Category Archives: Beer

What’s Brewin’ – Matchless Hops The New Fruit IPA

Matchless Beer’s IPA pairs bitter notes with bright tropical fruit. You get hints of pineapple, papaya, and later, mango and nectarine. We’re not sure we picked up on the honeydew and cantaloupe at the end but it’s a tasty brew, bright and medium-bodied. Matchless calls it a take on a New England style IPA, fruity and 6.8 ABV. No fruit, the brewer tells us, was harmed in the making of The New Fruit IPA. in Tumwater, WA.

 

NIBBLES

Winebow Group expands distribution into RI

RICHMOND, VA – The Winebow Group recently began distribution In Rhode Island, increasing its reach to 21 states across the U.S. The RI business is now overseen by Mary Masters, vice president and general manager of Winebow New England, and Arjun Dewan, executive vice president, Wholesale East.

Victory Brewing redefines lagers

DOWNINGTOWN, PA – Victory Brewing Company recently unveiled Home Grown New American Lager with six varieties of American whole-flower hops and 4.8 percent ABV. The hops – Azacca, Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Citra and Mosaic – pair juicy, resinous aromas with a mix of low-bitterness and citrus flavor plus a touch of malt, the brewer points out. It’s currently available in PA, NJ and DE.

Oxbow Brewing Co. creates a tart saison with hints of lobsters

NEWCASTLE, ME – The brewers at Oxbow Brewing Co. created what they call “a salted funy-tart saison” with lobsters added in to offer what they called “a light-handed” lobster twist to bring “maritime funk into the beer.” They added a dozen lobsters to the boiling kettle of grain, cooking them in the mash for 12 minutes. The beer, Saison Dell’Aragosta, is said to be slightly boozy and refreshing, a rich dark brew.

What’s Brewin’ – Australian Pale Ale

From The Australian Brewery in Rouse Hill, New South Wales, Australia a lovely, clean beer, Australian Pale Ale, offers a fresh aroma and delicious, zesty flavors. The brewery has won multiple awards including three gold and two bronze medals at the 2017 AIBA awards, said to be the biggest and most prestigious honors in the country.

It’s Australian Pale Ale, which we recently had the good fortune to taste, won a gold medal and the All-Star IPA, packaged and draught, won two gold medals, while New World Pilsner and Australian Pale also took bronze medals. Head Brewer Daniel Shaw, with the family for more than a decade, is leading the team as they “ride a two-year-gold medal strike rate at every awards event entered,” the company proudly declares.

The Pale Ale is 4.8% ABV and has rich scents of citrus and passionfruit. Characteristic of Australian ale, it is cloudy, crisp and refreshing. Visit http://www.australianbrewery.com/

 

 

What’s Brewin’ – Amstel Beer – XLight

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Heineken  USA recently launched Amstel XLight in three markets – Boston, Arizona and Texas. It’s a light brew – 90 calories and two grams of cards, 4.2% ABV. The goal is to set a new standard for a session able, premium beer with full flavor not found in other ‘light’ offerings.

This beer meets its goal of delivering premium imported beer taste while meeting the needs of those with active lifestyles and offering refreshing flavor. It’s a low-cal, low-carb beer that is available in 6-pack bottles, 12-pack cans and bottles, and a 24oz. single serve can. It will be bolstered with a marketing campaign around the slogan:  “90 Cals, 2 Carbs. Finally, an Extra Light Beer with Great Taste.”

Amstel’s brewing tradition in Amsterdam dates to 1870. Visit www.amstelxlight.com

Ciao to a special Italian beer list in Boston!

BOSTON – Beer has come a long way in the U.S. in the past decade or more and most recently, this city took a giant step, becoming home to what may be the very first All Italian Reserve Beer List in the area.

At Pastoral ARTisan Pizza Kitchen+ Bar in the Fort Point Channel, Chef Todd Winer is now offering the list which features difficult to obtain brews from famous Italian craft breweries such as Birrificio Le Baladin, Birrificio Montegioco and Birrificio del Ducato to complement the critically acclaimed Neapolitano pizzas and authentic Italian fare.

The 10 beers on the list come in three sizes – 330 ml. which is similar a 12 oz. American beer size, 375 ml., like a 16 oz. bottle, and 750 ml., the size of a wine bottle. They’re priced between $12 and $55.

