Michigan St. Fans Rejoice – Bell’s Oberon Launch in Syracuse


Calling all Michigan State basketball fans…

If you traveled out to the great city of Syracuse this week to watch your Spartans take on the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sweet Sixteen, it most likely means that you’ve missed the highly anticipated Oberon launch. Do not fear, The Blue Tusk is making sure that you can experience the best of both worlds; NCAA March Madness and the Bell’s Brewery.

You Michiganders are sure going to feel right at home here in ‘Cuse. At noon Thursday, March 26th The Blue Tusk will be tapping Oberon, officially kicking off the spring season. In addition to Oberon; Hop Slam, Amber, and Two Hearted will all be on tap. To help celebrate the end of winter, The Tim Herron Corporation will be providing a musical escape.

Fortunately, I selected the Michigan State Spartans to make it to the elite eight, so I will thoroughly enjoy watching them while sipping on a cold Oberon. If you make it out to The Tusk Thursday, be sure to tag your tweets with #Oberon15 and mention @TheBlueTusk!

Alpine Beer Company Arrives On the East Coast

alpineJust a few short months after joining the Green Flash family, Alpine Beer Company is set to make their first appearance outside of California. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia markets will all be receiving beer from the San Diego brewery this week.

In celebration of Alpine coming to new taps up and down the coast, several launch parties have been scheduled. Be sure to check out an event near you:

Sate Accounts City Date Time
Massachusetts Meadhall Cambridge 18-Feb 6-8PM
Lord Hobo Cambridge 19-Feb 5-8PM
New Jersey Cloverleaf Tavern Caldwell 12-Feb All Day
Uno’s Hamilton 12-Feb 5-7PM
The Arlington Ship Bottom 13-Feb 6-8PM
The Pour House Westmont 4-Mar 6-8PM
The Blind Boar Norwood 5-Mar 5-7PM
House of Brews Turnersville 12-Mar All Day
New York George Keeley NYC 18-Feb 7-10PM
Birdsall House Peekskill 18-Feb 6-8PM
Cooper’s Chelsea NYC 19-Feb 6-9PM
DeCicco’s Armonk 20-Feb 5-7PM
The Craftsman Ale House Harrison 20-Feb 7-9PM
The Burger Loft Rickland County 20-Feb All Day
4th Ave Pub Brooklyn 21-Feb 2-?PM
Tap & Mallet Rochester 21-Feb All Day
Blind Tiger NYC 22-Feb All Day
Fools Gold NYC 22-Feb 6-8PM
Dive Bar 96 NYC 23-Feb 7-10PM
Good Beer NYC 24-Feb 6-8PM
J Ryan’s Syracuse 25-Feb 6-?PM
The Blue Tusk Syracuse 25-Feb 6-?PM
The Moor Pat Williamsville 26-Feb 6-9PM
Virginia The Birch Bar Norfolk 13-Feb All Day
Fire Works Pizza Arlington 18-Feb 5-8PM
The Answer Brewpub Richmond 19-Feb 4-7PM
Lynnhaven Pub Virginia Beach 20-Feb 8-10PM
Country Grill Yorktown 21-Feb 6-9PM

At this time, these markets will only be receiving draught. Unfortunately, quantities are very limited. Once this initial batch is gone, it’s gone. Rumor has it that more kegs will returning to the east coast come September. So, in other words, get it while the getting is good!

Here is the full lineup of Alpine Beer Company that will be available:

Alpine Ale – “Our namesake ale represents everything a good, well balanced pale ale should be: malty but not too sweet, refreshing but not too bitter, full-bodied but not too heavy, lively but not over carbonated. A clean, everyday beer that leaves your palate begging for more. 1.054 OG 32 IBU 5.5%ABV”

Mcilhenney’s Irish Red – “Our most versatile beer. Good to drink as well as cook with. Light enough to quench a thirst and complex enough to accompany fine dining. Carmel malty sweet fades to a chocolate roasty finish and dry from a touch of rye. 1.057 OG 13 IBU 6%wABV”

Pure Hoppiness – “A mega-hopped it will take you to hop heaven. We’ve used hops in the boil, more hops in the giant hopback, and added to that, an incredible amount of dry-hopping for that cutting-edge “hop bite.” Once you’ve tasted this unique beer, all others pale in comparison. 1.072 OG 8%ABV”

Duet – “Our original single IPA made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops “in harmony.” 1.065 OG 7%ABV”

Nelson – “An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7%ABV”

Hoppy Birthday – “Truth is, everyone has a birthday, and when you want to celebrate this session able hop forward pale ale is a gift to the senses Dry-Hopped like an IPA and light enough to enjoy again and again. Now make a wish and blow out the candle. But don’t tell anyone the wish or it won’t come true.”

