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Wednesday, 06 February 2019 14:05

Three Pint Stance - When beer fests go EXTREME!

Recently, I had the pleasure to pour for Gneiss Brewing Company at the 2019 Extreme Beer Festival in Boston. This is the fourth time Gneiss has attended the festival and it just gets more fun every year. 

This year brought an interesting wrinkle to the festivities, as the organizers, BeerAdvocate, asked brewers to bring “Extreme Session Beers” – beers that are at or below five percent alcohol but also utilize ingredients or techniques that make them extreme! 

There were all sorts of wonderful low-alcohol beers packed with flavor, a favorite of mine being the Key Lime Gose from Weldworks Brewing.

At Gneiss, we brewed up a beer inspired by Mexican sipping chocolate and cheeseball Star Wars jokes called “Hot Rebellion,” an Anti-Imperial Stout made with cocoa nibs, cinnamon and habanero peppers. Clocking at 2.5 percent, it had a ton of flavor but wouldn’t get you so drunk that you can’t pilot your X-Wing home.

(Editor’s note: I’m disappointed that you didn’t use blue milk in the process. That being said, I’m proud of your commitment to safety and responsibility. Friends don’t let friends fly drunk.)

New to EBF this year was the VIP ticket, which got attendees in 30 minutes early as well as access to the VIP lounge where they were serving some special beers and free pickles! I think every brew fest needs to have pickles from here on out, but that’s just me. I’ve seen some festivals where the VIP ticket doesn’t really get you much, but BeerAdvocate really seemed to make it worth the upcharge. 

All in all, it was another fantastic weekend celebrating the quirky weird things that seem to unite us all in the Brewing community. Sure, we all love a classically crafted pilsner, but sometimes it’s fun to try a beer made with hot dog water too. I mean, it wasn’t good, but that’s not the point!

It was so … EXTREME! 

Published in Style
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 13:44

Three Pint Stance - Bring on Flagship February

Today’s craft beer marketplace is very much a “What have you done for me lately?” type of market, where the new shiny object seems to get all the attention until some other new shiny object comes along and replaces it. This month’s must-have hazy IPA is next month’s shelf turd as a newer, even more dry-hopped beer takes its place in the craft beer zeitgeist, as it were.

Published in Style
Tuesday, 22 January 2019 20:40

Three Pint Stance - Help! My beer is frozen!

With the recent drop in temps as of late, I figured it would be a good time to talk about what has become a bit of an occupational hazard for me and something that maybe a few of you have experienced before: frozen beer.

Published in Style

During my weekly appearance on “Downtown with Rich Kimball” last Thursday, I was reminded by the namesake host himself that not everybody eats, sleeps and breathes beer every day of their lives like I do. Specifically, when I casually mentioned that choosing an East Coast IPA over a West Coast IPA has more to do with flavor preference than hometown pride.

That led me to think it might be a good use of newsprint this week to go over the major differences between East and West Coast IPAs and how the IPA style has changed over time.

Published in Style

A new year is once again looming, and much like many other lazy, phone-it-in columnists around the globe, I am opting to write about some arbitrary New Year’s resolutions that neither you nor I will follow.

The new year will be filled with endless possibilities, yet-to-be-discovered adventures and most importantly, NEW BEERS! Here is a list of beer-related resolutions for your 2019. Instead of setting unattainable goals and drowning in the inevitable impossibility of lofty personal ambitions, try these easy-to-follow New Beers Resolutions for a quick buzz and a shot of dry-hopped self-esteem!

Published in Style

‘Twas a few nights before Christmas, alight with tidings of cheer

I peeked in the fridge, to find a craft beer

The egg nog was present, snug in its spot

Along with last year’s fruitcake, long since forgot

Up and down each shelf I did franticly look

“Did I forget to buy beer?” I said as I shook

I looked past the milk, and again round the ‘nog

But all I could find was some cider and grog

No IPA, no stout, nary a lager was seen,

I’d even take one unfinished, a beer that is green

A thought crossed my mind, “Maybe it’s still in the trunk”

But I could find there was clutter and junk

So I gave up my search and headed to bed,

Sober as a judge, and filled up with dread

But as I slept, something magical occurred

A delivery of sorts, my plea had been heard

As I woke to check if it all was a dream

I beheld a sight that near made me scream

“Honey come look!” I said to my wife

She looked at me strangely and said “Get a life”

The once craft-free fridge was now filled with abundance

Epiphany, Weiss, Hipster and Substance

There was beer from up North, down South and between

E’en a rare can of Tributary Pilsner was seen

I opened the crisper and much to my delight,

A six-pack of Stein Song, so clean and so bright!

Not to be outdone, in the deli drawer I spy

A Howler from Fogtown, a spot I had yet to try!

As I continued my search, I uncovered more treasure

Cans from VT, Hermit Thrush and Good Measure

Overwhelmed, I collapsed; I had finished my standing

Only to notice Gunnars Daughter, a can from Mast Landing

Pushing aside the ‘nog, I took in the grandeur of this haul

Beers from nearby breweries, some big and some small

Stars in my eyes, I couldn’t believe my luck

My fridge, once barren, looked like a distributor’s truck!

SoMe, Foundation, Battery Steele and Cushnoc

Along with Strong, Atlantic and the Harbor of Rock

As I peered through and made way towards the back,

I found an Allagash Coolship and an Oxbow four-pack

I filled with a joy I didn’t think possible to achieve

Know this, friends: in Beer Santa, I firmly believe!

I cracked open the first, an IPA with some bite,

And settled in for a delightful December night.

So, fair Edge readers, my gift is this rhyme

It would have been better, but I ran out of time

I wish you Merry Christmas and a New Year that’s fine,

And in 2019, I resolve to be better about deadlines.

MERRY CHRISTMAS - DRINK LOCALLY AND RESPONSIBLY!

Published in Style

Usually, at some point around the holiday season, I will put together a list of things that would be cool to get for the beer lover in your life. This year, I am going to do that, but only sort of. Here’s the deal, a beer lover usually only wants one thing. Beer. So instead of just wrapping up another pick-six from the local bottle shop, do the right thing and get that hop head on a brewery tour bus!

Published in Style

Over the weekend, I was at Stompers in Holden pouring some Gneiss beers for an in-store tasting as part of their extremely well-attended 1 Year Anniversary (And a very happy anniversary to them indeed!).

While pouring beers, I happened to meet a homebrewer and casual reader of this column who told me that his favorite column were the ones where I discuss home brewing and do my best to impart some of the collected wisdom that has lodged itself in my brain over the past decade or so of making my own hooch.

With that in mind, I figured I would touch upon the topic of home brewing this week, specifically dealing with what I found was the most appreciated and game-changing piece of brewing equipment in my homebrew setup: the Wort Chiller.

Published in Style

So a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a new style of beer that is popping at craft breweries all over the country, the ‘Milkshake IPA.’ An offshoot of New England IPA, Milkshake IPAs usually feature an addition of Lactose, or milk sugar, which is unfermentable and provides body and sweetness to the final beer. In addition to the lactose, many brewers add some vanilla beans and pureed fruit to up the flavor quotient and bring a sweet, fruity flavor forward.

In writing about this beer style, I did something that I should never ever do: I assumed that I would enjoy this style of beer before I ever got a chance to try one.

Published in Style

It seems that every time I look, there is a new fad taking hold in the craft beer scene. Lately, these fads have been centered around the ever-present and ever-popular IPA-style of beer. This latest beer craze is no different.

Enter the Milkshake IPA.

Published in Style
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