Wicked Wine Fest & Craft Beer Fest!

Want a super fun afternoon or evening in Boston this coming October?
Go to one of our favorite events, run by the Boston Event Guide!

On the weekend of October 15th and 16th, the Boston Event Guide is hosting their Wicked Wine Fest and the Craft Beer Fest.

We have had the pleasure of joining the past few years, and love the venue! Have you been to the Cyclorama center before? It is a circle, and the beer/wine tables are set up along the wall of the venue, so it is an easy walk around to try all of your tastings!

Take a look at our 2015 visit!

Intrigued? Use code BREWWINEFUN to get your tickets for just $29!


Wicked Wine Fest tickets!


Craft Beer Fest tickets!

Want to try your hand at free? Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway, sponsored by the Boston Event Guide and BrewWineFun!



Lord Hobo Brewing Company, Woburn, MA



We stopped by Lord Hobo Brewing Company for a quick visit in Woburn, Mass. They are not quite a year old and have already made a name for themselves. We think the names of their beers help them stand out, as well as the fact that they started canning right away.




They are located in an interesting, re-habbed building. It may have been a tile store or showroom before. They have a very large tasting room, see picture below. It looks like they have plenty of room out back for expanding their brewing capacity down the road.




They seem to be focused on making IPA’s, since they had 3 beers and all 3 were IPA’s, with a fourth IPA that had just kicked. Only 3 beers on tap, but all are available for growler fills, as well as in cans, which we like to see.




They also have a temporary permit to pour pints. They will pour pints on Friday and Saturday nights, through the summer it sounds like. They just lowered their prices for their beer to go, which is good to hear as well.




Megan is not a big fan of IPA’s, so Mark just got a sample size
of each of the 3 beers they had available.

Hobo Life – Dry Hopped Citra Session IPA 4.5%
A session ipa, light in flavor overall, with the main hop flavor being piney with a light bitter finish. This was Mark’s favorite beer, bought a 6 pack. Citra, Horizon and Chinook hops were used.




Steal This Can – IPA 6.5%
Kind of light in body for a 6.5% IPA. Pretty good IPA up front, but has a heavy, bitter finish to it. Zeus, Warrior, Centennial and Chinook hops used.




Boomsauce – Double IPA 7.8%
Seems a little less bitter overall, maybe the malts and higher abv balance out the bitterness a little bit. Still very ‘drinkable’ at 7.8%, good, semi fruity ipa taste upfront, finishes with the same bitterness as the rest.




All 3 beers have a somewhat similar taste, like different variations of the same beer. With only making IPA’s, we would expect a little more variation from them. They do have a decent New England style flavor to them but all finish with a lingering bitterness, not Mark’s favorite. If you like IPA’s though, you should definitely check them out.

Want to visit? Check out their facebook page for hours🙂


Canterbury Aleworks, Canterbury, NH



Canterbury Aleworks is located at Hidden Wonders Farm, an operating farm in Canterbury, NH. You have to drive down a long, windy dirt driveway to get there, passing by several small ponds. The brewery has been open since 2012.



Pond near the small parking lot.


“Canterbury Aleworks is a one barrel, water powered and wood fired showcase nano-brewery handcrafting Worldly Beer with Local Flare. A little out of the way, a lot out of the ordinary!”





Try to ignore the reflection of Megan, and see the water wheel that helps power the brewery!



And a composting toilet!


With a comical sink.




1oz samples are “On the House”, a single 4oz taster is $2 each, and four or more tasters are $1.50 each. We tried all 9 that were available.




The Hops Bollocks – British IPA 6.1%
Decent hop flavor, not a super strong hop taste, some bitterness, finishes with a more malt taste.




Canterbury Ale – APA 5.5%
Interesting flavor, some hops with a touch of bitterness. More of a flowery hop flavor with a hint of sweet maltiness.


Be Hoppy! – American IPA 6.5%
Mark likes this, pretty good hop flavor, smooth and light in body, a touch malty without much bitterness. Said to have “floral-citrus notes from the cascade hops” which Mark agrees with.




Bright Idea – German Helles-style Ale 5.4%
Light lager type beer. Not a whole lot of flavor, described that way in the write up at the brewery, just not our style, looking for a little something more.




Smoke House Porter – Smoked Robust Porter 5.5%
Megan said “Oh yes, this is more like it”. A good balance of flavors, medium to heavy body with a rich coffee flavor. Subtle notes of chocolate with a strong smokey taste for a finish. Good beer, they acquired the smoked malts from their neighbor at Fox County Smoke House.




