Category Archives: Random Beer Thoughts

Random Beer Thoughts: October 2017

I recently participated in another blind tasting hosted by the Mass Brew Brothers and Craft Beer Cellar, this time evaluating 11 local pumpkin beers. I’m not usually a fan of pumpkin beers, but I’ll admit there were a few beers here that I really enjoyed. My personal favorites were the Pumpkin Stout from Cape Ann and Pumpkin Crop from Jack’s Abby. I highly recommend blind tastings, it’s fun to get together with friends, chat about beer and pick your favorites without any of the inevitable preconceptions you have about specific breweries or beers.

Lawson's Finest Liquids Sip of Sunshine

Speaking of blind tastings, I’ve mentioned many times that I’ve really enjoyed the series of blind tastings that Paste Magazine has been doing. One recent addition was double IPAs, which was as notable for some of the whalez that missed the cut as for some of the less buzzy beers that placed very high. Recently Paste also covered the twenty best beers from Vermont that they’ve sampled as part of the blind tasting process. I hope they do some more of these summaries from other states.

One of the biggest stories this month was Take Back Craft, a crowd-sourcing push by the Brewers Association to “purchase AB-InBev” (they do realize this is a completely unrealistic goal). In reality it’s a publicity stunt, and kind of a silly one. I have a bunch of ideas on how the money could be spent in better ways, but Stouts and Stilettos did an amazing job with such a list already.

Trillium Fort Point Pale Ale

I really enjoyed this history of the artwork on Trillium’s beer labels. My favorite tidbit was that Sunshower was named after the Chris Cornell song, he is one of my all time favorite performers and it was tough to hear about his passing earlier this year.

I know that “Brewery X is now canning their beer!” is no longer big news, the vast majority of breweries have moved at least partially into cans. Still, it seems like a big deal that a brewery like Mystic, who had been stubborn about sticking to Belgian styles in cork & cage bottles, is now producing cans of popular IPAs. I really hope that the popularity of these beers leads to some hop-heads giving Mystic’s stellar Belgian-style beers a shot, and I am looking forward to sampling more of their hop-forward offerings.

Mason's Hipster Apocalypse

Mason’s Brewing Company in Maine got a cease and desist letter from 10 Barrel Brewery (one of InBev’s craft purchases) this month, saying their Hipster Apocalypse is an infringement on 10 Barrels trademark of Apocalypse IPA. Apparently this was resolved without further legal action, but this is going to continue to be an issue as we get more breweries making more beers. There is no excuse when your beer has the exact same name as a trademarked beer, this is something that can be easily avoided using Google/untapped searches. There is a big grey area when names are similar or contain some of the same words. This could be especially problematic when the fight is between a big brewery with an in house legal team and a small upstart with no extra cash. We’ll see how these things get resolved moving forward.

The majority of Massachusetts breweries aren’t close to public transportation, which can unfortunately lead to irresponsible drinking and driving. The Massachusetts Brewers Guild has teamed with Lyft to offer discounted rides to and from local breweries. This is a really important program that addresses an issue that can be glossed over when talking about the impact of the craft beer boom.

I reviewed my first beers from Lone Pine Brewing Company this week. They recently announced that they are expanding into the Sebago Brewery in Gorham (when Sebago moves into a bigger facility of their own), and they are starting distribution throughout the state of Maine. Big month for a brewery that is building a lot of interest in the stellar Portland beer scene.

The majority of beers entered for awards at the Great American Beer Festival  in Denver(and thus the majority of the winners) are from breweries in the western part of the US, but I still tend to browse the list to identify local winners. This year  Night Shift and Cambridge Brewing Company won awards. I would love to see a similar large festival with blind tasting based awards that was based on the east coast.

The Full Pint has an overview of the common off-flavors in beer and where they come from. Great reading for science nerds like me or for anyone else who occasionally tastes something strange in their beer and wants to know what caused it.

Down The Road Seventh Star

Down the Road is finally opening their Everett Brewery next week, really looking forward to checking out the new digs and sampling some of their exciting new beers.

The local brewery explosion continues, with three new breweries opening in Central Massachusetts this fall and a few more in progress. As a Sudbury resident it is nice to see another brewery opening in nearby Maynard.

Bryan Roth has an entertaining article on the domination of the IPA in craft beer.

BrewBound has a cool story on the origins of CitraBus, the popular IPA from Newburyport Brewing.

Springdale Desert Solitaire

Springdale is organizing a series of “Neighbor Nights” partnering on special events to raise money for local charities. I love how many local breweries care about giving back to their communities, and some of these nights look like a lot of fun.

