Saturday, December 1, 2012

Something new, something tasty on tap in Port

For beer fans, it just doesn’t get any better than this: New brew, as fresh as it possibly could be, making straight-from-the-tap seem, well, a little past its prime. Fresh beer, local bee-yah, wicked local, so new it hasn’t even made it into a bottle or keg yet. And now the dream is a reality. Riverwalk Brewing has begun the first direct-to-consumer sales of its flagship beers, suds developed in Amesbury by Carriagetown resident Steve Sanderson and produced in Newburyport. It happened last week, on the first day possible — two months after Sanderson successfully completed the federal regulatory juggernaut, and just six hours after Newburyport officials signed off on the license to sell the stuff the front room of the facility. And just in time for the holiday weekend, in the first-ever Port emergency growler hour ... um, growler hour? The term goes back to late-19th-Century England, when folks with a wee bit of a thirst would go down to the local pub with a pail to bring home the brew. Supposedly, the sound of sloshing suds made a “growling” sound. These days, when a sixer isn’t what you’re looking for, when you get a hankering for fresh, local beer-to-go — or “rustic, flavorable, earthy beers,” as the Riverwalk logo has it — you can leave the pail at home and head down to the brewery, located at the Newburyport Industrial Park, and buy a half-gallon glass growler — filled with beer, naturally. When you’re ready for more, you return, washed growler in hand, and get a refill. It’s like pulling into a hoppy service station and saying fill ‘er up.

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