Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Preview

I just wanted to give everyone a friendly reminder that the Curtis Liquors Fall Beer Tasting is happening tomorrow afternoon from 1-4pm at their Weymouth store. If you haven't been to one of their events, I highly recommend going. Sarah and I have been to a few of their wine tastings, and they're never disappointing. Tomorrow's event should be no different.

They will have over 100 craft beers to sample, including beers from their feature brewers, which some are: Cisco, Clipper City, Dogfish Head, Harpoon, Haverhill, Long Trail, Mayflower, Newport Storm, Sam Adams, Southern Tier, Wachusett, and more! They also are advertising that all beers tasted are going to be discounted (except sale items). Six and twelve packs are 10% off, and large single bottles are 15% off!

You can visit the Curits Liquors website for more details, or check out our Upcoming Beer Events section!

Additionally, the Cambridge Brewing Company is hosting their annual Great Pumpkin Fest from 4pm-1am tomorrow night. This year should be even bigger than last year, with 22 pumpkin beers - eight from CBC, and 18 from guests. Tickets are $10, and includes a limited edition Pumpkin Ale glass. Get more details on the CBC and guest beers here! Don't forget to wear your costumes too!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

BrewEngland Visits: Lord Hobo - Cambridge, MA

About a month or two ago, our friend Jenny informed us of a great half price deal online for the restaurant Lord Hobo. I had read an article on a few weeks before Jenny told us about the deal, and read it was a great new beer bar located in the old B-Side Lounge location. Being the beer lover that I am, I knew that both Sarah and I had to check it out. A Boston based beer-TweetUp, organized by JD of Lost in the Beer Aisle, was just the excuse we needed to make our first visit.

We decided to hit up my “local” homebrew supply store, Beer & Wine Hobby in Woburn, MA before hand, and then meet up with everyone else. Well, as it turns out, we made such good timing that we were quite a bit early.

Of course we didn't let that deter us, as Lord Hobo happened to be serving brunch (served Sat & Sun 10-3), to which we fully obliged. With it still being before noon, I was clearly still in a bit of a fog. I ordered the Cuban sandwich by accident but when it showed up I was quite surprised. Thanks to my stupefaction, I stumbled upon a very delicious treat! The sandwich was full of tasty braised pork, with pickled vegetables throughout, complemented by delicious French fries!

Sarah opted for the eggs with home fries, which she thoroughly enjoyed. The eggs were fluffy and delicious, and the home fries rivaled any other restaurant. Naturally we enjoyed a few pints with brunch (I will have to fill you in later, as I can't seem to find the beer menu from that day), as we enjoyed our meals.

As we were finishing up our meals, people started to trickle in for the tweet up.

Everyone there for the event got a name tag, dropped their names or business cards into a bowl for a few door prizes, and got to snack on an enormous cheese and cracker platter. We quickly struck up conversations with several people, and got our beer discussion on.

If you plan to driving into Cambridge to visit Lord Hobo, you should plan on spending some time looking for parking. The majority of the parking in the area is residential or by permit only; however, there is some metered parking spots on Hampshire Street. Plan on bringing plenty of quarters if you're lucky enough to find a spot, because you're not likely to leave the bar for a while.

Aside from the extreme lack of parking, the only other negative aspect of Lord Hobo is that it is on the pricey side. The prices for food range from around $9-$14 for brunch and $10-$24 for dinner which is not so bad. However, if you're a huge beer fan like myself, the drinks can quickly add to the tab. The restaurant features a Haverhill Brewery "house beer" for $4, but the rest of the draft list ranges from $5 - $9, but the bottles can get even more expensive. You can't dispute, however, that they have a great line up of beers.

Needless to say, we had a great time! The food was delicious, and the beers were plentiful. We had some great conversations with the people we met, and left with a lot of contacts. I'm pretty sure I went into the beer-TweetUp with approximately 20 followers or so (I started tweeting a few weeks earlier), and left with at least 12 more. Since then Sarah and I have had a great time sharing our tweets with these people.

If you're not already following BrewEngland on Twitter (@brewengland), please click the button above to start following us!

Lord Hobo on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An Old Dog Learns a New Trick

I'm surprised to be finding out today that the Seadog Brewpub, an offspring of the original Seadog Brewing Co. (which opened in 1993 in Camden, Maine), will be opening their second and newest Massachusetts "brewpub" in Woburn, MA. It was originally announced in local newspapers on September 28th that the Maine based company will be moving into the Mishawum Road location formerly occupied by the short-lived Nickles Grille. Prior to that, the property was home to TGI Fridays.

