Saturday, June 28, 2014

Jam Fest @ Two Roads Brewing Company

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sunday River Brewing reVisited


Our route took us all they way up Route 16 to Errol, New Hampshire then down into Maine through Grafton Notch.

By the time we hit the bottom of the Notch, we were ready for something to eat.

We'd visited Sunday River Brewery a couple
of years ago. It was really great last time we were there so that's where we planned to stop and refresh ourselves with some food and beer.

I kind of wished we'd just kept rolling.

The service was fantastic and the wings were pretty good. But beyond that, the rest of our food was disappointing and the beer was meh.

When were last at Sunday River the beer was pretty darned tasty. This time it was mostly unremarkable.

I'd already had three of the five in the flight but they weren't nearly as good as I remembered.

What happened?? Gawd, I hate to be a downer. It's beer for Nikasi's sake! Beer is s'posed to make me happy!

European Lager (4% ABV) it is light and sessionable. 

It pours a clear pale yellow with a layer of bright white foam that leaves some lacing behind.  

It is gently malty in the nose and on the palate. It is extremely drinkable but shallow tasting, there's really not a whole heck of lot going on here.

Overall: meh

Maibock (7.8% ABV) was the best beer in the bunch. 

It poured a clear amber with a thick cap of foam that left behind loose lacing.

The aroma was malty and simewhat sweet.

The taste was malt forward with a touch of bitterness to offset the sweetness. Light tasting but flavorful. Good carbonation with medium mouth feel. 

Overall: good

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wicked Maple deCider

After a long day of riding, we were both pretty beat. So, instead of going out to eat we decided to grab a hot pizza and something cold to drink from the Vista Country Store.

We enjoyed them on the bench outside our room at the White Trellis Motel.

The view was fabulous and the pizza delicious. Both went well with the Stump City Wicked Maple deCider hard apple cider made by Gauthier Farms in nearby Rochester, NH.

Wicked Maple deCider (?% ABV).

It pours like clear liquid sunshine.

The smells just like fresh cut red delicious apples drizzled with rich maple syrup.

Yup, just like that.

The taste?  Just like fresh cut red delicious apples drizzled with rich maple syrup.

With bubbles.

Yup, just like that.

I've got nothing more to say. I've said it all.  It was that good.

Overall: very good

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Festina Peche

 After a week of romping around in the White Mountains riding motorcycles and swilling beer, we returned to our Wednesday night haunt, Porky's Cafe, for good food and cold beer.

I asked the bodaciously cleaved bartenderess, Katalin, if there were any new brews on tap.

To my delight, she said, "Yes! A new beer from Dogfish Head. It's a sour."

I was all into that like hops in an IPA!

So I got a pint. And then another.


Not only did I get to enjoy a delicious new beer but I also got a new badge from Untappd for the pleasure.

Pucker up, buttercup!!

Festina Peche (4.50% ABV) by Dogfish Head is a sour beer in the style of a Berliner Weisse brewed with peaches.

It pours a slighty hazy honey gold with a thick foam that quickly thins out

The aroma is almost lemon-aid-ish.  There's no doubt that this is a sour from the get go.

The taste is a burst of amazing tartness. It's juicy and flavorful. I didn't get any peach flavor, though. There's a bit of funk hiding in the background but it is mostly crisp, dry, and puckering.

The mouth feel is light and gently carbonated.

Festina Peche is a beer I could drink lots and lots of. It's refreshing and goes down ridiculously easy. A perfect summer beer.

Overall: awesome

Monday, June 23, 2014

Moat Mountain reVisited (again)

Hubby and I visit New Hampshire fairly regularly. The mostly serious joke around the house is that when we run out of growlers of beer from Moat Mountain then it's time to head back for a refill.

That's pretty much how it works out.

This trip was no different. The very last thing we do before we head home is stop by the Moat for lunch, a brew (or two), and get our growlers refilled. You should see the size of our cooler :D

I had an amazing Arugula-Watermelon Salad. Sound good? It was! Topped with feta cheese and pork belly and tossed with Chili-Lime viinaigrette! Refreshing and light! Yummers! Hubby had the Taos Quesadilla; made with grilled chicken, cheese, green onions, fresh tomato salsa & sour cream.

I also shared (sort of) a couple of brews with hubby.

East Intervale IPA (4.80% ABV) is an American IPA.

It pours an orangy red with a small head that swirls around on the top of the beer.

The aroma full on piney citrus mouth watering goodness.
The taste is big on brisk hops; pine and grapefruit dominate the palate. There is a whisper of malty sweetness to balance out the flavors. The finish is crisp, clean, and somewhat bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium-light with lots of playful bubbles.

