Friday, June 14, 2013

I'm a Craft Beer Lover and I Like Fruity Beer! Deal With It!

This image of a beer seems to offend some people, and I just don't get it.

What is it about fruit in beer that offends some beer drinkers?

Fruit is perfectly acceptable in mixed drinks. In Sangria. Why not beer?

I love a good fruity beer. The Boston Beer Works Watermelon Ale pictured at left here is one of my all time favorite beers, period- fruit or non-fruit. On a hot summer day, this beer is an amazing, refreshing blast of cool watermelon brew deliciousness.

Fruit has long been used in the brewing process, this isn't new. Pumpkin Ales are among the most popular fall beers. Peppers- Jalepenos, Habeneros- in IPA and Stouts are popping up more and more. (Yes, peppers are a fruit. Look it up)

Perhaps its the addition of an actual garnish that offends? Do "they" think that a garnish tips off others to the fact that they are drinking a frilly, less manly, fruity beer?

Oh no, the HORRORS!

To those with reservations about fruity beer, I say relax. Fruit and beer have been sleeping together longer than chocolate and peanut butter, and I think most would agree that the fruit and beer combo is far more appealing on a hot summer day.

Here are some more of my personally recommended, favorite fruit beers to enjoy during those hot summer days-

Boston Beer Works also brews an amazing Blueberry Ale, picture here at right. Note the blueberries are actually in the glass, not just affixed to the top for affect. No, the berries are in the drink, and let me tell, you'll be happy they are there when you get to the bottom of that glass and get to gorge on beer infused blueberries!

But you don't need actual fruit in the glass to enjoy a great fruit beer. Try another local great- like Blue Hills Watermelon Wheat, pictured here at left- a heffewiezen style beer brewed with watermelon.   No actual fruit in the glass, but you still get awesome watermelon refreshment.

Wanna be more clandestine? Try Wachusett Brewing's excellent Blueberry Ale- in a can!

There are far too many great local fruit beers for me to mention them all, and there are even more if you look nationally. Blueberry and Watermelon Ales are the kings (most common), but you can also find great beers brewed with Apricots, Raspberries, Grapes...among many others. You get the idea.

What's you opinion of fruit beers? Have a  favorite? Leave me a comment!


Try Great Beer from Battle Road Brewing Company @ Hyper Local Beer Fest in Somerville- June 14-15

       One of Massachusetts newest brewery's, Battle Road Brewing Company will take part in the Hyper Local Beer Fest, on June 14th and 15th in Somerville. They will be offering a tasting of their three beers- 1775 Tavern AleLexington Green East India Pale Ale (IPA) and Barrett’s Farmhouse Ale.

Battle Road Brewing Company takes its name from the history surrounding Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Battle Road refers to the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.  These battles showcased the perseverance and resistance against tyranny that were the hallmarks of the American Revolution and marked the beginning of the War for Liberty. 

  Barrett’s Farmhouse Ale is the latest beer from Battle Road Brewing Company.  This  straw-gold rustic ale evokes memories of a time long ago with a robust yeast strain, a vigorous top-fermenting classic that provides some of the best food pairing flavors. Battle Road’s signature beer, the 1775 Tavern Ale is a light to medium bodied dry, unfiltered pale ale hopped with a single varietal -Slovenian Styrian Goldings.  Finally, the Lexington Green IPA is dry and crisp, with a clean malt delivery and a burst of hop flavor, and even more aromatics of Chinook, Centennial and Cascade hops added from first wort to the last possible moment before fermentation.

Battle Road Brewing Company was founded in 2012 by Jeremy Cross, a graduate of the prestigious Master Brewers Program at the University of California Davis and Scott Houghton, recipient of multiple Gold Medals at the Great American Beer Festival and a graduate of the Master Brewer’s Association of the Americas “Malting and Brewing Science” program at the University of Wisconsin.              

Hyper Local Beer Fest info:

WHERE:               The Armory
191 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA

TIME:                   Session 1: Friday, June 14 - 6:30p.m. – 9:30p.m.
                              Session 2: Saturday, June 15 - 3:00p.m. – 6:00p.m.
                              Session 3: Saturday, June 15 - 7:00p.m. – 10:00p.m.

Battle Road Brewing Company is currently brewing its beers through Mercury Brewing Company in Ipswich, MA. The beer is currently available in locations across the Commonwealth.  For more information or to find a location, please

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mayflower Summer Rye Ale

Ah, the beers of summer...Hefeweizen, Wheat, Whit, Saison...and now it appears we can add "Rye" to the list.

This is the beer I enjoyed today- Mayflower Brewing's excellent seasonal "Summer Rye Ale"- as I sat outside in an Adirondack chair, feet in my daughters kiddie pool, as she splashed me and squirted me with her tiny squirt gun (because I was also wearing her tinkerbell hat, which she thought was a hoot. Sorry, there are no photos).

Today being the 4th straight day of 90+ degree heat, I was growing really desperate for a low abv, high taste brew to help me beat the heat. But in the craft beer world, low abv can be hard to find. This is why I seek out seasonal brews whenever I can.

Seasonal brews from a local brewer are the single best way to guarantee that you are getting the freshest beer brewed for exactly this season. Mind you, most locally brewed beer is super fresh anyway, but going with a "seasonal" brew is great way to ensure that you will enjoy something brewed specifically for the weather and food that typically accompanies it, and that hasn't been sitting on the shelf too long.

Summer Rye Ale
Mayflower Brewing, Plymouth, MA
3.8% ABV

This beer pours a pale, hazy yellow, with a brief, loose, white head. There is no head retention here, as it collapsed immediately. The appearance reminds me of a hefeweizen.

Smell is cut grass and citrus (lemon, maybe), and if you take a deep breath, you get the hints of rye spice. Aromas are pleasant and distinct, yet not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, perfect for a summer beer.

Taste is pure summer joy- malt cereal notes at first, followed by citrusy orange peel bitterness, but subtle, not strong at all. This is quickly balanced off by the peppery rye spice, which is also very modest and understated- there is just enough to add hints of flavor, nothing more. The flavors here are all very distinct, but very, very muted, almost delicate if you will. Finish is clean and dry.

I loved this beer, and recommend it to others looking for a great session beer to enjoy poolside. At 3.8% alcohol by volume, it won't work you over, even when the temps touch the 90's. And the flavor profile is such that it will compliment just about anything you'd serve in the heat of summer.

Similar beers I'd also recommend:

Harpoon Brewery- Dan and Rich's Rye IPA- Originally brewed to celebrate Harpoons 25th Anniversary, this beer has proven so popular its been put into the regular lineup. Think of it as a spicy IPA- stronger flavor profiles, more hops, and about 6% abv.

Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA- An excellent IPA brewed with rye by one of the best brewers in the USA. I find this spicier and more complex than Harpoons version.

Coming latter this week- More summer beer talk- fruit in your beer and why its a good thing..