Friday, August 24, 2012

2nd Annual Portland Brewers Festival

August 31-September 1 tasting event to spotlight regional beers.

PORTLAND, Maine – July 17, 2012 – Plans for the second annual Portland Brew Festival ( have been announced, and the much-anticipated event is shaping up to exceed last year’s success. Owner and producer Mak Sprague says that the festive, beer-centric event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 2012, and will feature more brewers, a specialty sampling glass, and additional space made available for tasting and home brewing demonstrations. The event returns to Portland Company Complex at 58 Fore Street in Portland.

Designed for beer, ale, mead and cider lovers of all levels, the festival will spotlight established and up-and-coming breweries throughout New England. In addition, attendees interested in crafting their own brew will have the opportunity to speak with home brewing specialists and see up close how the equipment works.

"The response to last year’s festival was outstanding, and we really listened to the feedback to make this year even bigger and better,” explains Sprague. “The expanded event and demonstration space will provide a comfortable setting to explore, visit, eat and learn.”

More than 30 beer producers, including local favorites Gritty McDuff’s, Allagash, Kennebec Ciders and D.L. Geary Brewing, have already signed on alongside regional standouts Clown Shoes and Harpoon from Massachusetts, Moonlight Meadery and Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery from New Hampshire, and Magic Hat, Long Trail and White Birch from Vermont [sic].  Additions are being made regularly, and Sprague plans to have more than 75 different brew offerings on site.

Every attendee will receive a signature tasting glass with the Portland Brew Festival logo and have the opportunity to purchase additional glasses along with T-shirts, posters and other festival-branded merchandise.

The event will feature traditional scheduled sessions, each with a limited admission that will allow guests the time and space to peruse the purveyors, interact with the experts, and hone their tasting techniques.  The first session is scheduled for Friday, August 31, 5:30 – 9 p.m., a fantastic way to kick off the holiday weekend.  Additional sessions are scheduled for Saturday, September 1, from 12-4 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m. An expanded array of local food vendors also will be on hand to add to the event's appeal.

In addition to commercial brewing operations, Sprague has invited a number of respected home brewing clubs and retailers to be at the show to introduce attendees to the increasingly popular hobby of home brewing.  Sprague will once again display the impressive tractor-powered cidering equipment he built with his father. 

"Home brewing is growing by leaps and bounds, and this festival really showcases the hobby and gives folks the confidence to get started," Sprague says.  "As a novice homebrewer myself, I find the exhibitors very helpful and encouraging.”

The second annual Portland Brew Festival promises to be a one-of-a-kind beer experience, and tickets, on sale now for $35 each at, are expected to sell out well before the event.  Event sponsors include Portland Yacht Services.  Anyone interested in volunteering at the festival can contact

Thursday, August 23, 2012

3rd Annual MA Brewers Guild Tomorrow!

The 3rd Annual Massachusetts Brewers Guild is happening tomorrow evening at the World Trade Center's Head House Concourse from 6-9:30pm. Tickets are just $35 in advance and $40 at the door (if available), and are still available for purchase, and it's highly recommend you purchase yours while you can.

See, last year I went with my buddy and occasional Guest Blogger Mike Micalone and it could not have been a cooler event. There were 23 Massachusetts brewers pouring multiple beers last year. What was even cooler is that this was the first, or some of the first few, beer festivals for several of these brewing companies. Notably, Backlash Beer made its premier festival appearance, and others like Jack's Abby Brewing Company and Notch Brewing Company were in appearance. Mike and I had helped the brothers Hendler pick a bunch of hops just before the festival, and it was great catching up with Chris from Notch.

The weather could NOT have been nicer last year, and it is forecasted to be equally as nice. The concourse is also a great place for it, considering the weather and the view!

Click here to purchase your tickets and hang out with a few thousand of your closest friends!

Support local breweries, enjoy ridiculously awesome beers!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer Brewfest Returns to Indian Ranch

Once again, the Indian Ranch in Webster, MA will be hosting their 5th Annual Summer Brewfest featuring great New England breweries! The event is set to take place next Saturday August 18th on the water front of Lake Webster, better known as Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.
No, you are not reading that name incorrectly! We have no idea how to properly pronounce it, but from what we hear there are some YouTube videos on how to pronounce it. Seriously...there are, We've checked. Here's an interesting one:

Anyway, this year's event is shaping up nicely! There are tons of New England breweries attending, as well as some favorites from outside the region.

