Few things are more exciting to a craft beer enthusiast than having a new brewery open right in your neighborhood. Down The Road Brewery officially launched this week, and although they don’t have a tap room yet they are headquartered in Newton, very close to where I currently reside. The first product released by Down The Road is their flagship pale ale named Pukwudgie. In the IPA centric craft beer market it is nice to see a new brewery lead off with an APA, it feels like the style is falling out of favor. Pukwudgie is an interesting name! They named the beer after a mythical Wampanoag woodland creature. I don’t think they’ll have to worry about infringing on the copyrights of any other breweries with this one. Pukwudgie is an American pale ale brewed with Chinook and Mosaic hops. It is available locally on draft and in 12 oz. bottles. I bought a bottle on Friday (March 27th) that was bottled on March 26th – can’t beat that for freshness.
Down The Road Pukwudgie pours orange-tinted yellow with a solid white head. The smell is a solid hit of hops with aromas of citrus fruit and resin. The taste is also very malt forward, notes of pine, lemon and orange. This beer also packs some bite, with bitterness that approaches IPA-level. They could have easily called this a “session IPA”, once again solidifying my assertion that session IPAs are usually just American pale ales with a newer marketing campaign. The body is pretty light, you get just a little maltiness to add some balance along with a touch of cracked grain and caramel. The beer is super-easy to drink, and very sessionable at 4.5% ABV. The finish is very clean, leaving a little bite of hops on the tongue. This is a really good start for the new brewery. I look forward to crushing a few of these on the porch this spring and to trying what Down The Road releases next! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.