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.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A good beer night

Thursday night, with Mrs. Curley Stout in Florida for work, I had to stay at the Residence Inn in Woburn because of floor work we're having done at the house. Being too tired to go out, I decided to take advantage of the fridge and microwave in the room and I made a trip to grocery store for chips and a package of hot pockets. At the liquor store next door I was pleasantly surprised by the opportunity pick up a couple 22 oz bombers to keep me company for the night... One was the Stone IPA, the other was Smuttynose's Big A IPA. While chatting Beer Guy-Sean, I cracked open the Stone IPA. Wow, what a fantastic aroma and it poured with a really nice, creamy head. The taste was not disappointing either. A very very good IPA, strong, but not enough to blow you away. After dinner I poured the Big A. Wow, no question at all that this is over 2% higher ABV than the Stone IPA. I found the two beers quite similar really, except for the much more prominent alcohol presence in the Big A. Though I enjoyed them both, the Stone was much more drinkable, as the Big A's extra octane seemed a bit pushy on the taste buds. Between the junk food, the quality beers, and The Office marathon it was a good night.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Monday Night 24

On Monday, March 24, 2007, Dark Amber, Ian and I gathered at Ian’s house to catch up on 24 and Lost. We had fallen a week behind in our shows. Strangely enough, we didn’t officially review any new beer last week. This hadn’t happened in a long time.

As mentioned in the previous post, Amber returned from Lebanon, NH. While in Lebanon, she stumbled upon the 7 Barrel brewery and brought home a growler of their IPA. Her beer radar must have detected it. The beers that we reviewed were:

Seven Barrel Brewery - Champion Reserve IPA (from a growler)
AleSmith Brewing Company - Speedway Stout (Imperial Stout)

The IPA was very tasty, but the winner of the evening was the Speedway Stout. For more information, please read the reviews and compare the scores in the beer table.

7 Barrel Brewery

7 Barrel Brewery, West Lebanon NH 3-26-2007

I stumbled upon this brewery quite by accident, a very good “accident” actually. My friend and I were just about to leave West Lebanon, NH after some shopping. Right as I was about to get onto the on ramp my well trained “beer eyes” noticed a brewery sign. Intrigued, I immediately told Steph that we needed to go check it out…for the 2 beer guys of course. Wink, wink.

After a very fabulous (that one’s for you HOPS) U turn, we pulled into the driveway, and went to see when the brewery opened. Of course, at 11:00am they were not open yet so we went to grab some lunch and head back for their opening at 11:30. We had a nice lunch (all the while I was thinking about what the brewery would be like) and quickly popped back down the street.
Directly upon entering the establishment I felt a sense of comfort. It was a very eclectic environment…just my style. As it was so early in the day, and because my friend does not drink, we did not partake of any beer.

I know, what a let down. Not to worry though, I swiftly went up to the bartender and asked her if they sold beer. She said they sell growlers and I was instantly glad that we had stopped. Now, I knew the 2 beer guys looooove IPA, but I wanted to find out what her favorite was. Of, course it was the IPA and that sealed the deal on what I would take home.

Now, being true to form, and seldom letting me down, those who work in breweries are an amazing breed. The 7 Barrel Brewery staff was no exception. I was very interested in purchasing some beer-a-fanalia. I asked a girl who worked there if I could get a t-shirt in a certain size. She quickly checked on my request and said they had that size but in a long sleeve not a short sleeve. I said fine, I’ll take it, and then a guy (not sure if he was a brewer, owner or just worked there) came over with 2 shirts and asked if the size was right. We told him we decided on the long sleeve thinking he would take the 2 shirts back and that would be that. Instead of putting the 2 shirts back, this guy asked us if we wanted a free t-shirt! I was in awe, and of course said yes, and thank you! We hadn’t even had a sip of beer and we were getting something for free! Like I said, amazing!

I hope if you are in the town of West Lebanon NH, you will stop in on the great people of The 7 Barrel Brewery…we just might take a trip up to sample some more hospitality and beer very soon!

A Leap, a Hooker, and an I don't know what

This is overdue, which of course means it is way out of order in terms of location in the blogs. Two Wednesdays ago, after a meeting, I stopped in at Leary's on my way over to Sean's house. I went in, walked up and down the beer aisle, didn't really see anything new, and was ready to head back out. When I got to the end of the racks, I looked over and saw Frank, Tim, and another gentleman I didn't recognize sipping beers.

I walked over and said hi to the guys, and the were tasting three beers that they had out on the countertop. One was one they sold there, the Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock, and two others that I can't remember. As I worked my way through the beers, I noticed that the unknown guy was wearing a Sebago vest. I asked him if he worked for Sebago, and sure enough he did. Not only did he work for Sebago, but he was the same guy (Mark) that Sean had been playing phone tag with for a few days! So, we started talking about the 2 beer guy visit to Sebago, our chat with Tom, the facility, etc, and before I knew it, he offered me some samples out of the back of his car. "Sure" I said! He went out, and came back in with two Frye's Leap IPA's, two Boathouse Browns, two just-bottled Hefeweizens, two bombers of Slick Nick Winter Ale, and two bombers of Lake Trout Stout, and two bombers of Runabout Red Ale. What a gift!

After chatting some more with Mark, I left, beers under arm, to the cries of Frank sarcastically asking "You're not going to buy anything?" On the way to Sean's, I called him with the great news, and we went on to review the Lake Trout Stout and the Hefeweizen, which you find here. Thanks again to Mark from Sebago!

