Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday Night Tasting - Magic Hat Brewing Co: Vinyl Lager Spring Seasonal

Magic Hat Brewing Co. – South Burlington, VT Vinyl Lager Spring Seasonal 5.1% ABV, 16 IBU, available January 15 – March 31

Although this is the first official review for a Magic Hat beer, we are well versed in the offerings of Magic Hat. They tend to have great seasonal mix packs, and the Vinyl is a decent addition to the seasonal line up.

This Lager pours a medium golden-brown, highly carbonated brew. It only has a moderate to light thickness on the white fluffy head, and it fades into the body fairly quickly. Vinyl features a nice pale, malty aroma. It also has traces of light hoppiness, which is lightly fruity. It is fairly low on the IBU scale, clocking in at 16, so there are no real overtones of bitterness here in the beer.

The Vinyl has a subtle maltiness, but it is somewhat crisp due to the carbonation level. It has a nice clean finish, is gently sweet, with a slight brown sugar finish. The mouth feel on the beer is medium to light, and finishes rather dry.

It only has a slight aftertaste, which is neither unpleasant nor pleasant…we were pretty neutral on it. The drinkability level clocks in the moderate to high level though. The ABV is at a decent level and is balanced with the flavor and body of the beer. It has a fairly different flavor than say a Samuel Adams Boston Lager, but is a decent beer.

The Vinyl is about to go on hiatus until next January, but if available in a six or twelve pack I would likely pick one up as it’s a decent offering.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NERAX Kicks Off Tomorrow!

This is just a friendly reminder that New England Real Ale Exhibition, commonly referred to as NERAX, makes its triumphant return to Sommerville, MA this week for what is geared up for yet another successful showdown of cask conditioned beers!

Tomorrow kicks off the 2011 NERAX exhibit (sorry, I can't recall how many years in a row this is) beginning at 6pm. Wednesday's, Thursday's, and Friday's sessions run 6-10:30pm with $15 admission at the door. Saturday's marathon session runs 12-7pm, with a $10 admission. All advance 2011 NERAX tickets have sold out, but there will be a "Large Number" of admission tickets available at the door to each session.

There are a reported 90+ cask conditioned beers and ciders being poured this week, including but certainly not limited to: Berkshire Brewing Co Steel Rail, Boston Beer (aka Sam Adams) Oaked Red Ale, Cape Ann Brewing Co. Fisherman's Rock Porter, Cape Cod Beer Cape Cod Red, Cisco Brewers Moore Porter, Gritty McDuff's 21st Amendment IPA, Haverhill Brewing Well-Hopped Helles, High & Mighty XPA, Martha's Exchange The Hatchet Job, Mayflower Brewing Co Spring Hop Ale, Notch Session 70 Schilling Scottish Ale (to be the "house" scotch ale for The Haven in JP) and so many more!

I hope you all are able to make this year's NERAX Boston. Stay tuned here for further NERAX happenings as they will be posted soon!

Beer Summit Returns: April 15-16th

The Beer Summit is set to make its Spring return on April 15-16, 2011 at the Park Plaza Castle in Boston. As you may recall, I volunteered for the Winter Jubilee with my buddy Joe back in January and had a great time! I met a lot of cool people, not to mention a slew of New England brewers!

Once again there is a great line up of brewers set to return to the Castle. The three sessions will feature beer from: Clown Shoes, Berkshire Brewing Co, Blue Hills Brewery, Trinity Brewhouse, Tuckerman, Woodchuck Cidery, Oskar Blues, Magic Hat, Newport Storm, Wormtown, Ipswich Ale Brewery, Cape Ann Brewing, Mayflower, and many more! Check out the Beer Summit website for the full line up!

The Friday session, April 15th, will run from 5:30-9pm. Saturday the 16th has two sessions: 12:30-4pm and 5:30-9pm. General Admission tickets are $42.50, includes a souvenir sample cup, live music, food (for purchase), and tickets can now be printed at home! The event is always a good time!

