Haven’t posted in a week and a half, initially due to the first Troy Craft Beer Week keeping me busy. The Ruck spearheaded the effort and held events every night - sometimes two in a night thanks to their recently finished second floor - as well as burger specials designed by other area chefs all week long. Several other bars/restaurants also held events and the week ended with a beer festival at Troy’s Riverfront Park, the first ever Troy On Tap. I will be talking a bit more about some of the events in future posts, but Fuj has already posted a great rounding out of the festivities.
I bought this Ruck glass at the festival as a souvenir - I’ve been meaning to buy one for a while and figured it was an opportune time - and my second to last Heady was a worthy first beer!
Four of the last five Tuesdays, I have had fellow beer geeks over to my apartment to crack some bottles. While this week only featured 1.5 - one friend + one friend here half of the time - it was still not bad for a Tuesday. The North Brewery growler was filled with Inspirational Beer Breakfast, which went over quite favorably, and the delicious Headstash next to it is brewed by In’Finiti.
As a self-professed Stone fanboy, these last four beers were a great way to end the night - and (unintentionally) have my 50th Stone beer in the process! Crime and Punishment were indeed too hot for my taste - and I order wings as hot as they come, mind you - but Southern Charred was a step or seven in my direction. stonebrewingco hinted about an upcoming release in their Bastard series earlier in the day, prompting Tumblr folks to guess on what that might be… I guessed and hope for Double Barrel Double Bastard!
We got up at 5:30 the next morning in search of some of Lawson’s Finest Liquids - the main purpose of the trip, after all, was to attend the Waitsfield Farmer’s Market. Sean had to cancel a few days prior due to a death in the family but still managed to supply 150 cases to a small grocery in Waitsfield as well as some to the Warren Store (pictured above). We were able to get up to 16 bottles each between both stops, so despite missing out on his Double Sunshine and Maple Tripple, the trip was still well worth it! As if we hadn’t bought enough beer already, we hit Hunger Mountain Coop after checking out of our hotel and then Manchester Discount Beverages on the way home.
Much props go to Sean Lawson for managing to hook up his fans despite tough personal circumstances. Also props to John Kimmich for hooking up Lawson’s fans by making Heady available - from what I understand, he tries to supply Heady at or nearby major Lawson’s releases, and it was certainly nice to grab another 4-pack after giving up hope for more the day before. As long as I’m giving props to brewmasters I may as well also credit Shaun Hill, as the stop there the day before was well worth it.
The craft beer scene in northern Vermont is not just about making some of the best beer in the world - which they do of course - it’s about community, locals supporting locals while still being welcoming to the droves of beer geeks who swoop into town at a moment’s notice. If you ever find yourself at the Warren Store for some Lawson’s, do yourself a favor and grab something to eat, pull up a chair near some folks, and get ready to talk - you’ll be glad you did. Cheers!
We started our short VT beercation with lunch at Prohibition Pig. The food was excellent as always (pork rinds FTW) and the two beers of their own they had on tap - Amarillo Dream and Multi Grain IPA - were both delicious. They are expanding brewing production and I am looking forward to trying more from them in the future. We stopped by Craft Beer Cellar around the corner on the way out and lucked into some Heady, as we took long enough shopping that a truck happened to show up.
The line at Hill Farmstead was about an hour and a half - expected with the Lawson’s release the next morning - and they were sold out of Florence before we got there. Nevertheless, the haul was still well worth it, as evidenced by the over two gallons of beer pictured above. Of the highly sought after northern Vermont breweries, I think Hill Farmstead does the best job at making their beer available - as long as one is willing to travel a bit further and spend time in line for growlers, a haul similar to this (or better) is pretty common.
We ended our night with dinner and beers at Three Penny Taproom. Friendship & Devotion was on tap - I had a 2l growler filled with it earlier - and it became my go-to for the night. We started with buttermilk fried chicken wings followed by one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Overall, quite a successful day one!
Four friends came over last night to share bottles, the most attended Tuesday night so far. The bottles shown are in the order in which they were opened. Only 3 of 13 bottles were available within NY state, the Pliny the Elder traveled back from CA in a friend’s checked luggage, and the Biere Blanca is typically only available at Blanca in Brooklyn.
There was not a bad brew, with my favorites being Caractère Rouge, Biere Blanca, and Coffee BBAged Framinghammer. I would definitely check out the Hibiscus Gose again, as it was tough to get a good feel being split five ways. Definitely not bad for a Tuesday, but glad I’m still on vacation - I ended the night with Ruck wings and La Fin Du Monde on tap. Cheers!
What happens when four beer geeks take two compact cars to northern Vermont and spend over a thousand dollars on beer? Well, as soon as everyone got back to my apartment building, a somewhat convoluted sorting process and one very confused look as I snapped a picture, for starters. This was a quite fun and successful trip, one you will be hearing more about over the next week or two. Cheers!
At the time this posts, I will be on a short beercation with three friends… (some of) these growlers may give one stop away…
I had this a few months ago and don’t have tasting notes, so here’s what I remember: rich, smooth, pleasantly boozy and super-duper delicious. I made a comment in an old post that Evil Twin’s “home runs tend to be grand slams” and that is definitely the case here.
