|Why yes, I AM!|
(Sign outside Lord Hobo.)
After finishing up the Beer Bloggers Conference (which you can read about here, here, here, here, and here) I trekked over to meet my friend Doug in Davis Square in Somerville, where so many past shenanigans in my life had occurred. Most of the shenanigans involved Redbones, where I really honed my beer nerdliness back in the day. (I know I mentioned it briefly in my previous post, but it bears some expansion here). I started with Element Brewing's Lavender Extra Special Oak, which was.. well, there was a lot going on. It was an English Strong Ale (like a pumped up ESB) brewed with lavender and aged on oak. So it had this malty, floral, oaky thing going on. I finished my LESO happily, but was satisfied with a 10 oz. pour of it.
|the Southern Tier cask|
(my friend Doug was able to score one before it kicked)
The following day, Doug was at work, so I took the bus out to Cambridge to get some lunch and drink some beer at another one of my favorite stomping grounds, the Cambridge Brewing Company. One of the oldest brewpubs in the country, it continues to produce incredibly diverse and delicious beers. It's even begun distributing their beer in bottles, which you can find at Stein's (a wonderful discovery of mine a few months back.)
|I think this was Hay is for Horses|
Anders Kissmeyer (Kissmeyer Beer and Brewing Project, Copenhagen, Denmark)) and Yvan de Baets (Brasserie de la Senne, Brussels, Belgium) joined us to produce a Nordic history-inspired pale ale using oats and gruit herbs. We were also inspired by our good friend, local farmer Andy Carbone, to incorporate locally grown, sweet alfalfa hay.
Using a grain bill of pale and Munich malt as well as malted and flaked oats, the hay was added to the mash in hopes it would lend a subtle fresh grassiness. Hops are kept to a minimum, adding balance to the herbs yarrow and heather, both of which had historical precedence in Nordic brewing traditions. Also employed in this brew was a small amount of heather honey, harvested from hives on the Danish island of FanØ in the North Sea and adding just a delicate floral note to the beer’s aroma.
While ordinarily we would have used our house Belgian yeast, Yvan recommended our English yeast strain instead, allowing the focus of the beer to be on its refreshing floral and herbal notes. We were also pleasantly surprised to find an incredible creaminess to the body of this beer. Despite it finishing extremely dry, it exhibits a richness and smooth palate that makes this complex but delicate beer very quaffable.I swear, it sounds like it shouldn't work, but it totally does!
|The sign of awesome|
|Lord Hobo's mesmerizing taps and glasses|
Then I checked out another tiny brewery, this one in Fort Point on the Boston waterfront, called Trillium Brewing Company. I discovered my One True Beer, called Little Rooster, an absolutely delicious rye pale ale. So very much in my wheelhouse. I even had a second one after I tried Notch Brewing's Left of the Dial session IPA (which was also excellent.) My friend Doug met me at Lord Hobo for a couple of these beers, and when we were finished, we headed back to Everett with the intent to visit a small brewery there called Night Shift Brewing.
|Owls are cool!|
|The barrels where all the magic happens|
I could go on and on about specifically how great all their beers were, how thoughtful, creative, and well-executed they were, but this blog post's long enough. My advice though - if someone offers you the opportunity to try Night Shift's beer, take it!
So these were my wanderings in my old hometown and former haunts. I'll always be homesick for great New England beer, but that's something that can be easily resolved by getting some shipped down to me!