Monday, March 28, 2011

2011 Bacon & Beer Festival

The 2011 Bacon & Beer Festival is coming soon! On April 30th, Eat Boston will host the second annual Bacon & Beer Festival at the Bowery in the South End of Boston. What is better than bacon and beer? I have a hard time thinking of things that even come close! So, when tickets go on sale on April 1st, will you get yours? Last year the event sold out pretty quickly, so I have to imagine they will go quickly again this year! Sarah and I went with our friends Peter and Jessica to the 2010 Bacon & Beer Festival and met up with our friends Josh and Brynn and had a great time. Thankfully, we arrived about an hour before the doors opened and were roughly 10th in line at the start. This prevented us from a very, very long wait. This year's breweries will include, but are not limited to: Blue Hills Brewery, Sam Adams, Clown Shoes Brewing, Long Trail, Harpoon Brewery, Ipswich Ale Brewery, Notch, Smuttynose Brewing Co., Cape Ann Brewing, Mayflower Brewing Co. and many, many more! The event will be Saturday April 30th from 1-3:30pm at the Bowery in Boston. Tickets are $35 and sales will benefit hunger relief organizations Lovin' Spoonfuls, Community Servings, and Share our Strength. Tickets go on sale this Friday April 1st at 1pm.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Making a Return to Seacoast!

Sarah and I are happy to be returning to the seacoast of New Hampshire later today. We'll be making a stop in the Manchester area as we're putting some finishing touches on our wedding details, and need to take care of some things in the area (suit shopping, decoration stuff, etc).

If we have time, I'm hoping to stop in at Bert's Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. Bert posted yesterday on his Facebook page that his brand new 10, yes read that TEN door singles cooler is now open for business. He informed me a few months ago that they acquired the suite next to his, and was expanding his already incredible selection of craft beers. The pictures I'm sure do not do it justice, and I need to see if for myself! I hope we have time for a visit.

What I know for sure we'll be doing is visiting New Hampshire's newest brewery - Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, NH. Now, technically the brewery has not opened its doors; however, they are set to open in Mid-Spring of this year! As you may recall, we announced back in January (thanks again to Bert Bingel from Bert's Better Beers for the scoop!) that Annette Lee and Nicole Carrier were opening this new facility in New Hampshire's Seacoast area, and we're very much looking forward to the visit and trying the beer for the first time.

After the brewery tour/tasting, we'll be heading back to Portsmouth for the first time in a while. Stops will likely include the Portsmouth Brewery (I wonder if I can bribe someone to give me a bottle of Kate the Great?), perhaps the Portsmouth Gas Light Co, and definitely the Coat of Arms for fresh beer and pickled eggs! I just learned it's Portsmouth Restaurant Week too, so we might be in for some great treats!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bacon Beer Madness Happening at WCB

So, I'm not sure why I didn't post this earlier, but it probably had something to do with being ridiculously busy these days...

Anway, the folks at Watch City Brewery in Waltham, MA are having a CRAZY time this week. They have made a special release of 14 different Rauchbiers, all on cask. No one knows exactly how long it will last, but you can visit the brewpub to taste some bacon infused brews. They actual debut of the beers was on Tuesday with four different variations, but each night - while their casks last - they will introduce new beers until alas they are all gone.

If you haven't been to Watch City Brewery, this should serve as the ultimate invitation. Sarah and I have visited the restaurant many times, and always leave satisfied. They have a great line up of full time and seasonal brews, but this only enhances their craft beer selection.

Watch City Brewery is located at 256 Moody Street in Waltham, MA.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday Night Tasting - Smuttynose Brewing Co: S'muttonator

Smuttynose Brewing Co. - Portsmouth, NH
The Smuttynose Big Beer Series
S'muttonator* Double Bock Beer
9.5% ABV, 22oz, Bottle Conditioned in 2010

With a return to the beautiful seacoast town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire coming up on Saturday, we thought it would be fitting to dedicate this week's Tuesday Night Tasting to one of our favorite NH breweries - Smuttynose Brewing Co. I purchased this bottle a little while back at Bin Ends in Braintree, and finally cracked it open last night.

The S'muttonator ours a rich, dark, red liquid with hints of orange. The head is medium and with a brownish hue, it fades into the liquid fairly quickly. The beer is cloudy, and has a nice carbonation level.

