Liar’s Bench Beer Company, Portsmouth, NH

We just visited Liar’s Bench Beer Company in Portsmouth with Mark’s sister Michelle. Liar’s Bench has been open for a little less than a year, we just hadn’t made it over there yet.

 

img_2763

 

They do full pours as well as samples. Megan and Michelle just did samples of the first 3, Mark tried all 6 beers on tap.

 

img_2762

 

New Norman – Kolsch 4.9%
This was a collaboration brew with Magnolia Brewing Company. Megan thought it was kind of basic, Mark thought it was not quite as clean as he expected from a Kolsch, with an earthy flavor to it.

 

Doctor Criminal – Berliner Weisse 3%
A light, sour beer with a dry finish. Pretty classic in style. “There is no fruit added to the beer, so you can appreciate it in all of its sour goodness.” Mark and Megan thought it could have been a little more sour. Michelle did like it, and she is not a big fan of sour beers, so its made to be more approachable.

 

img_2767

Megan and Michelle’s samples

Hai Ikki – Rice Saison 5.7%
Really smooth, from the rice we assume, with a mild peppery saison finish. This was Megan and Michelle’s favorite.

Punxsutawney Swill – Brown Ale 5.2%
Has a roasty nose, a smooth brown ale, pretty flavorful for the style, better than the average brown.

img_2766

Young Upstart – IPA 6.6%
A hazy New England style ipa, smells really, really fruity but doesn’t taste quite as fruity. They say balanced in the description, Mark wanted the flavor to follow the nose. Still a good ipa, medium body, hoppy – fruity/ citrusy with a very minor bitter finish. Pretty good overall.

Pound of Flesh – British Strong 7.5%
Clear with a reddish tint. Not what Mark was expecting, a sweet, malty beer that was better than expected.

img_2765

This is a cool, popular spot on the West end of Portsmouth. Michelle noticed when we first walked in that everyone there was our age or younger. More people came in as we were there, some older people, but the crowd was generally pretty young.

img_2768

Megan and Michelle

They serve food, just a few selections, hot dog, bratwurst, and sausage. They serve food so that they can serve pints, as that is the law in New Hampshire for serving pints, you need to have food.

img_2774

A pretty small place, but they use the space well. They have 2 long tables that people can stand around, they fit about 12 people each and 1 long table to sit at.

img_2778

There is room to stand around and some standing counters around the edges of the room. There is Foosball as well.

img_2776

Hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 2:00 – 9:00
Friday and Saturday: 12:00 – 10:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 5:00
Monday: Closed

As always, check Facebook or their website for updated hours.

Northampton Brewery, Northampton, MA

photo-dec-03-10-16-29-pm

 

We recently visited Northampton Brewery out in Northampton, MA. We were on our way out to western Mass with our friend Bre and stopped there for beer samples and dinner. This has been on our list for a while, they have a long history and connections with some local breweries in NH.

 

photo-dec-03-8-39-48-pm

 

Northampton Brewery opened in 1987 and was the second brewpub to open in the region. They are currently the oldest operating brewpub in New England. A brief history: Northampton Brewery was founded by brother and sister Janet and Peter Egelston. In 1991 they opened another brewpub, Portsmouth Brewery in NH. In 1994 they opened another brewery, a small production brewery called Smuttynose Brewing Company. In 2000, Janet and Peter bought each other out of their respective businesses, which left Janet the sole owner of Nothampton Brewery, and Peter owner of Portsmouth Brewery and majority owner of Smuttynose.

 

photo-dec-03-8-39-33-pm

Similar frothy mug to Portsmouth Brewery

 

Northampton Brewery has gone through several renovations over the years, which leaves them with a pretty good sized brewpub, which includes a rooftop bar area, which we did not go to since it was December.

 

photo-dec-03-9-46-48-pm                      photo-dec-03-8-46-22-pm

One of the renovations added this large back room with high ceilings and exposed beams.

 

 

photo-dec-03-8-53-55-pm

 

They do flights of 4 beers, you can pick any 4 off the menu so we each got a flight so we could try as many beers as possible.

 

Redheaded Stepchild 5%
Pretty good for a red ale, described as ‘well balanced’, we agree.

Deckbier 4.5%
A golden ale with slightly more flavor than a typical golden ale. A light bodied beer with a light citrus flavor.

 

photo-dec-03-8-54-00-pm

 

Greyhound IPA
Smells like grapefruit. Light in body for an ipa, super cloudy with a very strong grapefruit flavor. Bre liked this and isn’t usually a fan of ipa’s.

