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 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!

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 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

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!?


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 " 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