This weekend I was quite busy doing fitness with the NE Spahten Ninjas at Ragnar Trail until Saturday, then sleeping/recovering most of Sunday. I didn’t spend my weekend in a taproom like I usually tend to (Although I did plenty of drinking, which you would have seen on my Instagram). I did notice that the new taproom at Castle Island had opened though, and luckily they’re open on Mondays and I’m on vacation this week. Let’s dig in.
Just a stones throw from Rt. 1, the land of chain restaurants and Ernie Boch Jr., Castle Island sits as an oasis of tasty brews. Opening late in 2015, the brand has since spread like wildfire throughout the local packies. I’ve enjoyed a couple of beers of theirs before, but it was finally time to pay a visit.
The fresh bar set up is beautiful, starting with the wood fronted bar top. The accent lights both under the bar and above the taps acts as a beacon, calling you to drink. Rather than put up unnecessary walls, Castle Island opted to section off the taproom with a fence style set up, with bar top running the length of it, to give more beer resting room while still giving you full view of the operation. Long bench tables give plenty of space to sit and enjoy your beer and play a game or too. The one full wall was used optimally, with paintings on the edges and a projector screen playing selections off Amazon Prime. We caught the end of Iron Man and beginning of Indiana Jones, so they clearly have great taste in film. The new place is a great set up, a job very well done!
The beer follows suit, being just as well crafted. They offer most of their regular rotation on tap, along with a few taproom exclusive variations. We sampled 8 beers and have quite the top three for you.
- Candlepin Session Ale is a fantastic cookout beer. A solid lighter ale that still packs a pleasant piney hop flavor. You’ll still be crushing these long after the fireworks go off.
- Big Ern Double IPA delicious. It has a sweet, hoppy profile that feel almost creamy. It’s almost as smooth as Mr. McCraken himself, so get this limited release before it goes away…don’t go Munsoning yourself.
- Righteous Goals Sour Blonde Ale with Guava is a terrific newcomer for Castle Island. It has a solid amount of tartness, with a slight grapefruity flavor that gets balanced by the sweetness that follows. A real excellent blonde ale that also supports an excellent cause, the ALS Foundation. I will always support drinking for a cause, especially when it’s as tasty as this.
Castle Island now has the quality set-up to go along with their already quality beer. Now go pay them a visit and see for yourself!
Castle Island Brewing can be found at 31 Astor Ave Norwood, MA 02062 and at https://castleislandbeer.com/