* Why yes, this is a thinly-veiled tactic to try and get you to buy beer from us. We... we have our concerns about the winter.
** Although in order to do so, we needed to brew a batch in like June, which was a weird experience.
Howdy-do, friendaroos! We been spendin' a bit of time gettin' our taproom spiffed up for The Holiday Season what with all the lights that seemingly never untangle and the ornament (ornaments? unclear) that seem to have the special ability to spew glitter up to fifty feet in any direction without us noticing and the weird holiday hats that nobody remembers buying (but which still manage to accumulate every year), and dang but if we didn't get a couple pangs of that ol' nostalgia that we spent the summer/fall so studiously avoiding. Simply put: we miss being able to have y'all in our taproom. And yeah, that's hardly a new sentiment in These Trying Times, but there's something about decorating the taproom that really brought it all home. We miss seeing people get jazzed about the coloring contest and hosting weird trivia and watching tipsy people hunt for hippos and giving out chocolate orange slices with El Pulpo and fixing the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots every three days and playing pinball and... dang but it's gonna be a long winter.
And speaking of which, now that it's cold and/or dark out 90% of the time we're adjusting our hours a bit. Long story short, we're closing at 8 every night across the board, since we're primarily focused on beer-to-go for the time being. We'll still gladly serve you if you wanna brave the elements on our patio (or, even better, we'll be rarin' to go on any and all unseasonally warm days). And if you wanna drink inside, you (technically) can (and should)! We know people are gonna do what they're gonna do, but here's our friendly PSA to encourage you to drink at home this winter and grab beer to go from your favorite local breweries! If you're located relatively nearby we'll even deliver so you don't have to deal with the outside world at all!* Talk about a win-win!
Anyway! In brighter news that also happens to be darker news, we've got barrel-aged El Pulpo! This year's vintage is the result of extended aging (over a year, compared to our usual six months) in rye barrels, and the character we get from the barrels really does wonders to bring out the chocolate notes from the beer and really what I'm saying here is it's so dang good and it's in bottles right now! This is probably our most-looked-forward-to release (by us), and this year's version certainly doesn't disappoint, so come getcha some!
And speaking of highly-anticipated beer releases, we're re-releasing the 2019 vintage of barrel-aged Biere de Krampus! As a bit of a refresher, a ways back we took our beloved biere de Noel and we aged it in peach brandy barrels** and, um, that's actually the whole story there. Anyway it's back and it's in bottles and it's mighty tasty and you can have some!
And! You've still got time to order tickets to our upcoming virtual beer dinner that we're co-hosting with Brato on Friday! We're pairin' up some of our most high-falutin' beers with a buncha comfort food dishes (or rather, Brato's takes on comfort food dishes, which makes them at least medium falutin') and we're gonna get on camera and drink beer and ramble about beer and probably eat some food and it'll be good times just like old times! Only this time everything will be different and it won't be all that much like old times except for the tasty beers and the fact that our dog will probably escape and steal food from a toddler. Again. Anyway it'll be fun and you should join us!
* Why yes, this is a thinly-veiled tactic to try and get you to buy beer from us. We... we have our concerns about the winter.
** Although in order to do so, we needed to brew a batch in like June, which was a weird experience.
Oh hi! How are you? I hope you're well. And also I hope you're ready for the long-awaited (by us) return of our Thanksgiving Beer Pairings, because that's what's comin' atcha! But first, we gotta getcha hip with the haps on new beers and fun event(s)!
First up in terms of new releases is Splorge! We made Splorge because we were able to get our hands back on one of our favorite hops - namely Belma - only we couldn't name the beer Belma (because we already used that name, which we probably shouldn't have done the first time because it's a trademarked term, so we definitely can't do it now), so we went with Splorge! And it's worth noting that this beer name is definitely not us making fun of one of our new brewers for misremembering the name of one of the steps in the brewing process.* Nope. That's definitely not the kind of thing we'd do. Anyway, Splorge is out today and it is tasty!
And. AND. The beer you** have all been waiting for: Pretend It's Summer! Thassright, since it sucks outside now we figured we'd brew a beery throwback to the halcyon days of, um, drinking beers with summery flavors and pretending that it doesn't suck outside! And for those of you who don't know, Pretend It's Summer is a delicious lil' double IPA that we brewed with pineapple and an extra heapin' helpin' or two of galena and if you have several of them it may well seem like a good idea to bust out the lawn chairs and pretend it's summer! Or you can do what some of us did and bundle up and drink it in the park while mumbling angrily off into the middle distance. You do you! Anyway, it's out today and you should drink some!
Also! Speaking of it being terrible outside, we're gettin' back in the "groove" of doin' some of those virtual events that everyone got all excited about back in spring and then promptly forgot about as soon as it got warm out! Anyway, we're doin' up a Virtual Beer Dinner with our pals at Brato and the food theme is "comfort food" so obviously we paired that food with the fanciest beers we have on the menu!*** Anyway it's on December 4th and we're gonna hang out and drink beers on The Internet and at the very least Liz and Jared will be there and maybe some of our production crew will hang out if we can bribe them with beer and macaroni and honestly it's gonna be a lot more fun than it sounds on paper ("drinking in front of your computer" may have lost its luster a ways back for most of us) and we're taking preorders now and you should come!
