Before the rush of the holidays (and in celebration of Pete’s birthday), we spent a Saturday exploring breweries in Sturbridge and Worcester, Massachusetts. We began our brewery tour by starting at Rapscallion Brewery & Tap Room in Sturbridge, MA. Rapscallion has been part of the 150-acre Hyland Orchard since 2013. The brewery and tap room is located in a converted large red barn, and the relaxed farm vibe from the surrounding orchard continues inside.
When you walk into Rapscallion, the first room you enter is the main tap room with the large, L-shaped bar and several tables. The tap room has a rustic, cabin feel with concrete floors, wood panelling, live edge tables, and a woodstove. Vintage beer trays line the perimeter of the room. There are also two large rooms that are attached to the tap room. Both of these rooms have more of an industrial feel with the mixture of metals, woods, and concrete. There are also several tables and shallow depth bars located in these rooms, making them perfect for large groups.
As you belly up to the bar, you will see that Rapscallion has plenty of beer styles for you to chose from. The brewery has several mainstays as well as a few seasonals. They even brew their own root beer! And if you need any more options, Rapscallion also serves local hard ciders, several types of wine, and locally made kombucha.
You can purchase their beers by the pint, or you can order a flight of four 4-ounce pours for only $9. The bartender will give you a slip to fill out with your choices and will arrange your flight in that order. Hopefully you’ve been reading our blog long enough to know where this is going next. Yes, we ordered two flights to share.
We began our Rapscallion tasting with their flagship beer, Honey (4.5% ABV). This extra pale ale was very crisp and refreshing with a slightly sweet aftertaste of honey. Hey, the name says it all! Then we tried Blonde (7% ABV), which was a crisp Belgian style ale with great citrus flavors. Their Green Light (3.5% ABV) is named after their disc golf partners – we’ll get to that later. This session ale was light and piney with a slightly bitter finish. Keeping it light, we moved onto the Gose (4% ABV). Brewed with pink sea salt, this beer was immediately sour on the lips, but mellowed as it hit your palate. Next we tried the Collaboration IPA (7.5% ABV). This New England style IPA was brewed with a local Rapscallion mug club member – how cool is that?! We thought it was a very juicy, citrusy IPA. Even though it is dry hopped with two different hops, we thought this IPA was not too bitter. It was pretty different from their Session IPA (3.8% ABV). This session was very light and drinkable. It also had a sharply bitter taste, but not overwhelming. And for our final Rapscallion IPA, we tried their Black IPA (6% ABV) brewed with local hops. This was a malty IPA with a sharp, bitter finish on your tongue. It had a great black color, staying true to its name. Finally, we finished our sample flights with the Coffee Stout (6.7% ABV), which is brewed with locally roasted coffee beans. We thought this stout was super roasty and delicious. This beer drinks as if you are drinking a carbonated cup of coffee – yum!
With over a dozen different beers to chose from, you might want to consider trying a few options at home. Rapscallion sells 32-ounce crowlers and 64-ounce growlers to go. We took home a growler of White (5% ABV), a Belgian style wit. It was light and refreshing with sweet and spicy citrus notes. Full disclosure, we wanted to take home some of the Collaboration IPA, but it was not available to go that day.
Rapscallion sells snacks like chips and whatnot, but you are welcome to bring in your own food or have pizza delivered to the tap room. They even have some board games available to help you pass the time while you are sipping on your brews.
She said: “I think Rapscallion is the perfect brewery to visit on a beautiful New England fall day – and bring your friends! My favorite beer from the day was their Collaboration IPA.”
He said: “I liked the variety that Rapscallion offered, and their White was my personal favorite. The tap room was rustic and very laid back. I could easily see myself spending several hours here.”
When you visit Rapscallion, you will find something for everyone – even your dog and/or your kids. From an animal petting area to a large disc golf course, you can easily spend an entire day at the brewery and orchard. Weather and seasons permitting, you can even enjoy an outdoor concert or pick apples. It is well worth the trip!
Rapscallion Brewery & Tap Room
195 Arnold Road
Another tip – be sure to check out their parking map.