It's easy to become a cynical douche if you like craft beer. There are entirely too many people in the scene likely to feel intense pride in making a Hill Farmstead bottle release event even at the price of stealing the family car before dawn thus forcing their first born to miss dialysis. Shaun makes some great brews. It's a rare treat for me to get them. However, it feels wrong to not call my brother and share the "wealth" when it happens. For me, beer should enhance life not completely dominate it.Semi-sadly (for my liver at least), annoyance at the idiocy and elitism are over ridden by places like Treehouse Brewing Co. in Brimfield, MA.
The passion Nate, Damien, and Dean have for what they're doing over there is as refreshing as their Berry Water beer. I tried the brew to be polite. Even after tripping over and spilling a flask, the dudes still let me observe their brewing operations and go "ooooh what's this" every couple of minutes. So even though I swore off fruit beers years ago, I felt obliged to try theirs. Unlike most I've had, the nose was pure fruit and not some high fructose sludge. Taste-wise, it was a revelation. Instead of overly sweet slime, I met a delightful, refreshing blonde with just the right level of fresh strawberry goodness. It reminded me of going out back at my parent's house and gobbling down all the red goodies next to the magnolia tree. Just... gah. Sublime? Yeah. We'll go with that.
A fortunate side effect of Berry Water was it finished cleansing my palate so I could experience Nate's Citra. This one is in the same league as the hop-centric brews The Cult of Vermont so enjoys lording over me. At first whiff, it's clear you're dealing with Citra hops thanks to that intoxicating tropical, fruity aroma. Then the glass tilts back and wow. Such amazing balance between fruitiness and bitterness with an absolutely perfect mouthfeel. I am glad they were a bit short on growlers because my coworker gave me the plague and although 6.5% ABV is a bit above what I will session, my taste buds could feasibly win out on this one.
My hope is Dean's Spawn lasts until the next visit. My sample didn't pop as much as the other two. However, I think that's Nate's doing. It wasn't until an hour's worth of hydration and some pot roast sampling that I stopped tasting Citra. So jury's out on that one.
Treehouse made me feel like a kid on Christmas morning. Great beers crafted by passionate people at a picturesque spot less than an hour from home? Only way I wouldn't hype these guys through the roof is personal greed. Given current supplies at the brewery, even my one lone reader could feasibly cause me to go without what I hope is a monthly fix of Treehouse. Still, please make the trek to 63 St. Clair Road in Brimfield. I'd rather be dry for a few months than deny someone the opportunity for this level of greatness.