In Which There is Beer to be Had
Alrightyroo, kiddos and squiddos, it's time to live life to the fullest and that means drinking beers and eating snacks, so here's all the beers and snacks we got lined up for all y'all!
And the first stop on that ol' tasty train is this week's Thursday cask which brings back another oldie-but-goodie that just so happens to be featuring an extra pinch or two of a hop we're particularly partial to, which (in layman's terms) means we're tappin' up a cask of Wasted Life with locally-grown Pepite!
After that we're scurryin' right on into weekend tasty times on Friday with some dumplings from our friends at Brazen Eats! They're pretty into "plant based" food which we're pretty sure just means "vegan" but without all the connotations of veganism and anyway what really matters is they make tasty food and you should come have some!
And speaking of tasty food, we've got our pals from Matilda's back in the house on Saturday slingin' pastelitos and tasty times!
And the treats don't stop comin' on Sunday, no way no how! See, we like having our lil' cheese menu, but we also started to miss the good ol' days of cheese flights, which made us realize that we should probably just do some cheese flights, so we're doin' cheese flights!
Congrats to our winner, @mermaidtailz!
Oh! And! Speaking of Sunday! The winners are in for January's coloring contest!
There was some stiff competition this month, so we have a bunch of runners up! Adequate work, everyone!
Howdy, friends! It's time to get back in action with all the hips and haps all around here, so get comfy and get readin', cuz our dance card is full and our beer is cold and our seats are just waitin' to (re)make your acquaintance!
And we'll start things off right with a little "old favorite" - namely Shut Up Kelly - for our trusty Thursday cask, only this old favorite has a bit of a "new twist" in the form of cocoa nibs (sourced from the DR) and oak chips (soaked in Amandine, natch)! The way we figure it, we like Kelly on cask and we like cocoa nibs and we like Amandine, so there's no way* we can go wrong combining so many things we like!
And speakin' of old favorites, we've still got a bit of "holiday leftovers" from Horatio Day and we'll be tappin' them up in no particular order** and right now we're briefly saying "hi" (before we say "goodbye forever") to Melvin the Mammoth (Stays Home), so if you want that particular tipple to tickle your tastebuds one more time, come on out and give it a go!
Oh! Also! Speaking of things that are available right now, we've got taproom-favorite Critters IV available in bottles now! We figure it's a "better late than never" kinda thing and either way we're stoked to sock a few away in the ol' "beer cellar***" and now you can too!
Anyway, back to Thursday, we'll be makin' a modestly-rare appearance out in the Big Scary World, and this time around our gracious hosts are the fine folks at Polkadog! We'll be hangin' out at their South End location startin' at 5:30, so come on out and say hi (and/or bring your pups so we can meet them)!
Next up, we're mixin' things up on the ol' art front and bringin' in a sequel to Images From The Pit, imaginatively titled Images From The Pit 2! This time around we're featurin' photos from the likes of two MA-based photographers - Hillarie Jason and Omari Spears - and opening day is this Friday!
And since Friday is a special occasion, we're gonna celebrate the only**** way we know how: with chicken! Thassright, we got Boston HotChix all up in the house so you can eat some tasty sammiches while you look at rad photos and drink delicious beer!
And speakin' of things that are tasty, we've got our friends from Matilda's back in the house on Saturday and they'll be slingin' pastelitos all evening!
And to round out that weekend fulla tasty fried foods, we've got a Sunday treat that we've been looking forward to for months: a sundae bar! See, we were talkin' to the fine folks from TC Scoops about how much we like ice cream and how we need more ice cream in our lives (theirs in particular) and anyway they got the hint and now there's gonna be a sundae bar! On Sunday!
* There are lots of ways this can go wrong, like that time you tried using ice cream instead of sour cream in your burrito.
** Except for the order determined by us, which is based on a constantly-shifting metric of convenience/laziness, personal tastes, and whether or not we've printed new menus lately.
*** The corner of the cold room, which has been intentionally made hard-to-reach so we don't drink all the goodies we've got stashed back there.
