One of the things we love about this fest is the amazing range of malty beers that show up. There's a huge selection for you to choose from and really get an awesome feeling for how various malts change a beer. If you're a craft beer veteran then look at this as a guide to help you narrow down your must haves. If you're new to one of our fests though here's a list of all the beers that are a bit more malt forward. There's everything from Ambers, Browns and Porters, to Imperial Stouts and Barleywines. You really can't go wrong!
|Baxter Brewing Co. (ME)|
|Amber Road - A malt-accented amber ale which features a rich toastiness and a balanced hop flavor that lingers through to the finish (5.5%)|
|Phantom Punch Winter Stout -Stout made with vanilla beans and cocoa nibs. (6.8%)|
|Berkshire Brewing Co. (MA)|
|Cabin Fever - Unspiced winter warmer (6.3%)|
|Coffeehouse Porter - Coffee porter (6.2%)|
|Holidale - Holiday barley wine (9%)|
|Scotch Ale - Made with peated malt (7%)|
|High Horse Brewing (MA)|
|The Business - Imperial Stout with French Roast coffee with 100lbs of fresh roasted Oats grown in Hadley (9.4%)|
|Idle Hands Craft Ales (MA)|
|Yet to be named - Pale Weizenbock (8%)|
|Jack's Abby Brewing (MA)|
|Smoke and Dagger Seasonal Cask - Smoked lager (5.8%)|
|Mayflower Brewing Co. (MA)|
|Mayflower Golden Ale - (4.5%)|
|Mayflower Oatmeal Stout - (5.4%)|
|Mayflower Porter - (5.2%)|
|Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale (limited Cooper's Series brew) -(6.7%)|
|Night Shift Brewing (MA)|
|Taza Stout - Stout brewed with chicory root and ginger, aged on Somerville's Taza Chocolate cacao nibs (6%)|
|Notch Brewing Co. (MA)|
|Cerne Pivo - Czech Black Lager (4.0%)|
|Peak Organic Brewing Co. (ME)|
|Oak Aged Mocha Stout with Chestnuts Cask - Imperial stout made with Taza Chocolate and coffee from Coffee by Design; cask conditioned with chestnuts (8.4%)|
|Winter Session - Dark, hoppy wheat beer made with 100% Citra hops (5.0%)|
|Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project (MA)|
|Babayaga - Sylvan Stout with malt smoked with rosemary (7%)|
|Our Finest Regards - English Barleywine (12%)|
|St. Botolph's Town - Northern English Brown Ale (5.9%)|
|Riverwalk Brewing Co. (MA)|
|Rye Stout - Rye, Marris Otter and English roasted malts with Kent Golding Hops to round out the flavors. The rye helps to inhance the deep roasted flavor of the beer (6.5%)|
|Winter Porter - Coffee Roasted Malts, fresh Madagascar Vanilla Beans and whole Cinnamon Sticks (6.0%)|
|Samuel Adams (MA)|
|Boston Lager - Vienna-style lager (4.9%)|
|Attic and Eaves Toasted Brown -Toasted buckwheat brown ale (7.5%)|
|Porter Square Porter Rum Barrel Aged Cask - Chocolate porter (6.5%)|
|Smuttynose Brewing Co. (NH)|
|Scotch Ale - Beech wood smoked Scotch Ale, a portion was red wine barrel aged (8%)|
|The Tap Brewing Co. (MA)|
|Joshua Norton Imperial Stout -Imperial stout with smoked malt (9.1%)|
|Wormtown Brewing Co. (MA)|
|Norm - LIMITED QUANTITIES - Coconut chocolate stout (6.8%)|
|Sweet Tats- Imperial Oatmeal Stout with Cacao nibs, Vanilla Beans, Coffee (roasted at Acoustic Java Worcester, MA) (9%)|
|Wintah Brown - Brown ale (6%)|
For every festival that we run it's important to us that the beers feel in season. Last year we had a couple Cider Houses come to the fest and the feedback from all of you was overwhelmingly positive. Hard cider is blowing up right now and we're very happy to announce we have 15 amazing hard ciders at this years fest for you to try. So if you're a cider lover or just want to check a few out to see what it's all about this list is your go to guide for cider at this years fest.
