by Matt and Lauren Foster.
Welcome to Hop, Vine & Barrel, what can I—oh, hey! It’s you again! Welcome back! So glad you enjoyed your time with Berkley Beer Company last time out, how about something new tonight?
As before, if you find yourself adrift in an ocean of beer terms you don’t understand, we recommend the fine people at Beer Advocate, and their Beer Styles section.
This week we trekked into Norton to Bog Iron Brewing, met with two of the brewery’s three owners, and sampled the 7 (five are included in the tasting notes) beers they had on tap.
Bog Iron Brewing was started in 2013, but the seeds were sown back in 2011, when friends Brian Shurtleff, Matt Menard, and Frank White were all members of the same homebrew club. After about a year of planning, licensing, and re-planning, Bog Iron Brewery was born.
Why “Bog Iron”? Well, according to them (the whole story is found on their website), while in search of a name with local and historical perspective, they stumbled upon a photo of an old foundry in their neighborhood. The foundry smelted a particular type of impure iron found in swampy areas, hence “bog” iron.
Currently a draft-only brewery, you can find Bog Iron’s brews at a handful of pubs in the Norton/Mansfield area, and as far south as Middleboro. They even have a dedicated tap at the Kinsale, in downtown Boston! Of course, the brewery also currently holds growler filling hours on Wednesdays from 4-8 PM and Saturdays from 10AM – 2PM. Growlers are available in both 500 ml and a larger 1 liter flip top size (just get the liter, trust us). Now, on to what you’re really here for, the beers!
We started on the light side, with the 3.5% ABV Campout Mild. It’s a fairly traditional English Brown Ale, with a nice malty sweetness to it. Its super light mouthfeel puts it squarely in the “easy-drinking” category.
We skipped up a few notches in the alcohol content with the Burly Blonde, a 7.5% ABV beer that features a citrusy hop aroma and flavor, and very well-hidden alcohol content. This drinks like it has half the alcohol.
Da Honey Stank, a pale ale brewed with honey and fermented with a “souring” strain of yeast, was next. It had a delicious “sweet-and-sour sauce” type tang to it, with a slight (to Matt anyway, he’s the sour guy) tart in the finish.
Cease and Desist Black Lager was roasty and sweet, with a nice clean finish. The name has an interesting story to it, starring copyrights and legal notices. Ask the guys when you go get your growler!
Finally, The Stinger IPA features eleven pounds of honey per barrel, which allows the brewery to up the alcohol content without increasing the body. Weighing in at 7.4%, with a huge tropical fruit/citrus aroma and flavor, it has a solid hop bite, but stays on the sane side of intense.
We also tried samples of the Slap Happy Rye Amber Ale and the Cherry Wood Smoked Porter, both were fantastic. The Porter (Bog Iron’s anniversary ale) was still finishing.
Thanks for stopping by, folks, and as always, drink locally and responsibly!
Matt and Lauren Foster share a love of a well-crafted beverage (as well as their two children!), and have been exploring the world of beer, wine and cocktails together for nearly 10 years.