Spring/summer is here, time for beer

Ah, spring in New England is a thing of wonder: full of promise, renewal, dandelions, and new seasonal brews! I’ll admit right up front that I’m not a huge fan of the fruit and wheat beers that dominate in the spring and summer (Sam’s Summer might be my least favorite of their seasonals), but I’ll do my best to share the best of the rest, and I’ll even include a fruit beer or two.

I was able to taste a bunch of new brews at last weekend’s 25-table tasting at Yankee Spirits in Swansea, so kudos to them for having a varied group of brewers and cideries there. Most of these reviews come from that tasting, where I was able to sample dozens of brews (with a focus on spring offerings by local brewers, of course), and I’ll begin with a trio of hoppy offerings. Continue reading

Glass choice makes a big difference for beer drinkers

Now that we’re all beginning to try beer with flavor (hopefully), it’s time to talk about how to properly enjoy said beer. When drinking nearly flavorless lagers, it really doesn’t matter what vessel you’re using to drink from … the bottle/can, a standard “shaker” pint glass, or an old shoe.

But the standard glass that we all know and are used to is about the worst glass one can use for beer. It’s terrible at all three goals a beer glass has: keep the beer cold, keep it carbonated, and hold the aroma in the glass. Continue reading

Beginning the craft beer journey

Let me be clear: all beer is good beer. There are merits to a nice cold Budweiser (or other light American lager) on a hot summer day … it’s crisp, refreshing, and inoffensive. Nothing wrong with that. But drinking just Bud/Miller/Coors is like only eating Quarter Pounders or Big Macs and never having a cheese steak sandwich, never having a sloppy Joe, never trying steak tips. Continue reading