Brit Wit – British Wheat Beer – 5.1%
A pretty tasty brew. A different mix of flavors, a flavorful ‘wheat beer’, unfiltered and dry. Has bergamant in it from English Tea which adds a little extra flavor to it.


Snappy Wit – Belgian Style Witbier 5.1%
Juicy, traditional style witbier, good and flavorful, hints of orange and coriander, we liked this beer as well.




Granite Ledge Stout – Espresso Oatmeal Stout 5.5%
Smells of coffee, medium to heavy body, strong espresso flavor, but you can taste the oatmeal, too. Flavorful, but the coffee flavor is a little bit of a bitter coffee taste.


Black and Wit – Black Belgian Style Witbier 6.2%
A black, opaque beer. Starts lighter in body than you would think by the color, finishes with the Snappy Wit flavor, orange and coriander, and a little bit of bitterness from the ‘black’. A very interesting and pretty tasty brew.




As well as water power, and the composting toilet, they have other plans to be self sustaining. “We are planting our 3/4 acre hops yard here at Hidden Wonders Farm this spring! We hope to be using 100% of our own hops by the fall of 2016.”



Comfy chairs in the tasting room. This is a cool little place, nice atmosphere and the beers were tasty, better than we were expecting. If they had bottles or cans we would have bought some, but they just sell growlers of beer to go.



Mark at the bar.


They have a Polaroid camera that you can take pictures with and ‘post to their wall’.



Saturday and Sunday 1:00 – 5:00




Trillium Brewing Company, Canton (and Boston), MA



We recently visited Trillium Brewing Company, the Canton, MA location. This was our 125th visit! We went with Mark’s brother Jason and his wife Maureen, Mark’s sister Michelle, and Megan’s sister Jess. We went on a Saturday afternoon with fairly high expectations, we have heard a lot about Trillium but have never tried any of their beers, until now.




Trillium Brewing Company has been open since March of 2013, run by husband and wife owners JC and Esther Tetreault. They have built quite a following from their small scale operation in the Fort Point neighborhood of South Boston. In December 2015 they opened their secondary brewing location in Canton, MA with a tasting room and a much larger brewing capacity, a theoretical brewing capacity of 35,000 barrels annually. They still operate both locations. We had heard a lot about their beer, but waited until they opened their new Canton facility to visit them. They do not serve samples in the Fort Point location.




Mosaic Fort Point Pale Ale – 6.6%
Smells very fragrant, tropical and fruity hops. Pours cloudy and unfiltered. Has a fruity hop taste to it, not super juicy, but pretty tasty. Fruity and tropical hops with a bitter finish.


Summer Street American IPA – 7.2%
Not nearly as fruity smelling or tasting as the Pale Ale. Smooth, not that hoppy or bitter, nothing really stands out with this beer, fairly standard IPA. Maureen thought it was pretty good and she doesn’t like most IPA’s.


Sleeper Street American IPA – 7.2%
This IPA was a little fruitier, with a hint of grapefruit. A little bit juicy, not too hoppy or bitter, but a little more interesting flavor, Mark thought. Jason liked the Summer Street better.


Pot and Kettle Oatmeal Porter – 7.5%
Not as heavy as we expected, but we liked it. Medium body, smooth, Jason tasted chocolate, Mark got a roasty chocolate flavor. Mark, Megan, and Jason all enjoyed this.




The tasting experience here was not as good as we had hoped. It is an improvement since they do not do tastings in their Fort Point location, but there was only 1 bartender serving most of the time, so it took a while for us to get served. They serve 2 oz complimentary samples.



The most disappointing thing was they only had 4 beers to sample. Mark went with specific beers he wanted to try, but could not sample them. Since they do have such a good reputation, we bought beers that we could not sample there to bring home and try. Other people visiting, or people unfamiliar with Trillium’s reputation may not buy a $10 bottle of beer that they can not sample.


Double Dry Hopped Fort Point Pale Ale – 6.6%



They sell their beer in 750mL (25.4 oz) bottle. This was one of the ‘tastings’ we did at home. This is a super cloudy beer with a huge hop nose. It is a pretty tasty beer, mostly citrusy hops, a little bit of a piney taste mixed in there, Mark liked it a lot. The only minor critique is it is all hop flavor up front with not a whole lot of flavor on the finish, but Mark did like it and will buy it again. This was the stand out of the ‘at home tastings’.


One of the benefits of the new facility is that there is an area for filling growlers and buying bottles that is separate from the tasting room. This separates the crowds and makes it easier if you want to just stop in and pick up some beer.



Bottles behind the counter, and brewing tanks behind them.

