AboutZach Benard, Author at PorchDrinking.com
New England winters can become notoriously harsh. Residents are no stranger to feet upon feet of snow throughout the season, which could start as early as October and end as late as April. Why you might ask, is winter still being discussed in the spring? We all know what happens when people can’t leave their houses and become restless. They get cabin fever, of course! You read that title and knew exactly where I was going with this, didn’t you?
What does adventure mean to you? Is it the adrenaline rush of accomplishing something huge? Is it physically exploring a new region? Is it the urge to leave your comfort zone? To Joe Connolly, director of Springdale Beer Co., it’s that last one. He also believes in the same notion for IPAs. “We believe that real activity deserves real beer,” Connolly notes. “To us, this is what IPA signifies: an urge to push the envelope, leave our comfort zone and simply put, get out there.”
And that’s what Springdale is all about. As the experimental offshoot of Jack’s Abby, Springdale has been in pursuit of adventure since its inception. By delving into sours, wild ales, barrel-aged beers and more, they have numerous successful experiments under their belt. They released their flagship IPA, Springdale IPA, in January 2020.
When you bookend your day with drinks, it’s important to have quality ones. Coffee in the morning? Grind up something fresh to kick-start a productive day. Beer at night? That first crack open that has your taste buds thanking you after that productive day. Rinse and repeat.
Barrel & Bean from Allagash Brewing Company combines the best of both of the coffee and beer worlds. And when one thinks of a coffee beer, it’s common to think of a stout. That’s my first thought. But Barrel & Bean takes a different approach to a coffee-blended beer: the result is a combination of a Belgian-style golden ale aged in bourbon barrels with cold-brewed coffee from a local coffee roaster, Speckled Ax.
We all know fall (at least in New England) doesn’t truly start until October 1. Sure, the calendar says September 23, but many of us are in denial for the last week of September, trying to soak up the last few warm days before everything cools off.
As a New Englander, born and bred, it might be in my blood to be drawn towards lighthouses. With their metaphorical meanings and physical presence, there’s just something incredibly fascinating about them. Between Allagash’s rich history of great craft beer and my soft spot for all things nautical, their recent release of Two Lights had my attention.
In the heat of the summer, a beer ideally hits on three marks: refreshing, light, and delicious. Sometimes there are exceptions, like when a somewhat seasonal style–for example, a Stout–can’t be left alone for several months out of the year. Guilty. Similarly, nobody will blame you for drinking your wheat or sour beers throughout the entire year, either.
As a beer drinker, you’re familiar with wild ales. You’re familiar with saisons, too. But wild American saison may be new territory for you. For those unfamiliar to the term, it’s open to a lot of interpretation. This is where Art Dekkera from Springdale comes in. Springdale, an experimental offshoot of Jack’s Abby Brewing in Framingham, MA, is known for its wide variety of beers that range from IPAs to sours. So when they announced a new wild American saison, the style certainly sounded like a beer they would brew.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Allagash Brewing Company since I started paying attention to their beers, it’s this: They’re reliable, in multiple senses of the word. I rely on them when I’m eating out and unsure of which beer to order—until I see Allagash White, which is my foolproof safety. I also rely on them for their ability to bring quality concoctions to the table. Take Coolship Resurgam, for example, part of their Coolship series. But before we go any further, what is a coolship?
Dynasties are a thing of wonder. The Romanov Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty, the Brady-Belichick Dynasty–the list goes on.
For the New England Patriots, Super Bowl LIII marks their ninth appearance since 2002, their fourth in five years, and their third straight. For fans of the Patriots, it’s hard to not feel spoiled by the amount of championships in the 21st century. It’s also hard to not feel spoiled by the amazing craft beer the region has to offer. For fans of all the other 31 NFL teams, well… does the word “annoyed” come to mind?
I was 8 when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl. So, being a Massachusetts-native, it felt only fitting for me to honor yet another Super Bowl appearance for the Patriots. Patriots fans, this Ultimate 6er is for you.
Classics can stay classics while still getting a refresh. Such is the case for Allagash White, one of the staple Belgian beers in the United States. Allagash announced last week that they’ll be canning Allagash White, as well as a new beer in their core lineup: River Trip. I got in touch with Brett Willis, marketing specialist at Allagash, to learn more about the announcement.
The Sunshine State is more than 1,000 miles away from me and is experiencing no snow at all (but, is that any surprise?). Meanwhile, the temperature outside my house here in Massachusetts has dropped to the teens. In this totally unfair, location-based insult, what kind of beer will help me endure this unforgiving weather? A porter will do the trick, but it has to be robust, smooth and drinkable. Therefore, Pop’s Porter tops my forecast.
One of my favorite aspects of the craft beer community is just that: the community. There’s a sense of comfort when you’re able to strike up a conversation with locals about the happenings around town. Contributing to the community is one of the main values for Honest Weight. Located on the edge of the Pioneer Valley and neighboring the Quabbin Reservoir (one of the primary water supplies for Boston), Honest Weight Artisan Beer has started to become a household name in the area.
There’s an old saying: “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.” I’m no sailor, but Red Skies at Night is certainly still a delight. As for Red Sky in the Morning? I haven’t tried that one yet (probably because it doesn’t exist). Red Skies at Night is one of Stormalong’s newest releases. Hailing from Sherborn, MA, Stormalong is rooted in a historic town when it comes to cider. Sherborn was home to the largest refined cider mill in the world in the late 1800s. With such a rich history in cider, it’s only fitting that Stormalong calls this place their home. As a Massachusetts native, I feel grateful to be near such excellent breweries and cideries. Stormalong earns a spot on that list.
It’s July in New England. The sun doesn’t set til past 8pm and the humidity comes and goes. Tonight, the humidity is at bay. And Sixteen Counties sits in my fridge, but not for long.
It’s been said before and it’ll continue to be said until the last beer on earth is brewed (scary thought, huh?): Allagash is a pioneer in the beer industry. With Allagash White, Black, Saison — the list goes on — they have helped to create the standard in American Belgian-style beer. And 20 years after their humble beginnings, they’re still going strong.
Experiments can foster great findings. Galileo and the theory of motion, Ivan Pavlov and dogs, Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and oxygen.
Enter Springdale, stage left. Springdale is the experimental offshoot of Jack’s Abby, an award-winning creator of craft lagers based out of Framingham, Massachusetts. With a close association to Jack’s Abby, I knew Springdale was a promising brewery whose beers must have a lot of potential. I’ve never been to Springdale or tried their beer before, but living just an hour away from them leaves me no excuse!
For some, cider season begins when the leaves start to turn and ends when the snow starts to fall. For me, cider season is year-round. There are so many variations and beer blends that I’m continuously discovering and have yet to try – and Sidro, that’s your queue.
Hard cider has transformed from a fall treat into a year-round staple in the fridge. And, in an industry saturated with more and more makers every year, Boston-based Downeast Cider continues to flex its cider-making muscles with its unique concoctions. These two factors seem to play a role in the latest releases from Downeast: seasonal ciders that can hit your palette from summer to winter, and simultaneously not out of place. And this is where Roasted Joe comes in.
This year, the crisp, fall air I know and love has struggled to find its way to Massachusetts. Drinking saisons and tropical IPAs seemed suitable well into October. But now that the crisp air is starting to steadily settle in, I can feel free to indulge in stouts. The Massachusetts-native Night Shift Brewing knows fall well, and it’s certainly reflected in their beers.