2 Beer Guys Blog

Welcome to the 2 Beer Guys Blog! Here, you will be able to read our stories and adventures as we travel through the world of craft beer.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Rocky Mountain High

It's a constant battle to collect beer to review and actually review the beer that we have collected. As Ian mentioned in a previous post, the 2Beerguys have developed an addiction to searching for new beer. We have enough beer in the queue to reach 400 with ease. Rather than buying new beer, we are trying.. and I mean trying... to review what we have.. So, on Monday night, we (as in Amber, Ryan, Ian and I) reviewed the following 6 beers from Colorado:

Boulder Beer Company
- Singletrack Copper Ale
- Buffalo Gold Premium Ale

New Belgium Brewing Company
- 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
- Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale
- Below Winter Ale
- Fat Tire Amber Ale

The New Belgium Brewing Company wasn't a new brewery to this beer guy. The brewery is located in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The Ft. Collins area is also home to HP.. Yes Hewlett-Packard .... and I have visited HP twice. I have enjoyed many Fat Tire's on tap. This is their most infamous beer, but wasn't the best during this tasting. We were quite impressed with the Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale. The nose detected the dominant raspberry aroma from a distance. Not only was the aromatic presence welcoming, it made the mouth very happy. You will also notice from the scoring, that the 2 Below Winter Ale was very inviting to the nose. The hop presence was very dominant, but weaker on the palate.

Please check out the reviews...

Drink Craft Beer.. You've Earned it!!

Note: This evening with dinner, I enjoyed a tasty Smuttynose IPA. You can't go wrong with this selection. While writing this review, I quenched my thirst with a Winterhook - Winter ale from Redhook. Too bad it's a winter seasonal.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Saranac Surprise

This blog is a little over due..

On February 15th, Ian, Ryan, Amber and I reviewed part of the Saranac winter pack made by The Matt Brewing Company. You might be as surprise as we were if you have tried previous variety packs. In previous offerings, the beers were plain and lacked character. We were turned off, until we tried this selection.

This variety pack contained some beers that we already reviewed, but here are the new ones:

Saranac Belgian Ale
Saranac Rauchbier
Saranac Bock
Saranac Brown Ale
Saranac Chocolate Amber
Saranac Caramel Porter
Saranac Mocha Stout

If you are interested, check out the new beer table to see how they scored.


Talking Mints

Talking urinal mints? Not only is it scary, but it's a great marketing idea.

They should have done this years ago. Hey buddy, don't forget to wash your hands. HEY YOU... take two breath mints on the way out!!

What will they think of next? Talking underware??? "Hey... you look good today" "Have you been working out" ....


Will drunks listen to voice from the porcelain?
New Mexico deploys talking urinal cakes to persuade drinkers not to drive

The Associated Press
Updated: 2:35 p.m. ET Feb 15, 2007
RIO RANCHO, N.M. - New Mexico is hoping to keep drunks off the road by lecturing them at the last place they usually stop before getting behind the wheel: the urinal.

The state recently paid $21 each for about 500 talking urinal deodorizer cakes and has put them in men's rooms in bars and restaurants across the state.

When a man steps up, the motion-sensitive plastic device says, in a woman's voice that is flirty, then stern: "Hey, big guy. Having a few drinks? Think you had one too many? Then it's time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home."

The recorded message ends: "Remember, your future is in your hand."

The talking urinal represents just the latest effort to fight drunken driving in New Mexico, which has long had one of the highest rates of alcohol-related traffic deaths in the nation. (The new tactic is aimed only at men, since they account for 78 percent of all driving-under-the-influence-related convictions in New Mexico.)

"It startled me the first time I heard it, but it sure got my attention," said Ben Miller, a patron at the Turtle Mountain Brewing Co. bar and restaurant. "It's a fantastic idea."

Jim Swatek, who was drinking a beer nearby, said: "You think, `Maybe I should call the wife to come get me.'"

Turtle Mountain Brewing owner Niko Ortiz commended the New Mexico Transportation Department for "thinking way outside the box."

