Thursday, November 21, 2013

Guest Blogger: Fall to Winter Fest Recap

by Mark Omobono

Ladies and germs, welcome to the show! My name is Mark and I write/live/love ReleasetheKrausen on the reg, but my buddy Adam here at BrewEngland called an audible on the most entertaining fest of the year and asked me to go as a guest in his place. BIG MISTAKE. Because The Drink Craft Beer Fall-to-Winter Fest is easily one of the most underappreciated, high-quality beer festivals in the New England area. Year to year, they continue to impress yours truly, and I look forward to this nonsense all summer from the end of American Craft Beer Festival. As for 2013’s business, lets break down why I've got my jimmies all rustled here.


First of all, the beer selection was amazing. 25 New England craft breweries, all pouring up to 5 different offerings, were all in a constant state of good cheer. From the big guys, like Sam Adams, to the smallest outfits, like Urban Farm Fermentory, every brewery brought their A-game. This was partially due to the fact that the fall-to-winter season is home to some of the most creative and sought-after beer styles all year: imperial porters, Russian imperial stouts, holiday ales, and rum/whiskey/cask aging projects are just a few of the options. Flavor combinations including spices, nuts, oak, juniper, vanilla, pine, caramel… every month colder than March is home to beers that are profoundly complex in a deep, dark way. Drink Craft Beer knows this and primes the pump with the best local beer around, including (but not exclusively) beer hitting mad combinations of these flavor palates, PLUS more that you would never even think of. I’ll get to examples later.


Secondly, DCB is one of the only organizations I know that gives a hearty nod to cideries (Real word, who knows) on a regular basis. A whopping 20% of the invited purveyors were peddling a prominent plethora of pressed apple poisons. It’s New England, people; fall-to-winter is like the Superbowl for our booming apple industry. Act like you’re on the home team! The things the local cideries are doing with apples are BLOWING my mind right now. And for a Fest to dedicate 20% of available space to this underappreciated realm of spicy fruity treats? That’s respect, yo.

Then there’s the actual festival itself. The space DCB uses, Space 57 in Boston in the Revere Hotel, is perfect for Fest events. DCB capped the ticket count at a number that was below the capacity of the space, and I actually had room to swing my elbows and do my I-found-a-great-new-beer Victory Dance. The lighting, the flow of the crowd, and positioning of new and promising breweries were all supah-fine. They put up a live Twitter board filtering the hashtag #FTWfest, which engaged the whole crowd and provided a forum for public beer praise, special “secret offerings” announcements, and even an engagement, I think? The food available was from local restaurants and food trucks, including the ever-popular Union Square Donuts Bacon-Maple donuts, and was perfect for soaking up the alcoholic offerings of the night.



And because I KNOW you’re all wondering about it, here were the best things that I found in liquid form at the festival. These weren’t full reviews, because Iin my opinion you can’t get much of a review using a 2oz tasting. Maybe Adam will let me participate in Tuesday Tastings? Huh? Huh? Anyways, I’ll be purchasing these treats at the Craft Beer Cellar in the next few days to start stocking my nuts up for winter. NOTE: I successfully avoided taking pics of my dirty tasting cup. In no particular order, may I add. 
  •         Bantam Cider (MA) Persian Spice (??% ABV): Delightful flavors of apple cinnamon and floral notes due to added cardamom and a list of other spices I had no time to write down. Would be perfect for Thanksgiving-time sharing.
  •        Berkshire Brewing Co. (MA) Coffeehouse Porter (6.2%): These folks basically define the coffee porter game. Velvet-mouthfeel coffee deliciousness that my fiancĂ© “can NOT get enough of,” meaning I better get some STAT or else. Honorable Mention: the “Secret Menu” which was their Cabin Fever (6.3%) winter warmer spiked with Vanilla Bean mead (of which I didn’t get the creator) that was one of my favorite treats of the night.
  •         Citizen Cider (VT) Dirty Mayor (6.9%): Delicious off-dry apple cider made with a big punch of ginger. Crisp and palate-cleansing, really impressed me for a very young outfit.
  •         Downeast Cider House (MA) Barrel Project #2 (7%): A bourbon-barrel aged sweet(er) cider that really rang with the flavors of vanilla and caramel, and was a great example of how to creatively use barrels for cider. I went back for thirds!
  •         Peak Organic Brewing (ME) Oak Aged Chestnut Mocha Stout on Cask: the names really says it all. They really treated the nuts delicately, as from my own homebrewing experience they can get oily and astringent when used incorrectly. A very well-balanced ale, they do some interesting things for a brewery I’ve usually been ho-hum about.
  •         High Horse Brewing (MA) The Business (9.4%): this imperial stout had a gorgeous smooth mouthfeel that allowed a deep palate of dark fruits, black coffee, dark cocoa, and a bit of alcohol sweetness to conquer your lips. Next time I’m in Amherst I’ll be stopping by for a tasting!
  •         Two Roads Brewing Co. (CT) Biere de Noel (7.3%): If you’re a fan of Delirium Tremens, you would love this beer. Certainly a standout from the rest of the crowd with its distinct banana/clove nose and fuzzy mouthfeel, this was another favorite of mine from the fest.
  •         Wormtown Brewery (MA) Sweet Tats (9%): With oatmeal, cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and locally-roasted cold-brew coffee going into this monster, the coffee-frappe semblance of this imperial stout made it go down easier than an Dunks iced coffee in the middle of July.

