6 - December 16, 2011 | Salem Community Patriot Craft Beer Chronicles The Area News Group is excited to
introduce a new contributor to our newspaper group. Peter Rayno has agreed to share his experience with Craft Beers with you. The column will appear monthly in your community paper. Please let me, firstname.lastname@example.org
, or Peter, email@example.com
, know how you like his column. – Len Lathrop, Publisher
Craft Beer Chronicles
by Peter Rayno It’s a real pleasure to welcome readers to the inaugural edition of the Craft Brew Chronicles, a review of all things within the craft brewing world. I intend this once a month piece to be equal parts a review of the region’s fine craft beers and the places that sell and brew them, with opinion and hopefully some humor blended in. I write on the topic not as an educated expert nor as a home brewer but rather as someone who occasionally enjoys a finely crafted ale, lager or other type of brew. That’s my diversion. Others golf, others fish, others garden but for me, researching and writing about craft beers is my diversion which, in retrospect, helps explain my numerous failed attempts at a plush lawn as well as my 25-plus handicap on the links. One other thing by way of background. For the past several years I’ve written a similar column for a free local monthly paper available in restaurants, banks and other such places, randomly scattered about Southern New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley. I enjoyed that experience thoroughly but have to confess that I always wondered how many folks might be out there reading. To be able to now write for the papers of the Area News Group, with delivery to nearly 40,000 homes in Southern New Hampshire, is exciting and humbling all at once. You’ll get my best each and every month. So why the interest in craft beers? Well, like so many others who enjoy a well built
beer, I suffered through the dark ages of the Budweiser, Miller, Coors, Stroh’s world domination of the brewing industry. All brands of bland, all tasting the same or, at best, within minimal and untraceable differences among each other. I always cracked up at friends who claimed they could taste the difference between the flavorless offerings of these Goliath-like brewers. Sure, just like I can taste the difference between a bottle of Poland Springs and Dasani. Again, back in the days before craft beers were widely available as they are today, much of the buying public made their purchasing decisions based on who had the catchiest ad campaign at the time. Who can forget those classic ad campaigns of the 1980s? Miller’s “Tastes Great, Less Filling” mind numbing media blitz comes to mind along with Bud’s “Spuds McKenzie, the Ultimate Party Animal” campaign that dressed up what appeared to be a sedated pit bull in a Hawaiian shirt surrounded by a jiggle fest of young ladies. Of course. Perfectly rationale reason to decide which beer to buy. As for me, it was simple. My cart was filled depending which of these crummy beers was on sale at the time. In all honesty, if you wanted anything different in terms of taste or quality in your beers you had only the option of imports such as Lowenbrau, St. Pauli Girl, Heineken, Guinness, Molson, etc. Absolutely no options in terms of domestics. But then in the latter half of the decade of the 1980s the clouds parted, the black- and-white film turned to color and the domestic craft brew industry was born. In a future article I’ll write of how the revolution was started, with much of its roots right here in New England by the way, but for now we’ll leave it with the fact that due to the courage and creativity of craft brew entrepreneurs such as Jim Koch of Sam Adams, Alan Pugsley of Shipyard, Pete Slosberg of the now departed Pete’s Wicked among others, discriminating beer drinkers now had real choices. Courage because they had the guts to take on the heavy handed distribution-blocking tactics of the beer giants and creativity to come up with the high quality and flavorful brews that they have developed. The result? We are now in the fourth decade of a domestic brewing renaissance which has seen the United States take the lead in brewing the finest beers in the world. Period.
clarification before I move onto a review. I keep
using the phrase “craft brew or craft beer” as opposed to “microbrew.” It’s for a simple reason actually.
