If you’re a beer connoisseur, maybe you’ve heard of it, but in an unassuming, small town in central Massachusetts, there exists a small brewery called Tree House Brewing Co. About an hour and a half away from Troy, N.Y., Tree House offers a different variety of beers Thursday to Saturday; however, their brews are only available on site. Their most famous offerings are Julius and Good Morning, both of which are top rated beers on the website Beer Advocate. Unfortunately, only Julius was available amongst the selection of beers when I went.
When it’s poured into Tree House’s Rastal Teku goblet glass, the beer gives a frothy, healthy head, about four centimeters thick. Immediately, I smell fresh, citrusy aromas; the notes are crisp but not overpowering. The scent whisks me away to the brewery in midwinter. Feeling the brisk morning breeze against my cheek, I open the front door and am met with a familiar, warm, welcoming hoppy smell, complimented by the venue’s décor: wooden wall siding adorned with Tree House paraphernalia. I hold a glass of Julius up to the sun, and it shines in almost the same color. Back in my room, I examine its golden, orange-yellow hue, unfiltered and cloudy. The beer really does look like the sun and deserves to be poured into a glass to be admired.
As one of the top rated beers in the Northeast, Julius tastes as good as it looks. I taste crisp citrusy hop flavor with not too much bitterness, if at all. Though it is an India Pale Ale, the drink does not adhere to stereotypes, as it is also sweet, but not too sweet, and fresh. Hints of mango and passion fruit are hidden in the background and the liquid itself just rolls off the tongue. There is light carbonation and crisp mouthfeel; each sip is like freshly squeezed and chilled orange juice. If you didn’t quite get it, I meant this in a “your sweet 70 year old grandmother just got back from her orange grove and hand-squeezed you a nice glass” kind of way.
Overall, Julius is a smooth beer. With an attractive hue, fresh smell, and unique taste, this drink is an experience. If you have not visited or tried Tree House brews, I suggest you go while you are still in the Northeast. Earlier this semester, I left at 8 am with friends and arrived around 10 am; the brewery opens at 11 am. It was nearly -10 degrees Fahrenheit out with wind chill, but there were 70 people in front of us in line, with nearly 100 behind us when the doors opened before 11. They only brew a small amount so they limit how many cans and growlers each person can buy and still run out. Afterwards, I always travel a half hour further east to B.T. Smokehouse, one of the best barbecue places in the Northeast. There, I enjoy a Julius with a solid rack of ribs. So I guess maybe I’m biased because I’ve been to the place before, but clearly, it’s a great experience.