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FRIDAY FACTS!!!

[this is what we have to lead with]

 

Can Glasses! Merchandising! Merchandising! Merchandising!

 

Seriously, you should take one of our Can Glasses home with you because they’re awesome and maybe, just maybe, we’ll start being able to sell some other glasses that we’ve been using recently when we’re through the can glasses.

 

[beer stuff]

 

 

This is all factual information you may need going into the weekend (if you’re a planner (meaning, someone who likes to plan things out (if so, please teach me how to grocery shop?)) then you’re thanking me out loud (would that be TMOL?)) and beyond because I’m predicting the future here and it’s going to be bright and with many many Game of Thrones references but without the spoilers.

 

Almanac (for some reason the word “Almanac” is difficult for me to type, you?) Summer in the City: I’m not entirely sure where “Summer in the City” comes into play in a beer that’s basically an Oak Aged Sour (as all of their beers are) with Vanilla and Citrus. I’m not sure where vanilla can be considered “summery” but, then again, I still think cucumbers taste better pickled. So, sour with hints of citrus and aromas of vanilla? Don’t know?

 

Citizen Cider Companion: Firstly, it’s a Cider and secondly it has sour cherry juice in it. So, it’s undoubtedly a Sour Cherry Cider.

 

Von Trapp Bohemia: So, we all know Czech Style Pilsners by now (my fantasy is that one of you is somewhere else and you’re sitting at a bar and someone asks the question “I wonder what the difference between a German Style Pilsner is as opposed to a Czech Style Pilsner?” To which you go on a lengthy explanation revealing your habit of eavesdropping only to shed truth light on the fellow patrons who will surely thank you for the knowledge drop, ultimately leading you to thank me (Kevin) in the process): soft and flowery.

 

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #6: Double IPA made with Mosaic hops– Mosaic hops are the bastard children of Jon Snow, which makes them a Double Bastard (but not really, they’ll have a path to the throne if you’re an avid watcher) in the eyes of the social drinker. Mosaic hops are juicy/tropical/tastekindoflikeblueberriesbutmorelikethestems.

 

Zero Gravity CSA IPA: All you really need to know here is “CSA” means CITRA/SIMCOE/AMARILLO because them’s the hops employed. So, a citrusy IPA with a good malt backbone because them’s the Zero Gravity folks.

 

Foley Brothers Big Bang IPA: Unfiltered Single IPA brewed with Citra and Galaxy and dry hopped with Citra/Mosaic/Amarillo/Simcoe. Aromas are a melody of grapefruit/passion fruit/papaya/lychee/melon. That’s what they say about it and I’ve met them, they’re nice.

 

Upper Pass Hip to the Hops: it would be amazing like a brilliant sunset ruined by a lone cloud if this name hasn’t been used before. It just seems like it has to have been used. Anyway, I was told (this will be my first sipping) that it’s “cleaner” than the First Drop, which leads me to believe that it’ll be a little crisper with a little less body but not waning in the hop category. Also, new American hops are employed.

 

Zero Gravity Little Wolf: it’s gluten removed, get over it. It’s also an American Pale Ale with great malty character and a balanced hop profile. I drink this a lot when you don’t see me drinking.

 

Lost Nation Gose: do we have to? Yes. Yes, we have to actually write a description for a beer we all know and love. I’m planning Indian (I’m allowed to say Indian – I’m an Indian) Summer around this beer and I think people will finally listen to me.

 

Breakside Stout: OK! “Export” Stout is basically a cross right down the middle of what you know about Oatmeal Stouts and Imperial Stouts. So, it’s around 7% in alcohol, very roasty and dark as the Watch (sorry). It’s a fun beer because, when done correctly (according to the BJCP profile), the taste will match the smell. So, basically, it’s a Dry Stout (kind of like an Irish Style Stout – no brand names needed) but, historically, given more alcohol (read: more malt, same package) in order to survive long voyages.

 

Idle Hands: Kill Your Idles: A Berliner Weisse made with Blood Oranges. Tart aspects from being a Berliner Weisse with the bitter peel aspect of having blood oranges in it.

 

 

 

Them’s are the beers that you will see soon but there’s others too so don’t be surprised when you see something that I haven’t mentioned – or, how about you act surprised because that’ll be funner.

 

 

 

Good luck!

 

 

km

 

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A Week and A Day from Now (Next Saturday!)...

 

Here’s a little bit more about what you’re going to have to choo-choo-choose from when the crew from Exhibit “A” gets here Saturday (August 19th – for those away from a calendar). That would have been a great time to end that sentence with a colon and go from there but, well, we’re all about breaking the “norms” aren’t we?

 

Goody Two Shoes: we have to use the word “style” here because it’s not technically brewed in Cologne, Germany (last time I checked) but what we have here is a fantastic Kolsch Style, rounding out that straw colored goodness with a crisp finish and a malty profile. They make theirs with both the Warthog and Vienna Malts from Valley Malt in Hadley, Mass and with the noble hop Tettnanger and Mandarina Bavaria hops.

 

Hair Raiser Double IPA: a Maris Otter malt backbone gives way to the waves of Galaxy, Mosaic, Azacca and High Oil Cascade hops in this lovingly balanced Double version of everyone’s favorite India Pale Ale.

 

Demo Tape 11 Side B: a Double Dry Hopped Wheat with the Valley Malt’s Warthog and the hops of Mosaic and Ekuanot, both of the hops you are looking for, but also made with raw honey from a place you may have heard of; Barr Hill.

 

Leitmotif Opus 5: lots going on here folks: kettle soured and fermented with Saison yeast it’s given fresh grapefruit and lime and then dry hopped with Citra hops. If you read that sentence really carefully it’ll tell you all you’ll need to know.

 

 

We’ll see you here for the drinking (ALL DAY or while supplies last (wouldn’t it be SIPplies?)) and for the meeting (4-6 is when Matt and the crew are scheduled to be here) Saturday!

 

 

Cheers!

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SNEAK PEAK!

We were just talking about Exhibit A Brewing out of Framingham, MASS and their beers and how good they were and how you didn’t want to wait until NEXT SATURDAY to get your hands on a couple of their beers all at once.

 

Therefore (I’m hereby replacing the word “therefore” for the word “so” everytime I want to begin a sentence with the word “so” because I read somewhere that you’re not supposed to do that), THIS THURSDAY, we’re going to release one of the beers ahead of time to get your palates started – like racecars spelled backwards.

 

We will have cans of Exhibit A’s Demo Tape Thirteen for you to get in you. Their Demo Tape series is a way for them to get beer to you that may not be exactly where they concretely want it, or they’re playing around with different ingredients and getting everything to be perfection. And, their Demo Tapes (much like the actual Demo Tapes of yore – kids, a “Demo Tape” was what musicians used to pass around to people they’d want to hear their music with the hopes that the person listening might have a large studio with a lot of money and that they liked their music and wanted to make them rock stars – OKA (otherwise known as) a cassette tape) are good ways for them to play and you to drink.

 

Demo Tape Thirteen is a juicy IPA made with local (to them) hops and malt. The hops are rakau and nugget from Four Star Farms in Northfield, MA and the flaked oats are from Valley Malt in Hadley. This will be your Thursday so pay attention.

 

Also, we’re going to also be also pouring these also beers also:

 

Lost Nation Smoked Helles: we’ve had on a bunch of Helles recently where I feel like I don’t have to go into the [ok, I will, one more time…Helles means “bright” and was the German’s answer for all them Czech fuckers taking their idea (Pilsners) and making them different and having people want them instead of the German ones – so they “basically” made a Pilsner with less hops and way more bready malty] history. But imagine what you know with a touch of smoke.

 

Zero Gravity Citizen Zero: This’ll be fun, right? It’s part Gruit (a really fun beer made with basically everything except for malt – so in this case they use gale, mugwort and yarrow (which all have fermentable aspects when heated, just like malt)) and part Cider. They used juice from the Citizen Cider, hence the nod in the name. Finally, it’s fermented with both British (way sweeter outcome than American) AND Belgian strains of yeast. There’s a lot going on here; it’s going to have a tartness that’s more akin to fresh apple juice than anything.

 

Zero Gravity Kellerbier: next up in the “educate the masses by giving them options of the same shade” thing that I’m doing is going to be Kellerbiers. I have this one going on and then I have another, from Germany, where Kellerbiers were born in a manger. True story. Kellerbiers are, literally, nothing more than an unfiltered and additionally hopped Pilsner. But, they tend to be smoother and have a little less “bite” than other Pilsners, specifically one that’s from Germany because why class?

 

 

 

 

That’s RIGHT!

 

 

Because German Pilsners tend to have a mineral aspect to them that the Czech counterparts do not, good for you.

 

Kent Falls Solstice: I think this brewery makes good beer. This is a dry hopped Farmhouse Ale. Because this will be the first “Farmhouse” Ale I’ve had from them I’m going off of their Juicemaker that we have on and deducing that it’s a touch Drier than you’re used to as well as being a capital “D” where you’re not used to one either. So, on the dry side of the Farmhouse tip.

