** And hot dogs. Let's not forget them hot dogs, folks!
*** No, Craig, we haven't made Pretend It's Summer again. Not yet, anyway.
**** Calling them a "secret" sounds so much better than admitting that we don't plan ahead.
Howdy-do, friendaroos! It's about gettin' to be that time of year - the thermometer dipped below 65 one time and all of a sudden we're seein' the phrase "pumpkin spice" turn up in all sorts of weird places.
But more to the point, it's when we start sayin' goodbye to the birthday beers (we've got a scant handful of mix packs left, but we're hella low on a couple* of the beers) and we start sayin' hello to our flannels again! And this year it's a particularly interesting time, because the writing's on the wall for the end of Beer Garden Season (we got some heat lamps, but they're not, like, magic heat lamps that'll stop it from raining sideways or otherwise Being November outside when the time comes) so if you wanna cram in all the parking lot drinking** you can, come on out and hang out!
And speaking of chillier weather,*** we're delighted to rerelease our twice(ish)-per-year recurring beer: Joybringer! I daresay we missed havin' this beer around, so we whipped up a big ol' batch (much of which has gone into barrels for Secret**** Future Projects) and it's back in bottles right now and on draft on Thursday and we are just dang delighted to have this big little tripel back in our lives!
And speaking of (not so) old favorites, we had us a hankerin' for some hoppy ol' Wellington (there were also Reasons, but they're moot now) so we made us some Wellington and it's goin' into cans on Friday and you should come grab some!
Oh! Also! We took advantage of the post-birthday lull that we tend to see every year (it turns out that when you release seven new beers at once, you stop needing to release new beers for a week or two) and we've been busy bees with brett beers! We've been barreling and blending and just gettin' all kinds of funk all up in, and we don't have anything to show for it right this minute, but we figured we'd give y'all a heads up to keep an eye out for some new funky stuff! (And also we should probably point out that our supplies of the current funky stuff - Critters 9 and 10, to be precise - is starting to dwindle, so you may wanna get on it if either of those floats your boat).
* We might, somehow, run out of Organ Meats before we run out of anything else. Gotta say that's the opposite of what we were expecting. Maybe this will be the year for smoked beer!
** And hot dogs. Let's not forget them hot dogs, folks!
*** No, Craig, we haven't made Pretend It's Summer again. Not yet, anyway.
**** Calling them a "secret" sounds so much better than admitting that we don't plan ahead.
Howdy friends! It's certainly been a rollercoaster of a time since the last time we met up on this ol' blog, I tells you what. But we'll get to all that in a bit - we like to do what we can to stay upbeat* around here, so we'll start with the good stuff!
First and/or foremost, we'd like to extend the sincerest of thank-yous to all of y'all who made it out to our birthday "party" on Saturday! It may not have been the pretty princess prancing pony party we were envisioning (we had so many ideas! Like maybe hiring an actual sound person for the bands! Or setting up an actual stage! Or hiring a clown to follow Chris around and annoy him all day!), but in the end we still got to drink tasty beers and eat good food and we got to see a bunch of friends, and in the end that's really why we're doin' all this in the first place, so we'll call it a success. In other words: thanks for coming out, it was good to see you.
And. Moving on to some "news you can use," it is hitherto advantageous that we inform you posthaste of the fact that we! Are! Hiring! Thassright, anybody who's lookin' to get "into the fray" in the professional Glorified Janitor biz is encouraged to click on over to our job posting and send an application our way! As we are wont to do with this sort of thing, we'll be keepin' the application open and taking resumes for a few weeks, which likely means you'll be hearin' us shout about this for a bit, but that means you got a minute to "polish up" the ol' CV and/or spread the word and anyway we look forward to seeing what kind of weird stuff you decided was "resume-worthy" so send 'em on over!
Lastly, we should probably (sigh) talk about the fact that we recently made the news for the second** time*** in the past three weeks. It's a bummer of a situation, and we're not generally the "air our dirty laundry in public" type, but this all pertains to a public health issue so it's really not our place to keep mum, is it?
Anyway. As we were about to start prepping to open on Monday, we got a call from somebody who said that they had been in our beer garden on Sunday, and that they (or somebody in their party, we're not 100% clear but also that's not an important detail) had recently tested positive for covid...