If you made it all the way here, thanks for reading my babbling all the way to the end. Give some love to DCB via Facebook and Twitter, but do yourself a favor and mark down the next fest coming up from these guys, because they are classy individuals running kick-ass festivals; you can’t afford to not experience it someday so get on that ish. If you went, hit me up in the Twitterverse at @bono_burr to tell me how spot-on I was with my one-liner reviews. You can also tell Adam how much fun you had reading my guest blogging. I may be back for more! Until then, Salute!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest - TONIGHT!



Speaking of Slumbrew Yankee Swap, tonight is your first opportunity to try it at the Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest, kicking off tonight at Space 57 at the Revere Hotel in Boston.

The FTW Fest was the first Drink Craft Beer festival we attended last year, and boy oh boy was it great. First off, Jeff and Devon really work hard to put on a fabulous event. They limit the breweries to 25, which also includes cider and mead makers, all of which are from New England. Obviously, this is something we strongly support!

On top of that, they also limit the amount of tickets sold, so it's not a complete cluster fuck while trying to get beer. The beer lines move quickly, and the brewers ALWAYS bring some great beers - usually some one-offs and special brews specific to the DCB themed festivals. It makes for a unique festival experience, no doubt.

Tickets are still available for all sessions, but are likely to sell out as they tend to do! Tickets are $50 for all three sessions: Tonight from 6-9:30pm, Tomorrow from 1-4:30pm and 6-9:30pm and your ticket includes unlimited 2 oz samples of 75+ fall and winter beers from 25 New England craft brewers. You'll also receive a biodegradable tasting cup and a fest guide!

There will also be food available for sample and purchase, from Mei Mei Street Kitchen, Roxy's Grilled Cheese, Grillo's Pickles, and Union Square Donuts.

Check out the full brewers list at drinkcraftbeer.com and get your ticket fast!

Tuesday Night Tasting: Slumbrew - Yankee Swap

Wow...it's been a while since we've posted. It's also been even longer since we posted a Tuesday Night Tasting. While we realize it's Friday, it seemed like as good of a day to post our latest review.




Somerville Brewing Co. "Slumbrew" - Somerville, MA
Yankee Swap, English Style Strong Ale
12% ABV, 27 IBU, 22 oz and select draft

This is a new special release beer by Slumbrew, and the first barrel aged beer that they've done commercially. It has a bold, dark brownish hue with a light chocolaty brown head. It pours well, and has a medium, creamy, fluffy head that hangs around. It also gives nice lacing to the glass as you drink it down!

The aroma is incredible. The Turkey Shore Distilleries/Old Ipswich Rum barrels really shine through on this beer. It has a great subtly sweet malty and vanilla scent, and nice oak notes to it that are inviting.

The first sip really gets you into this beer. The vanilla notes carry over, and you're palate is engulfed by a rather mild malt profile. The rum is noticeable too, but is not overbearing. When I drank the first half of the bottle, I could not believe this beer was 12%. Much like the Slumbrew Trekker Trippel, the ABV of the Yankee Swap drinks seemingly much lower than what it actually is. I can't wait to have this on draft.

It has a fairly full mouth feel, yet is not super heavy. This is most likely due to the pale malts used in the mash. For a strong ale, it is definitely drinkable and is really enjoyable. It's highly recommended that you share this with someone you like, because it could prove difficult putting down an entire 22 oz bottle of 12% ABV beer.

Drink now, or age for a while. This beer will hold up!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

An Exciting Day for the Alchemist



I have next week off and plan (tentatively) to make the voyage north to the Green Mountain state to stop at The Alchemist to get my hands on a case of Heady Topper. I mean, it's been a while since I've had it. So, in preparation I took a gander at The Alchemist's website, where I found some great news!

A few weeks ago they posted a super vague picture of one of their brew kettles with an unknown added ingredient. I'm unsure if it was ever identified, but it looked to be cranberries or cherries. Nevertheless, one could assume that The Alchemist was working on a beer other than Heady Topper.

It was in fact confirmed yesterday on their blog, that they would be releasing 15 barrels a month for growler fills of some of their old beers from when they had their Brew Pub (it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene back in 2011). The first beer is going to be Donovan's Red, and is available at one growler fill per person.

There are many more details, too many to list here, so read more about the new beer(s) and rules here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Contest Winner


By the power of Random.org, I hereby grant Caroline a pair of tickets to tonight's Massachusetts Brewers Guild Festival! Please send an email to brewengland at gmail dot com with your beer drinkin' buddy's name and I will have you put on the list!

Thanks to those who entered! 

Cheers!
Adam & Sarah

Thursday, August 29, 2013

MA Brewers Guild Fest Tomorrow! Bonus Contest!





Tomorrow evening, join 38 of your favorite Massachusetts breweries and brewing companies on the concourse of the Seaport World Trade Center for the 4th Annual Massachusetts Brewers Guild Festival. This will be the 3rd year in a row we have attended, and let us tell you it is seriously one of the greatest festivals on the calendar each year.

