Beer fans who have stopped by Barrel House Z, aka Weymouth’s first brewery, since it opened in July might have been disappointed to learn they could only purchase beer to-go while the brewery awaited final approval to serve out of its taproom. Well, good news: Barrel House Z’s taproom is now officially open, serving full pours and samples from its rotating roster of barrel-aged, small-batch beers.
Founder Russ Heissner, the original brewmaster at Harpoon when it opened in 1986, announced plans for his new venture last winter. Barrel House Z opened this summer to fill crowlers and mini-growlers. Those beers, including a gin-kissed pilsner, Sunny & 79º, whiskey barrel-aged imperial Irish red, Townie Strong, and rum-aged RR#23, are all available on draft to start. The brewery has 12 tap lines at its disposal, so expect other small-batch beers from Heissner’s Pilot Pours series to show up in the coming weeks, as well as unaged versions of the beers.
“We’re not going to have a flagship beer. We’ll have a series of collaborations we’ll constantly rotate throughout the the year,” Heissner previously told Boston.
“We’re focused on innovative, high-quality craft beers,” he says today. “Our sweet spot is the intersection of creativity and science, and there’s an endless number of ideas to explore.”
Harpoon and Bully Boy Distillers both have a minority ownership stake in the new brewery. The ginned pilsner was a collaboration with Harpoon’s Doug MacNair, and RR#23, a red rye ale, comes from the minds of both Heissner and Scott Hutchinson, and it has been aged in Bully Boy barrels. Barrel House Z also plans to work with up-and-coming brewers and amateurs. Jane Rae’s, an amber ale aged in rum barrels, comes from Joe D’Auria, who won BHZ’s inaugural Launch Pad Home Brewing contest.
A piping hot macanada—a mac and cheese empanada—is a perfect complement to a flight. The unique bar snack rotates each week in flavors like buffalo chicken, truffle broccoli, and saffron shrimp, and comes with your choice of dipping sauce.
The taproom space hosts around 50 people, with a bar area adorned with deconstructed Bully Boy barrels. The beer taps were designed around the bungholes of a few of the staves, giving the appearance that the beer is pouring directly from the source. Outside, there are a few picnic tables situated in a small beer garden overlooking the Plymouth River.
Barrel House Z’s taproom is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Distribution is on the brewery’s radar, too. Barrel House Z can already be found on draft at certain bars and restaurants around the Boston and South Shore areas, and Heissner and co. plan to package and circulate a few of their beers, too, the first being Sunny & 79º. Expect the beer to hit shelves early this October.
Barrel House Z, Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., 95 Woodrock Rd., Weymouth, barrelhousez.net.
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