See below for the full details!

Summer Brewfest Returns To Indian Ranch on August 18
Fifth Annual Festival Features Craft Brewers from New England and Beyond, Music, Food and More

(Webster, MA; August 8, 2012)—On August 18, 2012, just steps from the shore of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, Indian Ranch will host its annual Summer Brewfest.  In a setting that normally offers music lovers a chance to see some of the greatest country, classic rock and pop bands, on this day only, music will take a back seat to beer. From 2 pm– 6 pm, attendees at the Indian Ranch Summer Brewfest will have the opportunity to sample some of the finest local, regional, national and international micro-brews, craft beers and malt beverages. 

While brands like Harpoon, Sam Adams, Shocktop and Red Hook are staples to the Brewfest, the event has become well-known as the place to discover local and regional craft beers.  Massachusetts breweries are well represented at this year’s festival; Worcester’s own Wormtown Brewery will be joined by Wachusett Brewing Company, Watch City Brewing Company, Blue Hills Brewery, Berkshire Brewing, 50 Back American Lager and Paper City Brewery as well as festival newcomers the Somerville Brewing Company (makers of Slumbrew) and Notch Session Beers out of Ipswich.

Making their mark as the first craft brewery in New England to can its entire line of beers, Maine’s Baxter Brewing Co will make their Indian Ranch Summer Brewfest debut this year. They will be joined by and Peak Organic and Geary Brewing from Maine as well as Magic Hat and Long Trail Brewery from Vermont, and Woodstock Inn from New Hampshire.

The beer doesn’t stop there– breweries from around the country taking part in Brewfest include Wild Blue Lager and Ithaca Beer Company from New York state, Leine's Lemon Berry from Chippewa Falls, WI and Boulevard Brewing from Kansas City, Missouri;  Widmer Brothers from Oregon, and Kona Brewing Company from Hawaii. International brands include Hoegaarden and Leffe from Belgium; Worthington’s from the UK; and Beck’s from Germany. Malt beverages like Woodchuck Cider, will also be available at Brewfest. Additional breweries are expected to take part in the Summer Brewfest.

The afternoon affair will also feature performances from Worcester’s Chyldz Play and the beachfront will be alive with beach volleyball and other games and activities. And what is a beer festival without food? Voted one of the Top Ten BBQ Joints in New England by the Boston Globe, BT’s Smokehouse of Sturbridge will once again serve up their award-winning Southern Style BBQ. From pulled pork to brisket and rib tips BT’s Smokehouse provides the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon of beer sampling.

Tickets for Summer Brewfest at Indian Ranch are $25 until August 11 and $30 after and available online at or by visiting the Indian Ranch box office.  Summer Brewfest is a 21+ event. Indian Ranch, less than an hour's drive from Boston, Providence and Springfield, is located at 200 Gore Road in Webster, MA.  For more information, visit

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sake and Burger Night

Here’s something interesting that we think all of you would enjoy! Next Monday, August 13th from 6:30-8:30pm at the amazing Tasty Burger in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, the up and coming will host what looks like a great Sake and Burger Night!
We posted about the release of a one of a kind experimental Sake Beer, created by experience sake maker Todd Bellomy at Cambridge Brewing Company in Cambridge, MA. Bellomy also works at Boston Beer Company, also known as Samuel Adams, so it seemed like a natural fit for the readers of Brew England!
There are still some spots open, and while the tickets for non-Japan Society of Boston members are $35, we are able to offer a $10 off discount if you purchase your tickets here. Please note that the discount will be valid until 12pm on Monday, the day of the event!
If that wasn’t enough, Todd also gave us an exclusive scoop on their preliminary menu for you to whet your appetites! The menu is of course subject to change; however, here’s what it should look like:
  • Japanese Mushroom Medley and Jarlsberg Cheese burger paired with 1 year aged Kikusui Funaguchi Sake
  • Miso Scallion burger paired with Kikusui Funaguchi canned Sake
  • Kahuna Burger from Tasty's menu (grilled red onion, pineapple and teriyaki sauce) paired with a Pineapple Shake made with Kikusui Perfect Snow Nigori
There will also be fries with some Japanese inspired dipping sauces to snack on as well!
Get your tickets now, and keep up to date with all things Sake in Boston by visiting Todd Bellomy will be on hand as well to discuss the sake as well, so this should be an interesting and educational event!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Contest "Winners"

Within minutes of posting about the Redhook Ale Festvial we had available, they were scooped up...pretty quickly if you ask us! Anyway, congratulations (?) to J. and Frank who scooped up the tickets!

