Giveaway time! Tickets to the Boston Wine Expo!

Are you going to the Boston Wine Expo???

You should! It is a wonderful event, full of delicious wine, great food samples and education.
Read more about it here: https://brewwinefun.com/tag/boston-wine-expo/

Want to go for free? We are giving away one pair of tickets this Monday! http://gvwy.io/o2chj1d

Hope to see you there!

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Newburyport Brewing Company, Newburyport, Mass- visit 41

Newburyport Brewing Company, located in Newburyport, Massachusetts has been open since 2012. It was the idea of Chris Webb & Bill Fisher, locals who like beer and great music. It is located in an industrial park and is fairly easy to find. The outside of the building is very distinctive.

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Their tasting room is more than just a tasting room- you get the feeling that it is a place to go and hangout. Bill and Chris’s 8-piece funk band plays there, as well as other local bands. You can go in and have a tasting, or a pint. It is a nice, big room with a twelve seat bar, and two-twelve seat tables as well as a Foosball table, as well as plenty of space for their live music.

 

Our tasting:

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The Signature Beers

Plum Island Belgian White: good, citrus-y, with coriander. Unfiltered witbier. 5.4% alc

Newburyport Pale Ale: hoppier than a typical pale ale… almost an IPA. Slightly citrus-y with a light toasted sweet malt finish. I wasn’t feeling the hoppiness when we went- just one of those days. Mark enjoyed the hoppiness 5.5% alc

GreenHead IPA: a West Coast style IPA. Almost a double IPA 7.2% alc

On Rotation at the Time

Double IPA: almost has a candy/chocolaty/sweet caramel feel

Joppa Stout (1635): great mocha smell. Easy to drink stout. We went home with a growler of this

Mark enjoyed all of the beers, with the Plum Island Belgian White being his favorite. He enjoyed the Double IPA for the different flavor, but wasn’t sure how much he would be able to drink. Mark didn’t have a beer he disliked. I, on the other hand, was not in the hoppy mood.

The brewery only cans and kegs and started distributing about 8 months ago. They choose to use aluminum cans instead of glass bottles, for many reasons. Aluminum keeps the beer cooler longer, and can naturally protect beer from light and oxygen. Aluminum is more likely to be recycled than glass, and is easier to do so. 

The tastings are free (which is great for the amount that you get!!), and once you find one you enjoy you are encouraged to buy a pint and hang out. It is a very welcoming place and we would love to go back.

Oh, one other thing. They have really cute sweatshirts- with their logo as seen on the building. The last of the women’s sweatshirt, with the small logo across the front was purchased while we were there. It was cute, and didn’t scream BEER unless you were in the know 🙂 If we are able to go there again, one of those zippered sweatshirts will be going home with me.

Want to visit? 
Hours:
Thursday & Friday: 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Saturday: 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tours: Fri & Sat at 5:00pm

 

Jewell Town Vineyard, South Hampton NH #44 (a little out of order)

100_1281We recently visited Jewell Towne Vineyard. We decided it was a great idea to go out during a snow storm, which in a way was true. Not that fun to get there (for me, although luckily Mark drove) but once we found Jewell Towne, we were the only ones there. We had just missed two car loads of people. IMG_0269
Jewell Towne is located in South Hampton, New Hampshire and is very close to the Massachusetts border. We were in New Hampshire, and drove through Massachusetts to get there. It is a little difficult to find, so pay attention to their directions as found on their website.100_1280  100_1279   100_1283  100_1282

Time Line:
1982- owners Peter and Brenda planed six grapevines
1990- Jewell Towne was established
1994- Jewell Towne Vineyards became a licensed commercial winery
1998- the winery was built, a 18th century reproduction

Facts:

  • Since they began, Peter has helped other wineries become established in the area, offering his knowledge of viticulture. Peter leads the way for the wine industry for New Hampshire. Peter has also helped with legislation in regards to the the winery industry.
  • Jewell Town is New Hampshire’s oldest winery
  • They have won over 150 medals in national and international competitions
  • Their upstairs art gallery features local artists, as well as Brenda’s work
  • They produce 6 thousand cases of wine every year
  • Their wine can be found in over 150 stores and restaurants in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as at many Farmer’s Markets (Portsmouth, Concord, Greenland, Newburyport, Middleton and Gloucester)
  • Their tours as well as their tastings are FREE
  • You won’t find other fruits here- they produce only traditional style wines
  • They currently have 5 acres of grapevines
  • Many grapes they use are grown there, but some are contracted in (due to climate)

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IMG_0271the tasting bar

Our tasting:

Not all wines are open at once. They have a dry-erase board with their current offerings, and you may choose 6IMG_0272

Aurore: hints of green apple, dry

Riesling: hints of honey and orange

Seyval 2012: “off dry” description fit well. Not too fruity, good plum flavor

Vignoles 2012: honey and lemon flavor. Off dry

Traminette: relative of Gewurztraminer. Had a touch of sweetness to it

Steuben: sweet rose with flavors of ripe strawberry and fresh pineapple. yum!

Leon Millot: smooth, off-dry. Light red wine with cherry and black raspberry flavors.

Sparkling Marechal Foch: unintentional (sparkling) wine. Festive flavor. Good for sangria.

Rhapsody in Blue: ice wine. Strong hints of honey. yum!

Everyone there was very friendly. The two women who were working in the tasting room, as well as Peter. It was one of the women’s first day there, but it didn’t show. All were very knowledgeable and friendly. Jewell Towne Vineyard would be a good place to go for those who know their wine, as well as those that are new to wine.

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Want to visit?
Hours of Operation: 
11am – 4pm Wednesday through Friday
11am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday
Be sure to visit their website before you plan your visit
so you don’t get lost!

 

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!

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Sam Adams

Please forgive me, as the first few entries on this won’t be as detailed about the specific beers and wine as they will later. I am currently recalling the ones we have been to in the past.

The tour tickets

For my birthday a few years ago, a few friends and I went into Boston to go to Sam Adams.

How it works at Sam Adams

  • The tour & tasting are “free,” but you are asked to make a donation, which they in turn send to a charity. Win-WIn!
  • You walk through their brewery, stopping in different areas to hear about how the beer is made,  how Sam Adams was started and how they choose their hops, barley, etc. During this, you have an opportunity to try the hops.
  • One the tour is (almost) over, you enter the tasting room. It is set up like a bar. You find yourself a table, they pass out tasting glasses. They start with Boston Lager, and explain how to tell if you have a good glass while out (that the bars lines are clean, etc). They then continue to pass around pitchers of the beers they currently have on tap for everyone to try.
  • Before the end of your tasting, you typically try a “tester” beer, which they are looking to find out what we, the consumer, thinks before they brew big batches of it.

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Recommendation if you go: take the trolley from the brewery to Doyle’s Cafe. Nice, quick trolley ride there. If you get a beer while there, you get to keep the Sam Adam’s glass! 
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Tour and Gift Shop Hours

tour video
  • Monday – Thursday: 10:00am – 3:00pmLast tour starts at 3pm.
  • Fridays: 10:00am – 5:30pmLast tour starts at 5:30pm (gift shop and tour center closes at 6:30)
  • Saturdays: 10:00am – 3:00pmLast tour starts at 3pm (gift shop & tour center close at 4:00)