Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Opa-Opa Brewing Company, Southampton, MA

Last month I had dinner in Pitsfield, and tried a local brew, Opa-Opa Red Rock Amber.

That’s right! Opa-Opa Brewing Company.

“Antonio and Themis Rizos grew up a few hours north of Athens, Greece, where they constantly absorbed American culture on TV and at the movies. When they moved to the States, they opened Red Rock Pizza, which has now been a Southampton fixture for 17 years,” wrote Joseph Bednar in Business West Online. “Still, they felt they could add something more to the culinary landscape. A second pizzeria might have been the easiest option, but they had something else in mind.”

“We’re always looking for some new adventures,” Rizos said. “[In 2004], when this building became available, we saw it as an opportunity for us, and we grabbed it. We didn’t want competition for the pizza place down the street, so we thought, ‘let’s start making beer.’”

The boys found help. Dan Kramer is the Brewmaster and Dennis Bates the brewer.

“We…developed a whole spectrum of beers, from ultra-light to our Warthog, which is 14% alcohol,” Themis Rizos said, pointing to the bar, where 12 varieties are currently on tap. “We have lights, IPAs, stouts, porters – something to cover every person.”

Opa-Opa is derived from the Greek expression of joy and celebration, he added. “That’s what we’re trying to convey – our jubilation.”

Red Rock Amber won gold medals at The Great International Beer Festival in 2005 and 2007. It is a blend of German Vienna malt and English Crystal malts that give this beer its great malty and slightly sweet caramel flavor. Very, very smooth finish. Delicious!!!!