“We’re excited about them,” says Chef Winer. For the past several years he’s been exploring growing movement in the Italian beer market, one that treats beers much like wine. Pastoral thought about putting Italian brews on draft but found it would be extremely expensive. “We did a lot of research and sourced unique bottles and sizes from the mother of the Italian craft beer movement. They have an incredible three-year-old craft brewing program. “

Chef-Owner Todd Winer is excited about the new craft beer list, noting that he knows of no other restaurants in the region doing something similar

Pastoral switched its wine program to an all-Italian list which led Winer to thinking about doing the same thing with beers. They put a reserve beer list together with brews ranging from those for every day drinking to “super fine and hard to find.” Using a format similar to the one for wine lists, he created a separate list of the 10 brews.

The “arty, handcrafted beer list” is tied with twine and presented to the guest with the menu and wine list. “We wanted to do the whole gamut of what’s special,” Winer explains. “Some of the beers are limited production and two are made in collaboration with American brewers . We serve them in special glasses made in Italy.”

Italy has been known for many years for its wines, with varietals that date to pre-Roman Empire times, but most recently, the country has been in the midst of a lively craft beer movement. Just as Italian cuisine differs by the region it’s from, the craft beer movement is similarly ‘regionalized’ with indigenous ingredients harvested from the lands surrounding the breweries to offer unique, one-of-a-kind beers. The result is beers that pair well with food.

Much like wines, the Italian craft beers pair extremely well with Pastoral’s Italian menu

Chef Winer and Pastoral have always offered a broad selection of Italian wines with a large Amoro list, plus 18 rotating beers on tap. “These rare beers, nearly impossible to find elsewhere, are offered at a price point that can’t be matched,” the chef points out.

The selection lets diners enjoy authentic Italian craft beer with their meal much as in Italy. Many of the brews have been aged, much like wines, in casks that previously had different styles of wines in them. “Nowhere have I seen a curated list of this scale, Chef/Owner Winer notes. “I just wanted to keep it interesting and give people what I believe is an unforgettable dining experience.”

The Italian beer program took about two and a half months to put together, with a distributor helping to train the service staff. Customer feedback, Chef Winer notes, has been good. “We sell a lot of the $12 to $20 range and a few high end ones to a few people who are really into beer.” Prices, he adds, are well below those of many restaurants. “The goal is to introduce people to different styles of Italian beers.”

“Che beve birra campa, cent’annii,” he quotes, translating the proverb, “he who drinks beer will live to be a hundred.”

Visit the restaurant in the Fort Point Channel and check out the Pastoral Italian Beer Book with detailed descriptions of each of the brews.

 

 

 

What’s Brewin’ Mocha Porter from Oregon

We discovered Mocha Porter from Rogue Ales in Newport, OR when it was a special one night last week at Navy Yard Bistro in Charlestown, MA. It’s a rich brown color with malty hops and a creamy finish and is 5.3 percent ABV. Rogue Ales describes it as “dedicated to the chocolate lover in each of us.” We found it nicely balanced and rich in flavor with a combination of eight different malts. The hops are from Rogue Farms and Rebel & Liberty. Rogue calls itself “a small revolution which expresses itself through handcrafter ales, porters, stouts, lagers and spirits. The mission is to “brew the finest,” and present it with a touch of what it calls “educational, entertaining mischief.” We applaud their efforts on this one, for sure! Visit http://www.rogue.com/

What’s Brewin’ -Lagunitas Lucky 13 A Mondo Large Red Ale

@LagunitasBeer calls this brew, known as Lucky 13 A Mondo Large Red Ale, an ultra-mega red ale. It was created to celebrate the brewery’s 13th anniversary in 2006. It’s a Spring seasonal, available April – June, but we got lucky and found it nearby recently and now hope they’ll have more when we return!

This Imperial Red Ale, Lagunitas Brewmaster Jeremy Marshall declares,  was made “in honor of 13 things.” It is strong, with lots of kiln malt which has a distinctive red color. That comes from the high temperature of the kiln, he explains.

Marshall finds notes of “grapefruit, berries, roasted walnuts and slightly charred leprechauns” in the resulting brew. We aren’t so sure about the leprechauns – you may have to be Irish to detect them.

However, this brew is rich and smooth and, as Marshall pretty accurately notes, “something you want to pet and stroke.” It’s got 8.8 ABV and comes in 12 oz. six packs as well as being available on tap.