‘We’ve got their total attention’
Department spokesman S.U. Mahesh said the bathroom is a perfect place to get the message across. In the restroom, "guys don't chitchat with other guys," he said. "It's all business. We've got their total attention for 10 to 15 seconds."

Similar urinal cakes have been used for anti-drug campaigns in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Australia, and for anti-DWI efforts on New York's Long Island, said Richard Deutsch of New York-based Healthquest Technologies Inc., which manufactures the devices.

But Deutsch said he believes New Mexico is the only state to buy the devices.

New Mexico had 143 alcohol-related deaths in 2005, for the nation's eighth-highest rate per miles driven. The problem is blamed in part on the wide-open spaces that make it necessary to drive to get anywhere, and the poverty and isolation that can lead people to drink to relieve their boredom or misery.

Also, some have complained that the state has only recently begun to emerge from years of lax enforcement.

Gov. Bill Richardson led a successful push two years ago to require ignition locking devices for anyone convicted of DWI — a first in the nation — and each year the Legislature has agreed on tougher penalties for repeat offenders.

New Mexico also has started a toll-free "drunk buster" hot line, boosted DWI enforcement in problem areas and increased police checkpoints. The state also has a DWI czar.

In November, a wrong-way drunken driver slammed into a car near Santa Fe, killing five family members, authorities said. The governor has since directed state regulators to issue cease-and-desist orders against three airlines to stop serving alcohol on flights to and from New Mexico. The culprit in the fatal wreck had been seen drinking on a flight into Albuquerque hours before the accident.

Ummm ... how’d you get that? Where da gold at?

At Turtle Mountain, the urinal cakes have proved so intriguing that three have been swiped already.

"I'm mystified why someone would stick their hand into one of our urinals," Ortiz said. "But I'm sure we'll see them on eBay. Hopefully, the seller will advertise it as, `Stolen from Turtle Mountain.'"

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17171167/?GT1=9033

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New site additions

Well, for me, this is a very exciting announcement. With the technology that has been made available to us by moving to a new server, I've been dabbling in dynamic pages and, after much tinkering, have developed a dynamic beer table. It has been uploaded to the site and is ready for use. Browse on over to the new beer table and have a look.

I'm able to restrict the number of rows displayed per page, making the table much easier to navigate, as opposed to listing all 300+ beers on one page.

Additionally, I've added a new email us page with our individual beer addresses.

This is hopefully just the tip of the iceberg on the services and features we'll be rolling out in the coming months, as we attempt to build up the 2 Beer Guys brand. Spread the word on 2 Beer Guys, and go find passion in a bottle of beer!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Portland. No, the other Portland.

Saturday afternoon, Sean, myself, Kristen and Amber headed up to Portland, Maine for a weekend of beer adventures.

We started off early, as we went straight to Sebago Brewing in Gorham to meet with Tom Abercrombie. He took us inside, gave us a sample, and took us on a tour of the facility. He talked about the brewing system that they purchased from Rocky River Brewing Company in Tennessee two years ago. They literally acquired everything from them, from the grain silo to the kitchen cabinets. The system is a DME system, and it takes four people to operate the brewery on a brewing day. We talked about sales and marketing opportunities on the North Shore with Tom before leaving for Portland.

We went to the hotel, checked in, and headed out to Gritty McDuffs for dinner and a couple beers. I was personally not very impressed with their beers. We left Grittys and went to the Sebago Brewpub.

We had a few beers there, really enjoyed the Fryes Leap IPA, Slick Nick, and Runabout Red Ale, all while watching Gerald Green win the slam dunk competition. We left Sebago and, on the way back to the hotel, detoured and stopped in at the Brian Boru Publick House.

Kristen had her first ever Guinness, then Sean and I hung out on the roof deck for a while and talked up 2 Beer Guy site. After a while, we went inside and found Kristen and Amber. They were talking up 2 Beer Guys to the band, and we generated some goodwill with them. We went back to the hotel and goofed around for a while. The highlight was when Amber opened a beer bottle (not the twist type) with her hand and a cutting block. Then all went to bed.

