Oh hi! I hope you like beer, because we've got a lot of cool beer that we're about to talk about... right... now!
And first on up is this Friday* when we're gonna be doing our El Pulpo Vertical Tasting! See, we wanted to hang out and drink beer with people over the computer, and also we wanted an excuse (any excuse, if we're being honest) to drink a bunch of El Pulpo, so we combined those two ideas and you get to join us! We'll pump Jared fulla beer so he gets talkative for once and we'll just kinda set him loose on El Pulpo and barrel-aging and cellaring and probably a fairly disappointing story about why we named our winter beer after an octopus, so grab some bottles and come hang out!
Anyway, if you're lookin' to get your drink on with some new beers, then we've got "just the ticket" - thanks to some "poor planning" and also the fact that we "get excited" about pretty much "any shiny new thing," we've got three new beers comin' out in cans this weekend (probably at some point on Friday unless something goes wrong again). Anyway, in no particular order, here they are!
First up is the release of this year's Pride beer! Just in time for Pride Month! We weren't able to do a big fun brewday like we did last year, but we were able to brew a tasty beer using a whole buncha Grüngeist and also we will (of course) have some sweet merch to go with it and also we're gonna donate part of the proceeds to charity and did we mention that the beer is delicious as heck and you should drink some?
But the fun don't stop there! We're also bringin' back the ol' Puppers Past series and this time around we're commemoratin' the memory of a big ol' pyrenees named Domino who grew a... horn of sorts in the middle of his forehead at some point, so we brewed up a toasty, fruity single-hop amber named Uni-Dog! This here beer's got a heapin' helpin' (possibly a heapin' helpin' and a half) of MA-grown Rakau and we daresay it's mighty tasty and also you should drink some!
Completing this release trifecta, we've got a lil' ol' blast from the past: Ginger Spectacular! It's been too dang long since we've had this beer around (which definitely has nothing to do with people getting all Goldilocks about what is/isn't the "right amount" of ginger), so we made a whole bunch, and - you guessed it - you should drink some!
And lastly but far rom leastly, we're welcoming our friends Poboys 'n Pies back for another crawfish boil! This one's gonna be more of the "pick up and enjoy at home" variety, but crawfish is crawfish and you should grab some! Preorders start today and go through this Sunday, and the rest of the details reside here in this handy-dandy flyer:
*Spoiler alert: everything that we're talking about in this blog is happening on Friday.
Howdy do, friendaroos! We figured we'd do a bit of a "check in," given the recent (and completely unsurprising) confirmation that things ain't changin' much anytime soon and/or that These Trying Times™ are gonna continue on for quite a while.* We're in the middle of a situation that was literally unimaginable a couple months ago (remember that? When we thought the lockdown stuff would only last "a couple weeks?") and now we've somehow managed to trade in summer for a Groundhog-Day-esque version of the month of March** and we're slowly coming to terms with the fact that Things Are Just Different Now and even things that seemed far away at the start of all this nonsense - like, say, our birthday party at the end of the summer - will be at best drastically different than we'd been imagining.
And while all that is certainly a Mega Bummer, we're completely grateful as hell that we've got such a rad group of people out there hellbent on showing support and drinking tasty beer and just overall making it so we can keep doing what we do. We sure do miss drinking in our taproom, but we're stoked as heck to see all of y'all when you come in to grab beer to go (or when you wait outside and have us bring it to you, or when you wait at home and have us bring it to you or... you get the idea). By now it's a cliché to say that we're all in this together, but you all are certainly making sure we get through this, and it means the world to us.
But anyway! This*** is meant to be a happy occasion! And we may not have any new beers this week (canning is loosely biweekly, and bottling is... sporadic), but we do have some rad stuff to talk about!
