Thursday, November 29, 2012

Epic Saturday in Portland, Part I

To say this past weekend was anything other than epic would be a severe understatement. While not quite a ritual, but soon it could become one, this was the second November in a row Sarah and I ventured north to Portland, ME. We typically hit Portland a few times a year, but hadn’t had an opportunity to get up there since last fall.

We knew we had a lot on our docket, so we hit the road just after 10am. Our first stop was for some food. We opted to hit When Pigs Fly Pizzeria in Kittery, ME. Our buddy Brian Aldrich of Sea Coast Beverage Lab had mentioned it a few times on his blog, and mentioned it had great food and drinks, so we set the iPhone map to Kittery.

The set up of this upscale pizza joint is incredible. They have a great line up of beers that spans from local Maine brews (Marshall Wharf Brewing Co Illegal Ale-ien), to Delaware (Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA), to Norway and Denmark. They also have draft wine if that’s your style. They also have fantastic wood grilled pizzas which we thoroughly enjoyed!

Marshall Wharf Illegal Ale-ien
DFH 120 Minute

We pointed our compass north and next headed to Rising Tide Brewing Co.’s new brewery on the outskirt of downtown Portland. I had visited their original brewery, conveniently located near Allagash, Maine Beer Co. and now Bull Jagger (which wasn’t there when we went), during the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) Rally, and Nathan and Heather showed my buddy Mike and I around.


The new brewery, now located at 103 Fox Street, is a significant upgrade in terms of space, tanks, and storage. They are now distributing in Massachusetts, which we’re VERY happy to see, but the one beer we were searching for is only available at the brewery. Rising Tide brews a weizen stout called Ursa Minor that is a stout fermented with a hefeweizen yeast. Polaris is their bourbon barrel aged version of Ursa Minor that we could not get last year. It’s a 350ml corked and caged bottle (aside from Russian River, it’s one of the only one of its size to be corked & caged). Needless to say, after our sampler and a chat with Nathan and Heather, we purchased three bottles of Polaris and a bottle of Tempest (a barrel aged brown porter, brewed with local coffee).

After a brief stop at Rising Tide, we debated whether or not to make the trek to Lewiston to hit the Baxter Brewing Co. open house they were having. The discussion took five seconds before we said “Umm…yeah,” and we were once again heading north to another brewery.

To our surprise when we got to Baxter, the place was PACKED! Like, really packed. The brewery is in the process of expanding, but for the past several months has been able to sell full pints of their beers at their brewery/tasting room. They were offering flights of four of their beers, which included some brewery only Small Batch Series, for $5. We loaded up our sample paddle with Phantom Punch Winter Stout (newest canned beer), Stowaway IPA (of course), Snow Weiss (Small Batch Belgian), and The Artist (Small Batch Black IPA).

We had to take the opportunity to get a pint of fresh Baxter Brewing Co. beers from their tap line, so Sarah opted for the Stowaway IPA and I got the Phantom Punch Winter Stout. We definitely look forward to drinking more of the Stout in the upcoming months (expect a full review soon).

It was starting to get late, and we were starting to get hungry. We knew it was time to descend once again on Portland, so we began our drive back south to the city...

Part II of Epic Saturday in Portland will be posted shortly!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest is hosting their second brew fest at Space 57 in Boston this Friday and Saturday. Following up their successful (and also sold out Summerfest), Jeff and Devon of DCB are having 25 New England breweries come and pour 70+ fall and winter beers. Some of the featured breweries are Allagash, Baxter Brewing Co, Cody Brewing, Idle Hands Craft Ales, Jack's Abby Brewing Co, Bantam Cider, Notch Brewing, Mayflower Brewing Co, and many more.

Included in the mass of beer is their collaboration brew with Peak Organic Brewing Company out of Portland, Maine called "Nut Your Average Ginger," a harvest brown ale crafted with local ingredients!

The sessions are as follows:

Friday, November 30th: 6-9pm
Saturday, December 1st: 1-4:30pm
Saturday, December 1st: 6-9:30pm

Some tickets still remain, but are going fast! Each session is limited to just 650 beer nerds, which will assure you the opportunity to get to the front of each of the 25 beer table lines!