 

Highwater West Meets East: or it may be East Meets West I’m not really sure just yet. Whatever it may be it is actually a Sour, wine barrel aged with a capital “S” and also made with kiwis and kumquats.

 

Idletyme Danube: the word “Danube” is a reference to the fact that this is a Blueberry Hefeweizen and there’s a waltz by Strauss called the Blue Danube. Most people dance to it at their wedding without knowing the song and if you click on THESE WORDS you’ll hear it and then be all like, “No way, I know that song.” Yeah, it’s THAT song. Oh, about the beer, it’s a hefeweizen, with blueberries in it.

 

 

YOU > EVERYONE ELSE

 

 

 

km

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MOVING OUT (Anthony's Beers)!

We’re doing this thing right now that you should be made aware of because it’s pretty awesome and so are you but don’t get too comfortable, I was just making sure I didn’t end this sentence with a preposition.

 

Known in some circles as a “Fire Sale,” which is the same circle that calls a “Garage Sale” a “Tag Sale” so their intention is questionable. We’re trying to move some of our bottle inventory so that we can bring in some new things and have those for you instead of the ones we have right now; it’s kind of how things work.

 

Therefore, the following 750 milliliter bottles can be YOURS at a very much so discounted price because you should come in a share a bottle with someone you love or someone you just met, it makes no difference, the effect will be the same.  

 

Brasserie Dupont – Dry Hopped Saison (2015) – this is the one where they used the British hop Minstrel, which imparts a lovely spiced berry note on top of the normal Saison Dupont greatness. – 6.5% - $16 - BELGIUM

 

Four Quarters Fleur De List – Wine Aged Tart Saison – we’re using “tart” here so as not to shock you when you drink it and it has a tartness to it. This is a really lovely offering from our friends in the Onion City. And, the wine in here (Red) comes through as more of a “huh” moment and isn’t dominant.  - 4.4% - $13 – VERMONT

 

Blackberry Farm – Fall Saison – Blackberry Farm (Tennessee! Who knew!?!) makes some hugely powerful Saisons and this is no different. Get this and pair it with the fish and chips because you should. - 5.7% - $13 – TENNESSEE

 

Hopfenstark Saison Station 55 – Saison – The straight up no chaser Saison from one of my favorite breweries (I shouldn’t talk about Fred’s Berliners here but they’re ridiculous). His (Fred) Saisons are beautifully delicate and astoundingly drinkable. - 7% - $13 – QUEBEC

 

Kerkom Reuss – Blonde Sour – the lone Gueuze on the list (well, this list), this siaREALLLY amazing beer that you should probably drink at this price and then thank me. - 5.8% - $15 – BELGIUM

 

Au Baron Cuvee Des Jonquilles – Biere de Garde – Oddly enough, this beer is almost impossible (almost it seems) to find, even in France. Straddling the line between a Biere de Garde and a Saison I’m running out of adjectives to try and get you to drink these before I start crying because it’s almost like we’re giving these away so you should take advantage of it. - 7% - $12 – FRANCE

 

Le Trou de Diable Saison de Tracteur – Saison – more words about world class beer that should be drank and you should be the person to do it. - 6% - $11 – QUEBEC

 

 

In conclusion, please come and drink these really really really awesome beers because they’re really awesome and we want you to drink them.

 

 

 

That is all.

 

 

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

 

 

 

 

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Your Weekly Fix...

 

 

The following is the things that we have coming up on draft and otherwise but everyone around here knows it as a WRITE UP FOR YOU PEOPLE WHO SHOULD STAY OFF MY LAWN!:

 

True things – we have an event coming up in a couple of weeks that I’m going to go into great detail about in the coming aforementioned weeks and it’s with EXHIBIT A brewery out of Framingham, MA. We’re super psyched to have our longtime friend Matt in the house with a bunch of his wares for you to oogle over. It’s on August 19th and he’ll be here from 4-6 so you should be too. Stay tuned to the social media things and you’ll be informed as well as I.

 

Also true – this Thursday through Sunday we’re going to be doing a bottle sale of sorts (which, some people call it a “Fire” sale whereas they’re probably the same people who call a garage sale a “tag” sale). We’ll have a bunch of our bottles available for basically very close to what we paid for them because we want to see you sitting in our bar sharing beers, that’s kind of what it’s all about.

 

 

All that truth aside, here’s some total lies that I get to tell today (kidding about most of that):

 

 

Almanac Sunshine & Opportunity: we’ve had it before and it’s a perfect sour for this time of year. It’s a soured (read: mixed fermentation with Saison/Brettanomyces/Lactobacillus yeasties) aged in Oak Barrels and then dry hopped before packaging. That’s a lot to write on a board so it’ll just read “Oak Aged Hoppy Sour.” The Dry hops are Citra.

 

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #4: Double IPA with Citra and Galaxy hops: Citra = basically orange peel/tangerine pith and Galaxy = Tropicana. Put them together and what do you get? Beer. You get a Double IPA from Hill Farmstead.

 

Zero Gravity Hopfenweisse: Imagine a beer teetering on the brink of being a Hefeweizen (more in depth later – it’ll get you to read this) but way too hoppy and using the hop Equinox; a very tropical hop.

 

Lawson’s Finest Idaho 7: this is a single hop IPA (Idaho 7 is the hop) that kind of walks the same line as Mosaic in my opinion. The flavor combinations (renderings) range from fruit gum to papaya to black pepper to tea and it’s really all in your palate to determine it. Most people love this hop. There are those that do not but they will be in the minority.

 

Hill Farmstead Walden: American Blonde Ale. There’s a good dose of our favorite hops (Motueka/Amarillo/Simcoe) in here all wrapped up in a 4% Blonde Ale, which basically means that it’s Blonde in color, light in body and crisp. This is no different. I would drink four gallons of this and not share.

 

Kent Falls Pineapple Juicemaker: Brett Fermented IPA with Pineapples. I’ve heard really good things about this brewery and this should be pretty good. I brought in a couple of different kinds from them and, well, they should be good. Imagine a very hoppy offering with a little tartness to it and the juiciness from the pineapple.

 

Alesmith Vietnamese Speedway Stout: Cellared (it’s from 2016) Imperial Stout made with Vietnamese Coffee. I think I’ve written enough in the past about what these taste like and don’t have to ever again.

 

Idletyme Bavarian Weizen: Hefeweizen. The name says it all here: Hefe means “yeast” and Weizen means “wheat.” So, it will have a cloudiness to it, both derived from the yeast selection (a yeast that doesn’t flocculate as well as others after fermentation – which is intentional in this case) and the use of a high portion of wheat (which tends to stay in suspension in the beer because of the types of proteins it imparts – a lower portion of wheat can do wonders with head retention and body development). Overall, a wonderful summer beer, very refreshing.  We’re going to be pouring a blueberry version at some point so I can make as many Varuca Salt references as possible because I have a blueberry for a daughter.

 

 

That should be it.

 

Thank you.

 

km

 

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Pine to the Apple.

Confession time: I’ve never made a beer with pineapple.

 

 

I know, I know, it’s a shocker right?

 

 

Even doing the little bit of research that I just did in order to talk to you more about how pineapple is used in the brewing process I’m still conflicted on where I, personally, would employ this tropical fruit. My first thought would be to either use hops that emulate (so as not to mess with the enzymatic confliction of this bromeliad messing with head retention or even actually making the beer taste or smell like the fruit as opposed to doing the same thing that grapes do when they become wine) the look/smell/taste of pineapple or use the husks and go a completely different route; to actually use a pineapple, per se, but not actually use any of the fruit.

 

At least that’s where my brain goes when someone starts yapping about Pineapple in their beer (spoiler alert: I just figured out where I would use the pineapple in the brewing process and it has the word “aging” in it).

 

It’s because I’ve never done it myself.

 

But, luckily for you, there’s a brewery that we have on right now who’ve taken the long plank and figured out how to do it.

 

A Brewery out of Kent Falls, aptly called the Kent Falls Brewing Company, (our first time caller long time listener from Connecticut) makes a beer called Pineapple Juicemaker, a Brett(anomyces) IPA that’s conditioned on pineapple puree and dried pineapple. What the pineapple does here is support their house Brett strain; the fruit isn’t overwhelming but merely compliments the yeast. The nose is filled with hops and the taste is lovely, a bitter (I use that word in a good way) and hoppy offering that has that slight hint of pineapple after the fact.

 

With the throws of August staring us in the face and promising for hotter weather coming up, this will be the perfect beer to help us along.

 

 

That’s about all I got for you today unless you want to say the word “bromeliad” together, slowly, because I’m all about that word. I didn’t even have to look it up.

 

 

Cheers,

 

km

 

 

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TWIB (This Week in Beer) for July 24th and After.

