Friday, May 20, 2011

2011 ACBW Day #5: Blue Point Brewing Co. - Hoptical Illusion

Blue Point Brewing Company - Long Island, NY
Hoptical Illusion IPA
6.8% ABV, 60 IBU, 12 oz

I can't quite recall when, but I know I've had this beer before. The first bottle I had though was actually purchased at Bert's Better Beers in Hooksett, NH during my first visit. Either way, I'm glad I picked up another bottle to share my thoughts.

The beer pours a rather pale and basically crystal clear golden color. There is a medium head with a slight orange tinge to the head. The foam sits atop the beer for a while, before simmering down into the body of the brew. It is also nicely carbonated!

The aroma is very floral. A nice pronounced hop character is present, and picked up instantly. The flavor of the beer is mildly hoppy, pleasantly bitter, but still crisp and clean. The Hoptical Illusion finishes with a clean and dry flavor. It has a nice blend of malt as well, with a slightly lingering after taste.

The mouth feel on this IPA is on the mild side. It's color hints at a medium at best feel, but the hop presence provides a nice balance. The beer coats the tongue, but does not overpower.

I'd also rate the drinkability on the Hoptical Illusion IPA medium high. While it's not the most bold or robust IPA I've had, it is certainly a respectably good beer. I would highly recommend it to all IPA lovers!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

HarpoonFest Starts Tomorrow!

Tomorrow kicks off the annual HarpoonFest at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston, MA. The brewery will be celebrating it’s 25th year of making excellent hand crafted beers, and they want YOU to be there to help them party! Co-Founders Rich and Dan will be there to tap the first kegs of the latest 100 Barrel Series beer – a Rye IPA!

There are two sessions for HarpoonFest – tomorrow from 5:30pm to 11pm (doors close at 9:30pm). Everyone in attendance to Friday’s session receives a commemorative shaker pint glass to enjoy your beer from and of course take home with you at the end of the night. Saturday’s session runs from 2pm to 9pm (doors close at 7:30pm).

Tickets are available at the door and are $20. The fee includes a souvenir tasting cup and one drink ticket. Cash bar after that. There will be music, food, and more, and the event is rain or shine – although, the weather seems to be decent for both tomorrow and Saturday (finally)!

Friends of Harpoon get a ticket special for tomorrow’s session too! Receive ½ priced admission (just $10 and one drink ticket), but you MUST have your FOH card in order to get this special price. Also, FOH card holders get a VIP entrance for Saturday’s full priced session, so you can enter before the General Admission crowd!

2011 ACBW Day #4: Short's Brewing Company - Bellaire Brown

Short's Brewing Company - Elk Rapids, MI
Bellaire Brown - Classic American Brown Ale
5.2% ABV, 12 oz

This was my first go around with Short's Brewing Company, but I'll have to keep my eyes out for more of their beers around the greater Boston area!

The Bellaire Brown pours a rich, dark amber brown liquid, with hints of deep, dark red/maroon. It poured a short white foamy head, which melted almost instantly. It was somewhat hard to see, considering the beer was so dark, but you can see that it's mildly carbonated.

The aroma is rich, malty, and subtly sweet. It also has an essence of brown sugar and tones of caramel.

The flavor of the Bellaire Brown is bold and malty. The flavor definitely backs up the aroma, with its dark brown sugar notes. The beer actually reminded me of Smuttynose Brewing Co.'s Old Brown Dog Ale. The Bellaire is slightly crisp, but has a nice little bite to it.

The beer gives a moderate mouth feel, as you might expect from a hand crafted brown ale like this. The liquid coats the entire mouth, but finishes rather dry with a nice little aftertaste.

I give the Short's Brewing Company Bellaire Brown a medium drinkability level. It feels a bit heavy, so it may limit you to a few long necks, but this is a nice brown ale! I only purchased a single bottle; however, I could easily go back and pick up a full six pack.