...they were seated at the table farthest from all the other tables. You know, the one that's way up in the corner on the patio and kinda bunched up over there (i.e. the one farthest from the stairs)? The "it's better than nothing" table? That one. Going from the notes we took and the information they gave us, it looks like it was a party of four that was there from about 2:30-3:30...
...once we found out what had happened, we called everybody who had been at the nearest table during/after their visit, as well as the people who sat at that table after them (several hours later, mind you). That ended up being a grand total of two or three parties (again, it's not our most sought-after table)...
...to be perfectly frank, we're confident enough in our safety measures that we don't believe anybody (staff or customers, excluding the other people at that table) would have been at risk. If you think about it, all of the safety protocols that we currently employ were put in place for exactly this reason. But since we like to get knowledge from knowledgeable people rather than our own conjecture, we sought opinions from somebody smarter than us (in this case, a doctor), who confirmed our suspicions that risk to others should be minimal (and who also pointed out that there are valid reasons why the customer in question might have had no reason to believe that they might be covid-positive)...
...but, since we pride ourselves on a) transparency, and 2) going overkill on sanitation/safety, we felt that it would be best to close for the day on Monday and scrub the everlovin' hell out of anything and everything in the beer garden/taproom (and also insist that everybody who had been working that day get tested). We also felt that it made sense to be as upfront as possible about why we closed for the day, since that's the kind of thing that we would want to know if roles were reversed...
...and then at some point we got a call from a reporter who had heard "all over social media" that we were "forced to close for the day," which was perhaps a smidge more dramatic than we would have liked (we closed voluntarily, and as far as we know we were the only ones talking about it on social media), but the article**** that they wrote didn't sensationalize the situation, so that's really neither here nor there...
...and now we're getting a bunch of weird emails from people saying things like "I heard all your employees got covid," which is pretty much the opposite of the truth and also not making this any easier for anyone.
So. That's the lowdown from our side of the story, and it all kinda boils down to the fact that we've been doing everything that we can to keep everybody as safe as we possibly can, but that doesn't mean it doesn't scare the bejesus out of us for a bit when that all gets put to the test.
(As a bit of a postscript, this sheds light into our thought process behind a question that we get asked often, but seldom have an answer to: "what happens when it gets cold out?" But considering how much worse this would have been if we'd all been in a poorly-ventilated, moderately-cramped room instead of outside in the sun and the breeze, you can pretty easily guess which way we're leaning on that one.)
* I was gonna say "positive" instead of "upbeat," but that seems ill-advised.
** And third.
*** The first time it was the Boston Business Journal, who quoted us - at some length - making fun of the governor.
**** We still haven't seen the TV segment, but we're assuming that's also pretty straightforward. We weren't able to talk with the interviewer for that station, but that's probably in everybody's best interest, given our collective public speaking skill.
Well, shit. We tried. But good ol' Mother Nature had some other ideas about whether or not we should have hosted our covid-compliant socially-distanced birthday-related semi-celebrations last week, so instead it was just a regular ol' rainy Saturday.
But! Setbacks end up being the name of the game around here half the time anyway, so we'll persevere or whatever and get festive this coming Saturday instead! That means we'll have the same meats and the same treats on the same schedule that we woulda done last week - which is to say, Po'Boys and Pies from 12-5 and T.C. Scoops from 6-9 - and, since y'all have been extra special good, we're doin' another bottle release this week!
Thassright, this time around we're releasin' Ginger Disco - it'll be available in bottles on Saturday and on tap at some point. This here's another barrel-aged spin on taproom-favorite Ginger Spectacular, only this time we aged that sucker in a Summer Reserve barrel from our friends around the way at Short Path!
Long story short, Summer Reserve is an intensely fruity blueberry liqueur which, when paired with strong ginger farmhouse, gives you a sweet (yet still moreish) smooth sipper which we daresay would pair perfectly with a scoop or two of ice cream (and maybe some fruit crumble if you're feelin' fancy). Or, to paraphrase one of the members* of our tasting panel, it tastes like what you'd find on the inside of stuffed French toast, which is oddly specific but also oddly accurate. Anyway it's good and you should drink some.
On a completely unrelated note, we had the pleasure of visiting our pals at Four Star Farms for the fifth year in a row last Friday! We crammed as many of the Bone Up Crew as were allowed into our caravan and trekked on out to Central Mass to frolic in the hop yards, pluck cones from the bines, and whiff up all of them fruity aromas for the afternoon. About half of the hops we use in our beers come from right here, and we got a private tour of the hop farming process from ancient dirt to cultivating hop varietals all the way to picking and harvesting (if anyone's interested, they were harvesting Casade (or dare we say... Masscade?) while we were visiting)! Thank you to Liz and the whole L'Etoile family - you never disappoint!