 

If THIS isn’t in your head whenever you see the acronym “TWIB” then it probably should be because I’m totally stealing/plagiarizing/grabbing all inspiration from that but I’m replacing the “B” here with “Beer” instead of the “Baseball” that it used to be when I was a kinder.

 

To start, we’re doing one of those crazy things tomorrow where we’re donating 5% of ALL OF OUR TOTAL SALES to an organization that deserves it. This time, we’re partnering with One Vermont. They’re a great organization that provides a ton of help to the local community of Vermont through social and fiscal work. You can and should read all about it HERE.

 

So, thanks for coming in and helping out, it means a lot.

 

Also, if you’re around on Sunday, we’re doing this thing where we’re selling our bottles (this week it’s Blackberry Farm’s Fall Saison, Hopfenstark’s Saison Station 55 and Four Quarters Fleur de Lis – all 750ml and ALL $12! That’s about the steal of your generation) at a price that’s been mentioned parenthetically. You should get on that.

 

 

And then there was the other beer.

 

Let’s chat about the things that you may see on draft this week, huh?

 

Citizen Cider Companion: Sour Cherry Cider – So, they made a cider with apples and then finished it with fresh cherry juice to transform it into the being known as Companion, otherwise known as (OKA) a Sour Cherry Cider.

 

Lost Nation Vermont Pilsner: this would be a great time to compare/contrast what a “traditional” German-Style Pilsner is versus what Lost Nation does with theirs. You will quickly find out what I mean by “American Pilsner.” Usually, the term “American Pilsner” (you should, when seeing me putting things in quotations, actually picture me using my fingers (two each hand) in the air, actually and physically putting things in quotations) means that corn or some sort of adjunct is involved. But, in this case, it doesn’t. What I mean by “American Pilsner” here is that it’s fairly hoppy for the style. Comparing this to, say, the Bavik that we have on right now (that can either be a pint for $5 or a 20oz for $6 – AND – make it a 20oz for the pint price on the Saturdays). Bavik is a very traditionally made German-Style Pilsner: compare/contrast analyze/interpret.

 

Hill Farmstead Society & Solitude #6: Double IPA with Mosaic hops: we should all know my take on Mosaic hops by now and how I really can’t describe it because it seems to be different for everyone. Mosaic hops are said to be VERY berryesque, whereas I get bubblegum.

 

Zero Gravity Strawberry Moon: a Sour Ale made with over 600 pounds of local Strawberries. I’m going to spoil this for you: you know those little seeds on the fruit of the strawberry (why is that dang word so hard to type?), that’s what it’s going to taste like. Generally, when you add strawberries to something (let’s face it, we’re talking about beer), those seeds are the taste that comes through.

 

Zero Gravity Hopfenweisse: Imagine a beer teetering on the brink of being a Hefeweizen (more in depth later – it’ll get you to read this) but way too hoppy and using the hop Equinox; a very tropical hop.

 

Hill Farmstead Dharma Bum: Single Hop IPA where the “Single” here means Simcoe because that is a type of hop. Simcoe, when used properly (and it is here – this is a really great representation of when a brewer uses this hop well) promotes the earthly aspect of hops. When used incorrectly, it is said that you’ll get an aroma and taste of cat piss, whatever that tastes like.

 

Kent Falls Pineapple Juicemaker: Brett Fermented IPA with Pineapples. I’ve heard really good things about this brewery and this should be pretty good. I brought in a couple of different kinds from them and, well, they should be good. Imagine a very hoppy offering with a little tartness to it and the juiciness from the pineapple.

 

Four Quarters Little Umbrellas: Sour ale made with toasted coconut and pineapple. Man, it’s really tough to write about anything right now sitting at the bar; I need an office. So, sour from mixed fermentation and add some toasted coconut and pineapple to that.

 

Idletyme Bavarian Weizen: Hefeweizen. The name says it all here: Hefe means “yeast” and Weizen means “wheat.” So, it will have a cloudiness to it, both derived from the yeast selection (a yeast that doesn’t flocculate as well as others after fermentation – which is intentional in this case) and the use of a high portion of wheat (which tends to stay in suspension in the beer because of the types of proteins it imparts – a lower portion of wheat can do wonders with head retention and body development). Overall, a wonderful summer beer, very refreshing.

 

 

That should be it.

 

Thank you.

 

km

 

 

 

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This Week In Beer (anyone get that reference? - it's from the 80s and baseball)

If you happen to find yourself within the friendly confines of Three Penny (and if you’re reading this, chances are you probably either LOVE me or you LOVE Three Penny – that’s just a hunch) you may notice that for the price of an Edward, you can get a Burger. It’s a PT Farms Grass Fed Beef Burger that’s called the Flatburger (it’s cooked on a flat top as opposed to the other burgers that we have, which are done on the grill) and it comes with some fries on the side and some TPT sauce right on there for a whopping $6. Go ahead, make it a double. Go ahead, get a bunch to go. Go ahead and move west young man. Do all the things.

 

This burger was made for you and me.

 

You know what pairs really well with our Flatburger?

 

 

You walked right into that one:

 

 

 

Beer.

 

 

Here’s what you’ll probably see this week moving forward…

 

 

ON TAP AS OF THIS MORNING Hermit Thrush Rye Barrel Rye: the base beer is a Sour Rye Ale that’s been aged in Saxton River’s Maple Rye whiskey barrels for a bunch of months. So, you’ll have a sour and tart base with a little “heat” from the whiskey. Rye whiskey tends to have a little more bite than “regular” whiskey (whatever that is).

 

von Trapp Bohemia: Czech style pilsner. Soft and flowery.

 

Hill Farmstead Anna: a really lovely Farmhouse/FarmsteadAle made with honey. So, there’s going to be that awesome tart profile that you get with Hill’s Saisons with a little hint of honey thrown in there for the [bleep] of it.

 

Hill Farmstead Abner: American Double IPA. Gold Standard. Hoppy like it should be.

 

Zero Gravity Strawberry Moon: a Sour Ale made with over 600 pounds of local Strawberries. I’m going to spoil this for you: you know those little seeds on the fruit of the strawberry (why is that [bleep]ing word so hard to type?), that’s what it’s going to taste like. Generally, when you add strawberries to something (let’s face it, we’re talking about beer), those seeds are the taste that comes through.

 

Idletyme Bavarian Weizen: Hefeweizen. The name says it all here: Hefe means “yeast” and Weizen means “wheat.” So, it will have a cloudiness to it, both derived from the yeast selection (a yeast that doesn’t flocculate as well as others after fermentation – which is intentional in this case) and the use of a high portion of wheat (which tends to stay in suspension in the beer because of the types of proteins it imparts – a lower portion of wheat can do wonders with head retention and body development). Overall, a wonderful summer beer, very refreshing.

 

ON TAP NOW!!! De Brabendere Bavik Super Pils: this’ll let me know if you’re reading these or not. We’re going to offer this beer in two different formats: it can either be served in 16 or 20 ounce glasses for $5 or $6 respectively. About the beer: It’s from Belgium. There’s this whole Belgian Beer Week thing going on so we’re putting this on because of that. But, being from Belgium is as Belgian as it gets. In actuality, it’s a German Style Pilsner made in Belgium. So, it’s going to have that lovely minerality to it that sets it apart from its’ Czech counterparts.

 

Hill Farmstead Legitimacy: In the past we’re described this as an “IPA with Oats.” I hate to break it to you kittens; most IPAs are made with oats, I just got kind of sick of writing “American IPA” on the board. But, as far as an explanation, it’s an IPA with Oats (the addition of Oats adds to the body and aides with the head retention). I’ve always thought Legitimacy was much lighter than his other IPAs, a little airy.

 

Hill Farmstead Difference & Repetition: an American IPA made with Simcoe, Amarillo and Galaxy. Expect kiwi and orange and mango in the nose with a lingering hop finish.

 

Lord Hobo Glorious: apparently it’s the best beer to come out of Lord Hobo or the five or six people who have told me that already are totally [bleep]ing lying to me. If you tell me that it’ll make seven people. So, this is a Galaxy Pale Ale (although it’s higher in ABV than I would normally call a “Pale Ale” we’re going with it anyway). One would assume (I’m one) that it’s a single hop pale ale using Galaxy hops, which are super duper [bleep]ing juicy with huge aspects of tangerine and orange and grapefruit. I’m pretty pumped to get to try this as I haven’t yet and this’ll be my first time.

 

That should be it.

 

Thank you.

 

km

 

 

 

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If you’re already sick of reading my glory days posts where I tell you about that time that I was a professional brewer (“professional” in the sense that I was in charge of a complete brewery from grain to glass to advertising to peddling and that it was what I did to make a living) then we’re going to have a problem because in order for me to get to where I need to get in telling you about the things we need to discuss today, I kind of need to back it up with fact and fun stories to give the current material some validity and substance.

