I can't tell you how many times I've been to a brewpub and left wishing I could buy their beers in stores. With the Tap in Haverhill, that's not a problem. The brewpub sells its Homerun American Pale Ale under its other moniker, the Haverhill Brewing Company.
I can't tell you how many times I've been to a brewpub and left wishing I could buy their beers in stores.
With the Tap in Haverhill, that's not a problem. The brewpub sells its Homerun American Pale Ale under its other moniker, the Haverhill Brewing Company.
For head brewer Jon Curtis, the recent release of Homerun is a personal milestone.
"This is my baby," said Curtis, 25, who has been the head brewer for a year and a half. "I love this beer. This is the first beer I developed to be bottled. Every brewer inherits some beers from the previous brewer, but just to get something totally yours into bottles is great."
The other three beers are Leatherlips IPA, HaverAle and Whittier White.
The Homerun American Pale Ale is darker than most pale ales, but it has a great blend of hops and malts. It a very easy drinking beer.
I still think the Leatherlips is the best India pale ale brewed in Massachusetts, if not all of New England. It has a nice blast of bitterness when you take the first sip, but it won't overwhelm you.
The HaverAle is a cream ale, light and refreshing. This is a good summertime beer.
The Whittier White is another good summer beer, but now, for the first time, it will be replaced when the colder months move in. It will be replaced by the Merrimac Chocolate Porter in the fall, Curtis said.
But even more exciting is the release of Homerun American Pale Ale, and the ambitious schedule of new releases Curtis and his young staff have planned in the near future.
"I do believe we have the youngest brewery staff in the state," said Curtis. "There are four of us, and the oldest is 26."
Beginning in two weeks, the Haverhill Brewery will release a new beer, packaged in 22-ounce bottles, every other month.
The first will be the Ascension Belgian IPA. I've had this on two different trips to the Tap, and it is really a great beer.
"Belgian IPAs are totally different than American IPAs," said Curtis. "It's quite a unique taste."
Following Ascension, in August, will be the Ladame De Peronne, a French-style Biere De Garde.
In October, Joshua Norton Imperial Stout will be the next beer to hit shelves. This is another wonderful beer. I've had the regular version and the barrel-aged version, and both are excellent.
Following the Joshua Norton will be Brumaire, a Belgian ale, and Snowbound Old Ale.
I can't wait to try them all.
But, if you can't wait for the new beers, or you want to try others that are not bottled, take a quick drive up to Haverhill (about an hour from Framingham) and visit the Tap brewpub.
There are at least eight beers on tap at all time, and Curtis said he expects to brew 40 different beers this year.
"We usually do a new beer every two weeks," he said. "When we have something on tap, it's usually gone in a week or two.
Currently, it's German beer month at the Tap. They have an excellent altbier, which is a brown ale and is smooth, and a Berliner weiss, which is an extremely tart wheat beer, in addition to several other German-style beers.
"I'm really happy with the alt," said Curtis. "I think we'll be sending that to the (Great American Beer Fest). I think the alt will be in bottles in the spring."
The restaurant has a good family atmosphere if you have kids and don't want to sit in the bar, they have a large dining room as well as a deck that overlooks the Merrimack River. There is also plenty of free parking around the pub.
The food isn't half bad either.
On a recent trip, two friends and I shared an order of french fried portobello mushrooms, which were tasty. I had the bleu cheese and bacon burger, and it was cooked to perfection.
Haverhill Brewing Company's beers are available at Fifth Avenue Liquors and Framingham Liquors in Framingham, Bacon's Spirits and Buscemi's Convenience in Hudson, Cask & Keg and D&L Liquors in Waltham, Grape Expectations in Hopedale, Julio's in Westborough, Marlborough Wine & Spirits in Marlborough, Holliston Wine & Spirits and Whole Foods in Wayland.
They are also available on tap at Stone's Public House in Ashland and Horseshoe Pub in Hudson.
Norman Miller is a Daily News staff writer. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, e-mail email@example.com or call 508-626-3823. Check out The Beer Nut blog at http://blogs.townonline.com/beernut/.