* Hi Ben!
Howdy-do kiddos and squiddos! We turn four this week! FOUR! Can you believe it? It's only been four years already!
Four years ago as of this week, we opened up our fairly tiny taproom with modest expectations and no idea of what we were doing (and, more importantly, no dishwasher) and just five beers on tap (because we didn't exactly have a lot of notice that we'd be allowed to open) and it's a downright massive understatement to say that we were completely floored by the response we got from people right out the gate.
Sure, we were understaffed and most of the furniture was secondhand and we didn't have any outdoor seating and we might have forgotten to take down that Chuck Tingle shrine in the corner, but that was all part of the charm or whatever!
We (re)redoubled our efforts over the course of that year and once we were finally able to celebrate One Glorious Year Open, we threw the biggest party we could cobble together - there was cake and hot sauce (he made a hot sauce just for us! How cool is that?) and another cake and holy shit we had a band (The Weisstronauts! We could not believe that one of our favorite bands agreed to play a show on our loading dock) and yet another cake and roasted pig and lots of beer and food and friendship and good times and also a couch on the patio for good measure and in other words it was - to us, anyway - the best possible celebration of all the cool stuff we've been able to do at our weird little brewery and (more importantly) all the friends we made along the way. Oh, and also there might have been a cake (I've lost track at this point).
Anyway. I'll spare you the rest of the reminiscing. The point is that this is a day that means a lot to us. It's something we look forward to (and obsessively plan) for months in advance, and it straight-up delights us to think up new fun things that we can do (either at the party or in general). It is, hands down, our favorite day of the year, and there's nothing we want more than to be able to share it with you: whether you've been with us since the early days or you just found out we exist, we're glad that you come by. You are, with no exaggeration, the reason we can keep doin' what we're doin' and we're damn grateful for that.
So. With all that in mind, we did everything we could to try and recreate the Birthday Magic given the Current Circumstances and we are determined to have the hap-hap-happiest damn birthday we possibly can.
Sure there won't be a cool show like there usually is, but we put together a pretty rad mix CD featuring everybody who woulda done played that show (and we didn't order all too many copies of that CD, so don't hesitate if you want some Killer Tunez) and we're rockin' the beer garden all day on Saturday and slingin' beers to pair with each of the seven bands and we've got cool merch like we usually do and we're bringin' in some friends to serve up tasty foods and when you sit your ass down at a picnic table in the parking lot you are gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!
And to answer the burning question that we've gotten many* times recently: we do indeed have more hot sauce! Yes indeedy, our friend Alex (from Alex's Ugly Sauce, natch) has seen fit to make us another birthday hot sauce and frankly this might be the best one yet and it's available right now and it's so good!
And while we're on about tasty times, we're bringin' in our pals from PoBoys and Pies (on Saturday of course) and they'll be slingin' some delicious-ass barbecue from noon 'til five!
And. And! Since y'all just straight-up deserve a whole mess o' treats, we're also bringin' in our friends from T.C. Scoops! From six to nine** they'll be doin' ice cream flights (and/or larger portions, if you're not a flight fan) and if you ain't yet had the chance to try their delightful desserts before, you are in for a treat.***
Oh! Also! I almost forgot! Remember when we said there would be an extra special beer release on Saturday? No? That sounds about right (we've had just a few other beer releases lately). But anyway we're releasing Critters X in bottles! And for this here beer (which may well be among the last in the very-small-batch numbered "Critters" series) we decided to "mix it up" a lil' bit and go for the funkiest thing we could make and whoo-ee did we nail it**** on that one! It's bracingly tart, and if you've ever wondered what we mean when we use the word "funky" as a tasting note, then look no further: this is our platonic ideal of funk! Anyway, it'll be available in bottles starting on Saturday and it'll be on draft at some point (we've only got one funk line, because of Reasons) and you should come try some!
* Seriously, we hear this so often it's starting to rival "do you allow dogs"
*** It's been eight months since I've had their apple pie ice cream and I still think about it almost daily.
**** Opinions have been more divided than usual amongst the brewers - some think it's too intense to drink in quantity, while some (specifically Justin) think it's the best beer we've ever made. So in other words we'll let you decide for yourself.