 

That said, back in the good old days of me being a sanitation expert and yeast wrangler, it was a whole different ball game in the brewing scene. I make a non-funny joke about knowing Mosaic back when it was HBC 369 and it never calls anymore, which about three people just laughed at and one of them in my mother just trying to be polite and another one is the person writing this.

 

At some point in the earlier part of my career, brewers started making “extreme” beers. One of the festivals that I attended with my brand was in the height of this movement and it was akin to, I can only imagine, a chocolate themed birthday party for one year old humans without parental units hovering about them.

 

I mostly blame Sam Adams Utopia for this. All of a sudden it wasn’t hip to have beers on tap that weren’t above ten percent in alcohol. Brewers were tasked to make MORE: MORE hops, MORE alcohol, MORE malty backbones, MORE yeast somehow. And I followed suit. The beer that I won the most awards for, the beer that I was actually known for and made my name in the industry because was a Barley Wine, hovering around 13 percent that underwent four different fermentations and held up one of my five fermenters for three months and would go on tap and be completely sold out within two weeks.

 

But, the customer’s cravings didn’t cease.

 

And without the customers, we wouldn’t be in business, so brewers had to create something that satiated the MORE chant with a HERE offering.

 

Enter, the IMPERIAL IPA.

 

But here’s the catch: the customer screamed for the MORE side while the brewers gave them one of the old “cool, yeah, calm down a little, why don’t you try this first, I think you’ll like it.” And then the customer suddenly had something that was balanced (as balanced as you can possibly make a beer with that many hops in it and that strong in alcohol) AND had a good dose of alcohol. Suddenly, all of those people whose palates had shifted towards all things hoppy had something to crave that was even more hoppy than their go to IPAs and Pale Ales. Suddenly, we had something that went to the MORE.

 

Imperial IPAs will have a fruity sweetness to them due to the increase in malt needed to up that alcohol with an intense and bitter resinous coating for your mouth. It will move from the back of your tongue to the front, landing in a sweet spot that will tell you it’s “sweet” but it’s kind of not, that’s malt. And yes, “sweet” is the right term for it but I can’t ever think about a different word that really means “sweet from malt” because it’s different. We’re not talking about twizzlers.

 

Right now, I’ve got two (on at this second and one coming VERY soon) for you to sip on (please sip of these beers – that’s the intention here) that will provide you with all of the lupulin goodness that you’re craving in a single sip although according to proverb it’s best to be thorough.

 

14th Star Triple Digits – Volume 1: made to commemorate Steve’s 999 days left in the Army, this was brewed to 9.99% and they made 999 gallons of it. And jeezum crow did they put a bunch of hops in this one.

 

Hill Farmstead Ephraim (Coming Very Soon)– an eponymous version of the style. The thing that sets theirs apart and champions that moniker is the creamy aspect of this beer. It’s so smooth.

 

 

So that’s the deal-e-o.

 

Enjoy yourselves.

 

 

km

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This is exactly what your week looks like, to a "T."

It’s Monday and it’s Summer and these are the party days [twirls around with head back and arms outstretched for an exurbanite amount of time…still twirling…still twirling…still…].

 

And here are the pretty things that we’ve lined up for your week:

 

Upper Pass Cloud Drop: Double IPA with what can be considered the “newer” hops out there (Azacca and Mosaic are the ones that come to mind, even though I’m not entirely sure which hops are used but those are the hops that I think about when I’m putting quotes around the words “newer hops”). The newer hops have this strength to them that the more Noble (that’s a thing) hops didn’t. Huge tropical and fruit flavors come through with the use of these, almost making the beer actually taste like fruit. To the staff I made a reference about “newer hops” to “older hops” involving marijuana but I won’t make it here – if that’s your thing then you already get the reference, us old folks just can’t hang with the newer “crops.”

 

Zero Gravity Gose: we’ve had a lot of these on recently and I don’t think you need me to placate you on this. Tart Ale with a high portion of wheat and the addition of coriander and salt.

 

Frost Beer Works VT Farmhouse: I’m shying away from billing this as a “saison” as, per my understanding, it’s more like a Belgian Style Pale Ale than a saison. Which means, it’ll have a darker hue than you’d expect out of a saison and have a little more body to it all the while having that “Belgian” tinge to it.

 

Hill Farmstead Anna: a really lovely Farmhouse/FarmsteadAle made with honey. So, there’s going to be that awesome tart profile that you get with Hill’s Saisons with a little hint of honey thrown in there for the angels in the outfield.

 

Hill Farmstead Ephraim: we’re going to have two Imperial IPAs on tap pretty soon and I really always have a hard time trying to decipher, with words, what one of these beers actually should taste like. My love affair with hops is basically akin to my enjoyment of basketball: I respect it and know that there are people out there that REALLY get off on it but, well, it’s just not for me no matter how much I try and pretend. An Imperial IPA is SUPER hoppy (no shit right?) with a heat to it (heat is the only word I can really think of right now to describe it) brought on by the increase of alcohol, which is there because there was a lot of malt required to balance out all of that hop stuff. In short, this is basically the standard when it comes to the style and you should bow accordingly (which means you should curtsy (if that’s your thing)).

 

Hill Farmstead Karma Emulsion: if all of you had tried Hop Hands from Tired Hands Brewing in Ardmore, PA, then all I would need to tell you is that if you crossed Hop Hands with Edward this would be the exact beer to come of it. Which, ironically, it is. It’s a collaboration between Shaun and Jean from Tired Hands. Think of Edward but give it a little more of a mouth feel and add different hops but make it smell the same.

 

14th Star Triple Digits: Imperial IPA. It’s going to be hoppy.

 

Rare Form Dark Day: Schwarzbier. That translates to “Dark Lager.” Actually, no it doesn’t. It means “Black Beer.” But, it should translate to “Dark Lager” because that’s what it is. If you could take a Pilsner and make it black and add some roasted tones to it you’d have a Schwarzbier. It’s got a great crispness to it but still retains the roasted character required from the use of well, roasted malts to make the beer black.

 

Lawson’s Finest Rhubarb Saison (also, Basil): a Saison with Basil and Rhubarb. Not sure you need to me to go into any more detail than what has already been discussed.

 

Montseny Mala Vida: this one is fun. Usually, we have to wait to put on the really fun Imperial Stouts but, well, I’m going with a curve ball here and seeing if I can keep my hands back and smack it the opposite field. This is from Spain and it’s a Brandy Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and is very highly rated.

 

Idletyme Double Bock: ok, we have a bock beer on right now but it’s a Helles Bock. I kind of want you all to try it because it’ll make describing it that much easier. Go for it, taste it. Then, imagine that taste intensified by about thirty and the beer will be dark garnet in colour instead of bright. That’s what a Double Bock is.

 

 

Until Then,

 

 

 

km

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We need to talk about Sundays...and Saisons...

The aromas muted by the snow are long forgotten and we are now in the midst of perfumed life, gracefully flowing through the languid heat, wanting for a victual to match the mood of sunlight.

 

All of that just means we’re in the season for Saisons.

 

The style is a really fun one, with a history as thick as the foam, usually brewed (as most things were before the adaptation of refrigeration) during the cooler months and doled out as payment (some times) to the workers in the field. Well, since it’s the time to drink them we thought we’d put some on and let you drink them as well.

 

And, we figured we’d throw in a really cool pairing as well for Sunday to highlight a Saison that we have in the bottle (keep reading, I’ll get around to it).

 

Which is awfully nice of us if we do say so ourselves.

 

 

Here are some of the highlights of the ones that are either on right now or will be on in the moments after the one you’ve got going on right now:

 

Hill Farmstead Anna: A FarmsteadAle with Honey. I say Farmstead (well, they say Farmstead and I’m trying to help it along and get it caught on) because of their Saisons/Farmhouse Ales are truly unique and eponymous. The honey addition is a nice hint of sweet.

 

Lawson’s Finest Rice Poivre: A Rye Saison made with peppercorns. The Rye gives the beer a little dry bite to it, while the peppercorns add the stuff that peppercorns do. Nice and refreshing, this is a gem.

 

Lawson’s Finest Rhubarb and Basil Saison: this is what you get when you add rhubarb and basil to a saison, you get smiles.

 

Mystic Table: I’m not sure what the difference between a Table Saison and a Grissette is and I’m not sure I ever will (I do know the difference between a Saison and a Grissette so maybe they’re one in the same). A “Table” anything will be a lower alcohol version of the “original” version with no shortage of flavor, just a little bit more approachable.

 

 

And for Sunday:

 

We’re going to start offering a Bottle of Beer and Food Pairing because Tiffany works Sunday and she really wanted to start doing it. This Sunday, for TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS you get a 750ML Bottle of Four Quarters Fleur Du Lis, a Tart Farmhouse Ale Aged in Red Wine Barrels AND a phenomenal Brie from Blythdale Farm in Corinth with the addition of accouterments, of course.

 

I made it all this way without saying “Tis the Saison” so, well, that’s a good thing right?

 

 

Cheers,

 

 

km  

 

 

 

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MONDAY UPDATE: Independent edition.