Oh! And! We mentioned last week that we "probably" had a way to order beer delivery online, which turned out to be incorrect, but now we do! It's a modestly-janky system because we're using our webstore for something it wasn't made to do, but it'll get somebody (probably Jared) to show up at your door with beer, so we'll call it a win! Anyway, blah blah blah support your local struggling small businesses this weirdass holiday season, you know the deal.
Anyway. We're pleased to announce that this year we're bringing back - for the fourth time - our annual-ish Thanksgiving Beer Pairings!**** (Previous years can be found here, here, and here. We missed 2017, which is why it's "annual-ish"). And it's worth at least mentioning that we did take into consideration the fact that Thanksgiving is gonna be different for a lot of us this year, but we wanted to avoid the pitfall of making a bunch of #relatable "virtual dinner" wisecracks that are really just low-hanging fruit ("Ha ha! Uncle Ed doesn't know that he's muted! So zany! Older people sometimes struggle to adapt to new technology and that's humorous to me!") kinda like how ten years ago every show on TV felt compelled to make at least one episode where all the characters get social media accounts (or addicted to MMORPGs, or... you get the idea) and then Hijinx Ensue until the next episode when they never mention it again.
Anyway, the point is that this isn't quite "Thanksgiving Beer Pairings: Zoom Edition" but also it would be weird to completely ignore all the crazy nonsense that's going on out there, so anyway... enjoy!
pairs well with... wishing you hadn't eaten so much the previous day
and if you don't have any Extra Naked, we suggest... shame eating
pairs well with... just one more piece of pie
and if you don't have any Key Lime, we suggest... having two more pieces of pie
pairs well with... a nap on the couch
and if you don't have any Wasted Life, we suggest... taking a nap anyway, albeit a less satisfying one
Shut Up Kelly!
pairs well with... ooOOOooh! Somebody brought fudge?!
and if you don't have any Shut Up Kelly, we suggest... trying to convince your elderly aunt to do shots of Allen's Coffee Brandy with you
pairs well with... going on a long rambling tangent about all the ways you can cook turkey, a la Bubba from Forrest Gump
And if you don't have any Sabrobro, we suggest... talking in a fake southern accent, but laying it on so thick that nobody can tell you're not saying real words. We go heppin wif de bane pone; bwa-nonna houndaw.
pairs well with... NOT making a 200 mile drive each way on the worst traffic day(s) of the year for once.
And if you don't have any Splorge, we suggest... making that same drive only to get pie from that one place near your relatives' house, but not stopping in to say hello to the fam.
pairs well with... battering food in gravy before you deep fry it.
And if you don't have any Triple Pearl, we suggest... using stuffing as the breading on this fried-gravy monstrosity. Man, screw turduckens - I want stuffing/gravy turkey tenders!
pairs well with... playing outside with the younger relatives to help tire them out a bit before dinner.
And if you don't have any Versterven, we suggest... giving all the kids Five Hour Energy (just some little sips, though. Come on, they're kids) and then convincing them to stage a coup and storm the dessert table before dinner even starts.
Pretend It's Summer
pairs well with... drinking out of a hollowed-out pineapple (or a coconut, if that's more your speed).
And if you don't have any Pretend It's Summer, we suggest... repeatedly insisting that you thought this Thanksgiving was going to be "luau-themed" which is why you showed up in nothing but a grass skirt.
pairs well with... sending a body double instead of attending Thanksgiving in person.
And if you don't have any Mild Child, we suggest... sending a terrible body double who looks nothing like you and who manages to pronounce your name wrong (and, somehow, differently) every time they say it.
pairs well with... trying to get out of any and all discussions about politics
and if you don't have any Ginger Spectacular, we suggest... pointing into the middle distance and yelling "what's that!?" and then running away, giggling
pairs well with... constructing increasingly-elaborate forts with your youngest relatives
And if you don't have any El Pulpo, we suggest... acting so erratically at the dinner table that you get banished to the kids' playroom to go watch Dumbo like six times in a row because that's somehow the only movie they have. Again.
pairs well with... dressing the dog up in a cute costume.
And if you don't have any Soiree, we suggest... dressing the dog up in people clothes and trying to sneak it into the bar with you. If anyone asks questions, just say "oh that's just Terry" without further elaboration.
pairs well with... compressing, shaping, and re-baking the stuffing to use as hard taco shells
And if you don't have any Joyrider, we suggest... pointing out each dish individually and making the argument that it "technically qualifies as a taco." Really fight to make your point. Make a chart if you have to.
pairs well with... serving people "roulette brownies" where a small percentage of random brownies are completely full of habanero powder.
And if you don't have any Ginger Disco, we suggest... same thing, but throw a couple THC brownies in there too.
pairs well with... making up songs about the foods you're about to eat while you fill your plate
And if you don't have any Joybringer, we suggest... putting on a puppet show wherein you have the turkey carcass stage a Gallagher-style performance and messily smash the giblets with a potato
Melvin the Mammoth (Goes to Kentucky)
pairs well with... smoking weed in the garage after dinner
And if you don't have any Melvin Goes to Kentucky, we suggest... smoking weed in the garage before dinner
Melvin the Mammoth (Goes to Jamaica)
pairs well with... making turkey-themed arts and crafts
And if you don't have any Melvin Goes to Jamaica, we suggest... showing up to dinner in full-on Puritan garb (bonus points if you try to stay in character)
Blood of Krampus
pairs well with... speaking in rhyme for the entire day
And if you don't have any Blood of Krampus, we suggest... speaking in riddles for the entire day
Barrel-aged El Pulpo
pairs well with... happily shouting
And if you don't have any Barrel-aged El Pulpo, we suggest... angrily shouting
pairs well with... trying to cram foods into other foods, but getting all "think like an engineer" about it; like making balls of stuffing filled with turkey, then sealing the cracks using the adhesive power of mashed potatoes - just dip 'em in gravy and you're ready to huck 'em at your siblings!