Each session is $45 and includes:

- Unlimited 2oz samples
- Biodegradable tasting cup
- Fest guide
- Free coat check

You can also sample and purchase food from local eateries, such as Mei Mei Street Kitchen and Redbones BBQ.

Click here to get full details, including the complete brewery line up and ticket information.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Narragansett Porter Makes Seasonal Return

Winter Craft Brew Now Available Following Wins at Leading Industry Events

November 20, 2012; Providence, RI – The Famous Narragansett Beer announces the return of its winter craft brew, Narragansett Porter. A brand staple since the early 1900s, Porter has received a number of industry accolades, including a silver medal at the 2012 Great International Beer Competition following a bronze medal win the year prior, and a silver medal at the 2011 World Beer Championships.

Narragansett Porter is brewed under the supervision of award-winning Brewmaster Sean Larkin at Trinity Brew House in Providence, R.I., and High Falls Brewery in Rochester, N.Y., with chinook hops for bitterness, simcoe hops for aroma, black malt, pale malt, chocolate malt, munich malt, crystal malt, roasted barley, and ale yeast.  An American-style porter, this winter brew has a deliciously mild chocolate flavor with a hint of smokiness and hops to balance out the finish, making for a robust yet extremely approachable craft experience.  Narragansett Porter is 7% Alcohol by Volume and 28 IBUs.

Narragansett Porter dates back to 1916 when it was first brewed, and when Prohibition struck down breweries across America in the 1920s, the Narragansett Brewing Company was one of just six given a patent by the U.S. government to continue brewing beer for medicinal purposes, based largely on the belief that porter had healing properties. Narragansett Porter was prescribed by doctors and distributed throughout New England to patients suffering from a variety of ailments, particularly blood-related illnesses like anemia.  After Prohibition was repealed in the early 1930s, Narragansett Porter became a favorite of New Englanders from Fall River, Mass., to Falmouth, Maine, and was often referred to as “‘Gansett Dark.”

In 2012, Narragansett expanded distribution of their winter craft brew to District of Columbia and Wisconsin, adding to a list of markets added in 2011, including Southern New York, North Carolina, East and Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Florida.

For further information on Narragansett Porter or to find a retailer near you,  

ABOUT NARRAGANSETT BEER:                                                                                                                             
Narragansett Beer…Brewed since 1890. ‘Gansett is a straightforward, quality beer that has been a New England tradition for generations, producing a classic family of award-winning American lagers & ales. Today, ‘Gansett is produced at top-rated breweries in Rochester, NY and Latrobe, PA, with craft brews being produced in Providence, RI and Pawcatuck, CT. Narragansett Lager is available for purchase in local restaurants, bars, and liquor stores throughout New England, Florida, Southern New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Redhook's Ben Harris Beer Now Available

Tribute Brew Benefits the Benjamin Harris 2012 Memorial Trust
PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Nov. 19, 2012 - Redhook Brewery has announced that the Ben Harris Beer, a tribute beer brewed in honor of Ben Harris, a longtime member of the Redhook family who passed away earlier this year, is now available on draught and in bottles in select markets, including the brewery’s backyard markets in New England and in Ben’s home state of Pennsylvania. A portion of the proceeds from the beer will benefit the Benjamin Harris 2012 Memorial Trust.

“Ben Harris was longtime member of the Redhook family and a dear friend to all of us. We are looking forward to sharing this special beer with Ben’s family, friends and beer drinkers who live outside of Portsmouth, New Hampshire,” said Alex Kopf, Redhook senior brewer. “Ben Harris Beer was brewed in tribute to Ben, and we hope that the community will join us in honoring his legacy, celebrating his life and remembering Ben with every pint of Ben Harris Beer.”

About Ben Harris Beer
Ben Harris Beer is Redhook’s special take on the classic cream ale style, brewed in tribute to our friend and teammate, Ben Harris.  This is a beer that Ben would have wanted to drink.  It’s a beer brewed for those who work hard and play hard, just as Ben did. But most importantly, it’s a beer brewed for us to share as we remember and celebrate Ben’s life. 