If you have any suggestions on other beers by Short's Brewing Company, please let me know!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2011 ACBW Day #3: Clown Shoes - Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA

Clown Shoes – Brewed under contract by Ipswich Ale Brewery: Ipswich, MA
Tramp Stamp – Belgian IPA
7% ABV, 22 oz

This was probably my third beer by Clown Shoes, and I must say it’s coming awfully close to being my favorite beer by them. I reviewed their Hoppy Feet back in November, and tried their Eagle Claw Fist back in January or so, but the Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA was opened last night. Truthfully, I’m kind of indifferent to the name and label. Apparently there has been some buzz on Facebook over the name, and to me it’s more important what’s on the inside of the bottle, versus the outside.

With that being said, here are my notes:

The beer pours a dark pale orange hue. It’s pretty cloudy, but with a nice carbonation level. It has an ample and foamy orange head that dissipates fairly slowly. The aroma blends a nice balance of pronounced hop character with a malt background. It’s incredibly floral, with a mixed scent of Belgian yeast.

My initial thought on the flavor is that it was cool and crisp. But, then it produced a nice moderate hop punch on my taste buds, which I thoroughly enjoyed! It has a nice bitterness to the ending as well. It leaves awesome tracing on the glass as you continue to drink this very nice Belgian IPA. This particular bottle was towards the end of its peak freshness, but the Columbus, Amarillo, and Centennial hops aided in keeping this bottle fresh. Incredibly aromatic and flavorful!

The mouth feel on the B-IPA is full. But, this is a bold, robust IPA with a nice little Belgian yeast kick to it. There is nothing like a great blend of hop character, bitterness, and malt to make this hop head happy. Considering this is a 22 oz bomber, and 7% ABV, I’d say one and done with the Tramp Stamp. It’s good enough to put down yourself, or share it with a close friend.

2011 ACBW Day #3: Avery Brewing Co - White Rascal

Avery Brewing Co. – Boulder, CO
White Rascal – Belgian Style Ale
5.6% ABV, 12 oz

This Belgian style ale is brewed with a few added ingredients, such as malted wheat, coriander, and Curacao orange peel. It is also labeled with the slogan “Deviously Delicious,” which is hard to disagree with.

The beer reveals a nice hazy pale yellow color, with a fluffy, gentile, and velvety white head sitting on top of the brew. It is unfiltered with ample carbonation. With the “Belgian Swirl” (saving the last few ounces and swirling in the bottle before pouring into the glass), the head floats upon the liquid for some time!

The aroma of the White Rascal is very fruity, typical of most Belgian style beers. It gives off a slight banana ester, and is VERY inviting!

The flavor of the beer is soft and silky smooth. Avery’s beer coats your tongue with a citrus and fruity blend of liquid goodness. For an American Belgian style white, this might be one of the best I’ve had. It finishes with a subtle spiciness, most likely from the coriander and yeast strain.

The White Rascal has a moderate mouth feel. Again, this has a silky smooth feel to it, and it gives a decent coating of your tongue and mouth. It’s very nice.

This with out a doubt holds a high drinkability factor. It’s very pleasant and gentle, event at close to 6% ABV. This is a great late spring / all summer long beer and another great brew from Avery Brewing Co.

The Bottom Line: Quenching a Nation's Thirst

The Bottom Line: Quenching a nation's thirst The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine is expanding! According to this article, the brewery is going through a $1million expansion, and will be able to increase their production from 140,000 barrels per year to 180,000 per year. This means more beer for everyone!

Sarah and I visited the brewery a few years back and had a good time. Check out their website and considering a visit to their facility if you're in the Portland area!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2011 ACBW Day #2: Opa-Opa Brewing Co - Opa-Opa IPA

Opa-Opa Brewing Company - Southampton/Williamsburgh, MA
Opa-Opa American IPA
6% ABV, 12 oz (also available on draught)

The IPA was my first and only Opa-Opa offering to date, but I have to say I was pleased. I first had the beer on draught at the Horseshoe Pub at Josh from Lost In the Beer Aisle's Craft Beer Tweet-up in March, and have been on the lookout for it ever since.