And if you don't have any Rebello Fellow, we suggest... refusing to drink anything that doesn't match the color of the food you're currently eating. A bite of cranberry sauce gets a sip of red wine. A bite of green beans gets a shot of absinthe. Mashed potatoes only pair with Bailey's. Come to think of it, most Thanksgiving foods are beige; that's gonna mean a lot of Bailey's.
pairs well with... putting your own spin on cranberry sauce by making something else that doesn't taste like garbage
And if you don't have any Fancy Pants, we suggest... making "homemade cranberry sauce" but it's just jello (and the "cranberry chunks" are gummy bears)
pairs well with... going a little wild on the hors d'oeuvres as a treat. You earned it!
And if you don't have any Funky Life, we suggest... reconfiguring the entire menu so that every item starts with "bacon-wrapped." And I do mean EVERY item. Make a bacon envelope so you can have bacon-wrapped cranberry sauce.
pairs well with... having a sassy Zoom background and pointedly commenting on it every five minutes. Like maybe a picture of a turkey with the words "It's Gobble Time, Bitches" over it, and then you just try to make that your catchphrase for the day.
And if you don't have any Kegasus, we suggest... having your background be that cartoon that gave a bunch of kids seizures back in the 80s.
* Half of the brewer-specific lingo is in German because people didn't feel the need to translate and the other half is hilariously-outdated English that actually makes less sense than the German. There's also some stuff that is - somehow - a mix of the two; and also a lot of the names for parts we use are actually just brand names because nobody felt like using the actual terms for those things (which is way more common in everyday life than you might think it is). And no, the brand names used don't necessarily have a strong relation to what the company actually does. For instance, sample valves are referred to as "Perlicks," but Perlick (the company) mostly makes refrigerators.
** Assuming that you are Craig. Hi Craig!
*** If this seems like a non-sequitur then you are clearly not familiar with Brato's approach to food.
****It's our longstanding goal for this series that somebody tries at least one of our pairings (preferably not one of the ones that's outright illegal) but it's really up to you to decide how much you want to alienate your family during the holidays, and either way we hope you enjoy!
Well hello there! After we went one whole excruciating week without a single beer release, we return to you with, like, the most beer releases!
But before we get to all that, we've got a bit of a "housekeeping" note to cover first. As you may have noticed, it's moderately terrible outside much of the time these days, and the heat lamps that we have out in the beer garden don't always do a bang-up job of providing either heat or illumination (unless you're right up next to them, in which case they're a nice toasty oasis in a sea of bleak dampness) and anyway the point is that it is now less-desirable to drink outside. But! Did you know we offer free beer delivery within ten(ish) miles of the brewery? You probably do, because we've told you a whole bunch of times, but we figured we'd remind you anydangways! And also, we're tryin' a "new thing" where we're strongly encouraging people to schedule deliveries beforehand (mostly because we only have one delivery driver and it turns out that this causes complications when somebody orders beer for delivery and he's on the other side of the state) and also I think it's available online? Anyway. The point is that the outside world is cold and full of diseases so you should probably have us bring you beer!
And speaking of it being cold out, we put a bit of a "twist" on an old-favorite holiday beer of ours and now it's available in bottles and you can have some! The beer is called Blood of Krampus and it's one of our more ambitious barrel-aged blends, as it's composed of at least four different beers (possibly as many as seven, depending on how you count) and it's definitely not just a bunch of odds and ends that we were trying to find a home for and any way you slice it it's dark and smooth and a touch oaky and mega tasty and it's out right now and you should try it!
And speaking of barrel-aged blends that are available right now, we've got another new beer that was aged, only not in a barrel! Long story short, we had a wild fermentation beer that we had been aging in what we lovingly refer to as a "plastic foudre*" and we may have kinda sorta forgotten about that beer for a little while** and then we did a bunch of taste tests to figure out what to blend it with (most of our wild beers are blended, if you didn't know) but ultimately we decided that it needed to be blended with itself and then we bottled most/all of it and now it's here! It's called Funky Life and you should drink some!
And while we were ridin' that ol' blending train, we realized that with Lazy Pants in house*** we could recreate an old favorite of ours, so we brought back Fancy Pants and it's just as good as we remember! It's got all the bright acidity of Lazy Pants, but the vanillin from the oak really brings out the chocolatey notes and oh man it's so good!
Oh! Also! Speaking of blasts from the past, we also bottled up some blasts from the past! More specifically, we've got bottles of Melvin Goes To Kentucky and Melvin Goes To Jamaica back in stock and ready to rock!
And Soiree! We have that too! Remember, that beer we thought we were out of (twice) but it turns out we're kinda just bad at counting? We have five cases left! And this is really actually the last time we'll have any! Probably!
But anyway, enough about beer releases. Let's get to the beer releases! More to the point, we've got some "speculative future releases" on the horizon. Well, they're real actual beer that's been brewed and is ready to go, but the speculative part comes from us not knowing when (or if) our cans will show up. If we're very lucky, our shiny new can shipment will get here before Friday (some of them supposedly shipped already) and we'll be able to have cans ready to fill first thing in the A M on Friday!