Captain Stout – “The Captain is leader of a fire crew. This beer takes charge of your taste buds with its rich flavor. Roasty malt character that has hints of chocolate and coffee which balances the smooth, velvety finish. The thick, creamy head lasts and lasts, leaving lace in your glass as your beer disappears. This beer pairs well with food. Great with dinner or as breakfast or even with a rich vanilla-bean ice cream. 1.060 OG 31 IBU 6%ABV”

For the latest craft beer news and happenings follow me on Twitter: @Tommy_Hops!


Sixpoint’s Mad Science Fair

carousel_MadScienceFair_2015This week my craft beer travels have whisked me away from the snow and landed me in New York City. Instead of shoveling out parking spots in South Boston, I will be attending science fairs in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Now, I am not talking about your average science fair, I am talking about a Mad Science Fair, brought to you by Sixpoint Brewery and Union Beer.

You may be thinking to yourself, “What the hell goes on at a craft beer science fair?” Luckily, I have the inside scoop for you! Various booths will be set up around the room to visually and interactively showcase Sixpoint’s beer, culture, and what brings these two together. For example, while sampling Beast Mode, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Sixpoint’s outreach connected to Beer for Beasts. The area I am most looking forward to is the Bengali booth. This is where the Sixpoint team will be speaking to the benefits of canned beer.

There are two opportunities to make it out to the inaugural Sixpoint Mad Science Fair. Tuesday, February 10th the fair will kick off starting at 7PM at The Gutter in Brooklyn. Wednesday, February 11th the fair will be moving over to Manhattan’s Beer Authority at 6PM. At each venue there will be multiple chances to win some Sixpoint swag, such has glassware, backpacks, brewery tours and more.

If you are headed out to the event, but sure to use the official hashtag: #madsciencefair!

For the latest in craft beer events check out my Twitter: @Tommy_Hops.

Cider Bowl XLIX

cider bowlEvery year Senators, Mayors, and other dignitaries place friendly wages of beer and local fare on the big game. This year Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey are putting a clambake from Woodman’s in Essex, Massachusetts and Jim Koch’s Samuel Adams beer on line. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington State are offering up local oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms and craft beer from Seattle’s very own Pike Brewing Company.

This past week Heavy Seas’ Boston rep, Terry Moran, had to hand deliver a case of their new CrossBones Session IPA to the Samuel Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain. This was a result of an AFC Championship bet between Heavy Seas’ owner Hugh Sisson and Samuel Adams’ owner Jim Koch.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the craft beer bets. But, I think it is time that craft cider is brought to the forefront. This is why I am calling out Seattle Cider Co of Seattle, Washington and Downeast Cider, of Charlestown, Massachusetts to make a last minute Super Cider Bowl bet!

When you take a look at each cider company’s slogan, the same could be applied to their respective NFL team. Seattle Cider’s slogan is “not your standard cider.” The Seattle Seahawks are not your standard NFL team. From Marshawn Lynch’s explosive running game to Richard Sherman’s shutdown corner ability proves that the Seahawks are certainly not standard. Downeast Cider’s tagline is “the way cider should be.” From the top down, the New England Patriots organization is “the way an NFL team should be.” This is due to the tireless effort from Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and owner Robert Kraft. The Pats have been the top dog in the NFL since winning their first Super Bowl in 2001.

Hopefully Downeast and Seattle Cider can come up with a wager before kickoff. But, no matter which team/ciderhouse wins, the consumer takes home the championship when ciders like these are available.

Follow me on Twitter, @Tommy_Hops and check back later for a Cider Bowl update.

Narragansett Donates for National Lager Day

toystotsAmber lager, pale lager, doppelbock, Vienna lager, rauchbier, Czech pilsner… I could go on and on listing the various styles of lagers. There are an endless number you could choose from to celebrate National Lager Day! Now I am not saying you only can choose one to celebrate with, I certainly plan on indulging in a few BUT, if I could only choose one to drink today, it would be Narragansett Lager.