The aroma has muted tones of caramel and sweet malt. The flavor certainly compliments the aroma, yet takes full charge of the beer! After my first sip I thought "Oooh...that's good!" The S'muttonator is really smooth, and features a full body. Tones of toffee and caramel really shine in this beer. It's slightly bitter, yet nice and malty. The hops are hidden, but are not unnoticed. Sarah commented that the flavor reminder her of " a blondy and a brownie, combined with hops." The brew has a nice layer of butterscotch in its finish.

The beer has a full, not not too heavy of a mouth feel. It's definitely smooth, and finishes on the sweet side.

I'd also give the beer a moderate drinkability. Considering this Smuttynose offering clocks in at almost 10% ABV, it certainly packs a punch. The S'muttonator is a really nice beer, and one bottle is more than enough for most people. It can be drank in one sitting, but is probably best if shared with friends!

*This beer takes 30 hours to brew. It is said to be a "mixture of German ingredients and good ol' fashioned New England Tenaciousness." That's how we like our beer here at Brew England!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Tailgating Recommendations

Back in January Richard from The Drug Is Football (TDIF) contacted me and asked if we would like to do a collaborative post on beer and football (soccer). Naturally, I said sure!

Although I have never officially tailgated before a sporting event, 99% of the time you will find me in a local watering hole prior to a Bruins or Red Sox game (usually Boston Beer Works). When Richard asked for some New England beer recommendations for early season tailgating sessions (March/April), I knew I could come up with a few ideas. With that being said, I have compiled a list of beers that would compliment any pre-Revolution match activities, such as grilling food, helping you keep warm, and getting you ready for the action!

Beer #1: Wachusett IPA

Wachusett Brewing Co. – Westminster, MA
Wachusett IPA
5.6% ABV, 50 IBU

This is a bold, robust, and flavorful IPA! It features a great blend of aroma and hoppy, bitter, and crisp body that leaves you satisfied. Wachusett IPA is pretty easy to find, but we like this beer so much if you can't find it one place, it's worth the drive to find it. It will pair well with hamburgers, hot dogs, or many of the other tailgating favorites!

Suitable substitutes: Wachusett Larry, Smuttynose Brewing Co. Big A IPA, Shipyard XXXX IPA, Ipswich IPA

Beer #2: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Baby Tree Quadrupel

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project - Boston and Westport, MA
Baby Tree Quadrupel with Dried Plums
1pt 6oz, 9% ABV

The Baby Tree Quad is a dark, malty, heavy, and subtly sweet beer. It also has the notes of plum, which help give the Quad it's earthy and sweet flavor. It would be paired best with stews, and with it's 9% Alcohol by Volume, it's going to keep you warm! It's best if shared with friends, which you will be thanked for after they try this beer.

Suitable substitute: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Jack D’Or

Beer #3: Mayflower Spring Hop Ale

Mayflower Brewing Co. - Plymouth, MA
Seasonal Spring Hop Ale
5.2% ABV, 37 IBU, 12 oz
Also available on draft

The Spring Hop Ale is the latest release from this up and coming Massachusetts brewery. It is incredibly aromatic, and is easily complimented by the malt and sweetness found in the brew. It is not overly bitter, but does pick up the nice hop flavor. It is slightly sweet as well, but finishes dry. This beer is great on its own, but will pair up nicely with more grilled food!

Suitable substitutes: Mayflower IPA, Sam Adams Latitude 48, Magic Hat Demo Black IPA

Beer #4: Cape Ann Brewing Co. Fisherman’s Navigator (Winter Release, may be difficult to find)

Cape Ann Brewing Company – Gloucester, MA
Fisherman’s Navigator Special Winter Reserve
Double Bock German Style Lager
7% ABV, 37 IBU, 12 oz

Here is a smooth, colorful, and delicious beer. It has hints of caramel, in both its aroma and flavor, which makes this a pleasant beer. It is a winter seasonal, so it may be somewhat difficult to find, but it's worth picking up if you find it. It clocks in at 7% ABV too, which can sneak up on you.

Suitable substitutes: Redhook ESB, Sam Adams Stony Brook Red

Beer #5: Harpoon Brewery 100 Barrel Series Island Creek Oyster Stout

Okay…we haven’t officially reviewed this beer, but we’ve had it enough times to suggest it to you all! Sure, it may sound a little gross because in fact the beer is brewed with 100 lbs of oysters; however, it helps gives the beer an incredible earthiness and body without causing the beer to become fishy. It will officially be re-released next week, just in time for the start of the MLS Season!

