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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Early stages of fermentation

After brew day for the Ale Brewed with Wallen's Wit and Our Good Looks, the primary fermenter went into hiding under my stairs. After two days, here are some photos of the yeast working its magic. More photos will follow of the actual brew day.

Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
Photo 4
Photo 5
Photo 6

Friday, May 25, 2007

Thursday .. Friday... Hoppy Days

Thursday, Friday, Hoppy Days.
The weekend comes,
My palate hums,
Ready to drink with you.

These days are all,
Hoppy and Free. (Those Hoppy Days)
These days are all,
Share them with 2beerguys. (oh baby)
Goodbye grey sky, hello beer.
There's nothing can hold me when I hold a tasty brew.
Feels so right, it can't be wrong.
Rockin' and rollin' all weekend long.

Well, a weekend is arriving. There are plans for reviewing and brewing a new batch of beer (On Sunday). If you are in the area and want to hang out, drop us a line.

I am a week late, but last Thursday Amber and I joined the Leary's crew for a quick tasting. We tried Anheuser-Busch's Beach Bum Blonde Ale (not good), Michelob Bavarian-Style Wheat (Armoatic with hints of banana and lemon - better than the Beach Bum), Allagash Interlude (Allagash used a new brewing process, special fermentation, and French oak barrel aging all contribute to a beer that has wine-like qualities. It tasted more like a red wine than a beer. It was OK, but I couldn't see myself drinking a whole bottle.) and we finished with a Whirlwind Wit from Victory.


We try to make it to Leary's on Thursday nights. Last night we didn't make it, but if you would like to go, just let us know.

Friday (18th) and Saturday (19th) was a weekend of reviews. I guess it's true. When the wife's away, the cat gets to play. MEOW... Here's a list of beers that we reviewed over the two days.....

Middle Ages Brewing Company
11th Anniversary Double Wheat
Wailing Wench Ale (Double IPA)

Alesmith Brewing Company
Grand Cru (Belgian Strong Ale)

North Coast Brewing Company
Brother Thelonious (Belgian Strong Ale)

Avery Brewing Company
The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale (Double IPA)

Boulder Beer Company
Mojo Risin (Double IPA)

Anchor Brewing Company
Liberty Ale (Pale Ale)
Small Beer (Bitter)

Oskar Blues Brewery
Old Chub Scotch Ale (IN A CAN!!)

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
India Pale Ale

Shipyard Brewing Company
Export Ale (Blonde Ale)
Winter Ale Special Brew

Thomas Hooker Brewing Company
Liberator Dopplebock


* Yes, we had a beer in a can. The Old Chub Scotch Ale was very tasty. From what we have read, the beer should stay fresher in the can vs. a bottle. BRING ON THE CANS!!!!

* The Export Ale from Shipyard was tastier than the Winter Ale Special brew.

* The Highest score (for this weekend) was given to The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale. It's a double IPA and was very potent.

* I wasn't too impressed with the Anchor Liberty and Small beer. After having all of these other strong beers, either our palate was in heaven or they weren't as tasty as we expected.

* I would like to go on the record to say that the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is better than the IPA. To me, the Pale Ale has a dominate hop presence and the IPA was weak.

We are getting very close to 400. We might be celebrating the 400th beer on Sunday at Ian's house while we are brewing. We have decided to brew a Belgian Wit beer that we have decided to call: "Wallen's Wit and our Good Looks".

This is the recipe that we have chosen:

I am excited about this beer. It should be a nice refreshing summer beer and it's our first beer to be brewed with Coriander Seed and Orange Peel.

If you would like to participate in the 400th or the brew day, please give us a call.


Harpoon Beer Dinner - Savory Tastes

Ian and I added a Harpoon Beer Dinner at Savory Tastes Cafe (Reading, MA)

Executive Chef Stephen Bell has created a special menu pairing 6 distinctive Harpoon brews with a six-course meal and a dessert.

It all starts with Prosciutto wrapped Sea Scallops in a Parsley Sauce paired with Harpoon Summer Beer and the menu just gets better and better from there. This is one of the most popular annual events at Savory Tastes and we don’t want you to miss it. I am getting hungry just thinking about it.


Chef Bell and Kyle from Harpoon was on hand both evenings to introduce each course and discuss the pairings of the food with the beer. Ian and I had a great time. It was slow eating and our tummies were very full by the end of the evening. We had to roll ourself out of the restaurant.

Check out this amazing Menu....

Amuse Bouche: Prosciutto wrapped Sea Scallops in a Parsley Sauce paired with Harpoon Summer Beer

1st course: Baccala Cake paired with Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Peche

2nd course: Kielbasa and Grain Mustard Macaroni & Cheese paired with Harpoon Brown Session Ale

3rd course: Smoked Gouda Risotto with Roasted Long Island Duck
paired with Harpoon Encore Series Smoked Porter

4th course Grilled Skirt Steak in a Chimichurri Sauce, Red Jalapeno Cornbread & Peppers & Onions paired with Harpoon IPA

Dessert: Chocolate Turron paired with UFO Raspberry Hefeweizen

Guess how many courses that I ate?
What was my favorite course?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

An accident? Or a great hobo conspiracy....?

If beer spills on the tracks, do the brewers cry?

DENVER - Beer and asphalt are leaking from two train cars after they hit a parked engine during an early morning train move.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway says they were in the process of moving 34 beer cars in their rail yard when four of the cars slide back, colliding with a parked engine and asphalt cars.