The past two years has been amazing weather. Paired with some incredible beer, friendly faces, smaller crowds than you're probably used to, and one killer backdrop, this is an amazing event. When you pair all of those features, not to mention absolutely gorgeous weather (slated to be high 70's at the beginning of the fest, for at least the 3rd year in a row), you can not beat this event.

The $35 tickets sold quickly, but there are still tickets left. However, we have been given a pair of tickets to give away. 

Here's how you have a chance of winning: Just leave a comment here letting us know what beers/brewers you're excited about tomorrow. Pretty Simple! Bonus points if you Like our Facebook page and Follow Us on Twitter (if you're not currently doing so). If you are on Twitter, leave your @Twitter handle in your comment and we'll follow back!

One winner will be drawn tomorrow at 12pm tomorrow August 30th. The winner's name will be left on the guest list, courtesy of Brew England.

Here are the full details for the event, from the full press release:


What:  The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is hosting its fourth annual Mass Brewers Fest on Friday, August 30th, bringing together Massachusetts beer lovers and brewers to celebrate local craft beer!  Featuring more than 100 different beers from 30+ member breweries in the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, the Mass Brewers Guild Fest provides an excellent opportunity for craft beer lovers to sample local favorites, as well as some specialty beers brewed exclusively for this festival.

What’s New this Year?:  On August 2nd,  brewers of the Mass Brewers Guild came together at Mayflower Brewing Company to collectively brew a first of its kind collaboration beer.  The limited release beer, a cask English Mild, will be unveiled at this year’s Fest, but will have a unique twist.  Each brewer will have given the base beer their own special touch – adding a favorite hop, signature ingredient, aging the beer in barrels, etc. – showcasing the brewer’s art and creativity in each cask & ready to be tasted at the Fest.
Where:  The event will take place at World Trade Center Head House Concourse, located at 200 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, a beautiful indoor/outdoor venue on Boston's historic waterfront.

When:  The Fest will begin at 6:00 pm on Friday, August 30th

Cost:  Tickets are $40, with beer samples included. The first 500 beer lovers to purchase a ticket will receive a discounted ticket price of $35.  For more information please visit the Massachusetts Brewers Guild website at www.massbrewersguild.org, or purchase tickets directly at http://massbrewersfest.eventbrite.com/.

The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is a 501 (c)(6) non-profit corporation, organized for the purposes of promoting craft brewing and protecting the interests of craft brewers in Massachusetts.  Membership is eligible to any business or individual 1.) holding a “Brewers Notice” issued by the TTB and a Massachusetts License to Manufacture, a Farmer Brewer’s License, or a Brewpub License, (Chapter 138 Sections 19, 19C, and 19D) issued by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, or 2) contracting brewing in Massachusetts, selling beer commercially in Massachusetts, and having its primary place of business in Massachusetts.  Currently there are over 52 members of the Guild.  For more information, visit www.massbrewersguild.org

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Jaws Commemorative Can Out This Week

Who doesn't love a 'Gansett? Well, you can celebrate Shark Week and drink some 'Gansett in style, as Narragansett Beer re-released their 1975 edition of the 12 oz can yesterday. Personally, I prefer my 'Gansett lagers in tall-boy fashion, but these retro cans are pretty cool.




NARRAGANSETT BEER CELEBRATES “SHARK WEEK”
WITH COMMEMORATIVE 1975 “JAWS” CAN RELEASE
Limited-Edition Can Features Retro ‘Gansett Design Featured in Iconic Film

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (August 6, 2013) – Today, Narragansett Beer announces the re-release of the wildly popular “Jaws” can just in time for Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” and “Jaws” actor Robert Shaw’s birthday. For a limited time, all 12-, 18- and 30-packs of 12-ounce cans of Narragansett Lager will feature the same design and logo made popular by the shark-infested thriller.

The can’s retro imagery, nostalgic to the millions of beer-drinking baby boomers who came of age at the time, became permanently ingrained in American culture with the release of Jaws in 1975. In the film, Captain Sam Quint, played by Oscar-nominated actor Robert Shaw, who would have turned 86 on Aug. 9, famously crushes a can of Narragansett Lager to intimidate Richard Dreyfuss’ character. At the time, ‘Gansett was prevalent throughout the Northeast, including Martha’s Vineyard where “Jaws” was filmed, producing over one million barrels of beer per year.
                                                                                                                                 
While this classic can design may recall memories of the good ol’ days, the quality of its contents also speaks to the brand’s rich heritage. Narragansett Lager is the brewer’s flagship beer, its original recipe tracked down by former Brewmaster Bill Anderson when the company was revived in 2005 by CEO Mark Hellendrung. Since then, it has been recognized byBeerAdvocate.com as the No. 1 rated domestic premium lager and awarded the gold medal for best lager by the Great International Beer Festival.
The 12-ounce limited-edition retro can is available for purchase throughout New England where 12-, 18- and 30-packs are sold (SRP: 12-packs: $9.99 - $11.99; 18-packs: $12.99 - $14.99; 30-packs: $18.99 - $20.99). 

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 Providence, R.I., Rochester, N.Y., and Buzzard’s Bay, Mass. and is one of America's top 50 regional brewers and the fastest-growing in the Northeast. Narragansett is available for purchase in local restaurants, bars, and liquor stores throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin and Nashville, Tenn.

