Updated: Aug 29
BlackStack Brewery has embraced the popular Northeast IPA style. But BlackStack is more than that. It has been a popular joint since opening back in March. However, there is much more to BlackStack than just producing its own solid version of craft beer’s trendiest style. If you’re heading north for the State Fair or Renaissance Festival, it’s well worth a trip to check out BlackStack. Here are four reasons why.
1. The Local series
BlackStack’s Local series of beers are New England IPAs (also known as the northeast IPA and east-coast IPA) that center on a single hop. These juicy, hoppy beers are the shining star of BlackStack’s tap list. While its other beers are solid, if not bombastic, these juice bombs are some of the best interpretations of the style produced in the state. If you don’t know what the style is, you can expect mostly fruity flavors such as grapefruit, lemon, mandarin orange, or even mango, as well as a smooth, silky, pillowy mouthfeel. Yes, “pillowy mouthfeel” is a thing. Roll with it. And, this is key, many of them have a nice, only slightly bitter finish, to bring the beer full circle and give it a proper beginning and end.
2. The assistant brewer
Murphy Johnson, son of owner and founder Scott Johnson, loves craft beer and community. If you see the jovial assistant brewer behind the bar, say hello. He will chat you up about beer, because Johnson is a huge fan of the community vibe it inspires. You can also thank him for insisting that BlackStack brew the Local series of beers.
3. The space
Brewing inside an old building gives character. Brewing inside one that once produced cans for Schmidt’s and Hormel is downright cool. The BlackStack building has a history, a certain type of character. It’s also gigantic. That means there is plenty of space for seating, whether that be an intimate couch, a large table for a proper party, or a square table for some board games. Another side effect of the space is there is rarely a cacophony of voices requiring you to yell to converse, and the brewery seems to have plenty of space to grow. The parking is also no slouch, with plenty of brewery parking as well as on-street spots available.
Just reading "mini-golf" should be enough to excite anyone. While the brewery itself doesn’t have a mini-golf course, it does share the building with Can Can Wonderland. An artistic and entirely unique endeavor, Can Can is absolutely rad. But you don’t go just to play mini-golf (though I respect you if you do). Instead, you can swing a club after ordering a drink at one of two bars, both with concoctions as creative as the course. I don’t want to spoil the anything, but let’s just say that one of the drinks comes with a sparkler in it. A lit sparkler.