Tag Archives: Bog Iron

Bog Iron Campout Mild

English mild ales are a style that never really caught on with American beer drinkers, or at least they haven’t yet and I am not holding my breath waiting for that to change. Mild ales are a version of the English brown ale that keeps the malt forward profile but has a lighter body and lower alcohol. Most American beer drinkers are obsessed with extremes, IPAs with huge doses of hops, aggressive sours and high gravity imperial stouts dominate the marketplace and the crowd-sourced beer rankings. As the weather turns cooler I like to mix in a heavy rotation of malt forward beers, but there are many occasions that call for a lower alcohol beverage. While American brewers make plenty of session IPAs and light lagers, there are very few low ABV malt forward beers. A very good option that fits into this category is Campout Mild from Bog Iron Brewing. I’m pretty sure Campout Mild is the only regularly produced local version of an English mild, feel free to correct me if you know another. It is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 500 mL bottles.

Bog Iron Campout MildBog Iron Campout Mild pours cola brown with a minimal white head. The aroma is full of toasted and roasted malts. The flavor is malt forward, notes of toffee, chocolate and bread crust. This is complemented by just a hint of earthy hops. Campout Mild is very light and easy to drink, super sessionable at 3.5% ABV. The finish is clean with a little lingering malt flavor. This style is never going to get the buzz of hop-bomb IPAs but sometimes it’s nice to have a full-flavored malt forward beer that isn’t going to put you under the table, and Campout Mild definitely fits the bill. I would love to try this beer on cask some time. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Previous Bog Iron Reviews:

Bog Iron Drawing a Blank and Fancy French Name, Bog Iron Devil’s FootprintBog Iron Jump Back, Bog Iron Ryezing Son, Bog Iron Middle ChildBog Iron Stinger IPABog Iron One Down Robust Porter


Bog Iron Drawing a Blank and Fancy French Name

Life is crazy between work and family stuff, so I don’t make as many trips to breweries as I used to. There are a few exceptions, local places that I can sneak into while I’m running other errands or bring the family to for a meal, and the places I stop in Maine of trips North. Unfortunately there are a number of places in Massachusetts that I still haven’t visited, and even more that I’ve been to but it’s been way too long. One place that lingered on that last list for far too long is Bog Iron Brewing in Norton. I’ve always enjoyed Bog Iron’s beers, and they are hard to find outside of the brewery, but I hadn’t made the trip in a while. Recently I had a rare Saturday late morning/early afternoon to myself, so I took the trip to Norton, sampled a flight and bought a wide selection of bottles to take home. Along with some classics (like Middle Child, one of my all time favorite DIPAs), I grabbed a few new-to-me beers. Drawing a Blank is a new school pale ale with fruity hop flavors that was my favorite beer from the tasting flight. Fancy French Name is a saison aged in French Oak Chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces. All of Bog Iron’s beers are now available on draft and in 16 oz. bottles at the brewery.

Bog Iron Drawing a BlankBog Iron Drawing a Blank pours straw yellow with a small white head. The scent is a big burst of hops, tons of citrus and tropical fruit. The hops dominate the flavor, notes of grapefruit, tangerine, papaya and a little pine along with a crisp bitter bite. This is complemented by a mild malt backbone, hints of bread crust and cereal. Drawing a Blank is light bodied and super easy to drink, with moderate alcohol at 6.0% ABV. The finish is crisp with some lingering hop flavor and bite. I love American pale ales that combine big hop flavor and aroma with smooth drinkability and this beer hits all of those boxes. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Bog Iron Fancy Frech NameBog Iron Fancy French Name pours deep yellow with a small white head. The scent is a mixture of white wine and fruity yeast. The yeast leads the flavor with notes of apricot, pear and funk along with just a touch of acidity. The barrel aging melds perfectly with the flavors imparted by the fermentation, hints of white grape, oak and apple. A touch of light malt and a minimal amount of hop flavor round out the profile. Fancy French Name is light bodied, super easy to drink but it packs a solid punch at 7.5% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering fruit and yeast flavors. This beer is crazy good, complex with big flavors that all work together, you taste something new with each sip. Highly recommended. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.

