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Belly up to the spring beer events on the Central Massachusetts Craft Beer Trail

In case you haven’t noticed, Central Massachusetts has become the premiere destination for craft beer—and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. With breweries that include Wormtown, Rapscallion, Tree House, and Flying Dreams, the region already boasts a line-up of award-winning brews, and this year you can look forward to even more destination breweries being added to the list. Come explore the Central Mass. beer trail, starting with these craft beer events happening this spring.

Spring Beer Events

Brew Woo at the DCU Center

Wormtown’s 8th Birthday
March 17 / Wormtown Brewery / Worcester

Wormtown has been brewing “Great Beers for 8 Years” and another birthday gives them another reason to celebrate. The doors open late, hosting guests from 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. under the patio tent. Birthday Brew #8 offers an abundance of local hops from Four Star Farms, including Centennial, Cascade, and Pépite.

Brew Woo
March 31 / DCU Center / Worcester

Enjoy the taste of craft beer from over 80 breweries. Rock out to live music, feast on savory snacks, and shop at unique vendors to experience everything Brew Woo has to offer.

Hop Head Fest
April 14 / Rapscallion Brewery / Sturbridge

Hop Head Fest is a long-running tradition featuring hoppy beers from guest breweries, plus live music and food indoors and out. James Keyes and Livestock play the Tap Room, with more music in the outdoor pavilion.

Craft Brew Races
April 28 / Worcester Common / Worcester

The Craft Brew Races return to Worcester for the third year. Sign up for a 5k road race followed by a local craft beer festival, all adding up to one unforgettable experience. Runners and walkers are welcome to participate in the timed 5k thru Downtown Worcester. The post-race beer festival will be held outside on the historic Worcester Common in behind City Hall.

The Craft Beer Trail

Stop 1: Award-winning beer, an outdoor patio, and walking distance to a dozen restaurants

worcester central masscachusetts craft beer trail Wormtown Brewery’s taproom includes an outdoor patio.

Wormtown Brewery

Location: 72 Shrewsbury Street, Worcester, MA
Hours: Opens at 12 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
Flagship: Be Hoppy

Wormtown Brewery was born in a small ice cream stand and has quickly grown into a 50,000-square-foot space on Shrewsbury Street. A “three-decker-attitude” and a mounting list of accolades render Wormtown a popular patio destination for patrons hoping to taste seasonal and underground offerings. Lines are rare and bar service is efficient. More than a dozen restaurants are located within walking distance.

Stop 2: A fast growing brewery, already with a cult following

worcester central masscachusetts craft beer trail tree houseTree House Brewing Co. recently expanded its operations into Charlton, Mass., a rustic retail shop with rotating craft beers and limited hours.

Tree House Brewing Co.

Location: 120 Sturbridge Road, Charlton, MA
Hours: Wednesday 12-8 p.m. (cans only), Thursday and Friday 2-8 p.m. (cans only), Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Flagship: Julius

Acute attention to craftsmanship and consistency have gleaned Tree House Brewery a dedicated cult following from all over the country. The brewery’s new facility in Charlton marks a physical departure from Tree House’s origins in a humble garage. Given Tree House’s rapid growth, the brewery’s quality and attention to detail remain unbelievably intact. Food trucks, like Say Cheese, frequent the property to keep you well fed while you brave the inevitable lines.

Stop 3: Dog-friendly brewery surrounded by a 150-acre orchard

Rapscallion Brewery is located on Hyland Orchard. The brewery offers disc golf and is dog-friendly!

Rapscallion Brewery

Location: 195 Arnold Road, Sturbridge, MA
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 3-9 p.m., Thursday and Friday 3-10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m., Sunday 12-8 p.m.
Flagship: Honey

Rapscallion is located in a 1940s apple barn surrounded by a 150 acre orchard. The brewery is both dog- and family-friendly, and regularly hosts festivals with an on-site food truck. Members of the mug club enjoy 20-ounce pours. Best yet, their flagship brew is made with local wildflower honey.

Stop 4: Rated the No. 6 best brewery in all of Mass.* with highly rated double IPAs

Flying Dreams

Location: 455 B Park Avenue, Worcester, MA
Hours: Thursday 4-9 p.m., Friday 3-10 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Flagship: Pond Jumper

Flying Dreams may have inherited the original home of Wormtown Brewery, but they have built up a culture that is all their own. Their Mass style IPA, Pond Jumper, was brewed in honor of the first hole at Maple Hill Disc Golf Course where the players favor hazy juice bombs to refresh and invigorate.

* rating

Stops 5-9:

Wachusett Brewing

Location: 175 State Road East, Westminster, MA
Hours: Opens at 12 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Flagship: Country Pale Ale

Wachusett Brewing was founded by three college buddies in 1994 who delayed their careers in engineering and biology to pursue their passion for beer. Recognizing recently that they had taken a backseat in beer tourism to wunderkinds like Tree House, Wachusett launched a brew yard this summer to create a more welcoming atmosphere for visitors. The brew yard includes an Airstream bar and an enormous copper fire kettle. With the addition of the MBTA’s new Wachusett Station last year, Wachusett Brewing instituted a shuttle to transport visitors to the brew yard with no hassle.

Purgatory Beer Co. (coming soon…)

Location: 670 Linwood Avenue, Whitinsville, MA
Hours: Friday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. (subject to change)
Flagship: Mumford River Rye IPA

Named for legendary hiking destination, Purgatory Chasm, this newcomer has set up shop in the former Linwood Mill. Purgatory Beer Co. typically maintains six beers on tap and offers growler fills to-go. The Mumford River RyePA possess a subtle spice on account of rye grains used in the mash. The Mumford River is a tributary of the Blackstone and once acted as a power source for local mills and factories.

Greater Good Imperial Brewing

Location: 55 Millbrook Street, Worcester, MA
Hours: Opening soon!
Flagship: Pulp – Imperial New England IPA

Greater Good Imperial Brewing  is America’s first all-imperial brewing company, meaning that all of their ales and lagers range from 8%-14% alcohol by volume. From pillowy farmhouse ales to crisp German classics, Greater Good’s brews are dangerously drinkable.

3Cross Brewing Company

Location: 4 Knowlton Ave (26 Cambridge Street by GPS)
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday 5-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12-10 p.m., Sunday 12-6 p.m.
Flagship: 3Cross offers a rotating, seasonal selection, but we’re partial to Whirlwind (named for Major Taylor)

The 3Cross name references a classic spoke lacing pattern for a bicycle. You’ll find cyclist culture woven throughout the industrial taproom, where live entertainment and bike shorts are a near constant. You can bring your own food or take home a growler at your convenience.

Medusa Brewing Company

Location: 111 Main Street, Hudson, MA
Hours: Monday to Thursday 3 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Friday to Sunday 12 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Flagship: Laser Cat (Now available in cans!)

Medusa’s eye catching 50-foot bar was constructed from salvaged steel and white oak. The full service Beer Hall allows guests to comfortably enjoy a range of American-style ales along with European-inspired recipes.

About The Beer Movement in Central Mass.

In late June of 2012, Mechanics Hall in Worcester welcomed the most esteemed brewers in the world, including Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead and Jean van Roy of Brasserie Cantillon, for an event known simply as “The Festival.” The Festival, spearheaded by Shelton Brothers and organized by Sherri Sadowski and Alec Lopez, also marked the first time Westvleteran 12 was legally available to sample in the United States. Trappist beer had grown to fame in the mid 2000’s on account of beer nerd fascination with Westvleteran Brewery, a profitless, self-sustaining operation powered by Belgian monks.

On that weekend in 2012, beer lovers from all over the country flocked to Worcester for their chance to try the best beer on the planet and brush elbows with A-list brewers. As a result, Central Massachusetts earned its place in the beer history books and set a tone of excellence for a new generation of brewers, including the now legendary Nate Lanier of Treehouse Brewing Co.

This content was produced by Boston Globe Media's Studio/B in collaboration with the advertiser. The news and editorial departments of The Boston Globe had no role in its production or display.