ESB 5.7%
Better than a standard ESB, not quite as bitter, balanced and drinkable.

 

photo-dec-03-9-09-27-pm

 

Blue Boots IPA 6%
Slightly hazy, smells citrusy and piney but tastes more piney. Decent ipa.

Hoover’s Porter
Megan smelled vanilla, Mark smelled coffee and chocolate. A good porter, smooth, well balanced, a hint of coffee and vanilla, not bitter at all. We were pleasantly surprised by this porter.

 

photo-dec-03-8-54-08-pm

 

Milk and Cookies 5.6%
A dark beer, medium to heavy body. A touch of chocolate with some roastyness, with a cookie sweetness to the finish. Bitter start, smooth sweet finish. Not quite as good as we were hoping for from the name, but pretty good.

Old Brown Dog 5.2%
A smooth brown all, creamy, with a touch of sweetness on the finish, not very malty at all.

Mark asked about Old Brown Dog, since that is one of Smuttynose year round beers. When the businesses separated they both had rights to the Old Brown Dog recipe. We think this tasted a little different than Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, but not quite sure.

 

photo-dec-03-9-03-08-pm

 

Northampton American Pale Ale 5.7%
Pretty good, nice and hoppy for a pale ale.

 

photo-dec-03-9-47-35-pm

Bre enjoying her samples

 

Food

photo-dec-03-9-14-42-pm

 

photo-dec-03-9-14-55-pm

BBQ Chicken Pizza

 

photo-dec-03-9-15-08-pm

Green Mountain Burger

 

All the food was very good and so was the service.

photo-dec-03-9-47-10-pm

We were pleasantly surprised by the beers as well. They do make some of the less interesting, ‘typical brewpub’ beer styles, like a Golden Ale, ESB, Porter, but they put their own unique twist to their recipes, which makes the beers more interesting and enjoyable.

photo-dec-03-10-16-20-pm               photo-dec-03-10-17-03-pm

 

They makes all their own beer in the brewery. The also can and bottle all their own beer in house as well. We bought cans and bottles to go, which is nice to have offerings other than growlers.

 

photo-dec-03-10-21-02-pm

Mark, Bre and Megan

 

Hours

Monday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 1:00 am
Sunday: 12:00 – 1:00 am

As always, check their website or Facebook for updated hours and offerings.

Hopsters, Newton, MA

 

 

IMG_7041

 

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.

 

IMG_7025

 

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.

 

IMG_6885

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.

 

IMG_6917

 

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.

 

IMG_6903

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

IMG_6904

 

The Brewing

IMG_6897

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.

 

IMG_6889

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.

IMG_6891

 

IMG_6890

Maureen helping to measure out the Red Wheat.

 

IMG_6893

Jason measuring out the Cara-pils Dextrine wheat.

 

IMG_6892

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.

 

IMG_6896

Michelle is cracking the grains to help release the flavors.

 

IMG_6901

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.

IMG_6900

 

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.

 

IMG_6905

Jason inspecting the beer.

 

IMG_6907

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

 

IMG_6908

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

IMG_6911

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.

 

IMG_6912

Hop pellets.

 

IMG_6919

The final stir after we added the Cascade hop pellets.

 

IMG_6920

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

IMG_6925

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

IMG_6926

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

IMG_6921

There is our beer!

Bottling Session

IMG_7030

Jason starting out the bottling session.

IMG_7031

Bottles sanitized and drying.

IMG_7032

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

IMG_7033

IMG_7035

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

IMG_7034

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.

IMG_7037

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

IMG_7223

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.

IMG_7224

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.

 

IMG_7038

Hours

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.

Westfield River Brewing Company, Southwick, MA

IMG_4068

 

A few weeks ago we went to Six Flags and were looking to visit a brewery, of course. Westfield River Brewing is nearby in Southwick, MA. They say on their website they are the “primary location for those who are seeking both drinkability in their beer and adventure in their glass”.

 

IMG_4064

 

They are located on a 100 year old dairy farm. The building had been converted into a steak house for many years, but that closed. The brewery moved into this location a year ago from an industrial park. They have a farmers license so they can sell anything they make on the property as retail. They have 3 years of commercial brewing, the owner has been home brewing for 15 years.

 

IMG_4071

 

 

IMG_4110

History of the property

 

IMG_4086

 

We ordered two sampler trays for each couple, four 6oz pours for $10. They had nine beers on tap, so they gave us the extra beer sample for free.

