Lowell, MA (LeLacheur Park and Navigation Brewing)

Edward A. LeLacheur Park

Team: Lowell Spinners

Affiliate:  Boston Red Sox (A Short Season)

Ballpark Basics:  

Located just 30 miles north of Fenway Park, LeLacheur Park is firmly in Red Sox territory and there is no mistaking that while taking in a game at the ballpark.  The Red Sox logo is plastered in multiple locations outside. Once inside you climb a set of stairs to the concourse where there is a large picture of Fenway Park with a sign pointing the directions to the other Red Sox affiliates and the distances to each.  The Spinners also share the LeLacheur Park with the UMass-Lowell baseball team and the ballpark sits near campus and there are dorms and campus buildings. The Spinners got their name from the city’s mill history and their ballpark stands in the middle of the old mill section of Lowell with multiple smokestacks and old warehouses visible from the ballpark.  

The seating bowl wraps around the infield with the wide concourse situated above allowing you to keep track of the game while you grab a bite. The Merrimack River flows behind the outfield fence but goes almost unnoticed except for the Aiken Street Bridge behind the right field wall. The press box is housed in a brick building takes up a couple of rows of seats behind home plate.

    

Best Spot for Beer:

There is a Corona Tiki Hut along the first base side with some Sam Adams and Harpoon as options along with many of the big boys.  There is a cart right next to the press box on the concourse that proclaims to be dedicated to “Craft Beer Cans”. However, upon closer inspection it had no truly local options but had additional offerings from Sam Adams and Harpoon along with Leinenkugels and Narragansett.  

Red Sox fans in New England are lucky to have multiple farm teams close to their parent club. LeLacheur Park is the shortest distance from downtown Boston and worth the short drive to see, what are many times, the newest members of the Red Sox organization.  

 

Navigation Brewing Co.

Rating: Triple +

Brew Basics: But really, what else do you need besides good beer?

This place was quite a find, and we mean “find” literally.  Navigation takes up a tiny garage bay that’s located in a huge, converted warehouse-come-shops.  They’ve got the basics, a mug club, growlers, bombers etc. There’s an arcade game, 8 tables and some sparse craft shop nautical decor – frames, Guinness beer signs, lighthouse lanterns, and the like.  

So tiny, not much on decor, but a ton, ton of potential.  The people are super friendly, there are kids everywhere and even a well behaved dog hanging out.  Free tasters up the positive quotient of this place, but the beer sells itself. To the point that (when we visited) they were no longer bottling because they couldn’t keep up with demand.  It’s a great problem to have, and one they’re hoping to remedy with a new bottle works that may allow for cans to go.

Brew Breakdown:

They had space for four taps, but, much to our sorrow, they were out of one – the American Stout.  We made sure to grab the other three just in case those taps kicked as well:

Make Way (5.5%) – This hopped, American Pale Ale poured a dark, true golden color.  It smells hoppy, opens with a big floral bouquet profile, and ends hoppy and dry with Citra notes.

IPA – Has a distinct hop aroma that is tangy at first and mellows quickly.  Their IPA is drier than many of the juice bombs you come across in this region.  It pours a dark, slightly hazy yellow and has a palate that blends Simcoe, Mosaic and Citra hops.

Coffee Porter (6.2%) – Great aroma that’s creamy, yet coffeed. The nose is creamy milk chocolate and roasted malts, an excellent blend that forms a smooth, lactosey beer that is just enough sweet without any cloying feel.

 

Navigation Brewing Co.

122 Western Avenue

Lowell, MA 01851


Comments are closed.