Tree House Brewing


The time frame was, shall we say, challenging?  The brewery opened at 5:00, and my flight was at 6:45.   Oh, and there’s a 50 minute return drive during rush hour, plus refueling and returning a rental car, the shuttle van to the terminal, checking a bag, and a sprint to the gate. 

It started innocently enough, calling a beer store to see if they happened to have Julius, from Tree House Brewing, in stock.  “No, they don’t sell anywhere but at their brewery, but we have lots of others blah blah blah.”  Two minutes later, he called my cell phone and said. “It’s really, really good.  You should go to the brewery.  They’re open today.”  Julius is rated a 100 on Beer Advocate, the best available objective resource on such things, and I love IPAs.


So, I’m off to Hopson, MA, a dot on the map located fairly centrally, on that given day, of perfect fall foliage in rolling hills with farms.  Hey, there’s a farmhouse.  And there’s the brewery.  As it turns out, the brewer married the farmer’s daughter.


See the people above?  They’re just hanging around.  That’s because the brewery isn’t open yet.  The guy on the phone said Thursdays are really, really busy, because it’s the first day they’re open and fans arrive with their growlers ready to be filled with fresh beer.  Eh, not so bad.


So, what I thought were markers for a suggested line to form turned out to be the coolers belonging to those lounging at the tables.  Ah.  Airplane to catch.  I best stand in line. 


By the time they opened, there were about 75 people in line; I was 17th.  Still being mindful of my flight, I admit I was more than a little worried.  But… the staff come out to take orders and pre-fill the growlers prior to the opening.  The guy behind me said, “Don’t worry.  You’ll be out of here in 10 minutes.”


Nine, actually.  6 cans of Julius to go, please.  Sadly, it was much later that I reflected that although I purchased the limit on Julius, I could have bought other varieties as well.  The limits are not mutually exclusive, and my suitcase still had available tonnage before excess weight charges would have applied.  Ah well.  Perhaps I was too distracted by the shiny vats.


And… after tasting the beer, I really should have grabbed a T-shirt.


But, I had to wait until I got home to do that.  I made the plane with about 10 minutes to spare, and… I have to figure out my next opportunity for returning my refrigerator to its happy state below.  My three favorite beers are each within a whisker of each other, and this one… might just win if I were able to compare all three at once. Oh, and yes, there’s a slight orange flavor to it.