Preparing for Irene with Beer!

While prepping the house on Friday before going to work and on our late night ride to camper we stopped at Four Main for one for the drive. I found Harpoon Octoberfest was pouring and I was surprised at the taste it was somewhat hoppy! Upon arriving at camper we opened a growler of Barley Wine from Mendocino brewing. We had the rest of growler on Saturday while buttoning up the camper.

On the ride home to ride out Hurricane Irene, We made two stops first was the Olde Forge for late lunch and a couple of good brews. Those brews happened to be Full Sail IPA that was a little above average and helped put the fire out from the wings I had. Second one Sierra Nevada & Dogfish Head collaboration brew Life and Limb pours ruby black with good head and sticky lacing. Nose of rich malt and sweet smell of maybe vanilla? Taste is robust malt like a double stout and alcohol. This one made the weekend real memorable and it’s a badassbeer for sure. Our last stop and it was close to home was where we started Friday night. I had Harpoon Octoberfest and a Red Hook Late Harvest at Four Main Street.

I hope everyone rode out Hurricane Irene as well as we did!

For the story on the Sierra Nevada & Dogfish Head collaboration brew Life and Limb. Go here

This is a clip from our local new station about our town.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Weekly after work brew stop!

Where do I start? About the beer I’ve had or the story about the people at the bar. Well the brews win out first! I eyed the taps and found Dale’s Pale ale that I have had only from a can. Pours amber with a fair head and nice lacing. Nose of malt and pine! Taste is somewhat mouth biting with a linger on the roof of mouth. Very very good! Second up was Harpoon Pumpkin Ale that I had a couple of weeks ago but want another. Pours orange straw with little head and follow down the glass lacing. Nose of pumpkin and spice. Taste is almost like moms pumpkin bread with a nice mouth bite.

Now for the story! When I walked into Collins Tavern the only people there were the bartender and one patron. After receiving my brew I thought better drink up before last call, but within ten minutes or so a dozen or more people had come in. The three people that sat to my right at the bar where two young ladies and guy in their mid twenties. I could not help over hearing some of their conversation and you know me I had to join in! Now the young lady next to me had told me that the couple she was with had puppy love and did not think that she would find anyone. I tried to assure her that it would happen for her and told her the short story of how I met my wife of forty  years now while going out with a couple of other girls. She said that I was a player and I told her that I was just looking for the right girl for me and call it what you want. The bartender had over heard some of the conversation and seemed interested in the girl, so I tried my best to get them to hook up? But it was a nice night when you can enjoy a good brew or two and have a nice conversation with people around you. My brew was finished and I bid them good night and will have to ask the bartender how he made out on my next visit!


Weekly after work brew stop

Tonight I stopped and got the wife and went local to Westfield Tavern. I enjoyed a Port Brewing Wipeout IPA lots of sticky lacing. Had a Clean nose with some pine notes. Taste is good on mouth bite with some after the fact. Not quite a wipe out but very good 7.0 % 8/16/11. Chris was our host.

Weekly Beer Nut

Beer ruling goes down the drain

Published: Monday, August 15, 2011, 8:12 AM

 clip_image002By George

clip_image004The Republican

In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna: "Never mind."

I couldn’t help think of the classic Gilda Radner character from "Saturday Night Live!" last week when the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission reversed its ridiculous decision regarding farmer-brewers, which it had handed down a week earlier. As I mentioned in last week’s column, the ABCC had ruled (arbitrarily, it seems) that farmer-brewers had to either grow, or buy from local vendors, 50 percent of their malt and hops.

Since there are not nearly enough malt and hop producers in the state to even come close to the demand this ruling would have created, a hue and cry rose from all corners (including this one). Our calls to the ABCC asking why this ruling was issued without any input from farmers or brewers (along with my question: where on earth did they come up with the random 50 percent threshold?) seemed to have garnered the attention of state treasurer Steven Grossman, who oversees the commission. To his credit, Grossman announced last week that the ruling was being rescinded and that officials were eager to meet with brewers and and hold hearings. Grossman also stated that the ABCC wants to foster craft brewing, not stifle it, and will work to that end.

This is pleasing news on many levels. First, it means smaller breweries aren’t suddenly in trouble. Second, it means that rather than issue arbitrary rulings, the ABCC is now on the hotseat to make sure it nurtures craft brewing. Third, it means at least once in a while, government works as it should. Sure, the ABCC made a mistake. Everyone does. But it was refreshing to see how quickly the mistake was acknowledged and corrected. A pat on the back goes to Grossman and others from this column for doing so.


