Castle Island Brewing

Discussion in 'New England' started by wmannin2000, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. wmannin2000

    wmannin2000 Initiate (0) Jul 29, 2014 Massachusetts

    Hello esteemed beer nerds. Is anyone familiar with Castle Island brewing? Has anyone had a beer by them? I follow on twitter and it appears they are going to be opening a brewery in Norwood, MA in the next few months which I am quite happy about due to the proximity to my house....but I hope it doesn't suck or should I say, I hope it is extraordinary (like Trillium quality) and not like so many other small breweries opening lately...which are just average.
    HuskyHawk and CastleIslandBeer like this.
  2. BumpkinBrewer

    BumpkinBrewer Disciple (357) Jan 6, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

  3. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (968) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    A Southie location didn't work out?
    Sweatshirt likes this.
  4. CastleIslandBeer

    CastleIslandBeer Initiate (117) Jan 8, 2014 Massachusetts

    Hey all, sorry for the delayed response - things are pretty crazy at the moment and it's taken me a hot minute to see this.

    Yes, it's true, we are opening a facility in Norwood, just off Route 1. It's a great space and about as turnkey as we were able to find, which is great given the uniqueness of a brewery operation. We've got a lot of work to do still on the buildout front, but we're hopeful for a late Summer/early Fall opening and launch.

    @BearsOnAcid - a Southie location didn't work out for the production facility. I toured almost every possible location in Southie (and in Boston for that matter), and the reality is that between pricing, availability, infrastructure, and the zoning climate, it just wasn't a viable alternative (see also: Trillium). We're incredibly excited about our Norwood location, though, and expect to have much more flexibility there than an urban location would have provided.

    DrewShal9 and aoliveri37 like this.
  5. wmannin2000

    wmannin2000 Initiate (0) Jul 29, 2014 Massachusetts

    Soooooo...what kinds of beer are you going to be brewing?
  6. CastleIslandBeer

    CastleIslandBeer Initiate (117) Jan 8, 2014 Massachusetts

    To start, our focus will primarily be on a core lineup of hop-forward, somewhat sessionable pale ales and IPAs, with the occasional brown, porter, or stout thrown into the mix. As we grow and get more comfortable, we'd love to amp up our portfolio with the more specialty-type releases you're used to, including sours, barrel aged beers, higher gravity beers, etc. At the end of the day, the only kind of beer we want to brew is high-quality beer; the kind of beer we can be proud of. And if that means we get to play in the sandbox and try out some new stuff, even better.
    HuskyHawk, mschofield and nathanb47 like this.
  7. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,349) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    Norwood? Awesome going from zero to you and Trillium

    ed - sorry they're Westwood but close enough it makes no difference
    CastleIslandBeer likes this.
  8. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,349) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    If you end up needing beer names, you'll be on the former site of a race track - way before my time but it saw everything from NASCAR to letting then high school kids like my uncle race their crapboxes against each other
    CastleIslandBeer likes this.
  9. CastleIslandBeer

    CastleIslandBeer Initiate (117) Jan 8, 2014 Massachusetts

    This is incredible! Thanks for sharing.
  10. witts2000

    witts2000 Initiate (0) May 13, 2015 Massachusetts

    Any updates to deliver Castle Island (opening timeframe, types of beers brewed...)? I was right by your new location yesterday and can't wait for you guys to open as I am in that area a lot.

    Thirsty Suburbanite
  11. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk Devotee (465) Jun 5, 2014 Massachusetts

    As a former Sourthie resident now in Franklin, I'm much happier driving to Norwood (or Canton for Trillium). If your business runs on growler fills, having a more car accessible location is helpful for sure.
  12. bostonwolf

    bostonwolf Aspirant (223) Jan 20, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    If "Bay State Midget" isn't a beer name, I don't know what is.
  13. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,349) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    that has session beer written all over it
    Beerrogue70 and bostonwolf like this.
  14. CastleIslandBeer

    CastleIslandBeer Initiate (117) Jan 8, 2014 Massachusetts

    Opening is still in flux at the moment, but we're looking at October at the moment. For styles, we're going to start with some of the more hop-forward styles but will branch out from there. When it comes to beer, we're not big on the "launch and iterate" approach, so we're going to be deliberate about when we release a new beer, but we're eager to get into a number of styles across the board.
  15. MVP09

    MVP09 Devotee (417) Oct 19, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    95 corridor from south of Canton is turning into a nice little beer destination

    Blue Hills
    Trillium (on the way)
    Castle Island (on the way)
    Bog Iron
    Pawtucket breweries

