Friday, November 5, 2010
Curtis Liquors Fall Beer Tasting
This past Saturday, Sarah and I visited one of our favorite places to pick up good craft beers, Curtis Liquors, for their annual Fall Beer Tasting event. Now, we have been to a few of their other events in the past, as they tend to have monthly wine or beer tastings, but few have been of this magnitude.
They had 10-12 area and mostly regional craft breweries, showcasing their fall beers. Some beers we had tried before, and thankfully some we had not, but for the most part we had had something from just about every brewer that was represented.
Wachusett Brewing Co. had their awesome Milk Stout (read our review!), Winter (to be reviewed soon), and Larry Imperial IPA (Publick House series). They also had probably the most interesting rep pouring samples. He continuously questioned whether or not we could handle the Larry or Milk Stout - because they’re that good!
And speaking of their Milk Stout, it's being included in their new fall Box of Brews, which you should be able to find in most package stores that sell good beer! I have to say though, it was funny to see the Milk Stout in a 12 oz. bottle. It looked tiny, compared to the 22 oz. bomber!
Across the aisle was one of our favorite places to grab lunch, the Tap at the Haverhill Brewery. We tried, and of course liked, their HaverAle, and Homerun APA, but also got to try their La Dame de Peronne. The La Dame is a French-style beer, with similar qualities to Saisson and Maerzen beers. We picked up a bottle of this, and will be reviewing it next week!
Of course our friends at Harpoon Brewery were there, pouring samples of their Winter Warmer, and our new favorite Chocolate Stout.
If you haven’t had it, you have to check out the Stout. It’s brewed with quite a bit of chocolate malt, and even has chocolate in the recipe. It has a nice, noticeable dark chocolate flavor! It’s a seasonal beer, but can be found in six packs or their Wintry Mix 12-Pack.
Peak Organic Brewing Company was also pouring samples, located next to the Long Trail Brewing Co. table. Long Trail was serving up their Brewmaster Series Imperial Porter, which of course we picked up a bomber of, as well as their Ale (one of my favorite beers). We visited their brewery/brewpub back in 2008, and I’m excited to visit them again next weekend!
Otter Creek beers were being represented as well. Now, Sarah and I had a few different samples at the 2009 American Craft Beer Festival and were not all that impressed. There seemed to be some sort of off flavor throughout their beers. But, we learned that Otter Creek was purchased by the owners of Long Trail Brewery, and has installed a new brewer to tweak some of their recipes. The rep was nice enough to give us a few bottles of their Porter, so we have a base of comparison.
Mayflower Brewing Company was pouring their IPA (one of my favorite IPAs), and their limited edition Thanksgiving Ale (couldn’t grab any, but will look for it this weekend). We'll have to revisit their brewery soon, so we can try their soon to be released Imperial Stout (read our review from September). We also enjoyed samples from Troegs, 21st Amendment (straight from the can, which surprisingly was good), and Dogfish Head.
I was probably most excited though for the return of one of my favorite beers – Samuel Adams White Ale.
I’ve grown more into a hockey fan than any other sport; however, at one time the same could be said in regard to baseball. As soon as I had the first sip of White Ale, it instantly transported me back in time to April 2004 to April 2007 as the Red Sox opened their season. I would literally go through a twelve pack of this stuff a weekend I liked it so much. So as you would expect, I was heartbroken and very sad when I heard it was being replaced as the spring seasonal by the Nobel Pils. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Nobel Pils, but it’s no White Ale. Fortunately, I knew it wouldn’t be gone forever, and it has made its gracious return in the Sam Adams Winter Mix Pack, as well as my other favorite Old Fezziwig, Chocolate Bock, Winter Porter, Boston Lager, and Winter Ale.
One of our other favorites of the afternoon had to be the banana split beer.
It is made with one part Wells Banana Bread Beer (have you had it yet?), and three parts Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. We’ve had a lot of blended beers over the past month, such as the Pumpkin Pie in a glass (Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, and Blue Fin Stout) and Apple Pie (Harpoon Cider and Munich Dark), and we plan on dedicated some time over the winter months to share our blended experiences with our readers!
We got to sample many great beers, and saved some cash when we loaded up on some of our new favorite beers. Did I mention that the tasting itself was free?
And of course at the end of the night, the owner of Curtis Liquors took a minute to address the crowd, thank them for coming, and to Vote "YES!" on Question #1! Obviously, from the numbers, many, many people did and it passed the first hurdle.
Naturally, Sarah and I were both in support of the repeal of the State Sales Tax on Liquor, and we made it a point to display our support after the tasting with a few drinks!