Random Beer Thoughts: April 2021

Not much of a preamble this month, just plugging away and getting through another month of this pandemic. The good news is that I got my second shot this weekend, my wife gets hers next week, most of my family, friends and co-workers are either fully vaccinated or well on their way. If you are not please make your appointment and get your shots, the only way we beat this thing is by reaching ~85% vaccination rate and we aren’t going to come close until the vast majority of people decide to trust doctors and scientists over conspiracy theorists, bow-tie wearing white supremacists and idiot pod-casters. With that, onto the links.

April is Earth Month, and there has been a lot of good discussion on how breweries can be more environmentally friendly. The Ecofriendly Beer Drinker has a rundown of how some local breweries are raising awareness and helping the planet for Earth Day. One major issue is the PakTech plastic 4- and 6-pack can holders, if you throw them into most standard curbside recycling bins they are probably going to end up in a landfill, and it is really challenging to get them recycled unless you have a semi truck full. The Mass Brew Bros and The Ecofriendly Beer Drinker are forming a partnership with local breweries to help this problem, raising awareness and helping get more of these can carriers re-used or properly recycled. I have a huge pile of these carriers in my basement, I need to bring them to a drop-box soon!

Worst Beer Blog, the popular set of social media accounts that called out bad and stupid behavior in the craft beer world, has decided to shut down permanently. It sounds like the anonymous owner of the accounts just had too much going on in his “real” life and running the accounts had become a burden. I definitely understand the feeling, I’ve had to cut back on Hoppy Boston a bit recently due to the sheer craziness of life, so I hope he finds some peace and balance, and the rest of us can continue the quest to ridicule breweries with sexist beer names or morons who open their White Claw cans with guns.

Many dog owners love to bring their furry friends along on their brewery adventures, but dogs are only welcome at certian breweries, sometimes due to legal/health code reasons and sometimes due to bad experiences with irresponsible dog owners. If you are wondering which local breweries will allow your dog to tag along, check out GotHops list of dog-friendly local breweries.

Maine beer fanatics briefly rejoiced when the announcement was made that Maine now has the most breweries per-capita in the US. This has been disputed now, with Vermont still claiming the title depending on what numbers you use (total population vs 21+ population is a sticking point in the math), but regardless, it is a great time to be a craft beer fan in New England.

Brewery openings/expansions: Night Shift has opened a new restaurant and brewpub at Encore Boston Harbor casino, and I have heard really good things about the space. Castle Island is opening a new brewery in South Boston soon, with their wide selection of beers plus South Shore style bar pizza. Mast Landing is opening a new location in Freeport, not that I needed another reason to stop in Freeport during my trips to Maine!

Spring means the return of beer gardens, and Boston.com has a list of local beer garden options. Exhibit A has re-opened their Framingham beer garden with a rotating schedule of food options. Berkshire Brewing Company is expanding their South Deerfield beer garden.

WCBV, the Boston ABC affiliate, has a profile of Wandering Soul Brewery, and how personal tragedy has shaped the business.

Gary Dzen has a profile of Essex County Brewing, including the story of how the brewery got started.

Kate Bernot has profiled Vitamin Sea Brewing as one of Beer and Brewing magazine’s Brewkout Brewers. I haven’t made it down to the Weymouth brewery, I try to avoid anything that involves waiting in line, but I have heard lots of good things about their beer and need to make the trip soon.

Clickbait Article of the Month: Thrillist has a list of the 19 Best Breweries in Portland, Maine. It’s not that I necessarily disagree with the list, but these types of articles are always clickbait, almost demanding that anyone with a love of that area’s beer scene check out the article to see if they got it “right”. I know the audience for this blog, and I know you are all itching to click that link.

That is all for April, thank you again for reading and for liking/sharing/commenting on Twitter, Instagram and even Facebook. Until next month….

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