new city brewing  New City Brewing | Valley Beer Trail


In the same dusky warehouse facility as Abandoned Building Brewery and INSA marijuana dispensary, NEW CITY BREWERY began brewing Jamaican-style hard ginger beers in 2013 and opened this mill-based locale during 2015 before expanding its recipes to include non-ginger offerings. An inconspicuous black awning with white New City lettering fronts the red brick edifice housing this large microbrewery.

New City’s Cathedral ceiling, expansive dining space, aluminum-stooled L-shaped bar, oaken wood splendor and exposed pipes provide chilling rusticity. The community-tabled patio with red-stamped concrete floor offers plentiful outdoor seating. And the pavilion walkway and park behind the lot offers casual charm. I perused New City during August ’20.

New City Brewery

Cane-sugared ginger sweetness received salted lemon-limed juicing for New City Hard Ginger Beer, attaching its initial bay-leafed gingered citrus rush to pineapple-splashed white pepper heat and recessive maple sapping for a nifty Jamaican ginger beer.

Ginger-spiced Moscow mule knockoff, New City Mule, retained a clean vodka nip in fairly authentic manner. Light white pepper heat lined the salty cocktail confection best served over ice.

Dry light-bodied wheat ale, Summer, let lemony mandarin orange subtlety coalesce with piney citrus-splashed effervescence, leafy hop foliage and tart apple-skinned quince blintz.

A fruitier version, Blood Orange Summer, embellished its adjunctive tart blood orange splash with perfumed tangerine musk, mild grassy hop astringency and dry pale malting.   

Easygoing Berliner Weiss, Bramble Weiss, the ‘brewers fruitiest sour ale,’ leveled off spritzy raspberry and black cherry tartness for lemon-limed brambleberry sourness atop lightly salted white wheat malting. A positively laidback summertime soft drink.

Tart green grape esters gain sour lemondrop influence and grapefruit-pineapple-tangerine notions for Local Harvest Farmhouse Ale. But rustic herbal spicing and whiskey-soured cider slipstream falter at the wet-grained barnyard basin.

Sessionable Fenway Froth Session IPA gave its spicy grapefruit-peeled orange rind presence a bright floral bouquet, leaving piney Ekuanot hop resin to contrast the delicate crystal malt creaminess.

Equally approachable Citra-Mosaic-Simcoe-hopped Valley Flyer Hazy IPA brought tangy orange-peeled grapefruit zesting and advertised ‘clementine, apricot and papaya’ smidge to dry wood density and herbal respite in mildly bitter manner.

Tarry black-malted dark chocolate bittering paced Pioneer Valley Porter, leaving hop-charred blackstrap molasses, cinnamon bark and burnt walnut illusions to contrast less profound almond-hazelnut pasting.    


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Inside a cavernous maroon-paneled, stone-walled farmhouse with twin grain silos at the back patio deck, FOOT HILLS BREWERY opened in 2014. Its natural yellow pine furnishings, A-framed Crawford ceiling and tree-cut bar top bring a natural bucolic warmth to this large countryside pub.

Entering from the cozy front deck, the 15-seat L-shaped bar features 20-plus taps and to the left is a small stage area for local bands. A Barnes Aquifier System is used for the crisp underground well water.

Leaning heavy on the India Pale Ales and bringing European tradition to its lager-pilsners, Foot Hills does a great job getting the most out of each stylistic brew.

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Straightforward Czech-styled Hera Pils let light grain malt sweetness slip inside herbal grassy hop astringency in a pleasantly easygoing manner.

Delicate Saaz hop herbal musk and earthen grain dew soaked Branch Manager Pilsner, a dry German-styled moderation.

Mildly creamed hefeweizen, Vice Beer, gathered banana-clove-bubblegum sweetness for its honeyed Graham Cracker wheat sugaring and tart lemon spritz.

Dried fruit spicing ensconced Love Thy Neighbor Dopplebock, as fig-sugared prune, plum and raisin illusions rode alongside desiccated orange tartness over light Vienna malting.

