BBQ + Beer

I took this week off from work—well, the University is closed Wednesday through Friday—and after a 4.84 mile run yesterday, I headed out on a BBQ and beer trip today.

Four of us from work traveled out east to Sturbridge and Charlton, Massachusetts for some darn good BBQ and a long wait in line for beer. Our first stop was B.T.’s Smokehouse for lunch.

I got a single meat platter with pulled pork, and my two sides were cole slaw and mac and cheese, plus a piece of corn bread. B.T.’s is BYOB, so thus the Fort Hill Brewing Fresh Pick can. I didn’t eat all of the pulled pork, but everything was so good. Especially the mac and cheese.

After lunch, we headed to Tree House Brewing, about 15 minutes or so away from B.T.’s. I had only been there one time before two years ago, and then I had to wait two hours in line. Yes, you read that right: two hours. Like waiting in line at Tree House is a thing. Their facility is huge and they do everything there, including canning. (Some breweries don’t can in-house because the equipment is wicked expensive.)

Like this is just part of their facility that’s viewable to the public:

Here’s where we were when we first got in line. The line for cans was going over toward the right of the main doors (where it has the Tree House sign above it).

It ended up taking us 40 minutes to at least get inside.

Once we were inside, it was another 40 minute wait. We snaked in off to the right in two separate sections. In the middle of the two was a bar area—not in use at the time—where we filled out our order cards.

These were new from when I last went when we just told them what we wanted. Tree House puts a limit on how many of each kind you can get. A case limit is 24—how many cans fit in a box—while others have a 12 or 8 can limit. Some of the really special ones are only a 1 or 2 can limit. This morning before we left, I figured out which cans I wanted and got an order from my dad. (They keep an updated list on their website of what they’re canning for the day.)

We each got one of each one we wanted; there was no need for us to get 24 cans of one beer.

I got: East Hill, Julius, Juice Machine, Saturated, King Julius, Tango, Curiosity 82, and Autumn. They ran out of Bright Citra while we were in line, so I got Autumn instead, and King Julius and Juice Machine were last minute add-ons. My dad got: Treat, Hurricane, Sap, Raven, Haze, and Autumn.

I didn’t end up getting a full case, but there were people leaving with four or five full cases on a hand cart. We ended up using a hand cart to transport our cases—three cases plus my 3/4ish of a case, plus two cases worth in a duffel bag/cooler thing—out to the car. We all got drink tickets, too, when we got the cans to get a draft after.

I got the Passion Fruit Tart and it was really good. We sat outside because it was in the mid-50s today and sunny, which is weird for the end of November.

I also saw like 10 dogs because Tree House is dog-friendly. I kept pointing out every dog I saw.

We were gone for most of the afternoon, and I didn’t end up getting home until after 5:00 p.m. But it was a fun trip, although I spent a lot of money on beer. Whoops.

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