Down the Road Beer Co. was founded with a straightforward mission—to build a neighborhood brewery with timeless, standout beers. As sales lead Jonathan Bare says, “We’re Down the Road Beer; we want to be everybody’s local brewery. No matter where you go, we’re right down the road.” That’s about to become even truer for Bostonians—currently, the beermakers are contract brewing at The BrewMaster’s Tavern in Williamsburg, MA but plan to join the bustling booze scene of Everett (home to Night Shift Brewing, Short Path Distillery, and the soon-to-open Bone Up Brewing) with a renovated location. Plans for a brewhouse, taproom and growler fill station (with talks of a live music stage, vintage arcade, and pop-up beer garden) are in the works, offering beer-lovers a local spot to relax with a pint or two.
The brewery journey began with Donovan Bailey, who took a decades-long passion for homebrewing to the professional level in 2013, based in his Newton basement. Down the Road launched with the Pukwudgie Pale Ale and has since expanded to eight beer styles (and the upcoming Everett brick-and-mortar). Bailey takes his inspiration from classic European-style ales, like a German Kolsch, and interprets them for the American market, as in the Undine, a juicy double IPA.
Each of Down the Road’s beers has a distinct personality, illustrated by the mythologically inspired labels. Bailey matches each brew with a folklore figure that embodies the spirit of the beverage, like the Pukwudgie ale, named for a mischievous troll of Wampanoag legend. In some traditions, the Pukwudgie is known by his floral fragrance and Down the Road’s pale ale has, according to Bare, “a great citrus-y, almost grapefruit-y flavor and aroma to it. As soon as you get it up to your nose, it hits you in the face.” Bailey, the resident folklore buff, brainstorms for the right sprite (or elf or witch) and artist Nikki Rossignol brings them to life with evocative label art.
Down the Road continues their travels towards an end-of-year brewery launch, with more beers being released in the meantime. They recently debuted the Seventh Star, a 7% IPA made with an experimental hop called Idaho 7 for a finished dry, refreshing pour. A blackberry Berliner Weisse is next and first tastes (and sneak peeks at the space) will be available at a free bottle waxing party on Saturday, May 7th. RSVP here to see what’s happening just down the road.