As winter approaches and the evening sets in earlier, we suggest savoring the season with a local brew. The Berkshires’ selection of locally brewed beer and hard cider is extensive and tasty. So why not follow a Berkshire Brew taste trail? Your designated driver will not have to go far – local brews are available at on-site tasting rooms as well as at restaurants and pubs throughout the County.
At Hilltop Orchards in Richmond, award-winning hard cider is sold and brewed right at the orchard that provides the key ingredient. Both of their varieties of “Johnny Mash” hard cider (classic American Cider and Dry Gold variation) and their French Cidre Reserve are 100% estate grown and produced. The French Reserve is made from heirloom golden russet apples – a great way to drink in our local history. Be sure to take some time to explore their extensive trail network, perfect for hiking, fat biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Want a solar-brewed beer? No, not by photosynthesis, but by solar-heated hot water. The Barrington Brewery is paving the way for a carbon-neutral beer movement. Barrington Brewery is a restaurant, tasting room, pub, and brewery wrapped into one and open 7 days-a-week. They brew 20 different beers, with availability varying by season. Be sure to save room for dessert.
Travel a little further down the road to Big Elm Brewery in Sheffield. Since opening in 2012 they have become a local favorite and you can find their beer in just about any restaurant or liquor store in the county. But why not go right to the source and enjoy a tour and a tasting? Their tap room is open Thursday through Saturday 12-6 and is the perfect spot to while away an afternoon.
Now it is time to head a bit further north into Pittsfield where you will find Wandering Star Brewery. They offer a tasting room that’s open most Saturdays and offer growler-fillings. Their beers are also available at over 40 restaurants, pubs, and wine bars throughout the county. Moving even further north you will discover Bright Ideas Brewing, our newest addition to the brewery scene #intheberkshires. This brewery was founded with the help of Wandering Star’s Brew Master and is unique in that it is housed on the MASS MoCA campus and on Friday and Saturday they are open until 11pm.
So saddle up to the bar or crack open a cold one at home and come and #tasteberkshires. Cheers!