Visiting Tree House Brewing Almost everything you need to know to plan your visit.

Brew Kettles Tree House Brewing Charlton, Massachusetts

(C) 2018 popsonhops

Visiting Tree House Brewing…

Hours:

  • TUESDAY 4-8 PM CANS & Draft
  •  WED – FRI 12-8 PM CANS ONLY *
  •  SATURDAY 11-7 PM CANS & DRAFT PINTS (Last call 6:30 PM for pints).

What will be available: Tree House does a great job of posting what’s available at opening with quantities and limits on the “on tap” link on The Tree House Website. If you follow the Tree House Twitter Page they will post updates about the length of the line, as well as updates on limits and availabilityIf I’m planning a trip (say) on a Friday, I usually do the daily math. If Julius has 2,500 cases available on Wednesday at opening and they end the day with 1,500, I will guess that by end of day Thursday there might be about 500 left. Anything less than 250, I make sure I’m there at opening.

I’ll also note that Tree House will also have “unannounced” releases. Those are not detailed on their website and its usually a surprise on arrival. Someone will correct me, but I’ve seen these typically happening on Fridays.

Retail Can Area Tree House Brewing Company, Charlton, Massachusetts.

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Parking & Lines: The Tree House staff orchestrate your visit with complete perfection. If you arrive before opening, everyone will be directed into the lower lot. The staff will direct you to line up in the order you have arrived. When the upper lot is ready to receive you (about 20 minutes before opening time), you will proceed in single file to the top lot in the order in which you arrived in the lower lot. The line begins with the car in the upper left hand side of the lot and proceeds row by row from left to right. It’s very orderly. The upper lot is managed by staff and you’ll park in the same order.

If you arrive after opening, access to the top lot is managed by the staff, if there are spaces they will send you to the top lot, if not, you’ll be asked to park in the lower lot. Tree House operates a shuttle bus and moving from bottom lot to top lot is fairly easy (except carrying your haul). My suggestion is to have the driver of your car ride the shuttle and get the car.  You may have to ask to drive up to the upper lot.

At opening, there really isn’t a race to get in line and everyone pretty much ends up where they were in the queue of cars. About 15 minutes before opening, a member of the Tree House will make general announcements about what is available, the limits, rules, draft process (if available), food trucks (on Saturday) and more. Don’t worry, as they work their way up the line and repeat the announcements.

Choosing your beer: If you arrive at opening, someone will walk up the line with cards and pencils so you can make your selections. If you miss this part, the cards and pencils are usually positioned at the door at the front of the line. You present your card and your order is filled. You also have the option to add drink tickets if they are offering pours (Tuesday night, All Day Saturday and on some evenings when can sales are slow (check Twitter for these one-off draft announcements).

Tree House Brewing Company, Haze and Bright Citra

(C) 2017 popsonhops

Managing your haul: When visiting Tree House Brewing, the excitement of buying mass quantities of awesome beer soon turn into, “how the hell do I get this to my car?” I saw a number of people borrowing brewery handcarts. I bring a foldable luggage carrier that can handle about four cases (Walmart, $20). I’ve also seen people with foldable wagons. If you plan on buying more than you can carry for 100 yards, make plans.

Tree House Brewing Company, Tap List May 18, 2018

(C) 2018 popsonhops

On Site Drafts: This is a bit complicated. They put their beer in 3 different price classifications ($6, $7 & $8) and you can only buy two drink tickets per adult. So, if you want a beer in the lower price category and one on the middle category, you will be given two different color tickets. You can pay for your draft tickets in two different ways. One, you can add it to your can order or two, there is a person right at the entrance that sells drink tickets. There is a line that queues for pours. The bar will accept your tickets and mark your hand with an x for each drink ticket you exchange. I made a mistake in that I exchanged one of my tickets and one of my friend’s tickets for two beers while he was buying food. When the time came to get our next drink, the bartender almost refused as I had already had two x’s on my hand. I was lucky and got my Triple Shot. Just keep that in mind.

There are two main doors at the brewery. The can line enters through the right side door. If you are there for drafts or hanging out in the tap room, you can enter the door on the left.

Tree House Brewing Murphy's Food Truck

(C) 2018 popsonhops

Food & Music: On Saturday, the brewery has at least two food trucks with a variety of gourmet offerings. They park near the entrance and there’s plenty of picnic tables or seating outside. A recent addition is a wood-fired pizza oven just by the pavilion. They also have live music to add to the cool Saturday vibe.

Hotels: I usually drive to the brewery and back to New Jersey on the same day (about 2.75 hours each way). On the same road as the brewery, there is a Comfort Inn. It’s just a couple miles from the brewery. I’ll also note there’s a Cracker Barrel right next to the hotel.

