I am not at the stage in life where I can just visit breweries whenever I want, my life is extremely busy, so I try to find creative ways to squeeze in the occasional stop at a local establishment. A good example was 4th of July weekend, we decided to bring the kids to the Ecotarium in Worcester and then out to lunch, so it was easy to add in a stop at Redemption Rock Brewing, which is pretty much right down the road. The Ecotarium was a huge hit with the kids, my four-year-old is obsessed with dinosaurs so he was beyond excited, and they had fun at the brewery too. Although we had to make the stop pretty brief to avoid missed naps and the resulting meltdowns, it was great to finally check out a newer local brewery that is generating a passionate following.
I’d heard excellent things about Redemption Rock, so I was excited to finally try some of their beers. In addition to the positive reviews posted by fellow beer geeks regarding Redemption Rock’s variety of brews, there is a lot of buzz about their business model. Redemption Rock is committed to paying all of their employees a living wage, so any tips collected at the brewery are donated to a local charity. The charity of choice changes every month, in July the tips will benefit the Worcester Animal Rescue League. In addition to the tips, Redemption Rock is registered as a Massachusetts Benefit Corporation, meaning that giving back to the community is an essential part of their business. I am always committed to supporting local breweries, but I take a special interest in the places that are committed to improving the communities they reside in.
The Redemption Rock taproom resides in an unobtrusive brick building off of Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. You walk inside to see a retail area followed by a moderately sized bar where you can order beer, coffee from local roasters and other non-alcoholic options. There is an eclectic array of seating options, from picnic tables on a turf rug to a collection of tables and chairs near the bar. Local art adorns the walls, and the staff is welcoming and knowledgable. There are a comprehensive collection of games available, from board games to cornhole and giant Jenga (my kids had a blast stacking the Jenga blocks). The atmosphere is very relaxed, on a Saturday afternoon there was a solid group of people just hanging out, chatting and enjoying their beers.
A cool taproom with a fun atmosphere, friendly and knowledgable staff and a focus on doing good in the community are all great features for a successful brewery, but the most important thing for a brewery to have is a great selection of tasty beer. When we visited Redemption Rock they had a wide variety of available offerings, including lots of hoppy beers, some lighter options for summer, a stout on nitro, a maple altbier, and a cherry sour. I sampled a few things at the brewery and brought a few more home to enjoy and review. I’m planning on posting again later this week with my specific thoughts on the beers I brought home, but will say here that I was very impressed with everything I tried.
Overall I highly recommend a trip to Redemption Rock Brewing, the beer is great and it’s a fun place to hang out. Stop by, have a beer and/or a cup of coffee, grab a couple crowlers to go, and make sure to tell them that Ryan from Hoppy Boston sent you! I know my whole family will be planning another Ecotarium and Redemption Rock trip at some point in the near future!