Laying on the outskirts of the Greater Boston suburbs is True West Brewery , a Gastropub and pioneer on the Community Supported Brewing frontier. Glowing as a beacon of beer, the brightly lit white barn exterior pops on an otherwise quiet intersection in Acton, MA. Drinkers and diners alike are welcomed in off the expansive front porch and into an open lounge area that pops with chrome and copper shimmering from behind the amoeba bar. The brew kettles and fermentation tanks towering behind the beerista’s inform the patrons that they are in for some seriously earnest ale’s. Giving a new perspective on farm to table, the folks at True West apply the concept to beer, having all their exclusive brews being solely served mere feet from where they are made. I highly recommend their Ruckus IPA which has a gentler nose than most current IPA’s, yet still packs a whollop of hoppy piney flavor. Just past the selection of bar stools and high top tables in the front sits the main dining area which is clad in blueish gray touches that balance well with the industrial barn chic that flows throughout the restaurant.
A great sign of any brew pub in my opinion is a killer list of appetizer/small bites/shareable plates or whatever you want to call it. With a steady diet of lagers on your lips it helps to have something small to snack on while awaiting your meal. At True West they do some of the classics right, with a nice brew house twist. True to form with trying to reduce the waste produced from all their farm to table offerings, they reuse the spent grains left over from the brewing process for some tantalizing tastes. The spent grain pretzel braid is fluffy and golden, with a deep drunken bread taste that pairs perfectly with their house IPA mustard. Anyone who is familiar with American Appetite knows that beyond anything else I am a sucker for a good fried pickle, and some of the best I have had in recent memory are to be found at True West. Once again using the spent grains from the brewing process, the thick chips are coated in a nutty and crisp blanket of batter. The added malty flavor from the grains perfectly balances with the pickles and picante chipolte ranch dipping sauce.
For the main plates, it is more hopped up gastropub staples. The Trueben is piled high with unctuous slabs of pastrami, dank sauerkraut, and the tangiest Thousand Island dressing. Covered in a blanket of Swiss cheese and pressed all together, it will have you transported to the Lower East side on Manhattan in no time. The taco flight was flavorful and filling, with the pickled slaw and cilantro crema being the real star of the dish. The fried chicken sandwich was thick and juicy, with smoky bacon complimenting the house ranch and usual accoutrements in the most balanced way. The star of the meal, aside from the pickles, had to be the incredible Delicata Squash salad. Thick rings of roasted squashed mixed with sweet apples and carrots on a bed of baby kale were the perfect canvas for what I assume was a crack based vinaigrette. The menu said apple cider but the shakes and withdrawal I went through days after tasting it, led me onto the real secret ingredient in that transcendent dressing.
From the fine food to the luscious lagers, True West is definitely pioneering the next great food trend of Community Supported Breweries. A brief caveat is that with a relatively new restaurant they do have some growing pains with the service, but hopefully it just means the wait means you get the chance to try an extra beer while you wait.