Saturday, March 31, 2012
Details are sure to start rolling in, but Bill Herlicka of White Birch Brewing has announced the date for the second annual Southern NH Brewers Festival. This year, the event will fall on Saturday July 14th, 2012 and will once again be held in Hooksett, NH.
The inaugural 2011 Southern NH Brewers Festival was held at White Birch Brewing's former location and featured 18 (mostly) regional breweries, such as host brewery White Birch Brewing, Allagash, Maine Beer Co., Baxter Brewing, Martha's Exchange, Flying Goose Brew Pub, Element Beer Co, Boulder Beer, and several more. The Southern NH Brew Fest also featured some local area restaurants such as Burrito Me and Firefly.
Since last year's event, White Birch has actually moved locations, to a much larger building in the former Auto Wholesalers building at 1339 Hooksett Road (aka: DW Highway). They have a larger layout, not to mention a huge parking lot, which should make this year's event even bigger.
Stay tuned for more info, and we will post more details as they are announced!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I literally JUST found this on the Boston Bruins website...This will be the third season in a row that Samuel Adams and the Boston Bruins have teamed up for their Bru Fests. Better late than never.
The Bru Fests will be before tonight's game versus Tampa Bay, Thursday's game versus Washington, and next Tuesday's versus Pittsburgh.
Join the Bruins pre-game party at the TD Garden for the Samuel Adams Bru Fest!
Come enjoy music, giveaways, games and concessions with your fellow fans prior to the Bruins game at the Samuel Adams Bru Fest held on the front parking lot of the TD Garden! Samuel Adams will be featuring a selection of their most popular products including Sam Seasonal and lager.
This 21+ event is free and open to all fans with a ticket to that night's game, but get there early because space is limited!
5 Napkin Burger Boston Announces Two Beer Dinners
You may recall we announced in November of 2011 that 5 Napkin Burger, located within the Prudential Building in downtown Boston, was holding their first two beer dinners. The first dinner was on November 3rd and featured the great beers of Smuttynose Brewing Co. from Portsmouth, NH. The other was November 17th and featured brews from our friends at Cape Ann Brewing Co. out of Gloucester, MA. Well, the dinners were a success, so 5 Napkin Burger has scheduled two new dinners with Stone Brewing Co. and Long Trail Brewing Co.
Here is the official release:
5 Napkin Burger is excited to announce the second installment of their Beer and Bourbon Dinner Series with Stone Brewing Company kicking it off on Tuesday, April 3rd followed by Long Trail Brewing Company on April 24th. After the success of the first series, 5 Napkin is thrilled to showcase another two exciting breweries.
Each dinner will begin at 6:30pm with an informal cocktail reception where guests will mingle with the brewers and dine on passed appetizers made with the beer! The evening will then proceed to a seated 2-course dinner and every bite of food will be expertly paired with a different beer (totaling four throughout the evening). Chef Andy D’Amico and the breweries will be working alongside one another to bring guests new flavors and new beer experiences.
To attend one dinner is $45 (including tax and gratuity) and for those real beer lovers, the cost to attend both dinners is $80 per person, also all inclusive. To purchase tickets, please visit www.5nb.eventbrite.com!
Thursday, March 22, 2012
As you know, Sarah and I like to travel, especially around New England. As a benefit from these trips, not to mention our honeymoon last year, we accumulated a free night stay through Hotels.com, so we decided to spend our free night in Portland, ME.
Ever since I bought a few cans of Baxter Pamola XTra Pale at Craft Beer Cellar earlier in the year, I became a fan of the brewery. Each beer I tried only reinforced my feelings. Considering we were going to be in Portland for the night, we decided we had to pay a visit to the Baxter Brewing Co. facility in Lewiston, which is exactly what we did!
Lewiston is a small mill city located approximately 40 minutes north of Portland. Sarah and I have visited Portland many times; however, it was the first time in about 15 years that I had traveled north of Portland! With the address plugged into our GPS, we knew we wouldn’t have any problems finding the brewery.
