Hop, Vine, and Barrel: Goodfellow’s Brewing Company

by Matt and Lauren Foster.

Well, hey… Look at you! You’re becoming a regular customer here at Hop, Vine & Barrel! Welcome back! We’ve got a new brew on tap today, just for you. Try some of this, its Goodfellow’s Brewing Company, from Lakeville!

As always, refer to the brilliant beer minds at Beer Advocate for assistance in sorting out all those beer-y terms.

Goodfellow’s was founded in 2011, by John and Lisa Goodfellow, but the planning began way back in 2008, and the beer dates back to 2004, with the purchase of John’s first “brew-at-home” kit. Despite all of this, the brewery’s first sale (to Tamarack Wine and Spirits, also in Lakeville) didn’t occur until January of 2013.

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The brewery operates in a partnership with Frugal Endeavors Farm, again, of Lakeville (see the theme here?) as the first true agriculture/brewery partnership in Massachusetts. The arrangement makes Goodfellow’s one of the first (if not THE first) true farm-breweries in the state. The brewery turns some of its proceeds back over to the farm, which grows hops (among other crops) primarily for use in the beer. The brewery also retains a “right of first refusal” for anything else the farm might produce that they could use in beer. This leads to lowered production costs for Goodfellow’s, as well as financial support for the two families.

The beers are available in liquor stores (growlers only) and on draft throughout the greater Lakeville area, including the aforementioned Tamarack’s, The Back Nine Club, and the Lakeville Country Club.

Speaking of the beer, we sampled four great beers during our visit with Goodfellow’s: Wheneverfest! Ale, Race Course (Road) IPA, Maple Scotch Ale, and “The Townsman” American Stout.

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Wheneverfest! was our first of the night, and poured a robust orange color. It was malty-sweet, with low hop bitterness. All of the beers were served directly from conditioning tanks, pre-carbonation, so this beer will likely be a tad drier on the palate when experienced as a completed product.

From fest-bier to IPA, the Race Course (Road) IPA is in the English style, and features a solid malt back-bone to support the citrus and floral flavor of the home grown hops.  It has a red hue, and comes in at a respectable 7% ABV.

The Maple Scotch Ale is fantastic. Its malt foundation supports an earthy peat flavor, trimmed with a sweetness derived from local maple syrup. The syrup is where the story is, however. Friend of the family, and fallen Middleboro firefighter, Dave Brier, had a passion for maple syrup, harvesting from his own trees, and that very syrup is what brings the sweetness to this brew. All proceeds from the sale of this beer are donated to the Dave Brier Memorial Fund. A new batch of this beer has been made, with syrup harvested by Dave’s wife Wendy.

Townsman American Stout was the final pour of the evening, and it pours a midnight black, with a heavy coffee-like roasted aroma and flavor. Despite being an “American Stout” (“American” anything in the brewing world tends towards more of a heavy hand with the hops) there is minimal hop bitterness in this brew. It’s creamy and smooth, and was a delicious end to the night.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to 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. 

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