The beer pours a nice pale orange hue, often typical of an India Pale Ale. It pours a bountiful, foamy white head, which fades slowly into the liquid. As you might expect of an IPA, the aroma is full of citrus and pine notes, but to my surprise in somewhat of a muted way.

On the other hand, the Opa-Opa IPA flavor is a bit more robust. It has a pleasant mix of pronounced hop character, blended with a nice malt support. It's tastier than the aroma leads you to expect.

This IPA also has a moderate mouth feel. It leaves a nice little aftertaste, which naturally invites you back for another sip!

I give the Opa-Opa IPA a medium drinkability level. While it's not the best IPA I've ever had, it is certainly a great offering from this western Massachusetts brewery and a nice addition to the New England IPA family. It is certainly worth getting if you can find it in your local package store. While I preferred this beer from the tap, it was still enjoyable out of the bottle.

On a side note, the brewery is technically part of the Opa-Opa Steakhouse and Brewery. To me, I can't think of a better combination - red meat and beer! Nevertheless, the restaurant is certainly on my radar as a place to visit when I find myself in the western part of the state. They recently moved the brewing segment to a new brewery in Williamsburgh, MA, and they offer tours Saturdays at 2:30pm.

ACBW Kicks Off at Bert's Better Beers - Today!

Bert Bingel and the rest of the crew at Bert's Better Beers are kicking off 2011 American Craft Beer Week in style today at his store in Hooksett, NH. The Craft Beer Guild of New Hampshire will be pouring the "best of Breckenridge/Oskar Blues", as well as Lagunitas tonight.

From 4:30pm to 7:30pm you can sample some of the Oskar Blues line up, such as Dale's Pale Ale, Lagunitas Brewing Company's Hop Stoopid Ale, and Firestone Walker Brewing Company's Double Jack Double IPA just to name a few. According to Bert, there will be more beers to be cracked open, as well as fresh cheese and crackers to nibble on while trying some spectacular American craft beers!

Bert's Better Beers is located at 1100 Hooksett Road Ste 105 in Hooksett, NH. It's right off the highway, so if you're looking for a place to go, look no further than Bert's!

2011 ACBW Day #2: Samuel Adams - Wee Heavy

Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams - Boston, MA
Imperial Series: Wee Heavy
10% ABV, 12 oz.

The Wee Heavy is just one of the beers in the new Imperial Series put out by Samuel Adams. The series all come in four packs, and like the Harpoon Leviathan series, you can tell why.

The Wee Heavy pours a dark brown concoction, reminiscent of many porter style beers. It has a minimal, clightly brown/tan head that melts into the body of the beer rather quickly. The beer has a slightly sweet aroma. You can also pick up a hint of smokiness to it, as the brewing company uses some specialty malt. You can also pick up the rich caramel tones as well.

The flavor of the Wee Heavy is smooth, rich, and almost creamy. It has a moderate carbonation level, which adds to the richness of the beer. It has subtle notes of the peat smoked malt, which are noticeable enough to give the Wee Heavy a layered body. When I tried the beer, it was mid 50's outside, which was perfect for this Scottish-inspired beer. Its flavor was also similar to some barleywines, due to the higher alcohol content and slight caramel sweet flavor.

For 10% ABV, you would expect a heavy and full mouth feel; however, that was not the case with the Sam Adams offering. Contrary to the darkness of the brew, it was still a moderate mouth feel. Certainly not light in body, but not over-the-top could say a wee bit heavy.

Although it is called Wee Heavy, there is a noticeable kick to it. One to two beers is the limit for me on this one, although it would be interesting to try it after aging it for six months - as suggested on the box the beer comes in!

Brewery Investors Bankrupt

Brewery investors bankrupt

My buddy Josh sent me this link earlier this morning. It's regarding the investors who were to help fund the new Ipswich Ale Brewery and Pub in Ipswich, MA. Unfortunately the investors have filed for bankruptcy and any plans for the new construction are delayed indefinitely.

This is sad news for Ipswich Ale Brewing and the folks in Ipswich, but hopefully they can figure something out to get the new brewery and pub open soon!

Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 ACBW Day #1: Tröegs Brewing Company - Sunshine Pils

Tröegs Brewing Co. - Harrisburgh, PA
Sunshine Pils - German Style Pilsner
5.3% ABV, 45 IBU, 12 oz

This is the summer seasonal beer from Tröegs Brewing Company, and is available from April through September each year.

The beer pours a pale yellow liquid with a minimal head. Granted, the Tröegs website suggest the beer is poured in a Pilsner flute, the pint glass I used resulted in a short head, which disappears rather quickly. It does, however, have a nice moderate carbonation level.

The Sunshine Pils gives off a pale malty scent. To me, I found it hard to identify much floral and hoppiness, despite the fact that this beer clocks in at 45 IBU. I also didn't pick up much for floral or bitter characteristics.

The pilsner has a medium bodied flavor - the malt definitely takes the reigns on this beer. It finishes rather dry, and with a smooth ending. Overall, the Sunshine Pils has a rather minimal mouth feel. Not exactly watery, but light in flavor and body. It does seem similar to most pilsners I have had though.

If you're a pilsner fan, you would probably enjoy the Tröegs Sunshine Pils. It's light enough to enjoy a few in a sitting, and considering it has a light body and a smooth finish, it seems to be a decent pilsner summer offering. For me though, I wasn't a particularly big fan, so I would rate the drinkability rather low. In all fairness though, pilsners don't rate near the top of my preferred beer style.

2011 ACBW Day #1: Cisco Brewers - Summer of Lager

Cisco Brewers – Nantucket, MA
Summer of Lager
5.6% ABV, 12 oz or 22 oz, also available on draught

This summer lager is brewed in the fall, aged all winter, sampled in the spring, and released right around now!

The Summer of Lager pours a hazy golden orange brew, which gives the appearance of being unfiltered (although I couldn’t find anything saying it was/wasn’t filtered). It also includes a moderate carbonation level. There is virtually no sustainable head, although it was light, white, and fluffy while it was around.

The nose of the beer picks up floral and citrusy tones, and has a slightly malty backbone. It also has nice notes of flagrant hops.

The flavor of the Summer of Love Lager is slightly bitter, but you can pick up the floral and citrus flavors from the hops. The lager is still clean, and nicely refreshing. The citrus aspect really shines through on this offering from Cisco Brewers. I can’t quite compare this with the citrus levels of a Belgian or summer brew, but it’s surprisingly citrusy. In a good way though.

The mouth feel on this beer is mild. It has a nice spiciness that lasts on your tongue after a few sips, and goes down smooth and easy. With that, I give this Summer Lager a fairly high drinkability level. It’s a really nice late spring/early summer lager. I found this beer in six packs, but it is also available (according to the Cisco Brewers website) in 22oz and draught beer. If you get a six pack, you could drink a few of these, and definitely share them with a friend!

Sea Dog Brew Pub Hull - Now Open!

The Sea Dog Brew Pub in Hull reopened its doors for its second summer season yesterday. Located on Sunset Bay Marina in Hull, it has one of the finest views you will get from any restaurant on the south shore. They have an amazing deck overlooking the shore line and marina, and have ample seating inside to accommodate any sized party. They also have a private function hall on the 2nd floor of the building, which can fit 120 people.

The Sea Dog menu has been overhauled, and new tap lines have been installed. Similar to their other location in Woburn, you can now get a full line up of beers from their flagship Blue Paw Wheat Ale, to their Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter (one of my personal favorites). Also, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the fish tacos and the most amazing fried fish sandwich I've ever had (ever...seriously) has made its way to the new menu.

So, if you're on the South Shore and are looking for a bite to eat, a cold beer, a Bruins game, and more, check out Sea Dog Brew Pub Hull.

Sea Dog Brew Pub Hull is located at 2A Street at Sunset Bay Marina in Hull, MA. Visit their website for additional information, as well as a slew of events happening this summer! You can also find them on Facebook and on Twitter.

