Coming in from Northampton Brewery on April ’05 sojourn, Southampton’s rural Greek-run cowboy-themed wood-paneled OPA OPA STEAKHOUSE (where Owen O’Leary’s brewer Dan Kramer splits time) may have the most diversified assortment of beers in the State.
A gold insignia welcomes customers to the freestanding stone-based restaurant-brewery (across from a cemetery and trading post). Western rodeo memorabilia covers the beige interior stucco walls. The prominent bar with four televisions, laminated archaic American bills, and age-old notices bedecks the frontage (surrounded by left side glass-encased brew tanks, large right side hearth-warmed dining space, and closed-in bar-saddled rear deck).
Dan and I quaffed gruffly wheat-husked soft-grained Opa Opa Light Pilsner, crisp hop-fizzed grapefruit-juiced lemon-aided maize-rice-backed Opa Opa Helles Lager, caramelized cocoa-dried Vienna malted Red Rock Red Ale, and sourly glutinous sweet-corned Kix Pale Ale as starters.
Then came orange-peach-grapefruit-braced, apple skin-traced, Cascade-hopped Adonis Gold, brisk hop-frisked orange-hinged Honesty 47 Pale Ale, and highly-hopped citrus-embittered Buckwheat Pale Ale.
Better still were busily creamy, cherry-raisin-pureed, liqueur-warmed A-10 Warthog Double IPA, dry chocolate-y, cappuccino-milked, cherry-pureed, hazelnut-toasted, oats-fortified Southampton Porter and astringent, espresso-fronted, black chocolate-centered, anise-creased, caramel-burnt, molasses-tarred smoothie King Oak Milk Stout.
On October ’07 stop, tried blanched, watermelon-lacquered, lemon-fizzed, peppermint-tinged, biscuit-backed Opa Watermelon Lager and syrupy-sweet, daiquiri-like, raspberry-sweetened, blackberry-cranberry-tart, hop-tingled Raspberry Wheat.
Bought growler of Opa Opa’s Marshall Brown Ale, an oily dank-grained hop-roasted oats-toasted full body with black chocolate-y walnut-hazelnut frontage, creamy cocoa-cappuccino midst, and wood-singed charcoal-tar finish.
On March 2012 brunch stopover, bought growler of above-mentioned milk-sugared King Oak Milk Stout for the ride home after trying two fine wintry libations with mild Belgian influence. As the keg kicked, I got the last remains of dry-spiced, fig-sugared, dark-fruited, caramel-malted Winter Wheat Lager.
Better still, Hungarian oak-aged Winter Strong brought candi-sugared Belgian yeast to lemon-curried peach, orange, tangerine and cherry fruiting, picking up a pastry-like sweetness above the prickly spice-hopped fizz.
The night before at Sturbridge’s historic Publick House 20 miles northeast, enjoyed Opa Opa Winter Warmer, a Christmas-spiced serenity placing gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardomom illusions inside creamy crystal malting.