Originally published on August 23, 2017 by Masslive
While I'm no ornithologist, most of the birds I encounter seem fairly peaceful and somewhat gentle creatures. But there seems to be an intermittent theme in popular culture about birds being less than happy.
There was the Alfred Hitchcock classic "The Birds," where our avian buddies decided to wreak havoc on humankind, and a few years ago there was the hugely popular game "Angry Birds."
Now there's a beer that indicts our nesting neighbors: Angry Sparrow Pale Ale from Hitchcock Brewing in Whately.
But bird aspersions aside, this is a beer I think a lot of people will love.
I sampled this brew at two different venues, both in my former neighborhood: Fitzwilly's and Joe's Cafe. Both of these venues are longtime success stories, but neither are known for featuring a lot of craft brews. (But to be fair, Joe's often has one on and only has limited tap lines, and Fitzy's usually has several good offerings, but cedes most of the craft beer audience to its neighboring sister bar, The Toasted Owl.)
I mention the above because it's heartening to see even older establishments embracing craft beer.
But back to our annoyed avians from Hitchcock:
I had no idea what to expect, these days being what they are in the craft beer world, but was more than pleasantly surprised to learn this is a classic pale ale that is not hop-crazy, but balanced and delicious. It has a solid malt structure but enough bittering hops to keep both old-school pale ale enthusiasts and modern hopheads happy.
Owned by the husband and wife team of Rich and Geneva Pedersen, who also grow their own hops. Rich began his brewing adventure way back in the 1980s, just several years after home brewing was legalized.
The brewery also brews several other beers and its products can also be found at such local venues as Amy's Place and Luthier's Co-op in Easthampton, J.J.'s Tavern in the Florence section of Northampton, and The Yarde Tavern in South Hadley.
Like me, I bet a lot of you are kind of pining for the approach of autumn. The summer has been brutal for humidity haters like myself and I am looking forward to cooler fall climes. So when I got an email from Harpoon's Liz Melby about the brewery's new fall seasonal, Flannel Friday, my heart fairly sang with joy. Along with being a harbinger of the change of seasons, it's also Harpoon's first fall seasonal introduction since 1989. I will get my hands on some of this and report back soon.