**** That's definitely not the only way. We know at least two other ways. Maybe three.
Howdy, pardners! We got a rootin' tootin' sure-shootin' week(end) fulla good times galore and it's headed right for ya, so slip on them spurs and hang on tight!
And of course we're startin' things off right with this week's trusty Thursday cask, and this time around it's a newcomer 'round these here parts: Late Grain! We had us a hankerin' for some good old-fashioned sessionable tasty times all up on that beer engine, and Late Grain's gonna give 'em to ya!
Also on Thursday we've got us another alcohol-themed trivia night! So if you're wise about whiskey or brainy about beer or just intelligent about your intoxicants, come on out and show your smarts!
Movin' right along, on Friday we've got Boston HotChix back in the house to satisfy all your spicy chicken sandwich needs!
And speaking of chicken, on Saturday our pals from Brato are back in action and they're packin' a heavy hitter to the tune of Chicken and Waffles!
And then. On Sunday. It's the time we've all been waiting for since the last time we did this, so we're donning our finest elastic-waist pants and settling in for a good long while because we're bringin' back Girl Scout Cookie pairings! Thassright, we're gonna get a modestly-absurd amount of cookies and write up a pairing menu and you can get yourself a flight of cookies that has been expertly paired with your flight of beers!
Oh hi there! I hope you had a wonderful Horatio Day! We certainly did - 'twas a day full of friends and donuts (and donut friends!) and beer and cake and bacon and more beer and honestly a couple people who were very confused about what exactly was going on and dang but it was just a big ol' buncha fun! But anyway, as much as we like to reminisce about things that happened four days ago, that's in the past now and we gotta get on with it and start planning the next fake holiday* and also all the stuff that's in between, so read on up and check out all the stuff we're doin'!
And for starters, we should probably babble on a bit about some stuff that's already in motion, which brings us back to a beer we released on Horatio Day and that beer is Critters 4! You may remember the Critters series from the summer, when we got all excited about mixed-fermentation beers and then we lost a little bit of steam when we flew through our stock on-hand and then realized that these beers take upwards of six months to make. But! It's been upwards of six months,** so we've got more Critters! This ol' beer is the biggest and funkiest of the bunch thus far, and it's on tap right now (and in bottles hopefully very soon) so you should come on out and try some!
And in the wake of all them barrely beers from Horatio Day, we figured we'd toss in a bit of a session-strength breather in the form of Late Grain, which also just so happens to be on tap right now! Long story short, Late Grain is a hoppy lil' grisette that's made with grains from the fine folks at Two Track Malting and it's tasty as heck and you should drink some!
Speaking of tasty beers, this week's trusty Thursday cask is none other than Dobbie! And while we firmly believe that Dobbie is a great beverage in its own right, we went on ahead and "spruced it up" a lil' bit with a bit of MA-grown Crystal!
Also on Thursday we got us another Simpsons Trivia night! We got questions (and probably answers), prizes, and big ol' buckets of sass, so come on out!
Then on Saturday we've got new-to-us Cherry Blossom Foods comin' through with a whole buncha delectable delicacies like empanadillas and wings and fritters and dang but I'm hungry just thinking about it!
And, lastly but far from leastly, on Sunday we're hosting new-to-us Inebri-Art for an evening of mug painting! Tickets are goin' quick, so if you wanna get some paint all up on a mug, we suggest you jump on it!
* There's a very good chance that we'll be bringing back Kafka Day this year. We... we still have reason to celebrate it.
** And for what it's worth, we have a couple other Critters releases lined up after this one. We can't do a triple release every time.
2019 by the Numbers!
Howdy and hello, friends and wellwishers, for the day is nigh upon us! Yes indeed, it's almost time for us to gather in celebration of a cartoon skeleton's birthday and - as is the custom - drink a bunch of barrel aged beer and eat bacon and donuts and just all-around live life to the fullest. And we've also got another much-anticipated yearly tradition for you today: The Year in Numbers! But we'll get to all that in a minute, because we gotta start with the here and now!
And starting here, though not quite "now" is this week's cask, gettin' tapped fresh on Thursday! This time around we took lil' ol' Mandarina Pale for a spin, and we predict tasty times!