We need your help!!

Ian and I are thinking about greating some fridge magnets that can be used for promotional items. We have thought up few ideas and would like your thoughts.

Please visit:


Add a comment to the blog and let us know what you think.

Should we change the color scheme?
Should we go back to the drawing board?
Is this something that you want on YOUR fridge?

(Don't worry if it states that the comment needs to be approved, we will approve the comments..)


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Brew Yourself

To Cap off this four day beer bonanza, Tim and Danielle (from the Brewers club) invited us over their house to brew a 60 min IPA. The recipe used was provided by Dogfish Head Brewery in their Extreme Brewing book.

Extreme Brewing is author and brewer Sam Calagione's instructive and engaging tell-all on brewing one-of-a-kind craft beers. Calagione is the founder and president of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, one of the fastest growing independent breweries in the United States, which has built a reputation for creating extraordinarily bold and daring beers.

They were expecting a couple of people from the club to participate/watch this event. The mourning of, I learned that I would be the lone BeerGuy in this venture (I think Ian had to wash his hair or something).

Upon arrival, I learned that this was a 201 or 301 course using whole grains, rather than a 101 course using extract. I was excited and overwhelmed to say the least.

The brewing process started by bringing 5+ gallons of water to boil at 175 degrees. Then the water was mixed with grains in a modified cooler and to maintain a temperature at about 168 degrees. This cooler was used to release the fermentable sugars from the grains.

After a period of about 75 mins, the “wort” was filtered from the cooler into a large modified keg. The cooler had a modified spout and filter that would keep the grains in the cooler and send the wort to the keg. The keg’s top was cut off to be used as a boiling pot for the 7+ gallons of wort.

Because only of about 5 gallons of wort was needed for the fermenting process, we needed about 7 gallons before the boiling process could be started. We added about four more gallons of boiling water to the cooler to continue releasing the sugars from the grain.

Once all of the sugars were released from the grain, the wort was filtered into the keg ready for boiling. We carried the keg outside to the lobster cooker and started the boiling process.

Once the wort was brought to a boil, we started adding three different types of hops in seven minute intervals for a total of eight intervals. Once the hopping process was completed, we added a cooling unit. This cooling unit was copper piping with rubber hoses connected to the end. One end of the hose was to be connected to a outside hose used to water the lawn. The other end was to disperse the water on the lawn.
This method is used to reduce the temperature after the boil without adding water to the brew. By moving the cold water through the copper pipe, the brew cooled down in about 15 minutes.

At this point, the beer was ready to be moved into the fermenting jug. It’s a glass jug that looks like a large Poland springs bottle. Activated yeast was added and capped back up for the fermentation process to take place.

I had a fun time learning this home brew process. It was a little complex and overwhelming at time, but I appreciated the invitation.


On Saturday March 24th, Scott, The Dog Father (Stevie D), Ian, and I ventured to Manchester to the Verizon Wireless center. This adventure included beer and hockey, what could go wrong?

Our first stop in the trip was Milly’s Tavern, which is promoted as New Hampshire’s only brewer.

Milly's Tavern first opened its doors in January of 2002 at the location of the former Stark Mill Brewery. Milly's opened through the hard work and love of the craft of Master Brewer Peter Telge, a New Hampshire native, who has been brewing his own beers for the better part of 20 years. With the closing of the Stark Mill Brewery and the many changes that have befell the city in the recent years, Peter felt that Manchester, as New Hampshire's Queen City, was sadly falling the way of commercial and contract beers. He, with a dedicated following of fans of his brew, set to work reopening the brewery as "Milly's Tavern," proudly operating as Manchester's only brew pub. We welcome you as our guests to stop by and try a glass of Peter's hard work.

We met Mike Roy (formerly from Incredibrew) the previous evening and he was checking his kettles and fermenting beer. The brewery has a large stage with an eating area and a long bar that goes around the brew kettles. It wasn’t too crowed for a Saturday lunch, so we sat at the bar to enjoy some beer and food/

Currently, there are 12 tasty offerings available, which include:

Fisher Cat Ale - 12 IBUs 3.8% ABV
Mt. Uncanoonuc Golden Cream Ale - 19 IBUs 4.3% ABV
Amoskeag Harvest Ale - 18 IBUs 4.8% ABV
Tasha's Red Tail Ale - 25 IBUs 4.8% ABV
General John Stark Dark Porter - 25 IBUs 5.4% ABV
Milly's Oatmeal Stout - 35 IBUs 4.9% ABV
Manch-Vegas I.P.A.- 50 IBUs 5.4% ABV
Bo's Scotch Ale - 25 IBUs 9.5% ABV

Seasonals & Specialties

Evil Eye (Belgian Saison) - 35 IBU's 5.0% ABV
Dubbel Secret Probation - 22 IBU’s 6.5% ABV
Imperial Death March Stout - 85 IBU’s 8.8% ABV
Nit Wit - 19 IBU’s 5.0 % ABV

Limited Bottles Now Available

Napoleon’s Coup - 5% ABA
Napoleon’s Waterloo-5% ABV


I believe that the Dog Father tried the Oatmeal Stout and the Dubble Secret Probation, Ian and I tried the Manch-Vegas IPA. Steve wasn’t too keen on the Dubble, so I finished it off for him. We also tried a sample of the Nit Whit – how appropriate.

