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Opposition Is Welcoming: Small, But Expanding, Medford’s Up and Comer

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oppositionOpposition Brewery is not easy to find, pushed inconspicuously in an office park in Medford. But inside, the space is welcoming and the three patrons there immediately beamed when I entered. We had chosen Opposition Brewing for The Messenger’s holiday party, partly because we did not know much about them, and partially because they were so receptive to the idea when I called on the phone.

Three years old, Opposition is still a small batch operation run by two couples, but they are looking to change that. Currently, it is a 1.5 barrel system, which sits out exposed in looking like King Kong size beer cans. Above the barrels, three flags hang from the ceiling, including a familiar yellow flag with a snake coiled on it, and the words, “Don’t Tread on Me.” There is a tinge of irony, as Opposition is so named because when they first rolled out three years ago as Apocalypse Brewing, the macro-micro-brewery10 Barrel shot off a warning that their name infringed on that brewery’s popular IPA.  

From the modest 1.5 barrel system, though, Opposition produces an impressively wide range of flavors. Tunguska Event (referring to a metroid that hit in 1908 in Russia) is a surprising name given that their  “common ale” is creamy and smooth, and nothing like the shattering impact of an asteroid. Regardless, a delightful unique and approachable beer. Blast Radius is a pleasing oatmeal pale; Fallow Fields their American Brown Ale; and River Runs Red, a hearty red. Long Black Train has a lingering sweetness that offsets bitterness from a 70 IBUs, and a strong structure from the oatmeal.

Like their production, distribution is currently limited (largely to the tap room itself and Joe’s Bar & Grill and Smithfields in Ashland). But Opposition is changing that—and how they are doing so is telling. To expand, they are truly relying on “community,” with a current push to expand to a 7 barrel system by creating membership opportunities ($50/first year, which gets $1 discounts on pints and invites to special events, like a highly recommended upcoming December 19 members-only party).

In spite of their name, Opposition Brewery is the opposite: Welcoming, warm and wonderful.


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