Barrel Aged Night at The Doom Saloon


Now, if any of you know me you know I do not go crazy trying to obtain all of the (extremely overhyped, in my opinion) barrel aged variations of many of the most highly sought after beers on the market. Most times I’m just as satisfied with the base version of the beer and it’s not worth the driving around and giving up some of my favorite New England beer to trade for these, so I generally don’t seek them. That said, barrel aging usually does not detract from the original experience, and there are plenty of beers that are aged in barrels because the style dictates it and they’re presented best when aged in a barrel, like sour/tart farmhouse saisons, lambics, etc. So please, count me in as a fan of barrel aged beer, but understand that comes with its caveats.

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Fourteen Stone Drinking Crew #3

Another great get together with the crew, with some of our recent hauls, some beers Richard brought back from his trip to Seattle and Bill’s birthday beers. This was our first tasting since I finally cleaned up the basement enough to have some beers down there. I have a few stools, a nice 8 foot kitchen prep table I’m using as a makeshift “bar”. The beer cellar is repaired, we’ve got this nice water jug/dump bucket system going (although I really want to get a glass rinser but I don’t think that is in the cards for a while) and I should have a couple more glass racks installed in the ceiling by week’s end. Plus the card table, surround sound system, and the dart board that folds into the ceiling I’ve had for a while now. I’m pretty happy with how the man cave “tasting room” is shaping up.

So after a pretty successful night of running around with Mike, we went back to Chez Fuj and met up with the rest of the guys and a couple of friends of Bill’s from NJ. The lineup for the night:

  • Tsunami Stout by The Pelican Pub & Brewery
  • Madame Rose (2012) by Goose Island Beer Co.
  • The Cowboy by Evil Twin Brewing – pretty much locks in my hatred of smoked beers
  • Oude Tart by The Bruery – delish, like all Bruery sours
  • Meadowlark IPA by Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project – absolutely fantastic. Glad Bill brought this one to share, been meaning to try it for a while/
  • Curieux by Allagash Brewing Company – long time fave since first having it back in May. Richard hadn’t had it yet so I broke this one out from my Birthday Beers from Elise.
  • Hop 15 Ale by Port Brewing Company
  • Horny Devil by AleSmith Brewing Company – meh. Other than Speedway Stout and their IPAs not much has impressed me from AleSmith.
  • Survival 7-Grain Stout by Hopworks Urban Brewery – very solid, just like the IPA goofybear sent me
  • Sled Dog Trippelbock by Wagner Valley Brewing Company
  • Beer Hop Breakfast by Mikkeller
  • Black Hole Barrel Aged Bourbon by Mikkeller
  • Femme Fatale Brett by Evil Twin Brewing – Can’t get enough of this beer, really. Evil twin is killing it.
  • Rye Hopper Ale by French Broad Brewing Co.
  • Declaration by Backlash Beer Company
  • Fat Scotch Ale by Silver City Brewing Co. – Dave’s 500th unique Untappd beer
  • Tripel Threat by Cambridge Brewing Co.
  • Luscious by The Alchemist Pub & Brewery – my 500th unique Untappd beer
  • Head Hunter IPA by Fat Head’s Brewery
  • Winema Wit by The Pelican Pub & Brewery (Oregon)
  • Gandhi-Bot by New England Brewing Co.
  • Vampire Slayer by Clown Shoes
  • Aphrodisiaque by Brasserie Dieu du Ciel
  • Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewery

Other than Luscious, which we only incidentally opened because of Untappd, I don’t think any beer stood out as the clear “best beer of the night” or anything. A lot of really solid beers here, of all different types so it’s tough to compare. Fat Head’s never ceases to surprise me with that IPA, same with that Meadowlark. Black Butte was great, as was Curieux, Oude Tart and Madame Rose. No complaints here.

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Richard acting a damn fool.

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Dave showcasing pretty much how everyone felt by the end of the night morning.