Howdy friends! It's really real! It's really happening! Thassright, this week marks the much-anticipated release of our Illustrated Compendium of Weird Bugs, and What Their Names Might Be If They Were People. And since there's been such an outpouring of support for this project, we're also including an exhaustively-researched appendix detailing whether or not we'd be friends with said bugs (again, if they were people), along with reasons why!
But seriously though. This Friday marks the release of the final* anniversary beers and anniversary swag! And also since we're feelin' fancy we decided to go on ahead and release some other beers as well, just for kicks. Anyway, that's way too much news to cram into one lil' ol' paragraph (our editorial staff** has some sort of issue with giant, unbroken walls of text), so read on!
First on up is the seventh and final birthday beer: Control Is In Your Command! And since this is the fourth dang time we've made a Weisstronauts-inspired beer, we figured we'd make a beer that more-or-less perfectly encapsulates the way we feel about their music - which is to say that it's wonderful, but it's also very hard to explain.
Anyway, for this particular beer we took some Double Key Lime that we'd been aging in a Summer Reserve barrel (for those that aren't in the know, Summer Reserve is an intensely blueberry-forward liqueur made by our friends around the corner at Short Path) and we threw in some Ginger Spectacular and just a splash of regular Key Lime for balance and whoa nelly is there a lot goin' on in this beer! But! Even with all that nonsense, the flavors play nicely with each other and work towards a Harmonious Whole or whatever and anyway it's available in bottles and possibly on draft starting on Friday!
And. AND. To complete the whole anniversary theme, we're also releasing our mix CD on Friday! We gathered up some songs from all seven bands what woulda been playing at our party and put 'em on a CD!*** And it's probably worth mentioning that a portion of the proceeds from CD sales will be donated to the ACLU, and the remaining portion of the proceeds will be going directly to the contributing bands!
And since we're puttin' out that ol' Mix Tape on Friday, we'll also be releasing its associated mix pack the same day! You've already heard us mention that we brewed beers for each of the bands (and if you hadn't, now you have), so we're crammin' 'em all into one weirdass seven-beer mixpack (six cans and one bottle) so you can enjoy the beer and music pairings without having to buy several cases worth of beer! (We do still encourage buying several cases worth of beer if you so desire). And if you're in the ol' Beer Garden and you wanna do the ol' Anniversary Flight like all the cool kids are doing, we'd be happy to oblige (and by "oblige" I mean "throw a mix pack and a bunch of cups on the table and let you sort it out"), but we can't legally give you that much beer at once (at least not for On Premise Consumption) unless you're in a group of at least four, so maybe plan ahead if that's your plan.
And if you wanna double down on all our sweet birthday merch, we will be offering a deal for you starting this very weekend! Grab the CD, mixpack, two can glasses, stickers, and a tank top/t-shirt for $85 with our Cool Kid Anniversary Bundle!
How friggin' cool is that?!
Anyway. Moving on from anniversary-related shenanigans and into regular ol' shenanigans, we've got a new beer coming out in cans on Friday! This here's the latest installment in our series of "IPAs that we dumped a bunch of fruit in" and then we completely lost momentum when it came to naming the beer**** and now you can have some Mango Thango!
But wait! We have more beers for you to drink! The last addition to our Beer Family is Zoopah!, which was brewed to showcase Zuper Saazer, a hop grown by our friends at Hop Head Farms! Now, Hop Head Farms has put a bit of effort into drumming up interest in this hop, which has been tricky since it's kind of new and interesting, but its flavor profile doesn't include any fruits that nobody is actually familiar with (and thus there are fewer people saying "it doesn't really taste like that") (we're looking at you, gooseberry, lulo, lychee, passionfruit, papaya), and it's kind of historical, but not enough so that people can be snotty about it. We happened to be intrigued by the Free nature of these hops, so we used some on the tacit/unspoken agreement that we would give them free marketing/awareness/whatever in exchange. (Consider that deal honored!)
Anyway, we're pretty sure this is Michigan-grown Saaz (unless it's some other hop that has saaz as a parent? Unclear), and Saaz is a Noble Hop, which sure does sound fancy, don't it? But what is a noble hop, anyway? Well, depending on who you ask, you'll get two very different answers: a) something about history and tradition and Europe and they might even use words like "terroir" and "landrace" in a way that almost but not quite convinces you what those words mean, or 2) it's a marketing term that was made up by the hop industry, and a relatively recent one at that. Anyway, we got a whole buncha this hop and we threw it into a grisette and now we'll all get to see what it's about, as a family.
