allston beer


beer in allston/brighton, brookline, and elsewhere

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

12 oz bottle poured into 20oz nonic pint; bought from the cooler but set out for 2-3 hours before drinking.

The stout is inky black with medium-dark head. It stands tall and proud for a bit before receding some. Its lacing is a bit sticky. Smells mostly roasty. Taste is also roasty but chocolatey. Feel wise, it’s nicely carbonated but isn’t as thick as I might expect a beer of its stature to be. This beer is hot! Warming. BCS gets easier and easier to drink as I continue down the glass, but it will have its way with me if I have more. I’m sure this is a good candidate for cellaring, but its too delicious to leave alone for long.

I really need to get a camera for these reviews. A glass of beer is a beautiful thing to behold, even (or especially) if no light can pass through it.

Filed under: reviews, , ,

Pretty Things Babayaga

I was very excited to see Babayaga on the tap list at Sunset Grill last night. It is the first winter seasonal from Pretty Things. It is a complex stout worth seeking. I hope to snag a bottle when they become available. Look for a review here.

See this link for a look at the label. Keep an eye out for it later this month.

Filed under: what's on tap, ,

Quercus Vitis Humulus

Otter Creek Quercus Vitis HumulusI finally got to try the new beer from Otter Creek – Quercus Vitis Humuls (Oak Grape Hop) – on tap at Sunset Grill. Unfortunately I ordered a big DIPA right before so I can’t write up an accurate review. I will say that it was extremely complex and definitely worth trying. On first sip I got big notes of oak and hops. Further into the glass, it was mostly grape & hop flavors. Barleywine might not be the best category to put this beer into, but what else could you call it?

When I can get my hands on a bottle I’ll post a real review.

Filed under: reviews, what's on tap, ,

BBF09 Notes

We went through a lot of corks & cages at the De Proef table

We went through a lot of corks & cages at the De Proef table

Can’t believe I haven’t written about the Belgian Beer Fest yet. Personally, this fest was a huge improvement over the ACBF. Back in June I was taking a corticosteroid to treat my tendonitis, and had to keep alcohol intake to a minimum. No more dexamethasone for me, so I was able to indulge freely, while of course acknowledging my limit. I have a detailed list of everything I sampled, but it’s on my Blackberry which unfortunately suffered a run through the washing machine.

Over the weekend I poured beer for The Bruery, De Proef, Artisinal Imports, and Merchant du Vin. Each of these tables had fantastic stuff. I was most excited, however, to try anything from White Birch Brewing. Their highlights included a barrel aged & served saison and a rye whiskey aged triple. Unfortunately they are only distributed in New Hampshire (for now).

Everything about the fest was gold – staff, volunteers, brewers, and patrons were all awesome. Tickets for the Extreme Beer Fest & Night of the Barrels should be available soon



Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Looking for a place to open a brewery?

My dad, the mayor of Greenwich, NY (pronounced GREEN-wich), just blogged asking for someone to open a brewery in the village. He outlines why Greenwich wants a brewery to set up shop (jobs, agriculture, tourism). There are some potentially great locations around town that could certainly fit the bill.

Greenwich isn’t far from Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, or Albany, New York. Manchester, Vermont is just over the border. If you find yourself there, One One One makes the best food in town.

Filed under: Uncategorized

The Return of the Belgian Beer Fest 2009

BeerAdvocate’s sold out The Return of the Belgian Beer Fest is this weekend, and the beer list is as impressive as any that I’ve seen. There are well over 100 beers being served the entire weekend, but I’ll try to pick out a handful that I’m especially looking forward to trying:

Night of the Funk:

  • Brooklyn Brewery Wild 1 — Barrel aged & Brett infused version of their Local 1
  • Cambridge Brewing Company Om — “Strong Belgian golden ale aged in Frech oak chardonnay barrels for 1 year, vibrated weekly at 136Hz with tuning forks and Tibetan chanting bowls”
  • White Birch Brewing Wild Ale — “Golden ale aged on the dregs of a wild ale fermented w/ two strains of brett & chardonnay soaked oak chips.” This one will only be available for NotF

Friday night also features a discussion panel on “funk” moderated by Andy Crouch, and featuring Rob Tod of Allagash, Will Meyers of Cambridge Brewing Company, David Yarrington of Smuttynose, Mike McManus of Ommegang, and Tomme Arthur of The Lost Abbey.


