Hotspot: Shire Breu-Hous - Rustic basement setting well worth seeking out

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Details: Shire Breu-Hous at The Stationery Factory: 63 Flansburg Ave, Dalton, Mass; Hours: Sunday & Monday, closed; Tuesday - Thursday, 4 p.m. - midnight; and Friday & Saturday, 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. 413-842-8313, www.shirebreuhous.com



Recipe for Success: Shire Breu-Hous is a seven-barrel brewpub tucked in the basement of The Stationery Factory in Dalton. This new addition has been open only a month, but people are happily making the trek from Pittsfield and the surrounding hilltowns. When entering the space, you descend down a set of stairs to the basement of the former Crane Paper building, where you are met with an inviting, but expansive rustic space. It is intimately lit, and offers an inviting mix of seating: from bar seating, to family-style dining. Standing at the bar or waiting for a table? Lounge on the couch in front or sneak to the back corner to play a round of corn hole! The friendly staff are happy to answer questions, helped us navigate the drink menu, and offered tastings of the beers on tap.



What we can't get enough of: Come for the beer, stay for the food! For beer, I sampled the Fireman's Red Ale, Batch No. 2, and Batch No. 3. The red ale was my favorite (why?). Not in the mood for beer? They also serve cocktails! The food menu appeals to a variety of diners, offering an affordable mix of panini sandwiches, charcuterie boards, and smaller plates. We split the surf and turf tacos ($19): the four small tacos were in a flatbread shell, with lobster and a brisket that my friend couldn't stop raving about. I highly recommend the Italian panini, with a mix of Italian meats, fresh mozzarella and an herb mayo served with a side of Terra chips ($12). Both dishes were well executed, made with fresh ingredients, and the service is top notch. Check out their Facebook page for some of their specials. Recent specials have included a smoked dark meat chicken with roasted tomato BBQ coulis & grilled artichoke heart salad, and pomegranate lamb with Israeli couscous. Dalton is well served by this new space and I'll be coming back for more of the beer and more of the food. I need to try that brisket my friend still talking about!



— Stephanie Gravalese, Special to The Eagle




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