No one was hurt during the situation but both beer and asphalt spilled from two of the cars onto the tracks. The rail yard is located off of Park Avenue, east of Interstate 25.

BNSF says the accident took place at 4:30 Wednesday morning but because no one was injured they did not contact Denver Fire.

Denver Fire has since responded to the scene and will work with BNSF to determine the next course of action.

There are no problems on the main line tracks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hot Stove Cold Beer!!!!

Part 1: Lucky Rabbit's foot

Ian and I met in Woburn before heading to the Harpoon Brewery for the Hot Stove Cold Beer event. We jumped on 93 south, heading into Boston to start our journey. It was about 6:00 and the south bound traffic was thick in spots and the north bound traffic was all jammed up (this was typical rush our traffic).

I moved into the left lane, knowing that we weren't exiting for a while, and all of a sudden Ian and I saw sparks on the right of us. There was no one next to us, but there was a car in the second lane and the first lane was a small pickup truck. The sparks were coming from the first lane, like their muffler was dragging.

We were a car length behind them and I started to slow down, not knowing what was happening.

Then their front left tire came off.

This is where it became surreal. We watched the tire go from right to left, right in front of us. Then it hit the concrete barrier at 60 miles an hour, rolled up the barrier and hit a light pole. Thank got it hit a light pole (The light poles are ~50 feet apart). If not, it would have landed in our lane or on top of the heavy north bound traffic.

OK... so the tire hits the light pole at a very fast speed. It then travels about 30 feet up the light pole and OH BOY... It's coming back our way. Being in the far left lane was a help. It went over our head (this is when I sped up)... almost landing on the car in the second lane and nearly missing a motorcycle.

We were in shock. I wish I had a camera out.. cause you wouldn't believe what we saw. The driver was able to take the truck into the breakdown lane. We don't think that anyone got hurt.. but we aren't really sure.

Part 2: An Evening With Peter Gammons for Some Hot Stove, Cold Beer

Information from Harpoon:

Harpoon is honored to welcome back friend and baseball expert, Peter Gammons, for our third annual "Hot Stove Cold Beer With Peter Gammons". It will be an unforgettable evening with the sports writing legend and Baseball Hall-of-Famer. A homerun-of-a-night, if you will! Now that we have seen a month of the baseball season unfold, it’s a perfect time to get Peter’s unique perspective on everything baseball. And what could be better than doing that while enjoying a fresh Commissioner Pale Ale, specially brewed for this event, with "The Commissioner" himself? Not much.

Not only will it be fun, but it’s for a terrific cause. All ticket sales will benefit The Foundation to Be Named Later.

The event didn't start until 7:00, but Ian and I arrived around 6:30. Peter Gamans had arrived at the same time and we were allowed to go inside early.

This was amazing. There were about 5-6 people all hovering around Peter Gamans asking him questions about baseball and listening to his stories. It was so weird to hear: "When I was speaking with Derek Jeter yesterday, ...." or the Dave Roberts story about getting ribbed by his 2007 teammates (San Fran. Giants) for being in the Redsox hall of fame and never getting an at bat in the post season.

When the event started, Peter spoke in front of the 70 person crowd telling stories for about 45 mins and then a Q/A session. The Q/A lasted for over 1.5 hours. It was great!! Honestly, I felt 12 years old and going to my first Redsox game. Baseball chat for two hours. This was an awesome event. Thanks Harpoon!!

Also, we would like to thank Harpoon for providing light appetizers, pizza, and a 22 oz bottle of the Harpoon Commissioner Pale Ale, a beer created exclusively for Peter

Please check out the pictures in the gallery:



I'm adding my thoughts from the evening, as it was such a memorable evening for me. I'll echo Sean's sentiment that I felt like a 12-year old at my first ballgame. It was just awesome listening to Peter speak, and engaging him in conversation one on one. It was like sitting on the set of Baseball Tonight, listening to him provide insight and wisdom. Some of the questions he fielded when he did his Q&A with the whole crowd were:

Q: What would you do on your first day as the Commissioner?

A: First of all, he said he'd never want to be the Commissioner, because he couldn't deal with all of the owners. He jokingly remarked that he would drive to Baltimore and beg Peter Angelos to sell the Orioles.

Q: Who is the next great position player that we've never heard of? (my question)

A: Justin Upton, who's in the Arizona minor leagues. He's BJ Upton's (of Tampa Bay) younger brother, and is better overall that his older brother.

During his commentary, he talked about what he loves most about the game this year. To him, he's so happy to see younger African-American players embracing and learning about the African-American players that laid the foundation for them to be able to play. He once asked Gary Sheffield if he could do what Jackie Robinson did, and Sheffield looked at him and said, no way. According to Peter, the percentage of African-American players in MLB has dropped from 20-something percent in 1995, to 8 percent today. But, what he's seeing is that as it was decades ago, baseball is again becoming a forum for civil rights activism.

He said Jason Giambi is an idiot for opening his mouth. He said the Yankees are in big trouble because their outfield is playing like they're 50 years old and can't catch fly balls. He projects that Mark Texiera will be playing first base for the Yankees next year, and that that has been set in stone for three years. Jose Reyes is his favorite player in the game today. Alex Rodriguez and Theo Epstein had a deal in place to bring A-Rod to Boston, but Larry Luchinno and the players union had to shoot their mouths off, and the deal went south. He predicts that A-Rod will opt out of his contract with the Yankees this winter, and become the shortstop for the LA Angels of Anaheim, where he will break the home-run record in about 8 years.

