Pukwudgie Session IPA

If you’ve been following us from the beginning, you know how far Down The Road has come in these few short years, and one little guy has been there for every step of the journey: the Pukwudgie. The entire company started with that fuzzball back in 2015, but as we have evolved, so has our cherished Puk. Most noticeable is the fact that we recently relabeled our popular American Pale Ale as a Session IPA. Keep reading to find out why.

What’s In A Name?

Everything and nothing. This is the same beer you’ve grown to love over the past three years. In terms of the recipe, nothing has changed. We’re still brewing Puk with our signature blend of Mosaic, Chinook and Cascade hops on a base of pure and simple pale 2-row malt. However, now that all of our beer is coming out of our own brewhouse and getting packaged on our state-of-the-art Palmer canning line, we’ve noticed a distinct spike in freshness and hop presence.

This got us thinking, is this really a pale ale anymore? Sure, pale ales have a strong hop profile, but nothing near what you expect from an IPA, and as we solicited more feedback, many tasters commented that it felt more like an IPA than a pale.

Expectations and New Markets

We didn’t see any shame in embracing this perceived change. We want people to know our Pukwudgie is hoppy! We want hop hunters to seek it out, and we want folk who prefer malt-forward pales to keep browsing. To date, our tenacious DTR sales team has done a great job managing the expectations of newcomers to our beers. They can tell corporate buyers and folk at tastings that our Puk is “like a session IPA,” but now that our reach has grown, our labels need to be more straightforward in managing customer expectations. We believe that the pivot from American Pale to Session IPA accomplishes that goal nicely.

Pukwudgie Evolution

Although the new name is the most recent evolution of our Pukwudgie, it is almost certainly not the last. Down The Road is savvy to the scene, and as beer in New England changes, so will we. We leave you with this: a quick reminder of how much Puk has changed over the years and where it is now!

Brendan Van Voris
The Return of the Blackberry Feyborn

This week, Down The Road is ecstatic to announce the return of the Blackberry Feyborn Berliner Weisse. This is the original Feyborn, released back in 2016 as the first fruited sour we ever produced. We’ve grown so much in that time, but there are some classics that never fade, and this girl is one of them. Keep reading to find out more about one of DTR’s most popular beers - the Feyborn Berliner Weisse.

Who is the Feyborn?

 Faeries and a Changeling Child

Faeries and a Changeling Child

If you’ve read the side of any of the cans of Feyborn, you know a little about this mischievous little imp. The Feyborn is a Changeling, a faerie that pops up in all kinds of European folklore. This creature is a doppelganger of sorts - it assumes the form of a human child in order to live among us and be coddled by its doting surrogate parents.

In medieval society, the myth of the Changeling served as a way for folk to explain away all the anxieties and unexplainable strangeness of raising kids. Wild child born to good, God-fearing folk? Gotta be a Changeling. Lazy kid who never wants to do hard work? Changeling, for sure. Healthy kid gets sick out of nowhere? Must have been a Changeling who wanted to get back to Faerie Land. Every human generation has struggled to understand the enigma that is children, and for the cultures that existed before child psychology was a real discipline, Changelings were a convenient explanation for all sorts of strange behavior.

The Inspiration

Our artist, Nikki Rossignol, has an uncanny ability of capturing the souls of her subjects in her paintings. Even when depicting the most wacky, fantastical creatures, there is a fire in their eyes that transcends her medium. Sometimes cute, sometimes unsettling or outright scary, her phantasmagoria comes from a place of dreams, but it is tethered in reality.

Part of this effect comes from her use of real people for model references. All sorts of people pose for Nikki - brewmaster Donovan is the main figure on the “Henzelmann’s Festbier” label, and most of the sales and production team showed up on “Golden City.” Nikki herself shows up twice as the two mermaids on Undine Double IPA, but one little girl has had more DTR label appearances than anyone: Nikki’s daughter, Elke.

