On Saturday Melissa and I drove out to Barre, MA to visit Stone Cow Brewery. We had a gorgeous day for the drive into a rural part of the state. First and foremost, let me tell you that visiting is well worth the time it takes to get out there! I’d like to thank Matt (co-founder) and Chris (head brewer) for hosting me and spending so much time with me during my visit.
The brewery is one of many attractions at the Carter & Stevens Farm. The farm has a BBQ stand, a farm store, a deli, and an ice cream counter. And the place is hopping; on a busy weekend evening, the BBQ stand will serve 500+ meals! The farm also hosts a variety of events, most recently, a Spartan Race and a car show. On weekends there is live music at the brewery.
I’d recommend you like the brewery on Facebook, in order to keep up with the various events they hold.
The brewery itself is inside a gorgeous barn, featuring 200 year old post and beam. The brewing side of the house is fully visible to guests and the brewhouse equipment is unique (see gallery below). There is a TON of picnic table sitting space inside and outside the barn.
Guests can get samples, full pours and growler fills. There are also small plates available for purchase. We tried the fresh tomato plate (amazing). The blueberry jelly on bread was killer also. There were 6-7 beers available during my trip:
- Just Razzin’ Ya – A wild ale with raspberries added to the fermentation tank. Super light raspberry and tart flavors.
- Farmer’s Daughter Wild Ale – Subtle sweet tart flavors. Also very light.
- Farmhouse Ale – A light saison/farmhouse style. Meh, only because it’s not my favorite style.
- Stone Cow Pale Ale – Fruity and citrusy. Light.
- Roll In The Hay IPA – Steals the show. Citra and Chinook hops make it a tropical juice bomb. Great malt balance. I brought home a growler. It lasted one day.
- Cows Out Milk Stout – Vanilla notes throughout. Just OK. Stouts don’t do it for me in summer.
- One Way Sunset – An OK double IPA. After having the Roll in the Hay, I was spoiled.
- Sunday Stout – A special small batch brew, made with cherries and cocoa nibs. Super chocolatey. Delicious.
Despite being in the middle of nowhere, mark my words, Stone Cow is going to do well. They have a winning combo of great beer, a unique setting, and lots of other attractions at the farm. With current equipment, the brewery can roughly brew 3000 barrels a year. My guess is that they max out that capacity in less than a year. Anyone want to take a bet with me?
Stone Cow is not distributing their products yet, but they aspire to can and distribute eventually. For now, you’ll just have to visit!