Canton Location

Monday – Wednesday: 4:00 – 7:30
Thursday and Friday: 12:00 – 7:30
Saturday: 12:00 – 6:00

Hopsters, Newton, MA





Mark’s sister Michelle got us all a brew session at Hopsters in Newton, MA for Christmas. We tried some of the beers they brew themselves while we were brewing and waiting.




Their Beer


Newtonian – 7.4%
Medium body IPA with a piney hop flavor. Not that hoppy or that bitter, a little bit lacking it seemed.


Newton Corner Porter – 7%
Megan said it was delicious. Robust, not that chocolately, with some subtle dark fruit notes. Mark likes this as well, robust, light in body with a smooth, clean finish.



First round of beers. Newtonian, ABC and Porter


Comet Citra – 5.5%
Not that hoppy for a citra IPA. They describe it as having ‘subtle tropical notes and grapefruit’, but these tropical fruit notes were very, very subtle. This was kind of lacking overall flavor, low hop flavor, not very bitter, very subtle fruit notes. This was significantly lower in alcohol than the other ipa’s.


Sour Vacation – 3.5%
A tart beer with a lemon flavor. Mark liked it, Megan thought it was just ok, maybe it was the lemon flavor, she wonders if it would have been better served with a lime.


Leaf Blower – 5%
Maureen ordered this, said ‘yup, it’s a beer’. It was described as a ‘clean, crisp, light american ale’, Mark’s agree’s.




Ship of Fools – 6.3%
More hoppy, more flavor, more bitterness than the other 2 IPA’s. A little bit of a juicy hop flavor, not that much, but more. Jason and Mark agreed it was the best of the IPA’s, Jason said more identifiable hop flavors.

They have a few guest taps as well:

ABC Ginger Libation – 8.7%
Everyone liked this, Maureen and Michelle got glasses of it so we all tried it. It was fairly sweet with a good ginger flavor, light in body. Does not taste like it is 8.7%. Maureen thought it was delicious.

Citizen Cider – Dirty Mayor – 6.9%
Pretty good ginger cider, not as sweet as the ABC Ginger Libation.



 They offer all sorts of food, too. We got a Buffalo Chicken Dip while
we were waiting for the mash to boil.



The Brewing


We decided to brew the German Hefeweizen beer. We figured that is a style of beer all 5 of us would like. We ordered our first round of beers, and shortly after that met up with our brewing guide.



We started out in the ingredients room where he gave us an overview of what we would be doing, and to gather the ingredients we needed.




Maureen helping to measure out the Red Wheat.



Jason measuring out the Cara-pils Dextrine wheat.



This is the Liquid Malt Extract. It is basically the wort, pre-made. If we were to make the beer from the beginning, called all grain brewing, that would take all day. That is the way Hopsters makes the beers they serve, and the way most breweries make their beer. In order to make it more time efficient, they have the extract for us to use. We are basically just skipping the first time consuming step.



Michelle is cracking the grains to help release the flavors.



We learned a little bit about hops, got to smell them, and pick out which ones we wanted to use, on the recommendation of our brewer. We only used an ounce of hops for bittering near the beginning and an ounce of hops near the end of the boil for aromatics. There is not very much hops in a german hefeweizen.



We went with one traditional choice of the Saaz hops for bittering. We decided to go with Cascade hops for the late addition aromatic hop, on the recommendation of Mark. Mark wanted to mix up the recipe, just a little. The brewer recommended that we use the Cascade as the aromatic hop, so that’s what we did.



Jason inspecting the beer.



Jason removing the grains we steeped for 15 minutes. We put them in bags so they are easy to remove.



Megan added the Liquid Malt Extract while Michelle slowly stirred it in.


Everyone making sure Michelle was stirring it right.


After the Liquid Malt Extract and Saaz hops were added it had to boil for 1 hour. We grabbed a few seats near the bar and got some more beers, and Buffalo Chicken Dip.



Hop pellets.



The final stir after we added the Cascade hop pellets.



Sanitizing the bag with Iodine so we could transfer our beer into the plastic keg.


Michelle had to sanitize her hands, too, before poking the bag funnel into the keg.


Our beer passed through a small cooling system as it was being transferred into the keg.


There is our beer!

Bottling Session


Jason starting out the bottling session.


Bottles sanitized and drying.


Push the middle lever down, it puts the sealer top down over the bottle.



Michelle holding the lever on the right down for 2 seconds, it fills the bottle with CO2.


Michelle filling the bottle up, hold the lever on the left down until the bottle
is filled almost to the top, leave about and inch of space.


