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Craft Beer and Ice Cream for Charity

Author // Jeff Wharton


Summer is finally here and it's hot out! You know what's great on a hot summer day? A cold beer! Or, maybe some ice cream? How about both?!

Drink Craft Beer is partnering with Post 390 and Craft Brewers Guild to bring you Beer & Ice Cream for Charity, featuring 8 great Boston-area restaurants and 8 craft brewers. All of this to raise money for Greater Boston Food Bank and the Boys & Girls Club.

On Thursday, August 13th, 2015 from 7-9:30pm we'll be taking over the Somerville Armory in Somerville, MA, hosting:

  • 8 great Boston-area restaurants providing ice cream or an ice cream dish to complement beers from 8 craft brewers:
    • Craig Williams - Post 390 - Boston & Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project - MA
      • Ice Cream: Caramel Peach Ice Cream Sandwich with spent grain and almond macarons
      • Beer: Field Mouse's Farewell
    • Nick Deluca - Commonwealth - Cambridge & Cambridge Brewing Co. - MA
    • Jacqueline Dole - Gracie's Ice Cream - Somerville & Cape Ann Brewing Co.  - MA
      • Ice Cream: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp - Malted sweet cream, strawberry rhubarb jam, oat crumble
      • Beer: Sunrise Saison
    • Brian Mercury - Harvest - Cambridge & Ipswich Ale Brewery - MA
      • Ice Cream: Local Corn & Coriander Ice Cream Float with Ipswich Blueberry Shandy and Spent Grain Tuile
      • Beer: Ipswich Blueberry Shandy
    • Kristen Rummel - Honeycomb Creamery - Somerville & Smuttynose Brewing Co. - NH
      • Ice Cream: Smuttynose Baltic Porter Ice Cream with malted cherry reduction and coffee waffle cone
      • Beer: Baltic Porter
    • Kate Holowchik - Lolita - Boston & Wachusett Brewing Co.
      • Ice Cream: Buttermild Cornbread ICe Cream Push Pop with Three Textures of Corn, Maine Blueberry Compote and Lemon Basil
      • Beer: Wachusett Blueberry Ale
    • Picco - Boston & Left Hand Brewing Co. - CO
      • Ice Cream: Cow Tipper Frappe - Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Blended with Left Hand Milk Stout
      • Beer: Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
    • Meghan Thompson - Townsman - Boston & Downeast Cider House - MA
      • Ice Cream: Maple Oak Cider Townsman McFlurry with smokey maple ice cream, crunchy sea salt pretzels and peach pie filling
      • Beer: Pumpkin Cider

For just $30, you'll get:
  • Unlimited 2oz samples of 8 craft beers
  • Sample each ice cream dish from 8 local chefs made to compliment the beers
  • Meet the crew from several of your favorite breweries and local restaurants
  • A chance to provide meals to local families in need and help young people realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens
  • All profits from this event are going straight to the charities...nobody is making money on this, aside from Greater Boston Food Bank and Boys & Girls Club.

Devon and Jeff
Co-Founders of Drink Craft Beer

Special thanks to our partners: Post 390 and Craig Williams for lining up all the chefs; Craft Brewers Guild for providing funding for the venue and event costs, and the restaurants for donating all of the food.

Tickets are limited to 330 so be sure to get yours fast! This event will sell out.

Devon and Jeff
Co-Founders of Drink Craft Beer

When Is Stout Season Exactly?

Author // Jeff Wharton

With quite a few sought out stouts in the portfolio, Founders Brewing started the #StoutSeason campaign back in 2012 to mark the time when these beers were available. More generally, though, stouts and other dark beers have been seen as cold weather beverages meant to warm you up...or at least make you not care if you are cold. I've always heard people say that stouts are for cold weather, but have always been curious about how true this is (from a behavior standpoint at least) and, more importanlty, just when is stout season, exactly?!

I've long been an advocate of the "summer stout," more to be contrary than anything. But am I the weirdo? Or is stout as a winter-only beverage an urban legend deserving of a good old-fashioned Snopes.com-style debunking?

