Friday, December 5, 2008

New England News and Updates

It's Saturday, and as will become tradition, I'll give you the latest run-down from every brewery in New England that has news to report. We go North to South by state, starting, of course, with Maine.


Gritty McDuff's of Bar Harbor is celebrating its 21st birthday all day on 12/21/08 with 21 IPA. Here's a run-down of what the beer will be like:

Gritty’s 21 IPA is a unique blend of American hops with a British body utilizing English 2-Row Pale malts. This IPA starts with a hoppy aroma and taste; ending with a sweet finish. Plenty of Munich and caramalts are used to give the beer that golden hue. There are fifty-six pounds of Cascade Hops used in each 50 barrel batch that is brewed! Then we finish the beer with Willamette & Warrior Hops, (Warrior is a high-alpha acid variety of hops). All this leads to an IPA that is worthy to celebrate ur 21st Anniversary!

Sebago's South Portland location is apparently moving to 201 Southborough St. in Scarborough as of Feb. 2009. If you've got any gas money leftover after your trip to the EBF, definitely swing by and check out their new restaurant which, they say, "has been designed to have an incredible cozy feel that will include a custom bar, more booth seating and an intimate dining room with fireplace!"

Shipyard has finally released their Pugsley Series Barleywine and Imperial Porter. Haven't tried either of these yet (though when I do, you'll know about them), but initial reviews have been positive.

Still waiting for Allagash to bottle that 100 percent spontaneously fermented beer. C'mon, Rob Tod. I've been salivating for almost a year now!

Geary has released their Winter Ale, which is always a nice little treat. Nothing like an IPA to warm your cockles. Provided your cockles are cold, of course.

Still waiting for the Run of the Mill Public House and Brewpub to open so I finally have a good excuse to go to Saco, ME.

No news from Sea Dog, Atlantic, Bar Harbor, Marshall Wharf, Stone Coast, The Bag and Kettle, Freeport Brewing Company, The Liberal Cup Publick House, Bray's, Bear Brewpub, Slopes Northern, Oak Pond, Kennebec River Brewery, Sheepscot Valley Brewing, or Penobscot Bay Brewery.


Long Trail announced recently that it would attend the Philly Craft Beer Festival on March 7, 2009. The event will host 50 different breweries and 120 different beers from across the country. If I had a travel budget, I'd so be there, too.

American Flatbread will host "Holidazed & Confused" On Dec. 17th at 5PM. We haven't found out much except that there will be a "very special" holiday draft lineup. Also, on Jan. 13, AF will feature Allagash, as they have done annually for the past three years.

Ambergris, an ale brewed with sage flowers, ginseng, sandalwood, and chipolte meco, is still on tap at the Vermont Pub & Brewery. Keep an eye out for Absinthe the Beer, brewed with a "psychotic yeast strain," Artemesia absinthium, lemon balm, chamomille flowers, coriander, peppermint, licorice, and ginger root. I'm a big fan of the Green Fairy, so these guys can expect a visit from me real soon.

Otter Creek, who sponsor the After Dark Music Series, are proud to welcome Michelle Shocked and Chris Smither on Jan. 16th and 17th, respectively.

Spotted: Double Smoked Porter from Rock Art Brewery at Julio's Liquors in Westborough. This was a couple of weeks ago, so call ahead to see if it's still there.

Magic Hat will be at the Dover Bar and Grill on the 10th.

No news from Madison Brewing Co., McNeill's Brewery, The Bobcat Cafe, Switchback Brewery, Three Needs Brewery & Taproom, Trout River, The Brewery at the Norwich Inn, The Shed, Lawson's Finest Liquids, The Alchemist, Scuffer Steak & Ale House, or Tom's Loft Tavern.

New Hampshire:

Join Tuckerman Brewing Company every Wednesday at Wildcat Mountain from 3-5PM for some apres-ski happy fun times. Don't drink and ski. (That means you, Kennedy family.)