We took Mike’s advice and left our car in the parking lot and walked to the Verizon Wireless Arena. It was a nice hefty walk, but it wasn’t too bad.

When the two games were over, six hours later, we noticed that it was raining very hefty outside. This is where the worst of times happened… the jaunt to the car. We must have looked like freaks hiding under every awning and building ledge that we could find. After deciding not to go into any restaurant along the way, we eventually made it bad to Milly’s Tavern.

Since we were already soaked, we decided to go into Milly’s tavern for dinner and to dry off. Ian tried the Harvest Ale; I tried the Scotch Ale, while the Dog Father stuck with the Oatmeal stout. After drying out and moistening our palate, we ventured on home.

Steve’s Farewell

On Friday, March 23, 2007, Ian, Thirsty Beard, Hops, Curley Stout, and I ventured over to the Haverhill tap to say farewell to Steve the brewer. Steve, formerly from Mercury Brewery in Ipswich, was an honorary member of the North Shore Brewers club (brewers have free membership for life), was leaving Haverhill to venture closer to home in Indiana.

Soon, he will be working for a brewery with 2 of the 3 highest rated beers in the country (so says rate beer/beer advocate). We have not been able to review these beers because they do not distribute to New England. Hopefully, with Steve’s help, they will be able to increase their distribution range and make it here.

Many of the North Shore Brewers Club members were in attendance. Also, we got a change to speak with a brewer at Redhook, Head Brewer at Milly’s Tavern (Mike Roy); and the future brewer of the Haverhill tap. We enjoyed their cask conditional double IPA that was available on tap. It was very tasty and a much hoppier and maltier version of the Leather Lips IPA.

We wish Steve the best of luck and if we are in his neck of the woods, maybe we’ll stop by.

Haverhill tap: http://www.tapbrewpub.com/

March North Shore Brewer’s Club Meeting

On Thursday, March 22, 2007, Ian, Thirsty Beard (Ryan) and I attended our third North Shore brewers club meeting. This even was located at the Topsfield Fair grounds in the club house.

This meeting’s theme was a “Ham Fest”. To join in with the festivities, we brought two growlers of Redhook’s “Long HAMmer IPA”. The feast included yummy pulled pork sandwiches, home made mac and cheese, along with other assorted foods.

It was an interesting event to say the least. Paul wore everything pink. Pink shoes, pink lacy socks, a pink kilt, and so on. (Please ask Ian for further details). It was an eventful evening, in which Curley Stout (Andy) missed, where we discussed a brew camp the following Sunday, introductions, and where the next meeting will be held.

We tried a couple of the homebrews that members brought. Bill had a tasty stout and Jason brought a sour that he created from two separate homebrews.

St. Patty’s Day

On March 17, the 2 Beer guys celebrated the St. Patrick’s Day holiday with a group of friends at 10 Center Street, in Newburyport. In a previous blog (Diamond in the ruff…Ten Center Street), Dark Amber, said many kind words of this establishment. We decided that this would be a reputable to celebrate this fine day (We wanted to avoid the crowds at the Irish bars)….

What is this celebration you say? (thanks to Wikipedia)

Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá 'le Pádraig or Lá Fhéile Pádraig), colloquially St. Paddy's Day or Paddy's Day, is the feast day which annually celebrates Saint Patrick (385–461), one of the patron saints of Ireland, on March 17, the day on which Saint Patrick died.

The day is the national holiday of the Irish people.

Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide by Irish people and increasingly by many of non-Irish descent (usually in Australia, North America, and Ireland), hence the phrase, "Everyone wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day." Celebrations are generally themed around all things green and Irish; both Christians and non-Christians celebrate the secular version of the holiday by wearing green, eating Irish food and/or green foods, imbibing Irish drink, and attending parades.

As well as being a celebration of Irish culture, Saint Patrick's Day is a Christian festival celebrated in the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, and some other denominations. The day always falls in the season of Lent.

In many parts of North America, Britain, and Australia expatriate Irish, those of Irish descent, and ever-growing crowds of people with no Irish connections but who may proclaim themselves "Irish for a day" also celebrate St. Patrick's Day, usually by drinking larger amounts of alcoholic beverages (lager dyed green, Irish beer and stout, such as Murphys, Beamish, Smithwicks, Harp or Guinness, or Irish whiskey, Irish cider, Irish coffee, or Baileys Irish Cream) than they probably would normally, and by wearing at least one article of green-coloured clothing. The eating of Irish soda bread is also common. A recent American twist on the holiday reflecting its growing popularity among the non-Irish is the making and selling of green bagels on and near the day.

‘Nuff Said

We celebrated St. Patty’s day in Style. Thanks to Hops, many festive decorations were worn and our green was displayed proudly.

We didn’t celebrate with the traditional Irish drinks, we decided to mix it up a little (Thanks to the Ignace remix), and enjoyed Red and Blue Chimay, followed by a “Terrible” (which is Canadian).

Initially 10 center street didn’t have any seating for our large 10+ army, but with a little convincing, Ms. Hefeweizen_hunny (Lisa), got us a large table in an empty room right near a gorgeous fireplace. Other than the attempt of a 2 Beer Guy meeting, the evening was well spent with friends enjoying a good time.

We then headed back to the domicile to play a little guitar hero. Beers were flowing, the laughter was roaring and the party quickly went into the morning hours. After a slow wake up, those staying the evening were awoken by the delicious aroma of pancakes, bacon, and coffee (cooked and served by moi – borrowed from ms piggy).