She might not be old enough to drink, but, whether she knows it or not, Elke is kind of a big deal at Down The Road. Check out this reference photo for the strawberry rhubarb Feyborn we brewed last summer:

 Adorable

Adorable

Traditional Beer for a Modern Age

Berliner Weisse has been a popular beer in Germany for generations. This uniquely sour, pale wheat beer is intentionally exposed to bacteria to spike its acidity. Typically this is accomplished by lowering the pH of the beer with lactobacillus, a common probiotic that is used for everything from bolstering people’s immune systems to creating yogurt to protecting plant roots from harmful bacteria. Human’s typically perceive acid as sour, which is why citric acid is used by the candy industry to make things like sour gummies. The lactobacillus used in Berliner Weisse produces lactic acid, which gives the beer its delightfully refreshing tartness.

In Germany, it is common practice to serve Berliner Weisse “mit schuss” (with sauce) which means the sour base beer is supplemented with a sidecar of fruit syrup. Popular flavors include raspberry, cherry and, even more traditionally, Woodruff - an herbal concoction with a distinct green hue. The Feyborn is the commercial evolution of the Berliner mit schuss. We can’t exactly give you a fruit cup with every beer, but by adding the fruit directly, we can do a pretty good imitation of this German classic.

Welcome to Spring

Fruited Berliners are the perfect companion to spring. They are light, crisp and infinitely drinkable. Whether you’re daydrinking your way through May or craving a refreshing way to take the edge off while cleaning up all that nor’easter mess in your backyard, the Feyborn has you covered. Crack a blackberry Berliner and embrace your inner wild child.

Brendan Van Voris
Drink It or Don't - Diets, Allergies & Beer

There aren’t too many absolute truisms in beer, but one thing is for certain: “Everyone likes beer, they just don’t know it yet.” Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy beer due to dietary restrictions related to medical conditions and lifestyle choices. For these individuals, knowing whether a beer is safe to drink or not can be a challenge, especially in the United States where brewers are not required to list ingredients or nutritional information on their packaging. For more insight on who can and can't drink beer from Down The Road, we contacted Kristin Thomas, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner & Founder of Thrive by Food to help you better understand which products are best suited for you and your dietary needs.

What’s In Beer?

In its purest form, beer is comprised of four basic ingredients: malt, hops, yeast and water. As brewers continue to innovate and evolve their craft, there are more unique ingredients in beer than ever before, and individuals with dietary restrictions should be vigilant to take the time to dig in to the specifics of their pints.

Malt

“Malt” is the generic term for any malted grain. “Malting” is the process of germinating and then roasting grain to produce fermentable sugars and enzymes that form the alcoholic base of beer. These grains can include, but are not exclusive to: barley, wheat, rye and oats. Barley is the most commonly used in brewing due to its high diastatic potential, meaning it contains large amounts of enzymes that help yeast convert the grain’s sugar into alcohol, while the other cereal grains contribute more to appearance, aroma and flavor. While malted grain is safe for most people, it does contain high amounts of gluten, and should be avoided by anyone who is advised to maintain a low or no gluten diet.

Hops

Hops are the flowers from a hop plant or Humulus lupulus, a member of the Cannabaceae family. That’s right, hops share a common ancestry with cannabis and hemp. Hops contain alpha acids, which contribute to the bitter flavor profile of some beers and also help with stability and shelf-life. Hops also contain essential oils, which impart an array of flavors to beer, from piney to fruity to spicy and citrusy. Hops are safe for most diets, but some cases of hop allergies have been reported. Symptoms are typically mild, including headaches, and light rashes. Individuals who are hop sensitive should avoid heavily hopped beers, such as IPAs and Pale Ales, as these likely contain raw hop compounds from dry hopping, which contain high concentrations of hop-derived allergens. 

Yeast

Brewers yeast, or saccharomyces, is present in nearly every style of beer on the market. This ubiquitous organic compound is actually a fungi, which consumes sugar and processes it into alcohol. Although most of the yeast in any given batch of beer falls out of suspension as part of the brewing process, any unfiltered or unpasteurized beer will contain some yeast. Whether brewers yeast is good for you or not depends a lot on your unique biology. Some people benefit immensely from this fungi, as it is rich in vitamins and minerals, and take it as a nutritional supplement. However, some individuals are allergic to brewers yeast and can experience abdominal cramping, digestive issues and headaches. If you are sensitive to yeast, it is best to avoid beer that hasn’t been pasteurized.