Thirsty for more? Visit: www.narragansettbeer.com.

Friday, August 2, 2013

WGBH Craft Beer Festival Recap

What do you get when you mix NPR, amazing craft beer, and incredibly delicious food? Aside from a good time, you get the first ever WGBH Craft Beer Fest! Put on by WGBH, Massachusetts' Public Radio and Television station, back on July 13th, this mix of New England craft brewers and area food and beverage business attracted a variety of craft beer geeks and foodies alike!

Our friends Sarah and George were joining us for the evening and we made a stop in at Deep Ellum in Allston for some grub and pints. Despite having just ate, we were still planning our plan of attack for the snacks that were going to be available to us.

Sarah and Sarah work together & share an office. Crazy Love.

The event took place on the studio grounds in Brighton, and proved to be a sort of hidden gem for a beer festival. While the campus of WGBH is vast, there was a good sized alley of sorts where the beer tents were set up. Aside from the free parking, this festival had some of the best food we've ever seen.

As soon as you walked through the gate, you were greeted instantly by the Roxy's Gourmet Grilled Cheese Food Truck. Churning out overwhelmingly good, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, you couldn't help but stop in for a snack.




The brewers were set up on either side of the alley, just around the corner. In addition to brewers like Slumbrew, Baxter Brewing Co., Pretty Things, Watch City BrewingPeak Organic, Smuttynose, White Birch, and more, there were also some other awesome vendors there. Our friends Kate and Suzanne from Craft Beer Cellar were offering up samples of a variety of choice Belgian beers, including the ever so rare Westvleteren XII, as well as some other incredibly hard to get beer like The Alchemist's Heady Topper!

No vessel is too small for a koozie!

The folks from Modern Homebrew Emporium in Cambridge were on hand and were actually brewing a beer. They were offering advice to those looking to get into the hobby, and additional pointers to the many homebrewers who were in attendance.

Over by the live music, the Moyzilla Food Truck was cranking out various delicious small bites like dumplings and grilled chicken skewers. You couldn't help but fill up!


The lines for beer were long at times, but they were always moving. These brewers are serious professionals and know how to keep the crowd happy.

The only drawback from this event was the periodical light rain that fell. Fortunately, it was light and we had beer, so it wasn't much of an issue. The free parking was a definite bonus! It sounds like the event was a success, so don't be surprised if you see the 2nd Annual installment next summer!

Sarah with her BFF Lindsay from Baxter & her roommate Carolyn


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Happy #IPAday


August 1st marks the hippest day on the beer calendar - IPA Day! Started in 2011 as an homage to a fabulous beer style, lupulin lovers across the world (okay, at least the country) participate in this annual tradition.

Now, for Sarah and I, we tend to celebrate IPA day just about every day as we are huge fans of India Pale Ales. For others, it's not exactly the style for them (for whatever reason that is). Many people have already been showing their love for the IPA today, but for the majority for us...well, we'll have to wait until this evening to participate.

If you're trying to figure out what beer(s) to celebrate with tonight, here are some fabulous IPAs to chose from, offered by some incredible breweries and brewers in New England.

Mayflower Brewing Co. IPA - Piney, malty, delicious. One of our favorite English style IPAs.

Slumbrew Sittin' On Hop of The World - Brand new, it's a White IPA fermented on Peaches. Slightly citrusy, crisp, and delicious.

Night Shift Brewing Oasis - Lower on the malt, higher on the hop profile. Incredibly floral and drinkable!

Baxter Brewing Co. Stowaway IPA - We still can't get enough of this beer. High malt, high hops, floral, bitter, one hell of a beer!

Wormtown Brewery Be Hoppy IPA - A staple in the Wormtown portfolio, this is a pleasantly bitter and aromatic IPA.

Earth Eagle Brewings Jack Wagon - Admittedly, this is a hard one to get your hands on. Earth Eagle Brewings is a new brewery in Portsmouth, NH. Although they brew on a small scale, this beer is huge on flavor. It's bitter, but not overpowering. It's malty sweet that shines!

Watchusett Brewing Co. IPA - Incredibly floral and quite bitter. I think this beer is slightly overshadowed by the Green Monstah IPA (also good) and Larry Imperial IPA (incredible).

Maine Beer Co. Lunch - Also another hard one to find, as it's mostly available in limited quantities, but this is one hell of a beer. Piney, sticky, malty, but smooth and an easy drinker. What else can you ask for in an IPA?

The gratuitous recommendation

The Alchemist Heady Topper - if you have some, enjoy! If not, and you can get it today (check Eastern Standard in Kenmore) or are in Vermont, definitely do it. Just do it (no, not Nike).

If you're feeling more national than local, definitely consider: Stone Brewing Co. Ruination IPA, 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die, Sixpoint Resin, Avery Brewing Co. IPA, Dogfish Head 90 Minute.

Celebrate well my friends!


Night Shift is Hiring!



Night Shift Brewing, located in Everett, MA is hiring a full-time Jack-of-All-Trades. This is a hands on, gritty, and demanding position, but sounds like a great job looking to get into the brewing world or continue their career in an up and coming, growing craft brewery.

Per the job posting, the final notes read:

- Professional experience is not a must, but is a big plus
- If you are a homebrewer, expect to bring samples of your beers as part of the interview process.

