Monthly Archives: November 2013

What Hit The Shelves This Week

Here’s a list of various beers that hit the shelves this week in and around Boston.

Brewery Beer Style
Brouwerij St. Bernardus Christmas Ale Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout American Imperial Stout
Goose Island Lolita American Wild Ale
Harpoon Beer Trip ’13 – Polskie Mastne Polish Amber Ale
Harpoon Bronze King Barleywine Ale
Maine Beer Company Lil One American Strong Ale
Oscar Blues Ten FIDY Russian Imperial Stout
Stone Crime American Strong Ale

Did we miss anything else? If so feel free to let us know.

Night Shift Announces 2 New Beers: Bean Porter & Quad Reserve

Night ShiftThe fine folks from Night Shift Brewing out in Everett have been busy. They’ve been planning their move to a bigger facility which has been an ongoing process for them, but haven’t slowed down on the brewing side of things. Far from it in fact as they’ve announced two new beers for us to all enjoy. The first is their Bean Porter, which is a collaboration they did with Bean Snowboards and which resulted in a bourbon & rye whiskey barrel-fermented porter which has been infused with both vanilla and coffee beans. It tops at 6.5%.

The second is Quad Reserve, a stronger version of their Triple Reserve. It’s a Belgian-style ale fermented with some Shiraz grape must which was then aged to perfection in some red wine oak barrels for 10 months and tops off at 10.1%.

And what better way to celebrate those beers then by having a release party at the brewery? On December 4th from 5-10PM, they’ll be hosting an event and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese will be there as well to make sure that no one goes hungry. Tickets are $10 a pop and more information about the event can be found here.

Jack’s Abby Announces New Extra Pale Lager: Hopstitution

Framingham-based brewery Jack’s Abby has announced a new beer of theirs which is due to be released in mid-December. The new beer, Hopstitution, will be an extra pale lager and will allow them to cycle through hops as they get them instead of having to worry about acquiring a specific one which can be tricky. For their first batch, they’ll be featuring three new, experimental hops: HBC-344, HBC-291 and HBC-462.

Here’s a copy of their official statement in regards to this upcoming lager:

The hardest part about making new and exciting hoppy beers is sourcing the hops you need. Most hops are bought under contracts which are signed two or three years in advance. If you have a new beer that becomes popular you are often unable to brew anymore of it as there is no source for the hops. We occasionally get opportunities to acquire small quantities of specialty hops that are enough for one batch of beer, but no more.

We have decided to create a new Extra Pale Lager(XPL) that we are calling Hop Swap. The idea is that the base beer will always remain the same but there will be a new batch every 4-8 weeks that will use new hops. This will allow us to feature hops that we would otherwise not be able to make use of.

Our first release of Hopstitution XPL will be released Thursday, December 5th. It will feature three new experimental hops, HBC-344, HBC-291 and HBC-462. These are all new high alpha hop strains that are not yet widely available.

In the meantime you can still enjoy their Kiwi Rising and Lashes Lager which are both available in stores.

What Hit the Shelves This Week

Here’s a list of various beers that hit the shelves this week in and around Boston. It’s been a relatively quiet week in terms of releases but as Christmas quickly approaches, expect more to be happening over the next few weeks with darker, stronger releases to help us get through this chilly temperatures.

Brewery Beer Style
Ballast Point Sea Monster Imperial Stout Imperial Stout
Brouwerij Huyghe Delirium Noel Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Hoppin’ Frog Hopin’ to Heaven IPA American IPA
Schmaltz Brewing Co. He’Brew Hop Manna IPA American IPA
Slumbrew Yankee Swap Strong Ale

Also not listed is a second round of Red Wheelbarrow from Maine Beer Company alongside more Kiwi Rising from Jack’s Abby. Did we miss anything else? If so feel free to let us know.

News Roundup

A lot always seems to be going on within the Boston beer scene and this week has been no exception. From brewery updates to delivery day, here’s a quick roundup of what’s been happening these last few days. And as always, feel free to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more, daily updates as well:

Trillium Brewing out in Fort Point is now licensed to pour samples of their beers in their taproom. Furthemore, their flagship beer, Fort Point Pale Ale is also back on tap for growler fills. Lastly, they’ve also introduced gift cards as the holiday season approaches. Everyone knows that giving the gift of fresh, delicious, local beer is the best of gifts so head on out there. You know you want to.

