Westfield River brewing company. Southwick, Massachusetts. A big barn with a small town feel.

The excitement bubbled in our stomachs as my husband and I approached Westfield River brewing company; it was hard to miss that beautiful big red barn as we drove past farm fields into the opening, and I was already unbuckled before we’d had chance to roll to a stop.

The snow was still clinging on to its last moments of life on parts of the ground, and the icy chill was ever present, but non of that could dampen our spirits as we stepped through the cute barn door.

The inside was decorated so beautifully that I suddenly felt at home as we were engulfed by fairy lights, the heat of a beautiful wood fire, and the smell of delicious hops and bbq.

My husband walked over to the bar as I picked a seat close enough to the flames that I could almost feel each one caressing my skin; it felt so good after all of the cold of the outside world.

The tables and chairs where wooden; adding more of a barn effect, and I saw an old pair of figure skates hanging above the mantle, along with old wooden snow shoes, and my heart skipped a beat. This almost felt like Christmas time inside this picturesque perfect red barn.

As I waited patiently, trusting my husband wholeheartedly to pick out a good beer for me, I noticed old brewery beer cans full of wheat and napkins, and made a note to remember it so that I could steal the idea for our next Conley party to showcase all of the different breweries we had traveled to. How fun!

As my husband returned with menus I noticed he was carrying two mason jars of fruity lager, nothing too heavy for our lunch pit stop, and I once again was reminded of how much I love a good beer in a quirky mason jar; even if it has been done time and time again.

The lager was good; it slid down my throat next to the fire like a dream, and I noticed some citrus tastes as I scanned the menu with eager eyes.

It didn’t take me long to destroy the whole mason jar; with the heat from the fire upon my skin, and the beer cold within, I couldn’t imagine any other place I’d rather be right now than right here in this barn with my husband.

The menu had a lot to choose from; sandwiches, flatbreads, bbq, salads, and Mac and cheese!

Of course my husband and I stared at each other as we saw the bbq plate which included ribs, macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw with the choice of a cornbread – it was game on – we were ready.

I opted out of the corn bread, and my husband opted in.

As we began to wait I decided to walk the room; It was fun to see the brewery actively brewing beer in the barn and I was exited to see they had a raspberry sour being brewed for the future. If that’s not enough to bring your tires screeching back here to a halt outside the front doors then I don’t know what is!

With my hands held out towards the fire I watched the light dance within its flames as the smell of bbq filed the barn, making my mouth water.

It was another situation where I’d have to sit quietly in order to not get Hangry; by this time my husband had switched to a coffee nitro stout (not my cup of tea) but he said it was perfect, and I had continued with the lager.

That smell of bbq was getting stronger and stronger, and it wasn’t until my husband said my name that I turned back to the table to see our plates landing right in front us thanks to the lovely waitress.

The smell hit me like a brick wall; a wall I’d happily walk into for the rest of my life.

This is exactly what I’d been craving all day out in the cold. My frosty toes had wanted it, my painful fingers had wanted it, and my stomach was making it known, with rumbles, that it without a doubt wanted it.

Both of our plates where piled to almost overflowing. My husband had skipped coleslaw and his corn bread had taken its place, and I saw the look of excitement on his face as he picked up his knife and fork with a smile – ready to dig in.

I could barely wait.

First I tried the meat; it was so perfectly cooked that it fell apart the second I tried to pick it up with my fork, and the flavors exploded in my mouth.

It was sweet, a little tangy, and all over bbq sauce heaven; I could without a doubt tell that this was not the store bought kind of sauce, but a sauce made in-house with love.

In fact, the whole meal tasted extremely homemade and like everything I’d ever wanted and more.

The Mac and cheese was so cheesy and had no resemblance to fake cheese, that I almost thought it tasted exactly like a recipe my husband and myself had made back at home.

It was cheesy heaven.

For a while neither of us spoke, it was so good that we didn’t have time for conversation, and I started to enjoy mixing every ingredient on my plate to combine tastes and textures.

I loved the sweetness of the meat and fall-apart texture, combined with cheesy delicious pasta, and that added crunch from a coleslaw that was homemade and not overpowered with mayonnaise – thank the food gods!

The whole meal was glorious.

As the wind picked up outside, we enjoyed our time indoors getting warmed up from the inside out in the cutest barn I’ve seen in a long time.

When all was said and done I was reluctant to leave the fire, but knew the time was upon us; I almost wished we could stay the whole day and enjoy the nighttime too.

On the way out we decided to take some stouts and lagers to go; for that evening where we’d try to recreate the experience with a less fun environment.

I took one last look at the beautiful barn and stepped out into the cold.

Our perfect lunch had come to an end, and the only evidence of our existence within that barn was now a signature on the bill; hopefully one day we’d make it back to leave some more.

Westfield River brewing, I thank you for the experience, the warmth, the hospitality, the good food, and the damn good beer.

Until next time,

Mrs. Conley.

(Don’t forget, if you like what you see, follow my Facebook page @ A Hangry Wife.)

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