Watch City Brewing: Local Beer with a Unique Taste
It was pretty quiet on a recent rainy afternoon visit to Watch City Brewery in Waltham, once home to the Waltham Watch Company, but I knew that in the tanks behind me, visible from both the street and inside the brewery pub, plenty was going onâ€”beer in the making!
While enjoying a BABES Bloominâ€™Bock Doppel Bock, I learned that the brewery maintains four flagship beersâ€”Rescue One KÃ¶lsch, Titan Ale, Moody Street Stout, and Hops Explosion IPAâ€”and also follows the seasons with such options as Father Time Winter Ale in January and Jeux Dâ€™Esprit Wit in July. The Rescue One placed first in 2012 (for Kolsch) at the Great International Beer Festival, as did their Zokâ€™s Baltic Imperial Porter for Best Strong Ale.
Head brewer Aaron Mateychuk uses variety of herbs, spices, fruit, and grains in many of the specialty beers, and he has been known to â€œemploy distinctive European yeast strains to create a series in beer styles.â€ Other specialty options you might encounter include their frequent ales on cask or the award-winning Chocolate Thunder Porter, brewed with locally made chocolate. In fact, the brewery says that they â€œhave made local growers, farmers, and fishermen friends of the Brewery and Brew Pub by using their goods and services.â€ And they even help local area farms by offering their spent grain and hops for reuse as animal feed.
This approach is also supported by the brewery kitchen, which uses local food purveyors and local produce as an important part of the companyâ€™s efforts to being more eco-friendly. Aaron says that this approach will be evident at their appearance at the 2nd Annual Hyper Local Craft Brewfest (HLCB), where the company will be sampling their Breakfast of Champions Milk Stout. This beer is made with espresso from Somervilleâ€™s Diesel CafÃ©, which itself uses local ingredients as much as possible.
Aaron says they will also be bringing their Bitter & Jaded ESB (Extra Special Bitter), essentially the the English cousin of the IPA but with a more prominent malt flavor to balance the sweetness of the Challenger hops; the BitchlÃ¶den Wheat Lager, described as a â€œsummer dry, crisp lager enhanced slightly with Indian Spicesâ€; and the timely and citrusy Clockwork Summer Ale.
And while youâ€™re at the Brewfest (youâ€™re going, right?), donâ€™t miss out on yet another way the brewery supports local: start-up Portico Brewing Company is currently â€œgypsyâ€ brewing on site as part of Watch Cityâ€™s contract brewery program and will be pouring at HLCB as well. So donâ€™t miss out on some great opportunities for sampling this weekend, June 14-15, at the Somerville Arts at the Armory!