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Interview with Rob Leonard of New England Brewing Company 5-15-07

Rob Leonard started making beer in his kitchen. 1992 saw him land a home brewers dream job at New Haven Brewing… cleaning kegs and packing cases. But his obvious passion for the brewing craft led him to the title assistant brewer and eventually head brewer in a short three years. Fast forward a few years: Rob has become the brewmaster and operations manager for New England Brewing. In 2001, when the owners wanted to get out of the brewery business, Rob immediately took the opportunity to acquire the name of the company and re-locate the whole business to Selden Street in Woodbridge, CT… just down the street from the kitchen where he first started making beer. It’s this location where he makes his assortment of canned beers, including Atlantic Amber, Sea Hag IPA, and Elm City Lager as well as his limited bottled offerings such as Imperial Stout Trooper. And now he talks to DrinkCraftBeer.com…

Smuttynose Launches 2009 Big Beer Series Subscription

For the very first time, New Hampshire's Smuttynose Brewing Company will be offering a subscription to get a case of each Big Beer they put out in 2009. The lineup is:

Image - Gravitation Belgian Quad (New Release) - early January, 2009
 - Imperial Stout - mid February
 - Maibock - late March
 - Baltic Porter - Early May
 - Farmhouse Ale - late June
 - Big A IPA - early August
 - Wheat Wine - mid September
 - Barley Wine - early November
 - S'Muttonator Double Bock - early December, 2009

ImageThis is one of the finest brewers on the East Coast, and each edition of their Big Beer Series is limited and often hard to get if you don't act right away... Their Big A has been known to sell out of stores within a week of release (and some stores sell out in a day). This subscription will ensure you get some of each one.

The downside? You have to buy a case of each and you have to pick it up at the Brewery. But, they will be having beer socials for the release of each brew. For all the details, check out the website here.

Taza Chocolate Factory Takeover 2013 - Thank You

On Saturday, February 2, 2013 Taza Chocolate let us take over their factory store for the second time to benefit The Greater Boston Food Bank. We were completely floored by the response that we got from our wonderful community; many of you waited over an hour to get inside while temperatures outside dipped into the low twenties. With nearly 700 attendees coming through the door and proceeds from Roxy's Grilled Cheese's chocolate-covered bacon grilled cheese sandwiches we raised $3,600, doubling the proceeds from 2012! That's enough money for The Greater Boston Food Bank to provide 8,496 meals to those in need. Pretty epic!

With that in mind, we want to thank each and every one of you for coming out, for braving the cold and for being a part of this great event!

Line before the doors opened
The line before the doors opened. You can't see it, but it went all the way to the
end of the block, turned the corner, then half way down the next block.

Line for Roxy's Grilled Cheese
The line for Roxy's Grilled Cheese...luckily the line to get into the event was right in front of the truck!

Of course, we couldn't have done it without our wonderful event sponsors either, all of whom donated their time and products. So we'd like to give a special thanks to:

Again, thanks to everyone involved, from the attendees to the event sponsors! We could not have done it without any of you! We look forward to seeing you all again!

First Attendees In the Door
The first attendees in the door finally get some beer and chocolate. They got here an hour before the event!

Inside the Taza Chocolate Factory Store
The end of the line: inside the Taza Chocolate Factory Store after trying all four pairings.

Beer of the Month Review - Amazing Clubs March

Hey all you craft beer drinkers! It's that time again! What time? New Beer of the Month from Amazing Clubs time! Yeah... we know, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. But the beer... The beer tastes good. So let's get to it!

This month, we've got beer from High Country Brewing Company and Farmington River Brewing Company, made by Mercury Brewing Company. High Country sends their Blowing Rock Ale and Blowing Rock Bock, while Farmington River has their Blonde Ale and Brown Ale. With that in mind, let's get to the beer!

And, like always, if you want to join this club go here: Click to Join.

High Country Blowing Rock Ale

Appearance: Light golden

Smell Biscuity light honey notes

Taste: This tatses more like a lager than an ale to us, but it's really nice. Light and hoppy with a light honey like finish. Really tasty beer.

Sixpoint Apollo Hefeweizen [Beer Review]

Last year (2011) Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewery started putting their beers into “nano-kegs” (aka cans) for home consumption. Autumn marked the first seasonal in these nano-kegs but summer has, perhaps, brought one that I’ve anticipated the most. On top of now canning their beers they’ve also brought on a new brewmaster, Jan Matysiak, to replace Sixpoint founder Shane Welch so that he could focus more on growing the business. Most recently, Jan was the brewer at Texas’ Live Oak Brewing, known for having one of the most revered Hefeweizens brewed on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. As soon as I found out Jan would be heading east, I started bugging Shane to ask if they’d be putting out a hefeweizen. He told me just to chill and wait, but I had a feeling. Well, here is that “hefe” that I’ve been hoping for from Sixpoint, so let’s see if it’s going to live up to my expectations!

Sixpoint Apollo Hefeweizen

A deep golden straw color this one is a bit darker than many hefeweizens I’ve come across in the past. It poured with a big, pillowy white head but it quickly receded...that said, having had this a few times before, I’m going to say this is an anomaly as it’s never happened before.

Hefeweizens typically have aromas of banana and clove that come from the yeast they are fermented with. That, and the wheat used in the beer, is what makes is a hefeweizen. Typically the beer will lean towards one of those two smells and this is no different as the banana really comes through. Don’t worry if you don’t like banana, though. They are one of my least favorite foods on Earth and I love a good banana-y hefe...there are some very important differences between the fruit and the smell of the beer. Once you’re past that yeasty note, you’ll get some dry, tangy wheat. Overall, it smells like a classic Bavarian wheat beer and I’m not going to wait any longer to drink it!

That banana-like aroma comes through in the taste in a way that few American-brewed hefeweizens pull off. Up front the beer is a little fuller than some others in this style and really coats your tongue. As it lingers on my tongue, I get just a hint of tartness. It’s barely there, but it adds a great dynamic to the beer...some delicious complexity that keeps you on your toes. As you swallow, though, the wheat really brings a drying character that, along with the carbonation, finishes the brew nicely. Add the fact that Apollo comes in 16oz tallboy cans and barely tops 5% abv and this is going to be an instant classic at all your barbecues this year! Pick some up, you’ll dig it and your non-craft-beer-drinking friends will love it!