September is shaping up to be a busy month, so here’s a rundown of upcoming events. Are we missing something? Hosting an event? Have some info you want us to add? E-mail us for info on how to get it promoted- firstname.lastname@example.org
I found myself out on one of the myriad of heatwaves we had this summer looking for a place to feed the baby and simultaneously feed myself. The Cedarville BBC was right nearby and I love it because it’s:
A) Got good pub food and good pub beer, but…
B) It’s also not pub-ish enough so that I feel like a BAD MOM ™ for bringing my newborn in with me mid-afternoon.
So, a lot has happened and I haven’t been updating for a while. That would be because my husband and I had this little guy on July 2nd:
So I couldn’t really have much to drink. But it was worth it.
We also bought a house and moved to Plymouth. I know Plymouth is home to some great craft beer bars- like the BBC (three of them), Flynn’s, New World Tavern, Speedwell, and Driftwood. It’s also home to some breweries, wineries, and distilleries- Mayflower, Dirty Water Distillery, Plymouth Bay Winery, 1620 Winery, and the subject of this post- Independent Fermentations Brewing (Indie Ferm).
Homebrewers Mike Segerson and Matt Belson are opening up Devil’s Purse Brewing Co. in South Dennis this Memorial Day weekend. Inside the brewery bags of malts- Vienna, Crystal, Pilsen, Simpons are stacked high to produce their malt-forward European influenced beers.
Matt and Mike both started out as homebrewers, were successful at it, which lead to the formation of Devil’s Purse. Mike had worked at a winery, taken classes at B.U. for wine tasting, and worked at Truro Vineyards, where he began to get into beer. Matt, a former journalist for the Cape Codder, had gotten a homebrew kit for a wedding project that sat dormant for years, the two were introduced through their wives, and “no exaggeration, once we started homebrewing together it was all we did,” said Matt. They researched, brewed, and bottled, with the support of their friends and families.
Their next step? Opening a brewery. “Every day is a challenge, every day is rewarding, and we are exceptionally lucky to have people support us and cheer us on since day one,” said Matt. Their name, Devil’s Purse, comes from the skate egg pouches found on many a Cape beach. “I used to collect them on north beach, it’s one of my earlier memories,” says Mike, “I found out what they are called, and thought, that’s awesome.” They tossed around the idea of the name at a 2am brew session and it stuck. Their logo combines a devils purse with a surfmans check badge, which are given to highly skilled mates in the coastguard. These used to be given to the lifesavers at Monomony, and Race Point, to name a few.
Their beers and philosophies pay homage to the past and history of the cape. The beers themselves have nautical names as well- Handline Kolsch, Skatemouth Pale Ale, Surfmans Check ESB, and their Light Vessel IPA series named after notorious rips in the area- like Pollock and Cross.
They hope to see the Cape become a craft beer destination, and the town of Dennis was excited to welcome the 7-barrel brewhouse to town, and their new location sits in a spacious industrial bay on Great Western Road. It features a tasting room that does growler fills, and better yet, crowler fills. Not only is it fun to hold a 32oz. giant can of beer, it’s also much better for the beach and boat life.
I’m pretty excited to see another brewery grace the shores of Cape Cod where things seem to move at a painfully slower pace than the rest of the state. Let’s keep the ball rolling, who is going to be next?
Memorial Day Weekend Opening Hours at the brewery
Friday, May 22 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat. May 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
***CLOSED Sun. May 24 & Mon. May 25***
Their beer has also begun distribution at local bars and restaurants.
Address and Contact info
Devil’s Purse Brewing Company
120 Great Western Rd.
South Dennis, MA 02660
For more information visit: www.devilspurse.com
I think this is my first post in ten months, but now that the book is in the hands of God, AKA the publisher, and I’m done wedding planning, I am back with a review of Slumbrews 2014 Yankee Swap. It was a cold January day when I wandered into the bottle shop and this victual popped out to me…nay, it was calling to me:
This 2014 imperial stout is the SECOND EDITION in our Yankee Swap series. It’s aged in Turkey Shore Distilleries run barrels to create a unique flavor profile that continues to develop with time. A perfect accompaniment to holiday doldrums, in-laws or all bouts of holiday boredom. If you collect bottles, we suggest you cellar a second bottle or two of this ale to serve with next year’s edition of our Yankee Swap.