2011 ACBW Day #1: Notch Session - Session Pils

Notch Session – Boston/Ipswich, MA
Notch Session Pils – American Session Beer
4% ABV, 12oz bottle (also on draught)

Chris Lohring, the founder and owner of Notch Session, is a crafty fellow. He is the brain child behind bringing Session beer to America (or at least New England), which is a category of beer created in Britain to provide high flavored beers with low alcohol levels. Originally, the style was created so that labor workers in Britain could have a few pints, and head back to work without being drunk. Chris’s vision is to provide high flavored, full bodied beers that contain 4.5% ABV or less. With the Session Pils, he does just that.

I first tried Notch Session Hop Ale at the Haven in JP back in early February and then the Pils and Ale at the bottle release party at the Lower Depths a few weeks later. I met and spoke with Chris for a little while at the bottle release party, and I was happy to see that he opted to release his beer in bottles. Previously, his Session beers were only available on draught, which is the manner in which I had the beers previously, but I found a six pack of the Pils and picked one up.

To begin, the beer pours a golden pale liquid with a medium, fluffy white head. The foamy goodness hangs around for a little bit, inviting you to dive in for your first sip. The aroma has a nice blend of malt with a slight sweetness to it. Tones of citrus and hop come out as well.

The Session Pils features a smooth, crisp, and clean flavor that complements the scent. It also has a slightly sweet flavor, with a nice mellow (read: not overpowering) bitterness. The brew also has a nice balanced body. The hops are pronounced, but again are not overbearing.

The mouth feel is surprisingly full, considering this is a low-gravity, low-alcohol content beer! The Pils goes down smooth, leaving nice traces on the glass and a subtle, lingering aftertaste. It reminds you that you still have some beer left, and entices you back for more.

As you would expect, this beer has a high drinkability level. With its low alcohol content, and smooth, crisp flavor, you can drink several of these in a sitting without getting sloppy drunk. It is a very, very enjoyable beer in which I highly recommend you try.

Happy American Craft Beer Week!

Today kicks off one of the greatest weeks of the year - the annual American Craft Beer Week! This week honors the fine beers of the 50 United States, hand crafted and produced at the nation's 1,700+ craft breweries.

“There’s no doubt about it—nationally, appreciation for craft brewing has reached new heights of popularity,” said Julia Herz, a spokesperson for the Brewers Association. “With celebrations in all 50 states, American Craft Beer Week has truly earned the title ‘Mother of All Beer Weeks.’”

There are SO many different events taking place this week, and we will do what we can to bring your attention to some of them. If you're looking for an event in your area, you'll definitely want to visit the Brewer's Association website for full details!

We will also be bringing you MANY beer reviews from some of your favorite New England and other national breweries, including some beers from breweries you may not have heard of. We'll also be posting another BrewEngland (re)Visits and a recap of our trip to Throwback Brewery in NH!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday Night Tasting - Maine Beer Co: Peeper American Ale

Maine Beer Co. – Portland, Maine
Peeper Ale (American Ale)
5.5% ABV, 1pt 9oz
Bottle Conditioned, 100% American Hops

This was my first go around with a beer from Maine Beer Co, a relatively new brewery located in Portland, Maine. Aside from the liquid, the brewery has a great philosophy as they use 100% wind power for their electricity, donate their spent grain to local farmers, and even donate 1% of sales to environmental non-profits.

The beer pours a golden pale liquid with a bountiful, fluffy, white foamy head. Granted, I may have been a bit over zealous getting the beer poured, but I’m going to assume it pours similarly each time. It has a soft, citrus and piney scent, with tones of nice toasted malt.

The Peeper Ale has an interesting flavor. It is neither too strong, nor too light. You can definitely pick up the beer’s moderate bitterness and hop characteristics. It has mild notes of citrus and pine, to match the scent. It is somewhat crisp and is nicely carbonated.

I considered the mouth feel to this Maine Beer Co. offering to be mild. Again, it’s not heavy at all, yet it’s not overly light. It’s a nice balance, making it a fairly smooth and enjoyable beer. The Peeper has a fairly noticeable aftertaste, which I found to be pleasant.