Ben liked a touch of hops in his beer, so we hopped up a classic cream ale recipe, Redhook style. Ben Harris Beer was brewed with ingredients you’d expect to find in cream ale: two-row barley malt, Carapils for a touch of sweetness, Victory malt for a touch of breadiness and a dose of corn for good measure. We hopped it up with some Sterling, Saaz, and Hallertau hops, which create a crisp, clean and refreshing beer just for Ben. Ben Harris Beer is 4.7% ABV and 19 IBU.

Ben Harris Beer was recognized on Nov. 2 at the 16th Annual Great International Beer & Cider Competition where it received second place in the Cream Ale category.

About Redhook
Redhook was born out of the energy and spirit of the early 80s in the heart of Seattle. While the term didn’t exist at the time, Redhook became one of America’s first “craft” breweries. From a modest start in a former transmission shop in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, to the current breweries in Woodinville, Wash., and Portsmouth, N.H., Redhook has become one of America’s most recognized craft breweries. While Redhook has “grown up” during the past 30 years, one thing has never changed – Redhook is still brewing great beers like ESB, IPA, Copperhook, Pilsner and seasonal brews. Most importantly, Redhook makes sure to have fun doing it.   Redhook's beers are available both on draught and in bottles around the country. For more information, visit

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Beer Pairings

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is this Thursday, but let's face's here! With that being said, you'll want to stock up on some tasty local craft beer, and we figured we would give you some solid recommendations to better enjoy your time with friends and family!

If you'll be noshing on some cheeses to start the day, Mystic Brewery Vinland One and White Birch Brewing Belgian Pale Ale are nice options. Both beers feature similar Belgian style qualities that will help both cut through some strong flavors and compliment some softer and subtle cheeses.

Bantam Cider Wunderkind is another great way to start off a meal that compliments pretty much any kind of cheese. It's similar to champagne, so it's a festive alternative. It's native to the Boston area, so if you can't get it locally, you can always grab some Downeast Cider (available in MA & ME). If you're trying to pace yourself for a long day of eating and drinking, you can't go wrong with Notch Brewing Session Pils. It has some great hoppy notes that will compliment the cheeses, but at 4% ABV you can sip and keep on sipping all day!

When the bird is served, you might want to have some Night Shift Brewing Rose, Baxter Brewing Co. Hayride Autumn Ale, and Rising Tide Brewing Company Zephyr on hand. The Rose pairs especially well with meats (we had it with lamb burgers). Similarly, the Baxter Hayride Autumn Ale has a good dose of rye and black pepper, which provide a nice spiciness that will go with all the sides. If a nicely hopped IPA is what you're looking for, Zephyr fits the description. It has some nice aromatic and bittering hoppiness, without being too bold.

Finally, what is Thanksgiving dinner without desert? We have to suggest Slumbrew Porter Square Porter or if you can find it, get their My Better Half Cream Ale. The porter is brewed with cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate, and the cream ale has a superb sweetness that it will pair with any desert choice. Also, the Smuttynose Brewing Co. Barleywine Style Ale has great scotch type aromas and flavors that will balance off the sweetness in any pecan, chocolate, or pumpkin pie.

We hope that you enjoy your beers with family and friends and that everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Backlash Beer Founder on Zagat's 30 Under 30 List

The news came out the other day, but Backlash Beer Co. Founder and brewer Helder Pimentel was named one of Zagat's 30 Under 30: Boston's Hottest Up and Comers in the 'Restaurant Industry,' which includes bar managers, GMs, Mixologists, and even craft brewers!

You're sure to recognize some of the other list members, if not you will at least recognize their businesses they own/run or work at. If you've ever met Helder, you'll know he's a pretty grounded guy. But, he certainly holds nothing back when it comes to his beer.

You can read the full article here.

Congrats buddy!


Earth Eagle Brewings opens in Portsmouth on Saturday |

Earth Eagle Brewings opens in Portsmouth on Saturday |

Here's a great write up about this weekend's launch of Earth Eagle Brewings in Portsmouth! We shed some light on them last week, but the official countdown to the launch is just about up! Congrats to Butch Heishorn and Alex McDonald on the opening.

