Iron Duke has successful opening

Date: 12/4/2014

You might recall a Page 2 feature story in these papers several months back profiling Iron Duke Brewing Company, a local brewery that was in the midst of establishing its home in one of the stackhouses at the Ludlow Mills.

At the time it appeared to be an incredibly ambitious, yet promising proposition for use of an old building that had fallen into serious disrepair.

Now I can tell you that Iron Duke has lived up to its promise.

The brewery opened its doors to the public for the first time on Thanksgiving Eve, Nov. 26. It was spearheaded by Michael Marcoux and Nick Morin, both coincidentally “young” men with whom I grew up and went to elementary school in Springfield with, a fact I did not know until showing up for my initial interview at the then-half-built facility in July 

Response was enormously positive.

In spite of the quickly accumulating snow, the Iron Duke tap room, brimming with character with its exposed brick walls, a bar adorned with recycled tin and a foot rail made out of an old railroad track found behind the brewery and a wall constructed with repurposed wood with wide windows looking out into the brewing area, was at standing room only.

“It’s going really well,” Marcoux said in one of the brief moments he had to speak. “I don’t think we could be happier with the turnout.”

Iron Duke currently features four beers, each of which can be sampled at the tap room.

The flagship Baby Maker is an award-winning spin on an Irish red ale, featuring the sweet malts you would expect from the style, but finishing with some roasted character akin to what you’d expect from a smoked porter.

The Stackhouse 122 India pale ale is named in honor of the brewery’s home and offers a complex mix of American hops and rye.

The Common Ale and the Harvest Ale were also available at the opening.

With quality beer and an extremely unique atmosphere, I would encourage you to slide on over to Iron Duke and try a sampler.

The brewery is located at the rear of the mills, located at 100 State St. The tap room is open Friday from 3:30 to 10 p.m. and Saturday 12 to 10 p.m.

To learn more, visit www.IronDukeBrewing.com. Iron Duke can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/irondukebeer, and on Twitter under the handle @irondukebrewing.

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It’s been well documented in the pages of Reminder Publications’ papers that I have an affinity for Peak Organic Brewing Company, headquartered in Portland, Maine.

One of their latest offerings, the Holiday Saison, doesn’t disappoint.

Abound with pepper and cloves, as well as notes of fruits and mint, complete with the crisp finish you would expect from a well-crafted saison, this one does very well in capturing some of the characteristics that are most often associated with the season.

At 4.7 percent alcohol by volume with a satisfying, but not heavy, body, the Holiday Saison is extremely drinkable and you won’t have to pause and ponder whether picking up a six pack of the 12 ounce bottles is a good idea.

It’s a great idea. Scoop it up.