Introducing Gordon’s Beer Newsletter & Brewery of the Month: Mighty Squirrel
Posted on: 07/15/20 12:31 PM
In with a bang…and out with a whisper. Just a few months back, myself and Gordon’s web fellow Nick (the guy behind the scenes who will be traversing through the beer universe with me) were working hard at a shiny “new”sletter. We dined at high end restaurants with killer tap lists. We talked to proverbial titans of the New England craft beer industry. We shared a piping hot plate of buffalo sprouts from Highland Kitchen with the enigma and brilliance known as Ben Holmes, former head of Aeronaut and current mastermind of FAB (We miss you Ben. Let’s hang soon!)
Then the whisper…the e-newsletter we had planned to unleash as the next puzzle piece of Gordon’s craft beer curation got sidelined as we saw on-premise shuddered down and we held on for dear life to a rollercoaster of beer sale operations.
Throughout this uncertainty, the “bright spot” to all of this is the outpouring of support from local breweries, some amazing one offs being sent out to distribution for the first time, and an amazing consensus push from local breweries towards important causes, impacting our front line workers, supporting our local breweries, and so much more.
We hope as this continues on, and we reach the end of the tunnel, and peek our heads out from the manhole cover, that we appreciate more the convenience and sheer abundance of amazing product that comes through our doors, and the stories behind the craft.
This newsletter will feature a monthly brewery spotlight, including reviews of amazing one off and consistent product lines to try, as well as some “cold ones of the month”, where we feature one beer and one brewery which will hopefully become your new go-to.
Let’s kick things off with one of our favorite local breweries;
Mighty Squirrel – Waltham, MA
Baaz’igar, Double IPA (8.0% ABV) Baaz’igar was the first up to the plate on a sweltering summer day a couple weeks back, paired with a day of wiping brows and mowing lawns. Cracked open, the nose smelled reminiscent of far away southern hemisphere citruses, intertwining well with a very subtle grapefruit backbone. At 8 percent, it hides it’s larger numbered ABV well, as do most of the Mighty Squirrel offerings, dealing blow by blow of bright grapefruit mouthfuls and rounded out extremely well in full, hefty orange, tropical fruit roll ups throughout every sip. This beer is not lacking in flavor, and would be welcomed as a year round offering, although Mighty Squirrel will likely keep us waiting on many of these extremely dialed in one off brews.
Blueberry-Açaí Smoovy, Milkshake IPA (7.5% ABV) This is not your ordinary blueberry flavored beer. On the nose is a hit of blueberry and yogurt covered granola. The blueberry calms down on the palate and the açai bridges the gap between the sweet blueberry flavor and the big IPA. A long smooth finish thanks to the lactose sugar and Madagascar vanilla bean. With each sip you find yourself discovering more hidden flavors like rare gemstones and if you close your eyes you could be fooled into thinking it was a real smoothie!
Velvet Moon, Mocha Stout (7.0% ABV) The first dark beer to make its way out of Mighty Squirrel’s loading docks, the espresso finished delight took its maiden voyage shortly after opening up, and has been a go-to for stout and coffee drinkers alike since then. Atomic Roasters, a local roaster to the neighborhood rolls their coffee beans into the batch. Creamy, but not overbearing, this beer is as refreshing as it is decadent.
Mango Lassi, Sour IPA (7.0% ABV) Sour beers aren’t for everyone, but this might very well be the sour that changes your mind about them. The sour level would be considered mid range in comparison to others, but what it’s not short on is a smattering of fresh mango and peaches. This is the perfect fruit forward beer to help keep us cool, refreshed and our taste buds dancing during this summer heat. Dry hopped and brewed with lactose sugar, this has an incredibly smooth finish that leaves your tongue and cheeks salivating after every mouthful. Do yourself a favor and give this beer a go, you won’t be disappointed.
Cosmic Distortion, Double IPA (8.0% ABV) Double dry hopped and a more frantic fret tapper than smooth r&b singer, Cosmic Distortion revels in the fact it’s a powerful heavy wielding axe swinger than it is something balanced and almost ‘crushable’ like Cloud Candy is known for. Stacked with galaxy and mosaic, this uplifting free spirit rounds out extreme hopping with immense flavor. If you’re more in the mood for a beer that pushes boundaries, Distortion is for you. Tropical fruit flavors, and a soft easy sweetness, however the flavors are less spot on, and more hidden behind a hop charge and a slightly boozed up backbone.
Guavaland, Sour Double IPA (8.0% ABV) Admit one. This sour screams guava but balances perfectly with the IPA backbone. Whilst not incredibly complex, it doesn’t need to be. The simple clean flavors make it incredibly session-able perfect for a hot summer day, especially considering this beer sits at 8%, you wouldn’t know it. You also wouldn’t be able to guess it’s a double IPA as it’s fantastically smooth. You get punch after punch of sour and tart guava flavour. Mighty Squirrel could very well be the king of fruit forward beers.
Going to Mighty Squirrel, and taking in the sheer size of the facility, and the empty yet sprawling vision-points, from the rock wall reaching up to the ceiling to the hidden nooks and crannies where beer is decidedly devised, adjusted, cellared and stored, and then snaking our way back to the three separate tap sites. When life returns back to some sense of normalcy, we look forward to returning to greet the smiling faces of the taproom employees so we can take care of them the way they so effortlessly took care of us.
As we continue to live with the current “norm” of curbside ordering, we can all take a moment to sit back, relax and live in the smooth coffee bolstered fumes of Velvet Moon, or the dry champagne velvet backbone Guavaland delivers, appreciative of the fact that Mighty Squirrel cranks out delectable if none too complex brews.
-Thank you so much to James, Adam, and the Mighty Squirrel team for showing us such hospitality in such uncertain times. In our next two part Brewery spotlight, we are looking forward to once again appealing to those like us with a savoring for suds, and we’ll trek to another New England powerhouse to take some killer photos and chat with their brewing squad.
Gordon’s beer guides, out!
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