Two Roads is opening a new barrel aging and experimental brewing facility. I really need to make a trip down to CT and check out some of the exciting breweries in the state.

Zagat has an article on the 8 hottest beer bars in Boston. Most of them are breweries, and there are some very good choices on the list. The inclusion of Notch was a little bizarre. Don’t get me wrong, Notch is awesome, but it is strange including one bar in Salem on a list with a bunch of others in the city.

That’s it for this month, thanks for reading and feel free to pass along anything that I should share next month!

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Random Beer Thoughts: September 2017

Here are my links and thought for September. I spent the last few weeks writing a ~200 page patent at work (and some nights and weekends), so I wasn’t as diligent as I would have liked collecting articles, but I still have a pretty nice selection. As always, feel free to send along anything that you feel should be included in my monthly summary!

The Mass Brew Brothers have teamed up with the Massachusetts Brewers Guild to launch a new Massachusetts Beer Trail App. I downloaded the app and it looks beautiful, is very user friendly, and has a ton of info. Unfortunately the first brewery I visited post-download I forgot to check in, it will take some time to make that a habit.

The biggest local beer story has been the legal battle between breweries and distributors about Massachusetts franchise laws. One of the best summaries I’ve seen was written by a law group, who can clearly explain the issue much better than I can. Needless to say, I side heavily with the breweries on this issue. It is crazy that a brewery can’t end a relationship with a distributor that is doing a poor job or doing unethical things.

Devil's Purse Skywave

Until this resolves (and even afterwards) I imagine many local breweries will sign on with some of the craft-centric distributors that have popped up in the state. Devil’s Purse brewery has signed on with Night Shift distributors, we should see their beers statewide soon.

AB-InBev has stated that they are no longer focusing on acquisitions, they are going to grow the brands they have already acquired. This isn’t surprising, they can only buy so many breweries before they are just competing with themselves for the same subset of customers.

Treehouse Julius

Norm Miller has an article on TreeHouse’s expansion and their continued work to try and meet the crazy demand for their beers. I haven’t been out to TreeHouse in a while, the long drive and long lines for a limited number of cans (and no guarantees there will be any left) has deterred me. I’ve heard the new brewery makes the lines move quickly and there is usually a good amount of beer available, so I might have to make the trip again soon.

Zack from Raising the Barstool recounts his experience at Trillium’s Zwanze Day celebration. I don’t get to many beer events these days, family comes first, but this event is at the top of my short list.

Hop Culture has a profile on Earth Eagle Brewing, the New Hampshire brewery that specializes in gruit, an ancient style that uses herbs and spices instead of hops.

Lord Hobo is continuing to expand at a rapid pace and introduce their product in more markets. This is an interesting strategy, when many regional breweries are feeling the squeeze between the big beer acquisitions and hyper local small breweries. Lord Hobo also seems to be focusing on a few core beers when many other breweries are constantly rotating to meet the demand for novelty. It will be interesting to see how this turns out for them.

Exhibit A Demo Tape 11 Side B

Eater Boston has an article on Exhibit A Brewing Company, a brewery that has quickly built a strong reputation amongst local drinkers.

The new owners of Geary’s are trying to balance the brand’s classic beers with a number of new releases. I think this is a really good idea, I am a fan of a number of the classics but the brand needs some excitement and novelty moving forward.

Boston.com polled some local beer experts on their favorite local fall beers. Tons of good choices here (and a few that I need to try myself).

Food and Wine has a list of the best American Octoberfest beers which includes a couple of local favorites.

The Bangor Daily News details a Maine business that acquires used wine and spirit barrels to re-sell to breweries for barrel aged beers.

Paste Magazine wrote a brief drinker’s guide to Boston. This is a nice starting point if you’ve never been to the city, but it could have easily been expanded.

Percival Brewing opens it’s Norwood taproom today.

Two new breweries opened in Amesbury this month, BareWolf and Brewery Silvaticus. I wonder if they planned their openings to coincide, otherwise that is a pretty crazy coincidence.

I have no idea if this means anything or what methodology was used, but Hoppy Boston was named to ShoutAbout’s top 70 beer blogs. Regardless of how you feel about this type of listicle, it was pretty cool to be on the list with a number of blogs that I read regularly and enjoy.

