When Wormtown Brewing Company in Worcester announced that they were expanding capacity I was excited for a couple of reasons. One was increased production of Be Hoppy, their stellar IPA that tended to sell out very quickly. Another was the opportunity to try more of their offerings. While Be Hoppy has become a staple in the Boston area (when you can find it), the rest of Wormtown’s beers are only available on occasion (at least in the shops I frequent). I realize that Worcester isn’t too far away and that I could try them all from the source, but fatherhood has cut back on my brewery visits and it is so much easier to grab a variety of beers at my local bottle shop. One Wormtown staple that I recently sampled was Bottle Rocket, their flagship American pale ale. Bottle Rocket was named in honor of Dr. Robert Goddard, a local scientist who invented the liquid fueled rocket. It is brewed with locally sourced rye from Valley Malts and El Dorado, Calypso and Mosaic hops. Wormtown Bottle Rocket is available year round on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.
Wormtown Bottle Rocket pours a clear yellow-orange with a monstrous cream colored head. The scent is a solid hit of citrus and tropical fruit from the late hop additions. The flavor is very hop forward, notes of grapefruit, lemon, tangerine and grass along with a crisp bitterness. This is balanced by noticeable malt flavor, white bread, crackers and just a hint of spicy rye. The beer is light bodied and very easy to drink at 5.5% ABV. The finish is crisp and dry with a little lingering hop and rye flavor. Bottle Rocket is a very tasty American Pale Ale, goes down easy but still has a ton of flavor and some complexity. I am glad to see more Wormtown beers in the Boston area, and I look forward to making the trip to Worcester soon! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Wormtown Reviews:
Wormtown Hopulence, Wormtown Be Hoppy
Recently the results for the United States Open Beer Championships were announced, with over 3000 beers submitted and judged in 81 categories. The winner for Grand National Champion was none other than Wormtown Brewery of Worcester, MA (see the full results HERE). Wormtown was awarded three gold and one silver medal. One of Wormtown’s Gold-medal winning submissions was Hopulence, their Imperial IPA. Wormtown Hopulence is brewed with 9 varieties of American hops with a focus on Amarillo, Horizon, Glacier and Summit. The hops are added throughout the brewing process, resulting in a beer with huge hop flavor and a tongue-tingling 120 IBUs. Hopulence is available year round on draft and in 22 oz. bottles.
Wormtown Hopulence pours a deep amber red, slightly cloudy with a mild white head. The smell is a huge burst of hops, tons of citrus and tropical fruit scents. The hops are strong in the flavor too, grapefruit, mango, papaya, lemon, with some pine and earth. This is balanced by a substantial malt backbone, hints of caramel and enough body to offset some of the bitterness. The 120 IBUs are evident, the beer drinks big and chewy with a giant kick of hops. The 8.5% ABV also comes through in the flavor with a mild but noticeable warming alcoholic sweetness. The finish is a nice mixture of bitter hops, malts and a touch of warming alcohol. This is a really good Imperial IPA, tons of flavor, great bitterness and enough malt to even things out. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.
Previous Wormtown reviews:
Wormtown Be Hoppy
Worcester, MA got the nickname Wormtown from a local magazine detailing the city’s vibrant punk-rock scene in the late 1970s. The name Wormtown Brewery is fitting both because the beer is brewed in Worcester, and also due to a business philosophy that matches the ideals of punk music. Wormtown aims to be innovative, locally focused and unafraid to think outside the box. Wormtown brews a series of unique beers from hop-bomb IPAs to a stout brewed with coconut. They emphasize the use of local ingredients, all of their beers are at least partially sourced from local suppliers. Head brewer Ben Roesch is a Worcester native who gained experience brewing at Cambridge Brewing Company, Wachusett Brewing Company and Nashoba Valley Spirits. He has developed a series of popular year-round brews along with seasonal and limited edition offerings. One of Wormtown’s flagship beers is Be Hoppy, an American IPA. One of my favorite parts of a great American IPA is the pungent floral and citrus aromas from the late hop additions. Be Hoppy uses extensive late hop additions as well as dry hopping to give their beer the taste and smell that have made the American IPA style so popular.
Wormtown Brewery Be Hoppy pours an amber gold, slightly cloudy, with a mild white head (I had it on draft). The smell is all that you love about an American hop-bomb IPA. I get strong citrus and floral notes along with some pine and earthiness. The taste is extremely hop-forward too, grapefruit, lemon, and resin up front followed by some mild spiciness and orange zest. There is some pale malt flavor in the backbone to balance the beer out a little. The beer is crisp and clean and goes down smooth with a little tart bite in the aftertaste. At 6.5% ABV Wormtown Be Hoppy is solid for an IPA, but drinks very easy. This is a very strong beer. I will definitely seek it out again and check out more of Wormtown’s year-round and seasonal offerings. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.