It was a very insightful, enjoyable, and charitable evening, and it is one I will not soon forget. Listening to Peter, drinking an IPA, was just remarkable.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I just had to tell everybody that I finally tried the Terrible and it was anything but. After all I've heard about it, I finally sampled it and it was amazing. Just a note to all who have yet to try this...it's like 10.7% alcohol and it comes in a HUGE bottle. So don't try it on a Sunday afternoon while you're cooking dinner for your boyfriend's parents and haven't eaten all day so you end up drunk at the dinner table with his family. Uh...that happened to a friend of mine...yeah...not me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Vintage Guiness Cans

Something to share...

Discover GUINNESS Vintage Labels Cans Before They're History

A century after they were first introduced, vintage labels are coming back. Collect all four on cans of GUINNESS Draught 4-packs before the word spreads. In store soon!

Click here to check them out.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Do you do the brew?

On Saturday, Andy and I decided to met at his house and brew a tasty Double IPA.

After previously locating a recipe on the web and purchasing the 18 pounds of malt, Andy started the boiling process during my travels to his house.

Once I arrived, our goals was to reach 168 degrees for water that was going to mix with the cracked grain. The hope was to release all of the sugars from the grain to make our wort. This wort would then be boiled in the kettle with a total of 4 ounces of Chinook hops.

After the a brewing process was complete, we cooled down the beer and moved into the primary fermenter. We added the California Ale V and we ready to end for the day.

Please check out some pictures of the brewing day.


(Unfortunately, during the cooling process, we melted one of the hoses. Strangely, it still worked.)

During the brewing process, there is a lot of wait time. While we watched the Redsox roll over the Orioles, we sampled Andy's first IPA that he brewed. He was nervous, but it was pretty good. We also enjoyed a Southern Tier Ipa, Sebago Red Ale, and Founders Centennial Ipa.

Now to the fun part. Since this is our own brew, we decided to give this a unique name. We decided to name this beer the happy "Ignace Ogre".

Ian helped us design a label for this beer.

If you are interested in viewing the exact recipe, please use this link: Recipe


Ryan requested the label to be updated, so Ian worked some magic. BTW.... congrats Ian and Kristen.


Check this one out!!!

Thursday Night Review

Last Thursday night, Ryan, Ian and I went to Leary's to review some Sam Miguel beers with Frank. Unfortunately, Frank was busy and couldn't review this evening.

Slightly sad, we decided to analyze their selection and make a pick for some drinking beers. Ian choose some Sam Summer and loose canon 6 pack. I selected a BluePaw and Mojo 6 pack, while Ryan choose a Rockart Barleywine 6 pack.

We ventured on home to perform our second official review in 5 weeks During this review, we tried the following beers:

Portsmouth Lager
Portsmouth Hanami
Woodforde's Norfolk Wherry - Best Bitter
Harpoon Framboise - Encore series 11 (Revisit)
Stone Pale Ale
Sebago Boat House Brown Ale
Rogue Mocha Porter

The Portsmouth Lager was the best offering in this selection, followed by the Framboise. The Norfolk Wherry was a disappointing offering and wasn't officially reviewed because it was an English (UK) offering. It poured a medium amber body that was rather cloudy with tons of particles. Unfortunately the nose detected hints of red whine and stinky cheese. It was a very odd smell and it made this beer undrinkable.

We saved the Mocha porter for last and we were not disappointed in this selection.

The reviews will be posted on Tuesday, please check back for the complete review.


Alcoholic beer taster gets payout

Here's an interesting article found by Ryan.

Enjoy craft beer!!!


Alcoholic beer taster gets payout

A Brazilian brewery has been ordered to pay $49,000 (£24,570) to an alcoholic beer taster who claims the company failed to prevent his condition.

The man, who has not been named, said the company, Ambev, did not provide him with adequate health care to stop him from developing alcoholism.

He said that for more than a decade he drank around one and a half litres of beer each day.
But Ambev says that the employee was an alcoholic before he took the job.

The employee says he drank between 16 and 25 small glasses of beer during each eight hour shift at the company, and was also given a bottle of beer at the end of each shift.

An initial ruling favoured Ambev, which claimed the man was already an alcoholic.

But Judge Jose Felipe Ledur said the company was still negligent because an alcoholic should have never been employed as a beer taster.

He added that the man's alcohol dependency had worsened in recent years, and that he felt like drinking the same amount on holiday as he drank at work.

The company still has the right to appeal against the ruling, and decisions are often overturned in Brazilian courts.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Need some help voting - Gaugeplate

This is a little off topic, but I felt it's important and wanted to share.

This is an email from Chris Collman:

Hey everyone,

I know I mentioned this to some of you already, but our band Gaugeplate (www.myspace.com/gaugeplate) entered a contest to open for Godsmack!

We submitted a DVD consisting of 2 of our recent performances. Our DVD was chosen as one of the 10 finalists. The top two out of the ten will be submitted to Godsmack where they will decide who will open for them 5/25 @ the Chevy Theater in Wallingford CT.

