Drink Craft Beer
As the weather cools and we move into Fall and then Winter we find ourselves in an exciting time for beer. Brewers focus on using seasonal ingredients to make warming, rich and hearty beers. It's with this is mind that we launch our first annual Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest.
Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest
November 30th & December 1st
Space 57 - The Revere Hotel - 200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA
Session 1 - Friday, November 30th: 6-9:30pm
Session 2 - Saturday, December 1st: 1-4:30pm
Session 3 - Saturday, December 1st: 6-9:30pm
Why Join Us At Fall to Winter Fest?
Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest focuses on New England-made beers featuring fall and winter seasonal ingredients as well as holiday ales. By attending, you’ll be able to sample 70+ fall and winter beers from 25 of New England’s best craft brewers! Many of these
brews are being made specifically for this event or will be released there.
Additionally, you can sample and purchase from several local food vendors including Drink Craft Beer friends such as Mei Mei Street Kitchen, one of Boston's most innovative food trucks, and Redbones BBQ. Food options will include delicious seasonal fare, local cheese and more.
Note: While our new event space means we can share this fest with even more people, to provide the best experience possible we are limiting each session to only 650 tickets. Buy your tickets soon to ensure you don't miss out!
SUMMERFEST SOLD OUT SO MAKE SURE YOU ORDER YOUR TICKETS EARLY.
- There are no refunds OR exchanges.
- All attendees must be 21+ with a valid ID. Nobody will be allowed into the building who is under 21 or who doesn't have a valid ID.
- Tickets will be emailed by Eventbrite. You must bring this ticket to the event where it will be scanned.
- You can transfer tickets using Eventbrite.
- We give no entry guarantee if you buy your ticket from a reseller.
How Much Does It Cost?
For only $45 you’ll get admittance to one session which includes:
- Unlimited 2oz samples of 70+ fall and winter beers from 25 New England craft brewers!
- Biodegradable tasting cup
- Fest Guide
- Free coat check
Where & When Is Fall to Winter Fest?
Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest takes place at Space 57 in the Revere Hotel, Boston, MA (200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116), which is a quick walk from either Arlington or Boylston Green Line stops, Chinatown or Tufts Medical Center Orange Line stops, or South Station Red Line stop. There will be three sessions over the course of two days:
- Friday, November 30th: 6-9:30pm
- Saturday, December 1st: 1-4:30pm
- Saturday, December 1st: 6-9:30pm
Want to Volunteer at Fall to Winter Fest?
Do you want to do more than just attend Fall to Winter Fest? Do you want to be a part of it and help Drink Craft Beer make it a success? Then sign up to volunteer (we're now full on volunteers, thanks everyone)! It's a great way to meet other craft beer lovers, meet the brewers and get to see behind the scenes. Plus, volunteers get a meal, a staff t-shirt and other stuff. Check out the details on the Volunteer for Fall to Winter Fest page now (we're now full on volunteers, thanks everyone)!
What Brewers Are Coming & What Beers Are They Bringing?
We will have 25 New England brewers in attendance bringing 70+ fall and winter craft beers. Some of our brewers include the following (NOTE: This is only a partial list. We'll continue to announce more of our brewers and beers in the coming weeks) (Brewers and beers are subject to change and availability. All pours are 2oz per MA State Law):
- Allagash Brewing Co. (ME)
- Black - Belgian-style stout brewed with 2 Row barley, torrified wheat, oats, both roasted and chocolate malt and a generous portion of dark caramelized candi sugar. (7.5%)
- Fluxus 2012 - Strong Golden Ale brewed w/ Spelt and spiced with Green / Pink Peppercorns. (?%)
- Four - Belgian-style Quad brewed with four malts, four sugars, four hop varieties and fermented four times, using four different yeast strains. The complexity of the brewing process is matched by the complexity of this unique beer. (10%)
- Bantam Cider Co. (MA)
- Wunderkind - A blend of local apples, slowly fermented to capture subtle esters, and delicately balanced with a hint of flower-blossom honey. (6%)
- Seasonal Cider with Tart Cherries - (?%)
