It’s not simply New England pride that has me praising the plantacular products of Widowmaker in particular. It’s the finesse and results
Longtime Dig contributor Mike Crawford among other soothsayers said years ago that if a couple of breweries got behind cannabis then those companies would inevitably reap major benefits over the long-term, for they would surely become the top choice of stoners everywhere.
That was back when beer makers were gunning for the burgeoning green industry, but even now that everyone wants in on the dispensary game, including breweries, it’s fair to say that Mike was right and that the cannabis community has stood behind labels that honor and respect their intersecting interests.
Widowmaker showed that they were wise to the bud even before their most recent output, which is named for the Terptown Throwdown festival that kicks off at the Spencer Fairgrounds in Central Mass today. They’ve paid homage to the culture by brewing delicious beers with high notes for a while, and earlier this year collaborated with the Mass delivery operator Rolling Releaf on a terpene-infused IPA dubbed Welcome to Grassachusetts. Packing bubblegum, mango, and pine punches for a 4/20 release, it was truly outstanding, one of the tastiest cannabis-inspired brews I have sipped.
I have tried a lot of these numbers, from hoppy terped-out mountain drafts at Avery Brewing in Colorado and Crux Fermentation Project in Bend, Oregon, to the Georgia-based SweetWater Brewing’s 420 Strain G13 IPA which is readily available up and down both Florida coasts. And while I have enjoyed most of the approaches and find these combos to generally be not only excellent but specifically cannabis crowd-winning formulas—SweetWater, for example, employs “dank” Columbus and Simcoe hops, plus the “perfect botanically-sourced, strain specific terpenes and marries them with proprietary natural hemp-type flavor”—I’ll stick my neck out and call those which flow via the Braintree-based Widowmaker superior among the growing subgenre of burping terpenes.
It’s not simply New England pride that has me praising the plantacular products of Widowmaker in particular. It’s the finesse and results, which gets me to the reason we’re here—the Terptown special edition …
A follow up to last year’s exclusive release of the same name, this one cranks the cannafluence high up through the roof of your mouth, naturally. It’s not that they are blowing you away with the flavor of ten pounds of herb, which they managed to convincingly do with the aforementioned April joint. Rather, it’s the subtle sweetness, an inherent trait of many stellar hazy IPAs (this one’s labeled a NEIPA due to its proudly cloudy profile), that makes this selection so damn special. They’re calling it “sessionable,” and at 4.5% without much bursting bitterness it really is something that you can sip all day, with blasts of Citra and Azacca hops dashing around traces of strawberry and original-flavor pink bubblegum.
Even if you can’t make it to the Spencer Fairgrounds for Atmosphere and Matisyahu, a few four-packs of these heady cans will make for an exceptional weekend.
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.