Now this is where we need your help!! Starting Thursday morning (5/10) thru Monday morning (5/14) go to http://www.wccc.com and look for the section on the webpage regarding the godsmack contest. There you will be able to view our video and vote. Oh, and feel free to mention this to as many people as you can! They more the merrier. This is an unbelievable opportunity and we appreciate everyone's help!!!

Thanks again!


If you have a moment, please vote.

(Note: I know. This is way off topic. But for those who don't know, Collman attended our first Major Harpoon event - St. Patty's Day Festival 2006. Most likely you have heard this story, but Collman (and Carolyn) are main stream beer drinkers. Collman is a fan of the 30 rack. It's OK, but during this event he discovered the Harpoon UFO. We were happy to hear that he has purchased an occasional 12 pk - 6 pk of UFO at his local package store. This is news to our ears. Main stream beer drinkers can like microbrews!! -- This is why I like to be a 2beerguy. Try something new. If you don't like it, try something else new. -- Ok. Yes, this only counts with beer.)

UPDATED 05-17-07

From Collman:

I just wanted to take a second an thank all of youthat voted for Gaugeplate in the Godsmack contest. Although we didn't win, we did compile quite a fewvotes and turned a lot of heads in the local scene. We ended up with 600 votes and came in 4th place outof 10, which isn't bad for a band that's only a littleover a year old. Thanks again for all of your helpvoting! We couldn't have done it without ya's. Chris

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mishap in Ieper!!!

Those among you who know a bit of the history of the world will be aware that Ieper has seen some of the most brutal fighting in the first world war. I am always ambivalent when I go to Ieper. For one: it has been the scene of incredible heroics in the face of unspeakable horror, I am quite humbled by that.
Also, it has been the place where life turned to a new chapter. It pains me to say that this has not been the most fortuitous episode in my life. And it had every occasion to be just that. Life is a fickle mistress and she is jealous to boot [that's why I don't invite her in very often, there's always something she'll gripe at].

Some ties had remained from my stay there and it was my great pleasure to visit a former colleague who has taken ownership of a local bar. This is not the kind of establishment I prefer to frequent. Not because there is no atmosphere, far from it [read on!], rather the choice of beer is modest and aimed at the sturdy beer drinker. What they lack in quality they -more- than make up for in quantity. The establishment is frequented by many English speakers who come for their regular pilgrimage to the Menin Gate. Every night, at 8 pm sharp, EVERY night, buglers play the Last Post as a tribute to the fallen heroes of the first world war. Your actual goosebump moment. I have never been there and stood there by myself listening to the players. The space under the gate is -packed-. If you have the opportunity: go there. You won't be disapponted.

So, I am at the bar, right? A place of merry banter and rambunctuous fun? Most certainly.

I was smitten.

It happens.

I am a man and therefore a dolt by genetic disposition. But on this occasion, you know, I praised the Schrodinger cat that decided at the critical moment to rob me of a full set of chromosomes. How do I put this in terms that will not offend family America and places where very religious people frown deeply at everything by default. There was music. A man played the bag pipes, an instrument I have come to greatly appreciate. He had not come alone. A troupe of dancers made merry as the music was playing. Among their number a creature could be discerned who was gifted with such measure of pulchritude as to gobsmack the most perilously inebriated man.
She danced in tune with the music and in concert with her friends and in such a way as to entice the Dark Lord to take away sin from the world. Aldous Huxley would have called her 'pneumatic'. She was bedight in clan colors. Don't ask me what shoes, I don't know ballet shoes from hiking boots, a clan tartan, a black top and a half open back. Strangely, although the top had no straps, it stayed robustly in place. The lizard brain would have liked to comment on that but I'll demure and suffice to remark that her ample personality alone was enough to prevent a wardrobe malfunction. For a great personality she had: her smile made the room seem dim, the dimples in her cheeks augmented a -devastating- charm that was lit by two pools of blue that I wanted to draw closer to mine so that I could look deep into them in search for her inner child. All this magnificence framed by a shock of black hair made me realise just how much the concept of sexual reproduction agrees with me.

I said I was smitten.

If ever there was a time to let nature take its course, for me, this was it. However, a friend of the house [the bar] came in, we were introduced and we had a conversation that started with formula one, went to Richard Feynman and ended up with the Large Hadron Collidor. I'm not kidding, this really happened. How I end up in these kinds of conversations I have no idea, that's what it is.
So, that's when the mishap happened. You wondered when I was going to get to that right? Mishap translates as accident [ongeval] in Dutch and when you're from around here you'll say: malheur. And it so happens that I had the Malheur 6 to end a most agreeable evening. A modest yet quite pleasant beer, fruity flavors, nice hops, a golden hue with a cheerful head. The younger, less ambituous brat of a most distinguished family. Together with far too much Duvel to be a responsible adult. But hey, Duvel is a staple food in my neck of the woods, a person has to eat, right?

I want to go back there soon. Maybe there'll be a guy playing the backpipes.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Beer Day three - CBC (Cambridge Brewing Company)

Wow, beer even on a third day in a row. After spending most of my Saturday recovering from a successful Nerax Adventure. Now it was time for the CBC 18 year, 18 beers birthday party. CBC is one of our favorite breweries and is a must visit for craft beer fanatics.

We started off the evening with dinner at Fire and Ice for Thomas's birthday dinner. If you have never gone, it's a fun time and there's food for everyone. When dinner was over, we traveled via the T from Fire and Ice to Cambridge Brewing Company. We made this journey with George, Kat, Amber, Ryan, Jen and I. We met Ian and Kristen at the brewery and arrived after they completed their dinner.