    Plus a couple great beer bars
    Natty Greens

    Sure I am.missing more.
    BHBrewery likes this.
  16. nathanb47

    nathanb47 Aspirant (200) Dec 14, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Resurrecting this thread because they passed final inspection and are opening Friday! Can't wait to see what they got
    PierogiSmash likes this.
  17. PierogiSmash

    PierogiSmash Initiate (18) Jan 22, 2014 Massachusetts

    This could be good. Looks like they are selling cans from the brewery. FB says 4 x 16 oz.
  18. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Zealot (555) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    Good luck to this brewery. Look forward to trying these beers.
  19. MVP09

    MVP09 Devotee (417) Oct 19, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Has anyone tried their stuff? Hoppy Stout! Makes me think of Founders Impy.
  20. MVP09

    MVP09 Devotee (417) Oct 19, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Great opening! Guys running the place were very friendly! I will be back for more. Tried all 3 samples. Session was on par with Whirlpool. Good tropical nose and taste. With little to no lingering bitterness. IPA was NE Style, not super pillowy like TH or Trillium, but it had the NE feel for sure. Lots of lemon/citrus rind taste. Good amount of lingering bitterness, to let you know its an IPA. This being batch 001 it can only get better. Hell of a beer for the first retail run. I did not take any home, but the hoppy stout could have been the best of the 3. Reminded me of FIS, not as big but it was cool to taste hops in a stout! I grabbed 3 four packs of Keeper and glad I did! Also easy location with a parking lot!
  21. Pwbres

    Pwbres Aspirant (291) Mar 25, 2013 Maine
    Beer Trader

    Price check?
  22. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,349) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    $11 for 4 16 ouncers of Candlepin and IPA, I think $13 on TBD the stout it was a little more

    Treehouse type setup where there is a sample line and a can line and you're in the brewery but in a separated space for retail, sounds like they're still building a retail shop on the other side
  23. soze47

    soze47 Meyvn (1,004) May 22, 2010 Massachusetts
    Premium Member

    Stopped by today. Awesome beers - sounds like they are aiming for early 2016 distro through mba.

    The candle pin session has a good chance of being in my rotation in the future especially, but all offerings were real dialed in and solid.

    jlordi12 and CastleIslandBeer like this.
  24. mschofield

    mschofield Meyvn (1,349) Oct 16, 2002 Massachusetts

    just getting to the TBD, wow, I think this may be what they're known for

    last time I had this feeling was drinking batch #1 of Hoponious Union (opened w Redtape and Saxon Sons, HU was days later), it's a yeah we knew this brewery was good ... but damn
  25. CastleIslandBeer

    CastleIslandBeer Initiate (117) Jan 8, 2014 Massachusetts

    Cheers! Glad to hear you're enjoying TBD. Candidly, we weren't sure what to expect reaction-wise. We have a deep affection for this beer, but darker styles can be polarizing sometimes, so we're thrilled to hear you're digging it.
    jlordi12 and mpyoung215 like this.
  26. CastleIslandBeer

    CastleIslandBeer Initiate (117) Jan 8, 2014 Massachusetts

    The retail shop that currently exists in the warehouse will eventually migrate onto the office side when we build out the taproom, which will replace (and expand) the current setup. We don't have a timeframe for that yet, but are targeting late Spring/early Summer 2016 for that phase of construction.
  27. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Went there on Saturday.

    Candlepin: Hoppy Session IPA. Great!
    Keeper: IPA. Nice hop profile, interesting leafy/vegetal. Good for those who like that hop flower profile.
    TBD: Hoppy stout. The hops keep it on the lighter side for mouthfeel and body, and balances nicely with the sweeter malt profile. Impressive for 3 launch beers!

    TL;DR: Castle Island is an excellent destination location, so head over. Looking forward to visiting them and Trillium! Will be stocking up on these cans for Christmas, woo woo!
  28. PierogiSmash

    PierogiSmash Initiate (18) Jan 22, 2014 Massachusetts

    Really like the Candlepin. Keeper and TBD are very good as well. Anyone who is visiting Trillium Canton should take the few extra minutes to get to this place as it is not far at all. $11/4 Pk of very solid beers and no lines!
    jlordi12 likes this.
  29. patrickcmcd

    patrickcmcd Initiate (96) Dec 25, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Dug the session and stout. Great spot and helpful, engaging staff. And the price point is spot on. Can see myself stopping in monthly for a local fix.
    CastleIslandBeer likes this.
  30. pavement714

    pavement714 Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Just checked it out for the first time today and agree with all the positive views. Definitely a quality product at a nice price point. Big production it looked like, enough to get Boston distro next month. What Lord Hobo should've been.
  31. patrickcmcd

    patrickcmcd Initiate (96) Dec 25, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Quiet, unassuming. Organic, classy. Fun. Welcoming....without fanfare.

