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Craft Beer & Chocolate For Charity: January 9th 2015

Author // Jeff Wharton

**Tickets on sale Tuesday, December 9th at 10am EST.**
Last Year's Event Sold Out in 3 Hours!

For the last three years Somerville's Taza Chocolate and Drink Craft Beer have paired beer and chocolate in an annual event to raise money for The Greater Boston Food Bank. Last year we had sold-out the event in 3 hours and raised over $10,000 for the charity. This year we want to beat that!

On Friday, January 9th, 2015 from 7-9:30pm Drink Craft Beer and Taza Chocolate are taking over the Somerville Armory in Somerville, MA...but we won't be alone. We'll be hosting:
  • 10 craft brewers, each providing a beer paired with a Taza Chocolate
    • To be announced soon
  • 6 local chefs to create custom bites incorporating Taza Chocolate
    • Mei Mei
    • Roxy's Grilled Cheese
    • Union Square Donuts
    • Park Cambridge
    • Highland Kitchen
    • The Salty Pig

For just $30, you'll get:

  • Unlimited 2oz samples of 10 craft beers paired with Taza Chocolates
  • Sample each bite from 6 local chefs
  • Meet the crew from several of your favorite breweries and local restaurants
  • A chance to provide meals to local families in need
  • Thanks to a generous donation from the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance, 100% of your ticket price goes directly to charity!
How Do You Get There?

Bridj will generously be providing shuttle service between Porter Square and the Somerville Armory. It will pick up every 10 minutes right outside the Porter Square T Stop at 1867 Massachusetts Avenue (the 77 Bus Stop). The shuttles will have a Bridj sign in the window.

For more information on Bridj, visit their website.

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

Special thanks to: our partner, Taza Chocolate, for providing all of the chocolate; Massachusetts Beverage Alliance for providing funding for the venue and event costs, the brewers for donating all of the beer and the restaurants for donating all of the food.

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.


Want to try a ton of stouts, pumpkin beers, holiday ales, and other Fall and Winter seasonal brews? Then check out Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest in Boston, MA on November 14 & 15 at Space 57! Featuring 90+ beers and ciders from 25 New England brewers and cider makers, this is a celebration of these great beer seasons! See the brewer/beer list and get your tickets on the event page now!

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!