Suitable substitutes: Berkshire Brewing Co. Coffee House Porter, Gritty McDuff’s Black Fly Stout, Shipyard Brewing Co. Blue Fin Stout

It should also be noted that one of my favorite summertime/fall cookout meals is beer brats. I take a package of Johnsonville Beer Brats, poke a hole in both ends, and simmer them for about 40 minutes with two or three Long Trail Brewing Co.’s Amber beers, along with one sliced red onion. You don’t have to submerge the brats completely in the beer, but you’ll want to make sure the beer comes most of the way to the top. Definitely add some spicy mustard and top it with the cooked onions and you’ll be in heaven.

You can check out how to make Beer Brat Burgers here, which was a recipe designed by Sarah. They are incredibly tasty, easy to prepare, and will not disappoint!

For more beer reviews, brewery tours, and general news on New England craft breweries, please check out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday Night Tasting - Mayflower Brewing Co: Spring Hop Ale

Mayflower Brewing Co. – Plymouth, MA
Seasonal Spring Hop Ale
5.2% ABV, 37 IBU, 12 oz
Also available on draft

This is the newest release by Mayflower Brewing Co, who seems to be churning out some great seasonal offerings. They recently put out an Imperial Stout, which was aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. Some how I still haven’t had the Stout, which is extremely weird considering I have three bottles at home. Anyway, the Hop Ale is their Spring Seasonal and makes me anxious for green grass, baseball, and playoff hockey.

To begin, the color on this beer is a rich, dark ruby hue. It features a soft off-white, tannish head that lingers for a little while. The beer, has some good clarity, aided by the filtering process, and is brilliantly carbonated.

The Spring Hop Ale’s aroma is the dominant quality of this beer by far! It is incredibly fragrant, which helps this beer stand out. It is brewed with five hops in all, with Nugget being the main hop. It is also dry hopped with Citra, Cascade, Centennial, and Sorachi hops, which help give this beer its notable scent. It’s piney, floral, and citrusy…just really pleasant!

In addition to being incredibly aromatic, the beer has a great flavor too! It has a mild to semi-bold malty body with a sweet and dry finish. The Hop Ale has a nice and notable hop flavor, with a nice bitterness that is blended and balanced within the malted body.

The mouth feel on this Spring Seasonal is moderate. It has a nice and slightly sweet aftertaste that will make you go back for more! With that being said, I would give this beer a medium drinkability level. It’s not too heavy or filling, and has the right balance of malt and hop character to satisfy those in need of a good hand crafted beer.

I have to say this is yet another great addition to the family of fine beers by Mayflower Brewing Co. Their Winter Oatmeal Stout was a big hit recently, and the Spring Hop Ale is a nice follow up brew. Sarah and I had ventured down to Plymouth back in January, which is when we learned of the beer. We also got our first taste back on March 5th as Mayflower brought the Hop Ale to Cure Me I’m Irish. It may have taken me three stores to find a six pack of the beer, but it was worth the effort!

The sign of a great beer with a nice body!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cure Me I'm Irish Wrap Up

What can I say...this year's "Cure Me I'm Irish" was a blast! This was the fourth installment of this annual event, and the second in which Sarah and I volunteered for. As a refresher, Pat Lacy - the President of the Friends of Will Cancer Foundation - asked Sarah and I to line up five breweries to include a beer tasting as part of Cure Me. That we did, and it turned out to be a huge hit!

The event was held at Lombardo's in Randolph, which neither Sarah or I had ever been to. As it turns out, the building is HUGE. There is a grand spiral staircase that loops from the edge of the loby to the second floor, where the majority of the event was being held.

Once guests arrived upstairs, they were able to get their sample cups for the beer tasting. The first table that guests could stop at was Magic Hat. Katie, the local sales rep for NA Brewers, brought their newest seasonal mix twelve pack, which features #9, Circus Boy, Vinyl (their seasonal), and their Demo IPA (Black IPA).

Peter Augis, the co-owner of Blue Hills Brewery, was pouring samples at the next table. He had their Black Hops and newest release Anti Matter Pale Ale on tap. He also brought some of their other offerings with him, such as their IPA and Imperial Red IPA.

