Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I had a couple days off at work so my girlfriend & I decided to take the trip to Massachusetts to visit my good friend Emma. It’s only about a 3 hour drive, & I had been promising Emma that I would come visit her for about 5 years now, so it seemed like the right decision. We got there on Sunday night & went to the Amherst Brewing Company. Nothing makes Sarah & I more happy then fresh brewed beer, so it was definitely exciting.


They had a nice assortment of beers; a solid set of beers they carry year round with an excellent bunch of seasonals: The ESB, Honey Pilsner, Massatuckey Brown Ale, Patriot’s Pilsner, Pumpkin Ale, & Super Stout, just to name a few. I decided to go for one of my favorite brews, an IPA, the Cascade IPA here at ABC.


Very tasty beer. It wasn’t too overpowering, just the lovely, bitter, hoppy taste that I love. Now for Sarah, nothing makes her happier then a sampler, which ABC so happened to have. It didn’t have a certain set of beers that come with the sampler, so our waitress just picked a few house & seasonal beers for her.


Now when in a brew pub, I find it only appropriate to order a burger. I went with the ABC burger, Smoky BBQ style. A six ounce burger, I always order medium rare, topped with their smoked perter BBQ sauce and smoked cheddar cheese. Needless to say, I was a happy girl.


The burger was cooked perfectly.  It was kind of small for the bun, but I love bread so I couldn’t really complain. The BBQ sauce was kind of mild, & I didn’t really catch any smoke flavor from the cheese, but it was still really good. The fries were also on point, and it all went really well with my beer. Classic brewpub burger.

After dinner, we decided to check out the bar upstairs, which was still part of ABC & had a bunch of pool tables. Given that my beloved NY Giants weren’t playing this Sunday & the Patriots were & since I was in Patriots country, I decided I needed to try the Patriot’s Pilsner. It was a super light beer with a nice crisp taste. As much as I wouldn’t like to say it, I enjoyed it.


So that pretty much rapped up our trip to the Amherst Brewing Company. Overall, I really liked it. I even tried a Pumpkin Ale & liked it, something I thought I wouldn’t do. Good times, good times.

So the next day we decided to trek it to Boston & check out Samuel Adams. I drink a good amount of Sam Adams, so this was pretty exciting. Plus I really wanted to see that guy Bob from the commercials. Now, when I tell you this place is impossible to find, it’s impossible to find. We were luckily using a GPS so we were able to find it, but if we didn’t have it, we would still be looking. But yea, we found it, & it was awesome.


The tour took about an hour, but it was cool because the guide explained everything. From the malted barley, to where the hops came from, he even let us eat the barley & smell the fresh hops. It was neat. Then he explained the whole brewing process & told us about all the awards that Samuel Adams has won. Very informative. Then we got free beer! Too bad for me because I was feeling really hung over from the night before, so I really couldn’t drink any beer. They gave everyone a free tasting glass & let us try 3 different beers: Boston Lager, Oktoberfest, & Blackberry Witbier. I did try the Witbier though & it was awesome. It was a really good tour. Afterwards, we went to the gift shop, where they just recently started selling beer. They carry 3 oak aged beers that are only available at the brewery. They’re 750 mL bottles & come in the New World Tripel, the American Kriek, & the Stony Brook Red. I haven’t tried them yet, but I’m really stoaked to, because you know I bought them.


After the brewery we decided to grab lunch so the tour guide had actually suggested that we check out Doyle’s, which was one of the first places ever to carry Sam Adams. & you best believe I got another burger, still couldn’t drink any beer though. It was a really old looking place but it was good. Since we came from the tour, anyone that ordered a Sam Adams got a free pint glass, so that was cool too. But yea, the burger was awesome. It was cooked perfectly, super pink inside. & once again, loved the steak fries, except they were steak fries this time. Very good bar burger.


So in case you can’t tell, I had a really good time in Massachusetts. Got to check out some awesome beer & eat some tasty burgers. Oh, & we were also able to pick up some Long Trail that’s not carried around here, so I was really pumped about that too (Double IPA). Needless to say, I shall be returning to Massachusetts because I feel that there is a lot more beer for me to drink, & that only means more burgers. So thanks to Emma for the good times, thanks to MA for the good eats, & thanks to Sarah for driving!


& thank you Massachusetts for all the beer stuff!

Friday, November 6, 2009

HOMEBREW – first tasting

Last night I was closing at my store, & I get a text from my girlfriend, “The beer is ready!” Our first homebrew was finally ready to drink. Needless to say I was excited. Our friend Katie was having people over at her new apartment so we decided to bring some of the new beers over. After letting it chill for a minute in the fridge, & after losing a game of beer pong, it was time to finally taste the beer.


Super tasty. Terrific dark amber color. We didn’t happen to filter the beer this time around, so there was a good amount of sediment at the bottom, but after a minute it settled nicely. It also had a great head retention. It also seemed to have a pretty high alcohol level as well. Overall, it made me really proud of Sarah. Great first beer. Congratulations babe!

The Pale Ale is definitely a beer we’ll be making again. I’m glad there’s about 30 of these bad boys to drink though.

Check out this great logo that our friend Caitlin drew up. Sarah’s definitely going to be using this or something like it for her labels.