The Northampton Brewery will hold another beer social on September 6 from 6-8 p.m. The event will feature Master Brewer Ben Roesch of Wormtown Brewing in Worcester (which would have been one of the breweries affected by the now-rescinded ABCC ruling). As usual at these beer socials, will be several beers from both breweries, accompanied by an array of food, featuring fresh produce from J.O.E.’s farm. The menu will be a collaboration between the brewery’s current Head Chef Chris Ware and his replacement, Nate Wagner. (Ware is leaving to re-open Jake’s, a legendary local breakfast spot that closed earlier this year.)

Slated to be on the menu are such treats as caramelized onion, goat cheese and duck pizza; drunken mussels (featuring Northampton’s Belgian-inspired Bier de Boog); local bread and cheese table; and much more. As always, Northampton Head Brewer Donald Pacher will break out some special treats (vintage beers or a special cask). Roesch is supposedly bringing Wormtown’s pumpkin ale. The cost for the whole shebang is $30, which also gets you a commemorative tasting glass. Call (413) 584-9903 for more information.

Sam Adams E-mail

Hey Badassbeer!

Hello from the Boston Brewery! Down here the dog days of summer are anything but lazy. We’ve got several new brews in various stages of development. There are so many people dropping in to take tours, taste a sample or two and pick up a trinket at the gift shop that it can make maneuvering the forklift an interesting exercise!

As brewers we’re always running a bit ahead of the season, so as summer winds down for most of you, we’re fully into the flavors of fall. While it may be hot down here in the brew house in the middle of August, it’s not just due to the weather. There are events being planned, special brews being made for the start of the football season, and some intense training going on for the upcoming stein-hoisting competitions.

We’ve also got stories of some deserving, hard working beneficiaries of the Brewing the American Dream program to share. So reach into the cooler, do a blind pull of your favorite Sam style and read on.

Cheers! - Andrew & Bert, 2011

Samuel Adams®
Harvest Collection

Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Choice

Autumn is a time for big, hearty beers and this year’s Harvest Collection variety pack delivers on that promise. This line up of brews compliment the boldest tailgates around by featuring:

New to the pack is Samuel Adams® Bonfire Rauchbier, a hearty brew with a bold smoky flavor and a sweet malty finish. Try pairing the Bonfire Rauch with your favorite barbeque…delicious!

Looking for a place to find the Harvest Collection?

End of Lockout Means
Taps Can Flow!

Mass Brewers Fest

Thankfully, there will be a 2011 football season! That means tailgating with great food and great beer.

It also means New England homebrewers get a shot at the big time.

The 2011 Patriot Homebrew Contest kicked off Thursday August 11th with an announcement from Jim Koch at Gillette Stadium. The 2010 winner was Jim Prucha (show below). Jim’s Baltic Porter, will be served in the Samuel Adams Brewhouse for the 2011-2012 football season. The 2011 call for entries ends on December 15, 2011. Visit our Patriot Homebrew page for all the details.

Samuel Adams®
Beer Lover’s Choice

Samuel Adams Beer Lover's Choice

Our Samuel Adams Beer Lover’s Choice contest is still in full swing featuring the deep red Samuel Adams® Oaked Ale, with its mocha and toffee aromas, or the sweet and nutty Samuel Adams® Maple Pecan Porter, with its slightly tangy finish. Which will it be? It’s just too early to tell. Voting continues each and every day down here at the brewery.

Learn more about this year’s contenders, and throw your support behind the beer you think will win, by liking the style on Facebook. And don’t forget to cast your OFFICIAL vote, down at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery!

Prost with us!

Samuel Adams Brewing The American Dream

This September, beer drinkers across the country will compete for their chance to be crowned the Samuel Adams® National Stein Hoisting Champion and win a trip for two to the 2012 Oktoberfest Celebration in Munich!

Visit to find out how you can compete at an event near you.

Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen

Come hoist a stein at the best Octoberfest this side of Bavaria!
What: Samuel Adams® OctoberFest Celebration at the Castle
When: Friday, September 9th, 5:00 – 10:00pm – VIP night
Join Jim Koch as he taps the ceremonial first keg

Saturday, September 11th, 12:00 noon – 10:00pm
Live bands, over 15 different styles of Samuel Adams® beers, games, food, and of course the stein hoisting contest!

Where: The Castle at Park Plaza
130 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA

For tickets visit – hurry tickets are going fast! LIMITED TIME ONLY: Purchase a ticket by THIS FRIDAY 8/19 by 10PM EST and you will be entered to win an OctoberFest prize pack (OctoberFest hat, key chain, t-shirt and stein signed by Jim Koch)!