I would also give the Peeper Ale a moderate drikability level. While it’s not the best beer I’ve ever had, it was my first Maine Beer Co. beer and I was pleased. This is a beer I would buy and drink again.

New Homebrew Supply Store Now Open!

A & G Homebrew Supply is the Portsmouth, New Hampshire's newest homebrew supply store. Opened on April 29th, A & G Homebrew Supply has a full supply of equipment, hops, yeast, grain, full beer kits, and additional supplies ready for you to purchase and take home to brew your own beer! They also have a full line of wine making supplies.

Perhaps one of the coolest things about this new store is that they have a special strain of yeast available for purchase, supplied to them by Smuttynose Brewing Co. in Portsmouth, NH as explained by owner Alex McDonald.

The website for A & G Homebrew Supply gives a general overview of the products available at their store; however, there currently is no online store. Perhaps in the upcoming months they will expand their reach with online purchasing.

A & G Homebrew Supply is located at 175 High Street in Portsmouth, NH.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BrewEngland (re)Visits Craft Beer Cellar

Sarah and I decided to take a trip to one of our favorite beer stores - Craft Beer Cellar, located in downtown Belmont, MA. Granted this was only our second trip to the store, it has almost everything you could ever want in the world of craft beer.

For starters, they have a reported 545 Craft Beers, 218 Craft Breweries, and 143 Beer Styles. Now, it would take several visits and a dedication to proving them wrong, which I just don't have the time or energy to do...BUT, I can confirm that they have walls, and walls, and walls of fresh and tasty craft beer!

The first time we went, we took a round about way from Woburn, MA, as we opted to dine at the lovely Sea Dog Brew Pub in Woburn before hand. This time, we opted to get lunch right in Belmont. We stumbled upon a great little pizza joint - Stone Hearth Pizza, located at 57 Leonard Street. We could not have been happier with our choice. We ordered a Farm Fresh Pizza, which had incredibly fresh ingredients like: arugula, potatoes, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, bell peppers, and more! Absolutely delicious! I also had a few pints of Wachusett Brewing Co.'s Green Monsta IPA, which went very well with the pie.

After lunch, we popped into a few different stores on Leonard Street, before heading into Craft Beer Cellar. When we walked in, we were glad to see that the Berkshire Brewing Co was still pouring some of their beers.

We also met Suzanne and Kate, the proprietors of Craft Beer Cellar. They could not have been nicer! You may remember that they made a very generous donation to the Cure Me I'm Irish event, which really helped make the night a special event. At any rate, we needed some beer!

After tasting the BBC usuals - Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale (one of my favs), Traditional Pale Ale, Lost Sailor IPA, Coffehouse Porter (another favorite), we got to try their newest and accidental concoctions - Saint of Circumstance.

The SoC is a one-off beer, as their hops supplier accidentally sent them the wrong hops...or so they think. In fact, they don't even really know. The supplier said that they either sent the wrong variety, or that the hops may have been smoked due to a near by brush fire. Sarah and I both think it was the later, as there is a subtle smokiness to the beer. At any rate, the beer was supposed to be the Lost Sailor IPA, but due to the unidentifiable variety of hops, it turned out to be something completely different.

Their rep actually told is that the Lost Sailor is named after a Grateful Dead song, off of their album "Go to Heaven." Because this was intended to be a Lost Sailor IPA batch, and was something different, they named it after the next track on the album - "Saint of Circumstance." Whether you like the Grateful Dead or not, the name of the beer is pretty cool.

All in all, it was a successful trip. I needed to grab some beer to complete a beer trade with Sarah's cousin Tracy. Tracy lives in San Francisco and last month she sent me a Russian River Brewing Company Pliney the Elder Double IPA, Russian River Damnation Golden Ale, North Coast Brewing Co. Scrimshaw Pilsner, and Alaskan Brewing Co.'s IPA.

So, in return I'm sending her:

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Jack D'or
Notch Session Pils
Smuttynose Brewing Co. Old Brown Dog Ale
Mayflower Brewing Co. Porter
Magic Hat Brewing Co. Wacko

Sarah has had the majority of these beers, but I have had all of them several times - with the exception of Notch Session Pils, which I had one or two times at the Lower Depths during their bottle release party back in February.

