It’s possible that the most beautiful brewery in Massachusetts is Oakholm Brewing Co. in Brookfield.
There are other pretty breweries in the state, of course, but on the right day, with the right people, Oakholm rivals all of them. Set on 115 acres in a town southwest of Worcester, Oakholm is a working blueberry, raspberry, and Christmas tree farm. In 2018, an old hay barn on the property was converted into a taproom. Lambs, goats, and other animals still wander the grounds, and if you’re looking to get married you can do that here as well.
Our visit to Oakholm coincided with the brewery’s Oktoberfest celebration, which featured food trucks and plenty of German-style lagers, despite a band on site singing the Polka song “No Beer on Sunday.”
The brewery grounds are stunning, set on rolling hills and featuring pastures, fire pits, and plenty of green space for cornhole and other games. In that kind of setting it almost doesn’t matter whether or not the beer is good, though in this case it is.
“I always steer people toward our New England IPAs, in particular our double imperial IPA, Super Slate,” says Oakholm taproom manager Matt Mackin.
Super Slate is the “bigger brother” to Oakholm’s staple New England IPA, Slate Roof. The double IPA “explodes with tropical fruits, sweet citrus, and resinous pine in both flavor and aroma,” according to Mackin.
Another beer to try is Cows Over the Moon, a milk stout that Mackin says may surprise you.
“It’s the total opposite of what you normally envision as a ‘stout’ beer,” says Mackin. “Instead of heavy, dark, strong aromatics you get a sweet stout brewed with roasted caramel and chocolate malts. The addition of milk sugar keeps this stout sweet and creamy.”
Two other beer notes this week:
— Trillium is selling its original Canton location at 100 Shawmut Road, consolidating its brewing operations at the more newly-built brewery and taproom at 100 Royal Street. The brewery is offering up Shawmut Road as a “turn-key” property for another brewer or beverage manufacturer to take over.
— For the first time, Lawson’s Finest Liquids’ maple ale, Mad River Maple, is available outside of Vermont. This 8 percent ABV brew is made with Vermont maple syrup, of course, and is inspired by an old English homebrewing recipe which used molasses as a sweetener.