I was unable to find a release giving the date the new doors will open, but I've kept in touch with Emily, the manager of the recently opened Sea Dog Brew Pub Hull. Their fan page states a December opening, but no specific date. I'm hoping to get the actual date from Emily, and share the news with everyone. They're currently in the process of hiring staff, and if you're interested in applying for an open position, please visit their newly created Facebook fan page or send an email to They'll be hosting a job fair November 10-11 from 11-3pm.

It's unclear if the Woburn location will be brewing their own beer; however, it is unlikely given the status of their Hull location. The Sunset Bay Marina restaurant opened earlier this year, and currently has their beer shipped in from one of their Maine locations.

On a side note, the Hull location will also be closing their doors for the winter on November 28th, so if you were planning on visiting them, you should consider going soon!

Tuesday Night Tasting - Sebago Brewing Co. - Milestone Ale

Sebago Brewing Co – Gorham, ME
Single Batch Series
Milestone Ale 1pt 6oz

Sarah visited one of our favorite beer stores in the world last week, Marty’s Fine Wines in Newton, MA, and picked up this beer for me. I had previously only had the Sebago Brewing Co. Local Harvest Ale, which although I don't remember it clearly it seemed nice, but the Milestone Ale was a nice surprise!

The libation pours a soft orange hued head, with a nice mildly pale red body. It has a citrus inspired scent, with strong malt tones. It is also a full bodied beer, with smooth caramel notes. It’s also a bit sweet, but has a great bitter and hoppy character to it. It has a moderately full mouth feel, with a subtle dryness as well.

The beer itself is moderately drinkable. Like most big beers, or bombers, they can be a bit on the heavy or extreme side. We’ve only seen this in 22 oz bottles, which is probably a good thing as it’s probably priced out of most people’s price range, at $9.95 a bottle; BUT, if you’re looking for a new, limited release beer, it’s worth a try.

The Sebago Brewing Co. currently has four brewpub locations, all located in the great state of Maine. Their current locations are in Kennebunk, Scarborough, Gorham, and Portland. I recently began following Sebago (@sebagobrewing) on Twitter, and found out they're in the process of either renovating or building a new brewpub in Portland. It will give us a new place to visit when we're in town, and I look forward to checking it out soon!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Harpoon Helps - Beer-B-Q

This event is so special it deserved a spot on the front page....

If you weren't aware, Harpoon Brewery has a philanthropic branch of their company formed in 2003 called Harpoon Helps. According to the Harpoon website, their mission is "to support local charities throughout New England with donations of fresh Harpoon Beer and volunteerism hours." Each year they donate thousands of dollars in merchandise, not to mention many free barrels of beer during their dozens of charitable events.

On Sunday November 14, 2010 Harpoon Brewery is proud to hold their 4th Annual Harpoon Helps Grateful Harvest Beer-B-Q at their Boston brewery. With food being prepared by the New England BBQ Society (NEBS), and beer being poured by Harpoon, this fundraiser is sure to be a hit! Tickets are $55 each, and the event is limited to 250 tickets in total, so it will be a reasonably intimate event. The event begins at 3pm with passed hors d'oeurves with beers (I'm assuming to be sold) and the buffet-style, sit-down dinner will be served at 4pm. The price includes turkey with all the trimmings, 3 Harpoon beers (niiiice!), and a commemorative Beer-B-Q beer mug.

If that wasn't great enough, 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank's Food Fund/Turkey Drive. For every $13 donated to the Great Boston Food Bank, they can distribute a 12-14 lb turkey to a family in need. Naturally this is a great cause, so we're hoping people can help out. If you're unable to make the Beer-B-Q, please head to the GBFB website to make a private donation.

For more information on this event, please visit the Harpoon Brewery website or click here.

The brewery has also released their Harpoon Grateful Harvest Ale, which is available in stores now through December in six-packs only. It's a limited release beer, so they only brewed so many barrels. I tried it last week, as well as picked up a six-pack, and it is pretty damn good. On top of being a good beer, $1 from every six pack is also donated to a local food bank in the area it's purchased in.