Next morning, Kristen, Amber and I went to breakfast downstairs. Amber and Kristen headed off for their spa appointments, and Sean and I packed up the hotel room, got the car, and went to pick up the girls after their treatments. We went over to Shipyard Brewing and met up with Jason Silevinac. We spent 3 hours at Shipyard, as he took us all the way through the four floors of the brewery, from the brick surround, gas fired Peter Austin boilers to the open air fermenters that were all doing work.

They have six 50 bbl, nine 100 bbl and three 300 bbl fermenters. They brew about 65 different beers, with a bunch of contracts in addition to their house brews. We went into the hop room, then saw the grain room with all the original graffiti that was in the building. The facility was unoccupied for 12 years before Shipyard moved in. After touring the facility, we went into the tasting room, had samples of the beer, and just chatted for over an hour. The Ringwood strain of yeast is unique to Peter Austin installed brewing systems, and imparts diacetyl into the beers. In lower alcohol beers, it provides a smoothness. In higher alcohol beers, it contributes a buttery/butterscotch taste.

On Jason's recommendation, we left Shipyard and went to Rosies for some food and one last beer before we left Portland. It was a good recommendation. Overall, it was an excellent beer journey.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

For us health nuts....

And yet another I thought you'd enjoy.

Valentine's Tips for Truely Dedicated Beer Drinkers

Okay. So V-day has passed, but for many of us, it lives on through out the week. I found this really great article. It's a year old, but the material is not outdated by any means. Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday at the CBC

While the women-folk went out and kicked up their heels, I decided to stop in after work and pick up a pint at the CBC.

First I tried this:

Anyone who’s patronized the Cambridge Brewing Company for any length of time is probably aware of our brewers’ passion for the great beers of Belgium. CBC is credited with being the first production brewery in America to recreate an authentic Belgian beer style, Tripel, and our beers have garnered international recognition.Five Belgian abbeys (Chimay, Orval, Rochfort, Westmalle, and Saint Sixtus) and one in the Netherlands (Schaapskooi) make beer. All are of the Trappist monastic order. They are the only Trappist breweries in the world, and no other brewer is allowed to use the word trappist on its labels, as the term is a legal appellation. Commercial breweries in Belgium and around the world which are not related to a monastic brewery- but which produce ales styled after the Trappists- use the term “abbey -style.”
While most of the Trappists brew beers known as Dubbels and Trippels, Golden Ring Abbey Pale Ale is reverently inspired by the only one to produce a hoppy, medium-bodied pale ale. It’s grist is made up of Belgian Vienna and Aromatic malt, and it is hopped with English Goldings and Fuggles, Styrian Goldings, and German Tettnanger and Hallertauer. Hop aroma and flavor is emphasized, but remains in balance, by dry-hopping with these varieties. The yeast used in fermentation is our proprietary Belgian strain, which gives the beer its signature spicy/fruity/funky notes. Golden Ring is a deep gold in color, and it undergoes an extended warm conditioning period before further cold-conditioning. It has the aforementioned spicy, fruity, earthy character, and carries additional aromas and flavors of toasted malt, complex herbs and peppery hops, and alcohol. The finish is fairly long and dry, with yeast notes and hops vying for space on your palate. This is an interesting, extremely complex, and very drinkable beer, which lends itself quite well to a wide range of foods.
Ching ching!Will, Megan, Kevin, and Phil

It was an interesting take on an abbey ale. Not as strong as most that I've had in the past, and definitely more hop notes. Had a bit of a banana taste as the glass warmed, which I would expect in some abbey ales, but was new to me in a hoppy beer.

After this I tried the cask-conditioned Tall Tale Pale Ale which had been dry-hopped with Symcoe hops. Holy cow, it had more aroma and stronger fruit flavor than I've ever had. Almost overwhelming, but not quite. There seems to be a pretty good contingent who make sure they go to the CBC every tuesday to try the cask ale of the week. I heard lots of comments like "I don't know if I'm going to drink this or just smell it all night". Good crew of beer geeks, I talked to a couple of guys about beers from all over. Definitely worth a trip on a Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Glassware of the ages

Here's a story on the new Sam Adams glass. I must admit, it looks pretty sharp. I do not, however believe any one glass can become a "one-size-fits-all" answer to serving every style of beer.



