Schilling Beer Co.

One of my absolute favorite things after a day of skiing is a good beer. I’m not generally a big beer drinker, but there’s nothing like having a beer in front of the fire after a long day in the cold.

After a glorious day on the slopes last weekend, Mike, Z, and I extended our après-ski with a trip into Littleton to visit Schilling Beer Co. A friend introduced me to this local gem during a trip up north a few months ago, and I was glad for an excuse to return. Mike and Z have just finished a stint in Germany, and so they know good beer. Schilling did not disappoint.

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Owned by a trio of brothers and a life-long friend, Schilling prides itself on combining brewing science with European traditions to make the best beers possible. In my opinion, they’ve done a pretty excellent job. The beers are flavorful and well-balanced, but what I really like is that they have beers that you won’t find at a typical local brewery. While everyone seems to be obsessed these days with IPAs and brown ales, Schilling  draws inspiration from classical Belgian, German and Polish brewing traditions. These guys have spent a lot of time in Europe, and their beers show it. My favorite is the Erastus, an unfiltered Tripel that’s a bit yeasty and citrusy, and generally just delicious.

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The tap room is located in an 18th-century mill in downtown Littleton, right on the Ammonoosuc River. The place feels like a cross between a mountain cabin and an Ikea; very sparse, but also very natural. The tables are small enough to make it easy to cozy up with friends, but big enough for lots of beer glasses and plates. It’s a great balance.

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To round out the drinks, they have a menu of pizzas and plates all cooked in their on-site wood-fired stove. The food is simple, but high-quality and delicious. A pizza and a bowl of lamb stew was ample for our party, along with an obligatory slice of chocolate peanut butter layer cake.

Schilling plans to add a beer garden this summer, and will start selling growlers. There’s also plans in the works to start distributing in Boston soon, so hopefully in the future I won’t have to trek all the way up to the White Mountains to get my hands on their great product.

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