BrewReview: Lord Hobo Brewing Company
By Brandon Lawrence
Lord Hobo Brewing Company – Woburn, MA
BeerSeekers on the Job: The whole crew
This was a very special trip for the guys at BeerSighted. Not only did we get an invite to head to one of greater Boston’s most well-known breweries, but it was also our first brewery visit that all four of us attended together since we started BeerSighted earlier this year!
With all of us now living in the same state (albeit relatively spread out), it gives us more freedom to either explore breweries in person individually, in smaller groups or as one unit representing the entity as a whole. So the latter is obviously what we decided to do to “re-kick things off,” if you will.
With all four of us on the job, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to tackle Lord Hobo Brewing Company, which is one of the fastest growing breweries in the country. Lord Hobo was founded in 2015 and already has multiple satellite locations, including in Boston’s coveted Seaport District - a recent addition on its part. Lord Hobo also distributes beer to 15 states. The Woburn site is the main facility and the one we targeted for our trip, so let’s dive into the setup:
The main brewery recently underwent an expansion that can now fully support 500 visitors, although since we’re still living in Covid times the staff is doing everything it can to maintain proper social distancing and safety standards. Whether the building is full or empty, however, it’s noticeably massive. Just walking into the brewery felt like we were entering a castle.
There’s a nice outdoor patio out front, but the day we went there were reports of heavy rain incoming and we were fortunate enough to be just inside some huge garage-style doors in the main bar area seated at one of their long tables. We ran back our old inside joke about garage doors and how many cars we think could fit inside, because we’re a bunch of broken records.
In ordinary times, we’re positive this place fills up regularly. The taproom was so big that we were comfortably far enough away from other groups.
The inside of the brewery has everything you’d want and expect: tons of seating, a massive bar, some rustic lighting that gives an almost warehouse-like building a homey and comfortable feel, and a great merch section strategically placed near the exit. We also can’t say enough about how great the staff was, offering beer suggestions and chatting at the table and answering any questions we had.
Whether it’s a return to the Woburn location or one of Lord Hobo’s satellite spots, there’s no doubt we’ll be back.
Obviously Lord Hobo’s beer is excellent, evidenced by its rapid expansion since its founding five years ago. The selection at the taproom featured a bevy of IPA styles, along with some other classics like an Irish red, a new crushable Lager and a golden ale.
Between the four of us, we were able to get to just about every one. There were some clear favorites that stood out, but stay tuned for our video interview with Lord Hobo later that goes more in-depth into the beer from all of our unique angles. The picks below are my own.
For me personally, I was able to get my hands on a few Lord Hobo beers while I was still living in Philadelphia. And since the point is to branch out and try new styles, I opted out of having the classics like Boom Sauce and Glorious IPA (which are incredible, for what it’s worth). Again, make sure to see our video interview when it comes out that delves further into the beer, but until then here are my picks:
The New Normal (Lager) 3.5% ABV
Clean, crip Lager finish
I know, 3.5% is low. You can crack a can of just about anything else and get a buzz going faster. But that’s not the point with this beer.
The New Normal is Lord Hobo’s newest crushable offering, meant to be an easygoing staple for the long-haul days. It was much crisper and better tasting than any of the low-ABV light beers you’re currently thinking of, which made it much more refreshing to have on a hot July day.
The reason I made this my double-take pick is because on an ordinary trip to a bar or brewery, I’d see a 3.5%er and shrug it off. And as someone who typically gravitates toward IPAs, I don’t often get up for a light Lager. But the point of these visits is to expand my horizons, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed drinking this beer. It’s an easy drinker that anyone who likes more carbonated beers will love, especially if you’re planning on slugging some throughout the day.
Angelica (Hazy IPA) 5.5% ABV
Featured Mosaic hop
This is more up my alley. This was the first beer I ordered when I got to the taproom, and it maintained its lead on my list of favorites throughout the night (with a close call coming from the 617 IPA).
I mentioned before that Lord Hobo brews IPAs frequently and puts some intricate and fantastic variations on their recipes, and this one came out the juiciest of them all thanks to the elevation of the Mosaic hop. It poured a creamy orange color and gave off very fruity aromas. Four different types of malts, including oat malt and flaked wheat, helped give it that soft mouthfeel. And at 5.5%, this hazy IPA can be consumed a little more periodically than most in the category.
In reality, if you’re in the market for a Lord Hobo IPA, you can’t go wrong anywhere. We all liked each IPA we tried, and for the most part each of us had a different favorite. Since I’m more drawn to the juice bombs, Angelica was the best choice.
Lord Hobo has Boston in its DNA, but its popularity is spreading like wildfire. Chances are if you’re a beer lover in any state you’ve at least heard of them. Hell, just say Boom Sauce and it’s instant name recognition. That’s no accident and it’s no coincidence. They make outstanding beer and have seemingly done everything right in terms of marketing and growth. And while the main brewery located in Woburn may be largely inconspicuous, their multiple locations in more dense areas in and around Boston cater to the ever-increasing demand by people to get their hands on a Hobo brew. We can’t thank Lord Hobo enough for having us, and we’re looking forward to working with the fantastic team again in the very near future.
Check out Lord Hobo Brewing Company online by visiting the website, and find them on social media @lordhobobrewing. Cheers, BeerSeekers!