First on that ol' list is Wasted Life! You might think we've said all we can say about this lil' beer, given that we've been talking about it for four plus years, but we got our tinkerin' pants on (as we are wont to do) and realized that our core beers need more local, so we set out to rectify that! See, most (at least half) of the hops we use overall are grown right here in good ol' Massachusetts, but our inner locavores are a bit more loosey-goosey when it comes to the grain bill - Key Lime has a buncha wheat and spelt from Valley Malt, but the other year-rounders are a bit lacking. Anyway, what that means in the here and now is that we've been started cuttin' some**** local grains into Wasted Life, startin' with some Maine-grown barley! And keeping with the spirit of bringin' it all back home, we're also about to start transitioning Extra Naked to use all locally grown hops (and technically Shut Up Kelly! and Key Lime are fully local on the hop front), which is pretty dang ol' exciting!
Also! Lastly! We have something that's actually tangible and soonish and fun! See, we've gotten a taste of those "virtual events" that all the kids***** are talkin' about these days and we figured we'd try our hands at some zoom-based zaniness! More to the point, we thought it would be fun to do a guided vertical tasting of the four El Pulpo variants (2018, 2019, barrel-aged 2018, and barrel-aged 2019) that we've currently got in bottles, and you're invited to join us! It's scheduled for next Friday (the 29th), and there's no cost of admission beyond the price of the bottles themselves (which we wholeheartedly encourage you to share, unless you're planning on having yourself a night) but there's a limited number of spots (because there's a limited number of bottles), so sign on up if this sounds like your cup o' tea!
* And, just to make sure we're understood as crystal, we're completely on board with the slow 'n' steady approach that's being taken. We're fans of caution around here, if you haven't gathered.
** I sure can't wait for March V: This Time It's Hot Outside
*** Wednesday? I guess? Sure, Wednesday is a happy occasion. And it's definitely Wednesday.
**** We tend to be pretty deliberate - in both senses of the word - when it comes to recipe changes, so we can't just pull a full-on switcheroo.
***** Adult-aged office workers who are slowly coming unraveled in unison.
Howdy friends! We got a rootin' tootin' sure-shootin' buncha updates for alla y'all about beer and cans and, um, spaghetti? I guess? I don't even know what's happening anymore.
But anyway that's all groovy because Everything is Peachy! And by that I am, of course, referring to the newest beer in our "lying to ourselves" series which just so happens to be called Everything is Peachy! See, since we were so fond of our previous attempt to combine hops with fruits that taste kinda like those hops, we decided to get a buncha peachy-punchy Idaho 7 and a shitload of peach puree and whip up a lil' ol' double IPA and it's gonna be available at some point on Friday and you should come get some while we still got some!
Now, I know what you're thinking: "new beers are great and all, but what I'd really like to do is watch a live feed of strangers eating." And if that's the case, you're in luck because we're doing a "virtual beer dinner" this Friday!
Thassright, we teamed up with the "kitchen" side of Brato Brewhouse and Kitchen and we're doin' up a five-course meal with beer pairings! And what, praytell, did our master chef conjure up to pair with our loosely-Belgian-focused beer menu? Why, Italian food, of course! And this here dinner's hittin' all the favorite stops - bolognese, risotto, cannolis, caesar salad,* and pretzels!** Anyway we'll be there drinkin' beer and chattin' beer and generally just sassin' it up and there's still tickets available until tomorrow at 5pm (purchase them online here), so come get your (virtual) munch on with us!
* Caesar was Italian, right? He was probably Italian. That counts.
** They... they're garlic pretzels? Garlic is probably Italian.
In Which We Rescue Some Baby Skunks From the Wild and Release Some Beers Into the Wild (The Two Are Unrelated)
Howdy-do, friendaroos! We've had ourselves an eventful* week, and some of it has even been related to beer, so saddle up and read up 'cuz we gots some yarns to spin!
First on up is the latest installment in a longstanding tradition that we hold near and dear here at Bone Up, and that's the Bestowing Of The Paddle! Long story short,** when one of our brewers has been On The Team for a year or two (the exact timing depends on how many catastrophes are actively unfolding at any given point in time), they get their own custom-made mash paddle to add to our Wall O' Brewing Paddles And Mops! Each paddle is carefully designed and then created by somebody who is pretty obviously not a professional woodworker and this week we bestowed a paddle upon our brewer Human Tom!
Tom's been with us for nigh-on two years now, and has performed adequately for much of that time. And we should also add that this moment of celebration is a tad bittersweet, as Human Tom will be departing the company this summer like some kind of stupid jerk quitter.
