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Our latest hiking adventure took us out to the western part of Massachusetts in the neighborhood of South Deerfield.  After a full day of hiking, including a missed turn that transformed a three mile walk into an eight mile journey, my wife and I checked into the tree house where we would be staying that night (yes, really) and then went off in search of dinner and a much needed adult beverage.  The People’s Pint Restaurant and Brewery in neighboring Greenfield was the place I had my eye on from the start of the trip and that is where we ended up.

20150724_200617The restaurant is located in the downtown area of Greenfield which was surprisingly larger and more lively than anticipated.  I wouldn’t quite call it city-like, but it was certainly more built up than the surrounding towns.  The restaurant’s storefront is is fairly unassuming, but inside the place is quite nice and spacious.  There is a large bar area off to the right and straight back from the entrance is the main seating area.  We arrived around 7:30 PM on a Friday night and the place was pretty full, which is usually a pretty good sign.

During our short wait to be seated, I passed the time by examining the draft listing up on their chalkboard.  There were 12 house offerings available that day in a variety of styles.  Of particular interest to my wife, one of these offerings was a gluten reduced beer named Hoverboard.  They also featured in bottles the ubiquitous gluten reduced Omission IPA and more notably a couple of certified gluten free beer from nearby Element Brewing Company.  It is not often that brew pubs or beer establishments have gluten free options like this (wine was also available), so they were definitely appreciated.

After our long day of hiking though, food was decidedly the first order of business.  To our pleasant surprise, their menu was also friendly to people with gluten sensitivities as they used corn tortillas in their tacos and offered a gluten free bun option for their burgers (that my wife says are legitimately good as opposed to some other gluten free substitutes she’s come across).  For dinner, we both decided upon the Squealer burger and we could not have been happier with that decision.  I don’t know how much the hunger following an unexpected eight mile hike was a factor, but this is easily one of the best burgers I have ever had in my life, and I’m a guy that likes his burgers.  Made with grass fed beef mixed with bacon and served with a chipotle mayo and fixing of your choice, we both absolutely loved this.  If you’re here and thinking about making this your order, stop thinking about it and do it!  It was that good.

But anyways, back to beer.  Once I had a handle on the food situation, I started the evening off with what they call the classic flight consisting of the Natural Blonde Ale, Hope Street Amber, Pied Piper IPA, and Farmer Brown Ale.  The Natural Blonde Ale was light and refreshing with a slightly sweet malt finish.  It had a nice clean taste and was well executed.  The Hope Street Amber was a solid ESB with a similar malty sweet profile paired with a slight hop presence.  Next up was the Pied Piper IPA.  It is a more balanced IPA, with floral and citrus hops complimenting caramel malts.  As I’ve mentioned before on here, this is a flavor profile I really enjoy, if this had a little more hoppiness to it I would have been an even bigger fan.  Rounding out the flight was the Farmer Brown Ale.  It had a nice light caramel and chocolate malt finish and drank very smoothly.  As a bonus for me, it didn’t have a pronounced bitter roastiness that often turns me off of brown ales.

For my next flight I mixed things up a bit and ordered the Super Session, Training Wheels, Our Oatmeal Stout, and Forty to One Maple Brown.  As you can probably guess, Super Session was a session IPA clocking in at a mere 3% ABV.  Despite this, it was very flavorful and refreshing with a big juicy hop presence that didn’t completely overwhelm the beer.  Training Wheels was another session IPA (go easy on me, it had been a long day) with a 4.5% ABV.  It had more of a piney hop profile and again was well done.  I think Super Session wins this matchup though.  For something completely different,  Our Oatmeal Stout came up next.  This was another solid offering with a nice smooth mouthfeel a great malt presence.  The final beer of the night was the Forty to One Maple Brown, which, per the brewery’s descriptions, was named in reference to the amount of sap needed to produce maple syrup.  I really liked this one.  It had a nice maple taste paired with a hint of caramel sweetness and a good mouthfeel.

So what’s the verdict on The People’s Pint?  I liked it and wouldn’t hesitate to go back.  While none of the beers really stood out as outstanding, I do think they were all well made and good examples of the styles they intended to create.  It’s easy to be spoiled by only chasing world class rated brews, but it’s also nice to sit down at a local town brewery, drink some good beer, and see what the place is about.  If I had to pick favorites, I would go with Pied Piper, Super Session, and Forty to One.  It also doesn’t hurt that they had some awesome food, decent prices, and plenty of options for my gluten-sensitive wife.  It was a great combination that made us both happy.  If you’re in the area check them out, and don’t forget to order the Squealer burger!

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