Today is the day that Montpelier (this little town we built) celebrates America’s Independence, so, if you’re in Montpelier, come see us today because we will join the thrones of people who will be doing other things besides working tomorrow and will not open our doors.

 

Here’s some things that you can expect to see soon (maybe not today but soon and for the rest of your life):

 

Idletyme Bohemia: Czech style Pilsner – so, soft and flowery without the mineral “bite” present in more German styles. At least, that’s like my opinion man.

 

Hill Farmstead Abner: gold standard Double IPA.

 

Upper Pass Cloud Drop: Double IPA with what can be considered the “newer” hops out there (Azacca and Mosaic are the ones that come to mind, even though I’m not entirely sure which hops are used those are the hops that I think about when I’m putting quotes around the words “newer hops” – most of these newer ones are kind of like talking about ganja: seriously, back in my day you could roll your own joint and be good without passing it because you could, actually, smoke the whole thing yourself and still maintain conversations with authority figures. Nowadays, one hit will make you cower in a corner clutching your guitar, unable to figure out how a guitar works even though you’re quite proficient with the instrument. That said, the newer hops have this strength to them that the more Noble (that’s a thing) hops didn’t). Huge tropical and fruit flavors come through with the use of these hops, almost making the beer actually taste like fruit. Sorry about the marijuana reference but, well, it’s kind of true how it goes like that.

 

Lost Nation Gose: we’ve had a lot of these on recently and I don’t think you need me to placate you on this. Tart Ale with a high portion of wheat and the addition of coriander and salt.

 

Zero Gravity Gose: we’ve had a lot of these on recently and I don’t think you need me to placate you on this. Tart Ale with a high portion of wheat and the addition of coriander and salt.

 

Frost Beer Works VT Farmhouse: I’m shying away from billing this as a “saison” as, per my understanding, it’s more like a Belgian Style Pale Ale than a saison. Which means, it’ll have a darker hue than you’d expect out of a saison and have a little more body to it all the while having that “Belgian” tinge to it.

 

Just tapped/on right now if you get here as soon as you can:

 

Lawson’s Finest The Space in Between: we’re on our last keg of this so if you’re reading (it’s Monday where I am) this you might want to get here to drink it.

 

Hill Farmstead Dharma Bum: a Single Hop IPA (the hop is called Simcoe – which, when said in a certain way sounds like “Simba” and then you can raise your glass in the air and proclaim that everything that the sun touches is now your beer’s property).

 

Citizen Cider Companion: they went and put sour cherry in a cider.

 

That’s it. That’s all we’re serving today.

 

 

 

 

You kidding!

 

 

A good Independence Day to you and yours.  

 

 

Until Then,

 

 

 

km

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Wanderlust and Victuals: Episode Three Sub Nine

Now that Zak was done his race (he finished 10th overall – it was a 100 mile race – yes, that is kind of a big deal) and got a couple of hours of sleep and a well timed California burrito in him, it was time to return the rental car to San Diego and begin our day long vacation (we had a total of 24 hours to explore San Diego with a break in between those hours being reserved for the fact that neither he nor I (and he ran 100 miles) had slept for the past 48 hours) and beer exploration.

 

After the rental car was dropped off and cleaned (I had used the car as a “workplace on wheels” for the past three days) we found ourselves in a familiar area and made our way to get a doughnut and coffee. The doughnut was very good.

 

And we were very early. So, yes, we were the two tired and disgusting humans carrying all of their luggage with them standing in front of Ballast Point at 11 sharp in the morning, waiting for them to open. We were glad they let us in.

 

The Little Italy Brewery of Ballast Point is typical of a layout you’d expect: high ceilings, expansive draft list that stretches the length of the wall, a open view of a brewery worker (obviously on a R & D system – as it was around 5 barrels) toiling away at some point in the process, taking samples and trying to ignore the people with their noses pressed against said window (I used to be you, friend, I know the feeling). We’ve had a lot of Ballast Point’s offerings in the past so I wanted to extend my streak of drinking Pilsners in a town known for their hoppy offerings and went with things that are made in their R & D shop; I was blown away by both.

 

Because it was 11 AM and we hadn’t slept but because we were both officially on a vacation of sorts we settled with having two each and then retreating to our Air B & B to shower and probably pass out. I had each of the Clean Escape offerings that day, where both were Pilsners (more in the Czech Style than anything – both had the same softness and hoppy profiles), each had their own really fresh take on how different a beer can be when one or two controls are changed.

 

 

After finally coming back from the near dead it was time to eat and cross something off the only list that we had as far as accomplishments for our time in San Diego: we knew we were going to get to try some good beers and all but, we wanted to take this opportunity to A: put our feet in the Pacific Ocean (something neither of us had done to that point) and B: see a Padres game.

 

In order to accomplish A we took a Lyft to Ocean Beach, which just so happens to be where one of the Pizza Port breweries is located.

 

PIZZA/WINGS/SOME WEIRD VERSION OF A GARLIC KNOT/BEER:

 

 

More Pilsners. This one, their Pick Six Pilsner, was kind of like when someone asks me what my favorite beer is: it’s all situational.

 

Sitting at a bar in a brewery in a city that’s near the ocean, eating pizza (no comment on if it was good or not – it did the trick) and wings and some weird version of a garlic knot with my best friend, the beer didn’t need to be the focal point. I was just pleased to be there. By the way, it was a really good Pilsner.

 

Switching directions (and a couple hours later), we decided to actually head to a brewery as our actual reasoning behind being someplace; not just “hey, let’s check out this whole Ocean thing and just so happens that there’s a brewery close.”

 

We had both heard of Societe Brewing before (and tried a little here and there for the past couple of days) and decided to take the trek (read: Uber – our only Uber of the day and then we quickly went back to Lyft – no sponsorship here) to check them out.

 

Wouldn’t you know it?

 

 

Pilsners.

 

The Heiress was more minerally than I expected with the tag of a Czech Style Pilsner but it was super clean and perfectly balanced, probably my favorite of the whole trip.

 

Another one that I truly enjoyed (Zak stuck to the IPAs here – all were, as expected, delicious, with a lean towards balance opposing the hops) was the Publican, their “Small IPA” that, according to Vermont, would be called an American Pale Ale. I could have drank nothing but these two beers the whole trip and had been completely satisfied.

 

 

After some other places and more food (I had emphasized the need for Zak to stuff his face that day and we tried our best to eat something every 4 hours, regardless of where we were – we did it – we succeeded) we made it to our Padres game and drank Pacifico out of a tall boy can. I didn’t take a picture but I did take this one of the place we snuck after the game got out of hand and they stopped checking where you are actually supposed to be sitting:

 

 

And then, just before heading towards the airport and leaving San Diego forever (maybe – I inquired about the R & D brewer at Ballast Point before I left) we opened this:

 

 

It was a great end to a great trip, all the while getting my brother across the finish line of yet another 100 miler and partaking in everything we could with 24 hours of older than we used to be debauchery.

 

 

Until the next trip,

 

 

km

 

Post Script: we staying in a really fun neighborhood:

 

 

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What to Expect When You're Expecting (Beers to come on tap).

Remember that time it was supposed to rain after being really nice during the day? I do too! We have a shared memory!

 

But seriously, I think nature is giving us built in siestas and we should probably thank Them (the royal Them, whilst talking about nature) for them (the siestas) and come on in to the Taproom and have a beer (or cocktail, or something to eat, or something that makes you happy).

 

Here’s some things that you can expect to see soon:

 

Citizen Cider Companion: Sour Cherry Cider. I was informed that they make a cider and then add sour cherry juice to it.

 

Alpine Windows Up: HEY! I was just at this brewery! Serious, I wrote all about it last week, go check it out! Exclamation points! It’s a west coast IPA and it’s really good with all of its’ balance and stuff.

 

Zero Gravity Beer Like A Billy Goat: Helles Bock. Remember when I talked about the difference between a Pilsner and a Helles Lager and I told you that “Helles” means “bright” and that Helles Lagers are just maltier versions of Pilsners without all of the hop forwardness going on in the Pilsnerlands? Well, when it comes to Bock beers, they’re all malty, strong in alcohol and malty (sweetish). But, the “Helles” here will mean “bright” in the sense of the fact that it’ll be lighter in color than other bock beers, which tend to run on the more garnet version of the colour spectrum. Obviously, my computer doesn’t understand English because there’s a lot of red lines under a lot of words that are spelled correctly.

 

Zero Gravity Gose: we’ve had a lot of these on recently and I don’t think you need me to placate you on this.

 

Exhibit “A” Goody Two Shoes: so, a Kolsch is an Ale, let’s start with that. But, Kolsch yeast is super fun because it ferments at a much lower temperature than normally they would. Yeast is a fickle organism. Ale yeasts usually ferment within their temperature range (and all yeast will ferment HIGHER than their normal range – you just get a mess of a beer) and, in order to get the best beer possible, you try and coax it into staying at a certain mark. Anything BELOW that range and the yeast will just stay asleep and won’t do anything. But, Kolsch yeasts work well below what is normal, allowing the brewer to create this beer that has Ale qualities (rounded body with a fruity character to it) but will still retain a certain crispness that happens when yeast ferments at a lower temperature (see: Lagers).

