Betty Crocker has a beer page?!

Apparently Betty Crocker also loves beer! I stumbled upon this article “35 terms every beer lover needs to know” and assumed that was the only part of the website. Nope! There is more!

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Festivals I am currently planning on attending… How about you?

What festivals are you planning on attending this fall? Any I should add to my schedule?

 

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In September, we will be attending the 6th Annual Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival, located in West Dover, Vermont. The festival a weekend long (September 20-22), although we will attend for a day. It is $26pp, which includes a tote bag, wine glass and tastes.

 

Weekend Schedule:

Friday September 20

Village of Wilmington

5:00-8:00 pm Village Stroll, Wine Tasting Seminars and Valley Chefs Soup Contest

Saturday September 21

Mount Snow Resort

11:00- 5:00 Gates Open Grand Tasting

Enjoy  sampling dozens of Vermont’s finest wines, spirits, cheeses and farm-fresh products.

Crafts, artisans and more.

11:00-5:00 Musical Entertainment

11:00- 5:00 Tasting Seminars, Cooking Demonstrations from Junior Iron Chefs, Wine Making     Demonstrations,  Farm Fresh demonstrations and seminars.

Sunday September 22

8:30 AM Pancake Breakfast

11:00 Gates Open Grand Tasting

Enjoy  sampling dozens of Vermont’s finest wines, spirits, cheeses and farm-fresh products.

Crafts, artisans and more.

11:00-4:00 Musical Entertainment

11:00- 4:00 Tasting Seminars, Cooking Demonstrations from Junior Iron Chefs, Wine Making     Demonstrations,  Farm Fresh demonstrations and seminars.

Sounds like it will be a great event! I can’t wait to go! Look for my review the following week.

Powderkeg Beer and Chili Fest

Our last event that we have planned is The 2nd Annual Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Festival, in Exeter NH. It is happening Saturday, October 5th. The festival will feature beer for all tastes, as well as chili from local restaurants. There will also be live music all day.

Also nearby is the 14th Annual Fall Festival, featuring local crafters, vendors and street entertainment.

The Powder Keg Beer & Chili Festival has over 53 different breweries attending! Many I have had the pleasure of tasting, but many I have not. Look here for the complete list. More interested in the chili? Look here to see who will be there- I already see a lot of great restaurants I know and love!

General Admission tickets are $30 ($35 after Sept. 22nd) and include a Exeter Powder Keg Beer & Chili Fest souvenir tasting glass, 8 beer sample tickets, 5 chili sample tickets and live entertainment. I can’t wait to go and try some new beer and chili!

Blue Lobster Brewing Company, Hampton NH

picstitch (21)When we entered the Blue Lobster Brewing Company (as part of the Granite State Growler Tour), we felt that it was a larger brewery than Earth Eagle Brewings, and that it felt more established. The tasting room is large, and unlike any that we have visited before. The tasting room had a feel of a restaurant/bar with the way it was set up, high top tables and a nice, long blue bar.
The Blue Lobster Brewery opened in November 2012, by Michael and Roberta. They are currently open:

Thu: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Fri: 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Sat: 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

One of their tricks is to fill growlers with CO2 prior to filling with beer to help keep the beer fresher.

picstitch (23)We were able to have a sneak peek at the brewery, which felt large compared to what else we had seen that day. After, we took seats at the bar for our tasting.

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the taps

***

Our Tasting:

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Gold Claw: a pale ale. I am not a huge pale ale fan in general. Sweet pine and fruit, but not enough for me. Mark felt it was a hoppy pale ale and enjoyed it.  4.5%

Stalkholm Syndrome: a wheat pale ale, their interpretation of a wheat IPA. Pine, melon and orange. Had an unusual heaviness to it. 5.7%

Ω Sweet Ω: a kolsch. I enjoyed this one a lot, definitely a favorite here. Light and citrus. 4.4%

Red Door (Paint it Black): American Black Ale. first sip was delicious, after pretty good. Mark agreed, although he wasn’t a huge fan. 7%

Excess is not Rebellion: what our pretzels were made with! Imperial IPA with notes of citrus 7.8%

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Ragged Neck Rye: a porter. A slightly smokey flavor, although stronger than the cocoa flavor. Good flavor all together, nice and rich. 7.4%

picstitch (26)If you order a flight, you receive it on a nice lazy susan!

picstitch (25)Ω Sweet Ω and I

Cheers!

article all about New England’s newest craft breweries

I just came across this article all about New England’s newest craft breweries and had to share! Quite a few more to add to my list!