Previous Bog Iron Reviews:

Bog Iron Devil’s FootprintBog Iron Jump Back, Bog Iron Ryezing Son, Bog Iron Middle ChildBog Iron Stinger IPABog Iron One Down Robust Porter

Bog Iron Devil’s Footprint

I try to focus my reviews on beers that my Boston area readers can find without going incredibly out of their way. I have never been the kind of person to wait in line for hours for a beer release, I’d rather find awesome beer that is readily available. That being said, occasionally I come across a limited release beer and if I enjoy it I feel compelled to share, especially if it is something unique. Bog Iron Brewing had their first bottle release in late December, a braggot aged in Mezcal barrels named Devil’s Footprint. I was able to acquire a bottle, they were limited and sold out very fast, but given the positive feedback on the beer I imagine they will be brewing it again. Braggot is an interesting style, an ale brewed with heavy doses of honey that is kind of a mix between beer and mead. Bog Iron uses honey in a number of their brews, so it makes sense that they would experiment with this style. The base braggot is available at the brewery on a rotating basis, and the batch that became Devil’s Footprint was aged in Mexican Mezcal barrels and then bottled. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that this is the only Mezcal barrel aged braggot on the market. Bog Iron Devil’s Footprint was sold in 16 oz. bottles at the release, hopefully they have another batch ready sometime in 2016!

Bog Iron Devil's FootprintBog Iron Devil’s Footprint pours deep orange with a minimal white head. The scent is a mixture of Mezcal and a little honey. The Mezcal is evident in the flavor, touches of oak, smoke and just a little boozy sweetness, fully represented but it doesn’t overwhelm the palate. There is also substantial flavors from the fermentables, fresh bread and crackers from the malt along with wildflowers and orange from the honey. The yeast did their work, even with all that sugar added there is minimal residual sweetness, the beer is pretty dry. It also drinks very easy for a barrel aged beer with 10.5% ABV. The finish is clean with a little lingering booze and Mezcal flavors. Devil’s Footprint is a really interesting beer, not like anything I’ve ever tried, but I enjoyed it very much. I hope this becomes a yearly tradition, and I look forward to seeing what else comes out of Bog Iron’s barrel program! Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5

Previous Bog Iron Reviews:

Bog Iron Jump Back, Bog Iron Ryezing Son, Bog Iron Middle ChildBog Iron Stinger IPABog Iron One Down Robust Porter

Bog Iron Jump Back

Being a parent is awesome and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, but it cuts into your free time a bit (and by that I mean that my free time is almost non-existent). This just means that I need to be creative if I want to do things like visit breweries. A good example was this Saturday, my wife was taking the baby out for a few hours and I had a bit of a to-do list, but I knocked it out in record time in order to make a quick trip to Bog Iron Brewing in Norton. I wasn’t able to hang out and drink some beers, but I had plenty of time to fill a couple growlers, including a liter of Jump Back, the newest permanent addition to their stable of IPAs. One of Bog Iron’s staples has been the use of honey in brewing, especially in their flagship series of IPAs, Stinger, Middle Child and Stung. Jump Back is their first IPA brewed without added honey, although they are also working on a complementary honey-free DIPA (I enjoyed a sample while my growlers were being filled). Jump Back is available on a rotating basis in the Bog Iron tap room, on draft and for growler fills.

Bog Iron Jump BackBog Iron Jump Back IPA pours a hazy gold with a solid white head. The nose is great, a huge burst of hops led by citrus and tropical fruit. The hops also lead the flavor, notes of grapefruit, mango, orange and pine with a soft bitterness. There is just a little malt in the backbone, touches of crackers and toast. Jump Back is very easy to drink, you might mistake it for an APA and be caught off guard by the 7.1% ABV. The finish is very clean with just a hint of hops on the tongue. For my personal taste I wouldn’t mind a little more hop finish/bitterness, but it is a minor quibble, this is a very good beer that fits well in the Bog Iron lineup. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.

Previous Bog Iron Reviews:

Bog Iron Ryezing Son, Bog Iron Middle ChildBog Iron Stinger IPABog Iron One Down Robust Porter

Bog Iron Ryezing Son

I have mentioned multiple times that saisons are my favorite spring beer style (and one of my favorite styles overall), so it should come as no surprise that I have been drinking a bunch of them recently. I am also on a bit of a rye beer kick, the addition of rye malt adds spice and complexity that can complement a number of different beer styles. While many breweries focus on Rye IPAs (which can be great), I love the combination of rye and Belgian yeast. Many Belgian style yeast strains add notes of pepper, coriander and other spices to the finished beer that can mesh well with the flavor imparted by the rye malt. I am planning on home-brewing a saison in the coming weeks and rye will definitely be part of the recipe. Bog Iron Brewing seems to agree with my opinions on rye in Belgian style beers. One beer in their regular rotation is Ryezing Son, a saison brewed with Pacific Jade and Citra hops along with a hearty dose of rye malt. Since Bog Iron doesn’t bottle or can their beer (yet) the only way to find this beer is on draft or by driving to Norton (which isn’t a bad ride from Boston).

