With the incredible number of new breweries that have opened in the last five years it is interesting to see how each brewery tries to stand out and establish their unique place in the local market. This is especially true for new contract breweries. Contract brewing has some advantages, especially the lower overhead that comes by not maintaining a physical brewery. It also makes it harder to connect directly with an individual community, having a physical brewery builds an immediate clientele from a specific town or region. It is really important for a contract brewery to have a concrete business plan and solid branding. One of the newest local contract breweries is Small Change, run by a husband-and-wife team who have experience home brewing and working in local breweries. Small Change is focused on brewing quality takes on under appreciated beer styles. Their first release is called A Little Rain, a sessionable American pale ale dry-hopped with Mosaic hops. Small Change A Little Rain is available now on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Small Change A Little Rain pours clear light orange with a small white head. The aroma is a nice burst of hops, rich with tropical fruit. The flavor is hop forward but not overdone, notes of mango, grapefruit and tangerine along with a mild bitter bite. This is complemented by a light malt backbone, hints of crackers and bread dough. A Little Rain is super light and sessionable at 4.9% ABV. The finish is crisp and pretty clean with a little lingering hop flavor. This is a really nice session APA, plenty of flavor but also well balanced and very easy drinking. Great start for the brewery, looking forward to trying their future releases! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.