Overall: very good.

Hell Yes! (4.70% ABV) is a Munich Helles Lager. A refreshing springtime favorite!

It pours a clear honey yellow with a pile of white foam that quickly dissipates.

The aroma is bready malt, tart fruit, and hops.

The taste is of mildy sweet malt and biscuit. There is some mellow citrus tartness and just the right amount of bright spicy hops. The finish is clean and dry.

The mouthfeel is light and pleasntly carbonated.

 Overall: very good

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lone Wolfe Brewing

When we're vacationing in New Hampshire, we make a point of stopping in to see Ash and Matt at Sap House Meadery. It's great to hear what new meads are in the works and what latest & greatest award they've won. Their latest achievement being named Young Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2014. That's SO awesome!

Who knew that that brief visit would lead us to a brandy spanky new brewery just a short ride away??

We're chatting it up with Ash when he mentioned that a brewery just opened it's doors for the first time the day before and that we had to check it out.

"Okay, Ash, twist my arm." Ow owie!!! Not for real!! Sheesh.

 He drew us a little map and we were on our way.

Lone Wolfe is a  nano brewery tucked in behind a restaurant in the middle of Wolfeboro, NH. The brewery may be small, but the tasting room is cozy and inviting. We met Graham - owner/brewer - as he was setting up for his second day in business. He was kind enough to allow us sample his brews, show us around, and talk about his new venture.

Graham is the 'lone' in Lone Wolfe (as in Wolfeboro). He is sole brewer and owner; he puts his unique spin and special touch on classic brews.

Hefeweizen (4.7% ABV) has all the characteristics of the classic German wheat beer.

It pours a hazy honey gold with a cling of white foam. The aroma is banana, clove, bubblegum. The taste is typical of the style - banana, spices, yeast, grain, etc. - but with some other flavor I couldn't quite put my tastebuds on. The mouthfeel is medium with gentle carbonation.

Overall: good

Amber Ale (4.5% ABV) is not your usual amber.

It pours a dense reddish brown with a halo of foam. The aroma is malty with a hint of smoke. The tasty is much the same. The smoke adds depth of character and changes this standard ale into something a little bit special. The mouthfeel is medium-ish and effervescent.

Overall: good

SH Citra IPA (6.5% ABV) is a standard style IPA. Not too big, but just right.

It pours a haze red-orange with a big floof of clingy froth.  The aroma is all tangy citrus hops.  The taste is bold grapefruity citrus and dank hops. There is just enough malty sweetness to offset the bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium with loads of bubbles.

Overall: good

Milk Stout (5.1% ABV) is the star of this line up.

It pours a dark sable brown with a thick cap of foam. The aroma is dark malt, cocoa, and coffee. The taste is deep roasty malts and coffee but milk chocolate dominates the palate. There is just a touch of bitterness balance out the roasty bitterness. The mouthfeel is crisp and airy. I'd expect a creamier feel, but it's not off-putting.

Overall: very good

Friday, June 20, 2014

Brews at Woodstock

This Bike Week has had the best weather in my experience.

Today was no exception.

A ride over the Kancamagus Highway was gorgeous - although a wee bit nippish, at times. The views were clear and expansive. The hairpin curve was thrilling; I had an exhilarating moment of excessive speed but I pulled through it just fine. Keep in mind, "excessive speed" is a relative term. That may be 50 MPH (or more) for some people. It was probably 30 for me (maybe less). Hehe.

Anyhoo . . .

Lunch and a brew at Woodstock Station Inn & Brewery was the destination. And, as always, the food was great and the beer was delicious.

I normally don't drink and ride; I'll sip and sample but rarely drink a full beer. I save my beer indulgence for when the riding is done. This, however, was the exception. With the low alcohol content of the beer and a good meal, I left without even a slight trace of a buzz.

Summer Brew (3.8% ABV), a German Pilsner, was the perfect beer to enjoy and safely resume the ride.

The aroma is gently malty and clean. The taste had a signature Woodstock-y flavor to it. It was crisp and light tasting. with pilsner malt coming through. The mouth feel is exceptionally light and pleasantly effervescent.  This is a beer I could drink all day long. Easy drinking and goes down oh-so-easy. So easy. 

Overall: good

I also shared a sample of Fellowship Ale with hubby, since I hadn't had it before.

Fellowship Ale  (6.40% ABV) is an American IPA. 

The aroma is resinous and citrussy; very inviting. The taste is a perfect balance of hoppy goodness and malty sweetness. It's not too bitter, not to sweet. It has a juicy, mouthwatering appeal. The finish is dry and crisp. The mouthfeel is medium-ish and bubblicious. I could drink lots and lots of this.

