Wachusett entering the hazy IPA arena

Discussion in 'New England' started by thedaveofbeer, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Initiate (195) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Just stopped by the brewery and tried the Wally and Wally Jr. Ipas. They are marketed as hazy NE Ipas and certainly were in style. I enjoyed both and was pleasantly surprised. These were not Tree House Ipas, but they will make me reconsider the 3 hour round trip to TH. Anyone else sample them? Thoughts? Also, a general thought, seems like a lot of breweries are trying to make TH/Trillium brews-I am wondering how many are coming close. As I said, Wachusett isn't there yet, but Wally/Wally Jr. are certainly shots across the bow.
    Oplizotte and meefmoff like this.
  2. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (331) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Glad to hear that - I'll be interested to check them out. Did they still have some bitterness to them or were they aiming for the pure juicebomb sort of thing?

    I was just thinking recently about the fact that I never really buy Wachusett anymore, even though as recently as a couple years ago I was getting Larry and the mixed IPA 12 packs fairly frequently. Crazy how quickly the landscape has changed.
  3. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Initiate (195) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    very little bitterness- more in the citra juice bomb vein. I liked Wally Jr. more for what it is worth-thought it was a cleaner showcase for the hops. I'm hoping for more brews in this style to come from Wachusett. And I agree with you, I haven't been in ages but had a Wally on draft recently and it led me to check in at the brewery.
    meefmoff likes this.
  4. hemiman

    hemiman Initiate (185) Dec 17, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I tried the Wally a few weeks ago and enjoyed it. I live 5 minutes away from Wachusett so I'm glad to see my local brewery putting out a "new era" NE IPA. Hopefully this is the start of some exciting new brews from them.
  5. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (331) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Does anyone know when/if these will be hitting widespread distribution in cans? Sounds like the people in this thread only had it on draft or at the brewery if I'm reading right.
    HuskyHawk likes this.
  6. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (212) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Sounds interesting, I'll have to check that out, haven't had anything from Wachusett in a long time. Long Trail has made a similar move with their Space Juice release and Green Blaze IPA. Space Juice is more along the lines of the NE style and Green Blaze just more of a modern IPA. I have never loved Long Trail but Space Juice was surprisingly good. Green Blaze is easy to get and Space Juice has limited releases every few months.
  7. JrGtr

    JrGtr Devotee (401) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts

    Wachusett is another one that flies under the radar. They don't have anything over the top mind-blowing, but they make good beers. their IPA was my daily drinker beer for a long time. I grabbed a pack of the Bella-Czeck pils for the game the other night - a real nice beer.
    I used to drink the Country Ale after a day skiing at Wachusett mountain.
    Good to hear they're bringing out a few new things, especially after they got in trouble a couple years ago (serving underage at the brewery, I think? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)
    HermitDan and AlcahueteJ like this.
  8. emannths

    emannths Initiate (196) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

    It'll be interesting to see if they can keep the quality consistent. I bailed on Larry shortly after the cans came out because the batch to batch variation was to high.
  9. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (672) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I had a can or two at King's (because King's sucks, and that may have been the best option). I was pleasantly surprised. Not my favorite for the style, but it was a nice drinker. That's definitely meant as a compliment, because a lot of these breweries can really screw up pale lagers.

    I'd rather have this around than another "New England-style" IPA anyways. I can get one of those IPAs easily in MA. A local Czech Pils...not so much. But I doubt you'll find many people getting more excited about a Pils than an IPA...
    sjverla, lic217 and JrGtr like this.
  10. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (212) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Looking up the description on untappd for Wally you get:
    The Wachusett brewers banded together their over 160 years of brewing experience and developed a New England IPA.

    This IPA yields an ABV of 7%. The IBUs are 70. This is achieved by a variety of hops including: CTZ, Bravo, Citra, Simcoe, and an experimental hop named 431.

    The aroma is from an experimental 2-step dry hopping process using Citra and 431.

    The yeast is an English strain that is used in some of our other beers. The color is around 4 SRM and this beer is purposefully cloudy. The grains in this beer are: 2-row pale, Vienna, Melanoidin, Acidulated malt, Torrified Red Wheat and Golden Oats.

    The brew team is hard at work developing several new creative beers we will
    be presenting in 2017. Enjoy with Friends.
    HuskyHawk and Leebo like this.
  11. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (331) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    That last sentence is good to hear. I have no idea how well Wachusett is doing business wise, but I like seeing older breweries that I might take for granted mixing things up a bit.

