Crafting some of New England’s finest hazy India Pale Ales, Northampton’s PROGESSION BREWING COMPANY take extreme pride in producing their refreshingly crisp, clean beer. In the heart of town in a red brick building with a pristine round silver logo sign at the entrance, Progression opened for biz during November ’18, becoming Northampton’s fourth brewery.
Residing on Pearl Street in the former space of Gleason’s Camping Supply, the centralized pub hipster Industrial setting features white-walled modern art, front-windowed lounge furnishings, cavernous pipe-exposed open space and illuminated light scheme. Its marbled red linoleum floor contrasts well with the three yellow-wooded community tables and four-chaired seating while a sectioned-off backspace is also available.
Brew tanks are located behind the ten-stool serving station where twelve taps serve the expanding crowd on this cold Saturday eve in February ’19.
A separate refrigerator contains a rounded selection of Progression’s canned fare. Freedom Leaf editor, Steve Bloom, and friend Tom, joined me for some brews while consuming hearty minestrone soup and mac-cheese-bacon.
Exquisitely detailed Flourish Farmers Saison brought herbal white-peppered grape-skinned Hallertau Blanc hop dryness and mixed culture saison yeast to the fore, letting tart lemon-dropped mandarin orange spicing, bruised banana sweetness, tangy pineapple juicing and earthen plantain sedation gain a spritzy carbolic pep.
Juicy-fruited Sequence Double Dry-Hopped New England Pale Ale let tangy grapefruit, orange, peach, pineapple and mango overtones receive a zesty lemon spritz buttressed by sugared pale malts (nearly duplicating a citric IPA sans piney bittering).
Soft-toned meditational moderation, Evolve New England Double India Pale Ale, brought bright yellow grapefruit tanginess to lightly creamed crystal malting, leaving subtle orange, peach and pineapple sweetness in the floral-herbed recess.
Equally soothing, Onward New England India Pale Ale let bitterer yellow grapefruit and orange rind juiciness lead the way as light pine lacquering eased the way for ancillary lemon, pineapple and peach zestiness above sugary pale malts (and leaving a wispy alcohol burn).
Tangy clementine fronted Upward New England Double IPA, a floral-tinged grassy hopped medium body with ancillary tangerine sweetness, mandarin orange tartness and lemon rind bittering atop dry pale malts.
Crisply dry West Coast-styled Expanse IPA placed lightly pined citrus juicing atop floral-dried herbage and grassy hop astringency, leaving orange, grapefruit and lemon zest in its wake.
On the dark side, percolated coffee grounds consumed dry full body, Portent Coffee Porter, a superior creamily textured java beverage with bitterly walnut-seared hop char.