I will be reviewing the beer here soon! Stay tuned for more details!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Samuel Adams Bru Fest

Once again, the boys in Black and Gold are teaming up with Samuel Adams TOMORROW night before the Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers game, for their first of four scheduled Bru Fests. For all the Bruins games I went to last year (I had full season tickets), I failed to actually attend one of these. I've heard they're pretty fun, so you should definitely go!

The other Bru Fests are scheduled for Nov 11 vs. the HATED Montreal Canadiens (I will be there), March 31, 2011 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (Phil who?), and April 6, 2011 vs. New York Islanders.

The event is held in the players' parking lot, just outside the TD Garden on Causeway Street in Boston, and is free for 21+ ticket holders. Tickets for all games are still available through Ticketmaster, and you can find more details by visiting the Boston Bruins website.

Just so no one forgets when they are, I will post them under the Upcoming Beer Events shortly!

Blogtoberfest, the next day....

So let's be's never fun working on a Friday, but at least you know the weekend is so close. Today is no exception, considering how much fun we had last night at Blogtoberfest.

Sarah had been to several of them over the past few years, but this was my first time in attendance. Ginger Park certainly was a beautiful location for this years event, with it's gorgeous woodwork and easily accessible urban location. One can never have too much street parking so close to the location, and considering I drive 99% of the time, I was psyched to find an open spot so close to the restaurant.

Thankfully for me too, a DIEHARD Boston Bruins fan (and hockey fan in general), they had a HD TV in our area, so I could still check in on my boys in Black and Gold beating up on the Washington Capitals in their home opener. And while they didn't have any draft beer, they did have plenty of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, which I got my share of.

As Sarah mentioned yesterday, BrewEngland was a co-sponsor of this year's Blogtoberfest, and we were giving away some really kick-ass prizes. We created three baskets of all 22 oz. beers and beer related swag, which would have been great to win (who says I couldn't win my own raffle?)! Our friends Chris and Sarah happened to win two of them - no it wasn't fixed, I swear!

Sarah walked away with the biggest of the three beer baskets, which included: a Harpoon Brewery T-Shirt, a Harpoon keychain and magnet, as well as the following beers: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Jack D'or, Cape Ann Brewing Pumpkin Stout, Berkshire Brewing Co. Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, Sam Adams Octoberfest, Cisco Brewers Pumple Drumpkin, and Haverhill Brewing Three Graces Tripel-Style Ale.

Chris was lucky enough to win one of the other cool baskets, which included: Berkshire Brewing Co. Coffeehouse Porter, Wachusett Brewing Co. Milk Stout, and Berkshire Brewing Co. Imperial Stout. The other winner (sorry, I wasn't able to catch him before he left) got: Blue Hills Brewery Black Hops, White Birch Brewing Wrigian, and Berkshire Brewing Co. River Ale.

Sarah and Peter G.

We both met a lot of great people last night, including (but not at all limited to) Jen, Jack, Brian, and Carissa. And as always great to catch up with friends like Peter, Rebecca (from Girls Pint Out - local ladies if you want to join Sarah and GPO at their Boston meetup next month give Rebecca a shout!), Sarah and John! I'm sure we're leaving people out, so sorry for that...but suffice it to say it was a great time.

I also got to catch up with my buddy Marcel, who I've known for about 10 years, but haven't seen in at least 2-3 years. He's running a cool and funny blog called Business Blunder, which you should definitely check out. He scours the internet for tales of hysterical business related stories that have been in the news, or on other various media outlets. It's worth a read, and will definitely have you wondering how people can be this stupid. He also has a Facebook Fan Page, which you should check out and "like".

Anyway, we wanted to give a special thanks to Jenny for organizing this year's Blogtoberfest and making it a good time!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blogtoberfest In The House!

Looking forward to seeing some of you at Boston Blogtoberfest tonight! This is my fourth year at the event (a get together for local bloggers organized every year by Jenny Frazier) but its Brew England's first time at the event and needless to see we are psyched. To celebrate Adam and I have put together some great gift baskets featuring our favorite local craft beer (nearly all of which have been reviewed right here on Brew England) and assorted shwag and can't wait to give them away to some lucky people in one of the many raffles going on tonight.

Stay tuned this week for a recap of our trip to the Berkshire Brewing Company, some tastings, as well as a post devoted to mixing beer (including Harpoon's recipe for Apple Pie!).


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday Night Tasting - Wachusett Brewing Co: Milk Stout

Wachusett Brewing Co. – Westminster, MA
Milk Stout, 1pt 6oz.