 

Hill Farmstead Dharma Bum: 14 year old me giggled at the name of this beer, in a good way. All I wanted to be, at that age, was Mike Schmidt but Japhy Ryder was a close second. This is a Single Hop IPA coming in at 6% and using nothing but Simcoe hops. So, it’ll be grassy and earthy with a little bit of citrus thrown in there because that’s what hops do and that’s because the HF makes great beer.

 

Lawson’s Finest Bit o’ Balsam: American IPA with Balsam tips. So, I would assume they sued the tips later in the brewing process, which would cause the nose or aroma of the beer to smell like balsam tips while the beer itself will taste like an IPA made by Lawson.

 

Lawson’s Finest The Space in Between: I will not tell you where the name of the beer comes from but you should ask Corey since it’s his favorite song. They bill this as “somewhere in between a Pale Ale and an IPA” or somewhere outside of something that can be categorized into a style. But, what we can expect is that it’s going to be medium bodied and hoppy and wet.

 

Lawson’s Finest Rico Poivre: It’s a Rye Saison made with Peppercorns. Lawson’s saisons are pretty standard; there isn’t much in the way of tartness or anything like you get from Hill. So, the Rye will add a spice to it (think about Rye bread – now think of a swan – what’s the swan doing?) and the peppercorns will, of course, add spicy stuff as peppercorns do.

 

 

 

 

 

And there’s more but, well, what would I have to tell you later?

 

 

Until Then,

 

 

 

km

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Wanderlust and Victuals: Volume B.

I woke in the morning, on time (actually a little earlier) with my three AM phone alarm and quickly made myself a cup of free decaf in my room and went downstairs, planting the plastic card key on the reception desk with a hearty “checking out” and went outside to wait for my first Lyft driver of the day. It was not his first ride as there were five of us heading to Logan International that morning in the after storm humidity. Actually, on our way there and through the deciphering whether I was awake or still in dream state, we (us in the car with the driver) came upon a crest in the road that was flooded ahead, making it look like we were about to drive off a cliff. I actually gave the driver a look as if to say “we’re about to drive off a cliff, right? But, you seem to be pretty cool and wouldn’t actually drive us off a cliff.” We didn’t drive off a cliff; it was flooded. But, we certainly drove through the flood and we all (passengers) made it to the Airport with time to spare.

 

I was meeting Zak (the real purpose of this trip was to get him to finish a 100 Mile Race; I’m working on that story soon), who was making his way there by ways of Portland in the Maine that same morning and we settled on making separate paths past TSA and then convening at our gate.

 

The plane ride came and the plane ride went and we landed in the company of palm trees, where the weather changes about as often as modern country resists the urge to use similes.

 

We were in California. San Diego, California to be exact.

 

I was assured that there’s a brewery on every corner, as if German immigrants bestowed their traditions upon that area of the United States and made it so. Well, our first order of business was to locate our rental car and get coffee that doesn’t taste like it came off an airplane and Zak hadn’t had a beer in about four months so it was either me drinking beer in front of him or we were going to spend the first couple of days here, leading up to the race, not drinking beer. Truth is, it was a little of both.

 

Wandering around the Little Italy section of San Diego, and after the coffee thing was sorted out, we were looking for one thing: tacos. We figured that they would be really good. They were. If you ever find yourself in the Little Italy section of San Diego and see this thing, do yourself a favor and eat things from there, it was magical:

 

 

After copious amounts of tacos (we went back for thirdsies) and on our way to Pine Valley (where we were to stay for the next two nights) we made a little detour to that I could stop and say hi (and get beer to go for me for later on that day – it was still rather early no matter how long we tried to waste time in Little Italy that day – I even got a haircut).

 

I had noticed that, on our way to our accommodations, we had to make our way through a town called Alpine. Turns out, we’ve had a bunch of beers in the past from a brewery from that town, it’s called Alpine Brewery and it’s from Alpine, California.

 

This is us making our way into the brewery:

 

 

We went in and I introduced myself, handed a card, had a couple of laughs and decided that I wasn’t quite ready for a beer (or to drink in front of Zak quite yet) so taking beer to go was the right idea. I left with three growlitos (the little growlers – 32 oz – or two pints worth) of fresh Tuatatra, Auctung and the Alpine Ale that I would make my way through over the next couple of days. Here’s what I thought:

 

The Tuatatra is a pale ale made with New Zealand hops, which I determined while buying it that I really couldn’t go wrong with this one. And I didn’t. It was brimming with the tropical and citrus qualities that brewers go ape for and well balanced by the malt, as most of the beers that I figured would be from the West Coast.

 

[tangent] That’s the thing about this trip: Even though the difference between East Coast and West Coast beers isn’t really as stark as it used to be, there’s still a difference. East Coast beers (especially hoppy beers – that’s kind of what I’m referring to right now) tend to let the hops come through more with the malt simply balancing out the bitterness. West Coast beers (alcohol content aside, since West Coast beers tend to be higher in alcohol than the East Coasters – which is kind of proving my point as more malt equals more alcohol) tend to give a rounded edge to the beer, allowing the hops to come through but also have the end result balanced out by a good amount of the malt sweetness.

 

The Auctung was their “German Lager” and provided a pretty good litmus to what I was to expect while I was there; good, crisp lagers with an immense amount of hops and a nice drinkable nature that was well balanced by the malt/hop ratio with a little bit of the yeast taking over. All of the beers that I’ve ever had from Alpine are super clean if nothing else and this was no exception.

 

Finally, the Alpine Ale: If there was ever a beer that defined the area (in my brain) it was this. Their “original” Ale, a take on an American Pale Ale, is malty and hoppy to a point where it’s actually a little chewy. With a good amount of body, this is kind of like drinking a really small Barley Wine. As in, it’s a Barley Wine that’s only 5%. But, all of the mid mouth hops are present, the malt backed up the hops and the nose announced the floral bouquet.

 

 

 

Mostly, and since we arrived on a Wednesday, we spent the remainder of the day actually getting to sleep early while watching basketball.

 

The next day was going to be spent scoping out the area, getting some more intel on the course and getting our plan together for his race. We didn’t know what to expect and having travelled across the country to be there, we didn’t know what we were forgetting.

 

I won’t bore you with the details of the race itself (unless you really want me to – I’m getting that together as you read this) so, when next we meet, I’ll have already been past that and we will have moved on to after the race, to when we get back to San Diego.

 

 

Until then…

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

km

   

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YOU PLAN WEEK BEER AROUND!

Here’s a quick roundup of some of the beers that you’ll see graced our way in the next week or so; keep in mind that you do need to actually be here to get to drink these, we don’t deliver, still:

 

Freigiest/Treze (there’s two breweries here – it’s a collaboration) Berlin Mate: a Berliner Weisse w/ Mate tea. This should be interesting. I debated bringing it in but, well, I did. A Berliner Weisse is supposed to be ridiculously funky/tart beer that, traditionally, was even served with Raspberry and Woodruff syrup just to make it palatable for the masses. Well, this is one that’s made with Mate. So, the Lacto character that you get from Gose times ten with a little hint of herbal tea involved.

 

Zero Gravity Beer Like A Billy Goat: Helles Bock. Remember when I talked about the difference between a Pilsner and a Helles Lager and I told you that “Helles” means “bright” and that Helles Lagers are just maltier versions of Pilsners without all of the hop forwardness going on in the Pilsnerlands? Well, when it comes to Bock beers, they’re all malty, strong in alcohol and malty (sweetish). But, the “Helles” here will mean “bright” in the sense of the fact that it’ll be lighter in color than other bock beers, which tend to run on the more garnet version of the colour spectrum. Obviously, my computer doesn’t understand English.

 

Lawson’s Finest Bit ‘o Balsam: I like nature as a piece of factual information to start out a description and when it comes to people doing things for the good of nature I get all warm in my stomach and notice I didn’t say belly. What we have here is an American IPA made with Balsam Tips and a portion of the proceeds go to the Vermont Center for Eco-studies or VCE. And it’s coming from the sugar shack so you know that balsam is freshy fresh.

 

Lawson’s Finest Rico Poivre: It’s a Rye Saison made with Peppercorns. Lawson’s saisons are pretty standard; there isn’t much in the way of tartness or anything like you get from Hill. So, the Rye will add a spice to it (think about Rye bread – now think of a swan – what’s the swan doing?) and the peppercorns will, of course, add spicy stuff as peppercorns do.  