We also picked up a bottle of the Berkshire Brewing Co's Saint of Circumstance, Cape Ann Brewing Co. Fisherman's Bavarian Wheat, Clown Shoes Brown Angel (I'm really starting to get into this brewing co!), and a few others that are escaping my memory right now...

At any rate, it was a very successful score. On top of the beer we also grabbed some Ipswich Ale Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. mustard, which I look forward to trying soon!

If you haven't paid a visit to Craft Beer Cellar, what are you waiting for? Their selection is incredible, and you won't find a nicer staff around! If you go, tell them Adam and Sarah from BrewEngland sent you!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dogfish Head Tap Takover - May 21st

I just got another email from Graham at the British Beer Company on another great craft beer event!

Who: Randall the Enamel Animal X3
What: Dogfish Head Tap Takover
When: Saturday May 21st, 12pm
Where: British Beer Company - Walpole, MA
Why: Why the hell not?

We're not sayin' that it's never been done, but we've never seen three Randall's hooked up at the same time in one place. Dogfish Head created Randall the Enamel Animal to infuse beer with the flavors of whatever gets put into this crazy contraption (hops, herbs, spices, fruit, etc.). At the Dogfish Head Tap Take-Over on May 21st at the British Beer Company in Walpole 13 different beers from the seminal Delaware brewer will be on draft. Three of those lines will be hooked up to different Randall's. Festina Peche will be filtered through fresh peaches, strawberries and kiwi. Pangea with fresh ginger. 90 Minute with Amarillo, Simcoe and Warrior hops. Other rarities on tap for the day include Robert Johnson's HellHound on My Ale and Johnny Cask. All the beers will be tapped by Noon and will stay on until they're kicked.

The day will also include free cheese and food pairings, live music by the Racky Thomas Band and kick the keg prizes all day.

The Walpole BBC is located at 85 Providence Highway. I consider it my "local" BBC, and was happy to watch the Bruins defeat the Canadians in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals there this year! This event is not to be missed!

South Shore Cape & Islands Beer Week

So, the South Shore Cape & Islands Beer Week officially kicks off today! The British Beer Company, who has five locations on the South Shore and Cape, sent me their official release, which has a TON of events...Here's what's in store for the week:

What: South Shore Cape & Islands Beer Week
Where: BBC in Hyannis, Falmouth, Sandwich, Cedarville and Plymouth
Who: Cisco, Troegs, Allagash, Sam Adams, Rogue, Geary’s and Brooklyn Brewing
When: May 9th – 14th
What Else: Tap Take-overs, Food Parings, Special Releases, Meet the Brewers and more…

With three locations on Cape Cod and another three on the South Shore, the British Beer Company is a focal point for craft beer fans heading to the South Shore Cape & Islands Beer Week. Our complete list of happenings and a brief description of the events is right here…

Hyannis BBC
412 Main Street

Allagash Tap Take-Over
Tuesday May 10th - all day event
Multiple tap lines featuring beers from the Allagash Brewery invade the Hyannis BBC.

Cisco Brewing Day
Wednesday May 11th - all day event
The official world wide release of the LatestWoods series from Cisco - Peschish (7pm). Give-aways all day, grand prize is a trip to and tour of the Cisco Brewery on Nantucket. Lunchtime pint glass give-away (12-2pm). Sampling all day. Meet and have a beer with brewer Jeff Horner (3-6pm).

Christmas in May with Troegs Brewing
Friday May 13th at 7pm
The BBC will be tapping a rare, aged barrel of Mad Elf Belgian Dark Ale at 7pm with Santa Claus himself. The BBC will be decked out with Christmas lights and misplaced holiday cheer. Ho Ho Ho!

Rogue Brewing Oyster Fest
Saturday May 14th from 2-5pm.
Enjoy Rogue Brewing's own farmed oysters specially flown in from Oregon for this event. A variety of hard to find Rogue beers will be available on tap and in bottle to pair with the oysters. Limited supply of oysters - come early!