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Beer Delivery from Hawaii and Decicco’s

- My buddy Chris was in town and called me up to see if I was in for drink. When am I not?? He showed up with some goodies from his travels in Hawaii (where his fiancée resides and his future nuptials are) and some things he picked up from Decicco’s on his way up to the Capital District. I pulled out some stuff from my recent MA trip, birthday beers from Elise, and since I’ll be at Hill Farmstead this weekend for the Harvest Festival, the Everett I’ve been saving since our trip there over the summer.

A night of having a couple of beers quickly turned into an all-nighter, watching an entire season of Archer, eating an entire 10-cut pizza from Inferno, staying up until 2:30AM and showing up two hours late to work next day. Whoops. Totally worth it, though, as it’s not often I get a chance to catch up with Chris.

As for the beers that day:

  • Galaxy White IPA – Anchorage Brewing Company
  • CoCoNut PorTeR – Maui Brewing Co.
  • Everett – Hill Farmstead Brewery
  • Sobrehumano Palena ‘ole – Maui Brewing Co.
  • Slumbrew Trekker Triple – Somerville Brewing Company
  • Gandhi-Bot – New England Brewing Co.
  • Mischief – The Bruery
  • Imperial India Pale Ale – Green Flash Brewing Co.

I was actually really impressed with the stuff from Maui. I’m NOT a huge fan of most of the stuff we have available from Kona (but I’m sure their other stuff is great) so I was pretty happy the beers from Maui delivered. The porter had a tough time standing up next to Everett (one of the best porters in the world in my opinion) but it was great and not something I’m used to expecting from a can. Even the Sobrehumano had this flavor going on with it that just BEGGED to be sour, of which Jolly Pumpkin does and is fairly well rated. I gotta keep my eyes out for that. Lastly the Trekker Triple really surprised me. I’ve been pretty bored of Belgians lately (well, maybe just bored of Ommegang’s yeast strain) and I thought it was really solid. I’ve been happy with all of the beers from my haul from MA and I’m going to start making my way out there for my next couple of hauls.

Anyways, on to what you guys are really here for, beer porn!

Fried Chicken Night at The Meat Market

After seeing The Meat Market in Great Barrington on Alec Lopez’s Facebook page and checking out some of their completely wild pictures I knew I needed to make a visit. It was an absolutely beautiful day out and we were looking for the perfect place to sit outside with some grub and the pooch. I headed on over to The Meat Market’s Facebook page and asked if they were Kuma friendly. They said they were dog-lovers and he was absolutely welcome. I knew we were going to dinner that night!

As you can see they have a pretty unique way of frying their chickens (in lard, mind you. None of this “oil” bullshit). They heat their cauldrons with smoking hot coals of burning wood, and they say they’ll even “burn a hole in your yard” and do the same thing for catering at your home. I can get down with that. 

I unfortunately missed out on the lard-fried doughnuts. But damn did they look delicious.

As this is primarily a meat market I had to go inside and take a look at what they had to offer. I have to say if I lived in Great Barrington I’d be all over this joint. The selection looks fantastic and I really like what they’re doing with the place. Some of the events they hold look absolutely fantastic (I’m looking at you “Pig’s Head Three Ways”)

I had the bag cooler in the car with a few beers and my always handy Southern Tier tasting glasses we picked up at their tour (they hold 12 ounces and are perfect for drinking on the go). We broke out some New England Brewing Co. Gandhi Bot leftover from the half case I got at the last Doom Saloon tasting and some Brouwerij Lindemans Kriek which was honestly waaaaay to sweet for me. Even Elise wasn’t feeling it.

It took a while (granted, they had sold out of chicken and we showed up during the last hour of their dinner service) but the chicken finally came out; it was god damn delicious. The batter they’ve made creates a nice crispy crunch on the outside, with thin layer of almost fried dough consistency on the inside before getting to some seriously juicy chicken. It was absolutely fantastic.

