2016 marks the 10 Year Anniversary of Drink Craft Beer. 10 years! It’s been a great ride, and we’ve come a long way. But never fret, we’ve got more to come. When you hit a milestone like this, sometimes it’s nice to reflect a bit, and it being the New Year and all, I figured it was a perfect time for some New Year’s Resolutions. While these are ostensibly for 2016, in reality these resolutions go farther out than just this year. All in all, let’s get back to the roots with beer, let’s learn to love beer again...let’s drink craft beer! So here we go.
1) Drink Less Samplers
And the corollary here is “Order more pints.” There’s only so well you can get to know a beer in a few ounces. I want to get to know fewer beers way better this year.
You want to recommend a beer you loved? If you tell me you had a 4 oz of it, and that’s it, I’m not listening to you. A sample is a great place to start. But that’s exactly what it is, a place to start.
Also, it’s WAY harder to be social when you and your friends are all buried in sample boards. Buy a round of pints and be social.
2) Focus More On the Experience Than the Beer
It’s 2016...you don’t have to worry about going to the best beer bar in town to get a good brew now. So, instead, worry about getting a great group of people together and figure out where you’ll all have fun. If that’s not local craft beer hub, that’s fine. Even run of the mill, mainstream bars have at least one of two decent offerings now. Hell, I was in a generic “Irish Pub” in suburban wasteland Massachusetts and had more than a couple great offerings on tap to choose from.
A decent beer with great friends will ALWAYS be a better night than a great beer with lesser friends, or without friends at all.
3) Drink More Than IPAs
I love hops, so don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying to stop drinking IPAs. Far from it. Just, let’s try some other styles, too. There’s a million IPAs already and, by the time I’m done with this sentence, 5 more will have hit the market (*totally made up fact). All I’m saying is, don’t get in a beer rut. Try some other styles. Drink a Gose. Have a good lager. Find a Hefeweizen. Hell, I’d forgotten how good Belgian Wits can be until I had an Allagash White a few months ago. That’s a damn good beer! Let’s try more new stuff in 2016.
4) Keep Your Nose Out of Your Phone
I really wish this one didn’t need to be said. When you’re out with your friends, BE OUT WITH YOUR FRIENDS! (See Resolution #2) Plus if you’re drinking full pints, and not a million little samples, you won’t have so many beers that you can’t remember each the next day. Do you really need to check in every beer?
If you want to tell the world what you’re drinking (and we’re guilty of this quite often if you watch our social media), snap a photo and send it later. Check into your beers later. Beer is best as a social experience, not a social media experience. Be social.
5) Get a Staple Beer
This is a big one to us. At Drink Craft Beer, we’re always trying new things to find brewers for our fests and for stuff to write about. But we realized that this isn’t how we’d drink if we didn’t run DCB. And we didn’t like that. The solution?
Find a beer you love. Make sure it’s readily accessible and something that’s a good choice in almost any situation. Then, keep it in your fridge at all times. This way, you have something you love when you “just want a beer.”
The key is, you don’t have to try EVERY new beer that comes to market. Don’t let FOMO keep you from enjoying a beer you know you love.
So there you go, the Drink Craft Beer 2016 Five New Year’s Resolutions. But, looking at it, this shouldn’t be limited to 2016. Really, this is the Drink Craft Beer Guide to Drinking Beer & Having Fun. We’ve been having fun for 10 years doing Drink Craft Beer, and we’re looking forward to many more! Cheers!
If you’re in the know, you realize that beer and cheese go together in ways most people wouldn’t believe…if you DON’T think that beer and cheese are a magical pairing, then the Boston Beer & Cheese Fest 2016 will be a wake-up call that you can’t miss! Last year sold out over a month in advance, so we're going BIGGER and BETTER this year!
25 craft beer and cider makers from New England; 10 New England creameries. 25 beer/cider & cheese pairings. Yep. Get on this!
Find out why Drink Craft Beer was awarded Boston magazine's Best of Boston® 2014 - Best Booze Fest!
TICKETS WILL BE ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27TH AT 10AM. SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL LIST HERE TO FIND OUT AS SOON AS THEY'RE AVAILABLE.
TICKETS WILL BE ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27TH AT 10AM. SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL LIST HERE TO FIND OUT AS SOON AS THEY'RE AVAILABLE.
- 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 & Cheese Fest
March 11th & 12th
The Cyclorama - 539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
VIP Session - Friday, March 11th: 6-9:30pm
Session 2 - Saturday, March 12th: 1-4:30pm
Session 3 - Saturday, March 12th: 6-9:30pm
Why Join Us At Boston Beer & Cheese Fest?
It’s craft beer, cider and cheese…what more do you need to know?! If you do need more info, though, the Boston Beer & Cheese Fest focuses on New England-made craft beers, ciders and cheeses. By attending you’ll have access to over 80 craft beers and ciders from 25 local brewers/cideries, as well as tons of cheese from 10 local creameries. If that’s not enough, we’ll be pairing a beer/cider from each brewer with a cheese from each creamery…that’s 25 beer/cider and cheese pairings! If that doesn’t make your mouth water, we don’t know what else to say.
How Much Does It Cost?
For only $50 you’ll get admittance to one session which includes:
- Unlimited 2oz samples of 80+ New England craft beers & ciders from 25 breweries/cideries
- Unlimited samples of cheese from 10 New England creameries
- Biodegradable tasting cup
- Fest Guide
VIP Session - How Much Does It Cost?