Leading up to our trip, we had been communicating via Twitter with @baxterbrewing, which is run by Chris – a part time employee of the brewery, who handles their email list and of course their Twitter account. He was actually expecting our arrival and greeted us as soon as we walked into the facility.
The Baxter brewery is a reclaimed part of Bates Mill, which is one of the most historic buildings in Lewiston. They spent months working on the brewery, and tried to reuse as much material they could. It must be said, they did a great job with their retail and tasting area, as well as their brewery!
In true fashion, it was set to be a small and intimate tour. Just before we got started, two more people came in to make it a group of four – you really can’t beat that!
For those unfamiliar with Baxter Brewing Co, they are New England's first and only all-cannery brewery, meaning you can only purchase their beers in a can on the retail market. They also have their beer available on draft, but you will not find any bottled Baxter beers. This is actually great in several ways – the cans are lighter, which cuts down on shipping costs; they are able to be easily recycled; and, they block out 100% of light, which is the main reason beer can become skunked (exposure to oxygen being another main factor).
Keeping up with the environmentally sound practices exhibited by Baxter Brewing Co, their six pack rings are remarkably green! According to Chris, “we use a #4 plastic, LDPE photodegradeable polythelen plastic. This means they are non-toxic and begin degrading when exposed to UV light. They become brittle very quickly, lose most of their structural integrity, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, and depending on the season, may break down completely in as few as three weeks.” This is obviously great for the environment.
Chris chatting about how they make Baxter beers!
Chris led us into the brewery, where we instantly found the canning line. We quickly moved passed the line, as we were hitting the brewery floor first, to learn how they make their wort, which eventually turns into the beer they can, keg, and package.
Once we entered the brewery floor, it was obvious that the tanks the brewers use to produce their beer were quite large. So large in fact, that they had to cut a segment out of the back wall in order to move in the kettle, whirlpool, hot liquor tank, and several fermentation vessels.
The brewery currently has the capability of producing up to 8,600 barrels annually, but in 2011 they were able to produce 5,000 barrels. They went from only distributing in the central to southern Maine area, to eventually getting into the Boston market. There's no estimate on their production for 2012, but all three of their beers - Pamola XTra Pale, Stowaway IPA, and Amber Road are now distributed throughout the greater Boston area, and the brewery is currently planning on releasing some seasonal beers, beginning soon with their Summer brew!
Another prime reason for us to visit the brewery was that they had just released Amber Road, which at the time was only being served and distributed in Maine. It is unbelievable, and truly deserves its own review, which will be done here soon! Needless to say, it was deliciously malty, a bit hoppy, and clocked in at a moderate 5.5% ABV. There was no surprise that we purchased a case of Amber Road, as well as a bunch of other schwag, while we were there!
Despite being a bit north of Portland, a trip to Lewiston to visit Baxter Brewing Co. should not be passed up. There are a few bars in the town as well, notably a Gritty McDuff's brewpub, but is definitely (read: obviously) close enough to head back to Portland for a fun night out on the town.
Baxter Brewing Co. is located at 130 Mill St in Lewiston, ME. Visit their website for upcoming events, brewery news, and tour information - and for Pete's sake - GET SOME OF THEIR BEER! We promise you will love them!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Somerville Brewing Company "Slumbrew" - Somerville, MA
The Slumbrew My Better Half was our fourth and latest installment of the recently released Slumbrew series of beers. Somerville Brewing Company, also more commonly known as "Slumbrew", has been putting out their beers since November, when they had their premier at the Independent in Somerville in Union Square. Since then, they have been working hard to promote their brand, and they are gaining quite the following!
My Better Half pours a reddish orange hue with a nice light and fluffy white head, that gently rests upon the body of the beer. It's definitely inviting, but it was important for us not to jump too far ahead.