- Baxter Brewing Co. (ME)
- Phantom Punch Winter Stout - Stout made with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs. (?%)
- Hayride Autumn Ale - A generous portion of two rye malts and toasted malts. New Zealand Pacifica and Pacific Jade hops balance Hayride’s maltiness. Cold-conditioned on oak, with light additions of ginger, black pepper, and orange peel, bringing out the spiciness of the rye and rounding out the soft sweetness of the beer. (6.6%)
- Pamola Xtra Pale Ale - A very easy-drinking “session” beer, with subtle hop presence and a complex but light malt character. (4.9%)
- Amber Road - A malt-accented amber ale which features a rich toastiness and a balanced hop flavor that lingers through to the finish. (5.5%)
- Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams) (MA)
- Merry Mischief - Gingerbread stout. (9%)
- White Christmas - White Ale brewed with traditional holiday spices. (5.8%)
- Fat Jack - Double pumpkin ale brewed with over 28 lbs of pumpkin per barrel along with pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. (8.5%)
- Holiday Porter - Robust, British style Porter. (5.8%)
- Boston Beer Works (MA)
- Rosemary Imperial Pale Ale - A strong, extra hoppy American pale ale, brewed with Centennial and Northern Brewer hops, and dry hopped with Cascades. Conditioned for over two weeks with fresh rosemary sprigs for a delicious, savory, pine-like aroma and flavor that enhances the hop character. (7.5%)
- Blackberry Lambic - A sour Belgian beer, brewed in the traditional style with stale hops, and fermented in barrels with wild yeast and bacteria. Secondary fermentation with blackberries for a smooth, tart, fruity, and surprisingly balanced flavor. (8%)
- Winter Warmer - A dark, smooth, malty strong ale, brewed with molasses. Very little hop character but an intensely complex depth of malt flavor and aroma. Hints of smoke, brown sugar, and dark fruit, followed by a hefty alcoholic kick. (9.5%)
- Barrel Aged Flemish Sour Brown - A bracingly tart, yet full bodied sour brown ale, aged in oak barrels. Flavors of raisin, molasses, oak, and rum. Low bitterness and little to no hop character. (8.5%)
- Bluebeery Ale - A sweet, very light golden ale made with all natural blueberry extract to produce a huge blueberry aroma and delicious fruity flavor. Beer Works’ classic signature beer. (4%)
- Cape Ann Brewing Co. (MA)
- Imperial Pumpkin Stout - Our pumpkin stout cranked up to 13% ABV giving it a thicker creamier body (13%)
- Homeport Pale Ale - Pale ale wet-hopped with fresh hops from our brewer's and brewery's backyards (5%)
- Clown Shoes Beer (MA)
- Genghis Pecan - Porter made with fresh pecans, roasted and ground locally (by our friends at The Gallows and Q’s Nuts), as well as the addition of brown sugar. (7%)
- Blaecorn Unidragon - Brewed with a monstrous amount of malt and combined with aggressive American hops, this beer is powerful and complex and designed to age. Smokiness is subtle but present and blends nicely with the rich, dark flavors. (12.5%)
- Hoppy Feet - Hoppy Feet has been lovingly crafted by combining Premium malt with lots of Amarillo and Columbus Hops. Grapefruit and Pine are balanced on the nose and on the palate by a nutty, dark chocolate, roasted backbone. (7%)
- Chocolate Sombrero - Roasted dark malts plus extra chocolate malts plus ancho chile plus cinnamon plus vanilla extract plus a chocolate loving, beer drinking, Clown Shoes wearing, multi-limbed, gorgeous and glorious Mexican wrestler on the label. That’s the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero! (9%)
- Cody Brewing Co. (MA)
- Honey Gingah Pale Ale - Pale Ale with honey and ginger. (?%)
- No Name IPA - Chinook, Kent Golding and Cascade hops make up this IPA. Giving No Name an unusual hop bite without having an overpowering bitterness, making it suitable for hop heads and curious session beer drinkers alike. (5.5%)
- Wheelers Brown Ale - Wheelers is a rich brown ale with chocolate and toffee caramel notes. Oatmeal is added for an earthy creaminess that gives it a unique smoothness, yet still thirst quenching. (5.7%)
- Red Ryder (Limited) - Fruit cake strong ale; a brown ale loaded with brown sugar and candied fruit, fermented for about two months, then finished by resting on rum soaked oak chips. (?%)
- Mint Chocolate Stout (Limited) - Exactly what it says. Debuting at Fall to Winter Fest. (?%)
- Downeast Cider House (MA)
