Salem Community Patriot | February 17, 2012 - 3 Craft Beer Chronicles
and its pleasant yet subtle hints of nutmeg. This pale and thin ale is tough to take. Noted craft brew expert Dave Dalton of the Grill Next Door in Haverhill, MA, tells me that one of the Shipyard sales reps swears Applehead is based on the same recipe as Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead, obviously with apple substituted for the pumpkin but I’m skeptical as I enjoy Pumpkinhead. In any event, I’m seeing Applehead everywhere in my travels and wanted to pass along my thoughts before you make the same mistake I did and pick up a six pack. (PS: still five left in my fridge). Baxter’s Stowaway IPA Speaking of my friend Dave Dalton, on one of
by Peter Rayno As some of you may be aware, I’ve written this column for the last several years for a small monthly publication and when I recently made the move to the Area News Group family of newspapers and its circulation of nearly 40,000 papers I was ready for an extensive amount of feedback from readers and craft brew fans. Well not surprisingly it didn’t take long to hear from one loyal reader who was good enough to share with me an amazing and hilarious experience, which, even if I write this column for another 10 years, may never be matched. Craft brew fan Paul L. from Salem wrote me recently as follows in an e-mail he entitled “true story” … Hi Peter, about a month ago I was online filling out a form for my doctor to streamline the process of admitting. I was having a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA at the time. My sinus headache was killing me while I was doing it, I’m guessing from the hops. Anyway when I came to the allergy part of the form, I put down “Lactose” and “Microbrews.” A month goes by and I’m on the table at the doctor’s for a routine procedure when the nurse starts reading to the doctor what’s on my medical chart while he’s prepping. She says with a chuckle, “Micro Brews?,” her voice rising at the end of the sentence. I had forgotten all about my listing that on the online form and we all
had a good laugh together. The anesthesiologist did too. Here is a picture of the wrist band they gave me. I enjoy reading your column and I too also travel to brew pubs as a destination (on my motorcycle though). Keep up the good work. Paul L. of Salem. I almost fell over when Paul’s e-mail arrived, presumably both from his story as well as his having the presence of mind to snap a photo of the medical wristband, which I’m sharing with you. I’m guessing Paul has battled through this debilitating allergy successfully and many props to him not only for being a fan of the Craft Brew Chronicles, but for his choice of drinking a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, a powerhouse 9.00% ABV IPA and a personal favorite of yours truly from the Dogfish Head folks of Delaware. And now, onto this month’s notes from the past month. Shipyard Applehead
Its not often that I come down hard on a craft brew and what makes doing so especially painful in this case is that I am a fan of the Shipyard stable of products, whether in bottles at your local store or on tap at ale houses or, better yet, at Shipyard’s own “Federal Jack’s” in Kennebunk, ME. But Applehead is a disaster in my opinion, overly carbonated and overly sweet with a flavor distantly reminiscent of Harpoon’s Winter Warmer
my recent visits to the Grill Next Door (additional shameless plug), Dave passed along a sample of this amazing offering from the folks at Baxter Brewing Company of Lewiston, ME. Stop me if you’ve heard this before but my favorite craft beers by far are IPAs, or more formally, India Pale Ales. Crisp and hoppy, to me IPAs are the perfect craft brew. Dave Dalton knew this when he put a sample of the Baxter’s Stowaway in front of me and I was hooked. The very epitome of a perfect IPA, a deep gold in color, a rich cream colored head clinging to the glass with each sip, this IPA was booming with hops and finished sharp and crisp. However avoiding the mistake made by many craft brewers who tend to overload the hops, the folks at Baxter’s go right to the limit with this 6.9% ABV in the level of hoppiness, not overdoing it and thus making this IPA a true session beer. A terrific suggestion as always from Dave and be sure to swing by and say hello to him at the Grill Next Door on Route 97 in Haverhill. Sam Adams Boston Brick Red Have you heard of this brew from Jim Koch and the folks at Sam Adams? On a recent trip into Boston, MA, we stopped at one of my favorite
for 4 col.
Faneuil Hall area haunts, the Green Dragon. The history buff in me loves the place as it is allegedly where the patriot/conspirators gathered to plan the Boston Tea Party. Truth or legend? Who knows but it adds to the atmosphere in a big way. The Green Dragon is also a cozy pub, never quite as packed as its neighbors like the Bell in Hand and Purple Shamrock. As I settled on a bar stool examining the tap handles I noticed the unfamiliar handle for the Boston Brick Red. The helpful barkeep tells me that the stuff is available only on tap and only in Boston pubs within close proximity of the Freedom Trail. Not sure how accurate that was but it certainly was too good a story to pass up so I ordered one up. Nothing overly special, a solid Irish Red Ale, comparable to the most common mega brew staple of the genre, Killian’s Irish Red, in that it’s a smooth, drinkable and lightly hoppy ale. The malts come through but there’s nothing overpowering nor overly memorable about the beer. However, as I’ve written in the past, there are certain beers that just taste better depending on the surroundings in which you’re enjoying it. And that shouldn’t be discounted. For example, an Old Style Beer at Wrigley Field tastes infinitely better than if you were drinking it in your living room. Ditto for the Sam Adams Boston Red Brick enjoyed while in a Colonial era pub along the Freedom Trail. So if you’re in the area and see it on tap, don’t hesitate to order it. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks for reading. We’ll be back in about a month with a new installment of the Craft Beer Chronicles. And remember that comments and suggestions are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Finally, please be sure to enjoy all these awesome craft brews responsibly.
Te “Allergy Alert” wrist band given by medical staff to Paul L.
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