I’ve been rabidly following the food news from my hometown of Salem, CT ever since I heard rumor of a brewery opening up by former classmates—Zack and Laura Adams. This awesome husband and wife team have created a beer oasis perfect for hanging out in the sleepy town of Salem. Opened in May, 2017, Fox Farm has been enjoying rave reviews.
I’m really pleased that Zack agreed to an interview with CTbites to share his passion for beer and tell us all about his newly opened brewery.
I remember hearing that you won a brewing award a few years back—a prestigious 2012 winner for the Samuel Adams Longshot American Homebrew Contest. How long have you been brewing for?
I had been home-brewing for 8 years prior to opening the brewery.
You have a great selection of home brewed beers on tap at Fox Farm. I think my favorite would likely be the Hearth Bound since I'm a porter lover. What is your favorite beer that you brew?
Our IPA and pale ales may be top sellers, and we love those beers, but our pilsner is far-and-away the beer we drink the most of around here. Technically, it’s a challenging style to execute and we’re proud of ours.
I see a few experimental beers on the menu like & and Roam. I think it is cool that you are constantly experimenting with different flavor profiles and combinations. Have you had any big successes with your experimenting? How about any duds that didn't taste as you'd have hoped?
We've just started to release Freckled Fields, our first farmhouse ale, to draft accounts around the state. Our farmhouse ales are fermented with a mixed culture of yeast, brettanomyces and bacteria that makes for slightly tart and dry beers. We have a good handle on how our culture behaves but by nature, there is some drift and even some seasonality to these beers that we embrace.
We’ve been fortunate to not have to dump any beer just yet but fully expect to in the future. It comes with the territory, especially with barrel-aging. In fact, one of our barrels from this year’s batch of spontaneously fermented beer is headed in a funny direction — I’d imagine we’ll have to cut our losses on that one.
What can a beer-loving visitor expect from a trip to Fox Farm?
It’s not easy building and operating a brewery in a rural setting, we don’t have most of the basic public utilities breweries rely on to function. For us it’s worth it to be able to work each day in this environment and then welcome folks to enjoy a beer in a unique setting. It’s a pretty immersive visitor experience, our tasting room and production space are separated by a small half-wall and we have ingredients growing on-site near our patio.
Can you give any local insight into what a visitor should see in the area and a must-visit place for a bite to eat?
Our friends at Two Brothers here in Salem do a wonderful job and it's the best place to find our beer on draft. This time of year, Mystic makes for a great day out — Engine Room and Jealous Monk have fantastic draft lineups and great food.
Get ready to plan a day trip — you can visit Fox Farm on 62 Music Vale Road, Salem on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 5 pm. Beers brewed by Fox Farm can also be enjoyed at several establishments in Connecticut, including Two Brothers, and now in Boston, MA at the Tip Tap Room and Lord Hobo.