BrewReview: Anonymous Brewing
By: Brandon Lawrence
BeerSeekers on the Job: Brandon and Steve
It’s a really cool thing being able to see something come full circle.
We haven’t been involved with BeerSighted for very long (we’re celebrating our two-year anniversary in just a couple weeks, actually!), but our most recent brewery visit certainly has something of an emotional tie-in for both parties involved.
Maybe a month and a half after we fired up our social media accounts, our website and introduced this enterprise to the world, we received an Instagram message from Anonymous Brewing - a homebrew-turned-contract-brew project asking us if we’d be interested in reviewing some of their beer to provide feedback. This was HUGE for us; our first time being offered beer as “influencers” (using that term very lightly).
They made a pitstop to Boston to drop off a case of beer, and we filmed our very first YouTube video review (you can find it here, but try not to judge our amateurish first attempt at recording ourselves. Or our quarantine beards) and then wrote one of our first industry blog posts to package it all together.
So, long story short, it was something special to be able to go see Kevin in person at Anonymous’ new taproom in Rowley, Mass. (opened December 2021), sit down and try the list of brews they’re currently offering up. As always, let’s start with the setup:
There’s really something to be said about old car garages/auto repair shops that get renovated and turned into breweries. That’s exactly what Anonymous Brewing did with this building right on Main Street in downtown Rowley. It’s a pretty unassuming building adorned with a large yellow “A” hanging on the outside wall just above the main entrance. But that spacious inside is where the parallel truly connects.
We walked in and immediately pegged the sheer size of the taproom, which was big enough for multiple large tables in the center of the room, a couch and living room-style setup on the far wall, a runner shelf on the backside of the building opposite the bar, and the bar itself with numerous stools offering plenty of seating. Behind the bar you’ll find the taplist and to-go menu written on a large chalkboard, and a TV hanging above it all (where we watched Tom Brady play his final football game, which we just realized).
Outside seating in New England in January is only for the bold (or stupid, take your pick), but once the ground thaws and the temps go up, Anonymous will have an outstanding space for a patio/beergarden out back.
They’re still considered a nanobrewery, operating on a single-barrel system tucked away off to the side of the bar. So instead of a lengthy draught menu, there were four beers on tap, which we got to try between the two of us. But in the craft beer world it’s all about quality over quantity, and Anonymous had no shortage of quality brews!
Three of the four pours had a pale base, and the fourth was a hoppy Amber Ale we’d actually tried in our initial tasting trial nearly two years ago (with some refinement of the recipe since then). We were dealing with a Double IPA, a New England IPA and a Pale Ale that is part of “Chief Brewing Officer” Ken’s Beautiful Math Project - a carefully calculated and meticulous brewing sub-category Anonymous has been collaborating with and pushing to the front of their lineup. This one was called Squish, and we were fortunate enough to bring some home with us (we’ll get to that in a second).
Everything we had was a home run. And despite having just opened, they’ve still been able to change up their tap menu to include such styles as an English Porter, a German-style Lager and more. Which means we’re going to have to take a few more trips up to Rowley to make sure we get the full experience!
Let’s jump in with our favorites from this visit. These picks are my own:
MeyLey (Double IPA) 8.3% ABV
It’s hard to really categorize any of Anonymous Brewing’s beers as a “Double Take” since we knew we already liked the styles on the list. But for me, MeyLey was a surprise! Kevin told us it was more of a malt-based traditional IPA, so flavor notes came in with a minor touch or tropical fruitiness but leaned more toward the dank and slightly piney. It was still a hazy one but the balance this beer struck was absolutely on point! MeyLey popped to me with how smooth and drinkable it was for a plus-8 percenter without any observed overly hoppy bite. This was the first beer I tried and it immediately struck a chord!
Squish (Pale Ale) 5.8% ABV
There was a reason I wanted to take this one home in cans!
This was the last one I had and, even after some IPAs that were super tasty, this one caught me off guard with how flavorful it was. Squish is a kettle-hopped and dry-hopped pale that pours a very hazy yellow and gives off plenty of citrus notes in the aroma. The taste was bursting with citrus complemented by a solid yet refreshing bite to it. I could absolutely sit down and drink this all day.
With Ken at the helm of Beautiful Math Brewing Project and working in conjunction with Anonymous Brewing to scale some of his experimental brews, there’s no telling what amazing things may come out of this partnership in the coming weeks and months! We’re extremely excited to be along for the ride as well.
And for what it’s worth: Steve’s favorite beer on our visit was the MeyLey Double IPA. But again, all four pours were extremely impressive.
I like to think we’ve learned a thing or two about the brewing process and the intricacies that go into starting a brewery or a brewing project over the last two years, just from our proximity to the community itself. I mean hell, we started as four fans of craft beer who liked to talk about what we were drinking but didn’t have much nuance in forming our thoughts and opinions. All we knew was we liked to drink the stuff.
Anonymous Brewing gave us our first real opportunity to explore the industry and drill deeper into what specifically we liked about craft beer. In turn, those reactions and opinions they received from all over the beer influencer landscape helped shape and refine their recipes. And on a Sunday afternoon in January, nearly two years later, there we all were sitting at their brand new taproom chatting about both of our journeys.
There’s plenty of room for Anonymous Brewing to grow, and I mean that literally. The space in Rowley is large enough for some expansion. That’ll be a concept for even further down the road, after the initial shock and adrenaline of opening a taproom wears off. Until then, if you’re a fan of craft beer and are looking for a nice place to sit and meet some great people, head into the heart of Rowley and grab a seat at the bar at Anonymous Brewing.
To find out more about Anonymous Brewing, visit their website here and check them out on social media @anonymousbrewing. Cheers!