    Castle is the Anti Hobo.
    bizkat, Smokee and pavement714 like this.
  32. Newport_beerguy

    Newport_beerguy Zealot (552) Feb 24, 2011 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    I visited yesterday also and enjoyed it. If I have the cash and want to get the best beer at a premium price I'll go to Trillium (bought 200 oz at $82). Otherwise, CI offers very good beer at a good value only 10 minutes away (spent only $24 on 128 oz there). Their Candlepin will definitely be my golf league beer next year and between that, Whirlpool and Eureka, so many good session ales around.
    CastleIslandBeer and jlordi12 like this.
  33. CADMixes

    CADMixes Initiate (175) Feb 29, 2012 Massachusetts

    it's really nice to hear a new brewery say loud and clear that they want to get a beer right before the release. looking forward to trying these when they hit distro.
    CastleIslandBeer likes this.
  34. KevTurnersBootburn

    KevTurnersBootburn Initiate (135) Jan 19, 2014 Massachusetts

    Had Candlepin and Keeper and both were very good. Definitely want to try the stout next.
    CastleIslandBeer likes this.
  35. nolanz14

    nolanz14 Disciple (300) Aug 31, 2009 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Had Keeper last night and thought it was very good. Looking forward to trying their other beers.
    CastleIslandBeer likes this.
  36. ManapuaMan

    ManapuaMan Meyvn (1,142) Apr 3, 2015 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Just swung by after a visit to Trillium - so grateful to have the opportunity to hit them both up in one easy trip. Good vibe and nice set up: spacious lobby area, generous tasting bar with all their beers on tap, tons of space to support growth. Families, kids and solos milling about. Great scene. Picked up a four pack of Hearthside and I'm looking forward to cracking it open soon. Check it out if you're in the area, for sure.
    VABA likes this.
  37. Htg

    Htg Initiate (114) Sep 12, 2014 Massachusetts

    I have to agree these guys are doing everything right so far. Keeper and TBD were excellent. Set up, price point, service all on point. Great to have them as neighbors, and have a feeling this place will blow up as more learn about it.
  38. cmurphycode

    cmurphycode Initiate (39) Oct 3, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I stopped in after dinner last night. Their hours are typically until 10 on Saturday, but I missed noticing that holiday hours had it closing at 8, so we only got to taste 2 beers before closing. Only a couple people in the room when we arrived, and they left before we did.

    The staff is friendly, the pours are very generous, and the beer is good. I tasted the Candlepin and the Keeper. As I said, we were rushed by the time, but the pouring staff member was happy to chat about the beer. The head brewer was busy (of course) but also seemed nice. They let us know that they had to stop pouring at 8, so I went over and bought a 4 pack of each of the 4 styles (Love seeing "Batch 001" on the labels!). Turns out the register was manned by the owner's father, nice guy as well.

    Word from the staff is that distribution will start soon. Sounds like they will be sending some kegs out, too. They were not interested in selling kegs direct at this time.

    As for the beer. My two favorites were Candlepin and TBD.

    TBD is *really* good. The smell is so intriguing. Looking forward to enjoying this one on colder days than last night. I'm going to share the rest of my 4 pack with my co-workers and get them pumped up for this new brewery.

    My taste of Candlepin was nice and fresh. Great hop bite, but went down very easy. When I got home, I put Candlepin (left) next to Whirlpool (right). Sorry for the bad pic, I didn't think to take one until mostly done.


    Obviously the appearance is VERY different. Candlepin is darker and very clear, where Whirlpool is very light and completely opaque. Here I'll admit my bias; Whirlpool looks exactly like what I want in a session hop-fest. Traditionalists will be delighted to see the clarity :slight_smile:

    On the nose, Whirlpool carries more of a fruity punch, in my opinion. It's perhaps most obvious right out of the can.

    Taste-wise, though, I thought Candlepin was just as good. Great hop character, and the mouthfeel was very good for 4.4%.

    Totally delighted to have this option right next door, $11 for a 4-pack of 16oz cans? Shut up and take my money.

    Excited to come back and spend a little more time tasting and chatting.
    meefmoff, jlordi12 and Resuin like this.
  39. mpyoung215

    mpyoung215 Initiate (147) Dec 28, 2010 Massachusetts

    Excited for the release of Causeway Double IPA today!
  40. Herbnerds

    Herbnerds Initiate (0) Oct 10, 2015 Massachusetts

    Same same... I had a TreeHouse Green last night to compare the two galaxy hopped beer