is not that. Our 2,500-square-foot taproom currently has seats for 211 thirsty imbibers, with plenty of standing room aside. And don’t worry about muscling your way through to place an order — our 35-foot bar can accommodate, and we’ve got servers making the rounds, too.
  • Retro arcade. Thaaat’s right … we’ve got a full-blown pinball arcade. And we’re not talking a couple dusty machines stuffed in some corner, either. No ma'am. We’ve got some of the most coveted games on the planet — like The Addams Family, Scared Stiff and Twilight Zone, restored to pristine condition and just begging for a new high score.
  • Food stuffs. For those times when beer won’t suffice and you actually need to eat something, there are bar snacks aplenty and a revolving cast of incredible food trucks parked conveniently out front.
  • Non-alcoholic treats! We don’t use exclamation points often, but this is important. We’ve got a separate tap tower pouring delicious things not containing booze, like cold-brewed coffee, kombucha, root beer, and more.  
  • One-offs. We’re not brewing beer on a pedestal around, but you better know if you make the trip to the taproom you’ll likely be met with some #dtrbeer you’ve never seen before … and may never see again.
  • Swag. Drinking great beer with a smile on your face is what we’re all about. But you might as well look good while doing it, right? Check out the merch shop for that perfect DTR Beer Co. hat, hoodie or T-shirt you didn’t know you wanted (needed?) until now.
  • And parking. Plenty of parking. 

We are thrilled to officially be open to the public, offering the following beers on draft. This list will continuously change, so check the site and social media often. 

  1. Golden City NEIPA
  2. Spring Heel Jack London Porter (special vintage edition)
  3. Rasenmaher Kolsch
  4. Reynard's Witbier
  5. Seventh Star IPA
  6. Dreamtime NEIPA
  7. Peach Feyborn Berliner
  8. Wolfgeist Dunkel Lager Dunkel Lager
  9. Hooligan Nut Brown Ale
  10. Pukwudgie American Pale Ale

Head to our Facebook page for more #GODTR details and be sure to follow us on social media. 

Alex E. Weaver
Two New Beers Join the Down The Road Seasonal Lineup

We can hardly believe it ourselves, but Down The Road is mere days away from the grand opening of its Everett Taproom, and the years of waiting are going to pay off. We’re setting up an absolutely killer party to kick things off on Friday, November 3rd, and two of our headlining acts have just finished up in the fermenter. Down The Road Beer Co. is proud to announce the launch of two new beers: Peach Feyborn Berliner Weisse and Wolfgeist Dunkel Lager.

The Light and The Dark

Peach Feyborn is the next incarnation of our popular Berliner Weisse mit schuss. This variant boasts explosive, juicy peaches contrasted against the renowned puckering base beer that has won the hearts of many sour lovers across the state. This beer is the perfect palette cleanser for a heavy hop sesh, or you can enjoy it on its own as a refreshing companion to this unseasonably warm fall.

Wolfgeist Dunkel Lager plays to the complete opposite side of the beer spectrum from the Feyborn. This is a richly malted beer with deep notes of chocolate that drinks clean and finishes dry. Unlike a porter or stout, this dark beer has virtually no yeasty esters and the body is surprisingly uplifting and effervescent. An homage to the Feldgeist of German folklore, Wolfgeist is rooted in centuries of harvest festivals and traditional brewing methods. When the cold winds rise and heavy November rains lash against your windows, this is the beer to pour as you set spark to tinder and warm yourself by the hearth.

The Hunt is On

Both Peach Feyborn and Wolfgeist will be available on draft and for package takeaway at the grand opening of our taproom next week. But don’t worry, if you can’t make it to the party, you can find Peach Feyborn and Wolfgeist on the shelves of your local packy and on draft in reputable beer bars across the state while supplies last.

Introducing Full Spectrum Hoppy Pale Ale, a totally new DTR beer
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At Down The Road Beer Co., art is in our blood. Our brand is guided by the whimsical faerie tale stylings of our house illustrator, Nikki Rossignol, but as we grow, we want to use our beer to continue to support and promote artists across the globe. This week, we get to do exactly that with Future Arts Festival 2017. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, join DTR and Future Arts for three nights of cutting-edge contemporary art while sipping our newest limited release beer, Full Spectrum Hoppy Pale Ale.

