Fall Beer Fest, by the Boston Event Guide, Boston MA

We were lucky to go to Boston Event Guide’s Fall Beer Fest in November. They had three sessions; we went to the 12:00-2:30pm session.
We also had two pairs of tickets to give out to our readers- thank you to everyone that entered!
We hope that those of you that went had a great time!

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The Boston Event Guide prides themselves for being the leading resource for the best events in Boston. It was started in 1995 by Jeff Popkin to connect young professionals with events occuring across the city. He had been hearing about events AFTER they happened, instead of knowing first hand that they were happening. The Boston Event Guide also sends out a weekly newsletter to it’s members (membership is FREE) about what’s going on, what social events and netowkring events are approaching, and any great deals.

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The Fall Beer Fest was held at Cyclorama. The building was easy to find, however parking was not. Next time, we will definitely take the T in (the Boston area train).

When we arrived, we had our IDs checked outside, and then proceeded in.
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After checking in, we each took a cup to use for the day, and were given a map of where we could find the beer.

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map for the afternoon

 

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Cyclorama’s fun ceiling

Some of the many breweries present, and the beer we enjoyed…

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Foolproof Brewing Company
Foolproof Brewing Company opened 2 years ago in Pawtucket, RhodeIsland.
Farmhouse Ale Saison was very good
Backyahd IPA was pretty standard but tasty
Raincloud was a robust porter, good, chocolate and coffee notes
We recently added Rhode Island to our travels, so we will be visiting Foolproof sometime in the future
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Finch’s Beer Company
Finch’s is located in Chicago, Illinois. They are beginning to expand into the Massachusetts and New England market.
We had the Hardcore Chimera (double IPA) and Cut Throat (Pale Ale). Both these beers were really good.
Keep your eye out for these beers, and others by Finch’s Beer Company.

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Strange Brew
Strange Brew is currently a beer and wine home brew supply store, that also offers classes. Rumor has it, they should be opening as a brewery sometime soon…
They had a lot of interesting beer flavors:
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Granny Strange was a sour and/or tart cider. Good but very different flavor.

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Sour Power, as they label it, is an extremely sour ale. A very interesting, very sour and tasty ale.

 

Downeast Cider
Very good traditional cider taste- as Megan says “it’s like getting a jug of cider, but it is alcoholic.”
We have had many family mebers and friends try this cider- and no one has disliked it. In fact, it it now the favorite of many!
We just visited here, look for our post coming soon.

 

 

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Spiked Seltzer
This was a different take on beer. They brew it like a lager, but it drinks like flavored seltzer, despite being 6% alcohol! Spiked Seltzer is all natural and has low sugar, low carbs and is gluten free. They had lime, orange, and grapefruit flavors available to try.

All the flavors were pretty good, grapefruit was subtle and the orange tasted like orange soda. Megan can’t wait until they are all over New England, so she can pick up a six pack! Want to see if they are available near you? Check here

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Redhook and Kona
They were both there. We tried the Winter Hook because we’ve had their other beers plenty of times. The Winter Hook is a super hoppy ale with dark malts.

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Goose Island
We tried their IPA and Festivity Ale.
There’s no doubt they are a craft beer maker, but now they are owned by Inbev, owner of Anheuser-Busch. They like it, they can get what they need when they need it, they have the support of a company that has some pull.

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Blue Point Brewing Company
Our options were their toasted lager (which is their flagship beer), and a pumpkin ale, which was good- not overly spiced so you could taste the pumpkin

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Off Shore Ale Company
One of the many breweries in Massachusetts that we haven’t been able to visit yet- this one is on Martha’s Vineyard.
They had their Beach Road Nut Brown Ale and Hop Goddess.

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Uinta

All of the beers we tried here were good. They had their Black Lager, Yard Sale, Double IPA, and Session IPA. Our only fault with them? We would have to go to Salt Lake City to visit!
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Cape Ann Brewing Company
They brought a fair selection. We both liked the Fisherman’s Brew, but the Pilsner we did not like that much.
If you are interested in visiting Cape Ann Brewery in Gloucester, check out our post about our visit there.