    And @AlcahueteJ is right that we're hardly lacking for more IPAs, but if they can bring it to market at a decent price it'll be a worthy addition to the scene. The pickings for $10 local four/six packs are a bit thin these days (all hail Jack's Abby).
    matthewp likes this.
  12. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (212) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    I agree I think its great if we can see some of these old dogs doing new tricks. I'm not expecting TreeHouse quality per se but the more beers of this style available from non nano breweries perhaps the less I'll be spending per beer which would be great. As mentioned we certainly do have a ton of IPA's but breweries like Wachusett are probably the most likely to get squeezed in the current market so its good to see them branching out.

    I have one of the bella check pils sitting in my fridge so I'm interested to see how that is now. One thing for sure in a couple of years the companies who make good beers other than just IPA's and BA stouts will still be around but the IPA only ones may not. Wow just re-read this post and its a lot of random thoughts streamed together :wink:
  13. AirBob

    AirBob Defender (659) Jul 15, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    It seems like more and more NE brewries are adapting to the NE IPA craze and putting out some great, cheap alternatives (thought not all are in the same vein). Ipswich Route 101, Long Trail Green Blaze, Otter Creek Free flow and Backseat Burner, etc. are all easy to find and <$10. Only trouble is finding them fresh.
  14. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,103) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    I really hope breweries don’t abandon their current IPAs and feel they HAVE to brew juicyjuice beers instead. If they’re forced to do it to stay in business, then fine. But I hope breweries like Wachusett know that their current IPAs are completely legit, and some of us find a beer like Green Monstah to be very tasty for the type of IPA it’s going for. I want IPA variety, not a sea of one-dimensional juicyjuice clones.
    Jaycase, Leebo, sjverla and 5 others like this.
  15. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (331) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I may have overstated things a bit, but if you add in Jack's Abby and Castle Island I think that practically covers all of them :slight_smile:

    Totally agree. I like seeing breweries mix it up but generally not at the expense of their long standing lineups. I'm thinking things like Cape Ann introducing Deadeye and the BeerWorks getting themselves noticed again with Contender.

    I'd love to see the Wachusett IPA replace the "lite" IPA with something new in their 12 packs. As you say, the others (even the original) are perfectly good stuff.
    SunDevilBeer likes this.
  16. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Initiate (195) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    The tap room bartender said that Wally and Jr. will be canned. I am not sure how much and how wide the distribution will be.
    meefmoff likes this.
  17. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Initiate (195) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Totally agree with you-Wachusett IPA and Monster are great; I would just love a local juicy option.
  18. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (331) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    erf, that's a horrendous error of a sentence in my last post. That should say:

    "I'd love to see Wachusett replace the "lite" IPA with something new in their 12 packs"
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  19. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (672) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Ha, thanks. I read it and thought, "I'm not really sure what he meant there...replace the Lite with the Wachusett IPA (or Green Monstah even?) and then an additional new beer in the mix pack on top of that?...or is there some beer called Wachusett Original?..."
    meefmoff likes this.
  20. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Zealot (538) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    Are you thinking of the Country Pale? A very nice beer IMO.

    I give credit to Wachusett for doing a Session IPA before it was cool - and even calling it what it is more accurately - as a "Light" IPA.
    HuskyHawk likes this.
  21. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (672) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Ha, maybe? See below where he says, "even the original" I didn't know if he meant some other beer they had called Wachusett Original. But yes, I could have been thinking of their Country Pale. Who knows, I drink too much beer, so my mind could be failing me. :wink:

    I was a fan of this nomenclature as well. Almost none of them are actual "session" beers, they're just like Light IPAs. I distinctly remember buying this beer around the marathon bombings...did it come out then? And it sounds like it's still being brewed?

    I recall it being not half bad.
  22. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (331) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Continued fallout from my grammatical apocalypse of a post :slight_smile:. I was actually referring to the purple canned IPA, which I believe was the "original" IPA before Green Monstah.

    My memory is that it's actually better than most, but I'm just not a big fan of the "lite/session" IPA style. If I want something "drinkable" I typically want a pils/helles/kolsch/etc.
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  23. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (672) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Agreed. Even something that's well executed like Whirlpool, I wouldn't want more than a couple of them. Definitely not a six pack.

