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Springtime Sipping in the Berkshires!

Posted on March 24, 2022Written by Cathleen King


Sip, taste, and discover all the Berkshires has to offer!

It’s spring in the Berkshires, and that means fragrant fresh air, cheery blue skies, and the warming rays of the sun – the perfect combination to enjoy a day outside with a local refreshment. So where should you go for a locally-crafted beverage? Here are a few suggestions for sipping in the Berkshires! 

Lace up your hiking boots, snap the leash on your pup, and enjoy a day with friends on the Pine Cobble Trail in Williamstown, or the Cascade Trail in North Adams. After a good stretch of the legs beneath the stately evergreens and budding birches, make your way over to Bright Ideas Brewing on the MASS MoCA complex in North Adams. There, you – and your pup! – can pull up a bright yellow chair outside on the patio, or sit inside the tap room and watch the brewers at work, where silver tanks are visible through a glass wall behind the long, wooden bar. The atmosphere is laid-back and friendly, with locals and out-of-towners comfortably intermingling. Bright Ideas’ menu is ever-changing, featuring thirst-quenching IPAs, moody stouts, and juicy sour mash-ups. Be sure to ask for your favorite brew in a crowler to go. You can even order online for pick up on your way home. If you are looking for something to fill the hiker-hungries, dine on hearty farm-fresh fare at Freight Yard Pub or Trail House Kitchen & Bar, just a short drive away. 

Would you and your companion (canine or human) prefer a day of kayaking or fishing, gliding across quiet water, glistening under the springtime sun? A soothing paddle on Richmond Pond in the central Berkshires is just the ticket! And if you happen to be waterside on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, make a point to stop just up the hill at Balderdash Cellars, where families and fur babies are welcome. The winery, in business since 2012, moved its operations to Richmond in 2018 and built a brand new tasting room and production facility. Expansive outdoor seating overlooks Balderdash’s thriving new vines. Plentiful trademark bright red Adirondack chairs dot the grounds, providing visitors a place to soak in the view while sipping one of the many flavorful wines made on premises. Balderdash offers robust reds, crisp, fruited whites, and even a bold rose. The name of each wine – such as Giraffa, Bao Bao, Fruit of the Boot, and Truth Serum – is inspired by a light-hearted story, shared on their website. Inside the tasting room, set with pedestal tables and metal chairs, a long table for larger groups, and bar-style seating around the lip of the cavernous room that overlooks the production area below, visitors are often treated to music by local artists. Do a tasting, try a flight, or grab a glass of your favorite. For the other-than-wine drinkers in your party, specially brewed beers from a local brewery like Big Elm Brewing are available. 

Maybe spring has you looking for a moderate challenge in the southern part of the Berkshires. You could head over to Bash Bish Falls State Park in Mt. Washington. Home of the highest single-drop waterfall in the state, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a self-guided introductory hike. Afterwards, reward yourself with a stop at Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Inc in neighboring Sheffield. This grains-to-glass distillery offers its award-winning Berkshire Bourbon and Ethereal Gin, along with whiskey, rum, and vodka. After opening in 2007 in a 1952 hay barn, operations moved to its current location, a spacious site surrounded by idyllic wooded lands, allowing visitors to taste and tour, and owners to grow ingredient botanicals in its three on-site commercial greenhouses. Spring water unique to the area is used for production of the small batch spirits, providing for authentic flavors of the Berkshires. Inside the bright, inviting tasting room, visitors can socialize and discover spirits made from local corn and the grains of the Hudson Valley. The multiple craft gins have continued to evolve over the last 10 years, as new flavors and recipes are created and perfected. This pet-friendly distillery was the first legal distillery allowed in the Berkshires since Prohibition, and its products are certainly spring-sipping friendly. You may want to swing by The Old Mill  in nearby Egremont for a satisfying sit-down meal or take-out fare to round out your day! 

No matter where your springtime happy trail takes you, be assured that there is always something new to sip, taste, or discover in the beauty of the Berkshires. Cheers!

Photo at Trail House Kitchen & Bar

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