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NEW: MA Unveils Craft Brewers Passport to Promote Local Breweries

Monday, March 10, 2014


Craft brewers in Massachusetts are getting a boost from the state, encouraging residents and tourists to visit the more than 60 breweries in the Bay State. 

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) unveiled Monday the Massachusetts Craft Brewers Passport to support the local craft beer brewers.

The passport, developed in partnership with the Massachusetts Brewers Guild (MBG) promotes more than 60 craft breweries across the state and the local ingredients they use. 
“Massachusetts has some of the best craft breweries in the country, with brewers who take pride in the quality ingredients found in the Commonwealth,” said DAR Commissioner Greg Watson.  “Developing new customers for our growers and building consumer awareness of our breweries is critical for the success of these ventures and the Buy Local movement.”

Map of local breweries
The Massachusetts Craft Brewers Passport features a map of the Commonwealth, with the locations of local breweries split into five regions. Breweries that use Massachusetts-grown ingredients are indicated with a small tractor icon. At each brewery, visitors can get their passport stamped and when a region in completed, they can receive a free T-shirt. Downloadable passports and information for both brewers and growers is available at www.mass.gov/massgrown
“Identifying new markets for our growers is always a priority, and we are pleased to support this farm to glass project for Massachusetts farmers and craft breweries in the Commonwealth,” said Jay Healy, State Director of Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
"The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is extremely excited to be partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and USDA Rural Development to create the ‘Massachusetts Beer Trail,’” said MBG President Rob Martin. “The beer trail is an outstanding opportunity for brewers to connect with their local consumer and vice-versa. With such vibrant brewing and farming communities in Massachusetts it seemed only natural to promote these two time-honored professions through this program."
Locally sourced ingredients

Many of these breweries feature locally-grown ingredients from Massachusetts, such as locally-grown and malted grains, fresh hops and indigenous yeast strains. Valley Malt, the region's first micro-maltster in Hadley, works with local farmers who supply organic grains. Hops grown at Four Star Farm in Northfield and Clover Hill Farm in Hardwick are also used in many local brews. Breweries also use Massachusetts apples, herbs, honey, maple syrup, cranberries, peaches, oysters, pumpkins and blueberries.
DAR encourages passport users to drink responsibly; designate a driver or use public transportation. Passport users must be 21 years old to participate. 


Related Slideshow: College Guide 2013: Best Places to Grab a Beer

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Wormtown Brewery

As the first and only brewery to use Massachusetts grown ingredients in every single one of their beers, Wormtown Brewery offers one of the best selections of locally-brewed beers. Many of which are offered year-round, such as Seven Hills Pale Ale and Worcester’s Bravest Ale, but they also offer seasonal beverages like Wormtown Pumpkin Ale great for students returning in the Fall) and “Wintah” Ale for those long cold winter months.

Mon-Fri 11:30am-10pm. Sat 12pm-10pm. Sun 12pm-9pm. 455 Park Ave, Worcester. 774-239-1555. wormtownbrewery.com.

Photo: Tim Pearce

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The Loft 266

With a sports lounge on the top floor and a cocktail lounge on the ground floor, you get the best of both worlds at The Loft 266 Bar & Lounge. The bar is open seven nights a week with a selection of 20 beers on draft and 35 bottled. Live music and DJs are also featured most Thursday through Sunday nights. Don’t want to dance? Watch the game on their fifty-inch plasma screen. Don’t forget to keep up with the Loft's numerous events and promotions via their Facebook page.

Mon-Sat 4:30pm- 2am. Sun 6pm- 2am. 266 Park Ave, Worcester. 508-796-5177. http://www.loft266.com/.

Photo: Courtesy of The Loft 266

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Maxwell Silverman’s

Located in a vintage, 100 year old toolhouse factory, Maxwell Silverman’s is a restaurant, a dance club, and a bar all in one. Most college students take advantage of their bar area which is stocked with domestic beers. There is an open bar for domestic beer and wine that starts at only $14 for one hour and $29 for four hours. There is only a slight increase in price for imported beers. Maxwell Silverman’s is also a great place to dance every Friday and Saturday starting at 8:30pm.

