Random Beer Thoughts: November 2020

Not much of an intro to this month’s beer thoughts and links. I am still doing my best to plug away at Hoppy Boston a much as I can. My time on social media is pretty limited, but I was able to dig up a handful of interesting articles to share this month. As always, thanks for reading and feel free to pass along anything you think I should include.

Yesterday was #SmallBrewerySunday, and the number one thing I want to stress right now, and moving forward this winter, is the importance of supporting your favorite local breweries in any way you can. The pandemic has been really tough on small businesses, and losing seasonal beer gardens to the cold winter weather is another blow. We want as many of our favorite places to survive this winter as possible, so if you have the means please support them with your dollars. Buy beer, buy merch, buy gift cards for friends and family, stock your cellar for consumption later. The Craft Beer Concierge also has a list of ways you can support your favorite local breweries.

Ultra-popular Treehouse Brewing Company has divulged major expansion plans. First they announced that they would be opening a new Cape Cod taproom in Sandwich this coming summer, and immediately afterwards they also announced that they were opening a Western Mass taproom in Deerfield by the end of 2021. I would guess that these additional taprooms should allow them to get their beer into the hands of much more customers, and shorten peak wait times at their flagship brewery in Charlton.

Craft Beer Cellar is celebrating 10 years since the opening of their mothership store in Belmont. Part of the celebration in the move into their new location right down the street. I got to check out the new store a couple weeks ago, it is huge and beautiful, with the amazing selection and inventory you would expect. I am looking forward to also checking out their new market, featuring local snacks that pair well with their beers. As part of your support for small businesses you can check out their new location, or place an online order full of local beers for curbside pickup!

Beth Demmon at Good Beer Hunting has an article about having your identity tied to your profession, and then what happens when you lose your job. Beth focuses on the beer industry (and related industries) here, but this could really apply to anyone, especially with the extensive upheaval caused by the pandemic.

Despite the pandemic there are a large number of new breweries that opened in Maine this year, and many existing breweries that have opened additional locations or taprooms. It’s tough to keep track of it all, but here is a good rundown from the Portland Press Herald. One clear lesson, it takes many years to go through the process of opening a brewery, and many prospective owners won’t be dissuaded, even by COVID.

This is true in Massachusetts too, even beyond a powerhouse like Tree House. After a slew of lease and legal issues it looks like Iron Duke brewing has finally found a home in Ludlow, although they might need a new name soon. Bull Spit Brewing in Lancaster is also aggressively expanding. I am happy to see these openings/expansions, and that I don’t have any shut-downs to report this month, but I have to think there will be a reckoning as we push towards a full year of social distancing.

I realize that Thanksgiving is over, but many of you are still finishing up leftovers so here is a list of beers to pair with your Thanksgiving dinner. The Mass Brew Bros also have a rundown of all of the cranberry beers being produced by local breweries.

Todd from Beer Advocate has an article on why he misses beer fests. Part of it, as he clearly states, is the lost revenue. Many beer publications and websites (including Beer Advocate) rely on hosting festivals as a significant revenue stream. He also has many other, and very legitimate reasons for missing these gatherings. My beer fest days are mostly behind me, but I can understand why many miss these events.

That is it for November, thank you all for reading and liking/commenting/sharing on social media, and I hope you all enjoy the holidays as much as possible given the circumstances.

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