Monday, April 28, 2014

Plan B(irthday)

It's that time of year again, I am another beer older and another Bud wiser, so I decided to celebrate my birthday at Plan B in Milford. Beer and burgers, how could I go wrong?

Our friendly server was Sam who, it just so happens, we had on a previous visit to Plan B.  She's fun and and we enjoyed having her deliver our beer and burgers once again.

The first order of business, literally, was getting beer of course. But I started the food fest off with hot wings, followed by a an "Italian Job" burger which was topped with pesto, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and sundried tomatoes, and ending up with honey nut pie. Yum!

They had several new-to-me brews on tap. I made some good calls.  There were no disappointments in the bunch!

Toxic Sludge (7% ABV) by Blue Point  is a Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale. The best beer I chose! Mostly because the keg kicked and I got it for free. What's better than free beer? Nothing.  Seriously, I love this style. It has the nice bitter bite of hops with wonderful dark roasty malts and caramelized sugars. A nice balance of flavors and very drinkable.

Goat Boy (7.5% ABV) by Southern Tier is a Weizenbock. Sweet malt and breadiness along with some spice and funk complement this hearty wheat beer. It's tasty and surprisingly drinkable.

Road Warrior (9% ABV) by Green Flash is an imperial IPA. Very hoppy all around. There are sweet malty undertones to provide some balance but this brew is a hop head's beer. I love it!

La Ferme Urbaine (7.8% ABV) by Foolproof is a Farmhouse Ale. Sweetly malty and grainy and, true to the style, it's a little funky. There's a gentle dose of spicy hops to add character and balance. If you enjoy a good saison, you'll like this one.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sacopee Pils

I figured I'd start this post out with maybe some interesting facts about the Sacopee Valley in New Hampshire. Apparently, there's not a whole heck of a lot going on there historically or otherwise because my searches came up with nothing much of any sort of interest. All I came up with was a Facebook page called Sacopee Valley  Memes. And this seems to be run by a bunch of teenie-boppers. There was, however, something of beer interest on their page. Sort of.

Uhm  . . . okaaaay.

Sacopee Pils (5.0%) brewed by Prodigal Brewery at Misty Mountain Farm.

It pours a cleaner golden yellow with a typical pilsner big floofy head that threatens to, if not succeeds in, over spilling.

The aroma is gently malty with a pleasant undertone of citrus and earthy hops.

The taste is crisp with a solid malt backbone. There are hints of citrus and yeast. It has a nice balance of flavors with only a mild taste of bitterness. The finish is clean and dry.

The mouth feel is light and effervescent.

Sacopee Pils is a good example of a classic pilsner. Refreshing, delicious, and easy drinking.

Overall: very good.

Friday, April 18, 2014


I always have a good time when I hang out at Two Roads brewery to enjoy a couple two/three beers.  So, I knew going into the tapping of the keg of Hizzoner in honor of his Honor the mayor that I knew that it would be a fun evening.

Little did I know that it was going to be a hoot and a half and then some!

We arrived early for the tapping of the bung hole in order to strategically place ourselves in proximity of the festivities. So did everyone else from every surrounding town, it seems. But we managed to score a tiny corner relatively close to the action.

Before I even had a chance to get situated, a big happy boisterous bald dude says (quite loudly) "Hey! Take our picture." So we did.

When he had moved off, I was like, "Who the f^ck was that??" 

Shrug.  Whatever. "Let's get some beer." I snagged a couple glasses of Road Jam.

It turns out the gentleman in question was a representative from Colonial Wholesale Beverage, the new distributor of Two Roads beer in Massachusetts. Apparently, Two Roads excels at making their guests happy. And this guy was very very  happy! Party on, Garth. Party on.

We were soon joined by our good friends who also came to enjoy the festivities. And the beer, of course.

After the raising and tapping of the keg . . .

Ben, Jim, & Pat (Colonial Wholesale Beverage)
. . . my newly aquired friend from Massachusetts made his way back to our not-so-quiet corner. We chatted about this, that, and the other thing - mostly about some woman's thighs and the fact that she smelled so good - when all of sudden he (the big happy boisterous bald dude who I later came to know as Pat) took a step back, his eyes grew to the size of saucers, and he was like, "WHOA!!!"  

Me, "What??"

Pat, "That guy behind you (pointing to my good buddy, Mark) is scary looking." Then he addressed Mark saying, "Dude, how many people have you killed."

Mark replied, without skipping a beat, "If I told you, I'd have to kill you." Mind you, Mark is the nicest, sweetest, cuddliest teddy-bear of a man you'll ever meet. But his hair was looking rather crazy that night. And his full fuzzy facial hair was rather shaggy, as well.

We all had a good laugh, but Pat remained wary.

Then there was the photo session. Hehe.

All in all, it was super fun time and I can't remember the last time I laughed so long and hard. It was awesome.

Oh, and that beer that we came to drink in honor of his Honor the mayor? That was pretty good, too!

Hizzöner (6.5% ABV) is a rich amber colored ale with light, bubbly head that lingers to cling to the glass leaving behind a nice layer of lacing.

The aroma is malty and hints at an underlying sweetness. The flavor of the beer is both richly malty and deceptively light tasting.  The sweetness of the malt is balanced nicely by the hops but there is very little bitterness to speak of.  

Hizzöner is indeed a smooth and delicious beer.  It is abundantly tasteful and dangerously quaffable. Indulge judiciously!

Overall: Excellent

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Peek Under the Clouds Beer Dinner

Two Roads hosted it's first ever beer dinner dubbed Peek Under the Clouds on April 15th. The menu consisted of five courses paired with a Two Roads brew. Three of those beers have yet to be released, so it was an exceptionally special treat for fans of the brewery; me being one of those happy folks.

