Random Beer Thoughts: February 2018

If you read one thing from this links article it should be Jeff Alworth’s four part series on sexism in the beer industry. Part 1 is an introduction, part 2 is about the experiences of women in the industry, part 3 is a female brewers perspective, and part 4 is what you can do to help. I think this series should be required reading for every person in the industry.

If you read TWO things from the links article the second one should be my new post for The Full Pint; Making Spectacular Beer isn’t Enough: Ways for a Brewery to Stand Out in a Saturated Market. Feel free to chime in and let me know the best things (other than the beer) that make you come back to your favorite breweries over and over again.

The Mass Brew Brothers did a summary of the “So You Want To Start A Craft Brewery?” articles, using information acquired from each article in the whole series. It was really fun being a part of this series and seeing how each writer approached their article.

Mystic VoltageMystic Brewery has announced that they are building a new brewery in Malden, which will allow for expanded production and overcoming some of the issues with their current location in Chelsea. Mystic is doing some amazing things, balancing their expertise in Belgian styles with creative and delicious hop-forward beers.

The Massachusetts Brewers Guild is working on a number of pieces of legislation that will help local breweries. There have been some issues getting these bills moving, especially the bills to reform franchise laws. All Massachusetts beer fans should take a few minutes to read up on these bills and then contact your state reps to express support for your local breweries.

Anonymous Brewing is starting a Kickstarter Campaign to help get the brewery off the ground. To learn more about the prospective brewery you should check out this article by the Mass Brew Bros.

Boston.com does a virtual brewery crawl through the state of Rhode Island. They are making a ton of amazing beer in the smallest state in the union.

Lamplighter Birds of a FeatherLamplighter has expanded their taproom, opening up a second area with seating. I’ve usually stopped by on weekday afternoons to grab beer to go (I work nearby), but I’ve heard the place gets packed early on evenings and weekends, so this should help.

The good news is that Dann and Martha Paquette, the founders or Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project, are opening a new brewery. The bad news is that the new brewery is in Sheffield, England. Pretty Things was one of my favorite breweries, I wish they were re-opening something locally but I’m glad they are making beer again and I hope some of it makes the trip across the pond.

Notch Zwickel BeerJosh Bernstein has an article in the New York Times on the rise in popularity of Kellerbier and Zwickelbier, unfiltered young lager styles. A number of local breweries are featured in the piece. Plus the beers are delicious.

After over 200 columns Dave Patterson, author of the stellar Beer Muse column in the Portland Press Herald is signing off to publish a novel. His articles have always provided an informative look at the Maine beer scene. Fortunately they hired another great beer writer to take over the column, Carla Jean Lautner. Her first column profiles Industrial Way, where you can get a variety of amazing beers from a number of different breweries all in one place.

The Full Pint has a rundown of the reasons that some brewers and drinkers hate the NEIPA craze. I think it is mostly a backlash against something that is new, different and extremely popular (along with some jealousy at the buzz these beers have created).

Trillium named their new beer Storrowed after the phenomenon of trucks getting stuck under the low bridges on Storrow Drive. One of my favorite recent beer names.

Andy Crouch writes an ode to session beer, and at the same time bemoans the lack of quality session beers in the US market. In Massachusetts we are a little spoiled in this regard due to breweries like Notch that focus on quality, low ABV offerings.

Paste Magazine continues their standout series of blind tastings with an overview of the porter style, including a few local favorites.

Night Shift The 87The uncertainty on the future of Smuttynose also effected Night Shift, who was using the New Hampshire brewery for some of their overflow production. Fortunately Night Shift now has an agreement to produce beer at the Isle Brewers Guild in Pawtucket, so we won’t see shortages of Santilli and Morph any time soon.

Widowmaker Brewing has signed on with Night Shift Distribution, so we should start to see their beers appear on draft lines in metro Boston and other parts on Massachusetts.

Wachusett has kicked off a series of collaboration beers dubbed the “1794 series”. The first release is a collaboration with Irish brewmaster Fergal Murray, a hoppy New England stout named The Fergal Project.

Good Beer Hunting has an article on breweries skirting trademark laws by releasing one-off beers that are clearly a violation but are gone before legal action can be taken. As much as I love seeing beers named with cool pop-culture references, this practice is pretty shady.

Bon Appetite has an overview on the 10 types of IPA, with a good explanation of the different sub-styles and terminology. You know that beer is fully into the national consciousness when publications like Bon Appetite are writing beer articles.

That is it for this month, as always feel free to pass along anything that you feel should be included in the article. Cheers!

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