East Coast vs. West Coast Punk Rock Brew Tour Invades Somerville

1507255_298221927023801_16568090562426287_oEast Coast versus West Coast, Biggie versus Tupac, Celtics versus Lakers, Smuttynose versus Lagunitas? That’s right it is the fourth annual East Coast vs. West Coast Punk Rock Brew Tour! Tonight at The Independent in Somerville four breweries, two from the each and two from the west will battle on the taps while John Pegoraro and H.p. Taskmaster take over the ones and twos. From the East it will be Smuttynose and Sixpoint. Hailing from the West will be Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada. Punk, hardcore, metal, stoner music and craft beer; what’s not to love?

“A beer and music event, the ECvWCPRBT features a soundtrack of punk and hardcore paired with great craft brewed beer… Come on down and drink the finest American craft beers while moshing out to a soundtrack of punk and hardcore that will include bands from Scissor Fight to Bad Brains and from Black Flag to Suicidal Tendencies.”

Here is what will be available tonight at The Independent:

Smuttynose Brewery: Finestkind, Bouncy House, Vunderbar!, and Pumpkin Ale

Sixpoint Brewery: Bengali Tiger, Tesla IPL, Sweet Action, and The Crisp

Sierra Nevada: Hoptimum, Equionx, and Torpedo

Lagunitas: IPA, Pils, Dogtown Pale, Night Time, Little Sumpin’ Extra, and Sucks

Pretty Things will also be making a special appearance with Meadowlark, Jack D’Or, Fieldmouse’s Farewell, Harvest Saison, Fringe Pale Ale, and Baby Tree!

Last year’s Boston event unfortunately took place the week of the Marathon Bombings. The craft beer community didn’t let this hold them back. Instead, they rallied together to collect many rare, precious, sought after beers to auction off. Some of the beers included Portsmouth Brewing Kate the Great, Russian River Consecration, Russian River Redemption, 2011 Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, 2005 Harpoon Triticus, Vintage Hair of the Dog Fred, Alchemist Heady Topper, Westvleteren XII, and much much more. Overall the auction raised over $1500 for The One Fund!

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

Magic Hat’s Dream Machine Van Tour Makes a Pit-Stop in Boston

Dream Machine PromoFive nights, eight bars, one trippy van and no, this is not a dream. It’s Magic Hat’s Dream Machine Van Tour and it will be stopping by eight Boston watering holes this week. To kick off their latest year-round beer, Dream Machine IPL, Magic Hat has sent its van on tour across more than a dozen states to spread the good word. The journey started in early April in Florida and has since worked its way up the coast. This funkadelic craft beer van comes equipped with a photobooth, speakers, and the mischievous Merry Pranksters.

The fun begins Tuesday night at Tavern in the Square, Central Square. Wednesday night the Dream Machine van will be stopping by Penguin Pizza and then Avenue Bar. On Thursday from 5-7PM Cambridge Common will be hosting the Magic Hat crew. Late night Friday you will be able to find the Pranksters at the Mass Ave Tavern. The Boston tour wraps up on Saturday with not one, not two, but three promos. First up is Sweet Caroline’s, then Coolidge Corner, and last but not least Stadium in Faneuil Hall.

I caught up with Magic Hat’s Boston Alebassador, Steve Miller, to find out more about the IPL. “Dream Machine IPL is the melding of an IPA with an amber lager. It’s bursting with hops on the nose and tip of the tongue, but it quickly gives way to a smooth, crisp finish. Dream Machine IPL is a clean lager with enough flavors to keep a hop-head happy.”

To follow the Dream Machine on the rest of its tour you can follow them on Twitter: @DreamMachineIPL. To keep up with the latest craft beer news and events going on in Boston be sure to follow me on Twitter: @Tommy_Hops!

PS: Be on the lookout for Magic Hat’s new fall seasonal, Wilhelm Scream!

Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Hits Boston


BCAA Tap Takeover Schedule 8....If you were not able to venture up the coast to the beautiful city of Portland, Maine last weekend, don’t fret! Over the next few weeks Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp Across American will be hitting three bars in the Boston area. Each event will feature the 12 collaboration beers on draft from the BCAA 12-pack as well as the flagship beer from Sierra Nevada, Allagash, Ballast Point, Firestone Walker, Oskar Blues, and Victory. That’s right, 18 amazing craft beers, all on draft, for one night only!

Your first opportunity to take part in the celebration will be at the Sunset Grill in Allston on Thursday, August 14th. On the following Saturday, Christopher’s in Cambridge will play host to the 12 collaboration beers and the final opportunity to taste all 12 beers on draft will be Tuesday, August 26th at Redbones in Somerville. This event will also feature complimentary barbeque. I strongly suggest working at least one of these events into your schedule, especially if you were not able to snag one of the highly sought-after Beer Camp Across America 12-packs.


