Labor Day was Monday, September 5. It also was our third and last day in South Hadley, and a final outing was planned in the city of Northampton.
Eastern USA Road Trip 2016, Day 7: Northampton MA and Labor Day in a Blue State.
It will surprise absolutely no one who knows me that Job One was lunch at a brewery.
The Northampton Brewery was conceived as a community center for great food and drink; where families get together for quality time; good friends hang out and catch up; groups meet for pleasure or business; and individuals come in to meet with regulars, or to play a little solitaire. The Brewery staff loves to meet new people and make everyone feel at home. It has become a favorite meeting place for locals and visiting guests.
In 1987 The Northampton Brewery was the second brewpub to open in the region preceded by the Commonwealth Brewing Company in Boston. Presently the Northampton Brewery is the oldest operating brewpub in New England.
The outdoor patio was packed, so we retreated indoors. My loaded burger and clam chowder were solid, but what impressed me most was a Daniel Shays Best Bitter. So few breweries in my neighborhood (anywhere?) bother any longer with stylistically accurate English-influenced styles. Northampton Brewery's version reminded me a bit of the ESB at Broad Ripple Brewing Company, though milder and at a lower alcohol content ... precisely as it should be.
You should be asking, "But Roger, who is Daniel Shays?" Given that I carry a Che wallet, I'm the perfect choice to Google.
Shays' Rebellion was an armed uprising in Massachusetts (mostly in and around Springfield) during 1786 and 1787. Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays led four thousand rebels (called Shaysites) in rising up against perceived economic injustices and suspension of civil rights (including multiple eviction and foreclosure notices) by Massachusetts, and in a later attempt to capture the United States' national weapons arsenal at the U.S. Armory at Springfield. Although Shays' Rebellion met with defeat militarily against a privately raised militia, it prompted numerous national leaders (including George Washington, who came out of retirement to deal with issues raised by Shays' Rebellion) to call for a stronger national government to suppress future rebellions, resulting in the U.S. Constitutional Convention and thereby "altering the course of U.S. history."
Food, drink and service were exemplary. When I expressed interest in buying a t-shirt, the manager set aside what she was doing to sift through the choices and find XXL sizes from which to choose.
All thumbs up. In all likelihood, the future holds more visits to the vicinity as the missus plays enthusiastic aunt to baby Ruby.
Northampton Brewery at Facebook.