Bog Iron Brewing in Norton offers Belgian, German beer, IPAs, sours
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of stories that take a look inside some of the small craft breweries that have popped up in the Brockton area in recent years where the art and science of brewing meet and the mantra even more fresher is better. From elegant taprooms to old-school casuals, from hardcore tradition to wild concoctions like Jalapeño Cream Ale and Ultra Violet Squeeze – there is something for everyone here and there are many reasons to make a beer lover cheer.
NORTON – “We have a reputation for being the grumpy old man at times,” said Brian Shurtleff, co-owner of Bog Iron Brewing, of his Norton brewery.
He’s not quite kidding. The brewery is located at 33 W. Main St. and is known for its quality and straightforward brewing of traditional Belgian and German beers.
In fact, one of their favorite beers – a season called Off My Lawn – was inspired by Shurtleff and his reluctance to give up on the millennial IPA craze of the past decade.
Which is not to say that the brewery doesn’t make IPAs. Their “milkshake” IPA called Sweetest Heathen and the West Coast style jump back IPA are both popular.
But in general, Bog Iron brewers take great care to do justice to styles like tripels and sours.
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The brewery was founded in 2011 after longtime home brewers Shurtleff, Matt Menard and Frank White teamed up to start a business.
“We were the three of us who were just stupid enough to actually start the brewery,” Shurtleff said jokingly. “Everyone’s talking about it. We were stupid enough to actually do it.”
On January 1, 2013, Bog Iron brewed its first beer – their Burly Blonde Ale, which was a homemade recipe from Shurtleff.
The brewery got its name from looking through old photos of the area and found a local iron foundry up the street from their location making traditional bog iron.
Shurtleff said he always hated the name as so few people are familiar with bog iron today, but it was outvoted.
Over the years, the brewery grew to brew more and more beers and began canning and distributing to local restaurants and liquor stores.
Shurtleff said they planned to relocate as they are legally unable to accommodate many people in the taproom, but with recent infrastructure improvements in the area, they can now accommodate dozens more people.
Now, Shurtleff said, Menard has stepped down from the brewery and they are working on upgrading their current taproom. They just installed a new bar and dishwasher.
Visitors to the brewery can sample a variety of beers, from sours to pale ales.
“We want people to experience craft beer the same way we do, or at least open their eyes and taste buds to all the different beers that are out there,” said Shurtleff.
And even those who don’t like craft beer will be interested in trying Bog Iron’s tough seltzer and enjoying the communal atmosphere.
“Our goal is to be the living room of the community,” said Shurtleff.
Susannah Sudborough, corporate employee writer, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow her on Twitter below @k_sudborough. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.