Doldrums? Check. In-laws? Yes, one in particular, check. Boredom? Check.
Commercial Description: A well-balanced, medium-bodied ale brewed to sustain you over the long New England winter. Its rich malt profile is reminiscent of an English Pale Ale, while the spicy and fruity hop finish, from German Tettnang hops, gives it a warming and welcoming feeling to bring you back in from the cold. Copper-amber in color, this offering is available all winter long.
I left this beer sitting for a while and when I returned to it, the head was still there, leaving ample lacing on the glass; creamy, off-white and well-formed. It poured an amber/brown with copper highlights. Overall, just a very fresh, nice-looking beer with great clarity.
The nose is full of that rich and flowery Tettnang hop presence, followed by some soft, bready malts with a light toffee sweetness. On first sip, before even really noticing any of the flavors, the first thing I reacted too was how nice this beer is on the palate; very creamy and soft, but still has a bit of weight to it.
The taste matches the aroma in almost every way – toasted bread, light caramel, as well as a touch of fruit and spice, almost like a cinnamon quality. The earthy hop flavor is apparent and is in nice contrast to the soft and bready maltiness. At 6.3%, there is no discernable alcohol presence. Cabin Fever finishes slightly dry, with flavors that linger.
I wish this was a bad-idea of a beer; one where you lose interest immediately because the flavors are confused and counterproductive, only so I could relate it to the movie Cabin Fever. Eli Roth, grumble grumble. But I can’t. It’s a well put together, very drinkable beer, but for me, lacks the qualities that would make it a stand-out winter warmer. If anything, I see this being a go-to year round beer, rather than a seasonal. Though if you’re looking for a winter beer that’s not an overly-spiced, imperial malt bomb, then this might be the beer for you.
Let’s talk a bit about what exactly a Gose is since I think the style still has a bit of mystery surrounding it, and has only just made it into the BJCP guidelines last year.
A gose, pronounced like it rhymes with “rose”, with an “uh” at the end, is a sour and salty wheat ale brewed with coriander and, back in its heyday, salted water. The beer’s 1,000 year-old history takes it back to the German city of Leipzig, the capital city of Saxony in what became the former East Germany. The name Gose comes from the river Gose, which flows through the town of Goslar, part of Lower Saxony and a former brewing center. It’s assumed that the original source of a Gose’s saltiness came from the naturally saline water from the mineral-rich aquifers around Goslar that fed the Goslar brewhouses.
To make it brief – Goslar declined, brewing moved to Leipzig where it flourished, World War II, Berlin Wall, bread-making > beer-making, wall came down, Gose came back.
Originally, gose got it’s sour quality from spontaneous fermentation from bacteria like Lactobacillus, or with the later addition of lactic acid. Today’s American brewers use a multitude of souring methods, from wild yeasts, to sour mashes, and sometimes with the addition of lemon juice or other types of citrus.
Moving along, I only just visited Everett’s Night Shift Brewing for the first time this past fall with a big group of drunk girls (~*BACHELORETTE PARTY*~). It reminded me a lot of the Brooklyn Brewery experience, which I love. Unassuming industrial building, exposed beams, large family style tables, with a huge variety of sample beers pouring and available bottles; just one big party.
This is the beer that stood out the most to me that day – Harborside, a 5.1% gose-style ale brewed with Island Creek oysters and coriander. The brewery teamed up with Duxbury’s renowned Island Creek Oysters, adding hundreds of fresh oysters to the boiling wort, to create this tart, salty, citrusy celebration of the ocean side.
A huge head billows up upon pouring, but then immediately settles down to a wisp of nothing. In the glass, Harborside shines a bright and golden-yellow with noticeable carbonation and a bit of haze.