 

IMG_4082

 

Louie and Pepe’s – Mexican lager
4.7%    10 IBU
Really light beer, it was served with a lime in it, you can taste the lime. Megan, Sammie, and Dustin all liked it, a good summer beer.

 

IMG_4083

 

Strawberry Shandy – 1/2 strawberry blonde 1/2 lemonade
5.3%    6 IBU
A strawberry taste upfront, lemonade as the second taste. Pretty good balance, another good summer beer. We all went home with a few cans!

 

 

IMG_4089

 

Red, White and Raz – raspberry wheat ale
4.9%    11 IBU
Great raspberry taste, not super sweet but tastes like raspberries. Good taste. We all went home with a few cans!

 

IMG_4093

Sam and Dustin enjoying their samples

 

Oatmeal Stout – ‘hints of coffee, chocolate, and vanilla’
5.9%    14 IBU
Smells like coffee, toasted taste up front, a bit of a sweet 2nd taste. Sammie agree’s with us, Dustin thought it had a hint of a sour taste.

 

IMG_4087

 

Copper Roaster – copper ale
6.1%    19 IBU
Brewed with brown sugar as an english style ale. Pretty good for this style of beer, everyone liked it. Darker in color but light in body with a hint of sweetness. ‘Not offensive to the mouth’ according to Megan (she was super surprised that she liked it).  Dustin thought it was smooth.

 

IMG_4086

 

Big Red Barn – malty imperial red
9.5%    12 IBU
A heavy taste but light in body for this style and percent of alcohol. A little strange, sweet, maybe tangy, a strong flavor. Megan and Sam thought it tastes like dates, almost like one of their mom’s Christmas cookies.

 

IMG_4096

 

Farmhouse Honey – saison style ale brewed with honey
5.6%    10 IBU
Light in body, honey flavor, slight tartness or saison flavor, we would have liked to taste a little more tartness, but all in all it was good!

 

IMG_4084

 

Charlie – rye ipa with citrus notes
5.3%    57 IBU
Different than the other beers, it taste bitter. Citrus notes, but even that taste a little bitter, citrus and rye taste a little overpowering. This might be because everything else was so low in IBU’s and this was 57 IBU. Dustin felt that there was a juniper flavor.

 

IMG_4101

 

Session – ‘light in body with tropical fruit hops’
4.5%    42 IBU
Right on in the description, pretty good flavor, session ipa with a light body and flavor with tropical fruity hops.

 

A lot of the beers on tap certainly had a summer theme to them. We liked most, if not all, of the beers. The thing that stood out to Mark was the IBU’s. 7 of the beers on tap were under 20 IBU’s, the the Charlie was 57 IBU’s and the Session was 42 IBU’s. They make their beers to be drinkable.

IMG_4073

 

Unfortunately, when we were there the most popular beer was sold out, the El Dorado IPA at 7.5% with an IBU of 82. Must be good!

We all liked the atmosphere here. This is a place we would all hang out at if it was near where we lived. The building itself is welcoming, never mind the people who work there. We were very impressed with the whole feel of this visit, and really wish we could go back soon!

 

IMG_4111

Before leaving, we tasted an cask Honey Nut Brown beer they made in collaboration with the home brew shop that is attached to the brewery. This was tasty, and was Sam’s first experience with a cask beer.

 

IMG_4075

They have a decent size restaurant area inside. The place has a cool vibe to it, all old beams and rustic decor. We didn’t get any food, we were actually there on July 4th so the kitchen wasn’t open. They did however have AMAZING pretzels available… more on that below…

 

IMG_4080

The brewery out back, you can see from the restaurant. And lots of cans.

IMG_4078

 

IMG_4079

 

 

IMG_4104

 

They have a single canning machine behind the bar. You can get any beer you want that is on tap. You can also get any combination of beers, a 6 pack of them same, 3 and 3, or 6 different beers. We thought this was awesome.

 

IMG_4105

Sam and Dustin got 3 of the Shandy and 3 of the Red, White and Raz. The filled them right in front of us.

IMG_4108

 

We got a 6 pack of each of the Shandy and the Red, White and Raz.

 

IMG_4106

 

IMG_4109

 

They also make giant pretzels to go from spent grain and home made spicy honey mustard. The flavor and texture were to die for, and the size- whaat. Well worth it.

 

IMG_4074

 Want to visit?
Hours

Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

IMG_4112

Night Shift Brewing, Everett MA

IMG_1400Night Shift Brewing is located in Everett, MA. They have been an official brewery for 2.5 years, and they were obviously home brewing before that. This is a new location for them, they have only been there a few months. The previous space was the size of their new tasting room.