|Bantam Cider (MA)|
|La Grande - Bourbon barrel aged apple cider (6.9%)|
|Persian Spice - (?%)|
Wunderkind - Apples fermented with a sparkling wine yeast and a hint of flower-blossom honey (6%)
|Citizen Cider (VT)|
|Dirty Mayor - Apple cider made with ginger (6.9%)|
The Unified Press - 100% Vermont off-dry apple cider (6.8%)
|Downeast Cider House (MA)|
|Barrel Project #2 - (?%)|
|Cranberry Blend - A twist on Original Blend, this one is mad with New England cranberries (4.9%)|
Original Blend - A secret blend of Red Delicious, McIntosh, Cortland, and Gala apples pressed and fermented (5.1%)
|Fatty Bampkins Cider (ME)|
|Dry Cider - Cider from six apple varieties fermented and aged in bourbon and rye barrels, then blended (6.8%)|
Original Cider - Cider from six apple varieties fermented and aged in bourbon and rye barrels, then blended (4.5%)
|Harpoon Brewery (MA)|
Harpoon Cider - Cider made from fresh pressed apples fermented with house yeast (4.8%)
|Night Shift Brewing (MA)|
Fallen Apple- Golden ale brewed with holiday spices and MA cider, aged in rum and brandy barrels (8%)
|Urban Farm Fermentory (ME)|
|Dry Cidah - Spontaneously fermented fresh-pressed Maine apples fermented until they're bone dry (6.8%)|
|Seasonal Cidah/Booch Blend - (?%)|
|Sour Cidah - Spontaneously fermented fresh-pressed Maine apples fermented until they're bone dry, then soured (6.8%)|
If you’re like me then you’ve noticed that your desire to drink a great craft beer is outweighed by some of your friends’ desire to go somewhere other than one of your “weird beer bars.” Craft beer may be exploding in popularity, but we’re still far from the majority. The solution? Well, you could hit up some of Boston’s phenomenal cocktail bars. Or, you could just suck it up and get a meal somewhere without sipping on a great brew. But why would you when you don’t have to? As craft beer gets more popular, there are more and more places putting thought into their beer selection without being craft beer-focused establishments. Want to take your girlfriend out but she only wants sushi? Want to take your boyfriend somewhere but he’s looking for a great meal and wine? Want to take your folks somewhere, but not to a beer bar? We’ll be putting together a series of neighborhood specific “Secret Craft Beer Bars,” with the Sound End first. Following up, we’re looking at Kenmore/Fenway, Back Bay/Copley, Cambridge, Fort Point, Newton and more. Got suggestions? Let us know!
The Criteria For a Secret Beer Bar
A Secret Beer Bar is a place that doesn't focus on just beer, or super-heavily on beer. They don’t do beer events, their social media doesn’t focus much on it, and they’re not the traditional spots you’d expect great craft beer...like we said, they’re the secret beer bars of Boston. That said, having a generic craft beer list doesn’t count, either. These are the establishments that told their distributor, “give us the ‘craft beer’ package.” These lists have thought put into them; they’re well curated. They don’t have to be huge, just well done.
513 Tremont Street
I started coming to Picco years ago (back in 2006 or 2007) for the amazing pizza and the unparalleled homemade ice cream. Back then, they had only a few taps, but I was already impressed because they were some of the best curated handles I’d seen in Boston. Fast forward to 2013 and they’ve expanded to nearly 20 options on draft and many more in the bottle. Whether you’re a craft beer lover or not, you’re going to dig this place. The fish tacos in the summer are great, they always have amazing appetizers and rotate the menu seasonally with a variety of amazing options. But, if you really want my recommendation, wait until the heat wanes and then get a calzone with mozzarella, sausage and caramelized onions. My wife and I get it pretty much every time and it never gets old! That said, during warmer times of the year, they have a great patio and sitting on that patio is a real bonus. Also, make sure to leave room for dessert as their ice cream is some of the best in the Boston-area. The coffee ice cream is especially amazing! But, for real, this is an amazing place with a great vibe, an ever-expanding draft list and some of the most well chosen brews in town. Also they have good wine.