Bog Iron Ryezing SunBog Iron Ryezing Son pours a cloudy bright yellow with a mild white head. The scent is a complex mixture of spicy rye, estery yeast and a little hit of citrusy hops. The yeast leads the flavor with notes of coriander, banana and apple. The malts also come through led by the peppery spice of the rye. The hops round out the flavor with hints of lemon, orange and cut grass. The flavor here is complex, but everything works together in harmony. The beer is light bodied, easy to drink and not overly strong at 6% ABV. The finish is dry with some lingering spice from the rye and yeast. Overall this is a really good example of an Americanized saison with the rye malts and new world hops complementing the expressive Belgian style yeast. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Previous Bog Iron Reviews:

Bog Iron Middle ChildBog Iron Stinger IPABog Iron One Down Robust Porter

Bog Iron Middle Child

A couple weeks ago I was participating in a casual Twitter conversation about local beer with some other enthusiasts and someone mentioned drinking a few of Bog Iron Brewing’s selections at a Boston area bar (The Independent in Somerville). I replied that I was excited to see their beer in metro Boston, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve sampled but don’t find myself in Norton very often. I was later chided by the Bog Iron Twitter account (which I believe is run by Brian, one of the co-founder/brewers) that Norton isn’t THAT far from the city. He was right of course. From my apartment in Watertown I can make the door-to-door trek in about 45 minutes on a Saturday, not a bad ride to pick up some high quality beers. Having been put in my place, I made the pilgrimage to Norton last weekend, tasted some of their wares and left with a few growlers. I guess the lesson here is that it pays to call your local beer blogger out for being lazy :). The growler I was more excited to crack into (and did as soon as I got home) was Middle Child Double IPA. Bog Iron currently brews a progression of IPAs, Stinger weighs in at 7.4% ABV, while boozy Stung is 10.5%, and Middle Child falls in between (thus the name) at 9.5%. Middle Child was sold out for growler fills on a previous visit so I was very excited that the keg hadn’t kicked when I arrived.

Bog Iron Middle ChildBog Iron Middle Child pours a deep orange, slightly cloudy, with a solid off-white head. The scent is a huge burst of hops with the predominant citrus and tropical fruit aromas that you expect from many new world hop varieties. The hops also lead the flavor, notes of guava, grapefruit, lemon, mango and a little pine. This is accompanied by a hit of bitterness, enough to know you’re drinking an IPA but not so much that it numbs the tongue. The hops are balanced by a solid malt backbone, touches of grainy bread and toffee that help fill out the flavor. The beer is medium bodied and goes down very easy for 9.5% ABV. The finish is clean with some fruity hops and crisp bitterness. I have enjoyed a number of the selections at Bog Iron but I am pretty sure that Middle Child is my favorite, everything you want in a double IPA and worth the (not far) drive to Norton on its own. Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.

Previous Bog Iron Reviews:

Bog Iron Stinger IPABog Iron One Down Robust Porter

Bog Iron Stinger IPA

I mentioned last week that my visit to Bog Iron Brewery included an extended tasting and the purchase of a couple growlers. I reviewed their One Down Porter as part of my first post, this second will focus on my other purchase, Stinger IPA. The IPA style is so popular it is almost a requirement for a new brewery to make at least one IPA. It is also important to make a quality version of the style, fair or not, many customers will base their initial impressions of the brewery on the quality of their hop-forward beers. Bog Iron makes three IPAs, their single IPA Stinger, a big double IPA called Stung, and one in between appropriately named Middle Child. I tried all three during my tasting and enjoyed the clear difference in flavor profile that went beyond the changes in ABV. If I had to pick, I think Middle Child would be my favorite, unfortunately the keg was kicked and I couldn’t get a full growler.  So I decided on to bring home a bottle of Stinger. Stinger IPA gets it’s name from the substantial amount of locally sourced honey that is added to the mash. The addition of honey adds alcohol, a small amount of flavor and gives the beer a dry finish, resulting in an IPA that showcases the hop flavors. Bog Iron Stinger is hopped continuously during the boil and then dry hopped multiple times with Cascade, Columbus, Magnum and Summit varieties.

Bog Iron StingerBog Iron Stinger IPA pours a clear red-tinted yellow with a minimal white head. The smell is a big burst of hoppy goodness, floral, citrus and tropical fruit scents. The goal of showcasing the hop flavors in this beer is also well realized, with notes of grapefruit, orange, papaya, passion fruit, pine and grass. The bitterness is present but not overkill, it’s there without killing your palate. There is some malt to add some balance, touches of whole grain bread and biscuits. The honey adds some subtle flavor, but this beer is clearly brewed to showcase the hops. Stinger is pretty substantial for a “single” IPA at 7.4% ABV, but the beer is very easy to drink and you get none of the booze in the flavor. The finish is clean with just a bit of bite on the tongue. I really liked this beer! If you are a fan of the hop-forward brews this is one to add to your “must-try” list. Hoppy Boston score: 4.5/5.

Previous Bog Iron Reviews:

Bog Iron One Down Robust Porter