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Sour beers, barrel aging, and pinball: Down the Road puts down roots

Down the Road

The city of Everett is flush with breweries.

That’s a bad casino joke — the Wynn Boston Harbor is scheduled to open in 2019 — but it’s also true that Everett is benefiting from Massachusetts’s brewery boom. In recent years, Night Shift Brewing and Bone Up Brewing Co. have opened tap rooms within a Mookie Betts home-run ball of each other. And a third brewery and tasting room is scheduled to open in Everett later this spring. Since early 2015, Down the Road Brewery has been making beer in other people’s breweries, a common practice known as contract brewing. But all along, founder Donovan Bailey has been building toward having a place of his own.


“We’ve spent a lot of time and effort getting out into the marketplace,” says Bailey, referring to the in-person, account-by-account sales pitches required to get a beer on the shelf or behind the bar. “We’re up to about 700 accounts so far. In some ways that’s a great way to start — our mission was bring the beer to everybody.

“But we always wanted to build a brewery.”

Bailey has been homebrewing for 22 years, and he’s been brewing Pukwudgie, one of Down the Road’s signature ales, for more than 10. Named after a character from Wampanoag folklore, Pukwudgie is an American pale ale brewed with mosaic and chinook hops (think citrus pith and spicy pine), and at 4.5 percent alcohol by volume drinks above its weight.

Undine, a double IPA made with mosaic, amarillo, and citra, is heavier on the grapefruit and seems less bitter than its 8.5 percent ABV. Bailey regularly brews a Scottish ale called Patchwork Kilt that’s dripping with caramel and toasted nuts, and Rasenmäher Kölsch, a straightforward representation of the style with subtle hints of pear.

“Some people think craft beer is this hoppy, crazy beer,” says Bailey. “For me, I know people want stuff that’s sessionable, that’s not going to blow your palate up.”


Down the Road will continue to distribute those beers, but Bailey is looking forward to the freedom of offering small batches on 20 tap handles in Everett. He plans to brew more sour beers, as well as do some barrel aging. But the part of the brewery Bailey may be looking most forward to is the pinball gallery: The avid player says it’s up to 15 machines and counting.

Down the Road debuts a juicy, New England-style IPA called Queequeg’s Revenge this week. The new brewery, located at 151 Bow St. in Everett, is scheduled to open in mid-April.

Gary Dzen can be reached at gary.dzen@
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