Saturday, February 10, 2007

Question for the Beer Guy Community...

Has anyone been to this place in Manchester?

If so, what did you think?

One great find...one so-so

A couple weeks ago (yes...this is long over due), Gavin took me to the Coat of Arms in Portsmouth. I'm always on the look out for beers I've never had before, and the Coat of Arms would surely satisfy this week's quest. It was here I tried a couple new beers....Green King IPA and Fullers ESB.

I quite enjoyed the Green King IPA. However, upon receiving my beer order, I knew this wasn't going to be your typical IPA. It had that dark golden to light amber color, but what really drew my attention was it's unique head. It was thick and creamy. Kind of like a Guinness. Actually, quite like a Guinness. And it never dissipated. It left heavy foam rings all the way down the glass like a Guinness. After discussing this with Sean and Amber later, Amber informed that this was how they do it over in Scotland. This realization excited Amber very much. The aroma was very light and floral. You could definitely smell the hops. This IPA was very smooth...maybe the tiniest hint of carbonation. It had that bitter bite of an IPA, but was significantly less hoppy (or hopperific as I like to say) than any other IPA I'd ever had. You might say it was even slightly watery. And it finished off dry. I actually really liked it. For serious hop heads and hard core IPA drinkers, this would hardly satisfy. But for those like me who appreciate hops, but don't like to go overboard, you'd really enjoy this one.

My second round was a Fullers ESB. It was a medium amber color, very clear. It had a frothy, quickly diminishing head, that left minimal lacing. The smell was nothing to speak of. There was no detectable aroma. Now...granted I was in a pub in New Hampshire where smoking was allowed, so I may be tempted to smell this one in a different situation. But, honestly, all I could smell was water. Which of course smells like nothing. So I was unimpressed by this character. The flavor was slightly malty, initially sweet and then quickly turned to bitter. It left a slightly oily feel in my mouth. I found nothing "extra special" about this ESB. Again...I'd be willing to try it in a setting w/ no smoke and where I won't be eating smoked haddock pie (it was gross...it was like eating bacon flavored fish). But I can't even blame it on the fish...I had the beer before my dinner.

So, there are my 2 reviews. You can easily see I enjoyed the Green King IPA far more than the Fullers ESB. I'll look for the Green King in stores to bring as my next contribution, but if you get the chance to dash up to the Coat of Arms (an outing anyone?) I suggest you try it. It's a completely different take on IPA.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Exciting time for 2beerguys.com

This will be a short post, but I just wanted to share with everyone that today was a big day for 2 Beer Guys.

I moved the site over to a new server, which will allow us much greater flexibility in the way we deliver content to you. You should see some changes coming up in the next few weeks that hopefully will enhance your enjoyment of the site. Part of this enjoyment you are already experiencing is blog notification. I've set up a dedicated email group that will alert all of the blogging community when a new blog or comment is posted.

For now, you will continue to enjoy the same level of beer nirvana that you always have from 2beerguys.com



Wednesday, February 07, 2007

so what was your first time?

i've been thinking about relationships lately. no no, not that type of relationship silly. i've been thinking abotu our relationships with beer. it seems like we all have a common thread of going through the initial phase of college drinking (i.e. cheap, readily available and what everyone around you seems to approve of) {hmm, that sounds more like the other kind of relationships, huh}, then sometime after college as we get jobs and have more disposable income we dump that cheap beer and start a beautiful long-term relationship with quality beer. beer that loves you back. beer that doesn't leave you empty and hollow. with a little thought i was able to pinpoint the very beginning of my new relationship with beer. here's my story, what was yours?

