Want Beer, Will Travel

See The Full Story & Interview

I f you only have one beer road trip in you this summer, aim southwest and head to Beer’d (with stops at Grey Sail and Malted Barley to maximize your time and gas and pleasure). Aaren Simoncini started pouring late in 2012 and quickly made converts with the results of the hop alchemy at his three-barrel brewhouse, which he says “allows us to be creative, agile and extremely hands-on with every ounce of beer we produce.” Aaren is big on imperial/double IPAs; more than a dozen current and past variations are listed on their website. Their tasting/growler filling room is in the American Velvet Mill (think: Hope Artiste Village; Beer’d is open on Friday from 5-9 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 pm). Aaren’s partner, Precious Putnam, was the engaging beer guide, proffering two-ounce samples and detailing the particulars of the brews. All five beers were superb, including Whisker’d Wit and Midnight Oil, an oatmeal stout, but we decided on growlers of Hobbit Juice, a phenomenal double IPA single-hopped with the distinctive New Zealand hop, Nelson Sauvin, and 8 Days a Week, a great American Pale Ale made with the uber-tropical Citra hop (and further maximized our time and gas and pleasure with a great lunch — with a great beer selection — at the Engine Room in nearby Mystic). Beer’d is nano-brewing at its finest.