The 2nd Annual
Mass Brewers Fest

Come join the 20+ member breweries in the Massachusetts Brewers Guild for the second annual Mass Brewers Fest! This fantastic event will provide the opportunity for local beer lovers to sample summertime favorites, as well as specialty beers brewed exclusively for this festival by the brewers in the Commonwealth. On the harbor, with city skyline views, the live music and a broad selection of delicious beers made in the Bay State will make for a delightful evening for all those attending. This is a great way to kick off Labor Day weekend!

The Mass Brewers Fest will begin at 6:00 pm on Friday, September 2, 2011 at the World Trade Center Head House Concourse, located at 200 Seaport Boulevard, Boston. Tickets are a great value at $35, with a souvenir cup and beer samples included. The first 500 beer lovers to purchase a ticket will receive a discounted ticket price of $29. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the Massachusetts Brewers Guild website at

Samuel Adams® Brewing
The American Dream

Brewing The American Dream

This month, we feature Linda DeMarco, one of our recent Samuel Adams® Brewing the American Dream program beneficiaries. Linda’s company Boston Pretzel needed a new oven to keep up with the growing demand at her retail location in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall.

Linda’s specialty is a fresh baked sesame & salt pretzel, which you’ll notice is missing the center opening…turn them on their side and you’ve got a "B" for Boston! What could go better with a Boston Pretzel than a Samuel Adams Boston Lager®, right Linda?

For more information on Brewing The American Dream, and how we are helping food, beverage, and hospitality small businesses, click here.

American Homebrewers
Association Rally

Thanks to all who attended last month’s American Home Brewer’s Rally.

More than 100 local home brewers joined us at the Brewery for the 2011 AHA Rally for some delicious food from our friends at Northeast Cafe and some great beers. Of course the favorite beer that evening was our special Patriot Homebrew winning beer. Jim Prucha’s Baltic Porter got high marks from his home brewing peers…high praise indeed!

Boston Brewery Open House

As the summer comes to a close, we are ending the season with a grand celebration that will launch into the Fall; the season of Beer Festivals. This Open House we will have our very own OctoberFest. We begin with a Bavarian Band that will serenade us through the evening. You can tantalize your pallets with the delicious appetizers from Karl’s Sausage Kitchen and Boston Pretzel. But what would an OctoberFest be without the beer? We will have Samuel Adams Octoberfest on draft along with one other specialty brew so you can prost all night long!

In the spirit of OctoberFest, we will host a stein hoisting contest. Anyone who wishes to participate must arrive by 6:00 to sign up. (Please note this contest is limited on participants and entry slots may fill up before 6:00). The stein hoisting contest will begin at 6:30. We will have one Frauen (female) and one Männlich (male) winner.

Karl’s Sausage Kitchen & European Market ( has been around since 1958 and has been delivering their old world recipes for 53 years. Like us, they use the finest ingredients and spices to create their authentic European Sausage just like you would find in Germany. Karl’s Sausage is also a recipient of our very own philanthropic program Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream.

Brewing the American Dream stems from the core of who we are as a company and the dream that Jim Koch had in 1984 when he decide to start The Boston Beer Company on a shoestring. Despite the obstacles, he followed his dream and today, Samuel Adams is the most award winning brewery in the world. Jim wanted to begin a program that could help others to achieve their dreams. To learn more, or to refer a small business, visit our website: (

Want to contribute to Samuel Adams® Brewing American Dream? For every $2.00 donation you make at the August Open House, you will be entered in a chance to win two tickets to OctoberFest, PROST!

Boston Brewery Open House
What: OctoberFest
When: When: August 25th 5:00-8:00p.m. Please arrive by 7:15p.m. at the latest.
Where: Samuel Adams Boston Brewery
30 Germania Street
Boston, MA 02130

MBTA Orange Line to the Stony Brook Station stop

Be sure to RSVP as space is limited.

Visit the brewery and take a taste home with you!
Planning a trip to Boston? Swing by the brewery for a tour. We now sell bottles out of our brewery in Jamaica Plain. Available now are the three beers featured in the
Samuel Adams® Barrel Room Collection
, stop by the gift shop to pick up one of these unique brews today.

Samuel Adams Recipe

Sam’s Beer Broiled Brats


2 bottles of Samuel Adams® OctoberFest or
Samuel Adams Boston Lager®
8 fresh bratwurst
1 large onion
8 hotdog rolls
All condiments know to man

Cut a large onion into 1 to 2 " pieces. Put onions, bratwurst into pot and pour in Samuel Adams® OctoberFest. Boil for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees. Take onions and bratwurst out and grill bratwurst for an additional 5 minutes. Place bratwurst, onions and all condiments in a roll and enjoy.


