Winter Brew Review: Chatham Brewing

Editors Note: “The Brewsicologist,” a new feature, tours the landscape of craft beers of Greylock Nation. Although the Brewsicologist’s identity is a closely guarded secret, the resulting bubbly or stale opinions will be known to all.

It turned out to be the perfect night to set out to discover great winter brews. Whiteout conditions hit as I was barely out of my driveway, and yet the trip out to Chatham Brewing was surprisingly fast and uneventful. Once I’d settled in at the bar, I ordered a flight of four beers.

The Farmer’s Daughter Rye IPA (6% ABV, 49 IBUs) caught my eye, and I asked the bartender to fill out the selection with his choice. He asked if I wanted to try “something weird” — so naturally my interest was piqued. It turned out to be their Same Day Series Chocolate Peanut Butter Imperial Porter (8.5% ABV, 16 IBUs). It was like an alcoholic peanut butter cup made glorious liquid form, and was unexpectedly pleasant, though not my personal favorite of the night.

I kept coming back to the Farmer’s Daughter, which had a solid flavor, not too bitter, not too sweet, and light without feeling frivolous — and definitely my favorite beer of the night. Rounding out the flight were the Bombogenesis Imperial IPA (8.5% ABV, 77 IBUs), just as bombastic as the name would imply — strong floral scent, good bitterness, and not an overwhelmingly alcoholic taste, despite the high ABV. On the tail of the Bombogenesis, the Hopfinity And Beyond Imperial IPA (85%, 65 IBUs) fell kind of flat — though upon returning to it after some less floral selections, it held its own better, and would make a perfectly lovely Imperial IPA on its own.

The unassuming “Brown Ale” is your best best for knocking the chill off in Chatham this Winter, mebbe with a Bleu Burger, made with New York Trowbridge beef, and a side of onion rings; photo, the Greylock Glass.

Upon the recommendation of one of the other patrons, I sampled the Mos’ Citra American Pale Ale (5.5% ABV), which came across as the Bombogenesis’ quieter cousin. At this stage, I’d nearly had my fill, but still hadn’t discovered what I’d qualify as a great winter brew, despite my growing affection for the Farmer’s Daughter. I tried a taste of the Spike Devil Porter (6% ABV, 40 IBUs) — whose name I misheard as something I shall not repeat, much to the amusement of the other bar patrons. I finished off the night with a full pint of the humbly named Brown Ale (5.5% ABV, 31 IBUs). Rich, warm and inviting, I had finally landed on Chatham’s perfect winter offering. If you’re looking for a comfort beer on a snowy night, this is the one to get — although I’ll save a special place in my heart for the Farmer’s Daughter.

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