1415 Washington Street
This is a new find for me and I actually ended up here for my wedding anniversary recently after grabbing appetizers and a drink leading up to the date. They have nearly ten taps, but Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA, Pretty Things Jack D’Or and the like are your choices, so any true craft beer lover will be stoked. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, curation was key here. Beyond that, though, the food is amazing and the vibe it great. Given the assumptions about craft beer bars, you’d never think that this place would please, but it really does! Check out the eggplant, the roasted pearl onions with potatoes and pretty much all of the entrees. Pair it with a great pint and I was a happy camper. You will be too!
1721 Washington Street
Sushi. I love it. If you don’t, this is not the place for you. But, if you’ve been craving raw fish with your craft beer than this is the best place in Boston that I’ve found. I took my younger brother here a while back and we had a Pretty Things Jack D’Or and a Slumbrew Happy Sol. They’ve got a moderately sized, but very well selected, list of craft brews in the bottle that will not disappoint. Again, the key here is not the vastness of the choices, but the quality of what you can choose. There is clearly someone here who knows his or her beer. And the raw fish was great! If you want an excuse to drink craft beer while eating sushi, don’t go anywhere else! (I was really happy with photos from here, so I'm including three.)
As longtime readers of Drink Craft Beer know, we've been friends with the team at Mayflower Brewing Co. since the very beginning. Their founding brewer, Matthew Steinberg, was a friend going back to his days at Offshore Ale House, so we made sure to get in to Mayflower as soon as it opened. Hell, I even spent a day there shadowing the brewing team for my Professional Brewer For a Day article. One of the first people we met at Mayflower, aside from Steinberg, was assistant brewer Ryan Gwozdz, who came over from Buzzards Bay Brewing. Matthew has since left, leaving the head brewer position, and Mayflower brewing operations, in the capable hands of Ryan. Since then Mayflower has continued to succeed and put out new and delicious beers. Well we thought it was about time we caught up with Ryan, who has come a long way since that pro brewer for a day article you last saw him in on this site.
We love his beer, so lets talk with the man himself. Also, if you want to say hello, come on down to Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest 2013 in Boston this November, where Mayflower will be pouring an assortment of their delicious brew!
Drink Craft Beer: How did you get into craft beer?
Ryan Gwozdz: While I was going to college for Environmental Engineering, my sister’s boyfriend would always buy different beers for us to try. This opened my eyes that all beer wasn’t created equally. I was working at Circuit City at the time and despised it. I finally decided that every job I had after that, I would actually enjoy. So I blindly called Buzzards Bay Brewing in Westport, MA one afternoon and left a message saying I was interested in learning about the brewing process. A couple hours later they called me back and told me to come in the next day to bottle with them. I was 19 then and 8 years later it still makes my day smelling the mash every morning.
DCB: What was the turning point (a beer or moment) that made you love craft beer?
RG: Those first few months working at Buzzards. It wasn’t necessarily beer, but more so learning the brewing process, being a sponge and relentlessly asking questions. I owe much of what I know about the industry now to Harry and Nate who took me under their wings and saw brewing potential in me. Thanks guys.
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.
RG: 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!)
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)?
RG: Brussels, Belgium. Hang out at Cantillon. Order ceramic pitchers of beer at A La Becasse. Chug Mayflowers in front of Manneken Pis. Order Westy 12 and laugh at the hype of it. Late night drinking at Moeder Lambic. Drink cans of Jupiler while walking the city. Basically the same trip I took a few years back with some great friends.
DCB: What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t in beer?
RG: Working on an organic farm. My grandfather always had a huge garden that I loved, and I spent years working on my uncle’s orchard. The hardest part of brewing is being inside all day. It’s hard to beat the feeling of working outside. Understanding and seeing food grow the way it should be (small scale and naturally) is something I could see myself doing.
DCB: What do you drink when you’re not drinking craft beer (or beer at all)?
RG: Coffee, bourbon, or chocolate milk. Gin & Tonic is my summer mistress.
DCB: You can brew any beer you like, no matter the cost and consumer demand, what would you make and what dream ingredients would you use?
RG: I would brew a grodziskie. It is an old Polish style that tart and brewed using smoked wheat. It would be 100% Weyermann Oak Smoked Wheat. They are making some of the finest malts available to the industry today. And who else makes oak smoked wheat?!
DCB: Thanks so much for your time, Ryan! Looking forward to seeing Mayflower at Drink Craft Beer Fall to Winter Fest in November!