Applications are currently being accepted with a deadline of August 15th.

Read the full job description here.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Local Beer Showcase @ the Kinsale, Tonight!




Review Brews and the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, in conjunction with the Kinsale Irish Pub, will be hosting a Local Beer Showcase as a Pre-Beer Bloggers Conference event tonight at 6pm. The Kinsale, located across from City Hall Plaza, has a craft beer focus and is the perfect space to show off some of Massachusetts' finest brewers and breweries.

Many brewers and the brewery representatives will be on hand to talk shop with those in attendance. Come geek out with us!

Here are the full details:

Review Brews, Massachusetts Brewers Guild and The Kinsale Irish Pub and Restaurant Presents:
Local Beer Showcase


Location: Kinsale, 2 Center Plaza, Boston
Date: Thursday, July 25th, 2013, 6 p.m.

Join Review Brews, the Massachusetts Brewers Guild and The Kinsale Irish Pub & Restaurant as they co-host an evening celebrating the great craft breweries of Massachusetts and their beers. From Boston to the Berkshires, the North Shore to the South Shore, Massachusetts is home to many fantastic breweries. Each brings their own style and flavor to the tap handles, from sours to summer ales, IPA’s and session beers, ales and lagers:

Riverwalk Brewing Co. (Newburyport, MA)
Banner Beer Company (Grafton, MA)
Night Shift Brewing Co. (Everett, MA)
Element Brewing Co. (Millers Falls, MA)
Kretschmann Brewing Co. (Webster, MA)
Idle Hands Craft Ales (Everett, MA)
Brewmaster Jack (Amherst, MA)
Wormtown Brewery (Worcester, MA)
Mayflower Brewery (Plymouth, MA)
Trillium Brewing Co. (Boston, MA)
Cape Ann Brewing Co. (Gloucester, MA)
Notch Brewing Co. (Ipswich, MA)
Bog Iron Brewing Co. (Norton, MA)
Battle Road Brewing Co. (Ipswich, MA)
Slumbrew (Somerville, MA)
Newburyport Brewing Co. (Newburyport, MA)
Jack’s Abby Brewing (Framingham, MA)


That's some impressive line up! Every one of these breweries will be on draft tonight, with some getting multiple lines. There's no way you could possible drink a beer from every brewery, but you can sure as hell try!

Come out, have some brews, and meet some cool people!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

2013 Beer Bloggers Conference Boston



This weekend 150+ fellow beer bloggers will embark on the 4th Annual Beer Bloggers Conference in Boston, MA. The event actually kicks off in Portland, Maine Thursday night with a pre-conference excursion as well as a Pre-Party at the Kinsale Irish Pub in Boston (more details soon to follow on the Kinsale event).

Sadly, we won't be attending, but there are an incredible amount of events and activities throughout the weekend to keep everyone busy! For additional updates from some of the great beer bloggers who will be there, definitely check out the blogs from Sean and the 2beerguys.com crew, Brian from Seacoast Beverage Lab, and Carla aka: The Beer Babe!

I know the schedule is jam packed both Friday and Saturday, plus a half day on Sunday. However, should you find yourself with some spare time and would like to venture out on the great city of Boston in search of great local New England craft beer and food, here are some places I highly recommend you consider visiting. All are MBTA accessible or within walking distance from the hotel.

Near the Hotel (Boston Park Plaza):

Stoddard’s Fine Food & Ales – A MUST STOP for any discerning beer fan. Stoddard’s offers 20 tap lines, plus four beer engines (sometimes a gravity cask too), featuring a lineup of great local and regional beers. Their burger is one of the best I’ve had in the city, and I always have a great time. The bartenders are friendly and make some delicious and creative pre-prohibition style cocktails too. The bar area can fill up quickly by 5:30pm as it is in the heart of the Financial District / Beacon Hill, but is a 10 minute walk from the Park Plaza and is T accessible (Red Line, Park Street stop).

jm Curley – Looking for great beer and an eclectic mix of food? Well, jm Curley is the place. Pretty much right across from Stoddard’s, this rustic restaurant features several local brands on tap and in bottle or can, which pair incredibly well with their diverse southern inspired fare.

Want to get away from the Boston Common area? Well, here are a few more in the city you may enjoy…

A Little Further Down the Road (Still in Boston):

Yard House, Fenway – The Yard House boasts one of the largest selections of beer in the city. The Fenway location is only steps away from historic Fenway Park and has ample seating for large groups. They have a huge bar, with a second bar in the back with garage doors for great patio dining. The food is decent, and the beer selection is big. It’s also conveniently located in between two T stops (Green Line D Line, Fenway Stop).

Lower Depths, Kenmore Square – The national chain restaurant not your thing? Try Lower Depths in Kenmore Square instead. Lower Depths features a great line up of local and national craft beer on draft, with a cask, plus a too-big-to-list bottle and can list. Their food is great too, but you better bring some cash as they don't take credit cards. However, it is well worth it! (Green Line, Kenmore Square Stop *any line but the E line).