Thursday and Friday night, swing by The Armory in Somerville for killer music, unique beer and live painting by renowned graffiti artists from around the world. The party picks back up on Saturday at The Gallery in Boston’s W Hotel with an art brunch at noon and will continue late into the night.

"Future Arts Fest decided to work with DTR as they share many of the same characteristics and qualities as us; independent, local, unique and artistic," explains Jon Regan, executive director of Future Arts Woldwide. "Plus DTR has refined taste in art and design just like us!"

As for the beer, Down The Road brewed up some special suds just for Future Arts. Full Spectrum is a juiced, hoppy pale ale, meant to keep you going all night at 4.5% ABV. We started with a tried and true combo of Mosaic, Chinook and Cascade hops and then finished with a heavy handed splash of pure Pineapple juice. The result is an insanely drinkable pale that strikes a perfect balance of bitter and sweet, booze and tastiness. Even the cans are special, featuring dope art by AngelOnce and Amara Por Dios. Between the aroma, taste and visuals, this is a beer that’s meant to stimulate the Full Spectrum of your perceivable senses.

This is a limited batch, so Full Spectrum won’t be around forever, but we made sure to load up for the festival. In fact, we brewed so much beer that you should look for it at high end retailers around the state. Alternatively, you could just swing by our forthcoming taproom in Everett to try it on draft and snag some takeaway cans for your beer stash. When will the taproom open officially, you ask? Soon, fam, very soon.  

Whether you have an MFA or you just like beer, Future Arts 2017 promises to be an unforgettable event, so gather your crew and make a battle plan for the weekend, because it’s gonna be a banger!

Alex E. WeaverComment
Ask Brewmaster Donovan
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What’s the difference between good beer and great beer? What does it take to stand out from the crowd in an ever-growing, highly competitive market? At what temp do you mash in for a turbid, New England IPA? If questions like these keep you awake at night, then we have just the thing for you.

Down The Road is starting a new blog series featuring our founder and head brewer, Donovan Bailey. Twice a month, we will solicit our fans, followers, staff and random people on the street to pitch a handful of questions over to the bossman, which he’ll answer in an ongoing series called “Ask Brewmaster Donovan.” Whether you are an accomplished homebrewer with aspirations of going pro or you just started drinking craft beer and want to know more about what goes into making it, this is your opportunity to be heard. You can leave your questions in the comments section on the blog, post them via social media with the hashtag #AskDonovan, or email them to us at: info@dtrbrewery.com, and we'll update you when Donovan has answers.

Alex E. WeaverComment
introducing dreamtime & golden city: two distinct New England ipas

Who would have guessed that turbid IPAs would be the cutting edge of beer in 2017? It wasn’t long ago that brewers competed for the clearest, delicate ales and lagers, but now, many craft connoisseurs will turn their noses at any IPA they don’t have to chew before swallowing. Down The Road might have a reputation for brewing more traditional beers, but you don’t just sit on the sidelines during an IPA revolution.

To that end, we are proud to introduce two fresh New England IPAs to our portfolio: Golden City and Dreamtime. These two beers share many similarities with our popular spring release, Queequeg’s Revenge New England IPA. All three clock in at 7% and pour hazy with a tantalizingly smooth mouthfeel, but the similarities stop there.

Golden City should appeal to the juice-lovers out there; we threw pounds upon pounds of El Dorado and Bru-1 hops at every stage of the brewing process, and the results are next-effing-level. This juicebomb explodes with pineapple, cantaloupe and peach undercut with just enough bitterness to make the flavors pop. Hit up our new Beer Finder to locate some Golden City near you!

Dreamtime takes those tropical, pineapple notes and pivots over to herbs, pine and flowers via two Australian hops: Vic Secret and Ella. The combination is complex, and drinkers will have to go deep to isolate the aroma/flavor notes. Still, the beer is as drinkable as they come, and you should check out the rest of the ingredients over on our Beer Page to learn more.

Even though both of our new NEIPAs are a bit experimental, these two hop-smoothies stick to the basics of good beer-making– no backsweetening or hop extracts here, nor are we spiking the beer with fruit concentrate or artificial flavorings. We’re just making some killer giggle juice that’s best enjoyed fresh and in the company of good friends.

