BACKLASH BEER COMPANY

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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Inside a red brick Industrial warehouse and up a few stairs to its rustic railroad-tied wood bar, BACKLASH BEER CO. opened for biz in 2018. After contract brewing for a few years at Holyoke’s Paper City Brewery and canning at Foolproof, Backlash settled into the historic Roxbury neighborhood at a former piano factory where they stand proud crafting high quality brews in a no-frills atmosphere on the outskirts of Boston.

Reminiscent of a large loft apartment with its double-hung windows, olden columns, exposed pipes and Edison-bulbed free form bar shades, Backlash features a 12-seat, L-shaped, slate top bar with a blackboard beer list and ten white-tiled draught lines guarded by a toy bulldog.

Several community tables fill out the open space across the bar.

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My wife and I consumed five fine elixirs during our early December ’19 sojourn.

Rounded Belgian blonde, Groundswell, delivered candi-sugared pilsner malting to sharp orange-peeled coriander spicing, candied banana-clove sweetness and lemony white grape tartness over musty white-peppered herbal hop grassiness.

Rustic basil-minted saison, Basilisk, retained peppery basil-leafed herbage for floral-daubed lemon zest, perfumed coriander spicing and shaving-cologned chamomile restraint.

Succulent India Pale Ale, Bad Decision Juice, brought juicy grapefruit, orange, peach, pineapple and mango tanginess to pale malt sugaring contrasting mild wood tones at the dry citric-induced finish.

Mildly amber-hazed NEIPA, Ricochet, coalesced orange-spiced sweetness with lemony grapefruit tanginess, dry plantain tartness and peppery hop herbage over bready pale malting.

Mocha-spirited Imperial Stout, 10 Hour Nightmare, draped cocoa-sugared brown chocolate syrup over milked coffee bittering, dry cocoa powdering and maple molasses oats as well as tertiary vanilla, toffee and burnt caramel sentiments.

LAMPLIGHTER BREWING COMPANY

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CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS

Quaint red-bricked neighborhood bistro in downtown Cambridge maintains cozy corner café appeal with freshly brewed coffee as well as beer. Inside a former auto repair shop, LAMPLIGHTER BREWING COMPANY came to fruition in 2016. Its back kitchen serves locally sourced breakfast items to folks at the 12 white-tiled parlor seats, main community table, right side area and front cove lounge on my early December ’19 trip.

Glass encased silver tanks to the left service the twelve-plus draught taps of the rustically furnished white-walled, cement-floored, pipe-exposed coffeeshop/ microbrewery.

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My wife and I try seven lovely suds late Saturday morning prior to the college football conference playoffs.

Musky dry-hopped pale lager, Stupid Seagulls, gained a lemony white grape souring above hay-like grain malts.

Tangy grapefruit-peeled blood orange juicing blitzed Cloud City, a fruitful NEIPA with dry floral herbage, grassy hop astringency and distant guava-mango-melon tropicalia.

Tart NEIPA, Birds Of Paradise, relinquished lemony pineapple, passionfruit and papaya tropicalia for lactic yogurt souring.

A more adventurous NEIPA, Sneaker Wave let arctic thyme salting influence its citric-juiced guava, papaya and pineapple souring and sweet elderflower sideswipe.

Possibly bettering all these NEIPA’s, Tropical Tom retained a cotton-candied toasted coconut sweetness fortified by vanilla-creamed orange, pineapple, mango and peach tones just barely embittered by piney hop resin.

Delightfully candi-spiced Belgian-styled holiday ale, Blitzen, brought cinnamon-toasted Graham Cracker sugaring to caramelized fig, chocolate-covered cherry and nutmeg illusions as well as pumpkin pie, allspice, clove, plum and toffee snips. Luscious dessert fodder.

On the dark side, bittersweet cacao nibs flourished alongside tarry dark chocolate and Turkish coffee sugaring for London Calling, a bold, heady porter.

DOGFISH HEAD SUDDENLY COMFY IMPERIAL CREAM ALE

Nice “take on fresh baked apple pie” gathers apple-juiced cinnamon, allspice and vanilla bean adjuncts for cinnamon-toasted Apple Jacks entry. At the midst, subsidiary cinnamon babka, spiced cider, rum cake, lemon snaps and apple strudel illusions seep in above its honeyed Graham Cracker base. Mildest soapiness lessens body and character just a hair.

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