Mark helping Michelle figure out where the beer level is, sometimes
its hard to see, the beer foams up as it starts to fill.


Our beer! You can upload a jpg file to the website and they print out labels for you. Make sure you send it at least a week before you are going in to bottle. Mark made this custom label for us in Photoshop.


The beer turned out pretty good and the process was fun. However, we have 2 major complaints. There is not enough room, anywhere in this place. There was no room at the bar or tables while we were brewing, the brewing area was pretty cramped, and so was the bottling area, there was no room at all. We would have loved it if they had put aside seats for those brewing. We would have ordered more, and wouldn’t have had a few seats stolen when we got up to perform a step.

The other issue was they sell just about all their beers for $8 each. That’s too much for every beer to be that price, maybe 1 or 2, but not all of them. We only had 1 beer each when we went back for our bottling session, then went somewhere else to drink.




Tuesday – Friday: 4:00 pm -12:00 am
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am – 12:00 am

You can schedule your brewing and bottling sessions online at their website, or
check them out on Facebook for the most up to date info.

Deciduous Brewing Company, Newmarket, NH


Deciduous Brewing Company opened in mid August of 2015. They are a ‘constantly striving, boutique brewery’ in Newmarket, NH. The brewery is co owned by Frank Zagami, his wife Maryann, and David Sakolsky. David is the head brewer at Deciduous, and formerly the head brewer at Blue Lobster.



They do 4 oz tasters for $1.50 each, we tried all the beers they had on tap. While we were there, they had 3 beers in bottles that were unfortunately not available to taste.




Aggregation – 2.4%

Gose – 60% white wheat
A little tartness, really light in body. The addition of salt gives it a dry mouthfeel.


Arose – 4.8%
A strong smell of hops, well balanced. Hop and malt flavors, not overly hoppy or bitter, their take on a house pale ale or table beer.


Cumulation – 4.5%
Dry hopped ‘imperial’ gose
Tart, light in body, Megan tasted the salt on her tongue, had a dry finish.


Auroral – 4%
Berlinerweisse 50% wheat with blood oranges and lychee fruit
Really tart, a sweeter sour flavor. Megan said it was like a sweet tart. This was a very good sour beer.




Lambent – 4%
Berlinerweisse 50% wheat with raspberries and passion fruit
Tastes less tart than the Auroral, more fruit flavor with a hint of tartness. Megan said it was juicy.



Jack O Lambent – 4.5%
Roasted pumpkins with toasted pumpkin seeds from Coppal House Farms in Lee, NH
Slight tartness, toasted pumpkin seeds are the main flavor, with a dry unexplainable finish, does not finish tart.




Agricultural – 6.3%
Dry hopped wheat IPA
Melon flavored hop taste, light to medium body, bitter and piney finish. Not either of our favorites.


Phenotype – 5.8%
Dry hopped IPA
Smells of tropical fruit hops at first. Had a tropical hop flavor with a bitter finish. Bitterness takes over as the main flavor and kind of over powers the good hop flavors.




Epiphyte – 8%
More of a malty style DIPA, heavier body and flavor, a touch sweet, slightly bitter finish.


Renascence – 8.1%
Multi grain porter, rye and peat smoke malts
Smokey porter, pretty tasty, we liked it.






Introspection – 10.3%
A 100% Brett fermented Russian Imperial Stout.

We decided to buy the Introspection bottle, even though we couldn’t sample it. It was very tasty, we shared it with friends who like RIS’s and they really liked it as well.




They do a lot of interesting styles of beer, which seems like where their strength is. The IPA’s Mark was not a big fan of, but the Gose and Berliner style beers and the Introspection were really good.






They have a pretty decent sized tasting room. It wasn’t too crowded when we were there, we showed up right at 12:00 when they opened on a snowy Saturday. Shortly after, people began to stream in.


They are located in a small strip mall across from the Mill in downtown Newmarket. We went to Panzanellas’s after sampling to eat. The moved into the newly constructed strip mall to double thier space, they have been opened in Newmarket for 13 years.


Current Hours

Thursday 4:00 – 7:00
Friday 3:00 – 7:00
Saturday 12:00 – 5:00

As always, check Facebook for their most up to date info and hours.


Wine Expo this weekend- are you going?!

