If you look at any list of the most popular or sought-out breweries in Massachusetts I bet you’ll find Tree House Brewing Company near the top, but my trips out to the brewery in Monson or now Charlton have been pretty rare. It has nothing to do with their beer, I have never had a bad beer from Tree House and the vast majority of their beers I’ve had a chance to try have been world class. The issues I’ve had are with everything else that goes into a trip to Tree House, it’s a long drive round-trip and it’s hard to find the time and energy to deal with the long lines and can limits. The popularity of the brewery also attracts a subculture of people that care more about the trophy than the beer, it’s only a small percentage but they can be a hassle. Fortunately everything I’ve heard about the new brewery has been positive, the lines are still there but they move quickly and the increased production means you can buy much more beer in a stop. While the issues with the trophy hunting/beer trading subculture probably aren’t going anywhere, it’s probably time to make the trip out to the new facility. Fortunately, one of the perks of writing a beer blog is that my friends keep me in mind when they visit breweries, especially those that are a little out of the way for me. My friends Tim and Amanda made a recent stop at Tree House and picked me up a few treats. One of the beers they grabbed was new to me, Tornado, an American pale ale originally brewed after the 2011 Brimfield tornado. Tree House Tornado is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz cans at the brewery.
Tree House Tornado pours hazy light yellow with a solid white head. The scent features a solid hit of hops, juicy and a little floral. The hops lead the flavor, notes of orange candy, mango, peach and pear with minimal bitterness. There is a little malt flavor in the backbone, touches of biscuit and crackers. Tornado is medium bodied, drinks very easy, and at 5.4% ABV it won’t put you under the table. The finish is crisp and refreshing with some lingering hop flavor that keeps you coming back for more. This is a very good New England style American pale ale, it’s nice to have more beers in the sub-style that feature the juicy hop flavors without the bigger ABVs. I’ve still never had a sub-par beer from Tree House, and with their expanded production I need to make a trip out to Charlton very soon. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Tree House Reviews: