Once Upon A Brew Pub – Fall River Tap House

I’ve been waiting (impatiently I must say) to finally get a chance to visit Fall River Brewery’s new taproom. Located in the Cypress Square shopping center, the taproom has a clean urban feel, with low and high top tables, as well as a long L shaped bar. Enlarged photos of the brewing process adorn the walls, and the large patio provides ample outdoor seating.

John and Amanda Hutchings realized their dream and started Fall River brewing in the winter of 2011 and were joined by Perry and April Thompson in 2013. Clay Brackley joined the team as head brewer in 2013. Clay has worked at other craft breweries and brings to Fall River great expertise. The team is rounded out by Brent Hawkins as the taproom and distribution manager.

The taproom does not offer any food at this point, but you can order sandwiches at the taproom from TOGO’s next door, or you can BYOF (bring your own food). Now on to the important part the “beers”.

Norcal Blonde

Light malt and hop aroma, with a soft golden color. An initial mild malty sweetness, balanced with a low non-aggressive hop bitterness. Medium light body, smooth and balanced. If you want to try an easy drinking beer, and a great introduction to craft beer, this one is for you.

ABV 5.1% IBU’s 22

Pacific Crest Pale Ale

A pleasant, citrusy hop aroma with a touch of malt noted. Pale gold in color with an off-white head and a slight haze. Moderate bitterness and flavor with citrusy American hop notes. A pleasing clean malt character supported the hop presentation. Medium bodied, with a smooth finish and very little astringency. A very good pale ale.

ABV 5.4% IBU”s 45

Hexagenia IPA

Strong hop aroma of citrus, floral and grapefruit. Low malt supports the hop presentation. Moderate yellow in color with a nice foam head. Light to medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Great hop flavor, smooth and well balanced. The high hop bitterness lingers into a dry finish. Hoppy and refreshing, yet there is sufficient supporting malt. Hexagenia is an excellent IPA. If you like IPA’s, you will enjoy this one.

ABV 7.1% IBU’s 68

Kilty Pleasure Scotch Ale

A moderate malt aroma with a touch of kettle caramelization. Low to no hop aroma was noted. Malt sweetness is the primary flavor with little hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a slightly dry finish considering the malt presentation. Kilty Pleasure is a decent Scotch Ale.

ABV 5.0% IBU’s 20

Pittville Porter

Roasted malt aroma with hints of chocolate, coffee and caramel. Dark brown in color accented with ruby highlights. A moderate mouthfeel, the bitterness is derived from the roasted malt not the hops, but is balanced with a touch of sweetness. There was a touch of warmth from the alcohol. A well brewed beer, and definitely worth having another.

ABV 6% IBU’s 40

Cutthroad Red IPA

A moderately aggressive hop aroma with a touch of caramel from the crystal/caramel malts which also gave it a reddish color and hence it’s name. Both hops and malt were apparent in the aroma although the hops were dominant. Medium mouthfeel, the hop bitterness was well balanced by the extra crystal/caramel malt addition. The hop bitterness and flavor were quite enjoyable. Cutthroat is a very pleasing and quaffable IPA.

ABV 7.7% IBU’s 70

Widowmaker IPA

This is one big (alcohol and hops) beer in more ways than one. Aggressive hop aroma with just a touch of malt. Golden in color and very bright (clear). Bursting with hop aroma and flavor, but very smooth and balanced with a moderate mouthfeel. The level of IBU’s made it surprising that there was not a more astringent, harsh bitterness. My understanding was that they used all late hop additions, which helps decrease the biting bitterness that many IPA’s can present. My wife (who is not a hophead) and our hoppy friends really enjoyed this one. I hope they keep this as one of Fall Rivers “always” on tap brews. I want another.

Fall River was also pouring a cask version that I tried. Instead of being bright, it was cloudy and smoother due to the natural carbonization process. Definitely one of the better Imperial IPA’s I’ve had.

ABV 10.2 % IBU’s 100+

Overall I was very impressed with the quality of the beers, especially for a new brewery. The taproom has a warm comfortable feeling. I am very much looking forward to future offerings and my next visit to Fall River. Rumor control has it that there will even be some sours. ? Brew on!

Fall River Taproom
1030 East Cypress Ave Suite D
Redding, CA 96022

(530) 605-0230

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Don Williams has been a home brewer since 2002. He is a recognized BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) judge, and has taught brewing classes. Don’s job requires extensive travel, and he enjoys visiting brew pubs in various parts of the country. He and his wife live in Cottonwood, CA.

Don Williams
Don Williams has been a home brewer since 2002. He is a recognized BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) judge, and has taught brewing classes. Don enjoys visiting brew pubs in various parts of the country. He and his wife live in Kalispell, Montana.
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2 Responses

  1. The fly rod fishing reel tap handles are so cool! What a fun place to hang out and taste incredible beer!

  2. Victor Hnyp says:

    Don… A very relevant review, as always. Hexagenia is my favorite IPA in the world! Glad to have it brewed and served so close to home!

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