 

Exhibit A Goody Two Shoes: YAY! Kolsch season is upon us! Kolsch is fun because it’s kind of like a lager but it totally isn’t. It even looks and drinks kind of like a lager but it totally isn’t. It’s an ale, fermented at much cooler-than-normal temperatures for typical ales (with Kolsch as the exception – almost exclusively – and if I’m wrong I think you’ll tell me and then I’ll know you read this) to make it crisp and refreshing while all the time keeping the sweet round of the yeast of ale doing its’ thing.

 

Aslan Westy: I don’t know why I haven’t described this one yet since it’s been on the list for a while. Maybe I have and I haven’t saved that one somewhere accessable. Oh well. Aslan Westy is an Altbier. There was a time where that was my favourite style. Altbiers are “basically” German Brown Ales. However, there’s a really sweet tinge here from the yeast as it’s a German yeast (typically, German yeasts are cold fermented with only the warm fermentations going to the wheat based beers) but it’s fermented on the colder spectrum of the yeast wheel. Think about this being a German Brown Ale that kind of drinks like a Pilsner.

 

Les Trou du Diable Saison du Tracteur: A Saison (straight, no chaser) from Quebec. It’s a lovely saison and if you really want to, buy a bottle of it from our bottle list because no one else is doing that. Really, very floral and airy with a nice spice to it.

 

Hill Farmstead Everett: Funny, I was just in a town named Everett (check the blog y’all). Everett is an “American Porter.” And, it’s probably the best porter out on the market. It’s the only one that I actually look forward to even tasting. Rounded body, smooth and delicious, it’s got a good amount of roasted character but it’s not overboard.

 

That should be it.

 

Thank you.

 

km

 

 

 

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Wanderlust and Victuals: Volume A.

I knew where I was heading but I just didn’t really have logistics dialed in to the extent that my Taurean brain could relax with so I rediscovered my email and confirmation from the plane company (I imagine calling something a plane company would require you to think about a factory where planes are born – that’s at least what I’m going for so if that’s where your mind went then I win) and went from there.

 

Turns out, I was leaving very early in the morning from Boston’s Logan Airport (that’s where the planes go after they’re taught to fly by their parents forcing them out of trees) so I could either leave Vermont at, like, one in the morning to drive there OR I could leave my truck in New Hampshire, take the bus down the night before and get a hotel, arriving from somewhere close the next morning. Well, I had recently just discovered Lyft (not Uber) and wanted to use it so I chose to go down the night before and stay in a hotel. I knew the next week or so wasn’t going to come with sleep so I also figured that getting a hotel and spending the night would be the intelligent choice. Also, when looking for a hotel that didn’t exceed what I wanted to pay birthed the aspect that Everett, Massachusetts had one that matched my needs, the light bulb of remembrance suddenly had its’ electric spark: I know a brewery in Everett.

 

Since this whole trip is about something completely aside from beer but I am tasked to actually make it kind of about beer (if you want to know what this trip was all about, click HERE and there’ll be another blog post about it once I completely and fully comprehend what exactly happened – but, until then, that’s what I was in the area to do), it was only natural to start my journey off with a place that I’d never been but knew their beers very well.

 

Night Shift Brewing is in Everett, Massachusetts.

 

After checking into my hotel and acquiring my first of many Lyft rides (I will not name names but all of you out there that I hitched a ride with are forever in my favor) I made my way to the tasting room of Night Shift, complete with a notepad and paper and took this picture after I had ordered my first flight:

 

For the sake of letting you know that I was A: using a car service and not driving a vehicle myself and B: also drinking other beers that evening before I returned to my hotel of slumber I am going to cover the beers that I sampled as part of my “these are the beers that would appeal to me, the consumer, when I first look at a board full of different beers that are available for me to try.”

 

Here goes:

 

Obviously, I went with the Pilsner, Pfaffenheck, first. It should be noted that I love Pilsners (did you know that?). Well, theirs is lovely. A lot of good bitter hops up front with a nice, clean finish. The bread aspect that might be present in German styles (I’m assuming that it’s in the German Style since there was also a German looking representation on the board (colours)) was present with a nice mineral aspect that I really enjoy. Overall, the cleanliness sets this one apart. And although they aren’t really known for their Pilsners (they had a bottle release the day I was there for a Porter and people were coming in waves to get it and get going), this was a refreshing introduction.

 

I went back and forth in between their Ever Weisse, a kettle sour/mix fermentation ale with strawberries to use it a little as a cleanser and it was perfect for that. Not overly sour, this one straddled the line between the what you’d expect from a Berliner Weisse and a Mixed fermentation product (sorry for the use of product); the mustiness of the lactobacillus was present but was also joined by the tart pucker form the other yeasts. The mixture of strawberry in there was a nice touch. When I first began my brewing career, the man (men) who taught me, who I apprenticed under, told me that strawberries have no place in beer. I have simply found that not to be true in the years since as I think the seed of the fruit lends itself to the tart nature of these beers. When adding strawberries I don’t think about the fruit itself or the juice that comes into your mouth; I think about the green stem and the fuzz on the outside, the seeds you get to eat again after extracting them from your teeth minutes later.

 

Another beer in that sampling was their Whirlpool, which I’ve had before in canned version and this was pleasant to actually try on tap. My understanding of the way in which these (this) beer is made is that there are no hops before the very last portion of the brewing of it, just before you chill the wort prior to the introduction of yeast and the awesomeness that is a single cell organism eating sugars and farting a part carbon and two parts oxygen with a stench of alcohol. So, all of the hops that are used are in the “whirlpool” section. That tends to be the good dose of the hops that will add aroma to the beer and, as experiments (and this beer is no exception) will show, even though the hops are only coming in contact with the wort for a shorter amount of time than hops that would typically be for bittering the wort, there still is a bitterness that comes through to balance the malt profile. So, overall, this was awesomely drinkable with a huge hop nose; right on target for what I’m assuming they’re going for and what the customer requires.

 

Lastly (I did mention that I had more beers than just these – mostly went back to their Pilsner and had a full version of their Morph #49 (keep reading) – but these are the ones I took notes on) I tried the Morph #49, a roundtable IPA (New England Style) that showcases different hops and is ever changing. When I was there they had three different Morphs on tap. This one employs one of my favorite hops, which is why I was drawn to it. El Dorado is a hop that I’ve seen made into a Single Hop IPA/Pale Ale with great success.  Mostly, people will describe this hop as “fruity” (which I despise – a tomato is a fruit) but, digging a little deeper into your own palate, you’ll find more of the pear fruit and the skin of a lime with this hop. This was no exception. I enjoyed this beer a lot. In my notes I put “yum.” I’m glad that I stopped myself from saying “yummy.” I don’t like the word “yummy.”

 

The one thing I didn’t do was to partake in the food truck of the day going on outside of the taproom. I probably should have but I didn’t.

 

 

 

This has been the first installment in the “Kevin actually leaves the Beast Coast and goes away” blog posts. Keep in mind that I ultimately end up in San Diego in the state of California. Funny fun time await, stay tuned.

 

But, until then, cheers friends.

 

 

km

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VT River Conservancy Benefit Tomorrow! And, beer for while I'm not here...

To start you all know that we’re donating FIVE PERCENT OF ALL SALES TOMORROW (June 6th, 2017) to the VERMONT RIVER CONSERVANCY! To further your education, if you are want to do such things, please you to be going HERE and check check check it out. You probably, by the sheer inclusion of the program’s name, get a good idea of what they’re all about and you, yourself, probably enjoy rivers as well so come on in for a good cause. Also, there’s $1 chicken wings that day so there’s winning all over the place. If you’ve ever had our wings, you know that’s a pretty killer deal.

 

Second, I’m leaving you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m coming back in about a week but I’m leaving you for the time being. I’m sure you’ll miss me but I’m also sure that you’ll be completely fine for the week that I’m gone. If you’re not fine, this of THIS and everything will be OK (those that read these things with regularity know that I like to Youtubea specific song every night before I retire to the sheets – well, this one has been the one as of late – there’s something about a singer who seems to sing from some ghostly entity notwithstanding from their actual being and she’s basically the poster child for that).

 

 

 

And, for when I’m gone, please you to be snuggling with these that will hopefully be on tap soon for your enjoyment:

 

 

Almanac Cherry Picker: you know Almanac, you know how they have sour beers. Well, this one is straight up Cherry.  

 

Freigiest/Treze (there’s two breweries here – it’s a collaboration) Berlin Mate: a Berliner Weisse w/ Mate tea. This should be interesting. I debated bringing it in but, well, I did. A Berliner Weisse is supposed to be ridiculously funky/tart beer that, traditionally, was even served with Raspberry and Woodruff syrup just to make it palatable for the masses. Well, this is one that’s made with Mate. So, the Lacto character that you get from Gose times ten with a little hint of herbal tea involved.   

 

Hill Farmstead Legitimacy: a Dry IPA made with Oats.

 

Zero Gravity Little Wolf: American Pale Ale. Great balance between sweet malt and bitter hops. Technically, it’s gluten removed. We can’t and won’t advertise that but that’s the truth Ruth.

