My ability to take trips to breweries feels like it has ground to a complete halt, aside from an occasional stop during a vacation. Life is just crazy right now between work and family commitments, even when I try to plan a brewery visit something usually comes up. Last Friday I was planning on using a PTO day for some me-time, including a couple brewery visits, but my 4-year old spiked a fever so I was home taking care of him instead. As a result, my list of breweries I need to visit is getting incredibly long, and some have been on the list for a long time. A good example of a brewery I’ve been meaning to visit for far too long is Shovel Town Brewing in North Easton, MA. I was first introduced to Shovel Town during a blind tasting of Octoberfest beers hosted by the Mass Brew Brothers, where the beer made the top four and was my pick as the winner (it just missed out on the top prize). This was over a year ago and I still haven’t made the trip, but fortunately for me Shovel Town has started distributing some of their beers so I’ve been able to try more of their releases. This includes Flyaway, Shovel Town’s flagship NEIPA. Shovel Town Flyaway is brewed exclusively with Citra hops and is available on a regular basis on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Shovel Town Flyaway IPA pours murky light orange with a small white head. The aroma features a big hit of hops, tropical and citrus fruit. The flavor is also very hop-forward, notes of peach, grapefruit, and mango along with a hint of late, soft bitterness. This is balanced by a light malt backbone, touches of bread dough and cereal. Flyaway IPA is medium-bodied, very smooth, and at 7.2% is on par with the new standard NEIPA strength. The finish is crisp with plenty of residual hop flavor. This is an excellent NEIPA, all of you hop-heads should give it a shot. I am looking forward to trying more Shovel Town beers soon, and hopefully making the trip to the brewery at some point! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.