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The Meat Market (link) | 389 Stockbridge Rd. Great Barrington, MA (map) | All The Meat Market Posts

August Doom Saloon Tasting Part Duex

After hammering the IPAs we moved on to a random mish mash or whatever else was brought including some gems like Brute, Hops and Roses, and everyone’s favorite whale: Bud Light Lime-A-Rita!

Bud Light Lime-A-Rita

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IPA Tasting at the Doom Saloon

Pretty solid lineup at the Doom Saloon this month. Heavy focus on IPAs at the beginning of the night, followed up by a couple of sours, barrel-aged stuff and some other randoms. Let’s talk about the IPAs/APAs first. The lineup:

  • Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary
  • The Alchemist Heady Topper
  • Surly Furious
  • New England Brewing Co. Gandhi Bot
  • Russian River Pliny the Elder
  • Russian River Row 2/Hill 56
  • Chatham Brewing 8 Barrel Bourbon

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StoutFest at Armsby Abbey


All I can say is “WOW”. This place really impressed me. Even if Armsby Abbey didn’t have an incredible selection of stouts on tap I would have walked away with the same feeling. The stouts were just icing on the cake.

I couldn’t possible try all of the food and beers they had on tap for StoutFest but what I did try were impeccable. Here’s the skinny:

The Brews:


The Eats:

  • Breakfast Slate – Point and Ryes Blue and House Smoked Chevre from Crystal Brook Farm served with local Wildflower Honey from Honey, Etc., Housemade Breads, Cultured Butter from Vermont, House made Preserves and House Roasted Peanut Butter.
  • Hash – Adams Farm Braised Chuck, Carrots and Spring Ramps, Spring Onion, Soubise, 145 degree Local organic Eggs from Gibson’s Dairy Farm, Currant Gastrique
  • Bacon – Thick slices of our House Cured and Smoked Bacon made with Heritage Pork Belly from Adams Farm

Let’s get the beer out of the way: we didn’t have a bad beer here. I’m pretty sure all of them are rated 90 or above anyway, some creeping up to or at 100. I actually have all three of the Founders Breakfast Stouts in my cellar, I’ve just been waiting for the right day to crack them open and share with friends (need some more FBS and KBS before that happens). Since those beers are sitting in my cellar, I haven’t actually tried any of them and StoutFest was my first time enjoying them.

I’m not going to review every beer we had at StoutFest, but I will talk a little bit about the Founders beers as that was the main draw for me to travel to Worcester for the event. These beers are fantastic. FBS is your typical Imperial Coffee Stout. And by typical I mean awesome. Extremely drinkable with plenty of coffee and chocolate notes. KBS tastes like someone dumped a bottle of bourbon into a keg of FBS (some may think the bourbon flavor is too much, but I loved it). The CBS is very similar to KBS but with the bourbon flavor cut down a bit, a lot more creaminess and some molasses/vanilla sweetness picking up where the bourbon left off. Way more drinkable than the KBS in my opinion and the best beer of the day.

Now let’s talk about the food. We ate breakfast at a place called Mrs. Murphy’s in Southwick, MA as it was right around the corner from my latest Craiglist steal. (The Boston Cream doughnuts are on par with Balla Napoli.) Anyways, we weren’t that hungry but there was no way we weren’t going to grab some food at Armsby Abbey while we were all the way out there.

We waited until after we ordered our second flight to order something. Bacon was a must because seriously the cure and smoke it in house. How could I not order it? Elise wanted the cheese board, which when I saw the description looked pretty skimpy but when it came out I was impressed. Everything on the slate was delicious. The hash was definitely the fancy-pants-iest hash I’ve ever seen, and while I do generally like comfort food like hash un-fucked-with, the chef’s interpretation of this dish was great and it worked extremely well overall.

My experience at Armsby Abbey was pretty amazing. Food rocked. Beers were awesome. Place looks fantastic. Even has some outside dining we didn’t get a chance to take advantage of, but will. Please give me another excuse to drive all the way out to Worcester again and then take all of my money. Thank you.