Monday, January 24, 2011

BrewEngland Visits: Blue Hills Brewery - Canton, MA

This past Friday evening, Sarah and I (finally) made the short 15 minute ride to Blue Hills Brewery, located in Canton, MA. We had heard about BHB a few years ago, and more recently have began to try a few of their beers. We had recently been in communication with their Office Manager Jim via Twitter, after he picked up on our review of their most recent release - Dunkelweizen. Jim invited Sarah and I to the brewery for a visit, and we couldn't pass it up.

Located just down the street from the Blue Hills themselves, Blue Hills Brewery is a small facility tucked into a few other offices. In fact, we drove by it the first time, despite our GPS (which I need to update) telling us when to turn. Nevertheless, we found their unit and made our way inside.

When you step inside the Blue Hills Brewery, you walk right into their primary office space, which also holds their sampling room and retail space. BHB typically has three beers available on draft at the brewery, but they don't seem to hold back on opening up some of their 22oz bombers to dish out more samples.

Jim came from the brewhouse to meet us, and couldn't have been nicer. He informed us that he began working as an intern helping out the brew staff. It wasn't until the former office manager moved on, that he took his space, which is where he currently finds himself.

Jim took us out back, and as we passed their labeling station, we were introduced to Andris, one of the co-owners and head brewer at the brewery. We chatted for a few minutes, before heading to the cold storage area.

According to Jim, the brewery has the capacity to brew 20 barrels, or 620 gallons per batch at a time. The brewery only operates Mondays through Fridays, and they often brew two to three times per week. What also was nice to find out is that they use cold storage for all their beer. Whether they've kegged or bottled the beer, it keeps chilled around 40 degrees. Once the drivers come to pick up the beer, they go right into the cold storage, pull whatever they need, and put it right onto the trucks for delivery.

Jim poured us each a sample of the Imperial Red IPA. It was both Sarah and my first time trying this beer, though I believe I may have had it at the end of the night at the Beer Summit recently. It was a pleasantly bitter, unfiltered, Red IPA that was easy to drink. It also packs 9% ABV, which isn't too shabby.

We chatted with Jim and one of their part time drivers a bit more about the Beer Summit, and figured that we missed each other. Otherwise, I would have introduced myself.

Jim then poured Sarah and I a healthy sample of their newest series of beers called Anti-Matter. This edition of the Anti-Matter is an American Pale Ale that pours (as you would expect) a fantastic pale concoction.

The beer is brewed with a single malt, and uses a single hop, to make what in my opinion is one of their finest beers. Granted I haven't tried many of their offerings (yet), it's incredibly smooth, refreshing, and enjoyable. Once we're able to snag a bomber of the Anti-Matter, it will no-doubt be reviewed here!

Before leaving, Jim graciously hooked us up with their Watermelon version of their Wampatuck Wheat Beers, as well as a bottle of their Black Hops and two pint glasses. I also picked up a bottle of their Imperial Red IPA, which I plan on reviewing soon.

All in all, it was a great visit, and I look forward to working with Blue Hills Brewery on the "Cure Me I'm Irish" event in March.

It should also be noted that Blue Hills Brewery has announced a B.I.A. program, or in other words a Brewery Internship Program. They are primarily looking for interns to work between 9-5pm Monday through Friday, but may be somewhat flexible with the hours per week. If you're interested in finding out more information, click here to get more details.

If you haven't been to the Blue Hills Brewery yet, why not stop in soon? It's only about 20 minutes from Boston, and very accessible from the highway. You'll get personal attention, and a great insight on the operations and happenings at this up and coming Massachusetts brewery. We had a great time, and know you will too!

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