We'll be in New Hampshire tomorrow and might take the drive to Portsmouth to check out the new nano. If it doesn't happen this weekend, we're going to try to stop in next weekend as we'll be making our way back form Portland and already had plans to stop in Portsmouth!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

British Beer Company to open in Portsmouth |

British Beer Company to open in Portsmouth |

The British Beer Company recently signed a lease to open their 13th restaurant in Portsmouth, NH . I caught wind of this article by our buddy Brian Aldrich of, and figured it was worth posting. The newest restaurant is eyeing April as an opening date, provided they are able to get the proper licensing and approvals by  the local Historic District board (their meeting is today).

Tuesday Night Tasting: The Alchemist - Heady Topper

The Alchemist - Waterbury, VT
Heady Topper American Double IPA
8% ABV, 120 IBU, 16 oz can

We were fortunate enough to have a four pack of Heady Topper delivered to us by our good friend Pat last week. He took a trip to Burlington, VT and made a stop at the Alchemist on the way home. However, this was not the first time we had Heady Topper. We received a few cans as part of a beer trade last December and thoroughly enjoyed each can. The Alchemist Heady Topper is only distributed in the state of Vermont (which is another great reason to visit), but is sometimes available at select Boston area beer bars. We found it at Vee Vee in JP and The Lower Depths in Boston. Rumor has it that Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square Boston has a secret stash of it too, but is only available by request.

The can of Heady Topper clearly states, “Drink from the can!” Who are we to argue with The Alchemist? However, for the purposes of this review, we poured a little out to show the color.

The color is a pale yellow and pours a small off-white colored head. The head recedes fairly quickly, but the lacing on the glass is nice.  Honestly, we never drink it out of a glass, so it was easy forgetting what the beer looked like. In fact, it wasn't until the 4th time we drank this that we actually poured a little into a glass to check the color.

The aroma is SUPER piney and abundantly floral from all the American hops used in the brewing process. There are notes of malty sweetness that creep through, but they are mostly overrun by the hop scent.

The flavor of Heady Topper is fantastic. It actually starts sweet, but then the beautiful hoppy goodness takes over. It has tones of citrus, but mixed with the aromatic hops it really involves your senses. The beer coats your entire palate from front to back; yet, it is not heavy and in fact is a bit milder on the malt than previously though.

For an 8% ABV beer and for as much hop wallop as these cans packs, it is overwhelmingly drinkable. It’s a sipper though as you’ll want to savor all 16 ounces. Two or three of these tall boys in a sitting isn't hard to manage, but depending on how many you have may moderate how many you drink in your session.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Craft Beer for a Great Cause

This coming Thursday, the Boston Beer Company, better known as Samuel Adams, will be hosting a special beer tasting event at their Jamaica Plain brewery. The event has been set up to raise funds for the American Red Cross to aid those affected by Superstorm Sandy, which hit the Jersey Shore and New York City area especially hard.

Please read the following event information from Eventbrite and consider attending or donating!

At Sam Adams, we've always believed that little things can make a difference in the taste of our beer. In the wake of superstorm Sandy, which has left so many in need of assistance, we know that little things can help make a difference to those in need.  On Thursday, November 15th, we are holding a special beer tasting with the proceeds from the event going to the American Red Cross to help those affected by the storm.
Additionally, if you'd like to donate a blanket, a jacket, warm socks, or a sweatshirt - all donated items will be given to the Salvation Army for distribution to those in need.  These may seem like little things to many of us who were spared a direct hit, but the sum of many little things can help a lot of people.
Can't make the event but still want to help?  Feel free to make a donation directly to the Red Cross.
Other ways to donate:  If you've ever been to the brewery in Jamaica Plain for a tour, you may know we accept donations that typically benefit Y.E.S., Granary Burying Grounds, and our own philanthropic program Brewing the American Dream.  For the remainder of 2012, all donations will be directed towards relief efforts from the storm.  So feel free to drop by for a tour and make a donation to the cause.