Friday, March 23, 2007

Food for thought...

So I was spraying lacquer today, getting high as a kite of course and it hit me....no not a piece of wood nor a shot from the spray gun...a thought. I have nothing but free mental time when spraying lacquer so it's a great time for me to think about the other things important in my life...one of those being 2beerguys! Ok, so now that I've totally bored you all with the useless details of my day, the point:

Each year many of the individuals who are part of the esteemed institution of 2beerguys form another group that has gone by several names to include Team Chewbacca and Team F Brace. Knowing that our friend Jess was aided by Harpoon in her effort to fundraise for the PMC, I thought, why can't we do the same for our annual Relay for Life team? Shamefully, I believe that we are typically near the bottom of the fundraising list and this could be a good way to remedy that.

Of course this would accomplish many of the things we're looking to do. It could kick off a relationship with Harpoon; it would give 2beerguys a hosting debut; it would raise money for a great cause; and most importantly, it would give us an excuse to drink really good beer.
So there we go. There is my lacquer scented thought of the day! I think I'll go smell some more fumes now...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A toast.

Raise your virtual pint glasses, y'all, and join me in a toast.

To friends, beer and fun
To new things just begun
To friends of old and stories told
and late nights up past one.

To the winds of change
and this fine age
and all that has unfurled

I lift my glass
to friends with class
I wouldn't trade this for the world

Love you all and keep on drinkin'!

Wait, what was this party for again?

Oh that's right, last night was the "release" party for Redhook's new, well, newly named anyway, IPA. At long last, the Long Hammer was dropped on the public, but with such little fanfare it felt less like being hit with a long hammer and more like a pin prick. Driving into the Redhook facility in Portsmouth, you could tell they had a packed house on hand. For the first time ever, I had to park my truck in auxiliary parking. Walking up to the doors, they made sure you knew this was the Long Hammer party, and when you got inside, well, they just sort of seemed to stop telling you.

Outside of one hanging banner at the main entrance, and some chalkboard writing about the event, there was nothing else to let you know that you were in fact at a release party. Missing were banners of the new packaging for the beer, missing were specials on pints of the IPA, missing were Redhook executives and employees walking around talking about the beer.

In all fairness, we didn't get there until 8:30, so the party had already been going on for over two hours. However, I doubt that the party got so out of control that the banners were torn down and Redhook's staff just got tired of talking about the beer. And speaking of the beer...

I've heard time and time again that Redhook didn't change the recipe, just the name. In terms of widely-available, year-round local IPA's, Redhook is probably my second favorite drinking IPA. So it was with great disappointment that I took sip after sip of what, to me, was a sub-par beer. It was boring, had no hop character, it had no bite, and it was just all around bland. I'm hoping that it was just a bad batch, or that I got my drawn off the end of the keg and it just wasn't quite right. Although, to that end, that in and of itself would be disastrous for an event solely focused on that particular beer. I gave it another shot and ordered one cask-conditioned. Expectedly, it was mellow, but it still lacked the characteristics I expect in an IPA.

I have to tell you that my faith needs to be restored in this IPA. Thankfully I have a few at home, but they're from before the new name was announced. I can still taste what a quality Redhook IPA should taste like. Crisp, clean hop bite, nice citrus aroma, clean finish. None of the things I got in my pint glass last night. The party last night was more reminiscent of a keg party, and unfortunately the beer backed up that claim.

Redhook, you broke my heart.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Starbucks of beer

Friday, March 16, 2007

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Heineken, Europe's largest brewery, is opening up a chain of bars worldwide with the goal of becoming the Starbucks of beer. The bars will sell "other beers as well as wine and spirits, but only Heineken-owned brands are available on tap. TV screens show Heineken ads and sports events sponsored by the company." The first one will open in Hong Kong's international airport.

I could see Sam Adams doing more of this in the U.S. - Everytime I'm in Terminal B at Logan that Sam Adams pub seems to be doing a brisk business.

(Article supplied by Mrs Curley Stout)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

It's coming!

As you likely read earlier in Sean's blog about the Harpoon Brown Session Ale release, I had a wonderful chat with Kyle, our new Harpoon rep on the North Shore. With out going into too much detail (mostly because I have none to give) Harpoon is interested in co-sponsoring a promotional event with 2 Beer Guys. The intent will be to get our name out there along side a well known brewery name here in New England. This could be a huge step toward our goal of becoming THE source for craft brew and brewery information on the North Shore. I'll keep you posted!

Irish Drinking Song

I thought it would be appropriate to post an Irish drinking song in honor of St. Patty's Day. Today is a well known beer drinker's holiday (though that is not it's original intent), and what better way to celebrate than getting pissed with your mates and sloshing around your pint of guinness while singing an Irish tune. I've found a song by Flogging Molly called "Irish Drinking Song". Hope you all enjoy, and happy St. Patty's Day!


Friday, March 16, 2007

St Patty's Day Jokes

To help get you in the Irish mood, here are a couple of jokes.


Into a Belfast pub comes Paddy Murphy, looking like he'd just been run over by a train, again. His arm is in a sling, his nose is broken, his face is cut and bruised and he's walking with a limp.

"What happened to you?" asks Sean, the bartender.
"Jamie O'Conner and me had a fight," says Paddy.

"That little shit, O'Conner," says Sean, "He couldn't do that to you, he must have had something in his hand."

"That he did," says Paddy, "a shovel is what he had, and a terrible lickin' he gave me with it."

