Monthly Archives: February 2016

Gentile Brewing Company Grand Opening Friday in Beverly

Gentile BrewingBig news coming out of Beverly today as Gentile Brewing have announced that they’ll be making their big opening on this upcoming Friday at 4PM.

This family-owned nano-brewery owned and operated by Paul and Christen Gentile, they will be producing beers using “traditional English-style brewing methods and ingredients” according to their website. They plan on having four year-round beers available as well as a continuously rotating amount of smaller batch beers as well. Paul has honed his skills since 2009 while helping out on various contract brewing contracts at Mercury Brewing, on brands like Clown Shoes, Slumbrew and Notch Brewing.

This new brewery will feature four beers at opening which include an IPA, a porter, a stout and a blonde ale. 32oz and 64oz growler fills will be available as well as full pours.

Gentile Brewing is located over at 59 Park Street, Unite 1, Beverly, MA 01915.

Brew Woo Ticket Giveaway

We partnered up with the folks over at the DCU Center who were generous enough to offer up two pairs of tickets to the upcoming BrewWoo beer festival which is to take place at the DCU Center in less than two weeks, on Saturday April 2nd.

Brew Woo will feature two sessions where 55+ breweries and cideries will be sharing over hundred different beers and a multitude of ciders as well! Local breweries and cideries will include such names as Bantam Cider, Cisco Brewers, Down East Cider, Harpoon, Two Roads and White Lion, and many more will be there as well as live music. You can see the full list right on the following webpage.

There are many ways for you to enter, including daily bonuses and all entries must be from participants who are 21+. We will randomly select two winners who will be contacted by email once the contest is over and who will each get two tickets to the session of their choice, available for pickup at will call.

You can enter the giveaway by clicking on the link below or through the special tab over on the Craft Beer Boston Facebook page.

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You can also find out more about the BrewWoo beer festival on the official event website over here and also purchase tickets to the event via Ticketmaster. You can also use the code CRAFTY to get $5 off your tickets. Good luck!

Night Shift Brewing Adds Two 45 BBL Oak Foeders

Night Shift BrewingAs demand for world-class sours continues to drastically increase, adding significant pressure for breweries to expand their oak-aged programs to keep up, Everett’s own Night Shift Brewing have announced that they have added two 45 barrel oak foeders to their brewing arsenal. That’s nearly 3,800 gallons-worth of oaked sours that they will be able to produce out of those new vessels and they plan on continuing to expand with additional ones down the road.

Below is their formal announcement:

Everett, MA – On February 2, 2016, Night Shift Brewing celebrated the four-year anniversary of their first commercially brewed batch of beer. Their anniversary present to themselves? Two 45 bbl oak foeders that will be used to significantly enhance Night Shift’s sour and wild beer program.

Generally used for aging wine, these large wooden barrels (called foeders, also spelled foudres) are commonly reused by craft breweries to age and develop various styles of beer. With their two new foeders, Night Shift will be able to condition an additional 2800 gallons of sour/wild beer at any given time. This supplements the brewery’s current collection of approximately 400 oak barrels, or 20,000 gallons of barrel-aging capacity.

The Everett brewery obtained their foeders from a family-owned Napa Valley winery that recently emptied them of red wine. Night Shift will fill both foeders in February with mixed fermentation sour ales, and expects to see the first available batch later this year. “Our plan is to use the solera process, which is actually a winemaking tradition,” commented NSB co-founder Rob Burns. “Each time we transfer beer out of the foeder, we leave some behind to blend with incoming ‘new’ beer. This allows for an ever-evolving but consistently familiar beer personality.”

Night Shift plans to purchase additional foeders based on availability in the market as the year continues. “We’ve been committed to putting out unique sour and wild beers since our 2012 beginnings,” said Burns. “These foeders will give us the chance to further develop that commitment.”

Night Shift Brewing is located at 87 Santilli Highway in Everett, MA.

Extreme Beer Fest Wrap Up

Extreme Beer Fest Wrap Up

It is less than two hours into the Saturday afternoon session and there is already one poor soul slumped on the floor, resting on a column in the middle of the Seaport World Trade Center floor. Eyes closed, head to her chest, random papers, sample cup, and jacket strewn around her, she could no longer handle the debauchery and excess of limitless 2 oz samples of “extreme” beers. Either that or maybe it was just fatigue from waiting in line for Tree House.