it was about 2 years after college. i was living at home for the summer and getting set to go off to graduate school (to be a guidance counselor, no less. lasted one semester...) and had plenty of time to hang out with my old high school buddies. one evening while enjoying a local pub's 10 cent wing night, a friend of mine cajoled me into trying a sip of his guinness, which i had always scorned as being nasty (hey i was young and dumb, forgive me). surprisingly, i kind of enjoyed the taste, it was not as bitter and nasty as the dark appearance had led me to believe. i was intrigued...

about a week later my friend tim and i met up with a couple of girls at a bar in kingston, ny. tonight, i was fated to score. little did i know, it would be with beer, not the girl ;) for some reason, i felt like trying something new (it must have been what guinness had awakened in me). i saw the bartender pour a pint of pete's wicked ale. i'd never seen pete's before, but it looked great. dark, with a nice head, but not as thick as guinness. something in me decided this was a beer that i had to try. this was a beer that a guy who scored with chicks drank. so i ordered a pete's wicked, put the creamy head to my lips and took a tentative sip. my god, i thought. what have i done? i've been depriving myself for years!!! you mean beer can taste like, well, it can have a taste? i thought of all those buds and coors lights i had downed over the last few years. i wanted to cry. luckily, i was comforted by the knowledge that i had found a new love. good beer. i finished my pint and ordered another. and another. they were each better than the first. the girls ended up going off somewhere else, but it didn't matter, because i already had a new passion in my life. sure, i still drank my share of cheap domestics over the next few years, it was cheap and i was poor, but i started trying more and more different kinds of beer and i'll always have a soft spot for guinness and pete's wicked ale for starting me down the path to beer nirvana. cheers!


Beer Mecca in Amsterdam

When discovering an awesome beer, the worst thing is realizing that you can't purchase it anywhere. This happens to us all of the time. On our November trip to California, we found a few amazing beers that are impossible to find in our local beer store. For example, the Old Raspy is extremely difficult to find (we have been lucky to randomly locate a small quantity) and we haven't seen Pliny the Elder anywhere. My Father-In-Law speaks of this Kentucky Beer that he had. He wants to go back to Kentucky just to enjoy the beer. Andy is always mentioning some awesome beer that he read about and we can't get it.

There are many beers from other parts of the country that we just can't get here. They don't distribute this far. It's out of stock. OH, we don't ship to Massachusetts. It's just so annoying.

The following story was found on Boston.com and it give us another direction we could take the 2beerguys (if we every wanted to..).

Ignace will be checking out the website and I am sure that he will have many comments to share about this article. I have challenged him to take a road trip to this mecca.



p.s Thanks Kristen for pointing us to his article.

It's 300 bottles of beer on the wall
Mass. native finds niche with rare ales in Amsterdam Colin Nickerson/Globe Staff)

By Colin Nickerson, Globe Staff | February 4, 2007

-- In a city famous for pot and prostitutes, a Bay State man is seeking his fortune as a purveyor of offbeat potables.

Do you crave a bottle of the legendary Westvleteren 12 beer from the Belgium Abbey of St. Sixtus? Got a yen for British-brewed Young's Double Chocolate Stout with its "slightly sour tinge and hint of bread?" Or maybe you are a Bostonian abroad and yearn for a Samuel Adams?

As long as American Bud isn't for you (but it's fine if you want the 700-year-old Czech Pilsner that has greater historical claim to the name Budweiser) and you don't require a brew with "lite" on the label, Jeff Cunningham can probably slake your thirst.

Eighteen months ago, the former farmer, automobile mechanic, National Guard medic, and robotics technician from Upton, Mass., opened a specialty beer shop in what his brochure calls the "heart of Amsterdam."

Well, make that one of the most obscure side streets in the colorful old central city. The Cracked Kettle -- Gekraakte Ketel, in Dutch -- occupies a cubbyhole on a narrow lane called Raamsteeg, off the Singel Canal. It's probably easier to find at the website crackedkettle.com.

The shop carries more than 300 varieties of beer, a smaller array of wine from little-known vineyards, and an even smaller collection of esoteric whiskies. Cunningham's associate, Andy Robb, is a Scot and specialist on the hard stuff.