* Probably final, anyway. I can't even keep track anymore.
*** We did consider cassettes, but we figure at least some people still probably have CD players. And before you ask, vinyl would have been crazy expensive and there are very few people who would be willing to pay $65 for an EP that we compiled.
**** We seldom start with a real name for the beers we make (which is why we draw inspiration from such diverse sources as "caller ID" or "thing Jared found on the ground" or "Jeff") and one time we named a beer after a note in the brewlog that was just an acronym for the specialty ingredients in the grain bill and anyway that's how we got our first Cease & Desist.
Howdy friends! We were hoping to spend this week's blog ramblin' about Cool Birthday Stuff, but the Powers That Be have put us in a particularly peculiar pickle at the moment, so instead we're gonna treat you to a modestly-unhinged rant about some fun new covid-related rules* that have been doled out by the state (the rules themselves are, if we're being perfectly honest, not exactly "hinged" themselves). Anyway...
...given the increasing evidence that the virus is passed primarily through the air (as opposed to, for instance, people touching the same things) - which strongly suggests that having indoor spaces open to the public is less safe than outdoor spaces - coupled with the recent uptick in positive test results - which has largely been traceable to a number of large, private (often indoor) gatherings - the commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared that in order to consume alcohol on-premise, all patrons must... [checks notes]... purchase food. But! It can't just be any food. That would obviously lead to some sort of unimaginable crisis. No, in order to gain the magical health-and-safety-granting properties of eating while you're drinking, said food must be Prepared Onsite (and it must be enough food to "sufficiently serve the number of people at the table").
So. Now that we have this kind-of-baffling rule, there must be some clarification, right? Haha nope! It seems straightforward enough, until you realize that the word "prepared" doesn't have a real meaning in this context. The ruling does (rather specifically) state that opening a bag of chips and putting it on a plate doesn't count as "preparation" (sorry, fifty-year-olds-who-think-of-themselves-as-clever, your affinity for FritoLay won't fulfill this arbitrary requirement!), but that still leaves a lot of gray area! If we were to make chips, would that count? Probably! Do our soft pretzels count? Depends on whether or not the act of seasoning, heating, plating, and serving food counts as "preparation!" We (obviously) think it does, but the ruling specifically mentions pretzels as being somehow bad (though we assume it's talking about the bite-sized prebagged hard pretzels, since they're mentioned in the same context as chips) so it's anyone's guess! Maybe the governor has an issue with the pretzel industry?
But wait! There's more! Not to get all** lawyery on you, but it turns out that the word "onsite" is also open to all kinds of interpretation! If we were to want to hedge our bets on the whole "preparation" thing and bring in a pop-up, does that count? Excellent question! What about a food truck? Well, that probably depends on (among other things) whether or not the area directly next to our patio counts as "onsite," but it also raises the question of whether or not food and drinks need to be ordered on the same ticket. As far as the latter is concerned, it's implied that they do, but what if we just subject everybody to some sort of terrible pass-the-order-along telephone game, wherein you order from our staff, who then places your order with the food truck? That's sure to make everybody safer, right?
And while we're at it, what's a "sufficient quantity" of food, exactly? Well, other than an invitation to a Lawsuit Party if you try to enforce it, we don't know! But now we have to force you to buy ancillary stuff (at a threshold that we set) in order to have a drink, which sounds like the sort of thing that would get our license revoked if it were a rule we invented. But now The State is insisting on it so here we go!
Anyway, the point is that now you need to order one of several fairly specific food items in order to enjoy our beer garden and we are maybe a smidge grumpy about it. Assuming things go well,*** we'll be certain to start adding to our menu so that you don't OD on hot dogs, but that might take us a little while to finagle from a logistical standpoint (unless we can slap some slices of presliced cheese from Costco onto some presliced bread and call it a "deli sandwich," in which case we'll be up to speed fairly expediently). And that's all assuming that the rules won't completely change (again) in two weeks.**** Fun times!
* A gentle reminder ("disclaimer"): we feel it's important to note that, despite the somewhat flippant tone in this blog post, the health and safety of our employees and customers is our top priority. And, it should go without saying, we will be following whatever new rules do get passed, regardless of whether or not we consider them to be misguided.