Beer Enthusiast: $25.00
  • Entrance to Boston Brewery after hours for this unique Open House to support relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy
  • 4 samples of our Award Winning Samuel Adams Beer which includes limited release, specialty styles
  • 1 Souvenir Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass
  • Light fare
Beer Extremist: $50.00
  • Entrance to Boston Brewery after hours for this unique Open House to support relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy
  • One sampling of our 10th Anniversary edition of Utopias
  • A collector’s 2012 Utopias bottle (empty) signed by Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch
  • 5 samples of our Award Winning Samuel Adams Beer which include limited release specialty styles
  • 1 Souvenir Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass
  • Light fare
 Doors open at 6:30pm. Last call is at 8:40pm
Beer that doesn’t just taste good, it does good.

Friday, November 9, 2012 | Thanksgiving Pairings | Dr. Bill Sysak's Thanksgiving Pairings

Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving!?

We got this in an email this morning, and it looks like Dr. Sysak has some great suggestions. A few years ago we did a blog post with some of our top New England recommendations for your Thanksgiving meals, and it looks like we're going to have to do another one for this year!

Do you have plans for turkey day dinner? What will you be doing this year? Also, what will you be drinking?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Redhook Wins 3 GIBF Medals

Redhook Scores Big with Three Medals at Great International Beer & Cider Competition
ESB, Winterhook and Ben Harris Beer recognized among the best in their categories

Woodinville, Wash. – Nov. 7, 2012 – Less than a month after scoring some hardware at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Redhook has added three more medals to his trophy case. Three Redhook brews – ESB, Winterhook and Ben Harris Beer – were recognized as some of the best in their respective categories at the 16th Annual Great International Beer & Cider Competition, held Fri., Nov. 2, in Providence, R.I.

ESB won gold in the English ESB category, Winterhook earned gold in the American Amber Ale category and Ben Harris Beer took home silver in the Cream Ale category. A panel of 83 judges chose winners in 44 categories after blind tasting 470 beers and ciders from around the world.

“It’s pretty awesome to bring home medals for these three beers,” said Jen Talley, brewing manager at Redhook. “ESB and Winterhook have been Redhook fan favorites for a long time, and it goes without saying that Ben Harris Beer holds a special place in the hearts of the Redhook family.”

ESB, first brewed in 1987, balances the “bitter” in its name with caramel malt sweetness and spicy, citrusy hops, creating a smooth and bold ale. ESB is available in bottles and on draught nationwide.

Winterhook has been brewed every year since 1985 and changes slightly with each release. This year’s winter seasonal, which also won a bronze medal at this year’s Great American Beer Festival, is generously hopped with a big malt backbone. Winterhook can be found through January in bottles and on draught across the U.S.

Ben Harris Beer is Redhook’s special take on the classic cream ale style, brewed in tribute to the longtime member of the Redhook family who passed away earlier this year. The beer is currently available on draught at the Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, N.H. and will be available in select markets in bottles and on draught beginning in mid-November.

Locations selling the award-winning Redhook brews can be found using Redhook’s beer finder at

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NH Brewfest a Wild Success

New Hampshire BrewFest Raises $24,000 for Local Organizations
New England Beer Lovers Turned Out in Record Numbers at Redhook Brewery

Portsmouth, N.H. – Nov. 5, 2012 – The fourth annual New Hampshire BrewFest, hosted at Redhook Brewery on Oct. 6, attracted a record number of attendees and raised nearly  $24,000 for the Master Brewers Association of the Americas New England Chapter and Prescott Park Arts Festival. The BrewFest featured more than 150 quality brews from 37 breweries as well as food and music. This year‘s sold out BrewFest was attended by just under 3,000 craft beer enthusiasts. Each organization will receive $11,700, nearly $4,000 more than the previous year.

“This year’s BrewFest was a great success and showcased New England’s diverse brewing talents. We want to thank Redhook Brewery for being an exceptional host,” said Doug MacNair, president of Master Brewers Association of the Americas New England Chapter. “Half of the proceeds donated to MBAA will go toward our scholarship program and help support our internal training programs for members. The other half will be donated to Ben Harris’ family.”