The nose is reminiscent of those candied fruit rinds that my friends make fun of me for enjoying, calling it old person candy. A tart citrus aroma weaves itself amongst, well, I don’t know how else to say it, but a meaty, wharf-like smell; full of umami and not unpleasant in the slightest. It smells complex and delicious. This beer has such a tart, lemon citrus flavor; it’s like sucking on some Warheads that have been soaking in Limoncello. It’s crisp and cutting, but rounded out with a sweet/savory oyster finish. It has an almost buttery quality, like an oaked Chardonnay, with a high minerality and a light funk. These flavors are very jarring on their own, but in this beer, everything ties together really nice.
The carbonation is bright and spritzy and even with the tartness, it’s overall very thirst-quenching – such a fun beer!
I attended a chocolatey little release (chocolate stout cake anyone?) for this beer at Cape Cod Beer a little over a week ago, and had been waiting for the right time to drink it. So as today came up on 24 consecutive hours of snow (gross), I cracked it open. Sure, I saw people moving around outside shoveling and running errands, but it was just so fun to sit inside, swathed in blankets, pretending that my cats are direwolves, that winter has come to my manor, and I must feast on bread and ale for sustenance as I hunker down while Janus, god of the beginnings and ends, howls outside.
In short, I like imagining stuff.
I also like Cape Cod Beers limited releases. I’ve never been let down by one of their small batches, and since the expansion of their brewery this past year their release schedule promises many more small batches and experimental brews. To those of us on the Cape it’s going to be very exciting to have exclusive and limited batches of innovative brewing going on locally. Cape Cod Beer and Cape Girls’ Pint Out have both changed the beer scene in this area and I’m really thankful for that!
I apologize for being a little late on this beer. We already wrote our list of favorite holiday beers over on BDCWire. I thought I knew winter beers. I thought I had this holiday-drinking thing down pat. It wasn’t until two days after Christmas, while watching a Hugh Jackman/Jake Gyllenhaal crime thriller, that I was shown my new favorite winter beer – Slumbrew’s Yankee Swap.
This past weekend was the sixth annual Great Pumpkin Festival at Cambridge Brewing Company – a place where autumnphiles can come together and have a pumpkin beer without the ubiquitous cinnamon-sugar rim nor the sneers from the general craft beer public. This was our third year in attendance, and in our opinion, the most successful event yet. In the past, the festival operated on a one-in/one-out policy, resulting in a line, usually on the first cold day of October, that left you cursing yourself for wearing a dress and cursing all those terrible terrible people who agreed to hold their friend’s place in line while they went into Tommy Doyles to stay warm doing pumpkin bomb shots. There is a special circle of Hell for line-cutters, I’m sure of it.
This year, the event was divided into three four-hour sessions throughout the day, which got rid of the wait time and made things much more comfortable and accessible inside the restaurant. We chose the last session so we could witness the event we’ve missed years past, a monk-led procession leading to the tapping of a giant pumpkin filled with CBC’s Great Pumpkin Ale.
This is a great place to experience interpretations of pumpkin beer you’ve never imagined. But truth be told, at least for me, it’s about pretzel rolls with beer mustard and pumpkin ale braised sauerkraut and hanging out with robots. Oh, and commemorative glassware.
Here’s some of my evening’s most memorable beers:
CBC Stout at the Devil – 666# of pale malt, 6.66 oz. of Devil’s Claw herb, a 6.66% ABV – how can you not love this devilish beer? Plus add to the fact that this is their 2011 version that has been aging on Brettanomyces barrels. “It’s all for you, CBC!” ~*Jumps off balcony*~
Jack’s Abby Pumpkin Crop Lager – A perfect blend of autumnal spices mixed with locally sourced pumpkins makes for a crisp lager with a well-done pumpkin profile without any of the sugary sweetness.
Iron Hill Pumpkin Berliner Weisse – Tons of candied pumpkin and sugar cookies with some tart lemon characteristics. Very interesting and enjoyable.
Avery Rumpkin – Ahhh the venerable Rumpkin; aged in fresh rum barrels and clocking in at a monstrous 18%. Yes, it’s totally overwhelming and like taking a shot of pumpkin pie rum, but it’s still complex, sweet, and good to try once.