Anyway, moving on and moving forward, in news that has (thankfully) already come and gone, Mother Nature saw fit to introduce us to a couple new furry friends a little ways back! At some point last week, we had a couple cute-yet-startling encounters with a couple little furbabies who - it turns out - were living in one of the debris piles that were thoughtfully left out by the landscapers who share our parking lot*** with us.
And we figured out pretty quickly that these lil' kits were in dire straits when one of them tried to saunter up to our patio and order a beer like we're not in the middle of some state-mandated lockdown or something, so we did the only thing we could - rig up some makeshift traps and get 'em somewhere safe (luckily for us, they did not have well-developed scent glands yet)!
And yes, all's well that ends well (though I feel at this point that I should stress the fact that I'm not making this up) - they both arrived safe and sound at a skunk and porcupine sanctuary somewhere upstate, which is run by a very nice person whom we know only as Mary the Skunk Lady.
But enough about wildlife and amateur woodcrafting, what about beer? Well, this ain't a canning week (those are, loosely, every two weeks), but that means we've had more time for barrels and bottles and all that, which means we've got two new bottles that are (probably) coming out on Friday!
First up is the first full-fledged spinoff from our Critters series, and that's Chimera! This here beer's got a bit of a story behind it, but the Cliff's Notes version is that it's been two years in the making and also it's born of our collaboration with GrandTen Distilling (they're still aging the whiskey that we made at their digs) and also it's closely tied to the beer that started our whole funk program, which was (somewhat confusingly) Critters 2! Oh, and also there's a bit of fruit in there, because we thought it would taste good with a little fruit in there. But anyway, this is our first-ever big ol' funky beer release, and we're straight-up stoked that it's also the Friendship Beer that we made with our friends a ways back and also it's tasty as hell and you should drink some!
And the other beer that's coming out on (probably) Friday is a straight-up barrel-aged blend that's gonna have to remain a mystery until then, and that's not entirely (mostly, but not entirely) because we haven't figured out a name for it yet.
And! For the first time ever, all our flagship beers are in 16oz cans/4 packs! Admittedly, this was more news last week when we completed the lineup with our first Extra Naked canning run, but it's a pretty dang big improvement from crowler and growler fills and we're delighted to be able to offer you our finest in proper packaging. Don't they look nice?
Oh! And! It's May, which means another coloring contest has come to a close! The pool was a smidge more limited this month, so we uploaded everyone's entries so you could see their beautiful handiwork!
* Long time readers will know that our use of the word "eventful" is about as encouraging as hearing Prof. Farnsworth declare something to be "good news."
** The long version of the story involves a friend of Jared's wildly misunderstanding life as a brewer, but doing so in such a charming way that we had to make it a reality.
*** Technically they're relegated to the unpaved section next to our lot, but that doesn't stop them from dropping giant piles of dirt all over our parking spots whenever they feel like it. They're, like, super neighborly.
Hey there, kiddos and squiddos! We're back in action and we've been cookin' up a thing or two for your enjoy and we're here to shout about a buncha cool beers and [checks notes] ...vegetables?
That's right! Vegetables! We teamed up with one of our distributors to do some "CSA style" boxes of Mystery Produce and, um, wow, it turns out that y'all either really like veggies or y'all really don't like going to the grocery store.* Anyway, we're taking preorders for either pickup or delivery on Wednesday or Saturday and we're told that it's $30 for about $50 worth of stuff (as of this writing we have not seen the boxes yet, so we can neither confirm nor deny), but we've got limited space in our cold room(s) for storage, so act soon** if you wanna hop on the ol' veggie train! Choo choo!
Movin' right on along from "plants for sale" and into "beverages made from plants," we got more cans comin' atcha on Friday! And the first of the upcoming cans is a blast from the relatively-recent past that we've been itchin' to re-brew: Snail the Pale! This beautiful little beer is made entirely with locally grown hops from our friends at Four Star Farms and it's mostly*** made with local grains from our friends at Valley Malt and Stone Path Malt and it's nice 'n' fruity and a little toasty and just a smidge earthy and anyway it's tasty and you should come try it!