Random Beer Thoughts: August 2017

Probably my favorite article of the month comes from Jeff Alworth of Beervana, an acclaimed beer blog based in Portland, Oregon. Jeff recently visited Massachusetts and joined the list of us that were perturbed by the fact that the 35 top rated beers in Massachusetts on Beer Advocate are all from TreeHouse and Trillium. Nothing against these breweries, both are stellar and make amazing beers. A number of other breweries do too, so it’s crazy how much these two breweries dominate crowd-sourced rankings. Jeff suggests that we ignore ratings and rankings, visit breweries and make opinions for ourselves, and I wholeheartedly agree. Your next favorite beer might be sitting on draft at a local brewery, available without waiting in line or paying an exorbitant price.

National and local beer writers seem obsessed with the New England IPA sub-style, in a predictable backlash against their popularity. CraftBeer.com gives an overview and calls NE-IPA the “anti-IPA”. Dave Patterson laments the number of poor versions of the style that have flooded the market. I understand that NEIPA isn’t for everyone, some people like their IPA bitter and clear. There is also the issue of shelf life, these beers degrade quickly on a shelf and it is no coincidence that the most popular versions of the style are sold in ultra-fresh small batches right at the breweries. All of that being said, I love my jooce-bombs, and when done correctly they can be some of the best beers in the world. I think more critics will come around, like Old Nation in Michigan who saw their popularity explode when they brewed a NEIPA.

Aeronaut Robot Crush

Aeronaut Brewing has found a new way to release a limited edition beer, you buy the beer ahead of time using an Eventbrite reservation and then pick it up at your leisure. I love this idea. I hate waiting in lines for beer, especially when there is no guarantee that you’ll even get the beer. There are some breweries that I enjoy but never go to because of the crazy crowds and can limits. This could be a revolutionary way for popular breweries to sell limited releases.

Speaking on Aeronaut, the Boston rock band The Lights Out has released their new album on cans of a special beer from the brewery. Each can comes with a code that you can redeem to download the album.

Norm Miller covers a 10 must-try beers in the Metrowest. As a resident of the Metrowest I agree with many of these choices, and love how many great breweries we have in the area. Norm also has a 6-pack of Oktoberfest/Marzen beers to try. He is an expert on this style, so you should take these recommendations as gospel.

Wormtown Bottle Rocket

Wormtown Brewery has undergone an ownership shuffle and will open a second brewery in New Hampshire.

The Mass Brew Bros ask “how many breweries are their in Massachusetts?” It is interesting to see the methodology that gets to that number. They also have an introduction to the new Cheeky Monkey Brewery in Boston. Cheeky Monkey is using a SmartBrew system, which uses pre-made malt extract and pre-programed hop additions and fermentation. This is a different approach, I gravitate towards the personal touches and experimentation that makes craft beer so interesting, I’m not sure how much room this system allows for this type of innovation. It seems like an easy way to make fresh beer without a lot of the work. What are your opinions on this type of system?

I previously shared that Marlborough was looking for a brewery to move into downtown as part of their revitalization project, and it looks like they’ve found one.

medusa-black-ale-project

One of the best examples of a brewery helping rebuild a downtown is Medusa Brewing in Hudson, and now they are adding a major canning facility.

Gary Dzen has contributed a couple interesting posts to Boston.com this month. One covers his distaste for session IPAs. I agree with some of the criticisms, but I’ve found a number of very well made local versions of the style (including Notch Left of the Dial, which he cites as an exception to the rule). Gary also picks 6 Massachusetts beers to drink right now, featuring a number of exciting new local brews.

Bog Iron Middle Child

Bog Iron Brewing has decided to phase out growlers, selling their beer exclusively in 500 mL bottles. They were active in the discussions about Massachusetts growler laws, arguing about the importance of branding in beer to-go, and offered a popular growler trade-in program, so it was interesting that they took this step. I personally hate growlers and would rather buy bottles or cans.

Allagash has a detailed article on the origins of their flagship White ale.

Eat, Drink, Travel takes a beer tour through the state of Massachusetts.

Paste Magazine continues their blind tasting series with a blind tasting of 143 sours. I wish they has done smaller tasting of individual sour styles, a fruited Berliner is so much different than a gose, it’s hard to rate them without style preference coming through.

Ebenezer’s is closing their Brunswick brewpub. I had always intended to swing in on a trip to Maine, and never made it.

Just in time for Labor Day PartSelect has an article pairing beer styles with various BBQ and grilled dishes.

Random Beer Thoughts: July 2017

My favorite article of the month is from Hop Culture reminding everyone to drink what you like and that beer is fun. I try to never criticize the beers that other people choose, and don’t enjoy the game of chasing down rare beers to brag about them online. I’d rather have a couple good beers shared with friends then drink whalez alone. That being said, here are a months worth of beer links, including some articles that take beer too seriously.

