Brewery Review of Kretschmann Brewing Co. (KBC) in Webster, MA.
Kretschmann Brewing Co. is a unique entity in the world of craft breweries and tasting rooms. They are a self-described “nano-brewery”, with very limited production, which isn’t unusual in and of itself, but what is unusual is the scope of their tasting room/taproom considering the “nano-brewery” status.
The first thing that is worth noting is they have a full on-site taproom with 4-6 of their own beers available, as well as 4-5 additional guest taps from local breweries. If those selections don’t tickle your fancy, they also have local hard cider, mead, wine and sangrias available, which shows their desire to make KBC a well-rounded destination for all types of drinkers, not just people that like their beer. The taproom itself is quite large with a long bar and multiple long tables, all done in a German bierhaus motif.
If that isn’t enough for you, they also have a full outdoor beer garden, with shaded seating and a place for live music/events. The beer garden is so large and well-maintained that beach volleyball legend Karch Kiraly might try to start a pick-up game out there (assuming he likes craft beer and was in the Webster, MA area).
The staff is extremely knowledgeable and approachable, and they all seemed to have direct knowledge of the brewing process. Even though they only had 4 of their own beers available on the day of my initial visit, there was still diversity, with a hefeweizen (review here), an Imperial IPA, a coffee stout and a lager. The addition of local guest taps also keeps the selection from getting stale, and because they only make small batches the beer is always fresh and the selection is always changing.
KBC also has a stein club, which is completely sold out and has a waiting list past 2015 (I should know, I’m one of the people waiting), which is a really good sign of how people have embraced this relatively new establishment. Growler fills are also available onsite, with pricing that is beyond competitive.
The only drawbacks you could point to are the lack of food, but that would really be your own fault, since the whole place is BYOF and there are plenty of take-out places in Webster that you can hit on the way, or if you’re feeling really lazy have food delivered! Also, KBC can be a little hard to find if you’ve never been there. It is located at the end of a tiny dead-end street, right along the river walk. You’ll probably think you’ve taken a wrong turn when your GPS sends you down there, but you haven’t.
KBC is definitely a little slice of beer heaven. It’s a place where you can mingle with the locals (and maybe famous volleyball players), talk craft beer with the owners, try their latest concoction inside or outside, grab a growler of your favorite one to go, and most importantly feel at home. You could say they have all the bases covered, much like Pablo Sandoval, who literally has all the bases covered simultaneously (he’s a large man).