While on a business trip to Westminster, MA, our local host lined our group up for a tour of the Wachusett Brewing Company (pronounced wa-choo-set). The inn where we were staying had some of their brews on tap and a tour, only a couple miles away seemed like a good idea. The thing was, they closed to the public at 5pm and our group couldn't get there before 5:30. But they said they would keep the doors open for us. Actually, we were running late from a field trip and asked if they could accommodate us at 5:45. And they did. The saints.
As we arrived, a fellow driving through the parking lot asked us if we here for the tour. He kindly offered to tell us that he was Howie, the brewmaster, and he was heading home, but that we could enter from the back door.
We were greeted by a very polite Jessamyn, who promptly asked us if we wanted to taste some of their beers. Of course, the usual order of things is that the tasting comes after the tour, but we were okay with that. No, really, it was okay!
Not only were we offered beer, but there seemed to be no limit. We just kept drinking till we realized that if we didn't get to the tour, that we would be late for our dinner reservations. A favorite was the Larry Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV. Also they had their pale ale on cask, dry hopped with cascade.
The operations were very impressive. Good ingredients sourced from Germany, made for good beer. I asked if they were doing any barrel-aging and Jessamyn said no. But later, on the way out I noticed a bourbon barrel just inside the building. Perhaps an experiment is just around the corner.
It was a great time, great beers and very good people that were willing to "stay just a little bit longer" to allow us to drink their beer and give us tour of the place.