And speaking of times, this Thursday is also January's installment of Audio Triviality! This time around the theme is Ozzy Osbourne, which should be interesting if nothing else, so come on out and get weird with us!
And then on Friday (Horatio's Eve, as it were), we're bringin' the heat so we can beat the pre-holiday anticipation and nobody brings the heat quite like Boston HotChix, so from 6-10 (or until they sell out), they'll be slingin' fried goodness in the taproom!
And then, on Saturday, is the day we've all been waiting for: Horatio Day! We're settin' up a buncha extra draft lines (one of which - barring some sort of catastrophe in the next couple days - will have a yet-to-be-announced secret beer!) and tappin' all sorts of barrel-aged and vintage goodies and we've got Speakeasy Donuts settin' up shop startin' right at noon and we've got the Bacon Truck hot on their heels at two o'clock and we ordered a cake and we got special glassware for you to drink out of if you so desire (and it's mighty nice glassware, if we do say so ourselves)! Oh! And! We're bringin' back the Horatio Costume Contest! So come on by dressed/costumed partly or entirely as your favorite dapper skeleton dude, and you might just win a prize!
And speaking of prizes, we gotta announce December's coloring contest winners! This was one of the toughest months yet as far as judging goes, but we made our call (congrats to @morgancat, pictured above) and here are the runner up entries, in all their glorious adequacy!
We've got a year-end tradition that we've been doing for three whole years now, and we're stoked as heck to continue it! And to be more specific, that tradition is The Year In Numbers, wherein we look back on the past year and generate a whole bunch of ridiculous statistics for it. It's one of our favorite* things to write, so we hope you enjoy our numerical take on what all we been up to this past year!
*Jared legitimately looks forward to this every year because he likes numbers, like somebody who is definitely not a serial killer or anything.
2019 by the Numbers
Number of batches brewed: 95
Number of double batches: 18
Amount of beer packaged, in gallons: 10,857
Number of flights that would fill: 69,486
Percentage of total volume actually served in flights: 12%
Pints of cask poured (including half pints): 1,292
Number of different beers released: 70 (56 if you don't count flagships or other re-releases)
Number of collaboration beers: 19
Number of wedding beers: 4
Number of dog beers: 4
Number of beers made for/about buildings: 3
Number of contract batches: 2
Highest number of new beers released in one month: 6 (tie between January, March, August, and December)
Beer brewed most often: Key Lime
Number of Key Lime batches made: 7 (six of which were double batches)
Number of key lime pies that could have been made with that lime juice instead: 416
Number of actual key limes it would take to produce that much juice: 7,987
Amount of hibiscus, in pounds, that was sacrificed to Loretta this year: 40
Number of funky beers aging at the beginning of the year: 9
Number of funky beers aging currently: 14
Number of those that are ready to package: 5
Amount of hops used, in pounds: 474.96
Average hopping rate, in lbs/BBL: 1.36
Percentage of hops that came from local suppliers: 55%
Percentage of hops that came from Michigan, of all places: 10%
Number of hop varieties used: 28
Most used hop variety: Masscade (69#!)