We were happy that the dug deep into the CBC vaults to bring us 18 of one of a kind brews including vintage brews like the imperial stout, YouEnjoyMyStout that spent 13 months in the wood and the Arquebus barleywine that aged for 18 months in the barrel cellar. The Chef, not one to be shown up, matched with 18 beer infused specials.

Two of the 18 beers had run out by the time that we arrived.

I don't remember everything that we sampled, but all of their offering were quite tasty. I was excited to try the RED GOD IPA. These were some of the beers that the group had selected:

Half-Wit Belgian-Style Wheat Ale
Red God I.P.A.
Russian Imperial Stout
Scottish Heather Ale
Charlie Porter

I had a really good time at CBC and hope to celebrate their birthday every year.



NERAX - Day 2

We purchased our tickets in advance and planned to attend Thursday and Friday evening. Thursday, Ian was available to attend and Friday, Ryan was able to attend. Thursday night was awesome and we were glad that we choose to go twice.

Amber and I went to the event with Ryan (Thirsty Beard) and Allan (from my office). Allan is a home brewer and quite excited for the event.

Upon arrival to the event, the parking was a little more difficult to locate, but wasn't too hard. We walked up to the door, not seeing a line, and realized that there was a hefty line inside the lobby. Once again, we were happy that we had reserved tickets and wasn't going to sit in a line for an hour or two.

The beer board was full with beers and proudly announced that there were 50+ beers being offered. There were a couple of additional beers available vs, Thursday (45 vs 50+)... Many of the Thursday beers were still available. We were very happy to see the Black Gold still on the list. OH BOY!!... There were about 20 or so new beers on the list. We were excited and decided to start off the evening with Black Gold.

Here is a list of the beers that we tried:

- European Offerings -

Bank Top, Burton upton Trent, Staffordshire, England
* Gold Digger (OG 1042, ABV 4.2%) (Sean)
* Volunteer (OG 1042, ABV 4.2%) (Sean)
Eastwood and Sanders, England, West Yorkshire, England
* Nettlethrasher (OG 1044, ABV 4.4%) (Amber)
Fuller's, Griffin Brewery, Chiswick, London, England
* Discovery (Allan)
Hop Back, Downtown, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
* Summer Lighting (OG 1049, ABV 5%, IBU 38) (Allan)
Millstone, Mossley, Greater Manchester, England
* Valemill (Amber)
Oakham, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England
* Asylum (ABV 4.5%) (Sean)
RCH, Truro, Cornwall, England
* Pitchfork (OG 1043, ABV 4.3%) (Allan)
Theakston, Masham, Ripon, North Yorkshire, England
* Old Peculiar (OG 1057, ABV 5.6%) (Amber)
Cairngorm, Aviemore, Inverness-shire, Scotland
* Black Gold (OG 1044, ABV 4.4%) (Amber, Ryan, Sean, Allan)
Kelburn, Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, Scotland
* Carte Blanche (OG 1048, ABV 5%) (Sean)
Gwynt y Ddraig, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan, Wales
* Fiery Fox (ABV 7%) (Ryan)
* Haymaker Medium (ABV 7%) (Allan)

- American Beers -

Cambridge Brewing Company, Cambridge, MA
* Tall Tail Pale Ale (OG 1058, ABV 5.8%) (Allan)
Concord Brewing, Lowell, Ma
* Concord Junction Porter (OG 1072, ABV 5.5%, 32 IBU) (Amber)
* Extra Pale Honey Ale (OG 1045, ABV 4.5%, 11.5 IBU) (Allan)
Gardner Ale House, Gardner, MA
* Face Lift IPA (OG 1053, 6.2%, 67 IBU) (Ryan)
Gritty McDuff's, Portland, ME
* Best Bitter (OG 1048, ABV 4.8%, 35 IBU) (Allan)
Harpoon Brewery, Boston, Ma
* Harpoon Session Brown (OG 1051, ABV 4.3%, 18 IBU) (Ryan, Sean)
* Harpoon Ale (OG 1056, ABV 5.9%, 25 IBU) (Sean, Ryan)
John Harvard's (Brewpub), Cambridge, MA
* The Softest Bullet Ever Shot (OG 1040, ABV 4.0%, 30 IBU) (Ryan)
* A Spoonful Weighs a Ton (OG 1038, ABV 3.5%, 20 IBU) (Ryan)
Pennichuck Brewing Company, Milford, NH
* Engine #5 (OG 1048, ABV 5.0, 25 IBU) (Allan)
Rock Bottom Brewing Company, Braintree, MA
* North Star Amber (OG 1048, ABV 5.0%, 28 IBU) (Sean)
Shipyard, Portland, Me
* Prelude (Ryan)
* Old Thumper ( OG 1060, ABV 5.8%, 34 IBU) (Sean)
Willimantic Brewing Company, Waltham, MA
* Autobahn Mail Alt (OG 1056, ABV 5.4%, 28 IBU) (Sean)


* The Volunteer was the first offering that I tried from Bank Top Brewery. When carrying it back to the group, I smelled it and was a little worried. Upon the first sip, all I could smell was the sent of a went horse barn. I wasn't too excited. Ryan, Amber and Allan tried and it agreed that someone must have milked a weasel for this beer. Thinking that both offerings couldnt be that bad, I decided to try the Gold Digger. Guess what, it tasted the same.