Listed below are the ones I will be adding to my list- I think I have heard of a couple of them… The list is never ending!
Kretschmann Brewing Company Webster, MA
3 Beards Beer Company Northborough, MA
Trillium Brewing Company Boston, MA

Big Elm Brewing Sheffield, MA 
Berkley Beer Company Berkley, MA
Brash Brewing Company Ipswich, MA 

RiverWalk Brewing Company Newburyport, MA
Banner Beer Company Williamsburg, MA 
Westfield River Brewing Company Westfield, MA 
Battle Road Brewing Company Ipswich, MA 

Earth Eagle Brewings

picstitch (18)Mark and I visited Earth Eagle Brewings, located in Portsmouth NH as part of the Granite State Growler Tour (see here for our post on the tour as a whole!).

When we walked into Earth Eagle Brewings, we were greeted by Butch, one of two brewers. picstitch (14) He walked us through A&G Homebrew Supply, which provides supplies for local home brewers. In A&G, the four main ingredients to make beer were gone over- water, grain, hops and yeast. We were each able to feel, smell and taste some malted barley.picstitch (13)Hops help to change the flavor of the beer, making it taste fruity or nutty. Yeast is added, and produces alcohol.

Process: In the one barrel brewery, the beer moves from the hot liquor tank to the mash tank. The sugars are pulled out, and the liquid goes to the boil kettle. The left over spent grain then goes to a farm in Berwick, Maine. The liquid is then cooled from 212 degrees Fahrenheit to 65-70 degrees via a plate chiller. The beer then enters a fermentation room, moves to the refrigerator and then to the tap to be enjoyed.

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Butch explained that Earth Eagle is a one barrel brewery, and the beers are always changing. Earth Eagle Brewings produces empyreal ales made with hops (beer) and un-hopped ales called gruit. Gruits are ales made with herbs, a more traditional style before the use of hops.  Occasionally, they will add herbs to their beer, and hops to their gruits. They try to use fresh, local products when available.

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Following our tour, we enjoyed a tasting. During open hours, anyone can go in and have/buy a 4oz sample, a 32 oz growler or a 64 oz growler.

Our tastings:

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Sage Goose: immediate smell of sage. Smooth herbal sage and gooseberries. No hops. 4.7% ABV. We bought a growler!

Sol Sister: had a familiar flavor, almost of clove. Sweet, woodruff fern, eleuthero root. 5.6% ABV.

Purl the Elder: different flavor. Elder flower and ground ivy. Nice balance and flavor. 6.3% ABV

Diurnal Hoppy Blonde: Hoppy with a smooth finish. Most similiar to other beers, still different but not as different as others. 4.2% ABV

Fur Trapper: My immediate thought- I like this. Oh, it’s a dubbel, no wonder!  Belgian dubbel big bear. Each barrel contained 10 pounds of Belgian candied sugar! 7.1% ABV

Jack Wagon: Spicy nose. Double IPA. Typical, but good. Big Beer, 8.1% ABV

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We didn’t try a beer or gruit here that we didn’t like! One of the great things about us taking home a growler is that we have to go back soon to get a refill and try something new!

Want to visit Earth Eagle Brewings? They are open 7 days a week- Monday-Friday: 4pm-9pm. Saturday: 3pm-9pm and Sunday: 1pm-4pm. Great hours that allow those that work to visit while not on vacation. They are great with posting what is on tap on their facebook page, so check it out if you are curious before you go.

 

Granite State Growler Tours, LLC

Mark and I recently went on a Granite State Growler Tour.

picstitchGreta the Growler Getta, aka the tour bus

The tour currently leaves from Hampton, NH. Once you step on board “Greta the Growler Getta,” you are brought to 2-3 different breweries as well as a distillery and a great craft beer store. You are provided with fun facts about the Seacoast New Hampshire area, a delicious homemade pretzel, a cooler full of water, and a cooler to hold any growlers you may purchase along the way. Why pay to do a Granite State Growler Tour? How else can you visit multiple breweries and/or distilleries in the same day (without having a DD),  get some great discounts (more on that later), learn some fun facts about the history of beer in New Hampshire, and maybe make some new friends.  You also are able to interact with many of the brewers, and get special attention from them due to the tour occurring when most of the breweries are closed to the public.  Depending on what they are working on, you also might have the option to try something new, that is still in the works or not bottled yet for public consumption. It was great to have a basically care free day, with the ability to make many visits without having to worry about one of us driving.