The Master Brewers Association of the Americas works to improve members’ brewing skills through scholarships and professional training sessions,” said Jason Perkins, VP of MBAA. “This event helps us train our brewers for the future. We are happy to participate in this event to benefit the brewers in our community.”

“We are proud to be supported by the NH BrewFest; an event that encourages the art of craft brewing,” said Ben Andersen, Executive Director of Prescott park. “The funds go directly toward our programs, and have allowed us to continue to grow and expand our offerings, as well as help keep all of our events free of fixed admission.”

As a nonprofit organization, the Prescott Park Arts Festival has presented music, art, theater, and dance to families on the banks of the Piscataqua River for the past 37 years, and was just voted Business of the Year by the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce.

Next year’s New Hampshire Brew Fest is scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2013. More information is available at

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Earth Eagle Brewings to Open in Portsmouth


(Portsmouth, NH) – Earth Eagle Brewings, New Hampshire’s newest nano brewery is poised to open its tasting room doors at noon on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 165 High Street, Portsmouth adjacent to A&G Homebrew Supply. Founded by A&G's Alex McDonald of Portsmouth, NH, and Butch Heilshorn of Kittery, ME, the brewery’s “empyreal ales and wonder gruits” will be poured from six revolving taps in their rustic tasting room – the only beer tasting room in Portsmouth.

Earth Eagle Brewings will offer unique versions of familiar beer styles such as IPAs and porters, but they will also dedicate much of their efforts toward experimental and ancient beers. “Among the first to be on tap will be Puca, a delicious curry pumpkin porter,” McDonald explains. “And another is Exhilaration, an invigorating old-world gruit featuring a common herb called yarrow.”

Gruit was a medieval term for herbal blends used to bitter beer. “Most modern brewers use only hops for bittering but that’s changing,” Heilshorn says. “Today, gruit refers to a beer style made with an herbal blend that actually excludes hops.”

The text printed on the back of their growlers offers further insights:
The qualities Native Americans attribute to the Earth Eagle (common wild turkey) speak to our philosophy as brewers and business owners: ecological, charitable, resilient, and unconventional. “Brewings” is our nod to the first brewers who made small batches for their families crafted from local grain, herbs, and yeast. At Earth Eagle Brewings we embrace a Belgian-inspired, pre-Reformation spirit where hops are but one of the hundreds of ingredients employed in the alchemy of brewing.

A nano brewery is defined by the State of New Hampshire as producing up to 2,000 barrels per year. Unlike a brewpub, a tasting room is a space to sample beer in 4 oz. portions (per state law) and food is not served. Growlers (glass jugs) can be filled for take-out purposes and Earth Eagle Brewings will have 1- and 2-liter growlers available. With the exception of an occasional area bar event, the tasting room will be the only place to purchase their brewings – for the time being. Tasting room hours will be Thursdays & Fridays, 3-7pm; Saturdays & Sundays, noon-4 p.m. Find out more online at***

Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest Blogger: Getting Out of the Brewing Rut

by Mike Micalone

Its official, I'm in a brewing rut. Not sure when I hit that rut but I've learned that the first step of getting past anything is acceptance. I always knew I got fairly busy in the fall which would slow down my brewing but even when I have free time I find I'd rather pop on a movie than brew a batch of beer. I did a thorough analysis as to why I'm in said rut and I've come up with a few things:

Time: The nemesis of any normal adult, I find I can't commit to 4-5 hours brew sessions like I used to be able to. Maybe it's a matter of brewing some partial grain/extract brews (which only take a few hours) or finding a way to streamline my process to shave some time off. Anyway I shake it I always say if it's something you really care about you make the time for it.

Getting Ingredients: I love my local brew shop but seeing as it's only open for 9 hours a week it's made it tough to get the fresh ingredients I need. I've been known to buy stuff and let it sit for a few weeks but I rather not let it hangout in my basement. I've looked at other brew shops but I feel like I'm cheating on my wife when I go to another brew shop (what can I say, I'm loyal to a fault). I mean, I went to another brew shop that let me grind my own grains, gather my own stuff, I didn't have to wait in line and the prices were reasonable and yet I missed the social aspect that going to my local shop brings. I equate it to a guy going to a barber shop. You give them your list, wait while they gather everything, and talk about brewing while enjoying what they have on tap. They offer up sage advice on all kinds of brewing techniques. I guess 9 hours a week will have to do!