"Well," says Sean, "you should have defended yourself, didn't you have something in your hand?"

"That I did," said Paddy. "Mrs. O'Conner's breast, and a thing of beauty it was, but useless in a fight."


Three Irishmen, Paddy, Sean and Shamus, were stumbling home from the pub late one night and found themselves on the road which led past the old graveyard. All three drunk as skunks, their curiosity was aroused, so they had a look...
"Come have a look over here," says Paddy, "It's Michael O'Grady's grave, God bless his soul.

He lived to the ripe old age of 87."

"That's nothing", says Sean, "here's one named Patrick O'Tool, it says here that he was 95 when he died."

Just then, Shamus yells out, "Good God, here's a fella' that's 145!"

"What was his name?" asks Paddy?

Shamus stumbles around a bit, awkwardly lights a match to see what else is written on the stone marker, and exclaims, "Miles, from Dublin."


Paddy had been drinking at his local Dublin pub all day and most of the night
celebrating St Patrick's Day. Mick, the bartender says, "You'll not be
drinking anymore tonight Paddy.

Paddy replies, "OK Mick, I'll be on my way then." Paddy spins around on his
stool and steps off. He falls flat on his face.

"Shoite" he says and pulls himself up by the stool and dusts himself off. He
takes a step towards the door and falls flat on his face, Shoite, Shoite!"

He looks to the doorway and thinks to himself that if he can just get to the
door and some fresh air he'll be fine. He belly crawls to the door and
shimmies up to the door frame.

He sticks his head outside and takes a deep breath of fresh air, feels much
better and takes a step out onto the sidewalk and falls flat on his face.
"Bi'Jesus... I'm fockin' focked," he says. He can see his house just a few doors
down, and crawls to the door, hauls himself up the door frame, opens the door
and shimmies inside.

He takes a look up the stairs and says "No fockin' way". He crawls up the
stairs to his bedroom door and says "I can make it to the bed."

He takes a step into the room and falls flat on his face. He says "Fock it"
and falls into bed. The next morning, his wife, Jess, comes into the room
carrying a cup of coffee and says, "Get up Paddy. Did you have a bit to drink last

Paddy says, "I did Jess. I was fockin' pissed. But how'd you know?"

"Mick phoned, . . . You left your wheelchair at the pub."


Paddy staggered home very late after an evening with his drinking buddy,
Mick. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Bridget.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. The bottle of "Jameson" in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, Paddy sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place
he saw blood. He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and stumbled his
way to bed.

In the morning, Paddy woke up with searing pain in both his head and rump. Bridget sat staring at him from across the room.

She said, "Paddy McGuire, ye were drunk a gain last night, weren't ye?"

Paddy said, "Why are ye accusin' me of such a thing?"

"Ah, well," Bridget said, "it could be the open front door; it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs; it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house; it could be yer bloodshot eyes; but mostly, I'm thinkin', it's all those Band-Aids stuck to the hall mirror."


"Mick appeared on the Irish version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" and
towards the end of the program had already won $500,000.

"You've done very well so far," said the show's presenter, but for 1 Million dollars, you've only got one lifeline left, phone-a-friend. "Everything is riding on this question.....will you go for it?"

"Sure," said Mick. I'll have a go!"

"OK. The question is: which of the following birds does NOT build it's own nest?

"I hasn't got a clue," said Mick, "So I'll use my last lifeline and phone my friend Paddy back home in Come-Bye- Chance."

Mick called up his mate, told him the circumstances and repeated the question to him.

"Fookin Ell, Mick!" cried Paddy. "Dat's just simple loogic....it's a Cuckoo."

"Are you sure, Paddy?" asked Mick.

"I'm fookin sure" replied Paddy.

Mick hung up the phone and told the TV presenter, "I'll go with cuckoo as my answer."

Is that your final answer?" asked the host.

"Dat it is Sir."

There was a long, long pause, then the presenter screamed, "Cuckoo is the correct answer! Mick, you've won 1,000,000.00!"

The next night, Mick invited Paddy to their local pub to buy him a drink.

"Tell me, Paddy? How in God's name did you know it was the cuckoo that doesn't build its own nest? I mean you know fook-all about birds."

"Fer fooks sake!" laughed Paddy. "Everybody knows a fookin cuckoo lives in a clock!"

Diamond in the ruff…Ten Center Street

On Wednesday, March 7th Jen (Thirsty Beard’s wife) and our friend Geri and I all went to dinner at Ten Center Street in Newburyport. None of us had been there before and had no expectations of what was to come.

As we walked into the cozy restaurant we asked the waitress for the best seat in the house. She immediately guided us through the bar and up the stairs to a table seated next to a roaring fire place. We looked around to get a feel for our surroundings and I immediately noticed the bar and the beer glasses that surrounded it. I saw Chimay, Duvel and several other great beers. Jen and I quickly decided to get a Chimay and Geri asked for a taster of the liquid gold. She liked it but was in the mood for a nice Rioja.

For an appetizer, we shared a giant Alaskan scallop with wasabi and a corn salsa….WOW. We had a wonderful dinner…all ordered hamburgers with polenta, caramelized onions and a yummy cheese. We were all very pleased with the experience…I was especially wowed by the beer choices and the knowledge the waitress had with all the beers. Please….I beg of you, go there, and be treated wonderfully, you deserve it!