    But Notch Pils? I can pound those all day long.
    Leebo, DucRacer900, meefmoff and 2 others like this.
  24. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (159) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    Checked out Castle Island?
    meefmoff likes this.
  25. meefmoff

    meefmoff Disciple (331) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Check a couple posts down :wink:
  26. Leebo

    Leebo Initiate (159) Feb 7, 2013 Massachusetts

    Notch make some great stuff, Been up to their new place?
  27. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Defender (672) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Oh yeah, twice. I love it. I'd go there at least once a month if I lived in the area.
  28. dental

    dental Disciple (350) Apr 2, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Drinking a Wally on tap right now. This is solid! Reminds me a bit of exhibit A cat's meow.
  29. Horbar

    Horbar Zealot (560) Feb 24, 2012 Rhode Island

    Wally is the shit! Wachussett nailed it.
  30. Jbrews

    Jbrews Disciple (342) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    IS this still something only available at the Brewery or in North Central MA? (No, that area is not Western, MA)
  31. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (212) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Forgot about this thread, I went to their brewery about 2 weeks ago. They had Wally in 6 packs in the fridge and I got Wally Jr and Wally Juice in a crowler. Wally Juice has grapefruit flavor added to it. This was the worst of the 3, I wouldn't buy that again.

    The Wally cans were maybe 4 weeks old and the Wally Jr was fresh off the tap. The look and smell is straight up Julius, mouthfeel not exactly the same. One would expect the Jr to have less taste but it didn't. Perhaps it was that it was fresher, perhaps they are doing something a little different with Jr, or perhaps they just refined the process with the latest batch. I'd love to try Wally again especially if I was drinking it alongside Wally Jr and Julius. Wally was solid but lacking in hoppy flavor, Wally Jr was pretty close to what I remember Julius tasting like (had a 6 pack of Julius a few weeks back so its fresh in my mind).

    When I was there they mentioned they were ramping up production and would probably be distributing once production was up, even kegs. It will be interesting to see what the craft beer community thinks of this as well as the core Wachussett Brewery drinkers. When I was there a tour just ended and none of the people seemed to know what a NE IPA was. Its a clear knockoff of Julius but they did it well. Definitely worth checking out.
    Oplizotte and meefmoff like this.
  32. Sweatshirt

    Sweatshirt Aspirant (240) Jan 27, 2014 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Ive seen wally on tap 2 places already. Had it on tap at a restaurant in RI. It was pretty good. The nose and mouthfeel were lacking. They certainly have a good base to dial in.
  33. HeavyDandtheGirls

    HeavyDandtheGirls Aspirant (262) Mar 7, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Bacons in Hudson has it.
  34. Jesse14

    Jesse14 Initiate (156) Jul 21, 2011 Massachusetts

    Not bad but would like to see them make a few easy tweaks. The hop flavors are a little muted. If they brighten it up a little they could have a regular rotation type of beer. Found a six pack for $10.99. That's a huge plus.
    musicsherlock likes this.
  35. TwinCam

    TwinCam Initiate (123) Jan 14, 2014 Connecticut

    Grabbed some at Kay's Wine and Spirits if anybody is looking for in in Hartford County CT. Awesome beer, really impressive
  36. Patches826

    Patches826 Crusader (725) Aug 28, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    So there's a Wally Jr. too? There's no way they don't set up a deal to have this poured at Fenway, right?
    Boomblaze and Noozle like this.
  37. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (212) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Cans are showing up at bottle shops today. CBC, vinal square and pepperell beverage posted it on Facebook
    meefmoff likes this.
  38. musicsherlock

    musicsherlock Disciple (323) Jan 2, 2012 New York

    Dang! For Wally? I bought Wally at the brewery for $15 a six pack. Good beer but I'd rather go with Larry at those prices
  39. matthewp

    matthewp Aspirant (212) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    If you consider Wally to be comparable to Julius from Tree House then $15 per six pack is a decent deal. Julius is about $15 for 64 oz of beers whereas Wally is $15 for 72 oz of beer. I haven't been to a bottle shop to see what they are charging for a can of Wally but I'd guess its going to be around $2.50-3. You also avoid the long drive and line at TH. I think they can probably sell out their inventory at this price point pretty easily. If they can keep production up and maintain quality then this will be a cash cow for them.

    Of course value is relative to how much you like any beer. This can be said of any beer though, you pay for hype and demand. The supply of NE IPA's seems to be getting larger and larger every month so at some point prices probably need to come down a bit. SingleCut used to fly off shelves now I usually see a few sitting around for a while. Lawson's finest Sip was a 1 or 2 beer maximum when it was first released in MA now I'm starting to see it go to like 4 or 6 every time it shows up. Our options are ever increasing.
    musicsherlock likes this.
  40. Rysk22

    Rysk22 Aspirant (228) Nov 12, 2014 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Has anyone seen it in the Canton area? Wachusett's beer finder doesn't seem to work for me
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