Harvest Collection
Patriot Homebrew Contest
Beer Lover’s Choice
Prost With Us!
Mass Brewer’s Fest
Brewing the American Dream
Cooking With Sam

Beer of the Month
Samuel Adams Featured Beer

Brewed with five varieties of malted barley for a big, rich flavor.

The first thing you notice when pouring a glass of this seasonal beer is the color. Samuel Adams® OctoberFest has a rich, deep reddish amber hue which itself is reflective of the season. Samuel Adams Octoberfest masterfully blends together five roasts of malt to create a delicious harmony of sweet flavors including caramel and toffee. The malt is complimented by the elegant bitterness imparted by the Bavarian Noble hops. Samuel Adams Octoberfest provides a wonderful transition from the lighter beers of summer to the heartier brews of winter.

More about this beer…

Join the Conversation!

We brew our many styles of Samuel Adams beer for the same reason you enjoy drinking them, simply for the love of beer.

Join us on Facebook, to keep up with news, special event announcements, and to participate in the conversation with a community of beer lovers who are as passionate about Samuel Adams beer as you are.

Featured Sam Gear

Labor day isn’t that far off but you can still hang on to summer with this classic Summer Ale T-shirt. Get yours here.

We’re in the thick of the grilling season, so what is your favorite beer and food pairing for summertime barbequing?


Tour Information

In our opinion, there is no better Samuel Adams experience than the one you get here at the Boston Brewery. Come learn about our history, the brewing process and, of course, taste some of our award winning beers.

Monday – Thursday: 10am – 3pm
Fridays: 10am – 5:30pm
Saturdays: 10am – 3pm

30 Germania Street
Boston, MA 02130
MBTA Orange Line –
Stony Brook Station

We also offer a 10% discount to all those who present a military ID. Please note this discount does not apply to beer.

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Wandering Star Block party

Arrived at the event about 1pm and some parts of this block party or should I say most of it were still being set up? As in the past I always ask how I can help and most of the times it’s “everything’s all set”. But do I listen? No! After a while I helped myself to a couple of plastic glasses and the wife started filling them from the taps in the wall of the cooler when I was taking pictures.

First time I got to talk to Chris the brewer and owner. I had told him that I told as many people as I could about what was going on. Then found out it was a charity thing at $15 per person for five good pours of his brews and food. All proceeds going to diabetes research and Octoberfest of Pittsfield to get it off the ground.

Chris and a helper were hooking up the taps for the brews and cooking chili. While O’Laughlin’s Pub was cooking burgers hot dogs beans and tuna salad and taking care of contributions and giving out tickets for what was going on.

This turned out to be a combined thing between Wandering Star Craft Brewing and O’Laughlin’s Pub which are about 150 feet away from each other on Gifford Street. And both places are located on a one block distance of route 9 Merrill Rd Pittsfield MA. It was a fair turn out with about 20 – 35 people at any given time during the event “not counting band members”.

We imbibed some great brews of Wandering Star and had food for most of the day with bands playing through the event. First band was Guitar and Accordion Collective the second band I did not get their name but they were from the block with the guy that had the 71 Ranchero from the corner house, and Distopic from Albany NY. All of which topped out the day at this great and hopefully to return block party.

I got to converse with members of Distopic and their fans, a metal band which was a first timer for me, and enjoyable, and other during the day. Chris’s wife Shannon and son Alex along with plenty of others in attendance there, all seemed to be having a real good time.

The Block party ended about 9-9:30 and after helping with some clean up. I bid the Distopic’s, Chris and one of the second band members from the corner house that owns a 71 ranchero, and told him when I get my 77 going I will pay him a visit? Good bye.

And for those of you that did not show up you missed one hell of a Badass time.



Saturday 13th August 2011, daytime
Gifford Street, Pittsfield, MA
A day of fun in the sun and burger on bun @ (and all in between) the brewery and O’Laughlin’s Pub!

To be held tomorrow! I toured Chris’s place almost two weeks ago, at that time he had been in business 40 days. What could be better than good Brews and hamburgers and new people to talk to?

I’m hoping to try his Bert’s Disqualified Imperial Stout and Alpha Pale “XPA”

So pass the word and let’s have a good showing for the new brewery in Pittsfield MA. See you there!


Good news for Small brewers in Mass

Mass. alcohol board reverses small brewer rule

Aug. 8, 2011, 4:28 p.m. EDT

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Alcohol regulators in Massachusetts are pulling back from a rules change that had small beer brewers across the state fuming.

The change approved last week by the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission would have required brewers operating under a so-called farmer-brewery license to grow at least half the hops and grains they use, or get them from a domestic source.