- Downeast Cider Original Blend - The Auerbach to our Celtics, the Satisfaction to our Stones, the Agent K to our Men In Black, our foundation. Made with an ale yeast and a secret blend of Red Delicious, McIntosh, Cortland and Gala apples and NEVER any concentrate, artificial flavors or sweeteners. (5.1%)
- Cranberry Apple Cider - A lot of cranberries grow in Massachusetts and an unnamed member of Downeast Cider has an affinity for them, dried cranberries, cranberry juice, and most of all, Cranberry Blend. This interesting twist on Original Blend won't make your lips pucker but will bring a smile. (5.1%)
- Idle Hands Craft Ales (MA)
- Rosemary for Remembrance - Belgian Ale brewed w/ Sweet Potatoes, Valley Wheat and Rosemary. (7.2%)
- OH, Baby! - Belgian Pilsner-esque ale brewed for the O'Toole - Hoeker Wedding. (5.4%)
- Absence of Light - Belgian Stout. (7.4%)
- Cognition - Abbey Style Session Brown. (4.2%)
- High & Mighty Beer (MA)
- Fumata Nera - Smoked black rye lager with generous amounts of heavily-roasted malts and loads of noble hops. (4.5%)
- Unnamed Xmas Red Ale - (?%)
- Jack’s Abby (MA)
- Fire In The Ham - Caution! This is an intensely smokey lager similar to those found in Bamberg, Germany. Most of this brew's malt was dried over flaming beechwood, which ingrains unique smokey flavors. Aromas of campfires, smoked ham, and bacon dominate a soft malt and hop backbone. Although hard to believe, this beer is vegan friendly. (5.4%)
- Smoke & Dagger - Cloaked in mystery, this dark black beer skirts the line between a schwarzbier and smoked porter. The use of a small percentage of traditional Beechwood smoked malt adds complexity and balances the liberal use of chocolate malt. Notes of roasted grains, beechwood smoke, and coffee accompany a full bodied-and sweet chocolately malt character. Smoke & Dagger uses locally grown unmalted barley from MA. (5.8%)
- Lashes Hopbock Lager - Developled by and named after their assistant brewer, Lashes Lager balances an assertive Munich Malt character with an infusion of Super Styrian, Columbus, Palisades and Centennial hops. Full bodied and malty with an earthy and piney hop aroma. An enjoyable beer for the cold days of a New England winter (?%)
- Coffee Smoke & Dagger (Super Limited) - Smoke & Dagger aged with specially roasted coffee from Barismo. (5.8%)
- John Harvard's Brewery - Cambridge (MA)
- Yellow Belly IPA - An American IPA brewed with a touch of Rye and an Abundance of Amarillo Hops. (6.2%)
- Mapled Monticello Porter - Our Colonial Era Baltic Porter Primed with local maple Syrup. (8.4%)
- Mayflower Brewing Co. (MA)
- Mayflower IPA - Mayflower IPA puts a descendant’s twist on this style, with a powerful hop profile balanced by plenty of malt character. We use the freshest hops from the Pacific Northwest to give this beer its distinct, piney flavor and delightful, fruity aroma. (7%)
- Mayflower Porter - Taking its cues from “Three Threads”, a bartender’s blend of three distinct ales, Porter became the beer of choice for 18th-century Londoners. Mayflower Porter embraces this history. This complex brew is smooth and full-flavored with notes of roasted coffee beans and bittersweet chocolate that will warm the palate all year long. (5.5%)
- Mayflower Winter Oatmeal Stout - Brewed with three types of oats and several varieties of dark barley malts, this beer adds a little sweetness to the roasted flavor of traditional stouts. (6%)
- Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale - Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale is an inspired blend of two brewing styles: American Strong Ale and English Old Ale. Aged on American white oak, this full-bodied brew warms the soul with hints of caramel, vanilla and spicy nuts. The perfect beverage for our favorite holiday. (8%)
- Mystic Brewery (MA)
- Three Cranes Cranberry Saison - Saison made with 200 lbs of fresh picked cranberries from Clover Hill Farms. (7%)
- Day of Doom - Belgian-style Quad. (12%)
- Descendant - Dry Irish Stout meets an English Porter and is then fermented in the fermentorium with our saison yeast with a touch of the ubiquitous ingredient from the area's past, molasses. (7%)
- Night Shift Brewing (MA)
- Fallen Apple - a golden ale brewed with fresh MA apple cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and allspice, and then aged in rum & brandy barrels for a month.Only brewed one batch for the season. (6.3%)
