Mixing a good brew and mountain biking is as natural as serving a fresh slice of apple pie with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. And we New Englanders have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to quality brewpubs, no matter where your two wheels take you. The toughest decision is choosing which pub to visit.
Right out my front door on Boston’s North Shore, I’ve got plenty of off-road riding options. Yes, that makes me, and my riding buddies, very, very lucky. And just when you think we couldn’t get any luckier, Ipswich opens a pair of outstanding brewpubs.
The latest is the True North Ale Company (TrueNorthAles.com), with a taproom offering “Northern Haze,” a juicy New England IPA, and “Ice Bucket Pale” a West Coast extra pale ale (proceeds support ALS research). Other faves are the Brouges Belgian sour ale, a hoppy amber called Detour and refreshing Mexican lager called Cerveza. Across town, the Brewer’s Table at the Ipswich Ale Brewery (ipswichalebrewery.com) couples two dozen outstanding beverage selections (try the coffee-inspired Zumatra Stout, Pumpkin Porter or the fruity Cranberry Beret) with a farm-fresh pub menu.
I love the “bring your own food” option at Night Shift Brewing(nightshiftbrewing.com) in Everett, where I try to mix and match my home-cooked grub with a variety of on-tap offerings like Santilli, an American IPA, and a light lager called Night Lite (“mixed fermentation” fans will love the Rickey Weisse, with raspberries and limes). To the west, in Monson, the Tree House Brewing Company (treehousebrew.com) is the little brewpub that could. Among the 30 rotating offerings are the Julius, a hoppy American IPA with hints of passion fruit, mango and citrus, Alter Ego American IPA, an American blonde ale called Eureka, a German-style pilsner called Trail Magic, and a complex milk stout named That’s What She Said. No, I didn’t ask why.