BOSTON VICINITY, MASSACHUSETTS
25 miles north of Boston, Haverhill’s THE TAP RESTAURANT & BREWERY (which bottles superfine pine-resinous bitter-fruited floral-hopped Leatherlips IPA) has been a prominent local bar with same old styled brick interior design (and quaint wood-decked dining area) since 1897.
I settled in with pal, Al, for two-hour April ’05 stopover. Brew tanks reside in back and basement with enormous rear deck offering respite. Menu included New England seafood (mussels, crab cakes, calamari), wraps, sandwiches, and burgers.
Brewer Dann Paquette provided lemon-fizzed Haverdale Light Lager (with unripe apricot-grapefruit notes), strangely busy coffee-nut-roasted tea-leafed Merrimack Mild Ale, and recommended hop-spiced orange-bruised cherry-ripened maize-backed Belgian-styled Blonde Bombshell to soothe softer tastes. Saaz hop-embittered citric-spiced lemon rind-dusted Hannah’s Weizen, estery cherry-soured Scottish-styled Merry Mac Ale, and mild soft-watered wood-smoked coffee-stained Bootblack’s Extra Stout were approachably medium-bodied.