A Chance That I’d Been Given

Many years ago, my wife discovered that there was a tiny little brewery in our town called Baying Hound. It was a scant 25 minute walk from our house and we hadn’t realized it. I quickly became a regular, but in March 2016 Baying Hound closed up shop for good.

Flash forward a year and a half later and we found out that a new brewery was opening up an even scanter 20 minute walk from our house. Saints Row Brewing threw open its doors in September 2017 and I was so excited I walked there in 15 minutes.

You see, I aspire to be a fake Englishman. Being a fake Englishman mostly involves walking my dog along a stream through a field and some woods to the local pub to have a pint, then going home to watch panel shows and complaining that no one votes for our Eurovision songs anymore.

I got the dog and the neighborhood pub  within weeks of each other, and I could even walk through a field and along a stream to get to Saints Row. Unfortunately, my dog Buddy hates literally every dog in the universe, and we have since discovered that every house in our neighborhood owns 2.5 dogs. So I cannot completely live the life I want to lead.

But, my dog’s neuroses aside, it’s still nice to have a place where everybody knows my name in the neighborhood. It’s not like I am there every night, like some sort of amiable accountant or trivia-obsessed postal worker. But I’ve established my presence enough that I can walk in and co-founder and head brewer Tony can say, “You’re going to like this one, it’s in your vibe.” And he’s usually right.

For example, they recently tapped an English brown ale called The Cabin. It’s a cozy, comfy beer, full of apple and black currant flavors with a strong, malty finish. It’s a beer you drink while curled up by the fire. The cask version adds a bit of citrus, cinnamon, and clove notes to the mix. The base recipe has a lot of room for versatility.

Not that I’m entirely predictable in my love of bitters, brown ales, and Pilsners. They also produced Careless Whispers, which in theory is a New England IPA. But the beer is finished with toasted coconut and vanilla beans, so the taste has subtle hints of cream soda and… well, coconut.

It’s a playful beer that makes me even happier that Saints Row is in my neighborhood. The fact that it is almost always packed when I stop by shows me that I’m not the only one here who feels this way. Although I am annoyed that everyone else in my neighborhood can bring their dogs without fear of canine panic attacks.