We went on the “Sunday Driver” tour, which consisted of visits to: Earth Eagle Brewings (Portsmouth NH), Sea Hagg Distillery (Hampton NH), Top Shelf Brews (Hampton NH) and Blue Lobster Brewing Company (Hampton NH).  When we climbed onto the bus, we filled out waivers, and were given “Tasting Notes” (to keep track of any notable beers- see below),picstitch (4)

star stickers (to label growlers), a coupon to use on a future visit to Top Shelf Brews, and a homemade pretzel (made with Blue Lobster- Excess Is Not Rebellion IPA). We were also notified that if we went to Community Oven (also in Hampton, where the tour begins and ends), we could purchase a 20oz beer for the price of a 16oz beer after the tour. The tour started with introductions- we found out that David (owner and driver) and Mark (partner and tour guide) have known each other since third grade!

picstitch (1)yummy, homemade pretzel!

Oh! I almost forgot- you also receive a name tag at the beginning of the tour, to not only make sure you stay with the group, but to guarantee any of the stops know you are with the tour for any additional discounts, or special access.

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Mark, the tour guide, really knows his history. He told us a lot of great information about the area, both beer history and otherwise. Although Mark (the boyfriend and co-author of this blog) and I did not know a lot of the area’s history prior to, we also feel that those familiar with the area will enjoy it as well- I shared some of the stories with co-workers and they hadn’t heard the stories before.

Did you know that Portsmouth is the third oldest establishment in the United States (after Jamestown and Plymouth of course!). Things were different in Portsmouth from the beginning, as they came to reap the benefits of the new world, and immediately began to brew beer from their surroundings. Spruce tips, strawberries and apples were all used to make beer, basically whatever they could get their hands on. Settled in 1630, in 1642 a tavern was established. Portsmouth was allowed to have 6 taverns, although most towns were strictly limited to 2.  Only upstanding individuals were allowed to operate taverns, and they had to pledge to not serve to Native Americans or slaves. I would love to share some more of their stories now- but I want you to have something other than delicious beer and rum to look forward to! picstitch (12)

Mark, our tour guide

The stops we made:

Earth Eagle Brewings: Located in Portsmouth, NH, also runs a home brewing store (A&G Homebrew Supply), which we had a tour of and received some great information about the brewing process in. They operate a one barrel brewery, so the beers are always changing and never quite the same. They make a type of beer I was not familiar with until now, gruits, which is beer made without hops.  See my post about Earth Eagle Brewings here!

Sea Hagg Distillery: Located in Hampton, NH creates true, colonial style rum.  It was started by a couple who thought of the idea while on vacation in the Caribbean. Rum is a true New Hampshire item, as it was written in every town budget in the 17th and 18th century. See my post about Sea Hagg Distillery here!

Top Shelf Brews: Located in Hampton, NH is a craft brew store. One of their biggest draws is that they do mixed six-packs. Mark and I bought a mixed four-pack, of four beers and ciders we hadn’t tried before but looked interesting. Great store to go to find a new craft beer, or that hard to find beer.

Blue Lobster Brewing Company: also located in Hampton, NH was started as a retirement hobby and turned into a retirement job.  They feature small batch specialty brews. See more in my post about Blue Lobster Brewing Company here!

*****

One of the great things about Granite State Growler Tour is that they are willing to go the extra mile, and do private events of any location. Both David and Mark are interested in beer, and like making new connections as well as (on their own time) trying new beer. Who knows? Maybe we will join them on a future tour, elsewhere. to cross other breweries or wineries off our list!

*****

Mark and I purchased glasses at each stop, as well as a glass koosie at Sea Hagg.

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I also won a glass on the tour!picstitch (5)

We also went home with a growler of Sage Goose from Earth Eagle Brewings. Thank you to Granite State Growler Tours for keeping it cold for us in the cooler while we enjoyed the rest of the tour!

picstitch (3)The sticker on the Sage Goose top is the star sticker we were given at the beginning of the tour- so we could mark the growlers we took home.

*****

Another great thing, is that the tour begins and ends outside of the Community Oven, located in Hampton NH. The Community Oven will hold a table for any in the tour that would like to continue drinking or want something to eat after the tour. David happened to have a coupon for a pizza, so Mark and I couldn’t argue about it- we had to try out The Community Oven!

picstitch (6)Mark outside of the Community Oven

picstitch (11)Their extensive beer list!

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picstitch (7)Our yummy, free pizza!!

picstitch (9)Delicious, dry rub wings!

*****

Want to go on a Granite State Growler Tour?

Saturday Beer Run

Begins at 11:00am and returns around 4pm.

Stops include:

Sea Hagg Distillery

Throwback Brewery

Blue Lobster Brewing

Earth Eagle Brewings

Venues and times are subject to change even during the tour

Sunday Driver

Begins at 11:30am and returns around 3pm.

Stops include:

Earth Eagle Brewings

Blue Lobster Brewing

Sea Hagg Distillery

Venues and times are subject to change even during the tour

Go here to register for a tour!