If we're medium lucky, our cans will get here on Friday and we'll basically bring them straight from the truck to the canning line, only it'll have to be via some kind of bullshit circuitous bucket brigade Rube Goldberg nonsense because we sort of don't have a way to get cans inside? And if we're not lucky enough for that delightful scenario, we'll be getting cans on ? and filling them on ?? so we'll see! Anyway here are the new-to-us beers we'll be canning ASAP.
First on up is Mild Child! We had us a hankerin' for a good old-fashioned brown ale and we made one! And, uh, that's about it. There's not a huge amount to say about brown ales except that they are brown (which should be implied by the style name, but you can't always expect beer terminology to be straightforward because lots of it was coined by drunk people) and also they're delicious and we're really looking forward to drinking this beer.
Next on the docket is Triple Pearl! This here's a single hop pale ale made with - you guessed it - Triple Pearl! This here's a Michigan-grown variety that's new to us and the tasting notes for this variety included "orange peel" so we thought it would be fun to throw some actual orange peel in there! And, if you were wondering, Triple Pearl is (to the best of our knowledge) entirely unrelated to the German hop variety Perle, which really just adds credence to my whole "beer terminology makes no damned sense" point from before. Anyway, Triple Pearl (the beer) will be in cans soon and you should drink some!
Oh! Also! You may have noticed that we've been poppin' up at way more beer and/or liquor stores these days and that's all thanks to the efforts of Maddy and Katy! You may recognize them from the taproom and/or beer garden, but they've taken to schleppin' some suds around the local area so if we run out of something then you should blame them.
But seriously though, we're tryin' to "step up" the ol' "distro game" so if there's a store you wanna see us at, let us know (our current list is here)! Or, better yet, tell the store you want them to buy our beer (and also maybe tell us? We're new at this)!
* Honestly, the best part about using this term is that in order to get the joke you kinda have to take beer seriously enough that you'll probably just be annoyed with us for saying it in the first place.
** It was in that tank for 555 days, which is a smidge longer than our usual six months.
*** We realized this when we still had Lazy Pants. RIP Lazy Pants. Again.
Howdy friends! It's a bit of a "slow news week" around these here parts, which makes us... suspicious.* But there's no seemingly-arbitrary new rules from The State (that we know of, anyway) and our hands are maybe just a wee bit tied on new beer releases for the moment (turns out there's a can shortage? News to us. If only every beer news outlet in the entire goddamn world had sent us five depressing emails a day for the past five months, with doom-and-gloom news about can supply, then maybe we still would have been unable to prepare, only sadder this time), but anyway them's the breaks and we plays the hands we's dealt!
Anyway, it is with a normal amount of glee and/or other emotions that we announce to you that we've got Joyrider and Ginger Disco back in bottles! Didn't notice they were even gone? That's cool too! Either way, they're back and they're tasty as ever!
And speaking of bottles and/or barrel-aged beer, we've been taking the relative downtime to dream up all sorts of new concoctions from the ol' barrel hold! We're still waitin' on a couple odds and/or ends, but within the next week or so we're lookin' to bring back an old favorite (which we mentioned last week) and also a new barrel blend (which may well include guest appearances from some other old favorites) and also a new funky beer (with one or two more not much farther down the line) and the impending rerelease of barrel-aged El Pulpo (whose timeline is still a smidge uncertain, but it will be soon) and dang but we love barrel season!
* Of what, I'm not sure.
Oh hi there! We got some good times and/or tasty beers and/or some logistical mumbo-jumbo comin' on atcha, so read on and read up, dear reader!
First on up is a beer we brewed in collaboration with Lesser Glow to celebrate the release of their new(est) album: Nullity! The album is rife with symbolism and imagery from nature, so we collectively decided to name our beer after the song Versterven which is, of course, about dying of thirst in the desert. And so, with that theme in mind, we brewed up a bone-dry grisette and dry hopped it with a combination of Southern Star and Mt. Rainier and it'll slake the thirst that grows within you or whatever and anyway it's coming out in cans on Friday and you should drink some!
And while we're talking about beers that come out on Friday, we're stoked to announce that we're bringin' back an old favorite - only in a new-to-us package - which is to say that (as long as we don't have any weird nonsense happen with our canning line. Again) we're gonna have El Pulpo in cans! On Friday! Thassright, we're bringin' back our perennial-favorite vaguely-winter-themed chocolate orange stout and soon you'll get to drink some!
And while we're on about bringin' back blasts from the past, we thought we'd give you a little "teaser" about an upcoming bottle-only rerelease that's sure to please any of you who were really hoping we'd bring back that one specific beer that we had on tap for like two weeks back in 2018. Anyway the point is that in the near future we're bringin' back Fancy Pants! Yes indeedy, Lazy Pants's fancier cousin is makin' another appearance and we're definitely not just waiting on the labels that we forgot to order but anyway keep them eyes peeled!
Moving on to some of the more "nitty gritty" kinds of things, it's worth mentioning that we've made some tweaks to our hours. First and/or foremost, we're now closing at 9PM every night, due to the gubernatorial order that we need to be closed (and, it's strongly implied, free of customers) by at 9:30 PM every night, since we all know that covid only comes out at night.