As if packing 12 different collaboration beers into a wasn’t crazy enough, Sierra pushed the boundaries even further when they departed for a seven city festival road trip. The largest celebration of craft beer kicked off July 19th at the Sierra Nevada Hop Fields in Chico, California. The Grossman’s and the rest of the crew then made their way east stopping in San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Portland, Maine, and Philadelphia before wrapping up the 4,800 mile tour at Sierra’s new brewery in Mills River, North Carolina. On a side note, the tour bus Sierra Nevada traveled from city to city in was the former tour bus for the painted-face rap duo ICP. But, let’s get back to the beer. Each fest hosted hundreds of breweries and thousands of craft beer drinkers. Every brewery in the country was invited to come out and take part in the celebration.

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Cisco Brewers and OCEARCH Release Shark Tracker Light Lager

shark tracker labelThe team at Cisco Brewers of Nantucket has teamed up with the researchers from OCEARCH to release a new beer called Shark Tracker Light Lager. When it comes to sharks, OCEARCH replaces the fear with fascination. They do this by enabling the leading researchers and institutions to generate previously unattainable data on the movement, biology, and health of sharks to protect their future while enhancing public safety and education. Cisco’s intention behind brewing their Shark Tracker Light Lager was not only to satisfy the palates of craft beer drinkers, but to further enhance OCEARCH’s educational reach on the lions of the sea: sharks.

This project got its legs just about a year ago as the OCEARCH team hosted a meet and greet at Cisco’s brewery on Nantucket Island. This is when the Cisco team realized how greatly the OCEARCH research resonated with the Nantucket locals.  Shortly after Cisco’s CEO, Jay Harman, and other brewery employees boarded the MV OCEARCH in hopes of tagging an Apex predator. Later that afternoon the scientists were able to tag the first great white of 2013’s Cape Cod Expedition, Betsy.

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Stoddard’s Pub to Host New Holland Brewing Boston Launch Celebration



To welcome the latest brewery into the Boston market, Stoddard’s Pub will be throwing a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” party Thursday June 19th for New Holland Brewing. Available on draft will be Dragon Milk, Mad Hatter, Paleooza, and a Mad Hatter Firkin. In addition to these craft beers, Stoddard’s will be showcasing selections from New Holland Artisan Spirits.

Now available at on and off premise locations in Boston will be the following beers: Mad Hatter, Monkey King, The Poet, Dragon’s Milk, and White Hatter, their summer seasonal. New Holland’s pumpkin beer, Ichabod, will be available in the fall. In addition to these beers a few one-offs and limited releases such as Imperial Hatter will be periodically offered. Hitting shelves in the beginning of 2015 will be New Holland’s Session Series.

Available from New Holland’s Artisan Spirits portfolio will be: Beer Barrel Bourbon, Bill’s Michigan Wheat Whiskey, Hatter Royale, Zeppelin Bend, Knickerbocker Gin, Michigan Amber Rum, and the brand new Clockwork Orange.

The whole New Holland team is very excited to finally have made it to the Northeast. “We’re looking forward to getting out there, meeting people and bringing some great flavors from the Midwest to our craft brothers and sisters in New England,” said New Holland’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Fred Bueltmann.

For more information on New Holland Brewing you can visit their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter. To stay up to date with the latest craft beer news, follow me on Twitter: @Tommy_Hops.



Welcome Back Warm Weather and Tröegs Sunshine Pils

sunshine 12pack2The second beer in Tröegs’ Hop Cycle Series, Sunshine Pils, is set to make its return to Boston this week. The timing couldn’t be better as the thermometer hit 80°F for the third consecutive day on Monday. This light, crisp, and refreshing Euro-style pils also packs an assertive hop character at 45 IBUs. For the first time this year you will be able to enjoy the ‘Crisp, Hoppy, Pilsner’ in 12 ounce cans! Patio and beach lovers rejoice.

To help celebrate the return of the warm weather, and of course Sunshine Pils, Tröegs will be holding two “Welcome Back, Sunshine” events on Wednesday May, 14th. Andy, Tim and a few others from Tröegs will be hanging out at The Independent in Somerville from 7-9PM. Along with Sunshine; DreamWeaver & 2 Scratch beers will be available. Going on simultaneously in the South End will be the Five Horses Tavern Sunshine kickoff with Jason Kidwell. On tap will be Sunshine, DreamWeaver, Pale Ale cask & 2 Scratch beers. Both locations will be offering up a complimentary Tröegs pint glass upon ordering your first beer (while supplies last).

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Alltech’s Lexington Brewing & Distilling Brings the Kentucky Derby to Cambridge


Since you can’t make it to Churchill Downs for “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports,” Alltech’s Lexington Brewing & Distilling is bringing the party to Cambridge. This Saturday, May 3rd the Commonwealth Cambridge will be hosting a Kentucky Derby party you sure won’t want to miss!

Chef Nookie will be preparing Island Creek oysters and traditional southern style BBQ to be washed down by derby cocktails featuring Town Branch Bourbon and Town Branch Rye. Also, available from Kentucky Ale with be their very popular Bourbon Barrel Ale and Bourbon Barrel Stout.

