Today I'll be talking about a recently opened landmark in the ol' hometown of Weymouth, MA, an establishment that brews small-batch beer and then ages it in liquor barrels, creating complex mashups and some strong-ass libations. It's called Barrel House Z, and its become quite a Weymouth hotspot in just half a year. Started by former Harpoon master brewer Russ Heissner, BHZ is all about innovation and adventurousness, creating a new Pilot Pour every week. He's also got a revolving door or brewers to keep the menu fresh and dynamic.
Barrel House Z
95 Woodrock Rd
Weymouth, MA 02189
My wife and I, and two of our friends, finally made it to the tasting room last week and we were not disappointed. First off, this place was so hopping on a Saturday evening we had to wait 5-10 minutes just to get in. Once inside though we loved the atmosphere and look of the place; the walls, outside fences, and the front of the bar are all constructed out of (or adorned with) barrel staves, giving the room a rustic/industrial crossover feel. Scattered around the room are full-size barrels to be used as lounge tables, with plenty of seating and a full view of the brewery floor. There was also an acoustic duo supplying some solid background tunes (Side note: I'm available for Saturday evening gigs!) and lending some laid-back ambience. I could easily see myself making this room a regular haunt (And seriously, I'm totally available to provid some musical entertainment). Outside there's a patio with a fireplace and ample seating, which I anticipate being pretty crowded in the summer.
|How do they remember which tap is which?|
But all that would be irrelevant if the beer itself didn't deliver. Fortunately it did, in spades. Of the 10-12 available brews, we sampled six. Here we go.....
My Lil' Helper: American wheat ale aged in Chardonnay barrels. For me this actually resembles an IPA more than a wheat, but with a very balanced flavor. The hops are tempered by the sweetness of the wine, making for an extremely refreshing beer that would be clutch on a summer afternoon.
Vorlauf: Imperial Vienna lager aged in Bully Boy Whiskey barrels. A very complex tasting beer with some sweet and sour notes, and just a hint of the whiskey. Probably my least favorite but still good.
|"Are we done taking pictures, can I drink this now??"|
Cloudbreak: Pale Lager aged in Chardonnay barrels. I loved this one. So crisp and light, with a mild tartness that gives way to a bit of sweetness in the finish. I could drink a whole bunch of these in a sitting. Ya know what, I think I will....
Bobby's Brown: Brown ale aged in rum barrels. I'm not usually much into brown ales but this was nicely complex with strong cocoa notes and just a hint of the rum. Probably in my top three for the night, very unexpectedly.
|This is where the magic happens|
Townie: Strong Irish ale aged in rum barrels. This one's a doozy. Slightly sour with a sweet finish, with serious rum flavor that brings to mind a pina colada. I couldn't drink too many of these in a row but there's a lot of flavor happening here.
Dry Dock: Dry stout aged in whiskey barrels. This was my favorite of the bunch. I tried this with and without nitro, and liked it much better without. The nitro seemed to water this down and made it too Guinness-like (I consider Guinness the Bud Light of stouts). But sans nitro this was stupendous, sporting rich coffee and chocolate notes. I'm a big stout man and this hit the spot hard.
|Before and after photos of me tasting the stout|
We had a full 10 oz. pour of the Lil Helper and 5 oz. samples of the rest, and by then it was clearly time to head out for dinner (I'm not drunk, you're drunk). But we'll be back sooner rather than later. Barrel House Z is an exceedingly friendly, welcoming venue to chillax and enjoy some damn fine unique brews. And the best part is the menu changes every week, so there's always something new and exciting to sample. Check it out!
|I got dibs on that seat!|