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Westfield River Brewing Company

An Eventful Place for Beer and More

Imagine a classic New England barn, 70 acres of farmland, and music filling the air. Maybe there’s a wedding, birthday party, or an outdoor concert happening there.

Westfield River Brewing Company in Southwick may have begun as a brewery when Sergio Bonavita opened the doors of the barn for business in 2011, but it has evolved into so much more.

In 2015, Sergio renovated the barn and turned it into a 250-seat event venue. With a spacious interior and the farmland outside, the barn is the perfect place for rustic-themed weddings (WRBC hosted 30 this year), private parties such as retirement and birthday celebrations, baby showers or any special occasion.

Sergio expanded his vision and Westfield River Brewing Company began to host its own events. In summer and fall, there are six outdoor concerts, many featuring well-known tribute bands, such as Face to Face, a dueling piano Billy Joel/Elton John act from New York City, Tusk, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band, and Breakers, covering the music of Tom Petty.

The brewery’s annual Fall Festival and signature concert happen on October 14th. The grounds of the brewery open at 2 p.m. for a perfect New England autumn event for everyone.

“We have music, food trucks, 30 local vendors, cool beer games, pumpkin painting, Jack ‘o Lantern carving and other activities for kids,” Sergio said. This year, Hot Mess, named the number one event band by Boston Magazine is the concert headliner with four local bands scheduled to play as well.

With 70 acres of open field, there is more than enough space for families to bring lawn chairs and blankets, sit back and enjoy the food and the music. There’s a spring festival that is held in May. Each festival draws close to 1,500 people.

In colder months the music moves inside to the barn where 20 concerts are on the schedule.

The holiday season is spirited - in more ways than one - the brewery has also become a distillery, but more on that later. The Holiday Marketplace happens in December and features a variety of vendors.

Unlike many breweries, WRBC is what Sergio calls an event-driven venue. Guests can only visit the brewery for events because it is not open as a walk-in, sit-down venue with regular hours.

What can you expect to order from the bar when you visit Westfield River Brewing Company?

WRBC makes all its own beer, ranging from Coastal Haze, a New England-style IPA, to The Dude, a cold-brewed coffee stout, made with coffee beans from Circuit Coffee in Westfield to the beer that reminds you of something from your childhood ice cream truck. - The Orange Creamsicle. Sergio offered the ingredients for The Orange Creamsicle -- a sweet brew of milk, sugar, oranges, and vanilla. Dare we say dessert?

Dead Man Walking is a West Coast super bitter, piney IPA while the Farmhouse is a Belgian-style ale with what Sergio describes as “a bit of a sour, fruity, funky taste.” Big Red Barn is an Irish Imperial Red ale.

Seasonal beers include IPAs and lagers. One of the most popular Sergio said, is the White Pumpkin. 

Sergio hasn’t stopped at beer. A sister company of WRC distills bourbon, gin, and vodka, all of which are available in an assortment of canned cocktails at the brewery.

The signature bourbon is a four-year-old bourbon with a smooth, stand-alone taste, according to Sergio. The vodka is distilled six times in a charcoal filter to give it a super-smooth finish. It’s also gluten-free. Sergio described the Old World-style gin as a traditional gin, like a London dry gin.

Then there’s the rum. Produced in the Dominican Republic, it is already aged. Sergio ages the rum again, this time in bourbon barrels. The taste, he said, “has the sweetness of Caribbean rum. Mixed with the oak, it has the finish of a whiskey.”

Westfield River Brewing Company

707 College Highway

Southwick, MA 01077

413-579-8362

westfieldriverbrewing.com

The brewery’s annual Fall Festival and signature concert happen on October 14th. “We have music, food trucks, 30 local vendors, cool beer games, pumpkin painting, Jack ‘o Lantern carving and other activities for kids,” Sergio said.

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