On this edition of Western Mass Brews... We take you back to the Berkshires and let you know what's on tap at the Barrington Brewery.
The Barrington Brewery and Restaurant is a place where the brewer gets a bit of help from Mother Nature. Plus they serve up some great pub fare to go with their brews.
Let's head on inside!
"If you come to my restaurant you drink our beer that's all we serve. It's the same great beer we have been doing for 22 years and it's been great," says owner Gary Happ.
Right of Route 7 in Great Barrington is the Barrington Brewery and Restaurant which is housed inside old dairy barns.
"All of this was Christie Farms from 1850 to 1950. These two old barns we are in go back to the 1800's and they were part of a big dairy farm," explains Gary.
Inside it's easy to feel at home among beer posters, coasters, and under the many mugs at the bar.
"We are a brew pub that's our niche. We are not a microbrewery which would depend on making beer and shipping it. We are in the hospitality brewery," he adds.
Gary Happ a founder of the brewery alongside brewmaster Andrew Menkin get a bit of help in the operations from Mother Nature. Gary says he wouldn't call it green beer but rather:
"Solar brewed beer. Green beer has a bad connotation but we are happy to use the solar panels."
Their seven barrel system brews 30 different variety beers year around.
"We produce close to 12 hundred us barrels of beer in the course of the year and most of it is here on the premise. One of the exciting things we have done here is that we have invested our time and energy using solar power to power our brewery," says Gary.
The 480 solar panels located right next to the brewery restaurant and banquet facility are more than just for show, they also create electricity to keep the lights on.
"We are one of the few breweries that use solar power this side of the mi river and we use the sun to heat the hot water in our brewing process and for hand washing and dish washing at the restaurant. We use quite a bit of hot water and we don't use gas which we were using before for hot water we are using the sun which is cool," Gary adds.
And to go along with their beers is comfort food done well with local ingredients.
"Everything from our sausages to our ground beef to the lettuce that we get from a farm in Sheffield locally sourced and delicious. And we try to keep our price points where people feel comfortable. And also we are a family friendly brewery. There are families large and small enjoying it we have a great kids menu I see them as a kids customer," he tells us.
And you have to save room for dessert: This is their chocolate stout cake published in Bon Appétit magazine lives up to its name:
"One of 14 recipes picked over 50 years in the RSVP section they picked our chocolate stout cake it's the star of the show when you come here it's the star of the show. One piece will feed 3 or 4 people so the price it's a great dessert to share. We make about a thousand of them here," Gary says.
He takes pride in the niche the Barrington Brewery has created for themselves in their food, solar brewed beer, and green initiatives.
"It's a great day trip to come out here if you're in the Springfield area. We have great hiking museums and a great place to have a meal and a beer at the bar. The hospitality is known far and wide and we like to make people comfortable," Gary notes.
The brewery is open today from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and they also have a venue called Chrissy Farms for weddings and other events.
Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.