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Ballantine
They just relaunched the brewery after being closed for 10 years. They have been around for a long time, in the 40’s and 50’s the were sponsoring the Yankee’s, they were the 4th largest brewery back then. Now the only beer they make is the Ballantine IPA which was a pretty good, fairly standard IPA.

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They were giving out free waters, which was great- always a good idea to hydrate during and after drinking! This water has a pH level of 9.5, to help keep you hydrated

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We thought the beer fest was good, and different in a good way. The event space fit it well- and allowed for you to walk around without bumping into others. We also liked that we had the opportunity to speak with the brewery representatives at many of the tables. Many tastings/festivals you want to ask questions, but really aren’t allowed to because the focus is to push everyone through the line. Here, the focus was fun and education when wanted.

Interested in going to one of these events, or something else by the Boston Event Guide? Be sure to sign up for their newsletter list to stay updated!

Ready to go drinking? Their Spring Craft Beer Fest 2015 is right around the corner- April 12th.
Tickets are $69. but you can buy them for $19 through December 31st! It looks like an event you can’t miss!

While at the beer fest, we ran into a few co-workers of Megan. They had taken a bus to the event, which was such a great idea!
Group photo, post beer fest!

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Martha’s Exchange, Nashua NH

100_0856We went to Martha’s Exchange  located in Nashua, NH for a quick bite after going to Anheuser- Busch in Merrimack, NH with Jason and Maureen. It was relatively close by, so going there for food made a lot of sense. Seeing that it was a brewpub, we had to try some beer while we were there. It was a nice fall afternoon, so we took advantage of the weather and sat outside. The outside seating area was part sidewalk, part in an alleyway.100_0859 The inside seating areas all had white linen tablecloths.

100_0857Prior to ordering, we noticed a sign on the table that said that some appetizers were half price and drinks were buy one get one for a penny until six pm. We asked if the sampler was included in the B1G1, and the waitress thought so, so we ordered two- one for Jason and Maureen and one for Mark and I. We also ordered buffalo chicken fingers and nachos. We found out a few minutes later that the sampler was not included, but the glasses were 4 ounce pours, so that was ok.

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Our tasting:

Volstead 33′: good, familiart flavor. Someone commented that it reminded them of a Harpoon beer

Warriors Gold IPA: Whoa! Hoppy! Good flavor.

Maureen said it was too hoppy for her.

Jason and Mark enjoyed it, said it was fine, that it taste like beer.

 

Summers Sunset: spicy notes, ginger

Jason, Mark and I thought it was good

Maureen said it wasn’t too bad

 

Dr. Hoppenstein: a Double IPA. Good first taste, but I felt it had a medicine like finish.

 

20th Anninversary Old Ale: cinnamon, candied oranges and pears. Nice, flavorful, surprising.

Maureen didn’t like how it finished.

Jason, Mark and I enjoyed.

 

Oktoberfest Lager: typical tasting. Mark said it was alright.

Maureen liked it.

 

Revolution Red: Mark and Jason said it was alright. I thought it had a mediocre taste.

 

Steeplechase Porter: Jason gave it a thumbs up, Mark thought it was a light porter.

I thought it was a good porter.

Maureen thought it was disgusting.

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After our tasting, we each ordered a drink. Maureen didn’t find a beer she liked, so she got a Washington State Riesling- Chateau ste Michelle Reisling. Jason, Mark and I all ordered the 20th Anniversary Old Ale (times 2!). 100_0874For the B1G1 for a penny deal, it was per person, not total across the check, so we had to enjoy more than one (with that Ale percentage, it was good that Maureen was driving us home!).

Our food:

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Before heading out, Maureen and I stopped at the candy counter inside the restaurant. Yummy and a good addition to the meal.  100_0871Maureen


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Want to visit?