But honestly, that's all part of a larger issue which is (essentially) one of how we plan to move forward now that it sucks* outside. And judging by the number of people who have (already) called to express their confusion and/or frustration about whether or not we'll be serving drinks inside of our small, poorly-ventilated space when the weather becomes less favorable, we feel it's necessary to lay out our (tentative, as always) plans for the coming months.
In short: we're not offering indoor service, and it's pretty unlikely that we'll start. Back when we had the luxury of being able to adopt a "wait and see" attitude, we decided that indoor service here only made sense if there was a proven way to do so safely, and if our staff was comfortable with such a system, and if overall covid rates remained manageable. Given that none of those criteria are met (and indeed, we feel less confident on all three points than we did a few weeks/months ago), we feel it wouldn't be responsible to open for indoor service.
If we're being totally honest, this (to us) is the only logical course of action, and the fact that it isn't more commonplace (yet, anyway) is... concerning. I don't wanna get all "inside baseball" on you because we like to keep things positive on this here blog, but also we pride ourselves on being transparent** and we're pretty worried about the whole "indoor public spaces" situation right now. We're no scientists (at least, we're not this type of scientists) and we certainly don't want to tell people how to live, but when we see a strong correlation between "people gathering indoors" and "people contracting covid," we really can't - in good conscience - pretend like everything is fine and invite people to gather inside our space. We understand that we, as a business, can't ignore the fact that we need to make money in order to survive, but we also can't ignore the fact that we help set the tone for how people view the current situation. I'm not saying that people look to us for tips on how to run their lives (and god help you if you are), but there are absolutely people who say/think things like "bars/restaurants are open indoors, so it must be safe" and we can't encourage that line of thinking. It sucks, and we'll definitely make a bunch of people grumpy, but we gotta do what's safe.
Anyway. Enough with the sad times (for now) and moving on to what we're gonna do to keep on keepin' on! And one of our first thoughts was to consider the possibility of starting to do UPS shipping for beer, which we're apparently allowed to do if it's within state lines.
...and when we put the question to The Internet Hive Mind to see if there was enough interest to make it worth our while to ship beer, our main takeaway was that people seemed surprised that we do (free) residential delivery within 10 miles or so of the brewery. We may have stopped shouting about it for a while (since we had a beer garden to holler about), but we never stopped delivering! If you live within our radius, give us a call at (781) 691-9092 to schedule a delivery (we're switching to mainly deliveries on Wednesdays and Fridays, but could probably make same day delivery work if you call early enough in the day!) and get yourself some beer!
* Admittedly, it still only sucks outside SOMEtimes, and we're gonna cling to those last bits of nice weather like you wouldn't believe.
** Like that time we openly admitted to having hosted a covid-positive customer and it made the damn news. It wouldn't have made such a splash if we had just claimed to be "closed for deep cleaning" with no further explanation, but we don't think that's fair to you.
Howdy-ho, camperinos! We're rockin' and rollin' with some straight-up straightforward spooktacular good times this week, so read on for the hip haps and fun event(s)!
First on up, we're still goin' on our longest-ever installment* of our most spooktacular of traditions: beer and candy pairings! We went through our entire beer menu and paired everything with some spooktacular sweets and now you can get Halloween candy pairings with your beer all dang week!
And speaking of that most spooktacular of holidays, this weekend marks our second annual Spooktacular Dog Costume Contest! Yes indeedy, we're invitin' you to come on down with all your dressed-up pups so they can strut their spooktacular stuff! Anyway, we'll have a few beers and we'll have a few laughs and we'll get to see a bunch of cute dogs in cute costumes (or - if we're lucky - some ugly dogs in some hideous, incredibly halfassed, slapped-together-on-the-way-over costumes that will win our hearts despite the fact that their entire structural integrity hinges on a single, small, apparently previously used piece of scotch tape) and we'll have some spooktacular prizes and some treats and it definitely won't be too cold but maybe you should bring a sweater anyway (and one for your dog) and you should come on out!
And if you're lookin' for more "hard facts" on "what to expect" during this spooktacular event, keep readin'!
To enter the contest, just dress up your pup and bring them along! We'll take a picture of each dog and add their photo and name to our Instagram story to keep track of everyone during the day, and we'll announce three winners on Sunday 11/1. We'll use contact tracing info or Instagram handles to contact winners!
The beer garden will be operating normally on a FIRST COME FIRST SERVE basis. Looks like no rain on Saturday, but it will be chilly! Please dress appropriately! Children MUST be well-behaved and supervised at all times. Dogs MUST be well-behaved, leashed, and supervised at all times.
We'll be selling our special dog glassware (100% of proceeds to rescues and shelters) for you to take home! Last Chance Animal Rescue was also kind enough to send a huge box of swag, so we'll have goodie bags for all contest participants while supplies last! Pet Wants Newton will also have a table set up with treats available for sampling and purchase.
Multihead IPA will be our featured beer of the day (with part of the proceeds going towards Last Chance Animal Rescue), but we'll have a full list of other awesome things you can enjoy if IPA ain't your thing.
Also! It bears mentioning that as the weather starts to cool down, we'll be makin' some tweaks to our beer garden hours - starting Monday 11/2, we'll be open for beer service and to go sales during the following times:
Monday - Thursday 3-9pm
Friday - Saturday 12-10pm
Thank you all for a wonderful summer in the beer garden and for all your support! We'll keep the ol' parking lot party going as long as we can, so stay tuned!