In the spirit of a recent article I wrote, "Why Is Pumpkin Beer Released in August," I went back to Google Trends to check out what the reality of the situation is. To make up for year-over-year growth of craft beer, I normalized the data on a June-May year. I also removed a few irrelevant months from the graph that I published here, but only to make the image easier to publish and maintain readability. This "missing data" was taken into account when I actually went over the seasonality.

Stout Season

And, well...the results were fairly obvious. Stout Season starts fairly sharply in November and lasts through March, with a sharp drop-off in April. Seeing as people think of stout as a cold weather beverage, it seems that this belief really does influence behavior and interest in a pretty serious way! For five months of the year interest is piqued, while for the remaining seven months, it's quite low. Oddly enough, if you look back at "Why Is Pumpkin Beer Released in August," you'll see that Stout Season picks up right where Pumpkin Beer Season leaves off. Either way, October shows interest in stouts begin to rise before it spikes in November. In an attempt at hipsterdom, I'm going to enjoy some this month (October)...before they're popular again.

Two Roads Roadsmary's Baby Pumpkin Ale [Beer of the Week]

Author // Jeff Wharton

To put it out there from the start, between Devon and me, I'm the more picky one about pumpkin beers. He loves them. I like SOME of them. With that said, it's the first full week of October and Pumpkin Beer Season is in full effect! And this trend ain't going nowhere so, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

While I'm not the biggest fan of pumpkin beer, I do like rum! And Roadsmary's Baby is aged in rum barrels. One point! On top of that, it's brewed with vanilla bean, which is great in a malty beer when done right. Of course it's got the obligatory pumpkin and spices, as well, but that's not what has me excited. As you pour you'll notice the boozy rum right away, but it quickly dissipates and your first actual sniff will bring you fresh pumpkin and mild spices. This is definitely a pumpkin beer, first and foremost, but behind that you'll get the smoothness of vanilla...and I like it.

Two Roads Roadsmary's Baby Pumpkin Ale

Take a sip and behold the gourd that rules craft beer from August to November. The spice is secondary (at most) and the pumpkin shines. On top of that, as it warms, the rum starts to come through, bracing for a cold October evening. All in all, if you love pumpkin beer this won't disappoint. But if you don't, Roadsmary's Baby delivers it differently enough that you'll probably find something you'll like...I did!

Try Roadsmary's Baby and 90 other craft beers and ciders from 25 New England brewers and cider makers at Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest 2014 in Boston, MA on November 14 & 15. Get all the details, see the brewer list, and buy tickets on the event page.

54 Beers For You to Try - From Some of the Northeast's Best Brewers

Author // Jeff Wharton

The rise in craft beer has been great, with new choices of beer coming out almost daily! Years ago, you’d be happy to see a token Samuel Adams Boston Lager in the cooler in many stores…now those same establishments have multiple craft six packs and bombers to choose from. With that variety, though, comes…well…choice. To help out, we asked of our favorite Northeast brewers what they would choose. Here are the answers.

Question: 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.

Ryan Gwozdz – Head Brewer, Mayflower Brewing Co.

Cantillon Gueuze, Orval, Schlenkerla Urbock, Mayflower Summer Rye, Allagash Interlude, Half Acre Daisy Cutter. I’m adding a 7th, Molson (reminds me beers with my grandfather!).

Ben Roesch – Brewmaster, Wormtown Brewing Co. 

Cambridge Brewing Heather Ale, Harpoon Saison Various, The Lost Abbey Red Poppy, Jack's Abby Fire in the Ham, Wormtown Buddha's Juice, and [North Coast] Old Rasputin XII.

Jason Perkins – Brewmaster, Allagash Brewing Co.

This is not an easy question. There are so many great options out there, and my decision would change immensely depending on mood. Right now (keep in mind it is 7 AM) would be: Orval, Firestone Walker Pale 31, Smuttynose Robust Porter, Sierra Nevada Celebration, a fresh DeDolle Arabier and Russian River Temptation.