After that were our friends Tom and TJ from Cape Ann Brewing. Sarah and I are huge fans of Cape Ann, and were really pleased they came. They brought a great range of bottles, including their Fisherman's Navigator, Ale, Brew, and IPA. These two gentlemen always come in style, as you'll typically see them in their bright orange rain gear. It's hard to find two nicer guys too.

Mayflower Brewing, the first brewery to confirm for the event, were the next table. On top of pouring some of their staples such as their Winter Oatmeal Stout, Porter, and IPA, they also poured their NEWEST beer - Seasonal Spring Hop Ale. They also brought the biggest crew of the night: Director of Sales Jeff (pictured below), Sales Reps Ryan, Christina, and Ian, not to mention Ryan's girlfriend Rachel.

Mayflower also donated a great raffle prize, which included a mix case of beer, a beer bucket, towel, and some other great prizes. I'm not sure who walked away with it, but I'm sure they were happy with it!

Last, but certainly not least, were the boys from Cody Brewing Company. Perhaps the smallest brewery and least known, Cody Brewing seemed to generate a lot of buzz. They brought their No Named IPA, and Wheelers Brown, both solid brews. In fact, people were quick to return for more of the Brown all night! It was definitely at the top of my list of great brews that night!

Sarah and I also had our own small table, where we raffled off a case of Woodchuck Cider to one lucky winner, not to mention handed out Woodchuck pint glasses, t-shirts from Sea Dog Brew Pub in Woburn, Wachusett Brewery key chains and coasters, among other items.

All in all, it was a great night. We were so busy during the beer tasting that we missed most of the other parts of the event; however, I know it was another success. The beer tasting only added to the overall experience by those in attendence, and it seems to have received some great feedback!

I can't thank the brewers enough for their generosity, and we look forward to working with them again in the near future!

Here are some details on the breweries. We have been to all but Cody Brewing Co (we'll visit soon!), but I definitely recommend stopping by their facilities!

Mayflower Brewing Co. is located at 12 Resnik Road in Plymouth. Tours and tastings are free. Email them at for more details!

Cape Ann Brewing Co. is located at 11 Rogers Street in Gloucester. They have a full service brewpub, that is not to be missed!

Blue Hills Brewery is located at 1020 Turnpike Street #3B in Canton, MA. They have a great tasting room, which features a great selection of hand crafted beers!

Magic Hat Brewing Co. is located at 5 Bartlett Bay Road in beautiful South Burlington, VT. They have one of the coolest tasting rooms and retails spots we've seen. It's definitely worth the trip!

Cody Brewing Co. is located at 36 Main St in Amesbury, MA. While they don't typically offer tours, they do fill growlers at their brewery!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cooking With Beer: Pretty Things Lamb Stew

I've been wanting to make a lamb stew for a couple of weeks now. This time of year it's easy to find lovely cuts of lamb at the supermarket, and though spring is around the corner there is still a bite in the air that makes something warm and comforting like a stew the perfect meal. When I was out shopping for ingredients, I had it in my mind that I would buy a stout to use in the stew. However I changed my mind when confronted with a bottle of Pretty Things St. Botolph's Dark Ale.

I knew a dark ale would serve the same purpose as a stout, more or less. And I knew that Pretty Things makes a pretty complex beer that would really add some depth to the stew. I also knew the St Botolph paired divinely with lamb because I got to experience it firsthand at Lamb Jam. So with this beer, plus some a few other ingredients, I threw together this delicious stew that is perfect for this time of year. Be sure and buy an extra bottle of the Pretty Things to drink while you enjoy the stew!

Pretty Things Lamb Stew
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
2.5 lbs bonless lamb leg, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tbsp flour
2 cups Pretty Things St Botolphs Town Dark Ale
3 cups low sodium beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 large turnip, cut into 1 inch cubes
5 carrots, roughly chopped
2 large potatoes, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 tbsp dried thyme
salt and pepper

Heat a large pan over medium high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and rosemary. Cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the flour with salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Coat each piece of lamb in the flour and shake of excess. The easy way to do this is put the flour in a large Ziploc bag, throw the lamb in and shake. Then pour the lamb into a colander and shake out the excess. Easy peasy!