  • Ommegang Adoration — Their new winter seasonal strong dark ale
  • Harpoon Brewery Hophop — A hoppy Belgian ale
  • Pretty Things Jack D’Or — A very unique saison. I’ve had this before but I can’t get enough of it.

Saturday’s first session also features a discussion panel moderated by Andy Crouch. The guest speakers include Dann Paquette of Pretty Things, Jason Perkins of Allagash, M. François de Harenne of Orval, Mike McManus of Ommegang, Patrick Rue of The Bruery, and Megan Parisi of CBC.

And of course, plenty of awesome food from Sunset Grill and waffles from Waffle Cabin.

Filed under: events

“And justice to all… with the deepest pockets”

BeerAdvocate and Twitter are ablaze after it was revealed that small Vermont brewery Rock Art was issued a cease and desist letter by Hansen Beverage, the company who owns and markets Monster Energy. Hansen claims that Rock Art’s barleywine ‘Vermonster” will lead to confusion in the marketplace. Can you tell the difference?

Founder and brewmaster Matt Nadeau tells his side of the story:

Filed under: news

Brooklyn Manhattan Project

Last night my roommates and I went to the Sunset Grill for food and drink. For the first round I got Brooklyn Brewery’s limited release Manhattan Project. MP is Garret Oliver’s attempt to brew the beer version of a Manhattan cocktail.

Malt: Malted Rye, Crystal Rye Malt, Canadian Two row pilsner malt, British Maris Otter

Hops: German Perle

Other sugars: Caramel syrup, brewer’s sugar, Organic cherry juice

Other Herbs/spices: Bitter Orange Peel, Sweet Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Gentian Root, Cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, cloves.

ABV: 7.5%

I’ve only had one actual Manhattan in my life but this beer definitely tasted like how I remembered it. So weird but highly drinkable. Served in their standard 13oz tulip glass right to the brim. Sunset doesn’t seem to be pouring their beers with any head lately. When I got halfway through the glass I was able to swirl it enough to get a decent head going. I’ve been sick so I really needed that to get any aroma out of it. The predominant things I noted in the beer were the cherry and rye whiskey flavors. The brew was partially aged in 100-proof barrels, and you can tell.

It also paired very well with our food — I had a cheese pizza with goat cheese. My friend also got the beer, and said it went well with his swordfish sandwich. The beer had enough presence and complexity to hold its own but didn’t overshadow my pizza. Win. Hopefully Brooklyn will do another run of this beer in the future.

For round two I wanted something hoppy, and Avery’s Maharaja delivered. Again, dinky 13oz tulip glass with no head. This beer is like a citrus hop overload. It’s not necessarily as bitter as other double IPAs but the hop presence was magnificent.

Filed under: reviews

New & Notable Drafts

The first in a daily or near-daily update of what’s on tap around A/B.

Deep Ellum (as of 10/11/09):

  • Mayflower Pale Ale (cask) – $6
  • Cambridge Brewing Great Pumpkin Ale – $5.50
  • Brouweij van Steenberge Monk’s Cafe – $8 (10oz)
  • Duvel Green – $8 (10oz)
  • Hofstetten Brauerei Hochzeitsbier von 1810 – $8.50 (0.4L)

Sunset Grill (as of 10/07/09):

  • Allagash Black (cask) – $7.50 (13oz)
  • Duvel Green – $7.99 (13oz)
  • Cambridge Brewing Nom de Plum – $5.99 (13oz)
  • Pizza Port Panzer Imperial Pilsner – $7.99 (13oz)
  • Brooklyn Manhattan Project – $6.99 (13oz)

Common Ground

  • Unibroue Maudite
  • Stone Arrogant Bastard
  • Smuttynose IPA

Filed under: what's on tap

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