Learn how to homebrew

 

Let me take you back to a time, long before Drink Craft Beer existed. A time when I was a young boy, living in the suburbs outside of Boston...viewing the start of the Boston Marathon every year. Yep, I grew up in a little town called Hopkinton, MA. Really famous only for being a place where elite runners and bandit runners alike flea as fast as they can (otherwise known as running a marathon). I grew up with a good group of friends, we played sports together, hung out, drove around aimlessly...perhaps even sampled an illicit adult beverage now and again...the typical things that kids in suburbia do. Then we all grew up, and moved on with our lives...college, work, etc...I kept in touch with a few, and lost touch with others.

A while ago, one of those friends reached out to tell me he was moving back to the U.S. from England. OK, why do you care? What makes this noteworthy is that he was coming back to open a cidery in Salem, MA after training in wine and cider making in England and apprenticing across Europe. And this friend was Far From the Tree Cider co-founder Al Snape. He had heard that I dabbled in the industry and wanted to get in touch.

Al Snape from Far From the Tree Cider

Al and I had been good friends throughout growing up in Hopkinton, lost touch a bit in college, got back in touch and ended up being housemates in Boston, then we lost track of each other again. Now, somehow, here he was, back again. And with a really cool idea to do some awesome stuff with cider nonetheless! We were stoked to have them at Summerfest 2014 for the first time, and have had them at several fests since.

Since then, they've blown up, and just recently signed with distributor Mass Bev Alliance for statewide distribution. If you've tried the Far From the Tree Cider, then you know it's delicious. If you haven't (or, even if you have), I'd recommend you come out to Drink Craft Beer's Beer & Cider Fest in Boston on Friday, October 16 & Saturday, October 17 to try it, and many others, out.

But enough about how Al and I know each other...let's get to the questions:

Drink Craft Beer: How did you get into craft cider?

Al Snape: I grew up next to an orchard in Hopkinton, MA and have loved fresh sweet cider for as long as I can remember.  I truly became obsessed with hard cider while in Europe.  I spent years there traveling and learning from families how to make a hard cider that represents who you are and where you are from.

DCB: What was the turning point (a cider or a moment) that made you love craft cider?

AS: During my vintage in Champagne (while receiving my degree in Oenology [the science of wine-making]) I had an exact moment that I realized I absolutely had to move back to Massachusetts and make hard cider.  I had to make real hard cider, a hard cider I could stand behind and would represent what I believed in. A lot of the people I was meeting while traveling around Europe were doing this with wine and have been for hundreds of years but it wasn't really happening in Massachusetts and I deeply wanted to change that and to do it with the beverage and fruit of my childhood.

DCB: You walk into a magical cider/beer shop with every beer/cider currently available. You can put together one six-pack. What do you walk out with? Only one cider can be from your cidery.

AS: I'd walk out and go to a wine shop.  I like beer and cider but really how could this magical place have no wine, what a travesty.

DCB: You have one night in your favorite beer/cider city. What city are you in and where do you go (it doesn’t all have to be beer/cider)?

AS: As a 7th generation Bostonian I'm required to say Boston.  I would start at Nightshift and do a flight with friends, then to Deep Ellum for several wonderful beers.  This would inevitably lead to a lubricating of inhibitions and over priced "Greatful Deads" at the latest night club down town then end it all in China Town, cause every good night ends in China Town.

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?

AS: I'd go back 20 years and plant an orchard with every apple tree that's ever existed.  I'd love to do a horizontal tasting of single varietals of every apple ever from one specific orchard from one specific year, it would be absolutely mind blowing.

DCB: Thanks for the time, Al! And look forward to seeing the Far From the Tree crew at Beer & Cider Fest!

If YOU want to join us at Beer & Cider Fest in Boston, get your tickets here.

Boston Beer and BBQ Fest is coming back! This year is bigger and better and we can't wait to join you all this summer. Why Join Us At Boston Beer & BBQ Fest? Why NOT to join us, that's really the question! It's smoked meat and local craft beer and cider. Do you really need more than that? If you do need more info, though, we can tell you that the Boston Beer & BBQ Fest focuses on New England-made craft beers and ciders as well as showcasing some of the best local BBQ joints around. By attending you'll have access to over 70 craft beers and ciders, as well as mountains of BBQ. Honestly, now tell us...what more do you need to know?!