Odds and Ends:

  • Make sure you bring a photo ID, they check everyone.
  • No growler fills.
  • Need Ice? – Stop ‘N Shop about a mile from the brewery.
  • No on-site consumption of canned beers (bring those home with you).
  • Kid and dog friendly environment.
  • Covered space
  • Retail space sells branded t-shirts, glassware, hats, frisbees, dog collars and more.

Some Recent Tree House Expansion News! 

Other Attractions (in case the wife and family don’t want to spend their whole time at the brewery) If you are looking for other things to do in the area Sturbridge Village is a colonial era. Nearby Brimfield is host to a huge antique fairs and numerous flea markets during the summer.

Please add your own advice on visiting Tree House Brewing  in the comments. Enjoy your trip!

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Visiting Tree House for Haze and Bright Citra Road Trip, June 14, 2017

A very weathered corn hole board at Tree House Brewing Monson, MA
Tree House Brewing Company, Haze and Bright Citra
Tree House Brewing, Monson, MA
Tree House Brewing, Monson, MA

Visiting Tree House in Monson

A week after my 2016 visit to Tree House Brewing in Monson, MA, the brewery announced that they were breaking ground on a new facility about ten miles from the current facility. The initial prediction was that the new facility in Charlton would be operational sometime in June of this year. It was pure fantasy, but a part of me wished that they would make a stealth announcement about the new facility opening (like The Alchemist) while we were in transit. But no such luck. We had to (settle) on visiting Tree House in Monson.

If you go…parking

I know this will be outdated advice once the Charlton facility opens but if you go…here’s how visiting Tree Hose works now.

They have three lots. One is on-site and may hold about 50 cars. The next lot is across the street and my guess would be about 75 cars. Further down the street is the third lot in a field and that holds more than 100 cars. Parking isn’t an issue and there are attendants that will direct you. My advice…the first two lots are fine. If you find that you’re being directed to lot three, remember people in the first two lots will come off the line first.

If you go…the wait

We’ve been lucky so far. The lines move very fast. Don’t be discouraged if you are in the third line switchback on the field. It’ll only be a 20 to 25-minute wait. They’re great with the line. It has been my experience that full allotments will last a few hours after opening.

If you go…the allotment

On Wednesday, the brewery offers strictly cans. Usually two offerings, six cans of each. They say that the brewery opens for business at noon but depending on the parking, they may open earlier.

On Thursday, the brewery offers two additional offering and usually, they will distribute a total of 8 – 12 cans in total. They also offer growlers but of late they’ve been limiting to two vessels. I’ll note that they standard classics are usually available Wednesday and Thursday. The same guidance on parking and early opening apply here as well.

I haven’t been to the brewery on either a Friday or a Saturday but following their releases on Twitter, I notice they offer less frequent releases on these days. Cans and growlers. It might be a gem like a Curiousity release or an annual release like Ma, Bear or Tornado. They also have a limited pour license and I’ve seen those on Saturday.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to contribute some information about the new facility soon. Cheers.

Tree House Bright Citra

Tasting: June 16, 2017
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer # 1,076
ABV: 7.8%

Tastes like a tropical paradise. Aroma and flavor of smooth citrus oranges and tangerines, and some pineapple. The waves of flavor roll in and out on every sip and don’t linger on the finish. Very drinkable and very enjoyable, 94 points for Tree House Bright Citra.

Read my previous thoughts on Tree House Haze – 95 points

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Ma & Double Dry-Hopped The Publick House

Double-Dry Hopped Publick House by Trillium Brewing Co. and Ma by Tree House Brewing Co.

(C) 2016 popsonhops

Double Dry-Hopped The Publick House & Ma in the morning sun.

Hey John, we haven’t met but I’d like to thank you for sending these two gems along to Chris. When Chris asked if I might want anything from Tree House, I laughed. I know the limitations of their offerings and doubted anyone would share their minimal haul. This really made my day.

Tasting: November 24, 2016
Style: Amber/Red Ale
ABV: 6.8%
Beer # 1,024

Ma

Because I have a problem, I’ve created a log of Tree House’s weekly releases over a six month period. Ma seems like a sparsely occasional release and I see another beer called Pa. Seems like a matched set.

Here are the notes from the brewery:

In commemoration of our head brewer and co-founder’s grandmother’s birthday, we have once again brewed this super fruity yet balanced amber ale! Hints of oranges, tangerines, and stone fruit grace the palate before a sweet malty caramel character provides balance and depth. A real treat that drinks well on any occasion. Happy Birthday, Ma. We love you!

Ma is a very special amber ale brewed in remembrance of Nate’s grandmother. A fiery Irish spirit who imparted deep values of dedication to family and love, Ma was one of a kind. This beer mirrors her spirit with bright notes of citrus, pine, and soft fruit boosted by a rich caramel base and a medium body. A wonderful beer to celebrate the New England transition to cooler weather. We encourage you to drink to honor Ma and to those whose souls we carry deep in our hearts.