Heat two tablespoons of oil in the pan and brown the lamb in batches. Make sure to brown it on all sides as this will seal in the juices and make for a super tender lamb.

It will take about 5-6 minutes a batch. Remove to the bowl with the onion mixture.

Your pan will probably look something like this:

But never fear, because once you add the beer all of the brown bits, which is where all the flavor is, will deglaze into this delicious beery, meaty sauce.So pour the delicious beer into the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

Boil for 3-4 minutes, until reduced by about half.

Add the lamb and onions back into the pan. Add beef broth.

Stir in tomato paste, bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for one hour.

While the stew is simmering, in another pot bring a couple of cups of water to boil. Add the turnips and boil for 5 minutes. You don't want to cook them through, just get a little of the bitterness out. You can omit this step if you don't mind the slight bitterness turnips have!

Also if you are a fool like me and cooking this on a weeknight, at this point it's probably almost 8PM and you are starving. It helps to have snacks.

When the hour is up, add your vegetables and thyme and more salt and pepper if needed.

Simmer uncovered for another hour to hour and a half - until vegetables are tender.

Serve with lots of crusty bread for dipping.

This was a huge hit in our house and though the St Botolph's Ale was the perfect beer component in this stew, you could definitely experiment with other dark beers - Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday Night Tasting - Redhook Ale Brewery: Long Hammer IPA

Redhook Ale Brewery - Portsmouth, NH
Long Hammer India Pale Ale (IPA)
6.5% ABV, 44 IBU, 12 oz

This is probably my favorite offering by Redhook Ale Brewery, although they have a really good line up of brews. I started drinking this IPA a few years back, but I found it interesting that Redhook has been brewing this beer since 1984.

The Long Hammer IPA pours a wonderful golden pale liquid, which is nicely carbonated. It features a foamy pale white head that fades very quickly. The aroma has nice citrus notes, with a great essence of hops. It is complemented by a nice pale and German malt background.

Long Hammer IPA has a clean, crisp, and nicely bitter flavor without being too strong. According to the Redhook website, this IPA is dry hopped with Cascade hops, which helps with the aroma, but doesn't overpower the beer. The beer has a noticeably different flavor based on its temperature, so the layers of flavor will shine provided it's not too cold. The brew has a soft and subtle aftertaste, but is rather dry.

The body of the beer consists of a nice balance of malts, but is not quite as bold as say Wachusett or Ipswich IPAs. However, this doesn't mean that Long Hammer isn't a good brew! In fact, it's one fine IPA - it is really enjoyable. In fact, this helps make it EXTREMELY drinkable. It's not too filling, and has a great balance of flavors, which helps this beer stand out!

I should note that this is beer is in my top 5 of New England IPAs. If you haven't had it, you've probably at least seen it around. Long Hammer IPA is available in six packs, twelve packs, and mix packs. I would recommend picking up the mix pack, which changes throughout the year, but usually features Long Hammer and ESB as the staples. The Long Hammer IPA is also found on tap at the TD Garden, which is a pleasant alternative to Bud Light and Coors Light which can be found almost everywhere in that building.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mayflower Brewing and Tavolo Ristorante Team Up!

One of our favorite restaurants, Tavolo, is hosting a cool beer/cooking event with one of our favorite craft breweries on March 19th!

Just in case we didn't get enough lamb at Lamb Jam last month (which Adam and I have yet to post about but will be doing shortly!)....Mayflower Brewing and Tavolo have teamed up to offer a class on butchery followed by a delicious lamb lunch with beer pairings.


American Lamb Cooking/Butchery Class @ Tavolo
& 3-Course Lunch with Mayflower Beer Pairings

On Saturday, March 19th, 12:00 - 2:00 pm
Chefs Nuno Alves and Chris Douglass, two huge supporters of nose to tail cooking, will be demonstrating their formidable knife skills at a butchery and cookery class at Tavolo.
As soon as guests arrive, promptly at 12:00pm, they'll be welcomed with a pint of Mayflower beer and American Lamb Sausage Pizza with sheep’s milk ricotta, piri piri and onion. Chefs Douglas and Alves will then break down a whole lamb, explaining how it’s done and where the various cuts – ribs, shoulder, chop etc. – can be found and how best to prepare each one.
After the 45 minute class, guests will sit down to a 3 course lunch celebrating American Lamb and paired with Mayflower Beer...

