When it comes to beer, I’ve had ’em all, from watery domestic to Canadian skunk to Back Bay brown. So trust me when I tell you that Z Street Brewing Company, out of Fitchburg, makes one of the best beers ever. Brewer Joe Zadrozny started the company in 1999, and his beer has been available in Boston since last fall.
Fitchburg, once known for heavy-duty industrial pollution — up until the ’70s, when heavy-duty industry left town — has never been famous for the quality of its water. Luckily, Joe Z, who majored in chemistry at UMass, is a specialist in water filtration. " People say, ‘You make beer with Fitchburg water?’ " he says. " But after it’s filtered, the water is amazing. "
What makes these beers so much better than some of the other, more famous microbrews is the combination of distinctive flavors with a heady buzz. From its flagship ale, Rollstone Red (5.3 percent ABV), to its hoppiest offering, the ZIPA (6 percent ABV), to the most awesome Mocha Java Stout (6.8 percent ABV), Z Street’s beers pack a wallop. Other styles currently available are the Summer Wheat and a tasty Coconut Porter. Z Street is also contract-brewing for the Boston Baked Bean Company, producing a sweet and mellow Green Tea Beer, and an eight percent High Gravity Cream Ale that will knock you on your ass.
Available at local liquor stores for approximately $7.99 for a six-pack.