"Between us, we've downed a bottle of everything in the shop," said Cunningham, showing familiarity with the goods. "Not at the same time, of course."

The stock is stacked on shelves high enough to strain the reaching abilities of a giraffe. Some of the beers are from breweries so small that the bottles don't even have labels.

"It's basically a hobby gone mad," said Cunningham, 34, who holds degrees in biochemistry. "But the shop is starting to break even and may even start making a little money this year."

Cunningham began his working life as a car mechanic in Milford, aligning wheels at Goodyear Tire and repairing brakes at Midas. He finally opened his own shop, the prosaically named Cunningham Automotive in Upton, which remains in business but with hours limited to his visits home to Central Massachusetts.

While growing hops on the small family farm, he got interested in yeasts and home brewing. He studied biotechnology at MassBay Community College in Wellesley, then earned a bachelor's in biochemistry from Brandeis University.

He arrived in the Netherlands a little over four years ago, enrolling in the University of Amsterdam's well-known biochemistry program and eventually earning a master of science degree.

Cunningham dreamed of establishing a backyard brewery in central Amsterdam of the kind that was commonplace until the mid-20th century. But bureaucrats informed him that working breweries were banned even along the ancient Brouwersgracht, or brewers' canal.

If you want to make beer, they told him, make it in the industrial suburbs, just like Heineken does (Holland's most famous brewery delivers its beer to pubs and restaurants in tanker trucks that pump the product into storage vats, much as fuel is delivered elsewhere).

The shop was a compromise.

"I'm dealing in fine beer," he said somewhat ruefully. "Just not brewing it. Yet."

The Cracked Kettle carries beers from across Europe and North America, but leans heavily toward Belgian brews, regarded by aficionados as the finest in the world.

Cunningham does a fair trade selling to customers who wander into his shop, mainly Dutch beer lovers and members of Amsterdam's large British, American, and Canadian expatriate communities.

But like every business, he's looking to the Internet for the future, and is doing an expanding commerce shipping individual bottles of unusual brews to picky American connoisseurs and pallet loads of hearty English ales to newly affluent imbibers in India, whose taste for beer stems from the British colonial era.

Meanwhile, he and his girlfriend, Renee Moroney, an Amsterdam art student also from Massachusetts, spend weekends scouring the countryside of Holland and Belgium looking for home breweries, buying from beer makers who typically sell only from local farmstands.

The hardest beer to acquire in quantity is Belgium's fabled Westvleteren, which shuns commercialism -- the Trappist monks of the monastery brew only enough beer to support their austere lives of prayer and contemplation.

"They are so strict,"' Cunningham said. "They limit sales to three crates [of 24 bottles] per person, per month. And they will sell to only one individual in each car, so you can't drive out with a bunch of friends and load up."

Every businessman needs a backup plan. In best Amsterdam fashion, Cunningham's is marijuana. He's acquired wholesale rights to a new marijuana cigarette roller -- delivering the contraption to head shops, devoted to selling marijuana paraphernalia, and cannabis cafes on his bicycle.

"I'm an entrepreneur at heart," he said. "I like to wheel and deal."

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Interesting news on The Rolling Rock front

We discovered this article a few weeks ago, but I didn't get a chance to post this. Even though Rolling Rock isn't a microbrew, it's still interesting that $$ is being invested in the industry.


p.s. Rolling Rock was one of my go to beers back in the day. It's good to see the brewery reopening to help the local economy. I wonder what how long Inbev owned Rolling Rock.

Shuttered brewery gets $4.5M, hope
By Daniel Lovering, AP Business Writer | January 23, 2007

PITTSBURGH --A shuttered brewery that once produced Rolling Rock beer is edging closer to reopening.

During a visit to the Latrobe brewery on Tuesday, Gov. Ed Rendell announced state grants and loans totaling more than $4.5 million to help its new owner, City Brewing Co., upgrade the plant to expand its production capacity.

The brewery closed in July after its former owner, InBev USA, sold the Rolling Rock brand to St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. for $82 million. Anheuser-Busch, the nation's largest brewer, now fills the famed green bottles in Newark, N.J.

