Five miles west of Boston, astonishing Waltham-based WATCH CITY BREWING opened in ’96 (but unfortunately closed a decade hence). Visited December ’07, corner café-styled pub with round town clock, high ceilings, wood furnishings, and pastoral watercolor paintings had dimestore Indian welcoming patronage to central U-shaped bar and side dining space.
Burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and dinner specials were nicely priced and rustic front brew tanks served some of the Bay State’s finest ales, courtesy of brewer Aaron Mateychuk. While phenol candy-coated cinnamon-spiced cherry coughdrop-tingled Pie-Eyed Pumpkin Ale and cinnamon-nutmeg-anise-allspiced alcohol-burnt Father Time Winter Ale brought forth seasonal pumpkin pie euphoria, the remainder were also well-defined and appropriately differentiated.
Had lamb sandwich with sourly glutinous wheat-grassy green-hopped Tick Tock Golden Ale and smoothly aerated coffee-espresso-lingered walnut-charred wood-seared Moody Street Stout. More exceptional were tangy apple-peach-ripened grapefruit rind-embittered wood-lacquered Hops Explosion IPA, creamy whiskey-bourbon-fronted yellow-fruited floral-hopped Shillelagh Irish Red Ale, and coffee-burnt fruit-dried macadamia-teased Titan Brown Ale.
Three miles south of Boston, Brighton’s Martignetti Fine Wines & Spirits had excellent bottled beer selection worth investigating.