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Eat Local, Drink Local - Beer Pairing Goes Green

Author // Jeff Wharton

We here at DrinkCraftBeer.com are big proponents of sustainable eating and drinking. Earth Day is fast approaching (April 22, 2009), and we decided that just any old food-pairing event wouldn't do. With that in mind, we've decided to do this tasting, titled "Eat Local, Drink Local - Beer Pairing Goes Green," in accordance with the 100 Mile Diet rules. What that means is that everything in the tasting was produced within 100 miles of Boston, MA. Eating local reduces your carbon footprint as food doesn't have to be shipped nearly as far. It also means that you're supporting your local economy. Lastly, it ensures that you're eating fresher since your food isn't spending days or weeks on a planes, trains and trucks going across the country (or even across several countries).

We've selected four local breweries, one of which is even organic, to showcase their local flavor. We've then paired three of these with local cheeses from Massachusetts. Our breweries are Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, Peak Organic, Mayflower Brewing Company and Mercury Brewing Company. And, we've listened to our readers. Our homepage poll for "Favorite Spring Beer Style" showed that you love Pale Ales and IPAs, so we went with those for two of the pairings. Then we added in a Saison, #3 on the poll and our favorite style.

Hannahbells are tiny hand-made cheeses using a French recipe. But it's two sets of twins with 120 cows who make this local delicacy on Shy Brothers Farm in Westport, MA. They use a very hands on process to make their cheeses and, they believe, are the only ones making this style in the United States. We've never tasted cheese quite like this! See the cows and how Hannahbells are made here.

You may remember Westfield Farm's Capri Chevre from our "Drink Craft Beer, Eat Craft Cheese" event last spring. Well you all liked them so much, we're bringing back their Pepper Capri Chevre! Based in Hubbardston, MA they've been turning out hand crafted cheeses since 1971.

Do you want to come and try these combinations for yourself? Do you live in the Great Boston area? Then you're in luck! On Saturday, April 25, 2009 we'll be at the Wine Gallery in Brookline, MA from 3-6pm with each of these pairings for you to try! Come down, say hello and try some delicious local beer and local cheese!

Saturday, April 25, 2009
3pm - 6pm
Wine Gallery Brookline
375 Boylston Street
Brookline, MA
(617) 277-5522
Public Transport: Take the D branch of the Green Line to Brookline Hills. Wine Gallery is around the corner.

Discover the pairings we've put together for you after the jump!

Top 5 Money Saving Tips for the Craft Beer Drinker

Author // Jeff Wharton

A lot of people lately have been telling us that they're drinking cheaper and lower quality beer to save money. While we here at DrinkCraftBeer.com are feeling the economic pinch just as much as everybody else, we thought there had to be a better way to get around this issue without sacrificing the taste of our brew. Afterall, when the guys from DrinkCraftBeer.com stop drinking craft beer, what has this world come to? With that in mind, here are the DrinkCraftBeer.com Top 5 Money Saving Tips for the Craft Beer Drinker!

Homebrewing in my kitchen1) Homebrew

What's that? You think it's hard? You don't know how? You don't have a yard? Well those would be good excuses, if we hadn't already debunked all of them in our article, How to Homebrew Beer In Your Kitchen.

Yes, the initial investment may cost around $60 or so. But, after that, the beer you make can be much cheaper than the beer you buy! A typical session ale can probably be put together for $30-$40, and you'll get 2 cases out of that. That's 8 six-packs... Even at $40, that's only $5 per six-pack. Also, a brew day is a low cost activity that you can do with a bunch of your friends. When we brew, we normally have a bunch of friends over and just make a day of hanging out. And, if you do have an outside area, it's great to spend a nice day outside while brewing!

2) Drink at home

Not by yourself. You don't have to stop being social just because you're trying to save money. Have friends over, or go over friends' places. The cost of 2 beers at the bar can buy you a six-pack and then some at the beer store. Set up a night with your friends where each person buys a different six-pack. This way you still get to try new beers and be social... you just don't have huge bar tab at the end of the night. If you really need the ambiance, grab some bar stools and get some buddies together to build a cheap and easy home bar. You can combine this step with homebrewing, and have your own personal brewpub even!

Get the rest of the DrinkCraftBeer.com Top 5 Money Saving Tips for the Craft Beer Drinker after the jump!

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Craft Beer Brewers Go Organic

Author // Jeff Wharton

As you've probably noticed, April is the month of DrinkCraftBeer.com featuring sustainable brewing practices on our site. Obviously we couldn't have this theme without focusing on organic craft beer brewers! Organic is one of the earlier sustainability/environmental trends and it survives to this day. Also, we now have a couple breweries in New England focusing completely on organic beer production. I spoke with Max Oswald, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Wolaver's Organic Ales (Middlebury, VT), and Jon Cadoux, Co-Owner and Brewer for Peak Organic Ales (Portland, ME). What did I find out? Well, we know that professionally running a brewery is hard work... Now imagine running a brewery and having to acquire organic grain and hops that are in dangerously low supply and having to jump through government hoops to maintain your USDA Organic Certification. These were just some of the things I learned from talking with these two steadfast advocates of organic and sustainable methods of producing food and grain.