- Rose - Farmhouse saison brewed with rosemary, rosehips and honey, and aged on pink peppercorns. Launched back at Drink Craft Beer Summerfest. (8.4%)
- Mainer Weisse - Berliner Weisse style sour ale with cinnamon and lemongrass, aged on wild Maine blueberries. Follow up to Ever Weisse, the next brewery-only beer. Super purple-blue color. Debuting at Fall to Winter Fest. (5.5%)
- Notch Brewing (MA)
- Notch Valley Malt BSA - American Farmhouse Ale that displays the character of a Belgian Saison, yet with US hops and New England grains. Each year the beer is slightly different, depending on the growing conditions of that season. (4.4%)
- Notch Černe Pivo - Inspired by the black session lagers of the Czech Republic, Notch Cerne Pivo is malty, toasty, and infinitely drinkable. Notch Cerne (pronounced CHAIR-nay) breaks the myth the dark beer is heavy, or that lower alcohol beer is light in color. Cerne Pivo is Czech for "Black Beer", and is a beer style indigenous to the Czech Republic. (4%)
- Notch Session Ale Cask - Pale copper color, firm malt body and a dry, hoppy finish. Notch Session Ale is well balanced, but in true American fashion the hop flavor is up front, and finishes dry, which begs for another sip. Notch Session Ale is unfiltered and hopped throughout the brewing process with three US hop varieties, resulting in a complex depth of hop flavor. (4.5%)
- Peak Organic Brewing Company (Fest Sponsor) (ME)
- Nut Your Average Ginger (FEST BEER) - Harvest brown ale made with Massachusetts ginger, honey from Chef Will Gilson's Groton, MA farm, Massachusetts hops, malt from Valley Malt in Hadley, MA and chestnut puree. (4.5%)
- Hop Noir - Black IPA, dripping with piney, aromatic Centennial hops. The malt base is dark and rich, anchored by organic black malt. This provides a strong foundation for the extravagant kettle hopping and dry-hopping that this beer experiences. (8.2%)
- Winter Session Ale - Dark malting provides subtle toasty notes. Single-hop and dry-hop with Citra hops from their friend Brad’s farm. Interesting pineapple notes from the Citra hop provide a stark contrast to the toasty notes in the body. (5%)
- Pomegranate Wheat Ale - A refreshing, yet intricate ale brewed with locally grown organic wheat, organic coriander and a touch of organic Pomegranate and Acai juice from their friends at Sambazon. (5.9%)
- Portico Brewing Co. (MA)
- Vitruvian Snowman - A strong winter ale brewed with fresh figs and holiday spices. (8%)
- Isidore - This smooth oatmeal stout was brewed with just a touch of fresh mint from our friends at Beetlebung Farm. (6.2%)
- Sett Seven - This Scotch Ale is malt forward with a touch of toasted caramel, smoky and lightly hopped for a balanced finish. (7.7%)
- Fuzzy Logic - A year-round Belgian inspired weiss kolsch with floral and citrus notes. (5.4%)
- Rising Tide Brewing Co. (ME)
- Daymark - Classic American pale ale brewed with spicy Columbus and Centennial hops, accented with rye grown on small local family farms in Maine and malted to our specifications at Valley Malts, then dry hopped. (5.5%)
- Atlantis - Black ale with cherry wood smoked malt. (5.3%)
- Polaris - Barrel aged Ursa Minor wheat stout. (6.7%)
- Rock Art Brewery (VT)
- Pumpkin Spruce Stout - A big stout brewed in the colonial fashion with large amounts of pumpkins and spruce tips added to the kettle for flavor and bittering qualities. (8%)
- Ridge Runner - A mild barley wine (by today's big standards) with Cascade, Crystal, Challenger and Perle hops. "Robust, dark and smooth, hold on to your hat cause you'll lose your feet on this one!" (7.5%)
- IPA - Light copper body with low bitterness and good hop flavor. Their impression of what the English troops may have been drinking when they occupied India. (5%)
- Midnight Madness Smoked Porter - A dark ruby red porter with a medium body. A slight hint of smoke is detected from a small portion of grains used that are smoked with beechwood. (?%)
- Slumbrew (MA)
- Trekker Trippel - Belgian Style Trippel with dried jasmine flowers and Motueka (grown in New Zealand) and Chinook hops. (9.5%)
- Porter Square Porter - Rich black porter with a unique blend of chocolate, coffee, roasted and nutty flavors. Brewed with cocoa powder and conditioned with cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate. (6.5%)
- Rising Sun Red Barley Ale - Dampfbier; barley malt with the Happy Sol Hefeweizen yeast. (5.7%)