IMG_1412

one side of their barrel room

They do a lot of barrel aging with different barrels for the different styles of beer. Aging in the barrels gives the beer a different flavor. They reuse all of their yeast, recycling and remixing it so it is all the same. They still use the original recipe for one of their first beers, Trifecta. Their beers are unfiltered and unpasteurized, that’s what they use the brite tank for. They did 750 barrels last year, and they will significantly increase this year in the new space.

IMG_1413

signs as you enter the taproom

When we arrived, midday on a Saturday, it was a bit crowded (usually a good sign!), and a little loud, but lots of bartenders were on and we were served quickly. There was plenty of standing room and several different seating areas. It looked like a tour bus had arrived shortly before us. The tasting room reminded us of SoMe Brewing in ME, because it was designed as a place to come and hang out and drink some beers. There was matching décor, a big bar, tables, plenty of room, it was just a cool atmosphere to be in. It was more like a typical bar and not just a tasting room, which is what they were going for.  On the tables were giant bowls off pretzels- yum!

IMG_1387

bowl of pretzels on one of the picnic tables they have inside

 

IMG_1384

the fun lights they have

IMG_1378

wall of beers! aka whats on tap

Beers

They offer a variety of beers to be enjoyed as part of a flight, in a 4oz pour, or a 12oz pour. Some have a limited availability, and are available either only by the bottle or only on tap. Beers you can take home are available in a 32oz or 64oz growler or a 750ml bottle.

IMG_1385

our tasting

 

Whirlpool

Juicy pale ale, citrus flavor but not sour. Mark used the word tangy. Notes of ripe peach as well

 

Mud – Art Series #24

Session rye ipa, not super hoppy, decent flavor, pretty easy drinking.

Night Shift “Art” is a series of experimental, test-batch beers and beer-blends that are thoughtful expressions of our current creative process. Some might become larger production batches, some will fade into the night. The goal is unique, artistic beer experimentation.

 

Viva Habanero

Nice after burn, intense at first but tames down quickly. They describe it:

Brewed with rye malts that bring their own natural spice, this invigorating cerveza gets its zesty kick and peppery flavor from habanero peppers that we add after fermentation. Agave nectar, produced in Mexico, helps to sweeten and lighten the body, while our Belgian house yeast strain tempers the beer’s fiery disposition.

 

Grove

Juicy/ fruity, good grapefruit flavor, not overpowering or sour, farmhouse saison

 

Stop, Collaborate, & Glisten8.9% – sparkling golden ale fermented in wine barrels with sauvignon blanc grape must and a blend of wild yeast strains

Our first thought was it was carbonated differently, reminded me of something but couldn’t quite figure out the sauvignon blanc flavor, but knew it was familiar.

 

When we were finishing our tasting,  they came around to all the tables to let us know there was a tour starting. We quickly finished our beers (don’t worry- we went back and had more later) and joined the tour…  

IMG_1389

view of the brewhouse

IMG_1390

tanks in the brewhouse

IMG_1391

empty kegs in the brewhouse, waiting to be filled

IMG_1392

box of Muselets used to help close the bottles

IMG_1393

bottling station

IMG_1394

bottles, bottles and more bottles

IMG_1395

growlers ready to be filled

IMG_1396

more beer being barrel aged

IMG_1397

the current brewery set up- another expansion soon!

 

Here is an excerpt from their website (this and more is gone over during the tour):

While refining our brewing skills, we also organized weekly beer tastings in an attempt to sample every style, brand, and region possible. As time progressed and palates developed, our appreciation for beers, both our own and on the market, began to shift. We realized that while the making of a truly great beer is by no means common or easy, it is possible.

As importantly, however, was our growing opinion that a beer’s greatness was often very closely linked to its memorability. The market seemed flooded with a collection of very similar beers in very typical beer styles.  When something unique AND great came along, we took notice, and we remembered it.

In our test kitchen, we applied these lessons learned. Because no one judged our beers but us, we experimented like mad scientists with unorthodox brewing ingredients, weird recipes and funky yeasts, attempting to create nearly every beer style imaginable. Years of testing and tweaking led to some especially horrible stuff, but also to some memorable, innovative, truly great beers. When everyone started demanding more Night Shift beer, we realized: brewing had become much more than a nighttime hobby.