Bukowski Tavern, Back Bay – A sister restaurant of Lower Depths, The "Buk" is an intimate beer bar in Boston’s historic Back Bay and is a great little place. The burger is always tasty, and it’s right off of Boylston Street a few blocks from the Prudential Building. Their beer book is vast, so you will not be disappointed. Also a cash only bar, their menus read, “In God We Trust. All others must pay cash.” (Green Line, Hynes Convention Center Stop *any line but the E line)

Want to get out of town? Here are some other highly recommended places to visit…

For the Adventurous (Outside of Boston Proper):

Redbones, Davis Square Somerville – Davis Square is one of the best places in the city. Okay, well it’s technically just outside of Boston, but there are an incredible amount of bars/restaurants that serve a ton of great craft beer. Redbones is the best place in Somerville to grab some food and a pint (or five). They feature 28 lines and two casks, which basically rotate daily or every few days, and their barbeque menu is delicious and extensive. They also have two bars, one upstairs with an adjacent dining room, and one downstairs dubbed “Underbones.” Underbones is a dark and mellow lounge, which is great to escape the outside heat (Red Line, Davis Square Stop).

Russell House Tavern, Harvard Square Cambridge – If you’re looking to visit the historic "Hahvad Yahd", Russell House Tavern is the best place to visit. They have a small bar upstairs, with a bigger bar downstairs. They also have a fairly good sized dining room downstairs and have another one of my favorite burgers in the city.  You’ll always find a small, but selectively great line up of local beers on both draft and in bottles (Red Line, Harvard Square Stop).

Meadhall, Kendall Square Cambridge – Meadhall has the largest beer selection in Cambridge with 100 tap lines. They are also meticulous with their lines, and group the same brewery’s beers next to each other at all times. They also serve all the beer in the appropriate breweries’ branded glasses, which is pretty rad. The draft list varies daily and features some of the Boston area’s finest brewers. Their Belgian-American food is delicious and pairs well with any of their beers (Red Line, Kendall Square Stop).

These are just some of the great places the City of Boston has to offer. The beer and food rival that of any other great beer city and you will not be disappointed by visiting any (or all) of these places. If you live here or in the area, you probably know already how awesome our city is. If this is your first time in Boston, welcome!

Enjoy your time and get out there and explore!

Cheers,
Adam & Sarah

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

6th Annual Summer Brewfest at Indian Ranch

Indian Ranch

 
Summer Brewfest Returns to the Beach at Indian Ranch Saturday, August 3
Sixth Annual Festival introduces craft brewers from Massachusetts and beyond, music, food and more
(Webster, MA; July 22, 2013) - While Indian Ranch is known for offering music lovers a chance to see some of the nation's best country, classic rock and pop bands in an intimate setting on the shore of Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, each summer on one day music takes a back seat to beer. On Saturday, August 3 from 2:00-6:00PM, over 100 different beers and malt beverages will be served at the Sixth Annual Summer Brewfest at Indian Ranch.

Beer aficionados and novices alike will have the opportunity to sample local, regional and international micro-brews, craft beers and malt beverages while enjoying delicious food, listening to live music, and taking part in plenty of fun and games on the beach.

This year's Summer Brewfest will introduce three new Massachusetts breweries including Bay State Beer Company from Leicester, Battle Road Brewing Company from Ipswich and Webster's own Kretschmann Brewing Company. Worcester's Wormtown Brewing will also return to the festival joining other Massachusetts Breweries including Wachusett Brewing CompanyNotch BreweryBlue Hills Brewing Company as well as Harpoon and Samuel Adams.

The other New England states will also be well represented at Summer Brewfest. Olde Burneside Brewing of ConnecticutLong Trail BrewingTravelers Beer Co. and Magic Hat out of Vermont,Shipyard Brewing Company and Sea Dog Brewing Company of Maine, Red Hook of New Hampshire and Narragansett Brewing Company in Rhode Island are all returning to the festival. In addition, beer lovers can try samples from all corners of the country from Chicago's Goose IslandBrewing Company and Hawaii's Kona Brewing Company to Widmer Brothers Brewing of Oregon,Ithaca Beer Company of New York, Shock Top an Anheuser Busch product, Sierra Nevada fromCalifornia, Boulevard Brewing Company out of Kansas City, Blue Moon Brewing of Colorado,Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company of Wisconsin. Malt beverages Woodchuck Hard Cider andAngry Orchard Hard Cider will also be part of this year's event.

Providing culinary accompaniment will be Webster's Bistro Eighty Ate's and Sturbridge's BT's SmokehouseFriendly Liquors will be at the offering a wide selection of fine cigars. Overdrive, one of Central Massachusetts premiere cover bands will provide the musical backdrop to Brewfest. Games will dot the beachfront providing the perfect day on the Lake.

Tickets for Summer Brewfest at Indian Ranch are $30. Designated Driver tickets are also available for just $5. Tickets are available online at www.indianranch.com 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 www.indianranch.com.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Drink Craft Beer Summerfest




This past weekend was another successful Drink Craft Beer festival. The Summerfest, a Celebration of Farmhouse Ale, was the inaugural event for DCB last year, which has spawned a series of quarterly festivals throughout the year. Organizers Jeff Wharton and Devon Regan (and crew) do a great job compiling a lineup of New England craft brewers, which is obviously something we love!