And also, at long last, we're finally putting Extra Naked into cans! Also on Friday! And to celebrate(?) this monumentous occasion, we're takin' the opportunity to do something that we've been "batting around" for a while now and we're givin' this beer a wee little "rebrand." Long story short, we never really felt that the style name "cream ale" suited this beer all that well, but that's the horse we stuck ourselves with, so it was the hill we expected to die under. Anyway, we did a lot of soul-searching and a little polling and came to the conclusion that "table beer" as a style name was at least not worse and also maybe better? Anyway, we'll walk y'all through it in handy-dandy Q 'n A style:
What's wrong with "Cream Ale?"
Well, for starters, it turns out that nobody knows what the hell a cream ale is. People tend to assume that it's a descriptive term (it isn't) or that the beer will have vanilla (it doesn't) or lactose (it doesn't) or that it will just somehow be "creamy" (ew). And the people who are familiar with the style tend to associate it with some less-than-desirable examples.
So... people are more familiar with "Table Beer?"
...no? Not as such, since it's not a "real style."****
I thought you said you thought this through.
We did! Long story short, we felt that "table beer" was pretty descriptive (people are generally pretty familiar with the concept of "table wine," and it's not that big of a logical jump to beer), and it at least sounds like it should be a real beer style, and also there was a notable local example that a number of people were familiar with, and... what the hell else can we call this beer? Truth be told, it's the recipe for a Classic American Pilsner (a style which has been defunct for decades), brewed with a Belgian yeast (which is... not to style for a Pilsner, to say the least). What would you call it?
Was there anything else you considered?
Oh god yes. It's close-ish to a saison, but that's a style with some... baggage, and really it's more like a session-strength saison, which around here usually gets labeled as "grisette," only even fewer people know what a grisette is and that's the whole problem we were trying to avoid in the first place, and "everyday ale" is too broad and "dry hopped light ale" is weirdly clinical sounding and why don't we just stick with "cream ale?" Oh, right, because everybody thinks it's got milk in it (or, arguably worse, they think it's like Genny), so how about we use a different vague, obscure (yet slightly more descriptive) style name? Anyway, we went in circles on that for, oh, about three years, and now here we are! Table beer! At least until we use all the labels that say so!
Anyway. That's probably a bit more "inside baseball" than y'all need or want, so let's end with something fun! Coloring! Y'all may not have noticed, since time no longer has any meaning, but the month of April is almost over, which means it's Last Call for coloring contest submissions! And may we remind you that we've got the page available right here and we are accepting digital submissions - whether you digitally color the page, or if you print it out and scribble on it in crayon and then take a picture of it on your phone and email it to us! So send them in, it brings us joy to see you color in our doodles!
* We can sympathize with that last one, which is why we've been doing most of our personal shopping at Restaurant Depot. Two-gallon bucket of pickles, anyone?
** As in, the first week has been sold out for a couple days and next week is starting to fill up already.
*** We, uh, kinda forgot to order the local version of a key (yet relatively minor in scale) ingredient.
**** We have strong opinions on the "that's not a real style" argument, but we're aware that said opinions are not interesting, so we'll leave it at that.
Howdy and hello! This week's a bit of a "slow week" newswise on account of things bein' what they are, but don't you fret, no way no how, because we've been "keepin' busy" and pluggin' along "behind the scenes" and we may not have anything to show for it right this minute, but rest assured that's all gonna change right quick and/or in a hurry.
So what, precisely, does this mean in practical terms for you, the faithful drinker? Well, we've got our tanks locked and loaded and fulla fun stuff ready for our next canning run (which is slated for May 1st, by the way), which means we're gonna have a couple never-before-canned old-favorites available in four packs for the first time ever!
And also we've busied ourselves in the ol' barrel room, which means we'll be rollin' out more fancy bottled goodies just as soon as we get them suckers blended up! And also we just got in a bunch more bottles (we, uh, kinda ran out for a bit there) which means we can stock back up on a couple things we done ran low* on!
Plus we've raided some of our stash in the ol' Funk Hallway which means we've got a whole bunch of funky goodness comin' your way hella soon (and this time around it's a big enough batch that it's gonna get its own name instead of just being called "critters eleventy" or whatever number we're up to by now)!
