When Cool Ranch Chicken Tenders, Cheeseburger Pizza, and Barbecue Burnt End Mac and Cheese are served alongside award winning craft beer made on site, you know good things are brewing, at Hopothecary Ales.
The guys behind Hopothecary Ales started home-brewing beer a few years ago. As their business and fanbase grew, they needed a permanent home. So they partnered with the Dietz family, the restaurateurs behind North Shore favorites Joe Fish and The Loft.
The result is Hopothecary Ales Brewery and Kitchen, in North Reading, where Jim Dietz and his team handle the food, while Brewmaster Kevin McComiskey takes care of the beer.
Kevin McComiskey – Brewmaster, Hopothecary Ales: “We kind of took these two separate business ideas, they’re having an established restaurant group, they’ve been running restaurants for a long time, they run great ones. We’re starting our first brewery, we knew we didn’t want to be in the restaurant business, but we needed to have food. So getting able to hook up with an experienced restaurant team that can pump out ridiculously good food to match your very good beer. It’s kind of like a match made in heaven.”
Jim Dietz – Owner and Director of Operations, Hopothecary Ales: “You’re coming in here, you’re getting great crafted beer, you’re getting great food. There’s a lot of passion being put in this place between the beer and the food.”
And it’s served in an eye-popping 180-seat space, with a dining room, full bar, and patio on one side; and a tap room on the other side with a tasting counter, arcade games, and long communal tables with a full view of the entire brewing process.
Kevin McComiskey – Brewmaster, Hopothecary Ales: “We have a very open concept here. As you can see, you’re really right on top of the equipment. So if you come in during opening hours, and there’s questions about the brewing process or what’s going on in the tanks, there’s always someone right here, right on the other side of this wall behind me to answer your questions.”
Of course one of the most common questions here is ‘what should I drink’, and no matter what kind of beer you’re into — from a hazy New England IPA, to a crisp pilsner, or rich stout — with twelve everchanging taps, Hopothecary always has you covered.
Kevin McComiskey – Brewmaster, Hopothecary Ales: “We really try to make something for everyone, so unless you don’t drink beer, you should be able to find a beer here that you like.”
After you decide on a pint, or maybe a flight, it’s time for some food, and everything on the menu is made to pair well with the beer. From a sharable Charcuterie Platter, to Fried Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower, to classic Buffalo Wings. But for something you’ve never had before, order the deliciously inventive Cool Ranch Dry Rub Chicken Tenders.
Jim Dietz – Owner and Director of Operations, Hopothecary Ales: “The Cool Ranch dry rub came from one night of eating Cool Ranch Doritos and going ‘wow this would tastes really good over some wings.’ And people love them, they taste kind of like a Cool Ranch Dorito.”
Kevin McComiskey – Brewmaster, Hopothecary Ales: “I have to say I’ve eaten an awful lot of wings in my life. It is the best wing I’ve ever had. The first time I had it, I just kind of like mind blowing. Right.”
Equally explosive are the pizzas here, like the Cheese, Cheeseburger, and especially the Steak Bomb.
Jim Dietz – Owner and Director of Operations, Hopothecary Ales: “We use a house Alfredo sauce as the base, we sauteed peppers and onions and then what really makes this pizza special is we use a shaved ribeye, really packs a lot of flavor, it’s eight ounces of meat on that pizza, mozzarella cheese, into the oven, little scallions on top. It’s a fan favorite.”
When it comes to entrees at Hopothecary Ales, you can go light with options like Cedar Planked Salmon, or a Mediterranean Bowl filled with veggies, olives, hummus, and steak tips.
If you want to indulge, there’s a half pound Bacon Cheddar Burger, Chili and Orange Glazed Sirloin atop House Fried Rice, or the absolutely over the top BBQ Burnt Ends Mac and Cheese.
Jim Dietz – Owner and Director of Operations, Hopothecary Ales: “Fork full of that, first you’re gonna see our house cheese sauce, it’s a four cheese blend, we make it in house. You’re gonna get the Cavatappi pasta, and then you’re going to start to get the sweet and smokiness of that brisket. It’s all going to come together and pack a punch.”
And for some barbecue in handheld form, check out the top selling Smokey Brisket Sandwich, featuring thin sliced brisket, glazed with hot honey, and stacked with housemade slaw, on toasted sourdough.
Jim Dietz – Owner and Director of Operations, Hopothecary Ales: “The first thing you have to do is you’re gonna have to get to the crunch of that sourdough, which is really nice. And then you’re gonna get all in one bite, savory, smoky, sweet, boom. That’s all going to be right there.”
And if you love great food and great beer in a fun atmosphere, it’s all right here, at Hopothecary Ales.
Jim Dietz – Owner and Director of Operations, Hopothecary Ales: “If you’re a foodie, a beer person, you can come here and you can enjoy both. You know you’re gonna get great crafted beer here as well as great crafted and food. You know that the two are always going to be pushing and pulling each other to be better. You know, the food has got to match the quality of the beer, the quality of the beer has got to match the quality the food, and you’ve got people driving that every day.”
Kevin McComiskey – Brewmaster, Hopothecary Ales: “We really want to give people the absolute best of both worlds. You want to have amazing food to pair with amazing beer. And that’s what we do here.”