- Attic & Eaves Toasted Brown Ale - Autumn brown ale with distinctive toasty flavors from an assortment of roasted malts and grains. As a seasonal, limited release beer, its nutty characteristics offer a great companion to colder climate cuisine. A bright hop finish from Cascade and Fuggles balance the toasted grain notes to create a new expression of autumn brown ales. (7.5%)
- Smuttynose Brewing (NH)
- Zinneke - Bourbon barrel aged Beglian-style stout. This deep brown-colored beer has lots of dark fruit flavor and a nice chocolate highlight in the finish. (8.4%)
- Winter Ale - Full-bodied, amber beer brewed with a special Trappist ale yeast. Stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double, it features fruity aromas and flavor, balanced by soft Crystal hops. (5.83%)
- Robust Porter - Smooth and very drinkable beer, characterized by its well-balanced malt and hops, plus subtle notes of coffee and chocolate. (6.2%)
- Scotch Ale - Bold amber beer that balances smooth rich sweetness with a hint of peat smoked malt. The infusion of this subtle smokiness invites images of heather fields, platters of haggis, & the poetry of William McGonagall. (?%)
- The Tap Brewing Co. (MA)
- Leather Lips IPA - The brewing process by itself contains enough Nugget and Chinook to satisfy the most seasoned hop head. But we couldn’t leave it alone. Once fermentaion is complete we add a massive hop bag to the bright tank that is bursting at the seams with whole cone Centennial for an aroma that you just can’t get any other way. (5%)
- Sassy Rabbit Rye Ale - The second we looked at the grain bill and said “That’s enough rye” -- we immediately doubled the amount. A peppery bite from the malt, and plenty of alpha acid from the Chinook and Glacier hops. (5.7%)
- Swanny Boy Maple Porter - Named after our friend Jason this unctuous, black semi-sweet brew is just what you need to fend off Old Man Winter. We use local maple syrup from Ben’s Sugar Shack in Temple, NH. So hunker down, grab a blanket and let Swanny Boy warm you up from the inside. (5.4%)
- Joshua Norton Imperial Stout - Just a touch of smoked malt for another layer in an already intensely deep and roasty brew. The name: Joshua Norton was the self-proclaimed emporer of the United States. (9.1%)
- Urban Farm Fermentory (ME)
- Dry Cidah - Spontaneously fermented fresh-pressed Maine apples fermented until they're bone dry. No two batches are the same. (6.8%)
- Hopped Cidah - Dry Cidah conditioned on Cascade hops. (6.8%)
- Baby Jimmy Cidah - Dry Cidah aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels, previously used for Allagash Curieaux. (6.8%)
What Food Will Be Available?
More than just beer, we know fall and winter are about great food as well. With that in mind, we want to provide you with some local and delicious food options to eat with your beer!
- Mei Mei Street Kitchen (for purchase)
- Creative Chinese-American cuisine made from locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.
- Fall to Winter Fest Mac & Beer Cheese (made with the fest beer, Peak Organic Nut Your Average Ginger)
- John Crow Farm Bratwursts with housemade sauces & caramelized onions
- Baked Beans & Pork Belly
- Chocolate Stout Cake with salted peanuts, caramel sauce, whipped cream, etc...
- Redbones BBQ (for purchase)
- One of the earlier craft beer joints in the Boston area, these folks have been pumping out amazing BBQ for decades.
- Pulled Pork / Pulled Chicken / BBQ Beef Sandwiches
- Potato Salad
- Grillo's Pickles (sampling) - Friday Night
- Local makers of awesome pickles! Have to be tried.
- Shy Brothers Farm (sampling) - Saturday
- Local makers of Hannahbells, thimble sized artisan cheese made in Westport, MA.
- Taza Chocolate (sampling) - Saturday
- Special holiday chocolates as well as regular line-up.
- More to come!
How Can You Get Home Safely & Responsibly After The Fest?
Want to attend Fall to Winterfest but not quite sure how you're going to get home safely? We'll be the first to tell you that you should never drink craft beer and drive, it's just not safe...for you or for others! To help you get home safe we've teamed up with Uber, your on-demand private driver. They're giving a $10 Uber gift card to the first 200 people to order tickets* to Fall to Winter Fest. So, after the fest, you can use their mobile app to get a chauffeur to take you home, or hail a taxi! Check out their website for more info. NOTE: This promotion is full, we have already passed the first 200 orders. No new orders will get an Uber voucher.
