Craft beer discoveries are the perfect reason for a road trip. And here in New England, you can do no better than heading to Central Massachusetts (see what we did there?). It’s full of amazing locations to taste great craft brews and learn how they are made — and lots of places that pair well with good beer: art, entertainment and, of course, food.
Worcester has long had cred — as the nickname “Wormtown” attests. The nickname was given to Worcester for the heady days of the ’70s and ’80s when popular bands would host pop-up concerts in underground clubs; patrons who attended were known as “worms.”
Now, Worcester and its surrounding communities are experiencing a kind of renaissance. Beautiful, historic buildings that once sat empty are now spiffed up and vibrant, home to theaters, restaurants and, yes, craft breweries. So relevant has the region become to the craft brew world that the heralded Mass Fermentational brew festival was moved this past year from Boston to Worcester. The city already hosts its own brew fest — Brew Woo.
You don’t, however, need to wait for a great event to experience the Central Massachusetts brewing vibe. It’s there for you any day you want to visit.
The big daddy of breweries may very well be Wormtown Brewery, located in, of course, Worcester. Founded by locals Tom Oliveri and Ben Roesch, using business support from Worcester’s Clark University business development program, Wormtown launched in 2010 in the old Peppercorn’s Ice Cream Factory site with four brews to offer. Today, Wormtown is thriving in new digs at 72 Shrewsbury St., in the heart of the city.
Wormtown’s comfortable and cool tasting room is open to visitors, and tours are offered regularly. You’ll learn about how Wormtown came to be, and how it creates its unique and inspired beers. You can find Wormtown’s creations on tap all over, and now, thanks to a new canning line, you can purchase Wormtown brew — including its popular Underground Series IPAs — at locations around the region.
The first to hit shelves in cans will be Buddha Juice DIPA in January, then Hopulence DIPA in April, Be Hoppier DIPA in July and Be Hoppiest TIPA in October. The dark beers in the UG series (Sweet Tats and Spies Like Us RIS) will still be available in 12 oz. bottles. The folks at Wormtown are proud of that, as are they of the fact they create their brews with locally sourced ingredients. Learn more at wormtownbrewery.com.