Paste Magazine has a thorough review on the reasons why buyouts hurt craft beer, tearing apart arguments in favor of buyouts. It is pretty clear that Inbev wants to use it’s financial and distribution advantages to take back some of the market share they have lost over the last decade. A less in-tuned beer drinker could walk into a bar and see Goose Island, Elysian, Wicked Weed, etc. on draft and think the bar has amazing diversity without realizing that they are all InBev beers.

Cambridge Brewing Working Class HeroEater Boston has a write-up on Kendall Square stalwart Cambridge Brewing Company. I grabbed a beer there with a friend last night, they always have a wide range of interesting and delicious brews available.

Boston Magazine has an article on growlers in Massachusetts that hits on most of the important points from both sides of the debate. I personally hate growlers and would love I if every brewery exclusively bottled/canned their beer, but I understand why growlers are used by cost-conscious start-ups.

Alex Weaver has an post for BostInno on Five Local Beers That You Should Drink Right Now. I really like that he highlighted some local breweries that make awesome beer but get a little less buzz compared to a some of the “biggest names”.

Bissell Brothers SeedGreat Beer Hunting has an extensive and well written profile on Bissell Brothers.

Jason Notte has a feature on why he loves to homebrew. It’s been a while since I brewed a batch of beer, life is busy, but reading this made me want to design a new recipe and fire up the kettle soon.

The Boston Herald got some attention for a click-bait article on the best IPAs in New England. The choice for #1 was clearly a deliberate attempt to rile up the local beer snobs (and it worked, lots of twitter discussion and I am linking the article here).

Treehouse JuliusAnyone who reads this blog has probably heard this news: TreeHouse Brewing Company has opened a massive new brewery in Charlton, MA. If the expanded capacity helps with the crazy lines and strict can limits I might end my hiatus and make a trip out there in the near future.

South Portland Maine recently hosted a pilsner-only beer fest. I could see this type of focused beer festival becoming more popular.

Blue Hills Brewery is working on a new taproom in Canton.

medusa-mesmeristFor Maine readers, Medusa Brewing is doing a tap takeover on Friday at the Thirsty Pig in Portland. They make some delicious beers and this event is worth checking out.

The Boston Cannons Lacrosse team is hosting a Lax and Lagers beer tasting during their game on August 5th.

Random Beer Thoughts: June 2017

Just a quick thought to start my monthly notes/links column: the other day a number of beer writers were alerted on twitter that an upstart website was copying their work and publishing it without citation. I won’t say what site it is, it has a relatively small following and they don’t deserve any further attention. I had a similar thing happen to me in the past, an upstart website was blatantly copying my work without citing where it was from. This is a really crappy thing to do, if you notice it on any beer site (or any other website for that matter) please inform the original authors so they can take action.

Marlborough

One of the most interesting things I read this month is that the town of Marlborough is actively seeking a brewery for their downtown, even taking out an ad in Beer Advocate. The town has noticed the impact that breweries have had in nearby Hudson (Medusa) and Framingham (Jack’s Abby, Springdale, Exhibit A), and feel like a brewery would be a key addition to the continued revitalization of their downtown. I could not support this idea more, I live in Sudbury and I am always happy to have more metro-west brewery options. I also think it’s a good business idea for the town, local breweries attract people who also shop and eat out in the area, and they can become integral parts of the community.

Others are noticing the positive effects that breweries have on neighborhoods. The Mass Brew Bros discuss the positive effects local breweries have on their communities, citing economic factors, community involvement and social engagement. Curbed notes that breweries have helped revitalize many small towns and forgotten neighborhoods in cities. This is definitely true in the Massachusetts, where towns and cities like Monson, Canton and Everett have become destinations for beer fans.

Spencer Trappist Ale

The crew from Craft Beer Cellar recently visited Spencer Trappist Brewery and sampled the beer that would become their next release, a trappist quadruple. I am excited to try this beer, I was hoping that the first American trappist brewery would develop more of the traditional abbey styles, my favorite beers they’ve released so far are Belgian (the Abbey Blonde and their Holiday Ale).

Paste Magazine has been doing a series of blind tastings, each featuring a different style of beer, and the articles are pretty awesome. The most recent covered saisons, with 116 versions tasted. It was nice to see New England breweries Allagash, Two Roads, Night Shift, Ipswich and Hill Farmstead show up in the ranked beers. It would have been nice to see a Mystic saison included in the tasting, I’m sure it would have done well.