* Allan liked the Summer Lighting.
* The Asylum was very tasty and well balanced.
* Yes, the Pitchfork had a nose of wet hay.
* We've had the Old Peculiar before and it was tasty on cask.
* When Ryan tried the Face Lift IPA, his first words were "Honey, pack up the car, we are going to Gardner".
* Ryan and I decided to get a 1/2 pint of the Harpoon Ale and a 1/4 pint of the Brown. After comparing the Brown and the Ale, we regretfully thought that we should have switch the quantities. The Brown was very tasty.
* Ryan was impressed with the two offerings from John Harvard's.

As you can see, many good beers were enjoyed. During the evening, Amber spotted "Jason", the brewer from Shipyard, from across the room. We went up to Jason and asked him where da gold was at. He remembered us and we had a good time chatting with him. We also say Byron, from Portsmouth Brewery, at the event.

By the end of the evening, many beers were wiped from the list. The cop is telling us to leave, so it must be time to go home. Bye bye Nerax. See ya next year.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Julio's Beer Tasting

Just got back from Julio's liquor's 5th annual Beer Tasting Event. Great store, best selection I've seen by far. A little more expensive, but they offer a 6-pack mixer club where you can grab individual 12oz bottles of many of their offerings. Again, a little pricier, but a great way to try new beers without shelling out for a whole 6-pack. They had a ton of great brewers represented including:
Southern Tier
Paper City
The Tap
and many more, about 50 in all!

I came home with two mixed 6's:
Souther Tier IPA (2)
Victory Hop Wallop
Victory Storm King Stout
Founders Centenial IPA
Heavy Seas Below Decks
Two BrothersHeavy-Handed IPA
Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout
Weyerbacher Hops Infusion IPA
Lakefront Brewing Fuel Cafe Coffee Flavored Stout

Looking forward to a sampling soon!


Friday, May 04, 2007

NERAX - Day 1

So, Nerax started on Wednesday night, but last night was our first NERAX experience.

We were quite excited during the drive into Boston. We packed our directions, had a list of beers that they were offering, and filled our tummies with some pre game food.

We approached the area, spotted the VFW in the distance and surprised when we quickly found an open parking space. The event started at 6:00 and we approached the doors at 6:30. (You may be wondering why I am mentioning this part of the story, but just keep reading.) There was a line going outside the door.

We felt comfortable, but confused. We bought out tickets in advance, but where is the will call window? We ventured up to the line and asked if they had already bought tickets. The common answer was no. On the approach to the door, Ian asked some nice lady if "he could get by now" (thank you waynes world), she gruffly replied back with "we are all waiting in line for tickets". After a quick 2-3 seconds stare down, she moved out of the way and we were able to pass.

After scooting around the front of the line, we found the will call table. We had an odd exchange with one of the organizers because we had an extra ticket. We weren't worried about getting our money back, because there was a long line of people waiting behind us that weren't getting in for at least an hour or more. The guy said "Let me tell you slowly, you can get your money back or go outside and sell the ticket." I didn't have the ticket, so it would have been tough to sell it. We decided just to get our money back and slightly confused he said, "Well, you could have gotten 40+ dollars for selling it in the line."

(Just so you know, there was an cop standing right behind him.)

GAME ON!!! It was a small place and we were ready to go. After buying a glass for $5.00, we headed up to the bar to make our selections. $1.50 for a 1/4 pint, $2.50 for a 1/2 pint and $5.00 for a full pint.

I stuck with 1/4 pints the entire evening. I wanted to try as many different selections as possible. At first, Amber and Ian had a couple of 1/2 pints, but then they followed my steps. It's harder for the pourers to pour a 1/4 pint. It always ends up more than a quarter. WOO HOO

Anyways, the list that we printed out off the web wasn't too accurate. Some of the beers listed weren't available, and some of the beers available weren't listed. That's ok, because they had a booklet available. Here are the beers that we tried (not in any particular order):

UK Beers:

* Dark Star - Hayward's Heath, West Sussex, England
Hophead (OG 1040, ABV 3.8%) (Ian)
* Fuller's, Griffin Brewery, Chiswick, London, England
London Pride (OG 1041, ABV 4.1%, IBU 30) (Amber)
* Hop Back - Downtown, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Summer Lightening (OG 1049, ABV 5%, IBU 38) (Sean)
* Oakham, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England
Bishop's Farewell (OG 1046, ABV 4.6%, IBU 34) (Sean)
* Cairngorm, Aviemore, Inverness-shire, Scotland
Black Gold (OG 1044, ABV 4.4%) (Amber 2x, Sean)
* Orkney, Quoyloo, Stromness, Orkney, Scotland
Dragonhead Stout (OG 1045, ABV 4.6%, IBU 29) (Ian)
* William's Brothers Brewing (Heather Ale), Kelliebank, Alloa, Scotland
Fraoch Heather Ale (OG 1041, ABV 4.1%) (Ian)
* Brains, Cardiff, Wales
Dark (OG 1036, ABV 3.5%) (Amber, Ian)

