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