The Mass Brew Bros also did a blind saison tasting, featuring only Massachusetts beers. I wasn’t able to attend this tasting due to a family commitment, which sucks because saisons are amongst my favorite beer styles. I agree with their finding though, I love two of the three finalists (and haven’t tried the third yet).

alchemist-focal-banger

Alex Weaver at Hop Culture has a thorough interview with John Kimmich of The Alchemist. It’s nice to see that brewery make a full comeback, producing a variety of beers in addition to Heady Topper.

Beer and Brewing Magazine has a feature where Cambridge Brewing Company brewmaster Will Meyers picks a six pack of his favorite beers. What makes this article great is his descriptions of each beer, not just the flavor profile but the impact each has had on him as a drinker and a brewer.

Allagash has committed to buying one million pounds of Maine grown grain per year by 2021. They are already buying a significant amount of local ingredients, but this is a huge increase. That is how you support your local community.

Bryan Roth has an in-depth breakdown of Zymurgy’s annual best-beers list. Like any list of this sort it is very heavy on IPAs and imperial stouts and completely skips over beers that favor more subtlety.

After Wicked Weed Brewing sold their business to AB-InBev a number of independent breweries backed out of the annual sour/wild beer festival they host in North Carolina every summer. These styles can take months or even years to age, and many of these breweries had special beers they were developing for the festival. Night Shift and Springdale have come up with a solution, inviting the breweries to a new festival in Massachusetts in July. We’re Funk’d will be a weekend long celebration of sour and wild ales.

Speaking on AB-InBev acquisitions, there has been a lot of consternation in the beer community about their investment/ownership stake in a number of beer media outlets, including RateBeer and a number of online beer magazines. I am fine with this as long as their writers clearly state in any article about an AB-InBev product that the beer is an AB-InBev product and they are an owner/investor in the publication. I regularly read The Ringer, and they are careful to include this disclaimer when they have an article about a show from HBO (an investor in the site), it should work the same with beer.

Good Beer Hunting also has a piece on AB-InBev, this time discussing how the company is collecting data to inform them on future strategy and investments.

Summer means grilling season, so here is a great article on the best way to grill a beer can chicken.

That’s it for June, thanks for reading and always feel free to pass along any great articles that you think I should feature. Cheers!

 

Random Beer Thoughts: May 2017

Big news in Massachusetts beer, the state has started an alcohol task force to address some of the archaic laws in the state. One of the first changes involves the growler laws, you can read summaries here and here. Basically breweries are now allowed to fill unmarked growlers in addition to ones with their logo. This isn’t a perfect solution, I’m sure many breweries will opt out, and there is concern from brewers about branding and marketing. Still, for those of us with piles of growlers in a closet it’s nice to know that we can visit a new brewery without adding to the collection.

Growlers

One of the most discussed beer stories of the last month has been the sale of Wicked Weed Brewing to AB-InBev. The announcement was met by the usual mix of emotions from outrage to apathy. Afterwards a number of breweries withdrew their commitments to Wicked Weed’s annual Funkfest. In it’s place Night Shift and Springdale are teaming up to host a celebration of sour and funky beers in MA.

On the week of Memorial Day it is important to remember the people who are serving and have served on the military. The Boston Herald has the story behind the Black Ale Project, where a rotating group of breweries are making dark beers and donating the proceeds to charities that provide assistance to veterans. I’ve had the Black Ale Project beers from Medusa Brewing and True West and enjoyed both, looking forward to trying the release from Castle Island.

The Mass Brew Brothers have a summary of the women who play a pivotal role in Massachusetts beer. While there is still too much sexism in the beer community (any amount is too much), it is nice to see that the ridiculous notion that beer is predominantly a drink for men is starting to disappear.

Alex Weaver at Hop Culture has some interesting ideas on what is next for the American IPA style.

Dave Patterson at Maine Today has an interesting history on the origins of Geary’s Brewing.

Design to Drink has a conversation with Kelsey Roth of Exhibit A Brewing on their logos and branding.

I really enjoyed this interview with Hill Farmstead founder Shaun Hill. I especially agree with his assessment that the future of craft beer is local focused, with brewers making high quality small batches that are sold almost entirely from the brewery.

Hop Culture did a series of beer tour itineraries for a number of cities. Here are the tours of Boston and Portland, ME.

Trillium announced plans for a huge new brewery and restaurant in the Seaport. I imagine this will immediately become a major destination for beer fans.