Come fall, it seems like a lot of people start going on these anti-pumpkin beer rants. Yes, I understand it’s a way for some breweries to turn a quick profit on a seasonal trend, and yes pumpkin beers do tend to saturate the shelves which in turn, makes less room for more traditional styles like märzens.
I’m still going to stand up and say that I like pumpkin beers. A lot. Just as much as I like pumpkin-spiced coffees and buying cheap apple cider and pumpkin-scented Wal-Mart candles so I can feel like I’m turning my shitty apartment into a rustic autumnal homestead when instead probably making it smell like someone dumped a bunch of compost onto a Bath & Body Works factory fire. Pumpkin beers are a flavorful fall treat – the harbingers of my favorite season. So lay off me, pumpkin naysayers; they’ll be gone in a month anyways and you can start complaining about how your winter warmer has too much spice in it.
This short and sweet summer has ended and fall has wasted no time settling in. We aren’t even through the first full week of September and I’m sitting here in a sweater drinking Mexican hot chocolate, whereas just a week ago I was out on the boat for days on end. If you like things a little spicy Mexican hot chocolate will make you never look back at the regular stuff, take your Swiss Miss and shove it, I ain’t drinkin’ that no more! You can buy pre-made tablets (Ibarra and Abuelita are the easiest to find, but if you have Taza near you I highly recommend them- they’re local to Massachusetts and pair up with Night Shift brewing sometimes for tasty collabs), but if you live in an un-diverse food area like me you’ll have to make your own, it’s just equal parts cocoa powder and sugar (I do about 4 tbs each), a mug of milk, a little bit of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chiles (dried or power), and chopped bittersweet chocolate all melded together.
And for all you Mexican hot chocolate beer lovers, Vixen, a chocolate-chili bock, by Sam Adams (8.5% ABV, 20 IBU) captures this essence. This beer was my summer equivalent of Mexican hot chocolate. It pours really deep brown, but when you hold it up to the light it’s a deep garnet color. There was a dark cream colored head on the glass too. But honestly, I didn’t fuss around much with appearance because all I wanted to do was try this brew. There’s nothing worse than snapping photos of your beer as you watch the temperature rise and the head shrink.
I definitely got a scent of musty unsweetened cocoa from this beer which is muddled in with the dark roasted malts with faint hints of spice. It kind of fell flat on the caliente expectations I had. Some spicy beers tease your pallet when you smell the, singe your nose hair, yadda yadda, and well, this one didn’t.
As for taste, there were faint hints of chocolate and choclatey malts, but it was very subtle and watery. The chipotle peppers make their presence known via their smokey heat, which leaves a post-sip tingle on your tongue when combined with the cinnamon in the beer as well. I wish the beer was a little thicker because I feel like it was “thin” (does that make sense?) and because of this I couldn’t really get as much flavor out of it as I could have. It just didn’t have much in the way of mouthfeel and left a lot lacking.
Vixen was okay, I am glad I tried it but I wouldn’t buy it again. However, if you are interested in checking out a spicy chocolate beer, I recommend Clown Shoes Luchador en Fuego
Last week I: chugged a beer through a straw while working out, visited one of my favorite breweries, and got to utilize the grill. Happy Kristie happy happy Kristie.
Let’s start at the beginning and with one of the reasons Amber Jansen of 2beerguys is an awesome craft beer lady. Together with Newburyport’s Riverwalk Brewing and Engage Your Core Pilates, she organized an engaging event combining two very different life paths, in order to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. I have a lot of admiration for someone who is able to take their passion for beer and promote it through their own unique platform (i.e. fitness), all the while, thinking of ways to help others.
My Better Half is a limited seasonal release from one of my favorite Massachusetts breweries, Slumbrew. Don’t let my silly video fool you; the crew at Slumbrew are working their asses off to provide us with great beers and hopefully soon, they’ll be able to open up a permanent brewing space in Somerville.
Visit them at http://www.slumbrew.com
With references dating it as far back as 1366, and found prominently throughout the Viking and Medieval periods, the sahti is a beer that is sure to make all you mead-swilling, Renaissance Festival-attending, Odin-worshipping, Game of Thrones nerds quiver with a joy you haven’t felt since you won your Dungeons and Dragons fantasy jousting league.