*If you order more than 1 ticket, you only get one voucher and only 1 voucher per person.
Every once in a while that one thing comes along that changes your idea about a product category. To be honest, Downeast Cider did that to me. I like normal cider, but I'd never found a hard cider that really did it for me. As we saw cider as a category growing, we decided that we wanted to write about it as 1) Devon is a big fan and 2) it seemed to fit in with the ethos of craft beer. Furthermore, we had a willing and ready writer in Sarah, our cider writer. I was fine with it but wasn't super enthused until Sarah brought us back a test batch from a soon-to-open cidery. It tasted just like apple cider you buy at the farm stand! It was juicy and full without being too sweet. This was cider I could get behind! That company was Downeast Cider and Sarah had met up with founders Ross Brockman and Tyler Mosher to discuss their new project.
As the last time we spoke with them on the record, they had just started operations, I thought it'd be fun to take some time with Ross and put him through our 5 Questions segment...especially being as his company is the one that helped change my mind about looking at cider again.
Drink Craft Beer: How did you get into craft cider?
Ros Brockman: I have absolutely no idea. One day I was studying to be a lawyer, and the next thing I knew I was checking fermentation cycles and cleaning kegs. It was like Will Ferrell in the debate scene from Old School, I blacked out, don't know what happened, but I think I kinda killed it...
DCB: What was the turning point (a cider or moment) that made you love craft cider?
RB: It was definitely a beer that made me turn the corner in my beverage selection. During our freshman year of college, I had a...not-so-honest...ID that I used to use to go to Wal-Mart Thursday through Saturday to buy 5 30-racks of Beast Ice (Milwaukees Best Ice). We would put them in a ski bag to drag across campus and then unpack that into our mini-fridge, which conveniently held 150 cans of beer. One day Keystone Light (seriously) went on sale and turning point number 1 clicked: "Beer doesn't have to suck, it can taste exactly like water!" Skip forward a couple years and I think it was Dogfish Head 60-Minute that was turning point number 2, the real one: "Beer can be...good?!" Soon after that I had the same realizations with hard cider.
DCB: You walk into a magical beer shop with every beer currently available. You can put together one six-pack. What do you walk out with? Only one beer can be from your brewery.
- Un-named Downeast grapefruit cider/mead (soon enough...)
- Savannah Dry Cider (more of a nostalgia thing)
- Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
- Westvleteren 12 (uhh...monks)
- Stone IPA
- Bud Heavy (because this isn't Russia)
DCB: You’re going out for one big night in Boston. Where do you go (it doesn’t all have to be beer).
RB: I'd probably get pretty liquored up with some Downeast in my apartment beforehand because I can't afford to buy our cider in an actual bar. Then I'd meet my friends at some overrated, creepy place in Faneuil Hall at which point my memory would duck out and I'll wake up with my head splitting open and, what is that, whiskey on my breath? Where the hell is my cell phone...Sorry, that didn't go as planned, I'll head over to the Salty Pig tomorrow night...
DCB: What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t in beer?
RB: I'd be pursing my childhood dream of pitching for the Red Sox, playing QB for the Patriots and PG for the Celtics, all at the same time.
DCB: What do you drink when you’re not drinking craft beer (or beer at all)?
RB: Bud heavy, fresh grapefruit juice, or cheap whiskey with a splash of club soda.
DCB: Where do you see cider industry going in the next year? And, in that vein, can we get a sneak peak at what new to expect from you in the coming year?
RB: I think cider is going to continue to skyrocket. I can also see a lot of experimental ciders blossoming, just as you see craft beers getting wackier and wackier. In that regard, we've got a few tricks up our sleeve that we can't reveal. As far as a more conservative offering, we hope to be done with our dry cider pretty soon here.
DCB: You can make any cider you like, no matter the cost and consumer demand, what would you make and what dream ingredients would you use?
RB: I'd make Downeast Original Blend, because why would we have started this thing and not made our dream drink? And if you twisted my arm, I'd serve it over ice from another planet, because that would be pretty neat...Downeast Over Space Ice!
DCB: Thanks so much for your time, Ross. What can we do to get you make that Downeast Original Blend over space ice?!