No, it is not due to the fond memories of when we would pack six, sometimes seven deep into our buddy Ryan’s car and cruise down to Narragansett Beach for the summer. Then why, you ask? It is pretty simple. If you post a photo on social media of your ‘Gansett Lager, tag @GansettBeer, and use the hashtag #LagerDay, the brewery will donate $1 to Toys for Tots! This is what the holiday season is all about, neighbors helping neighbors; Hi-Neighbor!

Craft Beer Guild Distributing of New York has jumped in on the action as well. For every employee that posts a Narragansett picture tagging #CBGNY or #CraftNY they will match the $1 donation. Check out all of the pictures that have been tagged so far here.

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For the latest craft beer news and happenings follow me on Twitter: @Tommy_Hops!

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Craft Beer Gear Deals

Now that the dust, or snow, has finally settled on this post-Turkey Day weekend, many Americans have turned their focus towards Black Friday shopping. Fights over parking spots, waiting in serpentine lines from the fitting room to the cash register, and your typical cranky shoppers all add up to one wretched day. To tell you the truth, whenever I go out shopping in these situations, I get frustrated and end up buying stuff for myself. This is why this year I will be exclusively shopping online.

Yes, I could be spending my time focusing on this year’s electronics or the latest fashion trends, but I have my hard earned dollars set on something else; craft beer schawg! Shirts, bottle openers, blankets, hats, the possibilities are endless. Over the past two years, I have swapped out my Polo tees for brewery shirts. As I write this, I am sporting a Cisco Summer of Lager eco-tee with an Allagash zip-up hoodie. Now, my friends and family are beginning to ask for these wearables. I know, such a trendsetter. So, this Black Friday weekend I plan on picking up a few gifts all while adding to my own wardrobe. To get the maximum bang for your buck take advantage of these brewery deals:

abitaAbita: Get 20% off all merchandise with a purchase of $50 or more plus free shipping when you use coupon code FREE50.

mojoBoulder: Get a Mojo gas station hat for only $10 and save 50%.

Boulevard: All orders over $30 will receive free shipping through Monday

odellOdell: Free shipping on orders of $50 or more on December 1st.

Sierra Nevada: Take 20% off pullover hoodies until Monday. Use the code CELEBRATION for free US shipping.

victoryVictory: Enjoy free shipping on all order through Monday. Check out this great list of Victory gifts for any craft beer lover.

Woodstock: Get a $5 bonus for every $50 gift card.

Know of any other deals? Tweet them to me, @Tommy_Hops, or leave a comment below!

Craft Beer Returns to the TD Garden for the Bruins & Celtics 2015-2016 Season

craft beer garden5It’s that time of the year again as the Red Sox are teeing off on the back nine of the golf course, the Patriots look to be getting into full swing, and attention turns to the TD Garden for the start of the Bruins and Celtics regular season. As of late, all eyes have turned to hockey as the Celtics take a step backwards with a rebuilding period. Availability of craft beer in Boston’s major sports venues, however, has taken several strides forward. If you made your way out to Fenway this year to catch a Sox game, I hope you were able to find one of the craft beer stands. It is quite the experience sipping on a Wachusett Green Monsta while sitting on the Green Monster.

2015 menuNow that the Bruins upon the regular season it is time to refocus on ‘The Craft Beer Garden’ located inside the TD Garden. The ‘Craft Beer Garden’ presented by Greatbrewers.com can be found at the east end of the TD Garden on the balcony level between Sections 323 and 324. You are able to enjoy the same full flavored American craft beers inside The Garden that you are accustomed to ordering at the many pubs around the city. The craft breweries featured on tap are: Allagash, BrooklynCiscoIpswichLagunitasMagic HatDowneast CiderOskar BluesSierra NevadaSmuttynoseTroegs, and Wachusett. It is an awesome lineup to enjoy while cheering on the Celtics and Bruins.

Jay Harman from the Cisco Brewery at The Craft Beer Garden

Jay Harman from the Cisco Brewery at The Craft Beer Garden

High Top Tables

To keep up with the latest craft beer news and events going on in Boston be sure to follow me on Twitter: @Tommy_Hops!