Adam & Sarah

Monday, August 6, 2012

Contest #Fail

Last week we posted details on the Redhook Ale Brewery "Redhook Fest 2012" on how we were going to give away two pair of tickets. We wanted users of Instagram to take a picture of their favorite Redhook Ale beer with the hashtag #brewengland...but, to no avail as we received zero entries. I'm not sure why, but it happens.

SO, instead of going the uber social media way, we're just going to go extremely simple...

IF you live in (or will be visiting) New England, and IF you can definitely make the Redhook Fest next Saturday August 18th, email us ASAP at and you will earn yourself a pair of tickets. It's as simple as that. First come, first serve. We have two sets of tickets to give away, so get on this quickly!

Please provider your name and physical mailing address as these tickets must be mailed. We will mail them out this week.

Adam & Sarah

Friday, August 3, 2012

AHA Rally at Moonlight Meadery

The American Homebrewers Association are holding a second New England rally for their members tomorrow evening at Moonlight Meadery. Last July the AHA not only held a rally at the Samuel Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain (as they did last week), but held a second rally at Allagash Brewing Co. and Maine Beer Co. in September.

This year's second rally is located at Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry, NH which is a relatively newer facility. Moonligh Meadery was created in May of 2010 by Michael Fairbrother, an experienced mead maker getting his start in 1995, who started the company working part time in his garage. Since 2010, they have moved to their Londonderry location and have rapidly increased production and now produce over 50 different varieties of mead.

But more on the rally!

Join fellow homebrewers at Moonlight Meadery - on National Mead Day from 6-8:30pm.

Entrance includes:
  • Meet Special Guest Michael Fairbrother, Founder/Mead Maker
  • A VIP Meadery tour
  • Sample special release: Utopian (barrel aged mead, fermented in Sam Adams Utopias barrels)
  • A complimentary "Romance by the Glass" glass
  • An opportunity to mingle with local homebrewers
  • Chance to win great prizes from the AHA and Moonlight Meadery

Entrance is free for current AHA members, but you can join for a discounted price at the door. Space is limited, so you can RSVP here.

Learn more about AHA membership benefits.

Moonlight Meadery is located at 23 Londonderry Road #17 in Londonderry, NH.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tuesday Night Tasting: Slumbrew - Trekker Trippel

Somerville Brewing Co. - Somerville, MA
Trekker Trippel Belgian Style Ale
9.5% ABV, 36 IBU, 22 oz and select draft

The Trekker Trippel was launch by Slumbrew at the beginning of May, and we were some of the first to pour the beer when we did an in store beer tasting at Ralph's Derby Street Wine & Spirit in Hingham, MA on Cinco de Mayo. The beer was bottled in April 2012, and will only continue to develop as it cellars.

The color of the Trekker is golden to a dark orange hue. It is lightly carbonated, which is nice when enjoying this brew. It features a light and fluffy white head, which fades almost immediately.

When you smell the Trekker Trippel, you'll notice the traditional Belgian beer aroma. It is highlighted by the yeast used in the fermentation process, but it is complemented by notes of banana, clove, and a fruity hop profile. It has a pleasant aromatic nose thanks to the jasmine and unique Moteuka hops (from New Zeland), which give it a great and subtle lemon/lime quality.

The Slumbrew Trekker has a really enjoyable flavor. It's definitely cool and refreshing upon the first sip. After you finish that initial sip, your pallet is hit with a great Belgian yeast flavor. It has a superb malt backbone, but finishes clean and dry.

The Trekker has a full mouth feel and coats your entire palate, but is not overly heavy.

For a Belgian trippel, and especially for clocking in at 9.5% ABV, the Slumbrew Trekker Trippel is incredibly drinkable. When you take your first sip, you would not believe this beer is almost 10% Alcohol by Volume. BUT, the fact of the matter is that it drinks like a 6% ABV Belgian style ale. It is overwhelmingly enjoyable. It gets more boozy as it warms, but still finishes extremely smooth.