Helder Pimentel – Founder, Backlash Beer Co.

To be honest, right now I'd probably walk out with a 6 pack of Heady Topper.

Alex Zielke – Co-Founder/Brewer, Portico Brewing Co.

Alex Zielke - 2nd from left

Off the top of my head, I'd say:

  1. Troegs Nugget Nectar
  2. Zunft Kolsch, Erzquell Brauerei
  3. Left Hand Milk Stout
  4. Southern Tier Unearthly
  5. Alchemist Heady Topper
  6. (and of course) Portico Fuzzy Logic

Shane Welch – Founder, Sixpoint Craft Ales

This is sort of a trick question because many of my favorite beers are not available in bottles.  They are draft-only varieties.  But since this is a "magical" beer shop I am assuming they also can magically bottle these draft-only varieties and have them for sale.  :-)   In that case, I will go with beers from:

  1. Live Oak Hefeweizen
  2. Live Oak IPA
  3. Barrier Brewing Company Dunegrass (shout out to Craig Frymark and Evan Klein)
  4. Hill Farmstead Ephraim (shout out to Dan Suarez and Sean Hill) 
  5. Ale Asylum (shout out to Dean Coffey)
  6. Augustiner Edelstoff Helles (non-export version, the fresh draft straight from the brewery) - FYI this is a beer I can drink gallons of

Chris Lohring – Founder/Brewer, Notch Brewing Co.

My magical beer shop has beers brewed within 100 miles of Boston, and nothing else, and my six pack is a constantly rotating selection of these beers. When people say, “I can’t find local beers as good,” I challenge them: let’s start the blind taste test right now.

Jennifer Glanville – Boston Brewery Manager, Samuel Adams

I’m going to go with a variety of styles. My first choice is a Sam Adams Boston Lager, then a smoky Rauchbier, a fresh crisp Pilsner, an English Stout, an IPA with a variety of American hops & a traditional German Weiss bier.

Rob Burns – Co-Founder, Night Shift Brewing Co.

Rob Burns on right

This is obviously a really tough question. There are so many amazing beers out today that I can never really narrow down my favorites. My ideal 6 pack would include some aged beers and some fresh ones. 

  1. Cantillon Vignerrone
  2. J.W. Lees 1999 Harvest Ale - this aged barleywine is one of my favorite beers of all time
  3. Drie Fontaine Kriek
  4. Six point Bengali Tiger IPA
  5. Rochefort 10
  6. Russian River Beautification

What is your magical 6-pack? Let us know on Twitteron Facebook, or in the comments below!

Vote for the Fall To Winter Fest Cider

Author // Jeff Wharton

For Fall to Winter Fest 2014 we're bringing in more hard ciders then ever before! We know we love cider, and showed that when we brought in Downeast Cider to our first beer fest back in 2012. We're happy that, over the years, our attendees have told us how much they love the ciders and want even more. Well, we're delivering!

This year, for Fall to Winter Fest, we're not just bringing you more cider than ever, we're working with Downeast Cider on the Official Fall to Winter Fest Cider! Even better? You get to vote on it below!

We're going to let you, the Drink Craft Beer audience, vote on what ingredients you'd like to nominate to be included in a special cider that Downeast will make ONLY FOR Fall to Winter Fest.

Then, we're going to comb through the list with the guys at Downeast, pick some top choices, and let you all vote on the final blend of ingredients! (NOTE: Nominations closed September 19, this is now final voting.)

So vote below to nominate for your favorite ingredient, then tell us what you picked on Twitter with hashtag #FTWFest, Facebook or in the comments below!

To get your tickets for Fall to Winter Fest on Friday, November 14th and Saturday, November 15th in Boston, featuring 25 of New England's best brewers and cider makers bringing 90+ craft beers and cider, go to the event page now!

VOTING ENDS at 5pm EST on Friday, October 3rd at 4pm EDT.

You can vote for more that 1 ingredient.