Op uw gezondheid, Amber, Beergirl

Sunday “Beerrunch” at Cambridge Brewing Company

Sunday afternoon, hanging in Boston, great friends, Beer and Brunch. What more could one ask for on a warm day in March? Not much. We did just that on the 11th. The group consisted of Hops, Ian, Nerissa, Curly Stout, Sean and me. Nerissa and Curley Stout invited us to a Beerrunch at the Cambridge Brewing Company.

Right away we were choosing our beers and food choices from a very refined menu. We had about 6 beers to choose from but unfortunately the beer I wanted was out. I actually ended up being very fortunate in the end because the waitress told me that in about 5 min. the new beer menu would be available and it would be 14 beers long! Hehehe….lucky me!

I am definitely not going to tell you what each person had for beer…it would take me a while. Needless to say we were all very happy with our choices. The afternoon consisted of great conversation, good food and as usual, wonderful beer choices. We were happy with the waitresses’ beer knowledge and the service was pretty good. I would definitely recommend the CBC for a brilliant time in the city!

Op uw gezondheid, Amber, Beergirl

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Harpoon St Patty’s day festival

Friday, March 9th was Harpoon’s St. Patty’s day festival. I had missed the Brown Ale release the night before as I had to work. I was definitely excited to be going to this event and be accompanied by the 2 beer guys, and Thirsty Beard on such a festive occasion. As we entered the tent we were swept into a wave of happy beer lovers and were herded through the brewery and into a sea of green clad “beerites”.

We quickly acquired several beer tickets and took no time finding our respective beer choices. I chose the Hibernian, an Irish red style beer. It was very yummy and quickly became my second choice as well. Thirsty Beard chose a smorgasbord of IPA, Brown, and the Raspberry. Sean wanted to try the Brown again and of course had IPA. Ian stuck with his favorite….Harpoon IPA…the favorite of many distinguished beer drinkers.

While we were super happy with the beer, the brewery tour left little to be desired. No don’t misunderstand me, Fred was extremely well versed in beer knowledge and is well respected as a brewer, he brewed the famed English Style Old Ale. For your info, this is one of Hops favorite beers. Anyway, this guy was not the best tour guide ever…to put it mildly. We felt like pulling our hair out by the end of the tour and were very disappointed that we were missing an Irish bag piping group! If any of the other people that were on the tour were new to the beer world, I hope this guy didn’t turn them off with too many in depth comments.!

As the night went on we enjoyed our beer, partook of some wonderful sausages and listened to a band called Joshua Tree. They rocked the tent! Our most exciting moment of the night was when some random guy threw a fry at a girl’s breast. Sean was very noble and told the guy to apologize to the woman. Apparently he didn’t realize what he had done, but nevertheless, Sean made it known that the guy was a jerk and he should grovel for forgiveness from this girl. We were all a bit scared, as the girl was donning a look that could kill. All in all…another amazing evening at a Harpoon Event. If you havn’t been to Harpoon yet, you must go…and soon.

Op uw gezondheid, Amber, Beergirl

Harpoon Brown Ale release

An email arrives to my inbox (that’s rather odd.. where else is an email going to arrive? Well….. who cares. ). It’s from Harpoon. There’s great news. They are releasing a new beer!!!! Here’s how it went.

HARPOON BROWN IS HERE! Whoa - I've been holding that in for way too long. I know - usually I give you this kind of monumental news with some sort of clever, funny, undeniably brilliant introduction. I just couldn't contain my excitement this time. After all, this is the FIRST HARPOON YEAR-ROUND BEER we've introduced in over 9 years. 9 YEARS! It's a big deal. You know what that means? That's right - it's time to party.

Thursday, March 8th, join us as we celebrate the release of our newest offering, Harpoon Brown. Be the first to try a taste of Harpoon Brown Session Ale at a special Premiere Party

About Harpoon Brown Session Ale

We brewed our Harpoon Brown to accentuate the sweeter, rounder notes derived from six different malts, including a de-husked chocolate malt that adds a hint of chocolate. The blend of these malts produces a beer that is complex and delicious without being heavy. Harpoon Brown is a perfect session beer for spending time with your friends.

Style: American Brown Ale
Original Gravity: 12.6
ABV: 4.3%
IBUs: 22
Food Pairings: nuts, sweet desserts, grilled chicken, BBQ

What is a "Session" beer?:

"Any beer that contains no higher than 5 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), featuring a balance between malt and hop characters (ingredients) and, typically, a clean finish - a combination of which creates a beer with high drinkability. The purpose of a session beer is to allow a beer drinker to have multiple beers, within a reasonable time period or session, without overwhelming the senses or reaching inappropriate levels of intoxication. (Yes, you can drink and enjoy beer without getting drunk.)"

Well, I got an invitation to the premiere party at Rockafella's, in Salem, Ma from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Strangely enough, Ian got an invitation and it was at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston from 6:00 – 8:00.

Have our dreams come true? Was this an opportunity to hit two different locations on the same evening to get some beer? Say it ain’t so.

On Thursday, Ian and I met in Woburn and traveled to the Harpoon Brewery. We were curious how this event was going to take place. One of our first events was the UFO Raspberry release at Rockafella’s. Now we are coming a full circle only a year later.

We arrive at a packed event, held outside in a LARGE tent (which was setup for the St Patty’s day festival). The tent was partitioned off into a smaller section for this event. After having the typical ID check, we picked up our souvenir glass, free beer tickets and headed into the long line. Unfortunately, only 4 taps were available, so it took a little longer than normal.