Milly's Tavern in Manchester is hosting a music showcase to benefit New Horizons on Dec. 13th. Cover charge is $10, and all of the proceeds go directly to New Horizons. You can also drop off canned goods from the 13th to the 25th. Bring in four cans before the 24th, and get one free meal with the purchase of another. Give, drink, eat, drink, smile, drink. In that order. Please.

The Anheuser-Busch satellite brewery in Merrimack burned down, then the ashes were collected, put in a series of coffee cans, doused in gasoline, lit on fire, and shot into space. And the Clydesdales were cut up and melted down for label glue. Okay, that didn't really happen, but if it had, would you really have cared?

Pennichuck has their Wye Winter Wassail (Bronze Medal, 2008 GIBF) available at the brewery. According to their website, they also have a batch of 2007 Pompier English-Style Barleywine aging in oak, and Backdraft Chocolate Porter in the tank. They must all be new; I can't find reviews of them on either of the big beer-rating websites, not even the New England-based one. Still, great ratings for the RIS they put in barrels, and the regular Pompier is awesome, so I'm looking forward to this one. And Chocolate Porter -- well, you just can't screw up a chocolate porter, as far as I'm concerned.

Go see the Nick Goumas Jazz band on Thursdays from 7-10 at Martha's Exchange, and stick around for Karaoke from 10-close. You can do Jazz Karaoke if you want, but no one will think you're as cool as you think you are.

Troubadour Harvey Reid is playing the 13th annual Christmas Concert at the Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille in New London on Dec. 11th. Bring home a growler of Isle of Pines Barleywine, and another one for me.

If you're in the Loon Mountain area, check out Wassail Weekend at the Woodstock Station on Dec. 12-14. I was shocked to learn that the Woodstock Wassail clocked in at 8%. Just the thing to warm you up after a day on the mountain.

On tap at the Portsmouth Brewery, you've got yer American Mild, Black Cat Stout, Bottle Rocket IPA, Dirty Blonde Ale, Scotch Ale, Winter Rye, and Winter Wiezen. Oh, and 65 days until the release of Kate the Great. WHOO!

On Dec. 11th at 7PM, Redhook in Portsmouth is debuting TWO beers! SaturnALEia Double Red and the limited re-release of Double Black Stout. Donate two cans of non-perishable food and get a free gift!

In early January, Smuttynose will release the first beer in the 2009 Big Beer Series. To be called Gravitation Belgian Quad, the beer... well, actually we don't know anything about the beer, because no one seems to want to spill the beans yet. To guarantee your fair share of this beer and all the beers in the Big Beer Series, go here to join the Big Beer Subscription. Trust me, it's worth it.

No updates for Elm City Brewery, The Italian Oasis, Moat Mountain, or The Seven Barrel Brewery.


The Amherst Brewing Company is planning on adding 40 seats to its downstairs pub and more seating to the bar. Welcome back, college kids! We missed you! (Check the website for updates.) Currently on tap, aside from the standard styles, are Workingman's Wheat, Ryeteous Red, Wedding Witte, and Lewmeister Octoberfest. Yes, there's still Octoberfest to be had. Get it while it's... uh... malty!

Nashoba Valley is brewing a special batch of Weizenbock for the winter. Haven't had it yet; if any of you have, let a brother know. (And free samples are always appreciated.)

You have spoken, and the next Sam Adams beer to hit the shelves will be Blackberry Witbier. I voted for the coffee stout. Thanks a lot, jerks. Also, entries to the Patriot Homebrew Contest must be received by this Monday, Dec. 8, so get to it! Oh, and Chocolate Bock is out there, but if your local package store ever got any, they're probably sold out by now. Still, pick it up if you can.

Beer Works has released their December lineup. Check them out here.

Harpoon announced recently that they will be adding two locations in Albany and Philadelphia. And today, they'll be sending "Harpoon Helpers" around to area food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters to spread a little holiday cheer. Heartwarming. Like little human Winter Warmers. Only not as delicious.