It has been almost three months since Rare Form Brewing Company opened - a less than ten minute walk from my apartment - so it’s about time I actually write about the place. The above picture, stolen from Rare Form’s Facebook page, shows how busy it was on the night it opened (those who know me personally may be able to spot me).
I arrived just as they opened and rode solo until my friends showed up. This allowed me to overhear lots of different conversations, such as a super enthusiastic guy (maybe from Troy BID?) going on about “THIS BLOCK”, talking up a coffee place down the street that will have some sort of rare coffee you can’t get in this area yet. It is definitely an interesting time to be living in downtown Troy.
They opened on May 30 and, with such high demand for the beer already produced as well as a problem with their cooling system that led to dumping several batches in production, they ran out of their own beer on June 28. There was a period where they featured other NY farm breweries, first Climbing Bines and then Abandon. Thankfully this period was not long - within three weeks they had four of their beers available again, and by the end of July they were back to six (the same number they had at opening).
It was nice to see them at BCTC, complete with a consistent line of pleased beer drinkers, and a friend reported positively about an event they did with The Cheese Traveler. The taproom is not overwhelmed like it was in the beginning, but most stools are occupied every time I stop in or walk/drive by.
My favorite beer they have done so far is Tripped Out. In speaking with the brewer, it seems like he was inspired by La Fin Du Monde, by the spices used and high fementation temperature, but uses honey instead of (more traditional for style) candi sugar. He is planning on tapping kegs every three months or so to see how the beer matures with time. I think it is pretty good now, but am excited to see how it develops. Cheers to Rare Form!
I grab any new Evil Twin brew I see, and this week featured four - the three pictured above (Femme Fatale Kabosu, Sour Bikini, and Femme Fatale Sudachi) as well as cans of NoMader Weisse. It is refreshing to see Jeppe explore this area of beer more, as I am trying to do so myself.
My initial thought in tasting the kabosu variant was that it reminded me of the yuzu variant, which makes a lot of sense as kabosu and yuzu are similar enough to be mistaken for one another. I have not had kabosu, yuzu, nor sudachi on their own, so I’m not familiar with the flavor differences I should be expecting, I just know that all three variants were delicious!
Tuesday nights seem to be the most common as far as friends coming over to my place to share beers. Last night featured two friends, last week featured two different friends. This bottle line-up is fairly typical of what is shared - some not available locally, some available locally but limited or otherwise worthwhile - not epic, but definitely solid. My proximity to Defazio’s is often utilized as well, with consistently delicious results. Next week (already planned) will make three Tuesdays in a row.
The past two Wednesdays have been good beer nights, starting with Hill Farmstead Everett at The Ruck (see Fuj’s post for more) then Rushing Duck vs Goose Island at The Lionheart last Wednesday. I’ll seek out special Rushing Duck kegs whenever I see them, and this night featured several.
Rushing Duck Remarkable Liquids IPA was specially made to celebrate the two year anniversary of Remarkable Liquids. It was also featured at Oliver’s Brew Crew earlier this week, which provided for the above picture. It was interesting to hear multiple people talk about the beer, both from Remarkable Liquids as well as Rushing Duck directly. While it didn’t blow me away like War Elephant, I would definitely get it if it were to be released again.
My original post on Stone/Beachwood/Heretic Unapologetic IPA got reblogged by stonebrewingco, which caught me totally off-guard. I mean, I take pictures with my cell phone, almost all involving the one area of my apartment where beers look somewhat OK. Last night’s out-of-apt shenanigans highlight this weakness, beginning with a dim picture of the delicious Unapologetic IPA on tap at The Ruck, accompanied by unpictured but also delicious Ruck wings. I will likely be hitting the Ruck again tonight, as a friend has a rare night off, and foresee several more of these in my future.
And now, for the second crappy photo!
I first saw Madball in 1998, sandwiched between Kill Your Idols opening and H2O headlining. They quickly became my favorite hardcore band, and still are. With last night’s show, I have been going to Madball shows for half of my life. Will definitely be repping the shirt I bought while at BCTC tomorrow!
Sierra Nevada collaborated with twelve other breweries for their Beer Camp Across America mix pack. I worked through one pack over several nights by myself then split another with two friends last night. It was interesting to get a first impression with a full beer and then talk shop with friends over a smaller sample. We agreed on the same three favorite beers of the pack - Double Latte (with Ninkasi), Maillard’s Odyssey (with Bell’s), and Yonder Bock (with Cigar City) - though we sometimes disagreed with which beers least impressed us. While I won’t be seeking out another pack, both trips were well worth the experience.
Dark Horse Nation premiered last Tuesday night, so I stocked my fridge with these to celebrate in style. The show has some promise, though I would like it more if they spent more time focusing on the details of the beer they are making. For example, the second episode’s “beer plot” focuses on bottling line issues, which only serves to get in the way of the “non-beer plot” (ice fishing). All of the other beer-related shows I’ve seen, such as Brew Masters, Brew Dogs, hell even some episodes of Drinking Made Easy, get into the details of beers, listing ingredients, brewing steps, what the brewer is aiming for, research done, etc etc. Why would I want to watch an episode where the only reference to beer is that they are having trouble bottling some unmentioned type of it?
My hope is that the first two episodes are trying to cast a wide net, attracting viewers who would get turned off by the level of detail found in other beer shows. Perhaps the focus on beer will increase in time. Until then, it’s entertaining enough to watch, but not re-watch.