* We usually just do this for Halloweekend, but we figured that y'all might need a bit more spooktacular fun this year, what with all the... everything.
Howdy, friends! We're havin' ourselves a ding-dong-doozy of a time comin' up with some fun stuff to do as "outdoor season" starts to (hopefully very slowly) wind down and we start to see the approach of "hide inside under a pile of blankets" season. But! We're not throwin' in that towel just yet, which means we've! Got! Fun! Stuff!
And first on that ol' docket is CANDY! Yes indeedy, we put the ol' production team through the gustatory wringer and wrote up a menu that pairs each* of our beers with two different Halloween candies (one chocolate, one non-chocolate)! And since we spent all that time laborin' over a pile of candy, we figured we'd share the results of our research, which means that from Friday the 23rd through Sunday the 1st we'll be offerin' up candy with flights and full pours!
With that being said, we don't recommend that you eat 30 pieces of candy in one sitting and then wash it down with six beers (unless you would like to channel the mood in the above picture).
And! Speaking of cool Halloween stuff, we also want to remind you that next weekend, on Halloween itself, we're bringin' back our dog costume contest! We'll give away silly prizes and we'll drink some dog-themed beer and there'll be treats and merriment and probably at least one dog that manages to get its head stuck inside a different dog's costume, without anybody noticing until it's far too late to easily fix.
(Also of note, there may well be another pinball-centric event in the works, but we gotta iron out some details before we can make an Official Announcement on that front).
Oh and also we've got a buncha cool beers in the pipeline that'll be comin' out in the coming weeks, including our upcoming collab with Lesser Glow! As you may have noticed, we're generally fans of the "heavy metal" around here, so when we heard that Lesser Glow wanted a beer to pair with their latest release, we jumped at the chance! Aaaaand then that plan got kinda pushed to the backburner because we started talking about this collaboration in the late winter/early spring and, well, you all remember what happened back then. But anyway! We're back on track (or at least we're on what "on track" looks like these days) and we came up with a rad-as-hell beer to pair with their latest album and it's in the tanks right now! We've still got a couple weeks before it's ready, but we're jazzed to be doin' any sort of collabs again, so we figured we'd give you the "inside scoop" and let you know to keep them eyes peeled!
* We may have skipped the bottle-only barrel-aged stuff, on account of the fact that we were already coming up with 28 beer and candy pairings without including them.
Well hello there! It's been a downright eventful week around here what with all the stuff that we've been doing and whathaveyou. Anyway, some of that stuff involved beer in cans and/or pinball and/or old houses and/or dogs and/or a weird fascination with the side-effects of how old-timey politics influence agriculture, so if any of that's in your ol' mental wheelhouse, read on!
Aaaaand startin things swingin' right out the gate, the first run of our canning line was an unrivaled* success! Or at least it was in the sense that there were very few literal fires during the run. Anyway. We're up and runnin' and there's no stopping now so we'll be cannin' up a whole buncha beer as often as we can! If nothing else, this dang line** is gonna have to pay its own ticket around here and - I don't know if you knew this - but canning lines cost at least fifty dollars. Sometimes more.
Anyway, the first beer off the line was a one-off (as is our wont around here), and in this particular case it was a hoppy saison made to feature the new-to-us hop Sabro™! (And, of course, we named the beer Sabrobro). Sabro™ is a pretty intriguing hop to us, for two related reasons: a) the flavor descriptors given by hop growers are completely wild: mint and passionfruit and cedar and coconut are pretty much all over the map flavor-wise, so we felt like we had to see what this hop was all about; and 2) Sabro™ is a hop that has neomexicanus heritage, which we're honestly pretty jazzed about.
Long story short(er), neomexicanus hops are (as far as we know) indigenously American, which is surprisingly uncommon in commercial hop varieties - if you look in to hop lineage for most of the well-known varieties (and, realistically, who among us doesn't read about hop genetics from time to time), there will often be a small percentage of each variety's heritage attributed to "wild American" (which, if we understand correctly, is basically like saying "I dunno, maybe it cross-pollinated with some shit that was growing in the woods," only you're not supposed to say it that way if you're a plant geneticist) but overall they can be traced back to Europe.***
And because of that, the conventional knowledge says that hops can only grow in areas that more-or-less mimic the climate of the hop growing regions in Europe (specifically Czechia, Germany, and England), and around here that means the Pacific Northwest (and also upstate New York, but that's a different story). But then some people (possibly a monastery?) found some hops not only growing but flourishing somewhere out in New Mexico and it turns out that these hops are genetically distinct from the ones we're used to and we're now getting to a point where there are enough neomexicanus hops being grown that event tiny-assed breweries like us get to play around with them and we think that's cool as hell!
Anyway the point is that American hops (especially the wild-grown ones) were kinda looked down on for a few hundred years or so**** but now people are getting in to these crazy hops that have adapted to growing in the damn desert (and/or pretty much anywhere, as far as we can tell) and we're stoked to get to know them!
And while we're on about neomexicanus and crazy hop varieties, we should also mention that this Friday we'll be canning up our new IPA: Multihead! Multihead (the beer) is named for Multihead (the hop variety) which is - you guessed it - another neomexicanus hop! This hop has a much more sane list of flavor descriptors (it's mostly a list of fruits, which is what we're used to), so we felt the need to cram a whole shitload of it into one beer! And as an added bonus, we decided to make this a dog beer!