Cambridge Brewing tapped Big Man Ale on Dec. 2nd, and while I couldn't be there for the cask tapping, I'm sure as hell not going to miss this wonderful beer.

John Harvard's brews are now available on the Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket ferries. Yarr!

Cody Brewing Company is working on building a website, I think. That's what they say, anyway. Could be that the feds shut down the site.

John Lennon Night. Gardner Ale House. Monday, Dec. 8th. Be there.

Cape Ann Brewery got their pouring license in August, which means Fisherman's Tea Party by the glass. Oh darlin'.

Already gave an update on Mercury/Ipswich this week. Check it out here.

Be sure to drop by Sound Bites in Somerville every Monday to play trivia with the guys from Rapscallion.

The Northampton Brewery is bringing back Scuba's Hot Saaz, made with Saaz hops and chile peppers. This never ends well.

Pittsfield Brew Works is throwing a trivia party on the 9th, and is hosting Radio Free Earth on the 10th. Go there. Because I said so.

In case you missed it, Mayflower Brewing was featured on the Travel Channel's documentary American Pilgrim.

Opa-Opa Steakhouse is throwing a New Year's bash, so clear your calendars and get ready to Auld you some Lang Syne.

Jabooda is playing the Cannery Hall next to the Honest Town Brewery on Dec. 13th. Buy tickets here. Don't know anything about the band, but the Cannery is cool, and Honest Town makes some damn tasty brews. Pre-game it at the Hop Vine Cafe.

Drink BBC's Holidale and Cabin Fever. They're both delicious.

Santa drinks beer. Don't believe me? Dec. 13th and 14th, swing by the Pioneer Brewing Company and ask him for beer. Then buy him a round. Couldn't hurt, right?

The Brewmaster's Tavern in Williamsburg is throwing a New Year's Eve gala, but details haven't been released yet. Check out the website for updates.

There's always something going on at the Sunset Grill, so swing by the website and check it out.

Check out the Blues Jam with Dave Henderson at 8PM on Dec. 7th, Irish Seisuin on the 9th at 8PM, and Taylor Made on the 12th at 9PM at Stone's Public House.

Stump Trivia returns every Tuesday at Porters Bar and Grill. But I already know I'm smarter than everyone, so...

Cambridge Common Restaurant is throwing their annual Brew Year's Eve beer dinner. $49 bucks gets you in, fed, and de-thirstified. Buy tickets here. Looks delicious.

Live band karaoke? Yes please! Check out The British Beer Company on Sunday the 7th.

Definitely want to check out Tuesday Team Trivia, 8PM at the Horseshoe Pub.

Wanna know what's on draft at The Dirty Truth? A picture's worth a thousand words.

Tuesday night is Team Trivia Night at Olde Magoun's Saloon. But again, I'm smarter than your team.

Redbones updates their beer list daily. Check out today's listing here. This week, they're featuring pins (cask-conditioned mini-kegs) of Berkshire beers. Delish!

The Union Brewhouse has some cool stuff on tap, including Sierra Celebration, Sam Adams Chocolate Bock, and Long Trail Triple Bag. Definitely worth the drive to Weymouth.

There's always something different going down at The Armsby Abbey and The Dive Bar. You'll just have to stop by to figure out what's new, because it changes daily.

No news from Rock Bottom, Barrington Brewery, The People's Pint, The Tap, Paper City, Cape Cod Beer, Sherwood Forest, Cisco, Offshore Ale Co., Watch City, Wachusett, Buzzard's Bay, The Moan and Dove, Bukowski's, Jacob Wirth, The Parish Cafe, The Publick House, The Pour Farm Tavern, Eagle Brook Saloon, The Sierra Grille, or T.J. O'Brien's. Come on, guys, step it up!

Check back tomorrow for CT and RI.

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