Four Star Farms was built and passed down through fourteen generations of the L’Etoile family. You’ve likely enjoyed the fruits of their labor in brews from Wormtown, Medusa, Honest Weight, and Brick and Feather. Armsby Abbey’s menu changes daily, but Four Star Farms’ grains seem to have a consistent hold on the kitchen’s heartstrings. We are still dreaming of a baby carrot pappardelle they served last summer, made with juiced carrot and a house milled whole grain from Four Star Farms called Warthog Wheat. The dish was served with roasted baby carrots, kale and green garlic, carrot top salsa, aged goat cheese, and carrot crumb. At the time, Liz L’Etoile explained, “The warthog is used by lots of bakers for sourdough loaves and has a very strong wheat flavor; it can also be used in strong pastas.” Keep an eye on the rotating draft list for selections like ‘Kitten with a Whip’ – Brick and Feather’s Munich Helles Lager, or ‘Lightworks’ – Honest Weight’s American Blonde. Both brews are light and crushable, ideal for easy drinking.
Honest Weight’s unfiltered pilsner, Prescott, is a bright, dry lager named for one of the four towns flooded in 1938 to form the Quabbin Reservoir. Honest Weight is located in the north Quabbin region of Massachusetts, and many of their beers honor the brewery’s storied surroundings. Pair Prescott with BirchTree’s grilled cheese, assembled from homemade country bread and Robinson Farm’s own tribute to Prescott – a nutty alpine artisanal cheese made from raw milk.
Pair the Be Hoppy fish and chips with a variation on its namesake brew, Wormtown‘s African Queen Be Hoppy IPA. Wormtown’s Brand Ambassador Kyle Sherwood says, “Just like grapes, when you grow a hop, you get unique flavors. This hop from South Africa called African Queen has a really unique earthy, honey, tea flavor to it.” Wormtown has opted to pair the unique hops with local honey to accent the African Queen along with the beautifully executed citrus notes in their Be Hoppy. “One of our brew staff, Chris keeps bees for local honey. With increased production, we obtained additional honey from Boston Honey Company to secure enough local honey to brew this beer on a large scale,” Sherwood explained. Just remember: like goes with like.
You will be hard pressed to find a better deal than fried chicken Mondays at Kummerspeck on Water Street. Half a bird “with fixins” is just $14, not to mention their $20 all you can eat rate. Mondays also mean $5 cans of Medusa including their mid-strength American IPA, Prosperous. Kummerspeck’s fried chicken is juicy on its own, so the sharp, clean bittering of Apollo hops makes a can of Medusa Prosperous the perfect pair. The addition of Zythos casts off aromas of grapefruit and pine from your glass along with high acidity to refresh the palate after each crunchy, caramelized bite. This combination is sure to bring you the balance and fulfilment that you need to start your week. (Or give it up, and order a rootbeer float. You deserve it.)
One would be remiss to visit Rail Trail without ordering a flatbread pizza and a brew from Kent Falls. Bewilderment is Kent Falls’ Imperial Brett IPA; it pours the color of daffodils and finishes with pungent bursts of overripe fruit. Rail Trail’s Chicken Parm flatbread is made with a sweet crushed tomato base that stands up to the bitterness of any Imperial IPA. It’s topped with ditalini pasta, breaded chicken, basil and a garlic-Parmesan blend lovingly referred to as the house “funk.” Nothing measures up to the barnyard blast of Brettanomyces yeast like a pungent parmesan and no one knows that better than Rail Trail.