First Course
Mayflower Beer Braised Lamb Ribs
with citrus slaw, balsamic glaze, spicy nuts
Second Course
Lamb Shoulder Ravioli
with local ricotta, chard, pecorino
Third Course
Lamb Rib Chop with farro salad,
olives, arugula, lamb jus

Mayflower beer pairings to be determined.

Tickets to this class are $45 and are available online at


Chris Douglass knows his lamb (he performed a meticulous butchery demonstration at Lamb Jam), Tavolo knows amazingly prepared food, and Mayflower knows delicious, fresh craft beer - so this is a winnning combination if you ask me! Hope there will be more of this sort of thing in the future!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Additional Sponsors for Cure Me I'm Irish

It was a busy return to work today, so I apologize for not giving a full recap of the "Cure Me I'm Irish" event. That will come in all likelihood tomorrow. For now, I need to write the following post:

There were a few additional companies that donated to the "Cure Me I'm Irish" event that I didn't get a chance to mention.

The first was Shop & Save Liquors in Quincy. I recently met the owner Dave, and he was kind enough to donate a gift certificate to the event. Shop & Save is one of my local package stores, which I frequent typically once or twice a week. Although his craft beer selection is small, it is growing. I've had a few lengthy conversations with him, and have recommended some really good beers.

Additionally, I hooked up with Neil Kiley, the proprietor of the amazing Fat Cat restaurant in Quincy. If you haven't been to Quincy, or haven't been to Fat Cat, you are missing out on some good eats. They have THE best Mac & Cheese you will find on the South Shore and likely anywhere else, not to mention a slew of other incredible dishes. If that wasn't enough, Fat Cat always has some great beers on tap. Recently we found Mayflower Brewing Co.'s Pale Ale, Berkshire Brewing Co.'s Cabin Fever, and Harpoon Munich Dark to name a few!

Another VERY generous donor was Cabot Creamery, a Vermont based cheese company (who we loved even prior to their donation). I'm sure everyone who reads this is familiar with Cabot, but I must say they are an extremely generous company. They donated enough for three to four gift baskets, complete with an apron, cutting board, and four to five blocks of cheese!

Finally, Wachusett Brewery sent me a nice little package that helped out quite a bit on Saturday. They included a HUGE package of bottle opener key chains, a sleeve of coasters, and a great long-sleeved t-shirt. These donations helped span the two hour beer tasting, and left guests with a nice little grab prize!

So, thanks again to those who donated to the event, and again there will be more info on the event as a whole VERY soon!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sea Dog Brew Pub Woburn Donates to Cure Me I'm Irish

Last night Sarah, our good friend Andy, and I headed to Sea Dog Brew Pub in Woburn. It was a multi-purposed visit for us. We were definitely ready for some dinner and drinks (have I mentioned they have the best fried haddock sandwich I’ve ever had?) after sitting in traffic for a good chunk of the drive. However, the primary reason for visiting is because Sea Dog Brew Pub Woburn made yet another significant donation to the Cure Me I’m Irish event for Saturday.

Emily Turner, the manager of both the Hull and Woburn locations, is a reader of Brew England. Sarah and I met her last year at the Hull location, and have stayed in touch in between visits. I reached out to Emily a little while ago asking if they would like to donate something to the event, and of course she said yes! We were fortunate enough to get a handful of gift certificates, as well as a nice stash of t-shirts to give away during the beer tasting on Saturday.

Sea Dog Woburn’s executive chef has completely overhauled the menu and the restaurant now offers a great selection of land and sea fare. They have the best fish sandwich I’ve ever had, which I had last night. We shared an order of the seared Ahi Tuna appetizer, which was amazing. Andy had the fish tacos, and Sarah had the Penne a la Sea Dog, which we all sampled, and all agreed were delicious!

If you haven’t visited the Sea Dog Brew Pub Woburn, you’re definitely missing out. This was our third visit, and we have left happy and satisfied with their food and beer selections.

Thanks again to Emily and Sea Dog Brew Pub Woburn for their generous donation!

