TURNERS FALLS, MASSACHUSETTS
Occupying a bright red former gas station-garage in the old Industrial village of Turners Falls, PIONEER VALLEY BREWERY came into existence, December 2019. Entrepreneurial spirits Chris Fontaine and Steve Valenski guide this rustic epoxy-floored pub, sometimes skirting conventionality for slightly less stylishly conservative fare leaning heavily on IPA’s.
Along the Connecticut River at waterfront recreational center, Unity Park, Pioneer Valley’s splendid bucolic surroundings promote leisurely activities that build thirsts for locally sourced craft beers.
The sparsely decorated interior includes a ten-seat bar serving eight surrounding tables and a few countertop stools. Plastic outside furnishings provide further seating.
On a sunny Saturday, July ’21, convivial bartender Sydney offers my wife and I all eleven currently available PVB draughts.
Musky pilsner-like cereal graining, dewy earthen mossing and herbal hops coalesced for light-bodied Trolley Lager, a satisfyingly crisp sedation.
Mild vanilla-creamed yellow fruit spicing serenaded Golden Valley, a semi-sweet blonde ale with floral-herbed nuances.
Dry yellow fruit spicing and light celery-watered herbage saddled Heroes Pale Ale, riding above biscuity malts.
Dry Western Mass IPA brought mild grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering to mild wood tones.
Similar in style, “classic IPA,” West Coast, linked sunny Citra-hopped lemony grapefruit tang to wood-toned Amarillo-Simcoe-hopped dryness.
Sweetly soured passionfruit and grapefruit zesting caressed Fruited IPA, a tropical moderate body with herbal lemongrass tease.
A few hazy IPA’s then entered the fray. Lemony grapefruit-splashed orange peel tanginess boosted Bridge Closed, a moderate-bodied NEIPA with light vanilla-creamed pale malting. A bit richer, Double Feature burst forth with grapefruit rind bittering, naval orange sweetness and salted pineapple sass above sturdier sugar-spiced malt turbidity.
Mellow pink champagne-cleared kettle sour, Got No Money, placed slightly soured passionfruit and guava adjuncts and soft pink grapefruit, strawberry and gooseberry illusions in a briny lactobacillus yeast setting.
Sour-creamed black chocolate malts and musty nuttiness gathered for Powertown Brown, a plodding dark ale.
Milk-sugared coffee enlightened Fogbuster Coffee Stout, a sweetly soothing chocolate-backed after dinner treat.