Drink or Don’t - Specific Health Conditions and Beer

Celiac Disease and Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Although significantly different biologically, the diets for people with Celiac Disease and those who are merely gluten sensitive are nearly identical. For these individuals, gluten should be avoided at all costs. It is possible to make a beer-like beverage using gluten-free ingredients such as corn, millet or quinoa traditional beers are never fully gluten free. All malt contains gluten, therefore any beer brewed with malt will have gluten, and people with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity should steer clear.

Lactose Intolerance

Individuals who are lactose intolerant lack specific enzymes that aid with the digestion of milk and milk-based derivatives. Consumption of products made with dairy trigger an array of digestive issues in people with lactose intolerance, though several products exist to assist with digestion. Most beer is safe for people with lactose intolerance, however, some beer may be sweetened with lactose, which is an unfermentable sugar. Some brewers use lactose to add sweetness to their beer that cannot be converted into alcohol by residual yeast. If you are lactose intolerant, be sure to avoid any beer sweetened with lactose such as Milk Stouts, lactose (or milkshake) IPAs, dessert sours and cream ales.

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections of any kind can be exacerbated by consuming any product with live yeast cultures in it. According to Thomas, candida can be agitated by saccharomyces, the most common yeast in beer.

Histamine Intolerance

Histamine intolerance is a condition characterized by the diminished capacity for histamine degradation. Put simply, individuals who are diagnosed with histamine intolerance have difficulty processing and detoxifying histamines. Thomas, who works patients diagnosed with histamine intolerance, advises anyone with this condition to avoid any and all fermented food and drink, including beer, which can cause dangerous reactions involving the body’s histamines.

Specific Ingredient Allergies

  • Yeast - avoid any non-filtered, non-pasteurized beers. Every beer from Down The Road is unfiltered and we do not pasteurize.

  • Hops - Avoid IPAs, Pale Ales and anything advertised as “dry hopped.” Almost all beer contains some amount of hops, but it’s the mostly the really raw stuff that triggers hop allergies.

  • Stonefruit (peaches, apricots, cherries, etc) - Check the ingredients and avoid fruited beers. Down The Road plainly lists any fruit in their beers, but be extra careful with their fruited sours as they contain more raw forms of these ingredients. Note that some beers may be described as tasting of different stonefruit, but unless we specifically say that it contains fruit juice, then those flavor impressions come from hops and not actual fruit.

  • Nuts - Some beers include nuts and nut extracts. If you have a nut allergy, avoid any beer brewed with peanut butter, hazelnuts, pecans, etc. Down The Road does not currently use any nuts in their beer, including the Hooligan Nut Brown, which has a nutty taste, but does not include any actual nuts.

Drink or Don’t - Lifestyle and Religious Choices

Vegan

With the exception of beers brewed with lactose, vegans don’t have much to worry about since most beer does not contain any animal products. As mentioned in the lactose intolerance section, vegans should be on the lookout for any “sweet,” “cream,” “milk,” or “dessert” beers as they may contain lactose. Down The Road does not currently produce any lactose beers, but that doesn’t mean we never will.

Vegetarian

Every beer brewed at Down The Road is vegetarian-friendly.

Low-carb/Keto

Beer is low in fat but very high in carbohydrates and calories. Most beers contain well over 15 grams of carbohydrates and 150+ calories. If you maintain a low to no carb diet, any beer, not just Down The Road beer, is definitely off the table.

Non-alcoholic

Down The Road does not currently produce any non-alcoholic beer options, but we serve an array of non-alcoholic beverages at our taproom including craft sodas, Kombucha and nitro coffee.

In Summary

The short answer is this: all Down The Road beer contains gluten and is high in carbohydrates and calories. None of our beer is pasteurized or filtered, so it all contains hop oil/particulate and live yeast. Some of our beer contains fruit that people may be allergic to, and we haven’t brewed with lactose or nuts yet, but that doesn’t mean we never will. Stay vigilant, stay informed and remember that it’s always safer to ask than to guess.

Brendan Van Voris
Introducing: GoopMassta Session IPA

Anyone who has visited Down The Road Beer Co’s taproom knows that we're about more than just faeries and monsters. The walls of the beer hall / arcade are dominated by an epic, two-story mural, designed and sprayed by a collection of visiting graffiti artists from around the world. Art appreciation is at the core of the brewery’s identity, which is why we are proud to introduce our newest project: the Virtuoso Series.