** Even more.
*** They won't.
**** They will.
Howdy-ho camperinos! We've been hard at work crankin' out the sips 'n suds for our upcoming (and/or ongoing) semi-celebration of our birthday! And what that means in practical terms is that by Friday we will have six - that's right, six out of seven - band beers available in cans (and, for a couple of them, on draft too) and soon there will be a seventh and once that happens there will be a seven beer mix pack and also an accompanying CD and probably some other cool stuff because we get carried away sometimes.
But anyway, the first of the three new(est) beers happens to be on tap right now (and it'll be in cans on Friday, as previously discussed) and this is the third consecutive pale ale we've made to pair with the sounds of DnA's Evolution and we daresay they've gotten better every year,* but you ain't gotta take our word for it because you can come drink some! Oh, and also it's called Spirals, since we couldn't think of any clever ways to give it a name that's a slight variation on "DnA" like we did last year.
Next on up in our triple-can-release Friday is the totally-easy-to-pronounce Guill O'Teen! This here beer's made for the only newcomer to the ol' birthday setlist, The Guilloteenagers! Anyway, we brewed up a tasty lil' hoppy ol' amber for them and you should drink some!
And, lastly but far from leastly, we've got yet another double IPA called Untethered for our doom metal pals in Benthic Realm! This time around we focused on a single, new-to-us hop that promised loads of Fruity Goodness (Michigan Copper, to be specific. But this was grown in New York, so it's... New York Michigan Copper? I guess?) and we crammed a whole bunch of it in there and whoa nelly does that hop deliver on the fruit front! It's hella tropical and... well, you've had double IPAs before so I'm not gonna, like, tell you how hops work. Anyway, it's very very good and we think you'll enjoy the heck out of it, but you won't know until you drink some!
* By "they" we mean the pale ales, though we suppose it's probably true for the band as well
Well hello again! We're back in action with all those rad new beers for cool people that we mentioned last week and more stuff about/for our "non-party birthday party" and also more new beer? Anyway, read on to get hip to the haps!
First on up is a lil' number that we call Critters IX! This lil' beauty follows nicely with the guiding principle of our Funk Program ("let's dump a bunch of stuff in a barrel and see what happens") and this time around we took some Key Lime and a buncha apricot puree and some Brett (natch) and just seven short* months later we've got this beer and now you can drink some!
It's lighter on the funk than some of the previous beers in the series (and it's definitely less funky than Critters X, but that's a different story for a future time), but that really lets all the component parts shine through and we daresay it's darn good!
And! During these most festive of times,** we're gettin' as primped and prepped as we can for our upcoming birthday and it wouldn't be a birthday without a whole raft of sweet merch! We've got a sweet-as-hell and totally-not-at-all-topical anniversary logo and we slapped it on some stickers and some shirts and - given Current Circumstances - we're puttin' it all up for grabs right now instead of makin' y'all wait another month! Check it out!
* Yes, "short." It definitely doesn't feel like January was a decade ago.
** These times are hardly "festive," and they might not even be "most."
Howdy and hello! As you may remember from last week, when we gave you a totally-not-circuitous rundown of why we're still brewin' up band beers sans festivities, we're brewin' up a buncha band beers and to hell* with the party! Anyway, the point is that we're a smidge "ahead of the game" when it comes to havin' celebratory beers, and we ain't exactly the type to hold out just to be ceremonious, so that means we got band beers comin' atcha! We've got three beers slated to go into cans on Monday, but first...
Going on draft sometime soon (possibly tomorrow? And then in cans on Monday as we discussed) we've got Fool's Paradise! We took everything we liked about the previous years' Sunken City beers and "amped it up" just a skosh and also "dry hopped it more" with some kind of "weird, unknown hop product"** and now we all get to drink it!
Next up on the docket, as a can-only release, is Organ Meats which is - of course - a smoked beer, "because nothing says 'Organ Meats' quite like a smoked beer" (that... that one probably won't win Slogan Of The Year down at the National Slogan Awards***). Anyway, we felt like a smoked wheat beer would be the perfect pairing for the sounds of Organ Meats "because once you get past the initial shock, you'll be hooked!" (okay fine, we'll stop with the terrible slogans). In all seriousness, we've got a perpetual soft spot for smoked beer, and we're stoked to share this beer with you!