Regulators said the change was designed in part to promote farming in Massachusetts.

Brewers protested, saying the change could harm their businesses or even force some of them to close.

Massachusetts Treasurer Steven Grossman announced Monday that the ABCC had decided to eliminate the rules change.

Grossman said the commission would instead hold a series of public hearings to solicit comment from the public and brewers.

Brewers welcomed the reversal.

Beer Nut 2-weeks worth

CiderDays fit for both urban and rural folks

Published: Wednesday, August 03, 2011, 3:57 PM

clip_image002By George


Not only is this week’s column not about beer, it may seem about three months too early.

But bear with me, as there is a method to my premature posting today.

In a recent exchange with Becky George of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, she asked me if I might mention CiderDays, a community event celebrating all manner of apple-esque things, in my column. I told I’d be glad to, and asked when the event was going to occur. I’m not a huge fan of hard cider. I enjoy it here and there, but don’t drink it regularly, so I had no idea when CiderDays took place. Of course, if I had stopped to think for a second, I would have realized that cider-making is largely an autumnal activity. So when Becky said the event was scheduled for Nov. 5-6, I suggested that maybe her entreaty for coverage was just a tad early.

"True, but we sell out every year and often the locals get shut out by the city folk, so if we alert them early they can get their seats," she responded.

City folk? Am I on "Green Acres"? I live in downtown Northampton. Is she talking about me? Well, no matter. Here’s the deal:

This year is 17th year of CiderDays that will include a host of activities, such as of orchard tours, cidermaking and tastings, workshops and much more. Advising to the press release, the event is for "all who love apples, fresh or hard cider, apple cuisine, apple orchards or just being in New England in the fall."

While there is a charge for some of the activities, there is no admission for many of the others at local orchards, nor or for the workshops or Marketplace at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls (from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Nov. 5).

So there you have it, local cider fans. You have been warned (or "forewarned" as some might write, although aren’t all warnings "fore"? What’s point of warning someone after something has happened? "Hey, Bill watch out for that roof tile that just fell on you!") you have three months advance notice. Get your tickets now before city slickers like me gobble them all up. (I gently kid my pal Becky, here of course.)


Since I’m avoiding beer today, I have one more piece of other fermentable news (also from Franklin County): Green River Ambrosia will be celebrating National Mead Day on Aug. 6 with an open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours of the meadery and samples will be available. Green River Ambrosia is at 324 Wells St. in Greenfield.


Beer ruling has columnist hopping mad

Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 10:30 AM

clip_image002[4]By George


In many ways, I’m an old-school progressive when it comes to government. Despite what detractors say, government regulation has given us cleaner water, better foods and safer travel.

But regulators overstep their boundaries, I immediately transform into a libertarian. Such seems to the case with last week’s ruling by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. The ABCC stated that any brewery in the state that holds a farmer-brewer license must grow or buy at least 50 percent of its beers’ ingredients in Massachusetts.

Now I’m going to do some more research on this decision and write on it again in coming weeks. So for now, I’m withholding any final judgment. But on prima facie evidence, this seems like an ill-advised and capricious ruling.

The decision was issued during the application process by Idle Hands Brewery in Everett, which hopes to open a brewery in an industrial park in Everett under the umbrella of a farmer-brewer license. I don’t necessarily disagree with the decision to question whether a brewery in an industrial park should be considered a "farmer-brewery," what bothers me is the overreaching "50 percent" restraints the ABCC then tacked on to the ruling, which will now affect every farmer-brewer in the state.

There are a lot of brewers operating under a farmer-brewer license and for good reason: the license is a lot less expensive than the other two licenses that control brewing, the manufacturer’s license and the pub-brewery license. Both of these licenses have constraints of their own (some of which, again, seem draconian and nonsensical). So by forcing farmer-brewers to either grow or buy at least 50 percent of their ingredients in-state, the ruling effectively makes it impossible for some brewers to survive, or so it seems at first blush.

For one thing, I doubt there are enough malt producers in the state to provide all the farmer-brewers with 50 percent of their grains. And I’m almost absolutely sure there aren’t enough hop growers to fill this need. Even if there were, the varieties of hops that van be grown here probably wouldn’t make for a wide spectrum of flavors among farmer-brewers.

Now one can argue that if these folks are truly farmer-brewers, then they should just grow their own ingredients. And some do. But 50 percent threshold seems arbitrary. Where did the ABCC come up with that number? I’ll be asking them and hope to have answer for you. As it stands, it seems to me that requiring extant farmer-brewers to comply with the 50 percent rule next year seems unduly harsh and based on nothing.

Maybe the ABCC can explain the method to its madness. We shall see.