 

Hill Farmstead Harlan: big boy version of Edward. Drier than Susan.  

 

Hill Farmstead Susan: big boy version of an IPA. Not dry like Harlan.

 

Founders Breakfast Stout that I’ve wanted to put back on for a long time and now’s the time so here you go but you already know that it’s a Stout made with Oats, Chocolate & Coffee, pushed with Nitrogen so I won’t have to go into more than just saying that.

 

Citizen Cider Malo-Crab: What a name. So, this is a cider made with crab apple juice that underwent a malolactic fermentation and then aged in wheat whiskey barrels. You can think about malolactic fermentation in the same was that you can think about the way a Gose is “sour” or “tart.” And then think about that having cider qualities and also qualities of the fact that the product lived in barrels that had wheat whiskey in them, so there’s that.

 

Hill Farmstead Double Nelson: Single Hop Double IPA. Nelson Sauvin is the hop here. It imparts a really cool almost white wine (think Sauvignon Blanc) character and it’s kind of like a cross between drinking a really hoppy beer and a weird wine hybrid thing.

 

Hill Farmstead Double Citra: Single Hop Double IPA. Citra has many grapefruit qualities that it imparts into the finished beer; also, not as tropical as people think and it’s mostly like the rind of the citrus fruit when people say that it’s “citrusy.”

 

Zero Gravity Beer Like A Billy Goat: Helles Bock. Remember when I talked about the difference between a Pilsner and a Helles Lager and I told you that “Helles” means “bright” and that Helles Lagers are just maltier versions of Pilsners without all of the hop forwardness going on in the Pilsnerlands? Well, when it comes to Bock beers, they’re all malty, strong in alcohol and malty (sweetish). But, the “Helles” here will mean “bright” in the sense of the fact that it’ll be lighter in color than other bock beers, which tend to run on the more garnet version of the colour spectrum. Obviously, my computer doesn’t understand English.

 

Lawson’s Finest Rico Poivre: It’s a Rye Saison made with Peppercorns. Lawson’s saisons are pretty standard; there isn’t much in the way of tartness or anything like you get from Hill. So, the Rye will add a spice to it (think about Rye bread – now think of a swan – what’s the swan doing?) and the peppercorns will, of course, add spicy stuff as peppercorns do.

 

Hill Farmstead Mary: German Style Pilsner. The greatest beer in the history of the world and if you fuckers drink it all while I’m driving around California taking care of a sweaty and putrid male I’ll cry real tears when I get back. Mineral aspects with the hops and the Pilsner.

 

Les Trou du Diable Saison du Tracteur: A Saison (straight, no chaser) from Quebec. It’s a lovely saison and if you really want to, buy a bottle of it from our bottle list because no one else is doing that. Really, very floral and airy with a nice spice to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

That should be it.

 

 

 

 

Sentiment.

 

 

 

 

km

 

 

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One Gose, ah ah ah. Two Gose, ah ah ah. Three Gose! ah ah ah.

Bart told me to remind you that we have NEW HOURS OF OPERATIONS FOR SUNDAY’S BEER DRINKER’S LUNCH, SPECIFICALLY SINCE WE’RE SERVING FOOD FROM 12-6 NOW AND THE BAR WILL BE OPEN AFTER WE’RE DONE SERVING FOOD. So I did. I totally forgot to and then remembered so I went back and added this before I got into the whole Gose speak…

 

 

 

 

Ok, so last week we talked about my love affair for Lost Nation Pilsner, right? No? We should have because I love that beer so much I called ahead before going up there to have them put a case aside for me to purchase. I gave away a good portion of the case so it’s gone now but, rest assured, I drank the rest over the week (end). I also have been known to buy stores out of it.

 

But that’s not really what we talked about: we’re doing a little Gose education thing right now at your favorite spot for beer and good food (it’s Three Penny Taproom, incase you didn’t know) and all three that I’d planned on pouring for you (not personally, I won’t be there) are on and tasting fantastic. So, rather than going through the whole history of the style yet again I think it’s probably more beneficial for me to go through the three and maybe give you a little primer on what they’re all about; let you know the notes that I get and maybe swap notes with you? If you feel the want/need, I can be reached at kevin@threepennytaproom.com and I’m pretty personable over the internet.

 

So, here we go, in alphabetical order:

 

Lost Nation Gose: the saltiest of the three. Has a nose of a coriander and salt marriage complete with table linens that flap in the breeze of a warm August twilight. When I say salty I mean I get a sense or feeling of sea salt about it, like an “air” of the presence of it. A medium body gives way to the refreshing sway of a tart lacto bite. Best served around a pond wearing, what I call, flip flops that you may call thongs.

 

Ritterguts Gose: one of the originals. This is basically like tasting history, like you’re being taken to school but you actually like school. The nose is mostly pear skin with a mid tongue tickle of lactic little bees, all massaging your muscle of the mouth with love. So what? I’m good with words. The saltiness here is basically like you know that the water source has the mineral character that reminds you of running in the Tatras Mountains of Northern Slovakia where you stopped at a bar in the middle of seemingly no where and all they had was mineral water instead of tap water and you drank mineral water for the first time and you liked it.

 

To-Øl Gose North: the thing that plays the biggest part here is the adjuncts. Instead of the coriander and salt (either instead of or in conjunction with) the quince and sea buckthorn are what stick out. Mostly because the body of the beer is creamy and it kind of takes the bite out of it, leaving the sweet/tart of the quince and the TART of the sea buckthorn. I have this weird remembrance or essence of concord grape skins out of a sandwich bag when I drink this beer.

 

 

So that’s how I drink beer.

 

 

Which is also why I just gave up drinking beer. I think too much about it. So, whenever you see me drinking beer, I’m usually thinking about the beer that I’m drinking. Trust me, it’s more a curse than a blessing. That’s probably why I drink so much water.

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all the news that’s fit to read on a screen by someone who isn’t you.

 

 

Cheers friends,

 

 

 

km

 

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The Oracle's Answer:

A very fine Memorial Day to you, specifically!

 

In all seriousness, I wish to begin with a sincere Thank You to all of the men and women who have served or are currently serving this country with their ultimate sacrifices.

 

 

Here’s a little glimpse as to what you may expect on our draft menu coming up this week:

 

 

Almanac Sunshine & Opportunity: Wild Ale Dry Hopped With Citra (sometimes I capitalize things).  Almanac’s sours are really well done and all typical to themselves. They all have this pungent aroma and tart punch; this one will have an additional aroma of lemon peel and citrus that comes with Citra hops.

 

Citizen Cider Companion: I brought in one of these (20 Liters) and I have a feeling that I should have brought more in. It’s a sour cherry cider. That is, it’s a cider that has sour cherry juice added to it.

 

Idletyme Bohemia: manzies, do I love Pilsners. So, this one is a Czech Style Pilsner as opposed to the German and American styles that we’ve had on as of late. Think of this as a floral version, with less bitterness and more of a hop flower aspect to it but with the same level of bitterness in order to balance out the sweetness and bread character from the malt.

 

Lawson’s Super Session #8: same as it ever was but made with Mosaic hops; that’s the difference.

 

(Ox)Bowie: same as it ever was for an Oxbow Farmhouse Ale but with a slight smokiness to it.

 

Hill Farmstead SumNer: American Pale Ale w/ Simcoe (Earthy, Citrus, Pine), Citra (Tropical) and Mosaic (Earthy, Floral, Fruity) hops.

 

Hill Farmstead Works of Love – Earl Grey: I think I’m spelling Gray right. The background of this beer is an American Blonde Ale (light in color and body with a citrusy zest to it) but it’s made with Earl Grey tea. Last time I can remember having it, the tea was more of an essence than anything.  

 

Hill Farmstead Three Magic Letters: an American IPA made with Simcoe (Earthy, Citrus, Pine), Nelson Sauvin (Fruity – Wine like) and Riwaka (Citrus, Grapefruit) hops.  

 

Stillwater O Trabalho: boy, I just don’t know what to say about this one. It’s marked as a Wild Ale made in the Amazon Style. I have no fucking idea what that means. I would think that it’ll have a fairly medicinal character to it, hopefully in a good way. Because it’s mentioning the Amazon.com I think it’s safe to explain to the customers that it’s made with roots and teas and is for sure “wild.”

 

To-Ol (a good pronunciation key can be: say “TOE OOL” wherein the “OO” is like the vowel sound in foot.) Gose North: we’re going to be ushering in some really lovely Goses coming up, especially when it gets hotter out. This is a Gose from Denmark made with Quince (really sweet fruit similar to a pear, usually made into a paste where it transforms into tasting kind of like figs somehow) and Sea Buckthorn (or Hippophae (from the genus meaning Hippo (horse) and Phaos (Shining). I’m not really sure what the flavor we’re going to get out of the Buckthorn here but it’ll give you a shiny coat.

 

 

 

THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU THINK.

 

 

 

 

km

 

 

 

 

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