In the early days of the blog I wrote a few articles showcasing my visits to local breweries. I’m not really sure why I got away from this style of blog post, in many cases when I would visit a new place I would just include some information about the brewery in a beer review. Regardless, I am going to make an effort to specifically write a “brewery visit” article for as many breweries as I can, especially places I’ve been to a few times. This series re-starts with Battle Road Brewing Company in Maynard, which currently holds the title for closest brewery to my house. When I visit a brewery there are three things that I usually look for, the physical location (size, cleanliness, amenities, parking/public transit options), food (if applicable) and obviously the beer.
The space: The Battle Road Brewery is located in a refurbished mill bordering the Assabet River in Maynard. The space is huge, it has to be one of the bigger tap rooms in Massachusetts. There are pros and cons to this, on a Saturday afternoon at lunch there were a decent number of people eating but the restaurant felt kind of dead with so much empty space. The bar and restaurant are beautiful, with a long wooden bar and a variety of high top tables and booths that complement the exposed brick and beams. Everything is clean and well maintained. Battle Road features live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Parking is ample with a large, free parking lot right at the brewery, but public transportation options are limited.
The food: I’ve eaten at Battle Road twice with my family and the food has been a little hit or miss. They have a full menu with a focus on traditional BBQ and sandwiches along with snacks and salads. On both visits I got a BBQ plate, featuring meat along with two sides. The steak tips and sausage on a recent visit were very good (try the sausage with the mustard BBQ sauce), but the brisket on my first visit was a bit chewy. Sides were a similar mix, I enjoyed the beans and hulking slice of cornbread, but a biscuit was way too dense and dry. My wife also had mixed opinions, she enjoyed a chicken sandwich on the first trip but thought her burger was dry and under seasoned on the second. For what it’s worth, my two year old loved the grilled PB&J from the kids menu. Service was a touch slow on both occasions, but friendly and knowledgeable.
The beer: Battle Road started as a contract brewery, and their offerings have expanded since the full brewery opened. The offer full pours, flights and growlers to go. The brewery usually offers a mix of their flagship, seasonal, and special brewery-only offerings. My personal favorites are Midnight Rider, a rich and easy drinking porter, and their spicy saison named Barrett’s Farmhouse Ale. This summer I tried a brewery only mixed fermentation peach grisette that was the most interesting Battle Road beer I’ve sampled to date. On my recent visit I tried their Jingle Bell IPL which had the crisp and clean lager body you like in the style and solid flavor but was a little short on the aromatic nose that I love in hoppy beers.
Final Thoughts: Battle Road Brewing has many of the features you want in a local brewery, a great space to hang out and a solid lineup of diverse and flavorful beers. If they spend a little time working on the inconsistencies in their menu and keep brewing interesting small batch additions to the draft lineup I could see this brewery becoming a very popular destination in the Metro West.
Location: 5 Clock Tower Place Maynard, MA.