North America

* Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, New York, NY
Brooklyn IPA (Sean, Ian)
* Concord Brewery, Lowell, MA
Concord Junction Porter (OG 1071, ABV 5.5%, IBU 32) (Amber)
* Gardner Ale House, Gardner, MA
Naked Stout (OG 1040, ABV 3.9%, IBU 39) (Amber)
* Gritty McDuff's, Portland, ME
Best Bitter (OG 1048, ABV 4.8%, IBU 35) (Sean)
* Martha's Exchange (Brewpub), Nashua, NH
Smoked Porter (OG 1058, ABV 6%, IBU 45) (Amber)
Another Ale (Ian)
* Moat Mountain Smoke House, Conway, NH
Moat Mountain Spruce Beer (OG 1050, ABV 5.4%) (Sean)
* Pennichuck Brewing Company, Milford, NH
Engine #5 (OG 1048, ABV 5.0% IBU 25)
Halligan Rye PA (OG 1050, ABV 5.1%, IBU 41)
* Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth, NH
American Mild (OG 1048, ABV 4.8%, IBU 16)
* Shipyard Brewing Company, Portland, ME
Old Thumper (OG 1060, ABV 5.8%, IBU 34)


* The Naked Stout is really good.
* The Moat Mountain Spruce was very strong in aroma and tasted like a tree (as you would expect)
* Ian and I enjoyed the Brooklyn IPA
* The Heather Ale had a fantastic aroma, smelled more like a candle than a beer. It tasted like a tea, as the smell of heathers overwhelmed everything else.
*Amber says, "the black gold took the night by storm"...she had 2 1/2 pints and a 1/4 pints!
* I really liked the Halligan Rye PA and American Mild. They both had a nice hop presence and tasted very good.

An Cask Ale fest is very interesting. For those who like cold, wimpy beers, please stay home. Please remember that cask ales are generally pumped out without a carbonation presence. Generally, they are not chilled the same and tend to be warmer, almost room temperature at times.

There are large white boards above the extended bar that tell you what's available. When a key goes dry, an eraser on a pool cue is used to wipe away the selection. The crowd goes into an uproar when this happens. AND... don't drop your glass..

What a great time!!! Next year, everyone should attend.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Glad to be Back and Monday Night 24

As everyone knows, I returned to the U S of A on Sunday morning. My two weeks in the Philippines was fun and it helped purge my system of microbrews and strengthen my 2beerguy core. Yes, there were beers in Manila. How do they compare with microbrews? Unfortunately, they don't appear on the same field. The land of the lagers is appropriate for where they are. The beers definitely quench your thirst during the hot summer days, but my palate cried for a fully body, well balanced ale. If I lived in Manila, I would spend a lot of time homebrewing.

Some kiss the ground when they reach their home land, did I? No, I celebrated my return and layover in California with Redhook's ESB - right from the tap. I saw the handle and thought that I was in heaven. Unfortunately, after two pints, I had tapped the keg dry. I was shocked. I had the bartender try the tap 2-3 times and nothing came out (he wasn't too keen to try it the third time, but I insisted). I settled for a Sam Adams Lager to finish the layover.

Now that I am back, we are back into business. Many events signed up and discussions on possible 2Beerguys events (more news to follow in the upcoming weeks).

Ian, Amber and I are still trying to clear the queue. After spending a day trying to recover from my travels, we ventured over to Ian to watch 24. Surprise surprise, Jack Bauer made it through another impossible hour.

We also spent the time doing a couple of reviews....

High Falls Brewing Co.
* JW Dundee's American Amber Lager
* JW Dundee's American Pale Ale
* JW Dundee's Original Honey Brown
* JW Dundee's IPA

City Brewery - RJ King Wingwalker Pale Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Company - Double Barrel Ale
Two Brothers Brewing Company - Cane and Ebel

Ian was very excited because we were way over due reviewing the Cane and Ebel and we have finally brought this selection to the table. It was rather good and hoppy, but unfortunately it didn't live up to the expectations that we had for it. I was quite impressed/surprised with the JW Amber Lager and JW Pale Ale. There is some truth to the fact that we weren't overly excited to try this foursome selection, so our expectations were low. The Amber Lager and Pale Ale were very tasty.

Please check out the beer table/reviews to compare the sores and see our thoughts.

Upcomming events

I just wanted to list a couple of upcoming events....

May 2-5, 2007- NERAX (New EnglandReal Ale Exhibition)

The New England Real Ale Exhibition is held each spring at the George Dilboy Post Davis Square, Somerville, MA

NERAX 2007 will be our 11th Festival. As in 2006, we will offer about 80 firkins of Real Ale. Half will be U.K. beers from England, Scotland, and Wales; and half will be American beers from New England. All the beers are cask-conditioned, served by gravity or hand-pump.

For a hint of what's to come, here are the UK and American beers expected to arrive.

And during the festival you can also enjoy barbeque sandwiches from Redbones.


Amber, Ian and I are expected to attend on Thursday. Ryan, Amber and I are expected to attend on Friday.

May 4-5th - 5:00PM - CBC Anniversary Party.

18 Years/18 Beers

On May 4th and 5th the CBC will celebrate its 18th anniversary. Head brewer Will Meyers will dig deep into the CBC vaults to bring you 18 of his one of a kind brews including several delicious barrel aged varieties and vintage brews like the imperial stout, YouEnjoyMyStout that spent 13 months in the wood and the Arquebus barleywine that aged for 18 months in the barrel cellar. Chef Brian Roskow, not one to be shown up, will match with 18 beer infused specials. Specialty brews will be available until...well, they're gone. Come early. Stay Late.


