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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Lunch at Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum

– I had a short 40ish hours to spend in Boston for my Belgian Beer Fest weekend and I wanted to make the most of it. I had a few stops in mind, but volunteering for the set up, night session and cleanup for Night of the Funk meant my time on Friday had to be spent wisely. Deep Ellum was one of the few places on my list that was actually open for lunch on Fridays so after an early check in to my hotel I made my way there.

Daytime street parking was a bitch and a half but the frustration was well worth it. The outside was your typical brick and mortar store front with a fairly nondescript sign overhanging the entrance, but the front door opened up to magnificence.

The first thing you notice (at least in the daytime) is the big beautiful skylight that brings in absolutely perfect natural lighting onto the bar (which I drooled about in my teaser post), topped with some surrounding belt-driven ceiling fans strattled by bar seating on your left and half bench, half chair seating on your right.

I quickly looked over the draft menu to see there was something for every type of beer nerd, for the localvores with plenty of beers from High and Mighty, Pretty Things, and Idle hands, to the hopheads with Green Flash’s West Coast IPA and Stone’s 16th Anniversary (which still hasn’t hit the Capital District yet), to the sour fans all of whom would be in town for that night’s festival.

I’ll admit, I’m used to drinking with friends and splitting various bottles throughout the night, and I’m a bit spoiled lately in being able to get small pours at both The Ruck and The Bier Abbey. So it was a little bit of a let down to be limited to strict glass sizing and not be able to try as many of the beers as I would have liked to from such a great beer menu. That didn’t stop me from having a few before heading to the Cyclorama, though:

  • Strawberry Short Weiss – Smuttynose Brewing Co.
  • Baby Tree – Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
  • Collaboration No. 3: Stingo – Boulevard Brewing Co.

Of course I needed some eats to go with all of that beer and anything that reads “house-made sausage” I’m all over, especially when it claims to be “The Best Wurst Appetizer”. The sausage was phenomenal, with the perfectly paired mustard and great pickled carrots, snap peas, and cauliflower (which given it’s fairly neutral flavor made the pickling brine POP in a way I really loved).

Deep Ellum was absolutely fantastic and will definitely be on my radar the next time I’m in Beantown. I was planning on sticking around sipping on beers the rest of the afternoon until it was time to head to Night of the Funk, but then I saw this message on Lord Hobo’s facebook page:

I immediately got out of my seat and headed over. There was a nice Vermont surprise when I got there, too.

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project – Saint Botolph’s Town

Might as well drink a Saint Botolph’s Town while watching how it’s made. Fucking phenomenal beer, btw.

Bottled in Feb of this year. Pours a beautiful dark brown color with a huge tan head and a ton of lacing on the glass. Has a nice malty and nutty aroma with some toasty notes and a slight bit of sweetness. Roasted malts and some nutty, caramel flavor. Maybe a bit of medium roast coffee, too. Medium bodied creaminess, low carbonation on the mouthfeel. Overall, the best brown ale I’ve ever had.

Drink this NOW! 

West Springfield, MA: Beer Run at Table and Vine [Beer]

Knew I had to hit up Table & Vine on the way home from Worcester today. I’ve heard plenty about it from friends and BAers alike. This place is dangerous for my wallet! Didn’t pick up anything too fancy but they have plenty here I haven’t picked up yet locally or just can’t get here in general. Prices are very reasonable.

Today’s Payload (from left to right):

  • Dogfish Head – Saison Du Buff
  • Victory Brewing Company – Saison Du Buff (going to hold on to both of these until I get the Stone and drink all together)
  • Sierra Nevada – Hoptimum
  • Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project – Saint Botolph’s Town
  • Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project – Fluffy White Rabbits
  • Firestone Walker – Sucaba
  • Allagash – Allagash Curieux (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel)
  • Left Hand Brewing Co. – Nitro Milk Stout