- All of the above, plus unlimited 2oz samples of 25 super-limited New England craft beers & ciders, including casks and other delights
- A chance to vote on the 2015 Champion of Hops...a championship belt to be awarded to the brewers of the crowd's favorite VIP beer/cider
- The session will be limited to only 650 attendees (down from 800 for the Saturday sessions)
- Some possible other things we're working on...totally TBD at this point still what will make it to the event
What Creameries Will be Joining?
We’re working with local cheese experts to get a great, diverse selection of local cheeses that will pair excellently with beer and cider. We have the following creameries committed, with more to come (NOTE: This is only a partial list. Creameries/cheeses are subject to change and availability):
- The Cellars at Jasper Hill (VT)
- Bayley Hazen Blue - Raw cow milk blue cheese; Fudge-like texture with a toasted-nut sweetness, anise spice notes, and grassy flavors
- Clothbound Cheddar - Natural-rind, bandaged cheddar with a crumbly texture and nutty aroma
- Moses Sleepter - Cow mild, inspired by French Brie; A bloomy rind with gooey, milky core and notes of cauliflower, creme fraiche, toasted nuts, and a bright finish
- Cricket Creek Farm (MA)
- Berkshire Bloom - Semi-soft bloomy rind cheese; creamy, earthy, pungent layer around mild, firm center
- Maggie's Round - Semi-firm raw cow mild with bright & fruity citrus tones and earthy rind
- Tobasi - Raw cow milk, aged 2-4 months, dense, almost custard-like
- Contoocook Creamery (NH)
- Cheddar - Aged raw milk cheddar
- Garlic Cheddar - Aged raw milk cheddar with garlic
- Smoked Cheddar - Smoked aged raw milk cheddar
- Crystal Brook Farm (MA)
- Australian Ginger Chevre - Fresh goat cheese with crystallized ginger
- Classic Chevre - Classic fresh goat cheese
- Tunisian Baharat Chevre - Fresh goat cheese with a blend of cinnamon, dried rose petals, and black pepper made just for Boston Beer & Cheese Fest 2016
- Grafton Village Cheese (VT)
- Truffle Cheddar - Raw cow milk cheddar with truffle
- Vermont Leyden - Raw cow milk; Big, buttery flavored cheese with cumin seeds
- The Grey Barn & Farm (MA)
- Bluebird - Cow milk blue cheese; Briny, creamy like a Gorgonzola, natural rind with a yellow paste inside
- Eidolon - Cow milk; Bloomy rind, bright, grassy, with a creamy layer topping a dense, cake-like center
- Prufrock - Cow milk; Delicate yet pungent washed rind cheese, toasty and nutty with hints of tropical fruit and sour cream, slightly salty and savory finish
- Parrish Hill Creamery (VT)
- Hermit - Raw cow milk; Alpine cheese washed in beer from Hermit Thrush Brewing
- Reverie - Raw cow milk; Traditional, semi-hard Toma, bright, milky flavor with a tang
- West West Blue - Raw cow milk; two-curd gorgonzola, edible rind with a creamy texture, streaks of blue mold, and a spicy, earthy flavor
- Robinson Farm (MA)
- A Barndance - Raw cow milk; Hard Alpine-style cheese, fruity and nutty
- Prescott - Raw cow milk; Dense, complex, Alpine-style cheese with a mosaic of nutty notes and a saline finish
- Tekenkink Tomme - Raw cow milk; Rustic, pungent, slightly saline, and creamy, their sharpest cheese
- Vermont Creamery (VT)
- Bijou - French-style aged goat cheese "buttons"
- Bonne Bouche - Goat cheese with a creamy interior and edible ash rind
- Coupole - Goat cheese with dense center and a ripe rind
- Cremont - Aged Goat and Cow cheese with a smooth interior
- Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company (VT)
This weekend is Boston Beer & Cider Fest! Pumpkin beers, and cider, and fall beers, and more, OH MY! And what better way to celebrate Fall than by sampling 80+ beers and ciders from 25 New England craft breweries and cideries? We'll have an unprecedented 10 local cider houses on hand, along with 15 breweries, so there's more to try than you ever could. Beyond that, we'll have autumnal donuts from Union Square Donuts, food from Roxy's Grilled Cheese and Tenoch Mexican, roasted nuts from Q's Nuts, and pickles from Grillo's Pickles. We're so excited about the fest this weekend, that we're giving away a pair of tickets to spread the word! Find out how to enter below.
How to Enter
Entering is easy, just send a tweet on Twitter! There are two ways:
Just tweet the following: "I want 2 free tix to @DrinkCraftBeer Boston Beer & Cider Fest this wknd http://bit.ly/WinTixBosBCF #BosBCF Tix: http://bit.ly/GetTixBosBCF"
Even if you don't win, you can always get tickets to Boston Beer & Cider Fest. It's a great chance to get into the Autumn mood and enjoy some of the best craft beer and cider New England has to offer.
The Fine Print:
- Contest closes at 8pm EDT Wednesday, October 14
- You must be 21+ to enter.
- Winner will be chosen at random.
- Winner will choose from one of three sessions on Oct. 16th or 17th
- If you have already bought tickets and win, you'll be credited the price of two tickets on your original order.
Find Out About More Promotions and Events
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 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.