Andy hopes to be making an appearance on Friday. Ryan, Jen, Amber, Ian, Kristen and I are hoping to go on Saturday.

May 8- 2007 - 100 BBL Tasting: #19 - Peche

Rich Doyle, Harpoon’s CEO and co-founder, first tasted this Belgian style beer in Brugge 3 years ago while traveling on a Harpoon beer culture trip. He immediately fell in love with the beer and wanted to brew a batch ever since. So for the 19th installment of the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, Rich brewed a Peche.

We've signed up on the website and hopefully we will be invited.

May 21- 2007 - Hot Stove Cold Beer with Peter Gammons (Boston)

An Evening With Peter Gammons for Some Hot Stove, Cold Beer
Harpoon is honored to welcome back friend and baseball expert, Peter Gammons, for our 3rd annual "Hot Stove Cold Beer With Peter Gammons". It will be an unforgettable evening with the sports writing legend and Baseball Hall-of-Famer. A homerun-of-a-night, if you will! Now that we have seen a month of the baseball season unfold, it’s a perfect time to get Peter’s unique perspective on everything baseball. And what could be better than doing that while enjoying a fresh Commissioner Pale Ale, specially brewed for this event, with The Commissioner himself? Not much.

Not only will it be fun, but it’s for a terrific cause. All ticket sales will benefit The Foundation to Be Named Later. (Tickets are available to Friends of Harpoon until May 4th at $75 per person. After May 4th, tickets will be $100 per person. Guests do not have to be Friends of Harpoon.)

Ian and I are planning on signing up for this event.

If you see something that you are interested in, please let us know. If there is an event missing, send me an email and I will add it to this blog.

May is try a new micro brew month!!!


More good news for local beer!

Saw this in yesterday's Gloucester Times...


(information pasted here incase the article becomes archived - Sean)

Brewery growing by hops and bounds

By Sam Carter , Correspondent
Gloucester Daily Times

Cape Ann's sole brewery has taken the East Coast by storm, its beer sailing into the hands of connoisseurs from the black fly-infested swamps of eastern Maine and south across the Mason-Dixon Line.

"The way it's been going lately, we've been running out," said Cape Ann Brewing Co. president Michael Beaton, 42, who, with his business partner, brother-in-law and brewmaster Jeremy Goldberg, 31, boiled up the first batches of Fisherman's Brew just three years ago.

"If things keep going the way they have, we may have to move to another building in a few years. We might even have to open another brewery in another state," he said.

Production at Cape Ann Brewing has doubled every year, from the first year's 295 barrels to last year's 1,300 barrels. By the end of next month, almost 2,000 barrels of Fisherman's Brew, India Pale Ale, ale and seasonal beers will have been brewed, kegged and bottled. A barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons, or two half-barrel kegs, which are the standard dispensing units under a commercial bar.

The problem with such rapid expansion, Beaton said, has been a chronic whistling for more beer from distributors wherever Fisherman's Brew can be found. That is Massachusetts, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland and, later this summer, Rhode Island. Beaton and Goldberg just cannot seem to keep up with demand.

The eight conditioning tanks, four fermenters and one each of boiling and steeping kettles here in Gloucester simply are not enough to satiate beer drinkers' craving for the brewery's plenitude of selections. A couple of years ago, Goldberg and Beaton had to contract with nearby Mercury Brewing Co., makers of Ipswich Ale, to produce 60 barrels of beer for every 20 here in Gloucester. Mercury Brewing also does all the bottling of Fisherman's Brew, whereas the Gloucester plant does only half-barrel and quarter-barrel kegs.

"If we could get a couple more conditioning tanks and one more fermenter," Beaton said, "we could dramatically increase our capacity."

But that would cause a problem in the Gloucester brewery, located on Commercial Street, across from St. Peter's Square. A single conditioning tank, which holds 20 barrels, is the size of a Dodge Caravan. A fermenting tank is more like a Chevy Astrovan.

Just trying to fit three more of those tanks in the back room of Goldberg and Beaton's brewery would take some creative placement. The last thing they want is to have to move into the front room of their establishment.

That front room is where Goldberg and Beaton have already built a fancy hardwood bar, designed to look like a ship's hull and with a quarter inch of varnish on the bartop, and enough German beer hall-style, rough pine tables to seat up to 60 people. The hope, they say, is that the zoning board will soon allow them to open their "tasting room" to the public.

The secret to their success, Goldberg says, is frequent sampling.

"We have to sample our product pretty much daily. Quality control is an important part of this business. You can't just look at the specific gravity or at the color - you have to taste it," he said. "There's a secret to it, I guess. There's a significance."

"When we built the place, we did it with the idea that we would grow into it," Beaton said. "Everybody used to say we'd be surprised how quickly we grew out of this place and we were like, 'That would be nice.' We didn't figure it would occur this fast."

"Am I surprised by our growth? No. We've been making a good product and there's a demand for it," Goldberg said. "There's demand for good beer. We're not really competing with Budweiser. While we're sort of competing with the other microbreweries, there's a feeling in the industry to just make really good beer. There are more and more people discovering its joys. As people start demanding better food and entertainment, they start demanding better beer and that's what this beer is supposed to be: bold, flavorful and different. It's supposed to offend the palate and make it step up and say, 'Whoa.' So, if anything, I'm surprised that we're not growing any faster."