One of my all-time favorite IPAs has to be Bear Republic Racer 5. This West Coast IPA brings a fruity hoppiness, strong bitterness and dry finish that I love in an IPA. In fact, I have a good friend that probably prefers this beer to any other IPA out there...it’s a good bet that I can get one whenever I visit his apartment. Racer X is Racer 5’s big brother, a Double IPA that has made a few appearances on tap in Boston over the last year, but they’re few and far between. Until now, when Bear Republic decided to bottle a batch and send some of this big, hoppy brew to the lucky folks in Massachusetts. It seems that it may still be a less common sight, though, as it’s dated with a vintage date. I had to pick one up, so let’s crack it open.
With a hazy orange body and the lightest of light brown head, this beer just looks hoppy! The head is thick and sets at about two fingers.
Dank, piney hops rule this beer! It’s just thick with the aroma of the humulus lupulus flower. I inhale and it feels like it’s coating my nose. Oils and pine, extract of pure hoppiness that I just can’t get out...and why would I want to? Honestly I’m surprised that the head of this beer isn’t green from hops. I’ve seen it happen before! Honestly...OK, maybe not. But if you try this beer, you’ll understand why I think it could happen here.
Upfront Racer X is a crisp, tight and bitter double IPA the likes of which you’ll only find from the West Coast! As it lingers a bit more some malt comes through and it’s a bit candy-like. As the beer warms a bit of orange comes out. This is a great beer! The hops are strong and assertive but in balance. The malt is just enough to make this bitterness tolerable. If you like Racer 5 you owe it to yourself to try Bear Republic’s Racer X Double IPA!
It's early. Really early. I don't mean sunrise early but, rather, it's hours before sunrise in the middle of a freezing cold Boston winter early. The road is pitch black, my car headlights are the only illumination aside from the rare vehicle traveling in the opposite direction on the Mass Pike and the radio is still allowed to play some good tunes because nobody is listening at this godforsaken hour. Longtime Drink Craft Beer readers are probably getting familiar to this story, though, and know what it means...we're making beer!
There's something fulfilling about being the first person to drive through an industrial zone for the day. You cruise past desolate, dark buildings, past chain link fence and pull into the parking spot, climb out of the warm cocoon of your car and into the bracing winter freeze, careful not to slip on the frozen puddle you've parked on. Within moments, a car pulls up and...wait...is it? Yes! It's the guy with the key to the building which means I won't be waiting out here for long. Meet Jack Hendler, founder and brewer for the eponymously-named Jack's Abby, which he runs with his brothers Sam and Eric. "Abby" isn't misspelled, it's the name of Jack's wife.
It's 5:30 in the morning and it's almost time to mash in for the first of two 20 barrel batches that will be brewed today. Spring means hops. Many people will tell you that Autumn is the hoppiest
time of the year, with fresh hop beers abounding but, in reality,
Spring is when the hops start to poke their heads out of the ground. A
perennial that requires a winter, without Spring, there wouldn't be any
hops. And that's why both batches today will be The ABCs, a Double India Pale Lager that Jack's Abby is brewing as the official beer of our upcoming beer festival, Drink Craft Beer Springfest: A Celebration of Hops. In total, four batches will be made for a total of 80 barrels of beer. If that didn't wake you up, how about this: each batch uses over 50 lbs of hops - Apollo, Bravo, Calypso and Simcoe (hence "The ABCs"). That's a lot of hops, folks!
So check out this video about the making of The ABCs for Drink Craft Beer Springfest: A Celebration of Hops below, then make sure to get you tickets at the event website. If you want to see more behind the scenes photos of the brew day at Jack's Abby, check out this album on our Facebook page.
Anytime we hear Ron Jeffries is working on something new we get exited. For any of you who haven't tried Jolly Pumkin's beer, you're missing out. What has us really excited is something very new though. Ron has started Northern United Brewing Co (NUBC). NUBC will be comprised of three new Jolly Pumpkin cafe's, one in Dexter (next to JP brewery), one in Ann Arbor and one on the Old Mission peninsula just north of Traverse City. In addition to the cafes they are adding two breweries, North Peak and Grizzly Peak, the top two brewpubs in Michigan. Both North Peak and Grizzly peak have been around for over a decade, we're excited to see some expanded distribution since we haven't tried their beer.
If all this isn't excting enough, next to the location in Traverse City they will also be christening a brand new 10,000 BBL production facility which will produce non-sour Jolly Pumpkin beers. Non sour Jolly Pumpkin? We dont' even know what that's going to be, and they're still working that out, or just keeping it tight lipped for now, but we'll be following this closely as it develops.