Overall: very good.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Canterbury AleWorks ReVisited

After discovering Canterbury Aleworks last year during Bike Week, we made a point of heading back there this year.

Unfortunately, the Ale Man himself wasn't there. One of his lovely daughters was 'manning' the tap room and dispensing not only yummy beers but discussing the past, present, and future of the brewery.

There were several changes to the tasting room since last year. The place looks cozy, comfortable, and inviting.

I'd already had many of the beers on tap. But there were new-to-me brews available, too. Of course, I tried them all anyway.

Snappy Wit (5.1% ABV) is a Belgian WitBier
brewed with orange peel and coriander seed.

The aroma is grainy and spicy with orangy overtones.

The taste has a solid wheat beer profile with juicy orange notes and spicy coriander. The fresh flavors really come through. This is a delicious, well-crafted brew.

Overall: very good

Bright Idea (5.4% ABV) is a German Helles-Kolsch Hybrid

This brews is so flippin' good. It has all the crisp, freshness of a Kolsh with the gentle malty goodness of a Helles lager. This brew is light, bright, and super refreshing. Truly a bright idea from the Aleman.

Overall: very good

Chance (5.2% ABV) is a Single Malt And Single Hop brew.  Brewers often make this style of beer to break down what a specific malt and hop characteristics are. All of the Chance brews will have a different single hop for each batch!

In this case, the Aleman used  Columbus hops; a citrussy, earthy, somewhat spicy hop.

That pretty much describes this brew. Bright and citrussy with floral notes and resinous undertones. Mild and flavorful. Medium mouthfeel.

Overall: good.

Smoke House Porter (5.8% ABV) is made with malt smoked at nearby Fox Country Smoke House.

A solid porter that is big on malt and gently smoky. Roasty coffee and dark chocolate flavors come forward to compliment the mildly sweet smoky malt. There is a subtle bitterness in the background to balance all the flavors out.

Overall: good.

Monday, June 16, 2014

White Peaks IPA at Delaney's

Riding to the top of Mount Washington and through the White Mountains on a perfectly lovely day was fantastic.

A delicious meal of award winning hot wings, burger, and seafood risotto at Delaney's Hole in the Wall made the day better.

But the kicker was a nice cold beer from a local brewery fresh from the tap in a tall glass.

Life is good.

White Peaks (6.60% ABV) a wheat IPA from 603 Brewery was a crisp, refreshing way to end the day.

It was served poured into a pint sized shaker glass. It was hazy amber with a thick floof of white foam that left behind layer after layer of lacing on the glass.

The aroma was a combination of earthy pine and juicy citrus.

The taste has the grainy flavor of a wheat beer with the gentle bite of hops. Pine and grapefruit flavors intermingle deliciously. The malt add a hint of sweetness to balance out the flavors.

The mouth feel is medium-ish with lively carbonation.

Overall: good

Ride to the Sky and Beer

After a thrilling Ride to the Sky up the Mount Washington Auto Road to clear amazing views at an elevation of 6288' above sea level and then on to more twisty turny fun through various notches and tree lined country roads, a fine meal of good steak and craft beer was well deserved.

An awesome meal of Delmonico steak au jus with locally sourced mushrooms and a big honkin' hunk of mud pie at the Red Parka Pub and Steakhouse was very well deserved and heartily enjoyed.

And beer. Three - count them - three new to me beers on tap. Of course, I had to try them all. A no brainer for sure.

Mostly Cloudy (4.70% ABV) a witbier by Long Trail.

Classic for the style. Light, drinkable, and refreshing.

It pours a hazy sunny orange with a pillow of white foam. The aroma is light and yeasty with a touch of fruity funk. The taste is much the same.  The mouth feel is gently effervescent. It goes down easy with smooth quaffability and finishes clean.

Overall: very good

Vacation Land Summer Ale (4.90% ABV) an American Blonde Ale by Gritty McDuff's.

Brisk and refreshing with a pleasant bitter snap that truly hits the spot.

It pours a deep gold with a white floof of foam that leaves behind layers of lacing. The aroma is hoppy with a sweet undercurrent of caramelized malt.  The taste is of piney and citrussy hops that is perfectly biting. Sweeter flavors linger in the background to add balance. The finish is dry and clean and hoppy. The mouthfeel is medium and bubbly.

Overall: good

Lost Sailor (5.5% ABV) an India Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing

This is and English style IPA so, if you're expecting tongue stripping hoppiness, you won't find that here.

It pours a cloudy orangy red. The aroma is very malty.  The taste is somewhat light. Sweet heavy malts are upfront with some hoppiness on the back end and it finishes dry. The mouthfeel is medium with lots of carbonation.

Overall:  good.