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If you were heading to the Hamptons and took a quick turn at the Throgs Neck bridge, hopped on the Taconic and took it all the way to the end, you may find yourself driving through the kind, historic town of Great Barrington, MA. Standing at the feet of the Berkshire Mountains, Great Barrington has a nice walking main street and is home to a variety of crafts-people, including the Berkshire Mountain Distillery, Great Barrington Coffee Roasters and the Barrington Brewery, not to mention the sculptors and wood workers that populate the area.
While in town, avoiding the small faction of tourists that flock here on the summer weekends, I slipped down an ally and found Rubi’s cafe. The offshoot of Rubiner’s, a marketplace on Main street that functions as a cheese monger and charcuterie, Rubi’s was a real find, catering mostly to locals in-the-know. The amazing ingredients they source for their market are exactly what they stuff their delicious sandwiches with. The decor is sparse and warm with a lot of wood and natural light. Their sandwiches come correct with a variety of breads to choose from. Rubi’s must be a great account for Great Barrington Coffee because they actually make a legit espresso and latte; it doesn’t hurt that they are pulling the shots on a FAEMA E61!
Driving down Rt.7, if you’re too caught up looking at the plethora of passing antique shops, you might drive right by Barrington Brewery. Luckily for us, they provide an RV sized beer barrel in their parking lot, advertising their presence. I stopped in for a pint and was pleased to see a real brew pub & fully functioning restaurant. The place was warm with big chunky wood to sit at and little streams of natural light, just enough to make you feel like you were drinking too early. The tender was kind and knew his ale; he poured me a draft and arranged for some ‘potato skins’ which was really a baked potato, quartered, with cheese on top. I flushed a couple brews back and was back on the road (with my designated driver) feeling very satisfied. The IPA was surprisingly balanced and a little sweet, not as aggressively hoppy as I’m accustom to, delicious none-the-less. I will admit that after the IPA, I was afraid to try the lager as I’m not as attracted to sweet, barley beers.
The take away is, Great Barrington is a fun Day Trip. I might not plan a whole weekend around it, but if you find yourself in the Berkshires, be sure to swing through and grab a brew or two!