What to Brew: I know it sounds like a silly problem to have but I honestly struggle with figuring out what style of beer to brew. Should I try a new style or work on master a particular style? Do I make another run at a brew my friends all loved? Do I experiment with weird foods (I have a friend who wants a honey jalapeƱo) knowing that it very well may come out bad, forcing me to dump a batch of beer? I have piles of recipes from brewing magazines and forums I'm part of yet I never can come up with what I want to brew next.

To Keg or Not to Keg: Ever since I setup my kegerator last Christmas I find that beer doesn't seem to be consumed fast enough (short of my nightly valiant efforts) and so I have tons of beer that I can't get into the hands of my friend. Sure, I could just throw a party after every batch of beer if I'm really looking to kick the keg but at the same time I have friends from work and other places who probably wouldn't make it over and would love to try my beer. This past weekend I filled my first growler off my keg. I think I'll have to refine my technique but this might be my only option to help with this problem.

Against all the problems people are having in this country I know this whole things sounds contrite but what else am I supposed to complain about in a beer blog? So the big question for all of you out in the blogging world is what should I brew next to get out of my brewing rut?

**This was originally drafted a year ago, but after hanging out with Mike over the weekend, it seems like he's fallen into the same rut. Let's see if we can snap him out of it!?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Homebrew Shop in Planning for JP

We were contacted by Joshua Sattin a few weeks ago letting us know that he was in the planning stages of opening up his own homebrew shop in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston in early 2013. It seems like a great idea, considering there aren't too many homebrew supply stores easily accessable by South Shore and Boston residents, so this will be a great resource for local homebrewers!

Here are the details Joshua sent us:

Boston Homebrew Supply (BHS) will be a locally-owned and operated homebrew supply shop located in the heart of Jamaica Plain (JP).

Customers will enjoy a clean, modern, efficient and well-stocked shop that will supply them with a healthy variety of fresh ingredients, essential equipment, a knowledgeable staff and a friendly environment.

JP exhibits a strong sense of community. Its diverse and eclectic neighborhood offers ample culture and promotes locally-owned businesses. JP’s shopping area contains a fine array of independent restaurants, shops and cafes. A homebrew shop would be a perfect addition to JP and would be welcomed by the community. Craft beer appreciation and homebrewing are more popular than ever. There is a large and expanding population of homebrewers in JP and its surrounding communities. These surrounding communities include but are not limited to: Boston, Brookline, Newton, Roslindale, West Roxbury,
Dorchester and Roxbury.

Besides the excellent location, Joshua Sattin (the owner) will be the shop’s greatest asset. Joshua has been homebrewing for many years and has also worked as a professional brewer for almost two years. He has brewed with many different methods and systems, and adapted to a variety of settings. Prior to being a professional brewer, he was a teacher for five years. Joshua plans on using his extensive knowledge of brewing and experience as an educator to guide and support the local homebrewing community. He also plans on teaching different experience level classes at the store and to local homebrew clubs. Additional classes will be added for topics requested by customers. BHS will also hold local homebrew competitions to become more involved with the local homebrewing community.

Because of the location of the store and the owner’s attention to education and the catering of homebrewers, BHS will quickly build community support and a strong customer base. BHS will have a regularly updated website and will use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate new products, specials, classes, news, etc. to its customers. This will keep the customers engaged and wanting to return to the store. Besides a wide selection of homebrewing ingredients and equipment, BHS will offer unique ingredient kits designed by Joshua and guidance for customers to develop their own recipes and brewing techniques. The staff at BHS will strive to maintain an environment where the customers will feel comfortable returning to the store for advice, a sense of community and to purchase more goods.

For more information on Boston Homebrew Supply and their indegogo campaign, check out their Facebook page.