Some great things are brewing inside Building 1 at Mass MoCA in North Adams — amber and brown ales, chocolate espresso stouts, wheat beers and hoppy IPAs. Make yourself at home in the taproom of the Bright Ideas Brewing, where a seat at the bar made from century-old reclaimed wood from the museum affords a view of the brewery just beyond a glass wall. Tables line the outer perimeters of the taproom, where it isn't unusual to see a family or two enjoying a bite from Bon Tricycle.
Don't be surprised when your brews are served up by owners Orion Howard and Eric Kerns. The pair are working out the logistics of the new venture during the "soft opening" of the taproom, which runs through June 19. Until then, the taproom's hours are being posted weekly via Facebook (www.facebook.com/brightideasbrewing/).
Three to try
Beer Brittle: Bright Ideas beer and the brewery's spent grain (barley) are some of the ingredients in this tasty treat from Clarksburg Bread Co.
Crowlers to go: Take home your favorite brew or two in 32-ounce aluminum pop-top cans. The Bright Ideas crew fills your order from available on-tap selections.
Bon Tricycle: It's not your traditional pub fare, but it works. The menu includes pork rillettes, jerk chicken, cheese and meat plates, breads and spreads, pizzas and greens.
For those who have had the chance to visit the taproom of Bright Ideas Brewery, it should come as no surprise that 500 pints of beer were sold during its preview weekend.
One that quickly became my favorite is the Stout (8.2 AVB*). It's surprisingly light, with hints of dark chocolate and espresso that make it go down smooth. We've already polished off the Crowler that came home last weekend.
The latest release, a Brown Ale (6.4 AVB) takes its already palate pleasing Ale (5.6 AVB) up a level, with the help of some hops.
Also on tap are an ESB (5.9 AVB), an IPA (6.1 AVB), a Red (6.1 AVB) and a Wheat (4.7 AVB). Prices range from $6 - $7 per pint.
*Alcohol by volume