For Fall to Winter Fest we're going to step it up a bit for the fest beer: we're brewing a beer especially for the fest! With the focus on local and seasonal ingredients that this event has, we wanted to work with people who had a similar ethos and could help bring a great, seasonal brew to life. Luckily, we had just the people in mind! We sat down to beers with Jon Cadoux and Rob Lucente, the founders of Peak Organic Brewing and long-time Drink Craft Beer friends, to pitch our idea.
After that meeting, and several emails between the four of us, we had our idea in place and the ingredient-sourcing magicians that are Peak Organic Brewing Company were on the job of locking down what we needed. The thought was to brew a beer that would showcase seasonal fall and winter ingredients in a drinkable beer that wouldn't kill your palate after one sip. After all, we're brewing this beer for and releasing it at the fest, but beer isn't meant to only be sipped in two ounce samples; it's meant to be enjoyed by the glass as well. And, in that spirit, this one will be on tap around the area afterwards.
What We Need From You: It's All In The Name
If you don't know it already, you can read below for the story. But now we need you to help us pick a name! We've solicited names for a while now from all of you, and we've picked five finalists who are in the running to win a pair of tickets to Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest! Vote now to name the beer. Voting will be open until November 14th at 11:45pm. The name that gets the most votes will be the winner!
And The Winner Is...Nut Your Average Ginger! (Read for details below)
As some of you noticed, our polling service had some problems last night that caused the poll to go on for several extra hours after the 11:45pm ET cut-off time that we set up. The good news is, we were up and saw the results at 11:45pm ET. The bad news is, we saw the poll continuing and that people were still voting, which has caused the results to materially change since the stated end time. The effected names in this are "Nut Your Average Ginger" and "Bee Nutty Brown Ale."
At 11:45pm ET, "Nut Your Average Ginger" was in the lead. Unfortunately, the polling didn't shut off as it was supposed to and, over the next few hours, "Bee Nutty Brown Ale" re-took the lead and was ahead when the polling system shut down (which is reflected in the results below).
As a result, we're giving a pair of tickets to both "Nut Your Average Ginger" (@JennyFukumoto) and "Bee Nutty Brown Ale" (@jlbeerssf323) as we feel like this is the only fair thing we can do. We can complain about broken software all we want but, in the end, this was our contest. We'll be in touch with both of you shortly to get your contact information.
That said, we still need a name. As the rules clearly stated that the contest was over at 11:45pm ET, we're going with the name that was ahead at that point, rather than the name that one in voting after the contest was over. So "Nut Your Average Ginger" will be the name of the Peak Organic Brewing/Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest beer! Check out this great picture of our winner:
If you look at craft beer now, it seems almost like a no-brainer to open a brewery. Massachusetts alone has seen a huge boom of new craft brewers in the past year, many focusing on specialized niches and most thriving. Smart move, right? Sure appears to be. But go back almost twenty years to 1995. Then tell people you're going to open a brewery focusing on Belgian-style ales. That's exactly what Allagash Brewing founder Rob Tod did. Now fast forward a bit and see yourself as a young brewer who, after the brewery had seen years of growth, convinced the founder to hire you. You grow into the role of Brewmaster over time. You're the top brewer at one of the most prestigious breweries in North America, perhaps the world. You've helped your brewery pump out some of the super-innovative, and delicious, beers. You have a Belgian-style coolship at your disposal. Your brewery is exploding with growth. Congratulations, you're Jason Perkins of Allagash Brewing! Now can you see why we wanted them at Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest so bad?! I was lucky enough to get a bit of time from Jason to talk about beer, how he got here and more. So let's dive right in!
Drink Craft Beer: How did you get into craft beer?
Jason Perkins: Like many craft brewers, I started with homebrewing. After college, I moved to Montana and after a few months, noticed that the place I was buying my homebrew supplies (a small brewery) was hiring. It seemed too good to be true to make beer and get paid (kind of) for it. I haven't look back since.
DCB: What was the turning point (a beer or moment) that made you love craft beer?
JP: There have been a bunch. I remember smelling wort and hops while I played soccer in high school (the origional Catamount Brewery was right next to the field) and loving the smell and the idea of a product being made small and local. I also often say that Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale got me started, as I still remember it as the first craft beer I truly fell in love with. I still love that beer.
DCB: 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.
JP: 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.
DCB: You have one night in your favorite beer city. What city are you in and where do you go (it doesn’t all have to be beer)?
JP: Gent, Belgium. Beer at the Waterhuis, Waterzooi at Chez Leontine and a nightcap at Velootje, the strangest bar in the world.
DCB: What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t in beer?
JP: I suppose I could work in a shop of some kind, doing freelance selling of some sort of product. Maybe in a habadashery or a Chapeau shop or something.
DCB: What do you drink when you’re not drinking craft beer (or beer at all)?
JP: Locally Wood-Roasted "Matt's Coffee". A good Malbec or Cabernet.
DCB: Where do you see the craft beer industry going in the next year? And, in that vein, can we get a sneak peak at what new to expect from you in the coming year?
JP: I think the sky is the limit for the craft beer industry. There are tons of people discovering craft beer every day, so the demand will continue to rise. The only issue we will have as an industry is the ability to keep the overall quality strong. With all the new breweries opening, I hope the focus continues to be on great quality beer, first and foremost. Allagash is continuing to expand our brewery to keep up with growing demand, with some increased fermentation and a new brew house coming on line in 2013. We will also be expanding our team, to maintain the quality levels that have been a cornerstone for us since our founding.
