Saturday, March 27, 2010

Berkshire Brewing Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale

By their own admission the owners of Berkshire Brewing will openly tell you they are Massachusetts best kept secret. But I've never been good at keeping secrets.

In 1992, Chris Lalli and Gary Bogoff of Montgomery, MA came to the conclusion that they both had a similar interest in make beer. Ale that was produced with the same ethics and craftsmanship of an artisan. After three long years of planning and test brewing, and months of searching up and down the Pioneer Valley for the right location, BBC found a home in historic South Deerfield, MA. The building, a former cigar manufacturing plant became the prime choice site. In the winter of 1994 construction began to renovate the brewery site. It was no small feat to transform the cigar factory into a cutting-edge micro brewery. The brewery was a hit.

By 1999 BBC was in need of more space. Gary and Chris began an expansion by building a 3,000 square foot addition on the north side for the office. Since 1999, there have been many changes with our physical building and product distribution. In January 2003, BBC brought on G. Housen, a distributor in Vermont. In April 2005, BBC opened a warehouse in Worcester, MA. Then in August 2005, BBC started self distributing in Connecticut. By 2008, Berkshire Brewing was no longer a Micro brewery but was now a Regional powerhouse.

So I was out last night at Elizabeth's Restaurant in Pittsfield, MA. There we had a tremendous salad of romain lettuce, strawberries, cheddar cheese, kiwi, and other greens (exceptional salad) and I had a Eggplant Provencal, a French version of Eggplant Parm (again, excellent!). Anyway, they had one of Berkshire Brewing's offerings on the menu, an I ordered one up. A 22 oz. bottle of Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale. It was a big tasty brew. This is their flagship bale. It was light in color and medium bodied. It's a big cloudy ale, with lots of malt and lots of hops. A nice tangy bitterness left you with a dry and refreshed mouth.
A tremendous ale!