Beer Advocate’s Extreme Beer Fest is the event that many fellow beer enthusiasts (nerds) pine for throughout the year. Tickets now go one sale 6+ months in advance and sell out soon after. It has become known as a place for both uber-hyped breweries to bring their rarest, most sought-after creations, as well as up and coming producers to get noticed. The spectacle has long outgrown it’s roots at the Cyclorama in the South End to take over a significant portion of the trade center space once a year. Three long rows of 70+ brewers serving 300+ beers is a lot to take in at first and for many, pre-planning routes to ensure the chance to tick the most limited brews is a must in the weeks leading up to the event. However, the dazzling array of options presented upon entering the building almost always leads to the best laid plans going out the window and the inevitable clusterfuck as lines build and intoxication sets in.

For session #2, the semi-annual “Running of the Neckbeards” commenced on-time at 1:00PM. The unshaven faithful could not be dissuaded from lining up more than 90 minutes prior to ensure they had the first taste of Triple Shot with Vanilla. The night before, I sheered my own substantial winter growth because I had developed a habit of stroking it like a Greek philosopher deep in thought.  This act left me feeling like much less of a stereotype as I settled into the line a seemingly reasonable 45 minutes before open. The wait time flew by quickly as an endless line of douchebags cut the line to find their friends farther up. (Pro tip: your Uber driver getting lost does not give you the privilege to walk past everyone else in line to find your friends who planned ahead better.)

“No Treehouse line for me!” I definitely declared to my companions as we leisurely strolled inside. This year, I was intent on skipping the hype and concentrating more on sampling from breweries I was not familiar with or may not be quite as desired. Of course, I make a similar proclamation before every beer festival and inevitably end up giving in to my basic instinct of needing to taste the most limited offerings available and wait in ridiculously long lines for the privilege. This year would prove to be no different and after a mere two samples, I made a beeline for the longest line in the history of EBF. For the most part, lines were manageable for all breweries without the initials TH, so I didn’t feel quite so bad about breaking my self-imposed restriction. The 30 minute wait was also made much more bearable by the classy move of the TH staff to walk down the line pouring King Julius samples.

Sours and BA/adjunct dark beers ruled the day. Harper II from Proclamation was amazing. The addition of cherries to the already fantastic base worked perfectly. Not quite as good as Harper I, but these guys are really helping to put RI breweries on the map. No doubt the bottle release this weekend is going to be a shitshow.

Rare Barrel deserves every bit of praise they get. I probably drank a bottles worth of Forces Unseen samples. Old faithfuls like Maple Bacon Coffee Porter from Funky Buddha and Bourbon Gingerbread Stout from Hardywood were on-point, as well.

As for the big guns, Kane is really bringing it with their Barrel Aged program. ANTEAD Coconut is the truth and Mexican Brunch is an amazing take on the mexican stout trend. Tree House was worth the time, given you’d likely be waiting 3+ hours to get anything as limited at the brewery. Triple Shot with Vanilla was a bit of a letdown for me (not much vanilla and a bit thin), but Give Me Truth was about as perfect an example of a BA stout as you can find without any adjuncts necessary.

Lowlights for me included The King from Trophy (peanut butter water) and Pickle Juice from 4 Quarters (bad hop combination in a session IPA.) I would award worst in show to Dogfish Head’s Liquor De M’Alstroms. Adding chilis and corn nuts to a malt liquor base is definitely extreme as fuck, but that doesn’t make it interesting, nor good. I’ll give points for the cleverness of serving out of plastic 40oz bottles in brown paper bags, but god forbid the flagship beer from the event’s sponsors is actually drinkable. Not far behind was the Chocolate Fruition Gose from Newburgh. Who tasted this and thought it would be a good representation of their brewery at a high-profile event? It was great fun to watch the look on people’s faces as they walked away from their booth, though. It reminded me of those youtube videos of sadistic parents handing infants their first lemon slice only more pukey.

The surprise of the fest for me was Cambridge Brewing’s You Enjoy My Stout with Toasted Coconut on cask; an amazing improvement on a classic recipe. I am all-aboard the adjunct stout hype train and hope to see similar variants from these guys when it is brewed again next year.