Each collectible release in the Virtuoso Series will feature breakout artists from around the world. The work runs the gamut from raw and gutsy to whimsical and playful - stuff that is just as comfortable sprayed on a subway station, gallery wall or beer can. Up first is GoopMassta, a Miami-based artist, and his signature hip hop frog. Both the art and the liquid are a little splash of Florida - sunny, lighthearted and laid back.

GoopMassta Session IPA bursts with dank citrus and punchy apricot notes from liberal use of Citra and Amarillo hops. Low bitterness and a smooth finish round out a bodacious brew that needs no hype to make an impression.*

Down The Road Beer Co. is excited to kick off the Virtuoso Series with GoopMassta Session IPA and, of course, a huge launch party at the taproom on Friday, March 23rd. Reggae music will be provided by JSN GROOVES, JAHRIFFE & JAH-N-I ROOTS BAND, and Toussaint The Liberator & Sarah Brindle with the Naya Rockers. A special food menu will be dished out by Melt Food Truck. Each beer in the Virtuoso Series, including GoopMassta Session IPA, will be a taproom exclusive release with no package or draft distribution.

*A minor caveat: this iteration is technically version 2.0. The original plan for this beer was significantly more avant garde, but unfortunately, it was a bit ahead of its time. The earthy ingredients have been shelved for now in anticipation of more defined legislature regarding the use of certain organic compounds in beer.

Alex E. Weaver
Introducing: Sunna Double IPA

Did you realize it has been almost two and a half years since Down The Road released its first batch of Undine? In that time, we have released twenty different beers, yet Undine remains our only Double IPA. We have finally decided to remedy that - introducing Sunna DIPA, our newest and perhaps hoppiest release to date.

Legendary Hops
Named after the Norse goddess of the sun, this Double IPA boasts epic juiciness from Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo and Galaxy - all legends from the pantheon of hops. At 8.5% ABV, Sunna DIPA is a perfect harmony of orange, apricot and grapefruit notes, radiant as a smile from the Sun Goddess herself.

Divine Malts
As much as this beer is all about the hops, there’s still for a bit of malty nuance as well. Head brewer Donovan saw this release as an opportunity to bring a bit more heft to the recipe with Golden Promise, a smooth, full-bodied malt with a hint of sweetness. The result is a beer that is as juicy as it is robust. Grab a pint at our taproom and take a four pack or two for the road.

Sunna DIPA is available on draft and to go in the taproom only with a carryout limit of one case per customer.

Brendan Van Voris
Introducing: Deepdweller Cranberry Chocolate Stout

Every civilization has its signature monsters and boogeymen - vile creatures that threaten to pounce from the shadows at any time, yet there is one primal horror that transcends both geography and culture: the dragon. These avaricious serpents are fear made manifest. Their teeth are sharp, claws long and hunger neigh boundless.

Fear Made Flesh
From Arthurian legend to ancient Chinese myth, many forms of dragons exist, yet few are as terrifying as the British Knucker. This devil stalks England’s broad moors, lurking deep in abyssal pools and waiting for foolish prey to approach in search of drinking water or a brisk bath. The covetous Knucker leaves nothing for the crows, pulling knight, armor and steed all whole into its watery lair. Although times have changed and the moors are now criss-crossed with thousands of miles of pavement, some say this monster still lies in wait, near spitting distance from the road, salivating for new treasures to add to its trove.

Brew From The Abyss
It is this unlikely monster to which we dedicate our Deepdweller Cranberry Chocolate Stout - a reminder of the old world horrors that once dominated our collective unconscious. This beer is deep and black as the sunken graves of the Knucker with roasted malt and robust chocolate contrasted against a quick zip of tart cranberry, alluring as a chest of rubies. Although we have prepared Deepdweller to be enjoyed fresh, we also set aside a fraction of the batch to age in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels, where it will slumber for several months awaiting the perfect opportunity to strike. Drink, but remember - if you seek to hunt monsters, you must take caution lest you become one yourself.