 

Mandy Pleshaw
Hops, Haze and Homogeneity

There's no denying it - New England IPAs are more than a fad. With brewers across the world dabbling in the murky arts of aggressive dry hopping, it's safe to say that this turbid brew has truly come into its own. Their appearances range from slightly hazy to downright milkshakey, but there's one thing that truly sets the NEIPA apart from the rest of the field: hop treatment.

Setting the Stage

Historically, hops were used as much as a preservative as a flavorant. The alpha acids present in all strains of hops are useful for helping to stave off bacterial infection in beer, but over time, people came to crave that hoppy taste. Over on the West Coast of the United States, brewers have been amping up their hops for a while now, but for most connoisseurs of the West Coast style, IBUs are king. These beers feature high doses of alpha acids, greatly accentuating the bitter qualities of the hops. What has come to be known as the New England IPA is just as hoppy as a West Coast IPA, but because of differences in the brewing process, the final product is significantly less bitter. Through whirlpooling and dry hopping, brewers are able to extract the essence of the hops without adding all that bitterness.

Juicy and Fruity

From homebrewers to large scale commercial breweries, most NEIPAs are juicy, fruity and hazy. The haze comes from a combination of hop particulate and protein haze left over from the grain bills. The juicy and fruity qualities come partly from the yeast, but mostly from the hops. However, here's where we run into a bit of a problem. If everyone's versions of this new style need to hit these metrics, then homogeneity may be an issue. Hops like Galaxy, Mosaic and Citra are great for getting those big, juicy notes, but with so many people brewing with the same ingredients, it all starts to meld together.

Breaking From the Pack

So if a brewery wanted to make a NEIPA while standing out from the crowd with some fresh ingredients, getting away from the three most trendy hops in the industry would probably be a good start. All over the world, there are agricultural geniuses who are constantly working on new strains of hops, and with aromatic qualities like "juicy" and "citrusy" in such high demand, it should come as no surprise that there are alternatives out there. For instance, Idaho #7, a hop Down The Road uses in its Seventh Star IPA, is a beautiful example of a new, experimental strain. It manifests crazy flavors and aromas ranging from melon to strawberry and even pineapple! Other strains worth checking out are Motueka, a New Zealand hop that carries a zesty lime aroma, and Pacifica, which brings a unique marmalade and floral aspect to the table, both of which we decided to use in our latest release - Queequeg's Revenge New England IPA.  

So what's the harm in a little experimentation?

Mandy Pleshaw
Feyborn Berliner Weisse Mit Schuss

As sour beers become more popular in America, Berliner Weisse is experiencing a renaissance. Only a few years ago, this relatively obscure German style was relegated to the most esoteric import shelves. Today, demand for cheek-puckering beer has led to a heightened interest in the style, and Down the Road is happy to oblige.

Berliner Mit Schuss.

At its base, Berliner Weisse is a low ABV, golden wheat that is more sour than most wild ales and less sour than lambics. To contribute additional character, Berliner Weisse is often enjoyed "mit schuss," meaning "with sauce." In Germany, several herbal and fruit-based flavorings are used to add variety to the popular sour beer. The most popular of these flavors are raspberry (Himbeer) and Woodruff  or Waldmeister, which is a green, herbal decoction.

Inspired by the schuss tradition, we imbue each batch of Down the Road's Feyborn with a different flavor. Our first version of Feyborn Berliner Weisse, released summer 2016, featured a massive blast of blackberries, and the juicy, sun-ripened fruit perfectly captured the season in which it was brewed. Our December 2016 batch of Feyborn features wild, tart cherries, which should provide an interesting point of contrast to the heavy, dark seasonal beers that are popular in the winter. Then, in summer 2017, we brewed the Strawberry Rhubarb Feyborn as a departure from the more traditional schuss flavors, but we think it was a risk well worth taking. 

Schuss in a Can!

