Drink This Now: Branch Bridge, by Honest Weight Artisan Beer

One of Western Massachusetts' newest breweries has a Cambridge connection.

The weekend is so close, you can almost taste it. In this series, we highlight a must-drink beer, cocktail, glass of wine, boozy milkshake, etc. that you should put on your radar this weekend.

Honest Weight Artisan Beer

A pint of Branch Bridge, at Five Eyed Fox in Turners Falls. / Photo by Matthew Cain

Jay Sullivan and Sean Nolan didn’t set out to brew a flagship for their company, Honest Weight Artisan Beer, but Branch Bridge might just be that beer. An unfiltered, super fresh American pale ale, it’s well-balanced and smooth, despite being loaded with Columbus, Centennial, Chinook, and Mosaic hops.

We don’t really want a flagship, but that being said, that’s the one that everyone keeps buying,” Sean Nolan says. “We’re trying to listen to that.”

Honest Weight, which opened a taproom in Orange around Thanksgiving, is in its “absolute infancy [as] a brewery,” but Nolan and Sullivan aren’t strangers to the Massachusetts beer scene. Both developed their skills at Cambridge Brewing Company; Sullivan was head brewer there for a time. Nolan worked for Idle Hands and Enlightenment Ales when they were based in Everett, too. He helped develop Idle Hands’ German-style lager program. He is also a concert lighting designer, most recently for the Sinclair in Harvard Square. 

Honest Weight fills growlers and pours full pints at its taproom, right on Route 2A. It has 18 draft accounts around central and western Massachusetts, including Worcester’s venerable Armsby Abbey, and beer geek meccas like Blind Pig in Athol.

Despite being so new, it also has a solid Boston-area presence. It’s available on draft at the Sinclair (both in the restaurant and on the music venue side), Lord Hobo in Cambridge, and Vee Vee in Jamaica Plain. To celebrate Vee Vee’s eighth anniversary this week, Honest Weight took over its entire four-line draft system.

The team makes its own keg deliveries in a 2004 Toyota Matrix, which is something of an impediment to further distribution, Nolan says. But other bars have been asking to carry their beers, which include the Tully IPA; Mason Brook, a dry-hopped grisette; and a session ale called Postcards From Seth. Honest Weight plans to start bottling specialty, barrel-aged beers this summer, Nolan says.

In the meantime, if you see Branch Bridge on draft, order it.

Honest Weight Artisan Beer, open Thursday-Friday, 4-8 p.m., Saturday 12-8 p.m., and Sunday 12-5 p.m.; 131 W. Main St., Unit 104, Orange; honestweightbeer.com.