Congratulations to Bone-Up Brewing, now celebrating their one-year anniversary!

Random Beer Thoughts: April 2017

The biggest recent story in the beer world has been about Sam Adams. It started when founder Jim Koch wrote at op-ed for the New York Times. Koch said that lax government oversight is allowing big beer conglomerates to create monopolies at the expense of craft beer. It’s probably not a coincidence that this op-ed was published around the time that Boston Beer (Sam Adams’ parent company) released more disappointing earnings figures. There were a number of good responses to the article; Hop Culture has a great follow up interview with Koch, Greg Doroski discusses the competition Sam Adams has from small and big beer, Brian Roth discusses the perception that Sam Adams isn’t craft beer, Oliver Grey writes about their constant changes in style and trend chasing, and Jason Notte has suggestions for what Sam Adams can do next.

Sam AdamsThose articles cover a lot, but there are a few points that I especially agree with. I think that the big beer conglomerates definitely hurt Sam Adams, the average person buying a 12 pack in the grocery store doesn’t know that InBev owns Goose Island (and they probably don’t care). The expansion of brands like Goose, Lagunitas and Ballast Point eat into the supermarket/convenience store sales that are key for a bigger brewery. It also hurts that Sam Adams isn’t popular with beer geeks (outside of a couple very small releases like Utopias). Other larger craft brewers have found ways to balance large sales with innovation that drives hype, for example the Beer Camp festivals and mix packs from Sierra Nevada. Owning alcoholic iced tea and seltzer brands probably doesn’t help with the perception that Boston Beer isn’t focused on brewing great beer.

What should Sam Adams do from here? I think they definitely need to re-evaluate the huge number of beers they make. There are some delicious beers in the Sam Adams portfolio, including a few that were ahead of their time. There are also a number of mediocre offerings. They could focus on a small number of core year-round and seasonal offerings and send everything else into retirement or use it as part of a rotating beer series. I also love Jason Notte’s idea that Sam Adams could open full service tasting rooms at each of their locations. This won’t be a huge money maker for a company that big but it will be a good way to connect directly with their customers and get feedback on in-progress recipes. I don’t think any of these ideas will cause an explosion of sales, but they are steps in the right direction. It should be very interesting to see what the future holds for one of the most important breweries in American beer.

In other news:

Foulmouthed Brewing in Maine is completely eschewing flagship beers, in favor of constantly rotating through different recipes. I could see more breweries trying this, so many beer drinkers are constantly chasing novelty that it helps to have different selection of beers all the time.

The Mass Brew Brothers have a rundown of a few new breweries that are opening, and a few more that are closing. Unfortunately I think we’ll see more of this, where the rapid growth in total breweries will be slowed somewhat by closings.

Hop Culture has an interview with Allagash head brewer Jason Perkins. I was at Allagash this weekend and had a great time taking the brewery tour. I even pitched a beer idea; they are going to stop brewing Dubbel so I though it would be fun to send it out in style by making a batch aged in port barrels.

This is the first time I’ve posted a link from ESPN, but they did an interesting article on brewer/rugby player Bev Armstrong from Brazo Fuerte. I played rugby in college and love the sport, so this hits a number of my personal passions.

Cambridge Brewing Company brewmaster Will Meyers won the Russell Schehrer award for innovation in craft brewing. This is well deserved, it’s easy to forget how large an impact CBC has had on the local and national beer scene. One of Will’s biggest areas of contribution is being at the forefront of barrel aging programs. The Mass Brew Bros have a very interesting summary on the contributions Massachusetts breweries have made to barrel aged beers.

The new tasting room at Mayflower Brewing company is now open. I have some friends on the south shore, I might need to schedule a visit and make the brewery stop a part of the trip.

BostInno has an article on the TAPPED beer truck, a rolling bar that is focused on having high end local beer available for functions. My brother got a version of this for his wedding in Pennsylvania a few years back and it was a big hit.

A couple of Portland breweries have banned dogs after having potentially dangerous incidents in their tasting rooms. It sounds like a small number of irresponsible people ruined it for everyone, but I understand making this decision based on liability concerns.

Norm Miller has a rundown of the new beer camp mix pack from Sierra Nevada. It’s an eclectic array of beers from brewers around the world, and I will definitely give it a shot.

I think the Sobro, a multi-functional coffee table/beer fridge will soon become a staple of man caves everywhere.

That’s it for this month, as always thanks for reading and feel free to pass along any links that you would like to see included in next month’s roundup!