We can’t wait to go to the Boston Wine Expo this weekend. We hope our winners enjoy themselves as well🙂

Want to know more? Click here for our past experiences:

Press release from the Boston Wine Expo:

“The Boston Wine Expo’s “Grand Tasting”
Select wines and exhibitors join the
25th annual celebration of wine, food and culture

BOSTON, MA – Presented by Boston Guild of Oenophilists, the 25th annual Boston Wine Expo at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, hosted over President’s Day weekend (February 13 and 14), is announcing a sneak peek at some of the most popular wineries and restaurants which will be featured at this year’s Grand Tasting event.

The silver anniversary Grand Tasting gives guests a global adventure in a glass. Whether your palate prefers a full-bodied Pinot Noir, buttery Chardonnay, an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon or a dry Pinot Grigio, the 2016 Boston Wine Expo will bring the biggest, boldest and best flavors from the vine to the Seaport District. Oenophiles will travel through the expansive space – sans passport – swirling and sipping their way to “connoisseur” status while sampling bites from some of the city’s most popular restaurants.

There are hundreds of exhibitors and international producers who will be pouring over 2,000 wines throughout the weekend including: 90 + Cellars; Alexander Valley Vineyards; Banfi Vintners; Beaujolais Villages; Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards; Hope Family Wines; Humboldt Imports; Jackson Family Wines; Languedoc Wines; Rutherford Wine Co.; Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; Vinho Verde; and, Wines from Rioja.

Sip something you like? Attendees can make purchases and have them delivered to their doorstep via Drync, the mobile app that allows you to create your own virtual wine cellar on your Smartphone.

In addition to these renowned labels and exhibitors, local restaurants showcasing their delicious bites throughout the weekend include: 7ate9 Bakery; Athan’s European Bakery; Bertucci’s; Cask ‘n Flagon; Catering by North East of the Border; Compliments Food Co.; Jennifer Lee’s Gourmet Bakery; KINGS Bowl America; Mamadou’s Artisan Bakery; Montilio’s Baking Company; Noodle Lab Boston Pennypacker’s Food Truck; Smackadoodles; The Chubby Chickpea; and, The Living Room.

Also along the way there will be dueling Celebrity Chef Stages that will showcase the talents of New England’s most renowned chefs including: Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger; Blue Dragon); Barbara Lynch (No. 9 Park; Sportello; Menton); Chris Coombs (Deuxave; dbar); Daniel Bruce (Meritage Restaurant at the Boston Harbor Hotel); Louis DiBicarri (Tavern Road); Dave Becker (Sweet Basil & Juniper); Mitchell Brumels & Nicholas Foley (Ocean Prime); Annie Copps (Itellibelly.com); Nick Deutmeyer (Post 390); Rachel Klein (RFK Kitchen); Michael Lombardi & Kevin O’Donnell (SRV); Karen Mitchell (The Palm Boston); Brendan Pelley (Pelekasis); and, Michael Scelfo (Aldon & Harlow).

There are educational seminars with nearly 40 topics ranging from food and wine pairings, “The One Hour Wine Expert,” and vertical tasting flights of the world’s most sought-after grapes. For those who love to shop, there will be scores of vendor booths with wine accessories, gourmet foods and even jewelry.

Tickets to the Boston Wine Expo’s “Grand Tasting” are available by visiting: http://www.bostonwineexpo.eventbrite.com.

General Admission ticket prices are as follows: Saturday: $99 per person and Sunday: $89 per person. General admission tickets include entry, a Boston Wine Expo souvenir glass to taste wine samples from over 200 wine producers, complimentary food samples from scores of providers and access to live cooking demonstrations.

VIP Experience ticket prices are as follows: Saturday: $149 per person and Sunday: $139 per person. VIP Experience tickets include easy entry through the VIP entrance, a welcome sparkling wine toast, complimentary private coat check, access to the VIP lounge, an upgraded Boston Wine Expo souvenir glass to taste wine samples from over 200 wine producers, complimentary food samples from scores of providers and access to live cooking demonstrations.

Group tickets are also available, as well as dedicated trade industry hours. Seminars are priced per-class and can be purchased online.

The Boston Wine Expo will take place at The Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center on February 13 and 14, 2016, from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. This event is reserved for ages 21+. The Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center is located at 200 Seaport Boulevard in Boston, MA. For directions and more information, please visit: http://www.seaportboston.com.

Founded in 1991 by the Boston Guild of Oenophilists, the Boston Wine Expo has grown into one of the most well-known and respected wine events in the country. Over $1,400,000 has been donated to local charities by the Guild including Tufts Medical Center’s Summer Camp Program for Children with Disabilities – the major beneficiary. Over 27 local charities have benefited from the Expo over the event’s history. Other organizations that have received considerable funding include the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Pan Mass Challenge and the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. For more information, please visit: http://www.wine-expos.com.