Plenty of Kentucky Ale and Town Branch swag will be up for grabs in various contests and games. There will also be a ‘best dressed’ contest, so bust out the seersucker suits, sundresses, and big hats!

The party for the first leg of the Triple Crown kicks off at 3PM and will finish up around 7PM. Before heading home I suggest stopping by their neighbors, Cambridge Spirits, to pick up a bottle of Town Branch or 4-pack of Kentucky Ale so that you can bring the Louisville vibes home with you.

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Allagash Paints the Town Orange with the Official Boston Launch of Saison


One of the most anticipated releases of the year has finally arrived in Boston with its bright orange packaging and tap handles. That’s right, Allagash Saison is now available everywhere! I don’t know if it’s just me, but I absolutely love orange branding. Whether I am walking into a bar checking out the tap handles or if I am browsing the shelves of my local packie; the bright orange just grabs me. And then there is the liquid. When you take your first sip, you become hooked. The citrus and peppery spice dominates the overall flavor while making way for a pleasing malt character.

To celebrate the release of Allagash Saison I am giving away Saison t-shirts to some lucky craft beer fans. For a chance to win all you have to do is take a selfie with an Allagash Saison and upload it to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #SaisonSelfie! I look forward to picking out some of my favorites. Here are a few great examples:

In late March, 10 events were held around the state for ‘Saison Day,’ giving the city a sampling of what was to come. Finally, the time has come for a full release. On Wednesday April 23 Allagash will be taking over The Asgard in Cambridge from 5-8 launching their newest year-round release. Also available on tap will be James Bean, Odyssey, Ginger Wit, and White!

A fellow employee sent out these step-by-step directions earlier today; I highly suggest you follow suit:

Step 1: Get yourself to The Asgard any time after 5 PM tonight

Step 2: Exchange cursory pleasantries with Allagash representatives

Step 3: Accept their offer to fill your glass with delicious beer from Portland Maine

Step 4: Thank them profusely for the opportunity to partake of the magical liquid

Step 5: Take a #SaisonSelfie & share on Twitter or Instagram

Step 6: (repeat steps 3 through 5)

While you are sending out your #SaisonSelfie don’t forget to give me a follow on Twitter: @Tommy_Hops & @CraftMass. Also, don’t forget to give Allagash Matt a follow as well: @AllagashMatt!

Spring is in the Air with Back Bay Social Club’s Beer Dinner Series

back bay beer dinnersThroughout the month of April the Back Bay Social Club will be teaming up with three different craft breweries for their Beer Dinner Spring Series. For the low price of $40 you’ll be able to enjoy a four course pairing with beers from Lagunitas, Brooklyn, and Cisco. The kitchen at BBSC has specially crafted three menus paired up with some amazing craft beers.

The Spring Series will kick off Thursday April 10th with Lagunitas. Up first will be some passed apps paired with their Czech Style Pils. The second course comprising of housemade sausage will be paired with Lagunitas IPA. Lagunitas Undercover Shutdown Ale is paired up with a braised lamb shank for course number three. For dessert, maple cinnamon ice cream and bacon waffle is washed down with a Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout.

On April 16th the Brooklyn Brewery will be warming things up on Boylston Street. You’ll be offered a Brooklyn Summer Ale with passed apps upon arriving at the Back Bay Social Club. Up next is Brooklyn Local 2 with duck meatballs. Brooklyn’s newest beer, Blast! Ale will be paired with a spiced lamb porterhouse with goat cheese and eggplant puree, crispy eggplant chips and fried spinach. The crowd favorite Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is of course paired with the dessert. The chefs have prepared a chocolate mousse with crispy potato chips and huckleberry whipped cream.

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Wachusett & WAAF Collaborate on New Craft Beer; Revered Red

Revered Red AleA new brew from the Wachusett Brewing Company will be rocking its way onto the shelves in Boston this week. The Westminster, Massachusetts brewery has collaborated with Boston’s Rock Station, WAAF, to create Revered Red. This very easy sipping red ale was brewed with specialty malts, Wachusett’s northwest yeast and Belgium candy sugar. The sugar adds a touch of sweetness to the 5.0% ABV, 27 IBUs, red ale.

Ron Valeri, WAAF’s Program Director, and the whole station’s team couldn’t be happier with how the beer turned out. “All of us at WAAF are honored to be partnering with Ned and his innovative team at Wachusett Brewing Company.  We were counting on them to help us create a craft beer that our listeners would love and that we’d be proud to put our name on.  Their alchemical approach to transforming natural ingredients into unique and tasty liquids is truly impressive.  Wachusett has come through with another delicious brew!”

Check out the video below of WAAF’s on air talent and executives visiting Wachusett for the very first canning run of Revered Red Ale.

For the latest Boston craft beer news follow me on Twitter: @Tommy_Hops and @CraftMass.