• December 12, 2017

Down the Road Beer Co.

Down the Road Beer Co.

What do you get when you combine more than two decades of homebrewing and a degree in microbiology? The skill set of Donovan Bailey, founder of Down The Road Beer Co., who began brewing before he was of legal drinking age. Over the years, Bailey fine-tuned his craft, winning medal after medal in the American homebrew tournament circuit. Inevitably he ditched his day job and dove headfirst into the industry, launching a craft brewery that emphasizes innovation while honoring tradition.

It all started in the spring of 2015 with the launch of Pukwudgie. Down The Road’s inaugural brew stood out for several reasons: It’s an American Pale Ale (a risk in an IPA-obsessed market), it’s named after a mythical Wampanoag woodland creature, and it’s brewed with a pungent blend of Chinook and Mosaic hops. A positive reception led Donovan to experiment with other styles; before long, Down The Road’s solid lineup of suds was distributed throughout Massachusetts. Despite this success, though, the ultimate goal was to open a taproom where beer lovers could sip it from the source—the kind of joint that feels like your neighborhood watering hole, no matter where you’re visiting from (hence the name).

That dream became reality when Down The Road officially opened the doors of its 12,000-square-foot Everett brewery—with a 211-seat taproom and tower of 36 draft lines—in early November 2017. While a rotating selection of food trucks are routinely parked out front, the brewery also offers snacks inside. Among the biggest draws is a retro pinball arcade, which includes restored vintage classics like Scared Stiff and Twilight Zone.

Down the Road Beer Co.

Undoubtedly, though, the main reason to haul out to Everett is beer. There are five in the core lineup: Pukwudgie, Undine, Seventh Star, Feyborn, and Patchwork Kilt. Pukwudgie, the flagship pale ale, blends bright citrusy hop flavors with some caramel malt sweetness. The Undine Double IPA means business with a brash ABV of 8.5 percent, fusing flavors of earthy hops, toasted malts, and juicy tropical fruit. Bursting with sweet melon and spicy pepper, the Seventh Star IPA has a moderate hop bite. The Patchwork Kilt, a Scottish-style ale, is super smooth and smoky, combining dried fruit with decadent caramel.

Beyond the mainstays, Down The Road also releases several seasonal beers; during the fall there’s Hooligan, a complex, malty nut brown ale, and Spring Heel Jack, a rich and creamy London porter with herbal hops and a hefty body. The Feyborn Berliner Weisse series—which has included cherry, strawberry-rhubarb, and peach iterations—has been a consistent hit, as has Darkest Night, a Russian imperial stout with a staggering ABV of 14 percent.

Eager to imbibe some of Down The Road’s brews? You’ll find them on menus at Boston-area bars and restaurants such as Picco, Area Four, Pastoral, Bukowski Tavern, Highland Kitchen, Deep Ellum, The Painted Burro, and The Sinclair. Four-packs are sold on-site at the brewery in Everett and at The Urban Grape, Bacco’s Wine + Cheese, Wine Emporium, Charles Street Liquors, Formaggio Kitchen, Boston Wine Exchange, Social Wines, and Cambridge Spirits.

Down the Road Beer Co.

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