The beers that we now offer to the Greater Boston community are the very best of all those years of fine-tuning – wholly unique brews with complex, interesting flavors. Everything is brewed, fermented, and bottled in-house at our Everett, MA microbrewery, where we spend most of our night AND day shifts. We continue to learn as we grow and brew more, and are loving the entire journey (even if it means very little sleep).

 

We would have to agree with them. After having visited over 65 breweries, wineries, and distilleries, the interesting beers are the ones that stand out. It’s even better when it is a little bit different, but really well done. Everyone now makes an IPA, and though some are better than others, eventually they all blend together. When you drink a Viva Habanero rye ale brewed with agave nectar and aged on habanero peppers, that tends to stand out. This is a nice place, we would love it if they were closer to us so we could visit more often, and try out whatever new beers were on tap. It’s a cool place to go and hang out and have some good beers with friends, while supporting a local brewery. They also offer BYOF, bring you own food, they have lists of local places you can order from and large picnic tables inside to sit at.

IMG_1407

Mark enjoying a beer after the tour, in the barrel room

IMG_1411   

Want to Visit?

The Night Shift Taproom is open 7 days a week (except for certain holidays). Regular open hours are:

  • Monday-Friday, 3-9pm
  • Saturday, 12-8pm
  • Sunday, 12-5pm
IMG_1416

outside! yayyy beer!

 

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.

picstitch (15)

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.

picstitch (16)

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:

picstitch (20)

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

picstitch (3)

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.

 

Cape Ann Brewing Company, Gloucester, MA

We recently stopped at the Cape Ann Brewing Company, located in Gloucester, MA.

From their website: “Fisherman’s beer — whose bold flavor and character reflect the spirit and courage of the sailors of the North Atlantic fishing fleet — is a tribute to hard work and a salute to friendships that endure.”

IMG_2674

IMG_2673 a look at the brewery from outside

IMG_2678

IMG_2676

their very extensive beer menu

We arrived wanting a snack, and to try new beers. They had a few options- we could each buy a pint, or a flight of 6. We chose to purchase two flights of 6, so we could try all of their current offerings of beers.

IMG_2689

IMG_2683

Mark with the beers

IMG_2682Me with the beers

Fisherman’s Brew: had an IPA flavor. 5.5% ABV. American Amber Lager. Dry, hoppy finish

Fisherman’s Ale: I wasn’t a fan of, but Mark enjoyed. 5.0% ABV. A German Style Kolsch Ale. Easy drinking beer with a touch of noble hops.

Fisherman’s IPA: strong flavor. Too strong for me. 5.5 % ABV.

Fisherman’s Great Wit Whale: tastes like I would expect it too. Very refreshing. 6.3% ABV. Light and refreshing, brewed with coriander and orange peel.

Fisherman’s Pils: good, slight strawberry fruity flavor. 5.4% ABV.  Light and refreshing, yet dry and crisp.

Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout: Perfect blend of pumpkin and a stout. Second time around, felt a stronger pumpkin nose than flavor. 7.0% ABV.

Fisherman’s Sunrise Saison: great flavors of strawberry and rhubarb. 150# rhubarb & 250# strawberries! 7% ABV Rhubarb toned the strawberry down, to make it refreshing versus overwhelming.

Fisherman’s Chili Stout: Perfect undertone of chili. Second time around, tastes of chocolate. Reminded me of chocolate-chili truffles I made. 5.4% ABV Brewed with both jalapeno & habanero chilies.

Fisherman’s Navigator:  a traditional doppel-bock. I wasn’t a fan, but Mark was. 7.0% ABV

Fisherman’s Honey Pilsner: was an interesting combination, especially after having had honey wine (mead, at Moonlight Meadery).  Sweet honey wasn’t overwhelming, but made you think about the beer you were drinking. 4.6% ABV. Made with 20# honey.

Fisherman’s Spruce Tip Biere de Garde: spicy. Smelled and kind of tasted like the holidays without being strong or dark in taste. 7.3% ABV, brewed with spruce tips and orange peel.

Fisherman’s Glosta Strong Ale: typical strong ale. The big deal about this beer was that 100% of proceeds of this ale are going to the Boston One Fund, which made me want to try it even more. 7.5% ABV.

IMG_2677Fun way of holding condiments on the table. 

IMG_2685

Mark ordered clam chowda, he said it was really good- clams were ground up

IMG_2686I ordered a chicken quesadilla

IMG_2697 IMG_2696 IMG_2695 IMG_2694

We had sat on the back deck, after eating we went out and took pictures of the area

IMG_2691 IMG_2692 IMG_2698

Fun taking photos outside after 🙂