Details? More will come on that but if you've attended any of our events before, or know someone who has you know good things are coming. Boston Beer and Cheese Fest sold out 2 months in advance so be sure to get your tickets soon!

 

 

Tickets on sale Tuesday, March 15 at 10am EDT.

Please Note:

  • 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.

Boston Beer & BBQ Fest
June 15th and 16th

Space 57 200 Stuart St Boston, MA

Session 1 - Friday, July 15th: 6-9:30pm
Session 2 - Saturday, July 16th: 1-4:30pm
Session 3 - Saturday, July 16th: 6-9:30pm

 

 

How Much Does It Cost?

For only $55 you’ll get admittance to one session which includes:

  • Unlimited 2oz samples of 70+ New England craft beers & ciders
  • Food voucher to sample each BBQ joint
  • Biodegradable tasting cup
  • Fest Guide

What BBQ Will be Joining?

We're working with local BBQ joints to get a great lineup. Right now we have the following committed:

What Food Will Be Available?

While you’ll have your fill of craft beer, cider and local bbq samples, we know you might want something a little more substantial. With that in mind, this is normally where we'd tell you the restaurants we're bringing in...but in this case, we've already got some of the best BBQ in Massachusetts joining us...why would we look any further? So they'll be selling more substantial portions, on top of sampling.

Some beer fests won't have cider...this is NOT one of them.

"The times they are a-changin'!" We started our first beer fest back in 2012 with one cidery. Since then, cider has exploded and we've led the way for beer fests in Boston, including it in some of the city's finest. Well, we think it's time cider got a bit higher billing. Introducing Drink Craft Beer's first annual Beer & Cider Fest! 15 New England craft breweries, 10 New England cideries - 25 in total!

Find out why Drink Craft Beer was awarded Boston magazine's Best of Boston® 2014 - Best Booze Fest!

Drink Craft Beer's Beer & Cider Fest 2015 - Boston



Please Note:

  • 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.
  • Names on the ticket do not have to match your ID.
  • We give no entry guarantee if you buy your ticket from a reseller.
  • Brewers, cider makers, and beers/ciders subject to change.

Drink Craft Beer's Beer & Cider Fest
October 16th & 17th

Space 57 - The Revere Hotel - 200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA
Session 1 - Friday, October 16th: 6-9:30pm
Session 2 - Saturday, October 17th: 1-4:30pm
Session 3 - Saturday, October 17th: 6-9:30pm

***TICKETS GO ON SALE AT 10am EDT ON TUESDAY, JULY 21st.***

Join our mailing list here and get an alert about when tickets go on sale and more.

Why Join Us At Drink Craft Beer's Beer & Cider Fest?

Beer & Cider Fest focuses on New England-made beers and ciders featuring fall and winter seasonal ingredients. By attending, you'll be able to sample 90+ seasonal focused beers and ciders from 25 of New England's best craft breweries and cideries! With 10 cideries and 15 brewers, this year will be our most diverse lineup ever.

How Much Does It Cost?

For only $50 you’ll get admittance to one session which includes:

  • Unlimited 2oz samples of 90+ New England craft beers & ciders
  • Biodegradable tasting cup
  • Fest Guide

What Breweries/Cideries Will be Joining?

We will have 25 New England breweries and cideries in attendance bringing 90+ craft beers and ciders. 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)

What Food Will Be Available?

More than just beer and cider, Drink Craft Beer is 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 libations:

  • Roxy's Grilled Cheese (for purchase)
    • Delicious, gourmet grilled cheese.
  • Tenoch Mexican (for purchase)
    • Boston-area expert makers of tortas and other delicious Mexican far.
  • Grillo's Pickles (for sampling)
    • Quite possible the best pickles you've ever tasted.
  • Q's Nuts (for sampling and purchase)
    • Great, locally roasted nuts in unexpected flavor combinations.
  • Union Square Donuts (for purchase)
    • World-class donuts made in Somerville...once you see them, you'll need to have one...or two.

***TICKETS ON SALE AT 10AM EDT ON TUESDAY, JUNE 16TH.***
***PLEASE NOTE THAT TICKETS GO FAST TO THESE EVENTS...OUR LAST EVENT LIKE THIS SOLD OUT IN 45 MINUTES.***

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.


Cheers,
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.

Cheers,
Devon and Jeff
Co-Founders of Drink Craft Beer


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.