Random Beer Thoughts: March 2019

The Hype cycle

A couple of my articles to lead things off: I ran a little experiment to find out How Hard is it To Name a New Beer? I got a number of comments praising some of my potential name choices, but would have liked to see more readers chime in with their own suggestions. I also wrote as article about Breaking the Craft Beer Hype Cycle, why it’s a problem and things we can all do to help. I got a range of reactions to this one, but the majority were from people who enjoyed the article and agreed with many of my points.

Onto the links for the month:

Rob Vandenabeele from the Mass Brew Brothers has a great story on the journey of legendary brewer Tod Mott and his amazing imperial stouts. Tributary Brewery is on my very short list of local breweries I need to visit very soon.

Allagash Coolship Red

The Boston Beer Hunter Scott Staiti has a point-of-view article on the appeal of Allagash. It is pretty amazing that a brewery like Allagash can remain so successful without chasing trends, and it is really a testament to their entire operation, which is world class across the board.

Suzanne Schalow from Craft Beer Cellar offers a list of 5 under the radar local beers you need to check out. I’ve only tried one beer on the list, I will try to seek out the other 4 soon!

Hooray for chemistry! The Worcester Telegram has a look at the quality control labs at local breweries. Having stringent standards for quality control is one of the most underrated pieces of a successful brewery.

The Bangor Daily News has a cool story about a group at a senior living facility learning how to homebrew their own beer with an assist from Sebago Brewing Company.

Harpoon IPA

Forbes has an article on how Harpoon became an employee owned company, and the positive difference it has made. We have so many article on the poor decisions that breweries make, it is nice to see a great story about a move that helped the brewery and it’s employees.

The Connecticut Brewers Guild is pushing to offer health plans for it’s members, lowering costs for all of the small breweries. This is a great move, health care is such an important benefit and pooling together helps defray the costs.

You will see a bunch of Pink Boots beers pop up on local tap lists this month, and you should give them a try. A portion of each sale goes to the Pink Boots Society, which helps provide scholarships for women in the industry to further their training, and these programs absolutely make a difference.

Boston.com has a profile of Anna Jobe, who is heading up the innovation brewery at the new Night Shift location in Boston.

Kate Bernot has a well researched piece on how even many classic beers get occasional tweaks to their recipes. It has to be tough to balance sticking with old favorites and trying to keep a recipe in line with current tastes.

Travel Like A Local: Massachusetts outlines a fun brewery tour of Amesbury and Newburyport.

Night Shift Matisse

Brewery openings: Night Shift had opened their new location on Lovejoy Wharf to rave reviews, can’t wait to check it out. Maine Beer Company has opened their expanded tasting room in Freeport, I will definitely be there at some point this summer. Boston Beer Company (the parent company of Sam Adams) has launched a new label called Marathon Brewing and is leading their lineup with 26.2, a gose previously brewed by the Sam Adams brand. Carla Jean Lauter has a great rundown of all the new breweries that have opened in Maine so far this year.

Are you having a hard time keeping track of all of the new breweries, and the breweries-in-planning in Massachusetts? I know I am. Fortunately we have the Mass Brew Brothers, who are updating this article on the breweries opening and planning to open in 2019.

Western Massachusetts might have a bunch more new brands to try soon. Loophole Brewing Services is opening a craft beer incubator in Holyoke by the end of the year. This will allow start-up and small breweries to get rolling or scale up batches on shared equipment, and foster increased collaboration.

Alchemist Heady Topper

The Alchemist is expanding the distribution footprint for Heady Topper and Focal Banger, good news for people who trek up to Vermont to seek these beers out.

Rumors are flying about another Trillium location in the works, a restaurant and beer hall in Canton.

Strange beer of the month: Wormtown Brewery’s Vienna Lager aged on baseball bats.

A bunch of large craft breweries, including a few local ones, are now pivoting to hard seltzer. I’m not a fan, but to each their own.

Beer Advocate is launching a new app with a bunch on interesting features.

Lone Pine Brightside IPA

The Brewer’s Association has a list of the fastest growing breweries over the past year and it includes a number of local favorites.

The Brewer’s Association also released their list of the top 50 craft breweries in the country (by volume) this month, and Brewbound has a nice rundown.

That is it for March, thanks again for reading and always feel free to send along any articles that you feel should be included in the monthly rundown!

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