At Down the Road, we place a premium on tradition. Whenever possible, we try to promote styles from the old world. However, we also love innovation - subtle tweaks made possible by new technology, improved processes and novel ingredients. That's why we use lab-grade saison yeast in our Fee des Fleurs Saison instead of spontaneous fermentation. Similarly, it's why we whirlpool our hops instead of boiling them. When we decided to brew a Berliner Weisse mit schuss, we knew we would have to break with tradition a little bit. In Germany, the schuss is poured into the beer immediately before serving, allowing one tap to service a wide range of tastes. We briefly considered attaching some kind of cup of schuss to our Feyborn cans, and we even messed with the idea of having a packet inside the can that would automatically release its contents when you crack the top. However, both of those designs proved to be rather over-engineered. Instead, we opted to add the schuss directly to the beer before packaging but after fermentation to ensure the fruit remains fresh and flavorful, so embrace your inner wild child, and party with the Feyborn!

Mandy Pleshaw
Introducing The White Hart Helles

Lower your arrow, good hunter. That is no common hart for game or sport. Such a pristine coat, boreal and pure, as if sunlight radiated from within. This is a sign from the gods! The White Hart presents itself to you with a message of good fortune if you are wise enough to hear it. Take heed; follow the divine beast, wherever it shall lead, and see what blessings await you.

Legends and Myths

Historically, many Germanic cultures considered white stags to be signs from the gods. The appearance of a white hart in Arthurian legend was meant to signal the beginning of a holy quest, while the Celts believed they were divine beings worthy of protection. The legendary founding fathers of Hungary, Hunor and Magor, are said to have discovered their nation by following a white stag. The symbolism of this stunning creature continues to influence modern day legends, with the white hart appearing as a guardian "Patronus" spell in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter.

White Hart Helles

White Hart is our take on a traditional German Helles. Literally translating to "Light," Helles is a straw-colored lager with clean maltiness, subtle hops and a refreshingly dry finish. However, unlike traditional Helles, White Hart is brewed with Huell Melon hops to contribute a soft, fruity complexity that evokes honeydew melons and fresh strawberries. White Hart invites you to stray from the well-trodden paths of common summer beers and follow the game trail to places both secret and magical. Will you heed the call?

Becky Schrumm
About the Artist Nikki Rossignol

Since its inception, Down the Road Brewery has bee interested in the traditional folklore, classical literature and fairy tales. We have woven many disparate characters together to tell the story of our beer. From the Pukwudgie to Undine and the Changeling Child to Baba Yaga, we have conjured up quite the motley crew of mythical monsters and legendary personas, but we couldn’t have done it without our illustrator, Nikki Rossignol.

Nikki lives in in Montana with her husband and daughter as well as a pet cat and a dingo. Nikki draws endless inspiration from this vast landscape of endless plains and dramatic mountains. The land is both home and muse for Nikki, but it is not the sole font of her inspiration – much of what she paints comes from her dreams. “I am a lucid dreamer, and with practice I have learned to absorb the content I wish to dream about prior to falling asleep.  I dream in vivid color, and I have trained myself to remember dreams in nearly complete detail.  Many of my personal works are, in fact, replicated scenes from dreams.”

The Artist, Dreaming

Nikki began painting as a young girl. Her grandmother, a talented painter herself, taught Nikki about oil paint when she was only 10 years old. Although she loves the heavy, gestural qualities of oil, it was in water colors that she truly found her voice. Growing up, Nikki traveled constantly – for school, for work, for pleasure, but she always wanted to bring her art supplies with her. Oil paints are cumbersome and messy, so she resorted to packing watercolors for her journeys. Though difficult to learn, she soon came to love the flowing, impressionistic style of watercolor. When asked about her paint of choice, Nikki explained:

“I have a deep affection for the honesty of pure paint in the presence of loose water.  To be successful in watercolor is to be in alliance with the properties of the medium; water, paper, air, gravity, and color.  It is a mysteriously harmonious collaboration that I find most present in watercolor.  I add another element in inking after the paint has dried (or before such as the “Seventh Star” label which is a technique to bleed color into a nebula).  This line-work inking overlaid upon watercolor derived from the Golden Age of Illustration (1880’s – 1920’s) and was utilized by fairytale artists such as Kay Nielsen,  Andrew Lang, Arthur Rackham and John Bauer.”

