Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beers from the Northeast

it's been a while.

i just got back from a trip to new hampshire and vermont and had a killer time. i knew there were quite a few breweries in the area i was visiting and i went there with a goal to try as many local beers as possible.

beth's mom even got the trip started off on the right note and suprised me with a varitey pack from Otter Creek.

all the beers were solid and pretty typical. nothing outstanding that i would go looking for but good drinking beers... especially when hanging out on the lake.

next up were a couple of beers i picked up in stowe, vt. i stopped at a gas station and got two 22's. the first i tried was an IPA from Harpoon Brewery. I'll admit... this beer kind of let me down and it's pretty much what i expected from an east coast IPA.

Next up was Long Trail's Double Bag ale. this one was pretty good and not something i would regularly like... maybe it was because i had it after hiking for 3 hours. definitely worth trying.

friday night at the rehersal dinner there was free beer! i got my hands on a Long Trail IPA. good beer for sure, but again, no west coast style IPA. it was kind of like a "light" IPA. good if you want to drink an entire sixer of this stuff but not if you are looking for hops and bitterness.

after dinner we all headed to a bar. i checked the draft selection and tried a another local vermont beer. this one was Switchback Brewing Company's pale ale. i took two drinks and ordered a PBR. not into it all. i think i just have too high of expectations and when a beer doesn't blow me away i am bummed. probably a good session brew... and a good name too!

now for the good stuff!

on the way home from stowe we stopped at a killer wholefoods-esque grocery store with a great beer selection. i picked up two more 22's. i didn't drink them in this order but I will start with Pennichuck Brewings Halligan IPA. good IPA. not super hoppy but not as bland as the others. the label is why i chose it. i will probably snag one of these again if I ever see it at Bevmo.

now for the winner! the other 22 I picked was another from Long Trail. This time was their Brew Master Series Double IPA. I had high hopes for this and wasn't let down. at 8.6% ALC and 100+ IBU's this was what I had been searching for and hoping i would find. a great beer and as close to a socal IPA. i will be searching for this.

bonus beer. on our last night there Beth's mom made us an epic feast of lobster and awesome veggies... and she bought some beers. this beer was gnarly.... different for sure. the beer was from Allagash in Maine and was tripel ale that was barrel aged in Jim Beam barrels for 8 weeks. it was 11% ALC but went down pretty smooth. we all split this over dinner. it was good but probably not something i would ever buy again... but stoked i got to try it.

that's it. I am glad i got to try a bunch of different beers but can't wait to head up to sonoma tomorrow and get my hands on some killer IPA's. I am planning on hitting the Bear Republic Brew Pub and hopefully getting over to the Lagunitas for a tasting. report to follow!