So anyway, we've got a whole buncha cool shit queued up and waitin' in the wings, we just gotta, y'know, do all that stuff I just said. But that's the easy part, right?
*Skeleton Key, anyone?
Well hey there! It just so happens that we been keepin' on and keepin' as busy as we can what with the whole situation these days and this time around it means we've got a whole dang bunch of new stuff and/or the triumphant return of some old favorites and/or I should stop telling you about what I'm gonna tell you and just dang tell you about it, so here we go!
First on up, as of late we've had a bit of a hankerin' for the idyllic days of summer (though we couldn't possibly imagine why), so we did our best to brew a beer that best captured the feeling of sitting around on the deck/patio and eating shellfish and corn on the cob until you feel kind of gross but continuing to eat anyway and filling the night with hella laughter and good times and maybe some ill-advised fireworks and anyway what we came up with was a light 'n tropically-fruity double IPA that we're calling Pretend It's Summer and it's available in cans right now and you should come drink some!
And speaking of pretending it's summer, we decided to "pull the trigger" on our "summer seasonal" a little bit "extremely early" because we were in a "treat yo self" kind of mood (and I promise that it's a complete coincidence that we're releasing this right around the time that everyone's getting stimulus checks) and anyway it's hibiscus farmhouse time! You may remember this lil' ol' beer as Loretta, but she had to change her name for legal reasons and now she's makin' her debut as Henrietta and she's also available in cans right now and she's sportin' a brand-spankin'-new label and everything so you should probably (re)introduce yourself to Henrietta!
And in a full-on Left Turn from pretending it's summer, we're also trottin' out some limited-edition cellar-aged bottles of our favorite winter seasonal: El Pulpo! Wheee!
Yes indeedy, starting on Friday and for a limited time* we've got bottles of 2019 El Pulpo and barrel-aged 2019 El Pulpo and 2018 El Pulpo and barrel-aged 2018 El Pulpo! That's a lot of Pulpo!
* As in, until we run out. But also that's the case with almost everything we make?
Hello again! We've been bein' the busiest bees we can be in order to get a whole buncha tasty beverages into your hands, so read on and check out all the stuff we're doin'!
First on up, the powers that be have decided that it won't cause massive social unrest or whatever* if we're allowed to deliver beer to people,** so now we're deliverin' beer! Thassright, fresh beer delivered right to your doorstep*** is just a phone call away! "But wait," you are surely saying "that sounds too easy, there have got to be a whole bunch of weird, arbitrary rules set up around something like this." And right you are! Each delivery needs to include a food item for some reason, though it doesn't seem to matter what the food item is (Girl Scout Cookies have been a popular choice), and also we're limited to 192 ounces of beer per delivery. And while we're not entirely sure where that number came from, it does mean that you can order a six pack of 32oz. growlers for delivery if you so desire (or, perhaps more reasonably, three four packs). Oh, and also we can only really deliver within 5-10 miles of the brewery because we only have one driver and his car is not very good.****
Anyway. Moving on. In these trying times we've started dipping into the ol' Rainy Day Stash (because whoa nelly is it ever a rainy day right now) and we're trottin' out bottles of some old favorites! And what that means in the here and now is that we've got Skeleton Key bottles back in stock!
And speaking of rad things that we've got back in the house, we've got more tackers! There's nothing that'll "spruce up" a room quite like a bigass metal print of our logo hangin' on the wall, so come getcha a bigass metal print of our logo to hang on your wall(s)!
* But only for the duration of the current State Of Emergency. Let's not get too crazy here.
** We might also be able to deliver via UPS, but we haven't figured the ins and outs of that approach just yet.
*** Or, equally likely, the sidewalk outside of your building because there's like one singular apartment building in the entire Boston area with a working call box.
**** He got into an accident a few months back and it was, somehow, considered an improvement to the car.
Howdy-do, Boneheads! We got some new beers and some old beers in new formats and the return of an old favorite, so read on up for the haps with the hops!
