I have the distinct pleasure of living right in between Boston and Worcester. So when a great new brewery opens in either one of these great cities, I can get there relatively easily. But these days, the breweries just keep getting closer and closer.
I was thrilled when Jack's Abby opened in Framingham in 2011. Then Exhibit A Brewing also opened in Framingham.
And now the breweries are getting even closer! Welcome Start Line Brewing, now open in Hopkinton! (and frighteningly close to my house...great for beer, bad for my wallet!)
Start Line Brewing opened about two weeks ago inside Waterfresh Farm on Hayden Rowe Street.
I wandered in one Friday after work and sampled a few brews. They were all good, some VERY good. So, of course I took home a few crowlers. Here are my thoughts on several of the beers being served up by Start Line.
Dark Chocolate Stout
This was my absolute favorite, although all of the beers are rock solid. Big roasty aroma, nice tan head, and a super velvety body from this Nitro infused (Nitro is tap room only, for now) stout. I got bitter chocolate and coffee notes, big and tasty but not overpowering. Ty, who was working the bar when I was there, told me they were still playing around with the gas mixture, but that they had introduced nitro to this brew and were still refining it a bit. I thought this was a top notch stout. The crowler did have some issues with pressure loss (remember, new brewery, still learning), but it was still very good. I'll absolutely be back for more of this bad boy.
Hop Load IPA
IPA's pay the bills, I've had more than one brewer tell me this. This one will be paying them for Start Line. A clear, honey colored ale with a sweet, hoppy aroma that elicits tropical fruit, this IPA brings the hops but with a reasonable abv. I found this beer to have a light to moderate feel on the palette, and a resiny hoppy flavor that was nicely balanced with a malty sweetness. A strong debut IPA.
I wrote a piece several years ago praying for the death of the Black IPA fad.
No one listened.
And for once, I'm glad. This is a damn good beer. And I don't like black IPAs. At all.
Pouring dark black with an aroma that is as equally malty as it is hoppy, I found this beer soft in mouthfeel, with an earthy malty taste up front followed by a bitter, hoppy finish.
There are more beers to sample at Start Line, but I'm not going to spoil it for you. Go check them out and tell me what you think.