Easygoing Farmers Fresh Session IPA gave its crisply clean lemony grapefruit tang a light vanilla-creamed crystal malting that sweetened above grassy herbal hop restraint.

Juicy yellow grapefruit tanginess dominated brisk summertime moderation, G-Fresh Grapefruit IPA, staying mellow as mandarin orange, clementine and lemon meringue wisps gather below.

Zesty lemony grapefruit and dry wood-toned pale malts headed Fresh Pick New England IPA, a clean-watered moderate-medium body utilizing Simcoe-Mosaic-Citra hops to gain dainty orange, peach, pineapple and tangerine illusions to push forward its sunny grapefruit thrust.

Another grapefruit-empowered Imperial IPA, Jigsaw Jazz, let dry-hopped Citra juicing break out zesty grapefruit rind, pith and peel bittering complemented by lemony mandarin orange, tangerine and tangelo illusions.

Lively lemon licks brightened spritzy Checkmate Chuck Imperial IPA, picking up mild lychee, white grape and honeydew nips to offset its subtle grassy-hopped resinous pine bittering.

Refreshingly sea-salted gose, The Pianist, gained lightly acidic lime peel bittering and sour lemon briskness and will please wild ale fans. 

Dark chocolate and iced coffee fronted delicately oak-aged Bill The Butcher Imperial Stout, a surprisingly dry departure with earthen dew mustiness and soured wort graining leveling off the mocha expectancy.

Cocoa-enriched Tim’s Udderly Milk Stout plied dark chocolate syruping to mildly spiced dried fruiting, leaving light-roast coffee, molasses, toffee and hazelnut illusions in its wake.




Abandoned Building Brewery – Brewery Ratings


Inside the mammoth red-bricked Eastworks building, a 500,000 square foot converted mill on the outskirts of Easthampton, ABANDONED BUILDING BREWERY occupies a mid-sized back space since May 2015.

A wood-floored warehouse pub with maroon-butterscotch walls, high ceilinged exposed ducts, strewn rustic furnishings and centralized modern art design, its steady influx of people comes from the restaurants, shops, arthouses and marijuana dispensary inundating Eastworks multi-floored complex (as well as the local bike path riders).

A small wooden serving station features ten draught taps emanating from the rear brew tanks.

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For starters on this sunny Saturday afternoon in February ’19, I went with all the IPA permutations for comparison and contrast.

Abandoned Building’s most popular brew, Dirty Girl IPA, spread spicy grapefruit juice all over earthen pine oiling and French-breaded pale malts in a pleasantly straightforward manner.

Summery tropicalia informed juicy yellow-hazed New England-styled Pan Galactic IPA, letting zesty lemon, grapefruit and pineapple tanginess gain New Zealand-hopped limey gooseberry souring.

Bolder and more stimulating, busy New England-styled The Other End Double Dry-hopped IPA brought dewy spruce-tipped earthen tea moisture and resinous hop pining to bittersweet lemony grapefruit, orange and mango tanginess above bready pale malting.

Another hazy dry-hopped medium body, Temporary Sanity IPA, left rustic herbal barnyard acridity to temper its juicily hop-embittered yellow grapefruit tang.

Creamy vanilla-spiced Shake IPA went after the milkshake dessert crowd with its sweet citrus-candied strawberry glaze contrasting mild plain yogurt souring. In its nitro version, the berry-citric nature gets downplayed as soft-toned yellow grapefruit bittering picks up recessive pine tones.

Underwhelming fruit-caked Odin Quad stayed crystalline, but its dried-fruited cherry, plum and raisin sweetness and dark chocolate malting lacked determination.

Stylishly mild Night Shade Stout casually spread coffee-roasted dark chocolate bittering across cola, walnut and hazelnut Nutty dark-roast coffee enriched java-enhanced Coffee Night Shade Stout.

Four Roses bourbon informed excellent Bella Donna Bourbon-aged Imperial Stout, where soothingly comforting whiskey-dried port wine warmth caressed syrupy chocolate-draped vanilla sweetness, mild molasses sapping and dry cherry snips.