Hours of Operation:

Monday & Tuesday – 11am to 9pm
Wednesday – 11am to 9:30pm
Thursday – 11am to 11pm
Friday & Saturday – 11am to 1am
Sunday – 11am to 9:30pm

 

Anheuser-Busch, Merrimack NH

100_0779  100_0783We recently visited Anheuser-Busch, located in Merrimack, New Hampshire with Jason (who went to Plymouth Winery, Mayflower Brewing and Blue Hills Brewery with us) and Maureen. The Merrimack location is just one of their 12 regional breweries. Each location produces for their region. 100_0785  100_0784

After we checked in (no reservations required, but we were there early and wanted to make sure we could get in on the last tour of the day), we walked to see the Clydesdales. On our way there and back, there was a good smell wafting through the air, to me it smelled like pistachios. We walked past a couple of playing fields for local youth teams on our way to the stables. 100_0811Inside the stable, the horse stalls were roped off for their protection. Many of the Clydesdales were sleeping when we were there.100_0787  100_0788  100_0789  100_0790  100_0791   
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After visiting the Clydesdales, but before leaving the stable, we saw a Clydesdale show, a sleigh, and signed up for free stuff! 100_0810  100_0809  100_0803  100_0805  100_0802  100_0797  100_0796  100_0795The sign stated a free, six-pack, but the coupon you receive I think varies depending on what state you live in (I received a $5 mail-in rebate). Almost free beer here I come! 100_0794We walked back towards the welcome center, just in time to hear the tour gathering call.

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Our tour began outside, by the Clydesdale statue. We were told that our tour guide for the next hour would be Beth. Beth told us a brief history of how Anheuser-Busch was started, and about the Clydesdales and how they came to be part of the Anheuser-Busch family in 1933. We were also told what Anheuser-Busch looks for when choosing a Clydesdale. We then stopped to take group photos (taken by factory staff) and started to walk towards the factory. We were told that the factory tour would be 30 minutes of walking and 20 minutes in the hospitality room.

On our way to the factory, we passed a hops garden. Anheuser-Busch has two hop farms, located in Germany and Idaho. The hops garden is for demonstration purposes. Located nearby were the grain rail carts. The smell that smelled of pistachios was stronger by both the hops garden and the rail carts. Our guide explained what grains were brought in (mostly rice from Arkansas and California) and barley malt. Before we headed into the factory/brewery we were told to turn our phones off- any static signal could cause an explosion in grain handling. 100_0820
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Throughout the tour of the building, the brewery process was described in great detail, and every step was gone over. 100_0824  100_0825  100_0826  100_0827  100_0828  100_0829  100_0830  100_0831

Some facts:

  • 2 of their mash tanks make one really big batch of beer
  • they recycle 99.6% of their solid waste
  • in just one room, 5.3 million gallons of beer were present
  • they have 12 regional breweries
  • they were the 1st American brewer to pasteurize beer, before milk was even pasteurized

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We were shown a video when we arrived at the bottling room, since they were not bottling at that time. The video wasn’t very informative, and as Mark said, “it didn’t really tell us anything.” 100_0842  100_0843  100_0848 100_0847

The tour ended in the hospitality room, where we were told we could each have 2 beers, and snacks (bags of pretzels). Maureen ordered first, and ordered a Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat, and a Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat. Jason ordered a Stella Artois and a Bud Light Platinum. Mark ordered a Bud Light Platinum and a Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat. I ordered a Shock Top Honeycrisp Apple Wheat and decided to try the Straw-ber-rita (to see if it was the same as in the can). I was happy that I went with Apple instead of Pumpkin, as the Pumpkin was good, but not amazing. The Apple I would definitely purchase.  This was a nice set up- only 2 downsides: 1. You had to drink QUICK. 20 minutes might seem like a lot, but it is not. 2. You can only try two beers (or pass yours around to friends and share). 100_0844  100_0845  100_0846  100_0849 100_0851

Anheuser-Busch was the largest brewery we have been to. It is crazy to think that there are 11 other breweries! I wonder how big the St. Louis brewery is… it is 5x larger than the size of the Merrimack location!100_0853  100_0854

Photo after the tour-Mark, Megan, Jason & Maureen

100_0855 Jason found a new hat!