Height, in feet, that you would need to grow all those hops on a single bine: 3,565
Amount of time, in weeks (assuming a 40-hour workweek), it would take you to pick all those hops by hand: about 12, if you don't take lunch breaks
Amount of grain used, in pounds: 25,541
Number of individual grains that would be (approximate): 322,243,249
Total Amount of grain, in pounds, scooped by Scoopmaster G before he ascended to the Great Grain Bin in the Sky (approximate): 140,750
Percentage of grain that came from local suppliers: 21%
Amount of oats used, as measured in bowls of oatmeal: 16,420
Amount of brown sugar used, also measured in bowls of oatmeal (but as a topping this time): 9,033
Amount of lactose used, in pounds: 60
Number of Lactaid pills you would need to neutralize all that lactose: 2,101
Amount of honey used, in pounds: 225
Number of bees it would take to produce that much honey: 124,866 (visiting approximately 449,000,000 flowers in the process)
Yeast used, in cells (approximate): 488,015,000,000,000
Average OG of beer produced (in degrees SG): 55
Average ABV of beer produced: 6.00%
Highest ABV beer produced: 8.7% (Ginger Spectacular)
Lowest ABV beer produced: 3.3% (Pat Signal)
Amount of vodka, in gallons, it would take to make the same amount of alcohol we produced this year: 1,629
Number of Big Stupid Cans filled (approximate): 3,465
Number of bottles filled: 1,247
Number of plastic folding tables used as part of our "bottling line": more than you'd think
Number of words written in the blog: 45,609
Number of pages that would fill in a paperback: about 165
Least verbose month: April (2,209 words)
Most verbose month (not counting December with its 3,000 word year-end wrap-up): November (4,878 words)
Top 3 most commonly used words in November (in order): time, Melvin, beer
Number of times we used the word "beer" in the blog this year: 362 (246 if you don't count variations like "beers")
Number of times we manged to use the word "spooktacular" in the blog this year: 21
Number of cheeses offered throughout the year: 25
Number of local creameries featured: 7 (Grace Hill Farm, Grey Barn Dairy, Cricket Creek Farm, Robinson Farm, Couët Farm & Fromagerie, Jasper Hill Farm, Vermont Creamery)
Number of hot dogs served: 1,806
Number of beer and candy pairings that didn't make it on the menu: 21
Number of calories - in candy alone - consumed by each member of production when figuring out the beer and candy pairings: 2,282
Number of grams of sugar consumed by each member of production when figuring out the beer and candy pairings: 310
Number of Cadbury Eggs you'd need to eat to consume a similar amount of sugar: 15
Number of semi-major things that broke: 18
Number of times Jared burned off all his arm hair lighting the burner under the HLT: only 4 this year!
Number of times Jared dropped his wedding ring into the mash tun while it was full: come on, man. Be cool. You said you weren't gonna tell anyone.
Number of drains in the parking lot at the beginning of the year: 0 (which caused Lake Horatio to form every time it was so much as humid out).
Number of drains in the parking lot currently: 1
Number of functional drains in the parking lot currently: still 0
Number of brewery dogs we had at the beginning of the year: 0
Number of brewery dogs we had at the end of the year: 2
Number of brewery dogs that are hellbent on escaping the office and meeting every damn patron in the taproom: 1
Number of children who have been traumatized by that same dog stealing their hot dogs: 1
Number of dog costumes at our dog costume party: 22
Number of dogs who spent the entire time trying to destroy their costumes: actually only one, and it was our dog
New beers released in 2019:
January: Cryptic Nonsense, Best, Stone Valley, Lazy Pants, Bone Machine, Melvin the Mammoth
February: Four Star Estate, Haley, Oink!
March: Snail the Pale, Pat Signal, Royal Sampler, Big Boots 2019, Out of Bounds, On-On
April: Jeff, Dr. Dankenstein, Dance Bob!, Unholy Alliance, Chaos Reigns
May: Super Jeff, PRIDE, Elmo
June: Ocean, Shlem, Atlantica, Crystal
July: Smaltster, Shadows, Critters I, Critters II, Critters III
August: Benthic, Hoopin', Organ Meats, D 'n' A, Callisto, Ganymede
September: Biere de Melons, Champion of the Sun, Half the Time
October: Mandarinazacca, Rufus, BoNanza, Wellington, Los Aromos
November: Melvin the Mammoth (Goes to Belgium), Melvin the Mammoth (Goes to Kentucky), Melvin the Mammoth (Goes to Jamaica), Spruce Moose
December: Skeleton Key, Fig Pig, Barreled Biere de Krampus, Mandarina, Life Sentence, Dobbie
Rereleases (not mentioned above): Joybringer, Joyrider, EPICS, Barreled EPICS, Biere de Krampus, Lawnchair, Loretta, Ginger Spectacular, Blood Built, Sunken Wit, Extra Naked, Key Lime, Wasted Life, Shut Up Kelly
Jared and Jimbo will tell you some things, sometimes.