A few of us had the day off on Monday so some of the Team got together to finish packing up the rest of the beer and swag to send out to our Gang Bang targets. Some lucky sons of bitches are going to be receiving these bad boys sometime next week, with another box of fresh IPAs coming along a week before their bang date next month. Continue reading →
Team Upstate NY already had a tasting planned for this weekend so it only made sense for us to get some preliminary packing out of the way while we continue to collect the last few of our bottles and swag. No traveling necessary for team members this time around unlike the bang in Buffalo for Round 2 and Team New England for Round 3.
Had a nice little drive out to Mass this weekend to check out how some of my favorite breweries and butcher are doing. A way too short visit to Tree House’s new location in Monson, followed by my first stop at Trillium, picking up some growlers and the last of the Barrel Society bottles at Night Shift then rounding out the trip with SausageFest at The Meat Market, all before getting home in time for AJ’s 30th birthday. Let’s dive into the pics shall we?
Michael Oxton, Robert Burns, and Michael O’Mara of Night Shift Brewing
Last Saturday night we braved the elements to head to Night Shift Brewing for the party to celebrate the culmination of the their 2013 Barrel Society. For those not in the know, the Night Shift Barrel Society includes the party, tekus, shirts, first rights to the next year’s membership and of course some exclusive barrel aged beers available only to members. The beers range from wine barrel aged Belgian Double IPAs to golden ales with pineapple and Brett and a few other iterations in between. The Barrel Society party debuted the last two beers to be released for this year.
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.
It was nice to finally get together with some of the Albany-Area BAs this weekend. It’s good to know there are some like-minded (and likely sick, twisted) individuals in the area who are into beer traveling and trading like myself. Nothing too crazy last night, just a great lineup of beers and some killer chicken from Ross. And now, on to the beer porn!
So yesterday was one of those trips that started as a small, innocent beer run over to to Night Shift to pick up Elise’s Barrel Society bottles and the newly released Mainer Weisse (one of our absolute favorite beers of 2012). And then I said to myself “Well… Blue lobster still has bottles of their Berliner and and their Prairie collab on shelves, couldn’t hurt to swing up there while I’m at it”. It still didn’t seem too bad of a day at that point. But then the hits kept coming. Allagash decided to release a new Coolship beer. Jack’s Abby unleashes Baby Maker. And the the big one: Hill Farmstead was finally putting CD7 on the shelves. That was the one that threw me for the biggest loop since while the others were almost on the route back home from Allagash, Hill Farmstead was 3.5 hours out of the way. Still, I had to try to work it into my day.
Just a short couple of days in Vermont on our last trip but we made the most of it while we could. We stayed at Elise’s favorite state park, Mount Philo, again and lucked out with the weather the whole weekend.