Last Friday’s event was great! There were several new breweries pouring for the first time, such as Urban Farm Fermentory, Battle Road Brewing Co., Foolproof Brewing Co., Two Roads Brewing Co., RiverwalkBrewing Co., and Trillium Brewing Co. 



In addition, the Drink Craft Beer crew set up great food vendors, like Q’s Nuts and Union Sq. Donuts both out of Somerville, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese (a Boston Food Truck), and Grillo’s Pickles in Inman Sq.



One of the cool parts about the Drink Craft Beer Festivals at Space 57 at the Revere Hotel, is that they have a giant projector screen with live tweets from brewers and guests! It picks up Twitter #hashtags and allows them to be viewed on the giant screen. Well, while the delicious farmhouse ales were being sampled, a celebrity Twitter picture came up on the board:


Former Boston Bruins and new Edmonton Oilers defenseman Andrew Ference was in attendance with a buddy of his. Now, I didn’t see the pic/Tweet, but I heard that Ference was in the house. I told Helder from Backlash about it, and hoped to run into him during the event. It wasn’t until later where I went to grab a beer, turned around, and came a few feet from practically walking right into him.

Photo courtesy of: Mike Johnson/Festpics
Some of the standout beers from the evening were Welkin Ringer ESB from Mystic Brewery, Wakerobin from Trillium, and Night ShiftBrewing’s Arnie (Fest Beer), which is an Arnold Palmer inspired beer blended with Kombucha from Urban Farm Fermentory. Notch Brewing also had a keg of their Brett Saison, which was pretty funky!

Of course, while I was nerding out by checking in beers on Untappd (@BrewEngland for users), Mike Duhgus from Festpics snapped a beauty!



If you haven’t been to one of the Drink Craft Beer festivals, definitely check out their next festival. They always feature a great line up of brewers, the food is always great, and the space makes for an intimate and enjoyable event!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

NH Governor Signs New Bar Law

Man...sometimes I really miss living in New Hampshire. Sure, it takes at least 30 minutes to get places, and their idea of a traffic jam is a five minute delay from the off ramp to Granite Street, but still. You've got to love it!

Governor Maggie Hassan signed a new law yesterday pushing back the last call from 1am to 2am. Granted, it's up to the local governing body, but still. This is a pretty impressive measurement. 

Now, if Massachusetts could get something like this, or say...maybe a true Happy Hour, that would be great! In fact, I'd rather have Happy Hour than a later last call - after all, I'm not 25 years old and don't tend to stay up to the wee hours of the morning anymore. It also doesn't encourage me to drink more, it encourages me to save more money!

However, I could totally get behind a Happy Hour. Sarah and I spent four days up in New Hampshire last week. We went to Happy Hour at Strange Brew Tavern in Manchester, each got three beers and an appetizer, and the bill came to $21. That really made us happy! In Massachusetts, establishments consider 1/2 priced appetizers their Happy Hour, which is kinda pathetic.

Live Free or Die!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Really? We're Talking About This Again!?

Ugh...

Seriously? Is it becoming that time again...where breweries are releasing beer in the wrong season and there's another rant by me on this platform? I know, it's here to stay and I probably shouldn't mention anything, but holy shit this is just irritating.

My good friend Dan is obsessed with everything pumpkin. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin everything. I don't blame him though. The dude buys a case of Southern Tier's Pumking (which for the record is a f'n awesome beer) and enjoys it year round. Sarah also makes a ridiculous pumpkin soup. However, Dan posted on Facebook today that Weyerbacher, who claims their "...beer is more pumpkin-y than yours," will be releasing their Imperial Pumpkin on Friday July 12th.

Now, I get it. I really do. I was a business major in college and I see sales and their practices on a daily basis. Breweries are a business and they are out to make money, some for shareholders, all for stakeholders, and they're always trying to get the edge on the market. But, it seems every year beers are being released earlier and earlier and usually it's most notable with the "fall beers."

There are two HUGE culprits for seasonal shift: Industry Leaders and consumers. The industry leaders push their high selling products to market earlier each season looking to get the edge. And it's not just "fall beers" - the Spring seasonal are released in December, the Summer beer is available in April, and before you know it the Winter beers are going to hit the market in September. Consumers only further this by demanding the product and are there to buy the beer once available.

The whole thing boggles my mind. I mean, it shouldn't because this is clearly not the first time I've posted about this. I will, however, try to make it my last one.

Again, to read an eloquent explanation of seasonal shift, please visit the Notch Brewing website and read brewer Chris Lohring's post "The Death of Seasonal Beers."

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Trio of Festival Sessions This Weekend!


This is just a friendly reminder that the Drink Craft Beer Summerfest kicks off Friday night at Space 57 at the Revere Hotel, and continues on Saturday with two sessions!

Tickets are $50, and are still available in limited quantities for all sessions. Click here to purchase your tickets!





Also, WGBH Boston follows up their Funfest (for kids) with their inaugural Beer Fest at their studios in Boston. This single session is being held on Saturday from 7 - 10pm.

Tickets are $40 for Members and $50 for non-members. Click here for tickets!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cambridge 5K Race Series


Working closely with Slumbrew over the course of the past year, Sarah and I discovered one of the coolest combinations of sport and craft beer – the Cambridge 5K Race Series. As of right now, they have a total of five races over the course of the calendar year; the Freedom Run (East Cambridge, MA - May), Sasquatch (Fells Reservation/Stone Zoo, Stoneham, MA - July), Big BadWolf (Ipswich, MA – September), Oktoberfest (Kendal Sq. Cambridge, MA – October), and Yulefest (Harvard Sq. Cambridge, MA – December).

