Worcester Massachusetts… it’s one of those places that you have to drive past, or through to get to all of the other great places in New England. In the last year alone I drove through Worcester more than a handful of times. Whether I was going to Maine, New Hampshire or Boston, I always thought to stop but never wanted to risk tacking on more time to my already tedious commute.
It wasn’t until this past Wednesday when I met with our Contributor Amanda Olsen, the girl behind our blog, Home in New England, that I had a chance to experience some of the wonderful small businesses that call Worcester home.
We started our day at Acoustic Java, a quaint cafe & eatery located on Main Street. We ordered coffee and sandwiches, then sat for hours mulling over new ideas for New England Weekender Magazine. Once our eyes had glazed over from staring at our laptop screens and our veins were pumping with caffeine, we decided it was time to wrap up the ‘work’ and go experience first hand, the best of Worcester!
Wormtown Brewery (located just 1.5 miles from Acoustic Java) seemed like the perfect place to wind down our day. We arrived around 4PM, and were pleasantly surprised to find a spacious, convenient (and free) parking lot. The burnt sienna colored brick makes the building hard to miss from the street and stands out from surrounding buildings with its masculine architecture and bright pop of color.
Two vintage logos remain of the once Buick dealership, now home to a handful of businesses alongside Wormtown Brewery, including Worcester Magazine and Volturno Pizza.
Once in the tap room you’ll notice the natural light pours in from the windows, which were once garage bays for the dealership. All of the walls have visual interest and become art in themselves. A corner of the tap room is occupied as the ‘swag’ shop and features Wormtown “merch” as well as collaborations with local artisans and makers.
Wormtown is commonly recognized for their American IPA, Be Hoppy. It is exceptionally aromatic, with citrus forward flavors and features a “copious amount of hops”. The smily face logo on the cans, bottles and tap room glassware coincides with the slogan, “don’t worry be hoppy” and pays homage to Harvey Ball, the Worcester inventory, who created the smiley face in the late 1960’s.
In addition to the year round classics, also on tap rotation are small batch collaborations such as Hoperation Veterans Inc, and series called Hopular Culture.
Amanda and I tried a flight of 5 beers, of which my two personal favorites were the Helles Lager and Buddha Juice. “Beer-tender” Catie Meguire brought us locally made pretzels from Wicked Twisted Pretzels with three different flavors of mustards, for our dipping pleasure. Of the three varieties, the Tangy (which had horseradish in it) was my favorite! I do love horseradish! Thought’s on a horseradish beer? Would you try such a concoction?
Jamie Chapman, the brewery’s tap room manager was enthusiastic while sharing the brewery’s story. “Seeing Wormtown’s growth is truly amazing” and can be credited to their“dedication to community outreach and local collaborations”, Chapman said. What started as a big idea in a tiny ice cream shop has turned into a full blown operation. Over 30 full time employee’s now work together to produce what owners Ben, David & Tom call on their website “meaningful quantities”, and are able to distribute their beer to package stores in Massachusetts with hopes to expand to other New England states very soon.
In addition to a great selection of beers and a friendly staff, Wormtown offers weekly, year round events such as Brew Bingo every Tuesday from 5:30 – 7:30 (free) and live music every Wednesday from 6 – 8PM!
INFORMATION ON WORMTOWN BREWERY
INFORMATION ON WICKED TWISTED PRETZELS
Photos: Amanda Olsen
Article: Nicole Goncalves
Wormtown brewery sampled products with us so that we would be able to share our experience with our readers. All opinions are our own. For more information on sponsored posts please visit our policy page.