Brendan Van Voris
Kölsch Karnival Takes Over the Taproom This February
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Friends, family and neighbors are all strangers in the street during the “Crazy Days” of masked Karneval. In Cologne, those who keep the faith and pagans alike revel in masquerade between Fat Thursday and Ash Wednesday. Paupers and princes join arm in arm to celebrate worldly pleasures before giving them up for Lent. For one glorious week, everyone feasts on roasted meats, delicate sweets and, of course, Kölsch. The pride of Cologne, this beer is light, refreshing and infinitely drinkable, and in the legendary Kölsch halls, the cups never run dry. For the instant they are drained, dutiful attendants pour more of the signature golden ale.

Regardless of your social status or citizenry, Karneval is renowned as a festival of inclusivity — anyone is invited to participate in the celebration. Worldly trappings and social status are well hidden for the week behind masks both gaudy and humorous. In fact, this tradition is so well-loved, that the city nominates three citizens to play the roles of prince, pauper and young maiden, each indicated by an elaborate, oversized mask.

On February 23rd, join Down The Road Beer Co. in our celebration of Kölsch Karnival - one night of authentic German fare, Oompa music and, of course, near-bottomless Kölsch. Guests are encouraged to come in full masquerade, but those who come unprepared can show their crafty side by fabricating a disguise at our complimentary mask-making station. For those who want the true Kölsch experience, tickets are available for purchase on site that are good for five pours and an authentic Kölsch stange (glass) souvenir.

So come add a bit of light to an otherwise dismal February, and join us for  Kölsch Karnival - Kölle Alaaf

 

Alex E. Weaver
Beer for good: Colibri puerto rico Hurricane Relief Gose

Months after Hurricane Maria, nearly half Puerto Rico’s residents are still without power and other basic human needs. Everyone knows the island needs aid, but despite our best intentions, many mainlanders don’t know what they can do to help. However, for fans of Down The Road, contributing to PR reconstruction is as easy sipping a few beers. 

This week, DTR releases its newest beer: Colibri Hurricane Relief Gose. This delightfully tart brew is brimming with tropical flavor from guava, mango and native, Puerto Rican sea salt, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to hurricane relief efforts via The Boston Foundation. Join us for the release party on January 25 (this Thursday) for authentic PR food, live music and salsa lessons. Several Puerto Rican artists have also volunteered to hang art for the party, all of which will be for sale.

There’s a lot of hard work to be done, and we applaud everyone who is putting in the sweat equity required for comprehensive restoration, but we also recognize that not everyone can put on a hard hat, take off work and fly to Puerto Rico to swing a hammer. However, that doesn’t mean you’re powerless to make a difference.

Please join us for the night, learn some more about the culture, enjoy some delicious new beer, try your hand at dancing and be the change you want to see in the world.

ColibriPoster.jpg
Brendan Van Voris
Darkest Night Imperial Stout Returns for limited taproom run

On December 21st, Down The Road heralds the true arrival of winter with a celebration of the darkest night of the year, Winter Solstice. For one night only, our taproom will be transformed into a feast hall, filled with seasonal revelries and song. Naturally, there is only one beer worthy of assuming the seat of honor at such The Darkest Night festival: our Darkest Night Russian Imperial Stout. Inspired by Baba Yaga, a Slavic witch of folklore, this boozy brew balances rich chocolate and coffee malts with a complex palate of fresh, piney hops. But who is Baba Yaga, and why is this withered old woman the face of one of our rarest beers? The devil, as they say, is in the details.

The Witch of the Woods

The primeval forests of the Slavs are dark, and ponderous places. Hard roots of ancient trees tap deep into the frozen earth, drawing sustenance from thousands of years of rot and detritus. In the dark heart of these labyrinthian woods lies Baba Yaga’s chicken-legged hut where the dread sorceress tends to her crops and livestock. It is from this cozy hovel that the old crone beckons lost travelers to their salvation, or their doom.

The old crone is capricious at best, her blessings and curses fall from her lips with no rhyme or reason - at least, not to the minds of mere mortals. Some wanderers may find her to be a maternal figure, spouting wisdom and bestowing gifts upon them for as little as a few compliments or a humble donation. Other less fortunate souls may draw her ire, suffering lingering maladies from her curses that haunt them for the rest of their miserable lives. And woe to the sorry sot who crosses Baba Yaga when she is hungry, for nothing warms the bones quite like hot, sweet blood.

