Random Beer Thoughts: October 2018

Jack's Abby House Lager

The Full Pint has tasked me with writing profiles of a number of the most popular breweries in Massachusetts. The first article in the series looked at Trillium while the most recent covered Jack’s Abby and Springdale.

I also continued a series pairing songs from my favorite bands with local craft beers. My first article covered songs from Pearl Jam, my all time favorite band, while the second looked at the combined works of Chris Cornell, my favorite singer.

One of the best articles I read this week was a guest article on the Craft Beer Cellar website by Doochie from Beer Kulture titled The Beer Snob Told Me So. The attitude of the person described in this piece is completely unacceptable and all too common at the same time. If craft beer wants to continue to expand their market and attract new fans this level of snobbery needs to stop.

The Mass Brew Brothers have revitalized their “Our Favorite Beers This Week” column with a new twist, now a series of local beer enthusiasts each pick a local beer they are enjoying right now. The column goes up every Monday as part of the #MassBrewMonday movement, enjoy a Massachusetts beer on Monday and share it on social media with the hashtag!

After 39 years All About Beer, one of the first beer-centric publications, appears to be done. The combined AAB/Draft Magazine website has become a compilation site, and you might recognize some articles appearing there. Draft/AAB had reached out about compilation sidebar on their site, where they would feature beer writing from around the country. This sidebar could also be hosted as a widget across all of the sites participating. I thought it was a cool way to reach some new readers and connect Hoppy Boston with some other blogs. I never even got the sidebar loaded (the people helping with technical issues stopped responding and then left the company), and now the shared articles are all of the content on Draft. As someone who enjoys quality beer writing this is a really sad development, and I can only hope that someone comes along and brings these sites/magazines back from the dead.

Trillium Fort Point Pale Ale

Trillium has officially opened their massive new restaurant and brewery in Fort Point. Boston Magazine has a behind the scenes look at the new facility before it opened. Hop Culture sat down for an interview with co-founder Esther Tetreault.

Norm Miller spoke with a number of women who have been long time members of the local brewing community, and concludes that increased diversity helps make everyone feel welcome. It seems like progress has been made but there is still a ways to go.

The Boston Business Journal runs down the top selling IPAs in Massachusetts. Interesting note, this only factors in retail sales at liquor stores, not direct to consumer sales at breweries or draft sales. It would be interesting to see how the list would change if all avenues were accounted for.

Cisco Grey Lady

Nantucket brewery Cisco Brewers has been purchased by Craft Brew Alliance. I wondered if this was in the works when they announced that the Red Hook brewery in New Hampshire was becoming a Cisco brewery (Red Hook is also owned by the same parent company).

Cheeky Monkey Brewing in Boston is doing a Master Brewers series, with one-day tap take overs with a number of renowned brewers, each featuring some special release/small batch beers.

Five different Maine breweries are collaborating with L.L. Bean on limited release beers. If you can find anything that is more quintessential Maine than this, I would love to hear it.

Allagash White

Maine Today has an article on the way that Allagash White helped shaped the nation’s beer tastes. That beer was a no-doubt inclusion in my New England Craft Beer Hall of Fame, and my readers seem to agree.

CraftBeer.com has a craft beer road trip for every state in New England. It’s easy to say “I would rather go here!” on each, but most of these trips would be a fun day with some great beer.

After being criticized for focusing too much on other styles, Beervana sets the record straight about his opinions on IPA. It is ridiculous that he felt the need to write this, too many craft beer drinkers only care about one style to the point that any attention paid to other styles bothers them.

Brewbound breaks down the finances of the brewery taproom model and finds that taproom-centric breweries can be financially successful, but there are many factors involved. Brewing great beer is obviously important, but any brewery without a string business plan is destined to struggle.

maine beer co beer 2

Many breweries in Maine are doing well with taprooms, beer lovers visited Maine breweries in record numbers this year.

Vine Pair asks “why are NEIPAs so expensive?” While I think there are a number of factors, the main answer is that consumers are willing to pay the premium.

The Fervent Few discusses the importance of voting with your dollar, especially with respect to breweries who engage in inappropriate marketing, beer names and labels.

Smuttynose new IPAs

Smuttynose is releasing two new IPAs in 16 oz cans. It is good to see the new ownership developing modern products for the brand. They are hosting a number of release parties for the beers throughout their distribution network, check out their Facebook page for times and locations.

When the school paper for my alma mater pops up in my beer Twitter feed you know I am going to share the article. Here is a Bowdoin Orient profile of the new Brunswick, ME brewery Black Pug Brewing.

Chelmsford is the latest town looking for a brewery as a piece of a major development project. It is crazy how the attitude of towns has changed with regards to the place of breweries in a community.

Down the Road has released a special limited edition beer/mixtape combo in collaboration with DJ Knife.

Jim Vorel at Paste asks for more breweries to try making dark lagers. Yes, please. I love some black lager, dunkel, Baltic porter, bock and dopplebock.

That is it for October, I hope everyone is enjoying some great beers and quality beer writing this month, and I look forward to sharing more in November!

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