The brewery made Rolling Rock for more than six decades and employed generations of local workers in the tiny town of Latrobe, about 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

"When Rolling Rock left town, Latrobe lost one of its most historic icons," Rendell said, according to a statement. "But more importantly, it lost a significant portion of its tax base and a large employer."

The state's investment, he said, will put at least 250 people back to work by June 1. It also encouraged the company to invest $10.4 million in the plant, Rendell said.

Kenn Yartz, City Brewing's chief operating officer, said in a statement he believes the La Crosse, Wis.-based company "will bring a new era of beer and beverage co-packing production to Latrobe and western Pennsylvania."

The state money initially will contribute to the purchase of the building and its equipment, according to John Skiavo, president and CEO of the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland County, a local economic development group.

The money to rehabilitate the plant and buy equipment will be spent over two to three years, he said.

"The goal is to try to be operating to some degree in February," said Skiavo, whose organization worked with the governor and City Brewing to arrange the grants and loans.

City Brewing, which has an annual capacity of 70 million cases, is a contract packager of beer, flavored malt beverages, teas, energy drinks, juices and carbonated soft drinks.

Three hundred ... Schmeeee hundred

Since every member (except Ignace) was at the 299/300th beer review, we all assumed that someone else would post this blog. Well, it's been 4 days and no one has blogged about it.

To summarize, a major hurdle was just passed. We reached 300 beer reviews in about a year since the 2beerguys started reviewing. This review included the 299th (Double Arrogant Bastard Ale) and 300th (Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale) beer review. Many 2Beerguy friends and family attended this joyous event.

The reviews are available, please check them out. Basically, we reviewed the Evil Brother and Aged Uncle of the Arrogant Bastard Ale.

Similar to our 199/200th review party, many thought that the 299th beer review was a little more balanced than the 300th review. It happens.

Overall, the party went well. There were some tasty snack and deserts. If you have any comments or would like to post your own experience from the 299/300th beer review party, please do so.


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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Watch City 02154

Tonight, following Curly Stout's suggestion, we met up at the Watch City Brewery in Waltham. We hadn't heard much about the brewery, although their Hop Explosion IPA has garnered quite a bit of press.

The beers that we, as a group, sampled tonight included:
Chocolate Thunder Mocha Porter (on cask), Father Time Winter Ale 2006, Midnite Munich Lager, Biking Bobs Bohemian Pilsner, Titan Ale, Hops Explosion IPA, and the Moody Street Stout
Sean and I both started off with the Hop Explosion, and both agreed that "Hop Explosion" might have been a bit of a stretch for the name of this beer. Due to the balance in the beer, the hops weren't nearly as pronounced as say as in the Leatherlips IPA, which comes in at a lower IBU count, but provides much less malt character and is therefore much more bitter. Next, Sean had the Father Time Winter Ale, which I was surprised by given his well-documented displeasure with Harpoon's Winter Warmer, a similarly spiced ale. It wasn't as spicy however, but the nutmeg presence could be detected. The malty finish masked most of the nutmeg overtones, making it a much more drinkable winter ale.

My next selection was the Bohemian Pilsner. My expectations for this one were based on our experience with the same style beer brewed by Harpoon President Dan Kenary. Having greatly enjoyed that offering, I had high expectations, and I was not disappointed. A significant malt presence on the nose hinted at the smooth finish to come, accompanied by a sweet, yet balanced taste.

We followed those up by the Titan Ale and the Midnite Munich Lager respectively, and we were again both pleased with our choices. I was surprised by the character displayed by the Munich Lager, which was much more reminiscent of an Octoberfest style lager than a typical light lager. When the glass arrived and the contents were dark, I knew I was in for something special. Apparently "Midnite" wasn't just a clever name.

Overall, we would have to say we enjoyed our visit to Watch City, although for us, given it's distant location and more favorable local selections, we probably won't be making a return visit any time soon. That isn't to take anything away from Watch City, merely to say that we are very fortunate to have many fine choices closer to home. You stay classy, Waltham.