Adam & Sarah

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday Night Tasting - Ipswich Ale Brewery: India Pale Ale

Ipswich Ale Brewery - Ipswich, MA
(Formerly Operating under Mercury Brewing Co)
India Pale Ale (IPA)
6.3% ABV, 60 IBU, 12oz
Available in 12 oz and draft

This was actually the first beer I tried out of the mix pack I got at Craft Beer Cellar, and thoroughly enjoyed it!

The beer pours a wonderful golden pale hue. It has a very full and foamy whitish head, that hangs around for a while before disappearing into the body of the brew. One of the really great things about this beer, and I'm sorry I didn't capture it with my camera, is the tracks it leaves on the glass as you drink it down! Sip after glorious sip leaves a great trace of its previous level, until you're sitting with an empty glass wanting more!

The aroma is quite pungent with the Ipswich IPA. The scent is of fresh piney notes with a full display of citrusy hop flowers! It definitely invites you to dive into your first sip.

The IPA is nicely bitter and the citrus certainly is not overshadowed by overpowering malt body. In fact, it has a nice even, slightly sweet, malt balance that allows the character of the Cascade and Warrior hops shine brightly. Although the Ipswich IPA is well balanced, I still find it to be a strong and bold IPA - exactly what I look for in an India Pale Ale!

Ipswich IPA has a moderate to full mouth feel, but manages not to be too heavy. The drinkability factor of this beer is also quite high. Maybe it's because I'm a hop head, or it could be because this is a solid beer, but I really enjoyed this brew. I'd seriously have to considering it in my Top 5 favorite New England IPAs.

If you haven't had beers from Ipswich Ale Brewery, you're missing out. I can not recommend their mix twelve pack more, which is full of a great variety of the beers they're currently producing. If you see it, you'll want to pick it up!

British Beer Comapny Donates to Cure Me I'm Irish

I’m happy to announce that the British Beer Company has stepped up and made a generous donation to the Friends of Will Cancer FoundationCure Me I'm Irish” event taking place this weekend. The donations include gift certificates, and some BBC related schwag.

I was contacted back in October by Graham Wilson, the Director of Marketing for the British Beer Company, and posted here about their Walpole location’s Oktoberfest. I then contacted him a little while ago to see if the BBC would be interested in helping out with Cure Me I’m Irish and Graham was quick to respond saying they would help!

If you still haven’t been to one of the 10 British Beer Company restaurants, you’re definitely missing out. They have some classic and traditional English style fare, not to mention a really great beer selection at all of their locations. To date I have visited the Pembroke, Walpole, and Franklin locations, and they are all great. This summer I plan on visiting some of their Cape Cod locals, and don’t be surprised to see some BrewEngland related happenings at one of their locations in the near future!

Thanks again to Graham and the British Beer Company for their help!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Notch Session Bottle Release Party - Tonight!

I meant to post about this last week, but it's been VERY busy ever since school started in January. Needless to say, it should be noted there is a very cool event happening tonight.

Notch Session, a brewery owned and run by Chris Lohring, who focuses on producing great tasting, low alcohol content (5% ABV or less) craft beer is holding a "Bottle Release Party" tonight in at The Lower Depths, located in Kenmore Square in Boston. Previously, if you were lucky, you could only find Notch Session beers on draft in select Boston area restaurants. Well, Chris decided to expand his operation and make his beer available in six packs and cases starting this week!

Join Chris and dozens of other craft beer fans at the Lower Depths tonight from 7pm-9pm. The first 50 fans will receive a free Notch Session t-shirt, and the first pint is on Chris (so I read somewhere).

Brew England Has A New Logo!

So, as I promised yesterday on our Facebook page, Brew England has a new logo! It was designed by my friend and talented web designer Chris Cappella. We had spent a few hours in studious meetings (read: mostly at restaurants over drinks) sharing ideas, and I really think we've captures the essence of what we're about here in the new logo!

Along with the new logo comes new business cards too, which shipped yesterday and should be at my door tomorrow - just in time for this Saturday's "Cure Me I'm Irish" event!

Anyway, I hope everyone likes the new logo as much as we do here! Also, if you're in need of any web design or graphic design, please check out Chris's website -!