I’ve found over
the years that those involved in the craft brew industry generally despise the term “microbrew.” The work that goes into developing the fine brews we’ve come to enjoy from our brewpubs and ale houses really does render the process a craft and for that reason, the phrase craft brewing is the preferred moniker. The best part of bringing this column to
you, however, is to share with you some insights into the craft beers I’ve had the pleasure of sampling. And on a recent trip to one of my favorite spots, the Portsmouth Brewery on Market Street in Portsmouth, I discovered an exceptional craft beer that is worth trying out. First off, Christmastime is always a great time to visit the port city. A trip to the coast isn’t complete without stopping into the Brewery. The Portsmouth Brewery is a brewpub in the literal sense as it brews its own offerings on premises and sells there as well. In addition, you’ll find on tap the craft beers of its sister company, Smuttynose Brewing, both owned by one of New England’s craft beer icons, Peter Egelston. I’ll go into my visit in more detail in a future column but briefly wanted to share with you the pleasure I had of sampling an amazing seasonal brew, Portsmouth’s Winter Weizen. A weizen is a brew which is heavy on
wheat and barley in the brewing process, often unfiltered which leaves a cloudy appearance but greatly enhances the flavor. This amber colored 6.00 percent ABV brew was a hands-down winner with a unique flavor, almost hints of banana, running throughout. The Winter Weizen was extremely drinkable, a session beer we’d call it meaning you could actually have more than one without being bowled over by an overbearing taste or alcohol content. Simply put, one of the finest craft beers I’ve sampled in some time. My advice? Get to Portsmouth for a visit during the Holidays, stop into the Portsmouth Brewery, and give this fine brew a try. You’ll be very happy. Thanks for reading and comments and suggestions are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Finally, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Be sure to celebrate the Holidays with a fine domestic craft beer, preferably from one of our local establishments but always do so responsibly.
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Brownie Troop’s Fundraising Efforts Benefit Salem Animal Rescue League
for 3 col.
for 4 col.
From the left (back row), Adeline, Cassie, Reagan, Nora, Molly; (front row) Shelden, Emily, Morgan, Samantha, Jacqueline
submitted by Jill McNamee On Wednesday, December 9, Windham Brownie Troop 10181 visited the Salem Animal Rescue League (SARL) to deliver goodies for the animals housed there. This was the end result of a yearlong quarter collecting campaign within their troop, where the girls earned quarters at home for acting out the Girl Scout Law and then brought them to the troop meetings. At the end of the year the girls voted on where they would like to donate their proceeds and SARL won by a unanimous vote! Additionally, the troop ran the pie table at Windham’s Harvest Festival in October and voted to donate all proceeds from that to the animal shelter as well. The girls were able to purchase over $200 worth of dog and cat food, kitty litter, toys, collars/leashes, food and water bowls, as well as shelter necessities such as dishwasher detergent, bleach, paper towels, and trash bags!
Girl Scout Caroling
submitted by Shelley Chase Cadet Troop 10461 and Daisy Troop 11006 along with leader Hilary Stevens joined voices at D’Youville Life & Wellness Community in Lowell, MA, Sunday, December 11, to sing Christmas carols to the residents. The girls were dressed in holiday attire and strolled the halls to spread some holiday cheer.
Rotary Club Guest Speaker Peter Bragdon
by S. Aaron Shamshoyan
New Hampshire Senate President Peter Bragdon spoke to Rotarians regarding the lack of a national infrastructure plan. As Co-Chair of Building America’s Future New Hampshire,
4/15/08 2:38:14 PM
Bragdon said his organization is working to promote awareness of issues facing the country. He said he wants to “Raise the profile and the priority of infrastructure.” “In the Salem area, roads are a critical subject,” said Bragdon, adding infrastructure also includes airports, seaports, and communications in the form of broadband, and energy transmissions. “The problems at the national level are really affecting what’s happening in state.” Originally designed to move goods throughout the country, Bragdon said highways were the last national infrastructure plan created, and that New Hampshire exports $38 billion worth of goods via highways annually. Bragdon also said good infrastructure helps companies make jobs.
Senate President Peter Bragdon and Rotary Club’s Peter Rayno
“It’s successful companies that hire people.” Bringing up problems with national infrastructure funding, he discredited how the government allocates federal dollars to communities who apply for grants. Bragdon said he would adopt a use it or lose it policy, where as now, allocated funds not used for a project remained tied up in the federal treasury. “When there’s no plan, the spending does not make sense.” By raising awareness, the Senate President said he hoped voters would bring issues to elected officials and question candidates.
A new reason to smile.
Advanced Dental Treatment in a Safe and Relaxing Environment
Monday – Wednesday 8 – 6, Thursday 8 – 7, Friday 8 – 6, Saturday by appointment
Gayla Levine, DDS
Located in the Village Green on Route 111 33 Indian Rock Road, Windham, NH
Staff photo by S. Aaron Shamshoyan
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