First off, it must be said that this is one excellent stout! It pours a fluid as dark as night, with a complementing dark brown, creamy head. It has a nice sweet and vanilla essence to its smell, which invites you into your first sip!

Mmmmmm!! The flavor is vibrant, not overbearing at all, and it’s not bitter as some stouts can be! Some stouts give off a flavor of old, bad, bitter coffee, but the Wachusett Milk Stout has none of those qualities. It has a full, dark malty flavor that is not heavy – it doesn’t sit like a bowling ball in your stomach. Rather, each sip leads you to want another. As Sarah said, “any beer drinker would be remiss not to seek this out, because it is a real treat!” The stout also has a vanilla bean ice cream finish, which would make the ULTIMATE float (which we plan on trying very soon).

What we also really liked is that it’s not too complex. Some stouts, in an effort to be complex, complicate themselves out of being the simple, satisfying brew that it is meant to be. We’re not saying the Milk Stout is simple and boring – quite the contrary. While it doesn’t have a million different layers, it is an extremely enjoyable beer. If you’re a stout lover, you will love Wachusett’s offering. If you don’t particularly care for stouts, you must try this one, because it will change your opinion within the first sip!

On a side note....while exchanging messages on twitter with @WachusettBrew (you should follow them too) last week, they were trying to come up with a name for the cow on their label. Sarah and I were throwing names at each other, and at least between the two of us, we’re going to name him Bo – as in bovine. So our tag line is “Bo knows Stout!” paying homage to everybody’s favorite Bo, Bo Jackson.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stone Brewing Co. - Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

Stone Brewing Co. - Escondido, San Diego County, CA
Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale
Aged Ale with American Oak Wood Chips
7.2% ABV, 12oz

I decided to do an early week tasting, and hence I give you my review of Stone Brewing Co's Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale- Cheers!

The beer pours a very dark amber hue, with a mild, creamy, brownish head that lingers long enough to admire. The liquid gold has a malty, sweet, caramel, and subtle woody scent - it definitely still smells Arrogant!

The Oaked flavor is subtle and the beer is moderately bitter, yet not overpowering. It also has a full mouth feel, but slightly milder than the traditional Arrogant Bastard Ale (which I love, though haven't posted a review yet - soon!). It's definitely a malty beer, which is perfect for this style. It's heavy, malty, and has the same bite of the non-Oaked brethren.

This is definitely a drinkable beer, and although it is very pricy (around $18 a six-pack), you could easily sit around the living room or a party and drink 2-3 without thinking twice...though, at 7.4% ABV you'd have to be careful! As you would expect, this would be awesome with a smoked pork sandwich, grilled salmon, or a bbq bacon burger!

Well, what else can I say? This beer was great. Have you had an original Arrogant Bastard? If you have and enjoyed it, this beer will be a nice twist to your appreciation of all things Arrogant! You can certainly expect a review of the original bastard, as well as some other tasty Stone Brewing Co. brews in the near future!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tuesday Night Tasting - Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project: Hedgerow Bitter

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project – Cambridge, MA
Hedgerow Bitter
Bottled August 2010, 1st Batch
5.4% ABV 1pt 6oz

I wasn't kidding! This was a 1st batch beer!

The Hedgerow Bitter is the newest offering from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, and did not disappoint. The beer features a pale, burnt orange hue, topped by a medium, fluffy head that lingers for a while. The smell, which is a bitter, pale, earthy aroma sets up the flavor.

The beer has a very full mouth feel, but is not overly malty. It’s somewhat dry, but that becomes more noticeable as the beer warms. It’s easy to find a bitter citrus flavor, which could actually be bitter orange peel. The beer itself is fairly bitter, but not in the distinct way that an American IPA or Pale Ale would be. It displays the UK hop varieties used in the beer – Pioneer, First Gold, and Sovereign, which are listed as “dwarf” hop varieties.

The Hedgerow is also somewhat spicy, which it seems like it would pair well with spicy foods and meats. We happened to be eating forty spices hummus at the time, and it complemented the beer very nicely!

This is our second review of Pretty Things beers (read our first one here), although we have been lucky to sample their other beers at Lamb Jam, and the 2010 Bacon & Beer Festival. This is a nice stylistic and flavor departure from their Baby Tree, and flagship brew Jack D’Or, which are also excellent beers. There will be more to come from this interesting and eclectic brewing company here on Brew England!