Dinner served from 4pm-10pm. 25 Union St, Worcester. 508-755-1200. www.maxwellmaxine.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Maxwell Silverman’s

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Salty Dog Saloon

Want to try something different this weekend? Go to the Salty Dog Saloon, it has a full bar, live music…and a mechanical bull. The atmosphere at the Salty Dog Saloon is always entertaining and lively due to their fun bartenders and their love of themed parties. Thursday nights are 18+ for girls and there is never any cover charge.

Thurs 9pm-2am. Fri- Sat 8pm- 2am. 1 Kelley Square, Worcester. 508-752-6600. www.saltydogsaloon.net/worcester/.

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Boynton Restaurant

Boynton Restaurant and Spirits combines great food and great beer. They offer 51 draught beers, including local and seasonal beers, which they change frequently. Whether you want to have a casual dinner and a beer with your friends in the dining room, or you want to sit at the bar, Boynton Restaurant and Spirits will be worth your while.

Mon-Sun 11am-1am. 117 Highland St, Worcester. 508-756-5432. www.boyntonrestaurant.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Boynton restaurant

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Jose Murphy’s

At Jose Murphy’s you get a bar, a club, and great deals. The upstairs becomes a nightclub on Fridays and Saturdays, and there is never any cover charge. Downstairs, the restaurant and bar are open all week, offering specials including $8 pitchers of beer and .10 cent tacos. Looking for entertainment? Plasma screen TVs are available to watch any number of sporting events and they also have DJs who provide live music.

Mon-Sun 11:30am-1:30am. 97 Water St, Worcester. 508-792-0900. www.funkyandjosemurphys.com.

Photo: Emdot

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The Dive Bar

Specializing in American craft brews, The Dive Bar serves over 20 different kinds and continuously rotates their selection. Their state of the art gas blending system also insures that they serve the best tasting beer possible. Prices for beers on tap usually range from $5 to $8. Check their website for upcoming events.

Mon-Sun 6pm-2am. 34 Green St, Worcester. 508-752-5802. thedivebarworcester.com.

Photo: veganLazySmurf

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Beemers Pub

Beemers Pub is the perfect place to grab a beer any night of the week. With free pool on Sundays, .25 cent wings on Mondays, karaoke on Thursdays, and DJs on the weekends, you can be sure that you’ll never have a dull moment at Beemers Pub. With 8 beers on tap and an even greater selection of bottled beers, Beemer’s Pub has something for everyone.

Mon-Sun 12pm-2am. 114 River St, Fitchburg. 978-343-3148. www.beemerspub.com.

Photo: Courtesy of Beemers Pub

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Ralph’s Rock Diner

Ralph’s Rock Diner is not your ordinary diner; you can enjoy a variety of live music while you drink your beer and eat some food. Literally a “rock” diner, many nationally known bands have performed here. Split between a diner, a bar, and a club, you won’t find a more interesting combination. As far as beers go, you have a choice of all of the classics. Check out the calendar on their website, they have something going on every night of the week.

Mon-Sun 4pm-2am. Food served until 12:30am. Last Call 1:30am. 148 Grove St, Worcester. 508-753-9543. www.ralphsrockdiner.com.

Photo: ddb and kdw

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Brew City Grill

A one of a kind establishment, Brew City Grill and Brew House features an award winning selection of beer that includes over 155 different types, 40 of which are on tap. The atmosphere is casual but upscale. They offer a great selection of meals made from scratch and burgers that have been recognized by many New England media outlets. There is also no better place to watch the game, their 17 TVs allow you to watch 6 different games at once. Love Brew City as much as we do? You can get Brew City memorabilia at their gift shop.

Mon-Thurs 11:30am – 11pm. Fri-Sat 11:30am- 12am. Sun 12pm-11pm. 104 Shrewsbury St, Worcester. 508-752-3862. www.brew-city.com.

Photo: Lindsey Gira


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