We're takin' a small turn from our usual M.O. with dog beers - this time around we partnered up with Last Chance Animal Rescue to try and bring some attention to them and their adoptable dogs. Long story short, Last Chance - in addition to trying to find homes for animals in need - has a farm in North Carolina (St. Francis Farm, specifically) that provides a home for animals who might not otherwise be able to find one. Anyway, we featured one of their adoptable dogs (a fun-loving floofy boy named Dexter) on the can for Multihead and we encourage you to check them out because they're doing some great things for some good pups!
Anyway, moving on from hop genetics and/or dog farms, this Friday we're also canning up an old favorite of ours and that's Lazy Pants! Basically, Lazy Pants came about because we wanted to make a light-colored chocolate beer and then at some point we figured that raspberry would be pretty good in there, and it was, so we made it again! And now you can have some!
And. And! Now that we're done with our "Hop Facts You Don't Care About" section of the blog, we're pleased to announce that we have some upcoming events! Remember those? Events?
Anyway, first up is Thursday, Friday and Sunday of this week and that's Pinball With A Breeze! Basically, Pinball Mitch got a bit stir-crazy spending six months flappin' his flippers all by his lonesome, so he convinced us to bring in as many games as we're comfortable with (in this case, three) and set them up as close as we could to Outside without exposing them to the elements and yada yada yada social distancing but anyway we - for one brief, shining weekend (not counting Saturday) - will have pinball back!
Then on Saturday we're gettin' old-school, both in terms of "history" and also in terms of "doing things the way we used to do them back in April" and that obviously means an educational drinking conference call about a historical house! There is a broader context for all of that, but all you really need to know is that this event is more fun than it seems like it should be, and the proceeds go to a good cause (specifically the Wakefield Historical Society) and you should come join us!
Also! As our "farther in the future" event reminder, we gots to let you know that we're doing another dog costume party/contest this year! When we reflected on last year's dog costume party, we realized that it was pretty much "socially distanced" by default***** so we figured we'd go for it again! As always, there won't be any changes to our standard beer garden policies (in terms of time limits on tables, reservations, requiring animals to be well-behaved, etc.), but we'll have a dog-themed beer and a dog-themed pop-up and some stupid prizes and also some candy and it'll be a good time!
And speaking of candy, we're doin' our beer and Halloween candy pairings again this year! For those of you not "in the know," we figure out candy pairings for every beer on our menu (and, just to be clear, this is all field-tested. In one sitting. Each person in production consumes an amount of candy that can only be described as "upsetting." Oh, the things we do for our craft), and for the 23rd through the 31st, flights and full pours will come with candy!
And as a final note, amongst all the talk of cans and canning lines and us definitely not encouraging you to drink while you're out walkin' around even though a koozie pretty much covers the whole can label if you were to do so, it behooves us forsooth to notify you posthase as to the wherewithal of our esteemed Beer Garden. In short, we're coming to the end of the magical three-week period where we actually have Fall Weather around here and we're gonna start encountering more and more conditions that we can't fix with heat lamps.
We're gonna hold out with our outdoor seating for as long as we can (odds are you're gonna need a beer or six on election day, no matter what happens), but we (including our staff) don't really feel safe having people congregate indoors (and yes, we've thought about putting up a big tent or something outside, but that just takes all the problems of being inside and moves them to a place that is - by definition - worse), so we're slowly getting used to the idea that things around here are gonna start looking pretty similar to the way they did six months ago (i.e. to-go only, deliveries, et cetera), hence the slow reintroduction of virtual events.
We don't know for certain how things will play out (we get the same news that you do. And honestly, we were kinda expecting another lockdown), but we figure it ain't hurt to lay the groundwork. It's gonna be a long winter, so get all the Fall Time in that you can, while you can. Cheers or whatever.
* "Unrivaled" means "modest," right?
** Our canning line is, tentatively, named Phyllis.
*** To the best of my knowledge, hop plants in general started somewhere in Asia and then spread to Europe where they really flourished, and nowadays there aren't a whole lot of hops coming out of Asia (at least not on the export market, with the exception of a couple Japanese varieties). But also that might be wrong?
**** You mean to tell me that British colonists might look down on things that weren't native to England? That can't be right.
***** With the exception of the children running around, which was an unexpected twist last year that we now know to watch for.`
Howdy, friends! We've got some big, fun news to share this week, which - you guessed it - means we're gonna start by talking about a whole bunch of other unrelated stuff at length before we get to the "hot goss."
Ah, to hell with it. We! Have! A! Canning! Line! It's gonna mean a lot of Learning Experiences™ for the ol' production staff, which generally manifests in the form of a whole lotta noodle scratchin' and tweakin' settings and honestly a lot more shouting at inanimate objects than you'd really expect (and, if you know us, you probably already expect a considerable amount). Anyway, we're hoping that this will be (or at least appear) pretty seamless for all y'all, but there's bound to be a hiccup or ten and some weird side-effects, but the point is that we're super stoked that we're in control of our own destiny or whatever! And just to "clear the air" on some questions y'all might have, here's some Q&A!
I thought you were already canning?
We were! We are! When we started canning, we signed on with a mobile canning company called State 64, which is run by a group of downright great people. And mobile canners, for those of you not "in the know" basically just roll up to our digs with their own canning line (and cans, and trays, and - in the case of State 64 - a kitchen sink that's supported by milk crates) and hook up some hoses to our tanks and can our beer for us and go about their merry way. We thoroughly enjoyed working with State 64, but at some point over the summer we decided it was Time To Move On, and we started the oddly-arduous process of ordering a piece of equipment.