There were a lot of complaints that EBF ’16 was too full of “shelf beer” this year. I respectfully disagree and found it a bit liberating to not be caught up in the mad dash for the next 20+ minute line for a sip of a whale. Sometimes it is much more fun to just relax, wander around with friends, and find beer you otherwise would never have known about rather than doing your best Captain Ahab impression. Once you got away from the meandering Tree House line and surrounding booths, the room felt much less crowded and chill. People were generally well-behaved and the “Whalez Brah” crowd seemed to be at a minimum or at least kept the elitism to themselves.

My biggest beef of the afternoon was with the Waffle Cabin. If I wait in your line for 15+ minutes, the damn things better be cooked all the way through. I get that they want to pump them out as quickly as possible, but as a liege waffle connoisseur, a doughy, uncooked center made me sad. I also missed the free bags of chips from previous years.

As I walked to the exit near the end of the session, I couldn’t help but notice that the passed-out girl from earlier had been replaced by several more, similarly unable to handle the utter extremeness of the event. Remember folks, food and water are your friends, both before, during, and after beer fests. You don’t want to be “that guy/girl” semi-conscious in the middle of the floor clutching a broken pretzel necklace while your friend holds a puke bag to your face.

As always, a good time seemed to be had by all, without a doubt worth the $60 price of admission. I certainly didn’t get to try everything, so feel free to share your personal highlights/lowlights, surprises, or disappointments in the comments.


Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Launches Cidergeist in Massachusetts

RhinegeistIt looks like the craft cider scene in Massachusetts is heating up with the impending arrival of Cidergeist, a cider-centric brand from Cincinnati’s very own Rhinegeist.

With two, year-round seasonal ciders which are a semi-dry and dry-hopped iteration which features centennial hops as well as a newly minted distribution agreement via the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance, they’ll be arriving on the shelves in Massachusetts in early March.

Below is the full press release:

Cincinnati, OH. — Cincinnati-based Rhinegeist Brewery announces of Cidergeist, the brewery’s craft cider brand, into Boston and across the state of Massachusetts. Rhinegeist Brewery will partner with Massachusetts Beverage Alliance to distribute both Semi Dry and Dry Hopped ciders. Cidergeist can be found on draft and in 12oz six packs in Massachusetts’s bars, restaurants, liquor and grocery stores beginning March 1, 2016.

Rhinegeist Brewery recently appointed Nick Vitalo as Sales Director for the Cidergeist brand. Having spent the last six years with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, most recently as their Mid-Atlantic Division Manager, Nick will take lead on the Cidergeist brand expansion, including the Boston launch starting in February.

“Over the last few months, we have seen a strong response from customers excited for a drier craft cider option,” says Rhinegeist Co-Founder, Bryant Goulding. He continues to add, “We are thrilled to take Cidergeist to the heart of New England, with its strong cider tradition and entrenched craft culture. It’s a tough market but we believe there is an unmet demand for dry, bright and complex craft cider and we are looking forward to working hard to serving our cider to the Boston & Massachusetts market.”

Brian Murphy, Massachusetts Beverage Alliance Director of Sales and Marketing, is equally excited about the partnership. Murphy said, “We have watched Rhinegeist’s rise as a prominent craft brewery from afar and have been thoroughly impressed. Their foray into the craft cider category is super exciting and we believe in what this team can accomplish.  We at MBA are proud to have Massachusetts be the next market to be able enjoy these tasty ciders.”

Rhinegeist launched Cidergeist in October of 2015. It is the brewery’s first category extension outside of craft beer. Why Cider? Cidergeist gives the brewery the opportunity to play in a lighter and drier zone than beer is able to achieve, introducing a flavor profile more akin to white wine, and refreshing in uniquely fruity way.

A Little Bit About Rhinegeist Brewery

Our name, Rhinegeist, translates to “Ghost of the Rhine” and refers to our location in the historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District in Cincinnati, Ohio. Located in an old brewery building built before prohibition, we brew batches of beer that sing with flavor. We aim to brew beers where, ‘the first sip calls for the third’ and we believe in the power of beer to bring great people together, foment fantastic ideas, and build a community that values craft beer and one another.

Stay tuned on our events page for launch events which are slated to take place in and around Boston over the next few weeks.