Once Upon A Time

Even before coming to Down the Road, Nikki had a penchant for classical fairy tales. In fact, her drawing of the Pukwudgie, which we used on our first beer label, was the catalyst that drew us together in the first place. When asked about her interest in fairy tales and illustration, Nikki explained:

“I have known from the very beginning that I was going to illustrate, simply because I always have.  I would illustrate the unillustrated scenes from my Grandfather’s copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales as early as 8 years old. My work has always been attached to a deeper narrative.  Stories have habitually submerged themselves in my subconscious and, across a great expanse of reading, I have found myself most drawn to folklore.  The archetypes of myths and folktales appear in my paintings like apparitions from another plane of existence.  They are so immensely ingrained in my being that they take a large role in how I view (and in how I paint) subjects of both reality and fantasy.”

But her favorite mythical creature?

“The Norse Jörmungandr, or World Serpent, is wrapped around the world and in constant motion of devouring his own tail.  This is my favorite mythical creature mainly because of the richness of the symbology.  The Jörmungandr represents not only chaos (as an offspring of Loki) but, in devouring itself, encompasses the earth as a simultaneously protective and destructive force, which is known in Norse tradition as the Ragnarok Cycle.”

A true artist, inspired, original and utterly mad, Down The Road is incredibly lucky to know such a talented individual.

If you want to see more of Nikki Rossignol’s incredible artwork, check her out on Facebook.

Mandy Pleshaw
Dreaming of the Pleiades: The Story of the Seventh Star

“Have I told you of my one true love? The shining beauty who guides me through the darkness?” said the sailor to his mate.

“Nay friend. Be her bosoms heavy and hair flaxen?”

“Nothing so base. She is of the Pleiades, one of the seven daughters of Atlas, a rare and beautiful queen of the night sky and beacon of hope to those riding the waves on the open ocean.”

“I’m afraid your love is doomed, good fool, for you speak of the stars as if they are women. Might as well invite the moon to dinner!”

“Look to the sky and count. How many stars see you in the constellation? Six. For one of the Seven has already left her celestial sorority for a mortal man. Fair Merope, youngest of the sisters, fell in love with earthbound Sisyphus, and bore him seven sons. My will is set and my heart is pure. I shall win my love and pluck her from the heavens like a ripe grape.”

“And this Seventh Star? Where has she gone?”

“To Hades, with her beloved Sisyphus, my friend. And so shall my celestial wife when I depart this mortal coil.”

Our Seventh Star IPA is a ripe, fruity brew that features the elusive Idaho Experimental #7 hop. This new contender boasts bright notes of melon, grape and strawberry, which we offset against a light swirl of Azaca hops, allowing for just a splash of tropical fruit. Like the Seventh Sister of the Pleiades, this divine IPA straddles the gulf between heaven and earth to deliver a truly cosmic experience.

Mandy Pleshaw
A Deeper Look At Our New Undine Double IPA

Undine rises from the great abyssal gulfs of the briney deep, her piscean tail sinuous as she sets her dead gaze on our docile shores. Yet despite her lack of a soul, the story of Undine is not a horror -– it is a tragic romance. You see, unlike most monsters, Undine is aware of her soullessness and desires nothing more than to become human. She stalks our shores not as a foe, though her ire can be deadly to those her spurn her. Instead, she calls out to those with ears to hear her, searching desperately for a human whose love will grant her an immortal soul.

The Search for A Soul

How does her story end? That all depends on who is telling it. Some say that Undine found her eternal mate, a dashing prince who fell in love with the mermaid at first blush. According to these yarns, Undine shed her tail to become a human woman and the two lived happily ever after, yet not all renditions of her tale end so nicely. Some believe that Undine married a fisherman who said he would love her until the end of time, but shortly after their wedding, the fisherman ran off with another woman. Devastated, the vengeful Undine stole her former husband’s breath, leading to his agonizing demise. Other storytellers say Undine never met her true love, or he died before they married. Instead of a “happily ever after,” the heartbroken and world-weary Undine transformed into a burbling stream. On certain nights, passersby can still hear her sorrowful song as the springwater runs like tears from the earth.

Alluring Hops, Tantalizing Depth

Our Undine Double IPA is named after this queen of the depths. Its rich bouquet of tropical fruit and citrus reflects the complex nature of its namesake. This is a big, bold beer with a commanding presence, and while it may not be able to sing to you, the alluring aroma of Citra, Amarillo and Mosaic hops will seduce beer aficionados far and wide.

Mandy Pleshaw