First on up, on tap (and - more pertinently - available in growlers and crowlers*) is Boneheads! See, our friend(s) over at Heads Up Screenprinting - who have made a whole mess o' cool merch for us - are celebrating one year in business, and they wanted to brew up a collab beer to celebrate. Well, "brew up a collab beer to celebrate" just so happens to be our middle name,** so we brewed up a collab beer to celebrate! We brewed up a tasty, quaffable, lightly-hoppy lil' table beer that Stefan wanted to call "Tastes Like Shirt" and, no, so we landed on Boneheads, and let me tell you - he was pretty upset with himself that he did not think of that name off the bat. Anyway, we're gonna have this bad mamma jamma on tap for a bit, so come on out and drink some!
And speaking of beers that are on tap, we've got the return of an old favorite - which also happens to be brewed with/for some beer friends of ours - Out of Bounds! This here's the house beer for Thomson Country Club but, uh, there's probably not much golfing happening right now, which means all the more for us! And if you ain't "in the know," Out of Bounds is an IPA with a medium-strong nod to the West Coast and it's the perfect pairing with a day of "hitting the links" and "hittin' some bogeys" and also "taking seven mulligans because you're really bad at golf" and anyway we've got it available in growlers and crowlers right now!
And while we're on about IPA, we've got a little bit o' news that we were hoping to share last week (but which got delayed a smidge by an "equipment mishap") - we've got Wasted Life in four packs now! Wasted! Life! Four! Packs!
Oh! And! We sifted through the entries (both physical and electronic) for this month's coloring contest and we have a winner! Congrats to Brittany D. for this hot pink masterpiece, and @mermaidtailz and @wishuponawine for taking home honorable mentions! Adequate work, everyone!
* The company we bought our Crowler machine from made us sign paperwork stating that we would never refer to them as "crowlers," but only as "crowler-style cans." We feel extremely silly doing that, because it's a silly thing to do, so we don't do that.
** Thought exercise: if we, as a business, actually had a seldom-used middle name, where would it go? Between "Bone" and "Up" or between "Bone Up" and "Brewing Company"? Talk amongst yourselves.
Hello friends, I hope you're well! We've been slowly settling in to what seems like it's gonna be the New Normal for a while, and we're doin' our best to keep our chins up and focus on the bright side and all that fun stuff, so here's all the goods we got!
First on up, hot on the heels of the more recent, more stringent restrictions put in place to try to tamp down the current health crisis,* we found out that we qualify as an "essential" business, which means we're able to continue making beer and continue with to-go sales onsite! That came as a bit of a surprise - we consider ourselves essential, but The Powers That Be don't always think that way when it comes to the beverage alcohol sector. But we're glad we get to keep doin' what we do (even in a limited capacity), because we feel that it's important for you to treat yourself, especially when times are trying, so we're stoked we get to keep providing that Valuable Service for y'all!
And speaking of Providing a Valuable Service, if you happen to place an order for pickup on our website, we'll be happy to do some Curbside Service and run the order out to your car once you get here - just give us a holler on the brewery phone (781 691 9092) and we'll have it out lickety-split!
We've also got a couple beers that were in the ol' production pipeline prior to all the pandemic pandemonium, which means we've got two on-deck beers just waitin' for draft lines** to open up, and it just so happens that we've got a line or two that's right on the cusp of kickin', so keep them eyes peeled for some new beers right soon!
Oh! And! Lastly! It bears mentioning that, given the circumstances, we're accepting electronic submissions for our monthly coloring contest! So if you wanna submit, send us a scan or a photo of your submission (or, better yet, tag us on Instagram) and we'll put it in the running! And even if you can't make it here to get your blank coloring page, we went ahead and put them up for download, which means you ain't got no excuse to miss out on all that sweet coloring fun!
* In case this doesn't go without saying: don't let the sass fool you - just because we're flip about it in writing doesn't mean we're not taking this situation seriously. We very much are, but we figured you didn't need another "these are the steps we're taking" rundown, since you've definitely spent the last week or so getting covid emails (and it's always the same email) from every company you've ever interacted with.
** Canning takes a lot of planning, so we weren't able to pivot and get these into cans, hence the draft/crowler/growler only option.
Jared and Jimbo will tell you some things, sometimes.