We did a quick review of the beer and headed into the food line. Fortunately enough, the Harpoon BBQ team was serving free pulled pork sandwiches. They were quite tasty.

The line for our second beer was much longer than the first. While waiting in the line, we saw the two gentlemen from Beer Advocate arrive. They arrived about an hour and a half after the event started and they weren’t too happy that they ran out of the complimentary glasses. Oh…

Being a fellow beer reviewer, I wondered what they would do. Would they stand in this long line? Would they be respectful to the other beer fanatics that are friends of Harpoon? Well, you can guess where this is going. They went through the crowd to where the MGMT was and pulled some strings to get to the head of the line. Oh well…

Ian and I were very happy with this jaunt into Boston and make the journey to Rockafella’s to meet up with Hefeweizen_hunny (Lisa), Wood (George), and Meow (Kat). They were already there talking it up with Kyle.

We learned while at the Boston review, that Niles, our North Shore sales rep had left the company after 7+ years. His replacement was Kyle. We were exited to introduce ourselves to Kyle and see how we could help him in our backyard.

We make it to Rockafella’s, chatted it up for a while with Kyle and enjoyed the Brown Session Ale. The band playing wasn’t that good, but we enjoyed the night, since we were with friends and trying a new beer.

Monday Night Beer and a TV show

For those who don’t know, Ian, Ryan, Amber and I are 24 fanatics. We spend many Monday evenings watching Jack Bauer escape death, count the times that Chloe cries, and predict what the terrorists will do next. If you aren’t watching 24, you’re missing out on all of the action.

Anyways, back to reality. Beer. It’s what’s for dinner. Well, not really FOR dinner, but for a pleasure after dinner. This evening, we enjoyed three tasty bombers (22oz-ers). They were the following:

Boulder Beer Company - GABF 25th Year Beer - ESB
Rock Art Brewery - Magnumus et Tomahawkus - Strong Ale
Twisted Pine Brewery - Hoppy Boy - IPA

We had high aspirations of making this a 5er night, but Amber didn’t return from her Boston Adventure until late. She decided to stay home, so we reduce the review down to three offerings. As you will be able to determine by the scores and reviews, all three offerings were quite pleasant on the palate and taste buds.

You might be able to guess which one was my favorite… go head.. make a guess..

Ok, so you are right. It was my favorite. Very aromatic and moistened my palate…..

As you can imagine, Jack Bauer lasted another suspenseful hour. Until Next Monday!!!!!

Beer Club Meeting - February

The February meeting was held on March 1st. This blog is way over due, but never too late.

Ian, Curley Stout (Andy), Thirsty Beard (Ryan), and I attended our second North Shore Beer Club meeting. The meeting was held at the Tap Brewery in Haverhill, Ma. It was just down the street from Ryan’s house, so Ian and I met at Ryan’s house to go all in one car. Later, this proved to be a wise idea.

When we arrived at the tap, we met Andy upstairs enjoying a beer. We headed downstairs to the function room. The group had arrived earlier and ate before the meeting started.

A guest speaker was invited to the meeting to talk about his book. Andy Crouch, the author of “The Good Beer Guide to New England”, told stories of his adventures touring around New England enjoying and writing a one to two page synopsis of the New England breweries.

Book Description:

This is the first and only comprehensive guide to the bounty of great beers produced by all of the breweries and brewpubs in the six New England states. The guide will leave readers with an unparalleled resource for enjoying the array of quality beers produced in New England.

If you would like to learn more about the book, please visit his website: http://www.beerscribe.com/book.html

After the meeting was over, Ryan, Ian and I enjoyed a beer upstairs in the brewery with Steve the Brewer. We went on a tour of the facility and discussed the beers that he enjoyed to brew. Quickly the brewery closed and we realized that we were the last ones standing…well almost standing… We dropped Steve off and headed to Ryan’s house.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Beer in the News

As I like to do every now and again, I've scoured the net for some interesting beer-related articles. Here are five that I've come across that are of interest:

Raising the roof at Redhook

Chasing a dream

Baking with Beer

Sam Adams forging ahead

Time to look at stouts

A duh moment at the CBC

Since it was dancing night for the ladies, I trekked over to the CBC for cask night and to see if there were still any leftovers from the Brewer's Dinner this past saturday. Indeed there were. I started off with an Imperial Stout, which was delicious. My second and last beer was the cask of the week adn this is when I had my "duh" moment.

It was a Pale Ale, dry-hopped with amarillo hops. Golden, with a slightly orange tinge, it had a great head and the aroma was mind-blowing. Flowers and pine leapt out of the glass at you. Then the taste... super smooth, very creamy with a slightly oily finish. What surprised me was that it was only mildly bitter. I was expecting that something dry-hopped would have a major bite to it. Then the duh hit me over the head. I've been reading abotu brewing and one of the things about adding hops I read was that they recommend adding them in batches at different times in the boil, because it takes a while to build up the bitterness, but hops also disappear quickly. There was my mistaken expectation. Dry-hopping should really only add to the aroma of the beer, it doesn't really get processed enough to add much bitterness. So a dry-hopped beer should definitely be strong in the aroma department, but not necessarily in the bitterness, that still depends more on the style in which it was mashed and boiled. Live and learn.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Are you a Beer Geek

In the March 2007 issue of Beer Advocate, I came across this quiz that may interest the 2beerguys community.