What made you switch from State 64?
Honestly? 90% of it was scheduling. They're busy folks (unsurprisingly, a lot of breweries leaned pretty hard into canning once that whole pandemic hit) and we can only schedule them for two days per month, which can do a pretty mean number on our production schedule. Plus, State 64 is doing a pretty big service to the industry by making canning accessible to hella small breweries (like us), and if we can free up some of their schedule then that makes way for somebody else to be able to get their beer on shelves.
You mentioned "weird side-effects." What would those be?
The most obvious side-effect is actually tangentially/confusingly related to the pandemic (and maybe the ongoing trade war with China and/or the tariffs on imported metals? Unclear) and anyway the point is that we'll be temporarily switching to plastic four-pack holders. Long story short, cans are super hard to get right now* and our current can supplier (one of the few suppliers who is willing/able to supply us) only sells cans as a "package deal" sort of thing (cans, lids, trays, pakteks), which means our hands are tied for a bit. But never fear! We're gonna keep the ol' "ear to the ground" and figure out a way to get back to the old cardboard/environmentally friendly carriers that we all know and tolerate.
Anything else we should know?
Probably! Most importantly, this also means that we're no longer tied to our previous twice-per-month can release schedule, which means we're able to release new cans all the time! We won't, but it's exciting to know that we could.
Oh! And! Lastly! We've mentioned a time or two that we're hiring, and we figure it bears mentioning that we're formally/officially/finally closing applications this Friday! We assume anyone who wants to apply has already done so, but this here's last call for your last chance! Apply here.
* This is probably more "inside baseball" than most of you really care about, but the main reason (that we've heard, anyway) is that since all 7,000 breweries in the country had to abruptly switch to "to-go only" for their service model, that created a huge spike in demand for cans, without much surplus production capability. On top of that, canned beverages are becoming more popular in other market segments (or whatever the Business Guy term is) like coffee and kombucha and those weird beer/fruit puree blends that explode and hurt people if you let them warm up, not to mention the increase in popularity of hard seltzer (which is big enough that it's attracted the attention of several Global Megacorps, and which is also served almost exclusively in cans), which - coupled with the increase in cost of imported aluminum - adds up to can shortages, particularly for people who aren't buying them by the literal truckload (which would be us).
Well hello there!
First on up, which is to say right about right now, is the long-awaited* release of our newest wild beer (which is to say, our newest Spawn Of Critters), and that's Kegasus! Kegasus is a blend of several different beers of varying vintages, and it manages to be an alluring array of contradictions: it seems sweet, yet it's bone dry; it's not shy with the funk, but it's very approachable; it's light on the palate, yet mysteriously dark and brooding. Anyway, we feel like we're really hittin' our stride on the ol' funky beers, so this is one we're pretty durn proud of and now we've got it in bottles and on tap and you should come try it!
Oh, and speaking of beer in bottles, last week saw the rerelease of an old favorite: Rebello Fellow! And it's available in bottles right now and on tap in the near future! We originally brewed this to celebrate the US citizenship of a Friend Of The Brewery (namely Victor), but we liked it a whole bunch and decided to re-brew it as our 400th batch! But then scheduling got in the way of that specific brewday, so not unlike the forgetful boyfriend who declares that February 15th is "our Valentine's day," we brewed it a bit (okay, a lot) later as a belated celebration of a milestone that pretty much nobody other than us cares about! Anyway it's delicious and it has never been the source of any bad decisions in the past and you should drink some. )
And speaking of Friends Of The Brewery, we brewed up yet another beer for Bubs' house! See, Bubs lives in the historical Hartshorne House in Wakefield, and for the past several years we've been a part of fundraiser events there where we brew up a special beer and then serve it at the house and we stand in front of groups of people and awkwardly stammer about our brewery and also there's some pretty friggin' cool history talks by people who are not us (including but not limited to a different Friend Of The Brewery, namely Malcolm, who is our Enthusiastic History Friend) and anyway we're not able** to do an in-person event this year so we're doing a virtual tasting*** and it's for a good cause (the house, in case you've forgotten) and you should join us!
Oh, and the beer we brewed for this event is going to be available at the brewery starting on Friday and it's an all-local pale ale called History Mysteries and we honestly kind of stretched the whole "historically inspired" concept that we usually go for with these events (and, to be honest, we weren't starting from a strong foundation of historical fact anyway) but that's neither here nor there because the beer is tasty and that's what's important!
Grab your tickets for the virtual tasting here: Boning Up on History
And. Lastly. Since we're on about bringing back old favorites (or at least we were a few paragraphs ago), we're bringin' back another old favorite! Thassright, Ginger Spectacular is gonna be back in cans starting on Friday! You've already come to know and love (and possibly fear) this beer, and now it's back and you should come have some!
* Or at least it would have been long-awaited if we'd ever told y'all about it previously, instead of vaguely alluding to it at the end of a blog post several weeks back.
** As you might imagine, the average age of people in the local historical society is loosely what you would call "not young." You get the distinct impression that for many of these people it's less "learning about the past" and instead much closer to "nostalgia."
*** Remember those? From the spring? Those things we got all jazzed about for like two months until we all abruptly stopped talking about them forever?
Jared and Jimbo will tell you some things, sometimes.