It seems like most startup craft breweries nowadays are built in old warehouses or barns. This wasn’t always the case. When the American craft brewing industry started to grow again in the 1980’s and early 1990’s many of the breweries were started as brewpubs, restaurants that brewed and served their own beer. Some of these brewpubs gained popularity and eventually bottled and distributed their beers. While many brewpubs combine good food with fresh beer, I don’t know of very many that will also rent you a room. This is one thing that makes the Woodstock Inn and Brewery in North Woodstock, NH unique. The Woodstock Inn was founded in 1982 when a century old home was rebuilt as an inn and restaurant. In addition to the restaurant, they also started to brew and serve their own beers, which are now bottled and distributed into MA. One of Woodstock Inn’s signature beers is Red Rack Ale, an American amber/red ale. Red Rack Ale is sold on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Woodstock Inn Red Rack Ale pours a clear raspberry red with a massive cream colored head. The smell is a combination of nutty and sweet malt with a little earthy hops. The taste starts with the malt, grainy bread, caramel and a hint of sweetness. This is balanced with some subtle hops, grass and pine with some mild bitterness. The beer is clean and drinkable, at 5.5% ABV it’s not too heavy. Red Rack Ale is a very solid beer for the Fall – full flavored enough to hold up to hearty foods and brisk evenings, but light enough to drink on a pleasantly warm afternoon. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Woodstock Inn’s beers in the future. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.