I get the caramel that is typical in this style layered under some wonderful fruit flavors. Mostly apple, white grape, tangerine and some underlying pine. Seems like there’s more fruit as I work my way through this can. Ma is entirely drinkable and enjoyable. In conclusion, Ma gets 92 points.

Here’s a post on my last trip to Tree House

Tasting: November 24, 2016
Style: IPA
ABV: 7.3%
Beer # 1,025

Double Dry-Hopped The Publick House

We went to Tree House for their explanation on Ma therefore it’s only fair to go to Trillium for their take on Double Dry-Hopped The Publick House.

Brewed in appreciation of The Publick House, a craft beer mecca in Brookline, MA where close friends and warm hospitality welcome us time after time. The Publick House IPA features Citra, Centennial, and Columbus hops with an aroma bursting with fresh orange juice and under-ripe peach along with notes of toasted malt. The flavor profile is more bitter than our “Street” IPAs, but with a toasted, bready malt character to balance. Bitter grapefruit flavors emerge with mild pine on the finish.

I have a rule of thumb that says anything double dry hopped or dry hopped from Trillium will be awesome. Additionally, I have a rule that any pale ale or IPA from Trillium will be awesome. It seems like I don’t need to clue you in on how I think Double Dry-Hopped The Publick House will turn out.

Rather dank. In addition to their typical pithy style, this IPA delivers some nice pear and tangerine rind. I also get mild peach and candy sweetness.

In conclusion, Double Dry Hopped The Publick House gets 94 points.

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Tree House Brewing Company Eureka Citra

Tree House Brewing, Monson, Massachusetts

(C) 2016 popsonhops

Tree House beer is legendary and available exclusively at the Monson, Massachusetts brewery. Part of the allure is that you never know what you’ll get in any given week. The one thing you do know is that whatever it is, you wont get as much as you want.

Check their website for current availability here

Are you going?

On a Wednesday, it’s cans only. You’ll get a maximum quantity of about ten – twelve cans of two different beers. They get hit pretty hard on Wednesday and they lower the can limits for these two offerings on Thursday but introduce a third release. Growler fills begin on Thursday and of late, limits have been a total of 3 glass bottles (most likely 2 -750ml & 1- 2L). In many cases, they will release a fourth beer on Friday.

Tree House Brewing Company

(C) 2016 popsonhops

I plotted a twenty week history of their releases hoping to discover a pattern. In all but two weeks, Julius or Alter Ego were released on Wednesday. Expect to get one or the other. I noticed that Green was released every fifth week and it was due on our week. For us, Alter Ego and Green were the first two cans released the day before our trip.

Here’s my Tree House Release Grid

We hit the road, knowing that we should get 2 cans of Green and 2 cans of Alter Ego (provided we were in the first six-hundred people on line). It would be hours into our trip before we learned the mystery third release. While at Night Shift, Mike asked me, “What release would disappoint me the most?” To me, it sounds like picking the ugliest Miss America contestant but I settled on Eureka Citra. I mean, it’s a blond ale (not an IPA or pale ale) with only a 4.1% ABV. His response while checking his phone was, “well, you’re not going to be happy.

We can’t complain. We just loaded up on Night Shift and we were heading to Trillium. Tree House is a bonus stop. The pressure to get there early lifted so we made our scheduled side stop at Jack’s Abbey in Framingham (just 10 minutes detour on the road from Trillium to Tree House).

We arrived at Tree House at about 3:45 and got tickets 105 & 106. The opening time is 5 p.m. but the doors opened early at 4:30. We surmised that it had to do with their parking. They don’t want people causing problems for the neighbors so, they try to get it rolling to clear the building crowd. They do a great job of organizing – you hit the can line first and then wait for your number to be called on the deli-style number board. We left the can line and they were already serving number 85 on the deli board. We pulled out of the lot at about 5:45.

Tree House Brewing Company

(C) Popsonhops

My haul: 2 cans and 2 liters of Alter Ego, 2 cans and 2-750’s of Green (for two separate bottle shares) and the 8 cans of Eureka Citra.

750 ml growler of Tree House Green IPA

(C) 2016 popsonhops

While on line, others convinced us that we should in no way be disappointed with Eureka Citra. I even see the Beer Advocate community gave it 96 points. Well, let’s see what’s all about…

(C) 2016 popsonhops

(C) 2016 popsonhops

Tasting: June 24, 2016
Style: Blonde Ale
Beer #: 973
ABV: 4.1%

Eureka Citra

Sits squarely in the “sessionable” world and definitely displays the culinary art of creating craft beer. Eureka Citra is very tropical and it has flavor beyond expectation. Lot’s of fruit punch, papaya and mango. Wow, definitely the best sessionable ale I’ve ever had, entirely drinkable. 93 points.

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