A Serious Stout for Serious Beer Enthusiasts

Like so many of the folkloric namesakes of our beers here at Down the Road, Baba Yaga represents duplicity and chaos. She is a being that demands respect, and rewards it in kind. At 14% ABV, our “Darkest Night” Imperial Stout asks the same of beer drinkers. The well-balanced flavor of this deeply rich brew can be deceptive, and it would be wise to treat it with the respect it deserves. Yet those who can appreciate the composition of this complex and lusciously dark stout will find a warm companion to help them through the harsh cold of winter.

She’s still out there, you know, Baba Yaga. Time may pass, and the world around her may change, but the witch of the woods has gone nowhere. In the shadow-addled depths of Eastern Europe’s endless woodlands, Baba Yaga churns the forest’s rich loam for her crops and chickens - one eye on the footpath, the other turned toward the secret things that flit just beyond the edge of mortal vision, and to her, we raise a glass. Na Zdravie!

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Alex E. Weaverbeer release
DTR Is Ramping up MA Distribution & Expanding Into Rhode Island

We are proud to announce our new distribution partner: Atlantic Beverage Distributors. Starting in January, Atlantic will assume responsibility for all of our package and draft distribution in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This move places DTR alongside such renowned local breweries as Jack’s Abby and Lord Hobo, as well as Lawson’s Finest Liquids out of Vermont. Honestly. we couldn’t be more excited.

Down The Road Beer Co. came to market in 2015 with a self-distribution model. From the early days of delivering Puk out of the back of a minivan to our modest fleet of commercial delivery trucks, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds in the past three years. Nonetheless, the demand for DTR beer has vastly outstripped our distribution capacity, so it’s time to pass of the reins to a professional distributor with the reach we need to better support our fans in Massachusetts while expanding into new markets such as Rhode Island.

Atlantic is also excited about the new partnership as they are always looking to incorporate key brands into their stable of New England craft.

"Atlantic believes that Down The Road Beer Co. is one of the top local craft breweries with scalability composing of great quality beers and a dedicated team of personnel to support statewide expansion in Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” says Atlantic Beverage Distributors General Sales Manager Mino Soghomonian.

With this announcement, DTR would like to take the opportunity to thank its amazing salesforce, indefatigable distribution team and the thousands of small business owners who have helped build Down The Road into one of the foremost craft beer brands in Massachusetts. We all wanted to believe this crazy project had legs, but between opening our taproom and signing with Atlantic, we feel like we're finally breaking into a run. Thank you for your ongoing support and for joining us on this epic journey.

As always, we’ll see you Down The Road. 

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Alex E. Weaver
Seventh Star IPA now shines a little brighter

It’s no secret. We know what you want in an IPA — low bitterness, high hoppiness and an ample serving of haze. It’s also no secret that we recently slipped the bonds of gypsy brewing, and we’re settling into our new 30-barrel brewhouse nicely. All this shiny new tech opens up a mind-boggling number of nerdy brewing opportunities, but we wanted to start somewhere specific, taking another run at our highly popular Seventh Star IPA.

Sure, everyone knows that if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it. But that's not Brewmaster Donovan’s M.O. If he can make something better or more refined, especially now that he has control over the means of production, then you can be certain that he’s going to do exactly that.

We’re not going to go so far as to call this Seventh Star 2.0, but we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the tweaks to the recipe. The new formula gives you both barrels of hoppy, tropical fruitiness from a double dose of Azacca and Idaho #7 with backup from a nice round body, soft mouthfeel and a smooth yet dry finish.

Want to see the hustle in action and be one of the first to taste our new, revamped Seventh Star IPA? Swing by on starting now to see the crew in action as we keg and can some of the freshest beer in Mass. Grab a pint at the bar and snag a case for takeaway.

Alex E. Weaver
Dogs Are Now Welcome 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 dogs will be allowed inside the Down The Road Beer Co. taproom all the time, except from 5pm to close on Thursday, Friday and Saturday

We understand not everyone wants their taproom visit to feel like a 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'll be designating a "No Dogs" area in the taproom and 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 soon! 

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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.

 

Becky Schrumm
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?

Becky Schrumm
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!

Becky Schrumm
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