What’s On Tap, Boston? Sept 23rd-26th

What's On Tap sept 23Even though some fall seasonals have been available since July, this week marks the first week of autumn! Just because the busy summer festival season has come to an end, doesn’t mean that the craft beer events should come to a halt. This week alone there are over 15 events taking place in the Boston area! I am sure that you could find some sort excuse to make it out to one of these:

Tröegs Patio Party, Cask Night, & Tap Takeover – No matter if you are in the city or in Western Mass, there is a Tröegs event for you this week. Tuesday night Tröegs will be throwing a Patio Party at Galaxy in Easthampton. The party kicks off at 6PM with electric dishes paired with seasonal and limited beers. Going on at the same time in Malden’s Hugh O’Neills will be a five line tap takeover. They’ll be pouring Hop Knife, Dead Reckoning Porter, Troegenator, Perpetual IPA, and their Scratch 157 Octoberfest. The party continues Wednesday evening at Stoddard’s as Jamie taps one of the last casks of Tröegs’ new fall seasonal, Hop Knife. The Harvest Ale will also be available on draft.

coach trippin boston 2Lagunitas CouchTrippin Tour – The Lagunitas crew will be hauling their infamous couch to Cambridge Tuesday night for a one night only concert, party, and plenty of other shenanigans. The Middle East will play host to Black Joe Lewis, Low Cut Connie, circus freaks, and some amazing craft beer from Lagunitas. On draft will be Lagunitas IPA, Little Sumpin, DayTime, and Couch Trippin Fusion 24. The seven city tour kicked off last Friday in Portland, Oregon before headed to The Bay State. After Tuesday night the tour will continue on to San Diego, New York City, Detroit, and Ashville before finishing up in New Orleans. Admission is free, but I highly suggest arriving early before the venue fills up.

Downeast Cider Happy Hour – This week Downeast Cider will be headed out to three different bars for a cider happy hour. Wednesday their crew will be at the Crown Plaza Newton, Thursday they’ll be at Slate Bar and Grill, and Friday they’ll wrap up the work week at The Lincoln Bar and Grill in Brighton.

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What’s On Tap, Boston? Sept 16th-20th

What's On Tap sept 15The weather is dipping down into the 50s, the Pats have one in the win column, and new craft beer is hitting the shelves. Have you officially made the transition to fall seasonals, or are you still hanging onto those easy summer sippers? There is plenty to be excited about regardless of which season’s craft beer you are consuming; new breweries coming to the market, new seasonals, and plenty of events to back them up. Here is what’s going on this week:

Magic Hat screams + Jack White – This year Magic Hat has released a new fall seasonal that has craft beer fans screaming for, Wilhelm Scream. This beer is ripe with fall flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel malts. Tuesday night from 8-10 it will be pouring at Tavern in the Square, Central Square. Wednesday night Jack White will be playing at Fenway Park. To get you ready for the show, the Magic Hat crew will be out at Sweet Caroline’s from 5-7PM.

Heavy Seas Cask Events – Terry from Heavy Seas has set up two great events for this week. First up on Tuesday he’ll be headed over to The Brewers Coalition in Newton for trivia night. Starting at 7PM they’ll tap a cask of Loose Cannon. Also, when you purchase a pint, you get to take the glass home with you On Wednesday evening, he’ll be heading over to The Asgard in Cambridge from 6-8 for another pint night.

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Portland’s Foundation Brewing Expands Distribution to Boston

logoOne of the newest breweries to come out of Portland, Maine’s craft brewery incubator, Foundation Brewing, will become available for the first time in Boston next week. The small, artisanal brewery is focused on creating world-class beers that pay homage to classic beers, but bring you something entirely new and exciting.

A very limited number of kegs will be available as early as Monday. To start, Foundation will be offering three brands: Blaze, Eddy, and Wanderlust. Blaze is a farmhouse IPA, brewed with their house yeast, resulting in a harmony of yeast and hop driven flavors. Eddy, a bright and lively saison is dry, light in body and color, but not in taste. Lastly, Wanderlust is a dry-hopped saison with juicy flavor highlighted by peach, mango and pine.

Foundation Brewing calls One Industrial Way, a multi bay warehouse, their home. Former tenants include Maine Beer Co, Rising Tide, and Bull Jagger. Currently, they share the facility with Bissell Brothers and Austin Street. Right across the street is the Portland brewery that paved the way for many small craft breweries, Allagash Brewing Company. It is truly a hot-bed for craft beer in the Northeast.

Two bars already have launch parties planned for late next week. On Thursday, Cambridge Common will be hosting Foundation crew from 6-8PM. On Friday, the party moves on to Brookline’s Abbey. I would assume once things are finished up at The Abbey, folks will venture on over to The Publick House.

To keep up with the latest craft beer news and events going on in Boston be sure to follow me on Twitter: @Tommy_Hops!