And then, lastly but far from leastly, we've got the triumphant return of Blood Built! We've been havin' these cats up on stage at our birthday since we knew they were a band (which might also be the entire time they've been a band) and we've brewed more-or-less the same dry stout for them every year because it's so good! And for reference, I say "more-or-less the same" because it is the same recipe, but a lot of the ingredients get swapped out for the same thing but from a different manufacturer (which can actually make a medium-to-big difference in brewing), which means that a) we get to see some interesting, subtle variations from year to year, and 2) this means that twits**** get to be all "I really think the original vintage was the best" and there's nothing we can do to refute it.
* By which of course we mean that we dearly miss gettin' to hang out and drink tasty beer and listen to awesome music with y'all on our birthday, but Things Are Just Like That Now, and we gotta roll with it.
** Centennial hop hash, to be precise
*** Motto: "We Have Slogans!"
Howdy, friends! Hope you're enjoying this year's Thunderstorm Season* as we skittishly prepare to grab our umbrellas** and dash inside every time there's so much as a cloud overhead. But anyway that ain't gon' stop us, no way no how, so we're keepin' on keepin' on and we've even got some new beer on the horizon and also some fun stuff that is in no way a depressing reminder of how completely batshit this year has been.
Anyway. You were promised new beer, so new beer you shall have! And in true Bone Up fashion, we've jumped at the opportunity to jump on not one, but two jokes that nobody but our brewers will get.
First off, some of you out in Teevee Land might be familiar with what we generally dub "misfit beers" (we used to call them "smoothie beers," but that was before milkshake IPAs became a thing), but for the Official Record I shall elaborate upon the concept thusly: when we repack hops*** we tend to end up with some oddball amounts left over, so we pack up those odds 'n ends and throw 'em all into a big bag (along with any hops whose labels have frozen off, and so on), and then when that bag fills up we dump everything into one beer!
The end result is something that's delicious, but also entirely unrepeatable because we don't actually know**** what we put into it. And this time around it just so happened that we were approaching our four-hundred-and-fourth batch, so we present you with 404 - Recipe Not Found! And since we're "allowed to serve draft beer again," this sucker's draft (and Crowler) only, which (given our luck) is definitely not a sign that we'll need to re-pivot to the four-pack-only model of several weeks ago!
And! Moving on from that totally-uncharacteristically-long description of what amounts to a pretty normal pale ale, we also promised fun times!
And, well, as many of y'all are aware, this is the time of year when we'd be spending most of our time shouting about our birthday party and how fun our birthday party will be and so on.
But since we're in These Trying Times where we can't allow large groups or mingling or shouting or the communal beef trough that has become a staple of our celebrations, which means we've had to get creative. And I ain't gonna lie - it's been quite the noodle scratcher to figure out how to throw a party without throwing a party.
There was a time when our "idea board" for this year's celebration simply had the word "probably" written on it, and we've decided to take that idea and run with it! Since we'd usually gather a bunch of cool bands and put on a fun show, and also we'd brew a beer to pair with the music from each band, we figured we'd brew up all them damn beers anyway and call up all them bands that woulda been onstage and see if they'd be down to contribute to a "mix tape"***** of songs to go along with that ol' mix pack of beers, and anyway that's the first step of our Simulated Party Experience!
We've got tracks from The Weisstronauts and Sunken City and DNA's Evolution and Blood Built Empire and Benthic Realm and Organ Meats and the new-to-our-party Guilloteenagers and there's gonna be a professional-esque CD with one o' them booklets and everything and there's a mix pack to go along with it (six cans and a bottle, since we had very little luck finding 7-pack holders) and it's gonna be a (simulated) party! (Bonus points to you if you listen to said mix tape while drunk in a parking lot, in order to further the illusion.)
Anyway. We'll have some more by way of "actual details" shortly, but rest assured that we've got as many as several more ideas up our collective sleeve,****** but we'll just have to ramble about that next time!
* Did... did we always have a Thunderstorm Season? Or are we just more aware of it now that nobody's allowed to go inside?
** Just to be clear: I'm talking about the ones from the tables, so that we don't have to add "beer garden lightning damage" to the list of weird shit that has happened this year.
*** If you were wondering, it's inconvenient/expensive to order sizes that are convenient for us, so we buy in bulk and repack.
**** And of course these are the beers that people always ask us to make again. As if we could repeat the magic of using two pounds of hops labeled (in scrawled sharpie) "probably CTZ?"
***** We did consider putting out an actual cassette, if you were wondering.
****** Not true.
Jared and Jimbo will tell you some things, sometimes.