These races are special for craft beer lovers. First, they get some exercise. Second of all, and probably the best part, is that participants have fun. Racers are encouraged, and rewarded, for dressing up in their best costumes, based on the theme of the race. Paired with this great run, comes the after parties – which if you haven’t participated in one of these runs, are quite epic. In fact, the Cambridge 5K pairs up with local craft brewers to pour what can only be called a shit load of beer to racers.

Slumbrew, Notch Brewing, Baxter Brewing Co., Pretty ThingsBeer & Ale Project, Cambridge Brewing Company, Night Shift Brewing, Ipswich Ale Brewery, and Clown Shoes have all been or will all be race sponsors, pouring their beer for thirsty and sweaty costumed racers. In fact, both Slumbrew and Notch have put together some pretty sizable and serious(ly fun) racing teams!

Unfortunately, I broke both of my ankles (separate times) and have limited running ability. But, I may just be able to pull off a 5K. This would DEFINITELY be my choice, as they just seem like so much fun. Until then, I’ll do my part to help out by doing what I do best – pouring beer!

Check out the Cambridge 5K website to see how you can get involved in their races and also the brewing company’s Facebook pages to see how you can join the fun and perhaps register for one of their racing teams!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tis the Season for Beer Festivals!

A few weeks ago I received an email from Men’s Health Magazine, listing the Top Six MUST ATTEND Summer Beer Festivals around the country. It got me thinking…what would be some great summer beer festivals around New England? Well, this is what we have found!





May 31st & June 1st  Boston, MA: Beer Advocate’s American Craft Beer Festival (ACBF)

Obviously, this event took place several weeks ago, but it is the largest craft beer festival on the East Coast and the second largest festival in the country. Featuring over 150 of the country’s finest craft brewers pouring over 500 beers, this festival is truly insane. Friday’s session had approximately 3,800 guests, with both Saturday sessions housing 5,000 incredibly passionate and thirsty beer lovers.

Spotlight Breweries: DC Brau, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Tree House Brewing






July 12th & 13th Boston, MA: Drink Craft Beer Summerfest


Held at Space 57 at the Revere Hotel in downtown Boston, Jeff & Devon at Drink Craft Beer host a celebration of farmhouse ales for the second time (Summer fest in 2012 was their first ever fest). The cool thing about the DCB Fests is that they have a theme, and ask the participating New England breweries and brewing companies to bring or brew a specific beer based on the festival's theme. The brewery list is limited to 25 booths and tickets are limited, which cuts down on overcrowding and makes for a highly enjoyable festival.

Spotlight Breweries: Urban Farm Fermentory, Portico Brewing Co., Foolproof Brewing Co.



July 13th Boston, MA: WGBH Craft Beer Festival

Beer Festivals have been pretty successful in raising funds for great causes. So Boston's own public television and radio station WGBH seems like a logical choice to host a beer festival! They're also working hard to promote and educate supporters on the world of craft beers created throughout New England!

Spotlight Breweries: Baxter Brewing Co., Newburyport Brewing Co., Slumbrew




July 19th & 20th Burlington, VT: Vermont Brewers Festival

Set on the shore of Lake Champlain in beautiful Burlington, VT, this annual festival features an incredible amount of small, local, Vermont breweries many people outside of the state probably have never heard of such as: Fiddlehead Brewing Company, Whetstone Station, Kingdom Brewing, and Grateful Hands Brewing. However, there are some Vermont staples such as the Vermont Pub & Brewery, Harpoon, Longtrail, Otter Creek and more!

Spotlight Breweries: Hill Farmstead Brewery, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, The Alchemist





July 26th & 27th Hooksett, NH: Southern New Hampshire Brewers Fest

Believe it or not, my hometown has a brewery…a pretty damn good one too in White Birch Brewing. Bill Herlicka is a mad scientist of sorts when it comes to brewing beer. He features a great variety of styles, from sours, to black ales, to short batches. This year’s Brewers Fest will be the 3rd Annual event, which takes place on the White Birch Brewery grounds. Featuring 22 (mostly) regional and national craft brewers from Earth Eagle Brewings, Martha’s Exchange, Milly’s Tavern, The Prodigal Brewery, Stone Brewing, and many more, this is a great summertime festival.

Spotlight Breweries: White Birch Brewing, Smuttynose Brewing Co., Throwback Brewery




August 30th Boston, MA: Mass Brewers Guild Festival

Undoubtedly one of the best festivals all season! Set on the concourse of the Seaport World Trade Center, the MA Brewers Guild Fest features just about every brewery and brewing company currently in the Guild. The past two years have been picture perfect weather, with Boston’s Financial District as the backdrop to this incredible event. Proceeds from ticket sales help bolster the Guild, which promotes and protects the interest of craft brewers in Massachusetts. Sadly, this marks the end of the summer season, but is truly a great event taking place over Labor Day weekend.

Spotlight Breweries: Slumbrew, Backlash Beer Co., Trillium Brewing