Falmouth BBC
263 Grand Ave. (Falmouth Heights)

Sam Adams Tasting and Education with Give-aways
Monday May 9th from 7-8pm
Brewery rep will be offering samples, free glassware and other prizes.

A Night of Food Pairing with Troegs Brewing
Wednesday May 11th from 6-8pm
The BBC will prepare some tasty tidbits from their kitchen that go perfectly with a variety of hand picked beers from Troegs Brewing. If you love food and beer - do not miss!

Cedarville BBC
2294 State Road, (Rt. 3A)

Brooklyn Tap Take-Over
Tuesday May 10th - all day event
Multiple tap lines featuring beers from the Brooklyn Brewery invade the Cedarville BBC.

Sandwich BBC
46 Route 6A

Geary’s Tap Take-Over
Tuesday May 10th - all day event
Multiple tap lines featuring beers from Geary's Brewing invade the Sandwich BBC.

Plymouth BBC
6 Middle Street

Troegs Tap Take-Over
Tuesday May 10th - all day event
Multiple tap lines featuring beers from Troegs Brewery invade the Plymouth BBC.

You can get more information at the British Beer Company's website, and also find out more info on Facebook and Twitter!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mayflower Brewing Open House - May 21st

Mayflower Brewing Co. in Plymouth, MA will hold their 2nd Annual Open House, in honor of American Craft Beer Week, on Saturday May 21st from 11am to 3pm.

The afternoon will feature their tasty hand crafted beer, food, music, and more! They will be providing tours of their facility, and pouring samples of all of their beers. If you have not yet been, you are definitely missing out. Sarah and I have been there twice, and had a blast each time!

The open house will also include the first release of the 2011 Mayflower Summer Rye Ale, which is sure to be a hit. The summer seasonal beer is the only one of their offerings I have not yet had, but I look forward to trying it soon.

Families are welcome to the event as well. There is a $15 cover charge, which includes food and beer samples.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

And We're Back!!

...sort of, anyway.

Sorry for the unannounced, unplanned long departure from the blogging world, but it was a much over due break. Truthfully, I wanted to check back in with everyone to let you know what's been going on, and keeping us from posting.

First of all, I (Adam) am a part-time student at UMass Boston, in addition to a full time worker, and am currently in my final semester. I have been worked to death (in both places), and have had to exert extra effort to keep up with two of the most demanding courses I've faced - MGT 490: Strategic Management, and MATH 134 - Calculus. I've handled the Strategic Management course just fine, although I'm currently working on a 15-20 page paper (conveniently a paper on AB-InBev and the Boston Beer Company) due in about a week and a half. Calculus, well that's an entirely different monster.

On top of that, Sarah and I are getting married next month, so we have been putting what we hope to be the finishing touches on the planning in the next few weeks. What do we have for food? Do I get one of the Ipswich Ale Brewery's Tap Mobiles? Do I get kegs of fine craft beer from our friends at Mayflower Brewing Co.? Do we even have to think if we should visit the Unibroue Brewery on our honeymoon? These are just some of the questions I've been asking myself lately...

Nevertheless, with the amount of entries we did for the first three months, plus work, plus school, plus planning a wedding and honeymoon, there was a need for a break.

I didn't just break from entries, I basically took the month off from all social media and craft beer all together...well, as best as I could. Every now and then (this time took about 2 1/2 years) I need to take a prolonged period of time off from craft beer to, what I consider, dull down my taste buds. I drank cheap beer for a few weeks - or this time all of April, though I had the occasional Sam Adams, by the 30 pack, and then May rolled in and I'm making a triumphant return to the finer beer!

Anyway, we are officially back! We may not get to post as often as before, but once the semester is done and the wedding is a not-so-distant memory, we will crank this motha back up!

There are a lot of beer events taking place in the month of May, which I could not be more excited for. I have a lot to share, and will be posting more this week FOR SURE!

Thanks for sticking with us during our short break!

Adam & Sarah