DCB: Thanks so much for your time, Jason! Looking forward to seeing you guys at Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest in November/December!
Over Columbus Day weekend Devon and I took the day to go up to Portland, ME. While craft beer has always been a big part of this city's attraction, in recent years it's just exploded with new brewers and cider makers! Before Devon joined me, I made my way to one of the more interesting places I've ever been in that makes fermented beverages, Urban Farm Fermentory. Finding myself in industral East Bayside, or yEast Bayside as they've taken to calling it, the fermentory is just steps from Rising Tide Brewing, Bunker Brewing and walkable to legendary Portland beer bar Novare Res. With a distiller nearby in addition as well as a baker and cheesemaker moving into a spot in the same warehouse, this industrial neighborhood is fixing to get a lot more crafty! After getting a cup of coffee at Tandem Coffee Roasters, an awesome coffee roaster / cafe that the guys from UFF recommended to me, I met with Adam Callaghan (center), Willis Croninger (right) and founder Eli Cayer (left) as well as Reid Emmerich, head kombucha brewer, and Neil Spillane, CFO (both not pictured).
Founded in early 2010, Eli originally foresaw Urban Farm Fermentory as a place for fermented food, beverage and an apiary. They even dabbled a bit in mycology (growing mushrooms). Since Eli started producing cider in late 2010, they've added Adam and Willis and focused down onto cider and kombucha. The cider? The apples are all locally sourced and spontaneously fermented, so they're super dry and vary from batch to batch. Some is sold that way, some is aged in bourbon barrels from Allagash Brewing and some is dry-hopped (picture below). Then, because everything is fermented in small batches, there's all sorts of crazy experiments (picture far below). The kombucha? I don't normally seek out this fermented tea but UFF's is delicious! I sampled their wild blueberry and ginger infused versions. UFF self distributes in Maine (mostly the Portland area) for now, but keep your eyes open for more from these guys.
After meeting up with the guys of Urban Farm Fermentoy, I followed up with Eli to get him on the record with our 5 Questions series. Here are his answers. Also, if you don't want to trek to Portland, ME but you want to try some of their cider you've got to come out to Drink Craft Beer Fall To Winter Fest! They'll be there showing off with their spontaneously fermented goodness.
Drink Craft Beer: How did you get into craft cider?
Eli Cayer: I actually got into fermentation through bee keeping. Back in 2002, I acquired a couple bee hives with a friend. We both ended up with 80 lbs of honey and with that we made our first batches of mead. It was magical and I was hooked! That led me to fermentation of all kinds, but with a bend toward locally sourced fermentables.
DCB: What was the turning point (a beer or cider moment) that made you love craft beer and craft cider?
EC: Not to step back to the first question, but i was never much of drinker before making my own mead. My love for honey wine opened me up to so many things in the fermented beverage sphere. Up till then beer was something I drank at highschool parties...Coors, Miller, Bud, etc... basically lame. I didn't drink much at all in college. After getting into mead I began really noticing the variety of craft beers out there. Living in Portland [Maine] has also expanded my beer palate due to the many great micro breweries here such as Allagash, Maine Beer Co., and Oxbow.
DCB: You walk into a magical beer shop with every beer/cider currently available. You can put together one six-pack. What do you walk out with? Only one can be from your brewery.
EC: I imagine that all six would be from other breweries, I can get my stuff when ever i want :) I would look for any beers that would be wild fermented as they tend to truly reflect the culture currently available to that brewery/area.
DCB: You’re going out for one big night in Portland, ME. Where do you go (it doesn’t all have to be beer)?
EC: I generally start and sometimes end my nights at Novare Res. They have an excellent set up for local, national and international brews. We are also basically their house draft hard cider, so I get to try all our experimental batches in the presence of randoms. When the chance arises, I love hearing how people experience something we've worked on, while I soak up some tasty brews from home or away.
DCB: What do you drink when you’re not drinking craft beer, cider or beer at all?
EC: I guess I mostly drink cider and kombucha at this point as they both seem to work better with my digestive system.
DCB: Thanks so much for your time, Eli! Looking forward to seeing you guys at Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest in November/December!
With Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest getting closer every day, we've been getting more and more requests on how people can be involved. If you want to be a part of the Drink Craft Beer community we're building and help put on a great event, then we'd love to have you. One of the most important parts of a fest is having great volunteers, and Drink Craft Beer wants you!
Fall to Winter Fest is being held in Boston, MA at the Space 57 in the Revere Hotel (200 Stuart Street, Boston, MA) on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1. We need volunteers for the following sessions (times are when we need the volunteers for, not the actual session times as we'll need volunteers there early and to stay a little late):
We are currently full for all sessions.
NOTE: All volunteers MUST be 21+ with a valid ID. Nobody will be allowed into the fest without proper ID.
Volunteers will get:
- Admission to the session that you're volunteering at
- Tasting cup
- Staff meal from one of the food vendors
- Staff t-shirt
- Chance to meet the brewers
- Meet other craft beer drinkers
What will volunteers do?
How do you sign up?
Email [WE'RE CURRENTLY FULL FOR ALL SESSIONS] with the following info (we need ALL of this information to process you sign up):
- Cell phone #
- Who you are and why you want to volunteer
- Past experience (Have you volunteered at other fests? Are/were you a bartender? Anything you think makes you especially qualified)
- Which sessions are you available for? (Please note, in an effort to let more people volunteer, you can only volunteer for 2 of the 3 actual fest sessions)
- T-shirt size (we have men's and women's sizes)