Are you a beer geek

You may already be a beer geek, but just to be sure, answer yes or no to the following 10 questions to ascertain your level of beer geekdom!

1. You have a child or a pet named after a beer.

2. You were married or spent your honeymoon in a brewery or breweries.

3. When someone drops the name "Michael Jackson" into a conversation, your first thought is not pop music, Billie Jean or moonwalking.

4. You own more than a dozen bottle openers and keep at least one on your keychain.

5. All of the glassware in your house has logos on it.

6. Your wardrobe consists primarily of shirts, sweats and jackets from breweries.

7. You plan your vacations around beer festivals, and make sure your destinations have enough breweries and pubs to visit before making reservations.

8. You own at least two refrigerators.

9. Your home is decorated in early American beer paraphernalia.

10. What few non-beer-geek friends you have alwats keep a handful of decent beers in their refrigerators just to keep you happy...or quiet.

If you answered yes to one or more guestions...Congratulations, you're a beer geek! Five or more makes you an uber beer geek. The higher your score, the more passionate your geekdom.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Brown session ale - boston

Sean and i are here in boston at the harpoon release party for their newest year round offering, the brown session ale. It pours a dark amber color, and the word chestnut, provided by harpoon, seems appropriate. It has an off-white, fizzy head, that quickly dissipates. Fair lacing clings to our new, freezing cold brown ale glass. First aroma is of faint light bread malts, and not much else. Gentle on the nose. Initial taste is a very light bitter, which softens even more as it moves towards the finish. Light on the palate, it has a watery texture with a clean finish. A very drinkable, smooth taste that certainly lends itself to the session style. 7-3-7-4-21



Man's New Best Friend

We can finally give engineers a little credit! It's amazing what 4 years at Duke can do for a person! I think that this man will be given a nobel prize some day...


A different kind of winter warmer

In light of the recent frigid weather, this sounds like a very tasty treat. It is an "adult hot chocolate" recipe, as found in the latest Sam Adams e-newsletter. If anyone tries it out, let us know what you think!

Samuel Adams®
Adult Hot Chocolate
by Chef Andrew Urbanetti

This is something that will keep you warm all the way til summer is here!

2 bottles Samuel Adams® Cream Stout
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4oz semi-sweet chocolate (chips will work)
½ teaspoon chili powder
Raspberries (optional)
Sugar (to rim glasses)

Instructions: In a saucepan, bring beer and brown sugar to a gentle boil, cooking for about 3 minutes. Over a low heat, whisk in chocolate and chili powder. Pour into 4 sugar rimmed glasses and serve warm!

And don't worry. According to the chef, the chili only brings out the chocolate and beer flavors. You won't taste it!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A cold, frosty one.

The weather or the beer? Well, in this case I'm referring to both.
It's been a chilly couple of weeks here in northern Mass and I decided to take full advantage of it. Kat, Gavin and I went tubing this past Monday and it was so much fun!
We suited up in snow pants, thick coats, snow gloves and wooly hats, went down to the Amesbury Sports Park and partook in a New England winter time event called tubing. It was the first time for Kat and I, being the southern transplants that we are. We paid our $18, grabbed some tubes and started our journey up the hill. The climb appeared daunting, but thank god they had a lift system. So we plopped down in our tubes, were teathered to the lift and began the slow, relaxing trip to the top. On the way up, there was a sign that said "be prepared to roll out of your tube at the stop gate". And this was worded appropriately. Kat quickly noticed there was no gaceful way to get out of the tube, so roll out it was. We climbed the last 10 or so feet to the top, dragging the tubes behind us, and treaded through the snow to where the other brave souls looking for high speed on ice were wating in line. We decided we should each make the first run solo.
We all waited in the same line. Kat and Gavin each went before me. They made it look so easy and fun. I watched both of them as they raced down the ice, skid off the end and on to the astro-turf.
As I watched them, I found myself getting closer and closer to the moment where intestinal fortitude would have to over come my nerves. Then there I was...standing at the top of the hill looking down the slope that suddenly appeared to be much steeper than it did from the bottom.
"You can go when you're ready", the attendant informed me. It was upon me. Anxiety gripped me and I knew it was now or never. Kat and Gavin were waiting for me at the bottom. They looked like tiny ants from this height. I sat down in my tube and began scooting my way to the start of the decline. "All you need is a little push" the attendant said as he gave me a hard shove. And I was off; careening over the crest of the decline, hurling at such velocity that I could barely scream. Ice was flying up and hitting me in the face making it difficult to see. I went down the slope, sliding from side to side and turning circles all the way down. And then I hit the astro-turf. I dug my heels in to the ground in an attempt to slow myself down. I came skidding to a halt. I was breathing hard and looked up at Kat and Gavin who were standing a few feet away smiling at me. "Heck yeah!" I shouted. I got up, and we began our journey up the hill for a second run.
After many trips up and down the hill, we decided to break for lunch. We were pleased to see that there was a sports pub upstairs in the complex. When we walked in, we saw probably one of the greatest sights of the whole day...a lovely selection of beers. Gavin and Kat each ordered a Sam Winter and I had a Long Trail IPA. We sat there sipping our cold, frosty beverages on this cold, frosty day and yet somehow found warmth in them.
We finished our lunch and brews and went back out for a few more tubing runs...during the last of which we all went on our stomachs. It was a wonderful day of New England winter fun with delicious brew shared with wonderful friends. This cold, frosty one turned out to be a very warm memory.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

For a laugh