– Craft Beer Cellar has expanded with a brand new location which just opened yesterday out in Braintree. This is the franchise’s fifth location in the Boston area and a welcomed one for the South Shore. They’re located right on Commercial Street and feature over 650 different beers from around 225 different breweries.

Slumbrew’s much anticipated (and delicious) Yankee Swap beer, an ale brewed with some maple syrup and aged in oak rum barrels has hit the shelves in the Boston area. The ale premiered last weekend at the Fall to Winter festival and I had not one, not two but three samples and was very happy to pick some up earlier today at my local store. Be on the lookout for it.

– Another thing to hit the shelves again in the Boston area is a second round of beers from Maine Beer Company which includes their 2013 collaboration with Allagash and in’finity alongside their amber ale known as Red Wheelbarrow. If you missed out a few weeks ago, this is your chance to get your hands on some.

Fall To Winter Beer Festival Recap

Boston has quite a few local beer festival every year, from the ones at the Armory in Somerville or at the Seaport World Trade Center. This time around, it was at Space 57 at the edge of the Theater District that we headed on a wonderful, fall evening for the first of three sessions of the Fall to Winter Festival.

The organizers of this event, Drink Craft Beer, did a wonderful job gathering not only local breweries but local businesses as well. From delicious Roxy grilled cheeses to Grillo pickles and Union Square Donut goodies, our stomachs were kept quite satisfied as we made our way from table to table to sample some of the 80+ available brews.

One thing that stood out, as I had somewhat anticipated, is the presence of not one, not two but five (!) speciality cideries present at the event. Harpoon also poured some of their cider as well. So if beer isn’t your thing.. well… what the hell are you doing at a beer festival.

@BostonTweet (left) and I at the festival

So all of the beers and ciders came from VT, ME, CT and MA. It was all local and everything was pretty damn tasty. Most of the pours weren’t hop-centric and it was more of a malt-heavy and barrel-aged beer kind of night. Lots of porters, stouts and a few experimental ones as well. Jack’s Abby poured a cinnamon and nutmeg version of their barrel-aged Smoke & Dagger which was outstanding as was Wormtown Brewing‘s Sweet Tats stout. Night Shift Brewing had some gems in there as well like their Fallen Apple and Chinooknation and Harpoon did something unique: they poured 50% of their cider with 50% of their Winter Warmer which they called an ‘apple pie’ and which was delicious.

One big surprise there was a fairly recent newcomer to the scene: High Horse Brewing out of Amhrest. They presented four very different beer and on top of that had a cask ale available as well. Their latter was a smoked ale which was finished with some maple syrup. Really tasty stuff. Smuttynose also had some interesting beers like their red wine barrel-finished scotch ale which was great. All in all, there was a fantastic selection of very unique beers from a lot of various breweries, small and big. A lot of them weren’t afraid of experimenting either or putting a unique twist on their beers. Much like Berkshire Brewing Company did when you asked for their ‘secret’ beer which was one of their beers finished with some vanilla syrup of sorts. It was great.

Scott B. (left) and I tearing into our grilled cheeses. Photo credit: BostonDotCom.

And to top things off, the food available was great. From the free Grillo’s pickle spears (mustard or beer pickles) to the Union Square Donut’s maple bacon donut (!) and Roxy’s grilled cheese sandwiches, it was all very tasty. The people were great, the space was great (although a tad small as things got busy) and my only two negatives for the evening was that while we got in line before 6PM, we didn’t actually get in until almost 6:25PM even though the event was scheduled to start at 6PM. It took a long time, this despite the fact that EventBrite’s app makes it super quick to scan tickets via the mobile app… Oh and my other complaint was that Wormtown Brewing’s Norm coconut stout wasn’t available despite being listed on the site. I was bummed. But these minor complaints aside, everything was pretty great, and good times were had. I hope this is an annual thing.

Medusa Brewing Company Coming to Hudson

It looks like Medusa Brewing will be coming to Hudson next summer with both a brewery and a taproom as the three friends finalize their dream after leasing a new space right on Main Street.

Long time friends Keith Antul, Tom Sutter and Keith Sullivan will also be taking full advantage of the new laws in place which enable breweries to not be limited to just pouring 2oz samples and will be accompanying their brewery with a taproom where both their beers and some food will be available. The taproom is planned to sit nearly 100 people and the entire space will be approximately 5,000 square feet.

These three fellows aren’t unfamiliar with the craft beer industry and while Antul has created some brewed winning beers in the past, Sutter is also the co-owner of Worcester’s Arsmby Abbey, one of the best craft beer spots in the country.

More information can be found on their website.

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