All the brewery partners were present for the event and each took the time to mingle and speak with the attendees.

Our server for the evening was John. That man can serve up a mighty fine glass of beer and always with a smile!

As the evening progressed, each course and beer was described in turn by head brewer Phil Markowski and by the vendor providing the paired dish.

All-in-all, it was a wonderful evening. It was well executed and the food/beer pairings were excellent. I can't wait for the next one!

The first course was a yummy lobster slider made by Lobstercraft paired with Krazy Pucker.

Krazy Pucker (3.5% ABV) is a Berliner Weisse. Simply put it is a tart wheat beer. It has a sharp citrus, almost chardonnay-like aroma.  It is pleasantly sour, a little funky, and dry. This would be a perfect brew to enjoy on a hot summer day and the ideal companion beverage for the lobster slider. Delish!

The second course was a light and refreshing arugula salad topped with fresh sliced strawberries, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and dried cranberries that was dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The salad was paired with Road Jam.

Road Jam (5% ABV) a deep pink brew that smells and tastes like a mouth watering burst of fresh berries. It finishes crisp and dry.

The pairing with the salad was perfect.

The third course was an amazing local cheese sourced from Mystic Cheese served with salted watermelon jelly and whole grain crisps. The cheese platter was served with Urban Funk.

Urban funk (5.5% ABV) is an America wild ale. The yeast was captured locally after Hurricane Sandy.  It is bitingly sour, fruity but not sweet. Dry with a hint of anise at the finish. The mouthfeel is lovely with lots of tiny bubbles.

The match-up with the cheese was divine. I wanted so much more!

The fourth course was a generous portion of Farmboys Smokin' BBQ ribs and brisket served with a side of fresh coleslaw. This dish was deliciously paired with Barrel-aged Henry's Farm double bock.

Barrel-aged Henry's Farm (8%) has a strong malt presence along with hints of fruit.  A touch of tartness and the bittering effect from the hops balances out the flavors. The barrel aging imparts rye and woody characteristics that compliment barbecue perfectly.

The fifth and final course was an Igor's Dream cupcake made by The Sugar Cupcake served with Barrel-aged Igor's Dream.

Igor's Dream (2014) (10.9% ABV) is a classic Russian Imperial stout. It is malty and roasty with notes of coffee and cocoa. The barrel aging infuses the beer with a pleasant oakiness and a ghostly whiff of whiskey.

The sweetness of the cupcake and the roastiness of the beer paired nicely.

An excellent finish to an excellent meal.

Two Roads ROCKS!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Road Jam

One of the obvious but wonderful benefits of having a brewery practically stumbling distance to my front doorstep is being able to try new beers pretty much as quickly as they can brew them.

It seems like Two Roads has a new beer on tap almost every time I go there. I go there a lot.

The latest and greatest offering is Road Jam. An ale brewed with black and red raspberries & lemongrass.

Road Jam (5% ABV) pours a bright deep pink with a thick froth of foam the color of which is reminiscent of Nestle Quik strawberry milk.

The aroma is a mouth watering burst of fresh berries.

The taste is fabulous. The flavor of fresh berries washes over the palate finishing crisp and somewhat sour.

That Two Roads used real raspberry puree instead of natural and/or artificial "flavors" or berry extract is obvious. There is a definite freshness about Road Jam.

The mouthfeel is light with loads of tiny champagne-like bubbles.  An easy going and refreshing brew that will be awesome as the weather turns hot.

Overall: berry -er- very good!

Cooking with Beer - Addled Apple Crisp

I love apple-y desserts. Anything with apples and I'm all over it like white on rice - apple pie, apple turn-overs, apple tarts. 

Apple crisp is one dessert that takes me back to my childhood and is one of my very favorites.

This recipe combines my love of apples and beer into a tasty, sweet treat.

I used Two Roads No Limits, but you can use whatever wheat or hefeweizen beer you like.
Addled Apple Crisp

5 or 6  Medium Granny Smith - Cored & Sliced 1/4 Inch Thick

2  Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 12-Oz Bottle Wheat Beer
1 Tbsp Soft Butter For Coating Baking Dish
3 Tablespoons Turbanado Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Uncooked Rolled Oats
1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
4 Tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter (1/2 Stick), Cut Into Small Pieces

Combine the apples, lemon juice, and beer in an air-tight container or zipper bag and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a pie pan or 8 x 8 baking dish with 1 Tbsp butter.

Drain the apples and then combine with the sugar, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl and toss to coat. Place the apple mixture in the prepared baking dish and set aside.

Using the same bowl as for mixing the apples, mix together the brown sugar, oats, flour, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt until evenly combined. 
Mix in the butter pieces until small clumps form.

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples and bake until top is browned and the apples are tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool on a rack at least 30 minutes before serving.

Monday, April 7, 2014


It was date night. As usual. hubby and I were monging on hot wings and washing them down with cold beer. When all of a sudden our hot blond bar maid appears at our table bearing a tray of an unlikely combination of stuff.

A shot of clear liquid. A shot of orange juice. A strip of bacon.

Uhm . . . okaaaaay.

Breakfast is served.


Never one to let booze go to waste I followed her instructions to the letter. I knocked back the first shot; which turned out to be half Captain Morgan spiced rum and half Buttershots buttscotch liquor.  Followed immediately by the shot of orange juice. Then the bacon.

Jumpin' Jehosaphat! It tastes just like breakfast! I shi!t you not. It like I just ate a pancake smothered in butter and syrup with a side of bacon and orange juice.

CuhRazy!!! Crazy good!