Beer Review: Backlash Groundswell


Beer: Groundswell Brewer: Backlash Beer Co. Source: Draft Rating: *** (7.3 of 10) Comments:  This “revolutionary” beer is orangish and opaque with very little head.  The aroma is sweet and fruity and the flavor is a sweet biscuit with citrus and hints of spice.  Light, frothy mouthfeel, and no lacing.  It’s a nice flavor, with a…

Beer Review: Shabadoo Black & Tan


Beer: Shabadoo Black & Tan Brewer: Berkshire Brewing Company Source: Draft Rating: *** (7.5 of 10) Comments: A mix of Hoosac Tunnel Amber Ale and Drayman’s Porter, this “black & tan” is chestnut-brown, cloudy, and has a minimal head.  The smell is kind of roasted molasses and the taste is sweet, brown sugar with hints of burnt…

JP A to Z: K is for Kuchamakin #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain


K is for Kuchamakin If you’ve been reading the Jamaica Plain A to Z series the past couple of weeks, you may be wondering how a neighborhood in Boston ended up getting named Jamaica Plain.   The Plain part is deceptively simple.  The area around Jamaica Pond where the central village is located is flat.  Yet, other…

Beer Review: Harpoon Kettle Cup Thunder Foam


Beer: Kettle Cup Thunder Foam Brewer: Harpoon Brewery Source: 22 ounce bottled Rating:  **** (8.0 of 10) Comments: Poured into a glass, this porter is a dark brown with a thick head with a cocoa aroma a sweet chocolaty flavor with subtle spice.   The glass has a velvety mouthfeel and leaves a spotty lacing…

Beer Review: Castle Island Candlepin Pale Ale


Beer: Candlepin Pale Ale Brewer: Castle Island Brewing Co. Source: Draft Rating:  ** (6.7 of 10) Comments: A new Massachusetts brewery from Norwood presents this APA named for the regions hardest bowling game.  It’s VERY pale, more of a straw-colored cloud with negligible head.  The aroma is apricot, a bit skunky, with a grapefruit taste…

Beer Review: Jack’s Abby Big Red Mitch


Beer: Big Red Mitch Brewer: Jack’s Abby Brewing Source: Draft Rating:  ** (6.9 of 10) Comments:  A different beer, a dark red almost blackish with a bitter grapefruit scent and aroma but balanced with an earthy maltiness.  There’s no lace and medium mouthfeel.  It’s different, in a good way. From the same brewer: 8.1 – Jack’s Abby…

Photopost: Fiddler on the Farm


Yesterday we prepared for St. Patrick’s Day at Powisset Farm in Dover with performances in the barn by the Whyte School of Irish Step Dancing and fiddle tunes in the Cape Breton style by Claire Pettit of the band The Cottars.  It was a lovely setting, especially since the seats were set up in the…

Beer Review: Samuel Adams Black Harbor Stout


Beer: Black Harbor Stout Brewer: Boston Beer Company Source: Draft Rating:  **** (8.3  of 10) Comments: Poured in a brandy glass, this beer is the color of black velvet.  The scent is candied cherries or raisins, while the flavor is kind of a mulled wine crossed with coffee (in a good way).  A delicious alternative to the…

Massachusetts 351


I’ve lived in Massachusetts for nearly 19 years (and in a bordering state for 15 years when I was younger), but despite it being a small state I feel that I have not seen much of Massachusetts.  I am the stereotype of the Boston urbanite who rarely ventures outside the confines of the Rt. 128…

2015 Year in Review: Memorable Events


I started a tradition back in 1996 of making a list of the most memorable events of the year.  My definition of memorable can include both the positive and the negative, but generally it’s the good things that make the list.  That first list in 1996 had exactly twenty items, so I’ve made the list…

Beer Review: Harpoon EHOP Collaboration


Beer: EHOP Collaboration Brewer: Harpoon Brewery / Deschutes Brewery Source: 22 oz. bottle Rating: *** (7.5 of 10) Comments: Boston’s Harpoon collaborates with Oregon’s Deschutes on a beer celebrating that both breweries are employee-owned.  They celebrate their Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) with this Employee Hops Ownership Plan (EHOP).  And the workers controlling the means of production is…

Photopost: A Visit to the MFA, part five


On another solo visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, I completed touring the Art of Europe galleries, traveling through 17th-century Dutch and Flemish, gaudy 18th-century French decorative art, 19th-century art deemed worthy by the Academy, and finally Impressionism and post-Impressionism. Then I took the guided tour of the Art of the Americas wing, learning more…

Beer Review: Mighty Squirrel Original


Beer:  Original Brewer: Mighty Squirrel Brewing Source: 22 oz bottle Rating: **  (6.7 of 10) Comments: I’ve never seen a beer with the protein content listed on the label before.  Does beer even have protein?  Mighty Squirrel’s gimmick is that it is a beer one might enjoy after exercising, offering some nutrition with the buzz….

Beer Review: Pretty Things Our Finest Regards


Beer:  Our Finest Regards Brewer: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Source: 22 oz bottle Rating: **  (6.9 of 10) Comments: I was heartbroken to learn that the creators of Pretty Things are calling it quits.  So I picked this bottle of a Pretty Things beer I’d never tried before. It pours out a ruby…

Photopost: Giving Thanks for Nature and the Senses at Drumlin Farm


We spent the day after Thanksgiving at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.  There were a number of art and music activities for the day to engage the senses, but the kids were content to make their usual round of visits to the farm animals, taking a hay ride, and then a hike up the…

Photopost: North River Wildlife Sanctuary


On Sunday, as a pre-birthday activity, my family & I visited the North River Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield, MA.  While the kids weren’t so into out (excepting the nature play area which was a lot of fun), the scenery was quite beautiful on a mid-Autumn afternoon. There were two loops to walk: one through Woodlands…

Photopost: Connors Farm


This weekend we visited Connors Farm in Danvers. It wasn’t quite what expected, less farm and more amusement park with a loud band, a chainsaw artist, and massive crowds. The line for tickets wound through the farm stand and was quite confusing (NOTE: if anyone from Connors Farm reads this, consider setting up admissions sales…

Beer Review: Cambridge Brewing Bo-Steam-Ian Lager


Beer: Bo-Steam-ian Lager Brewer: Cambridge Brewing Company Source: Draft Rating: *** (7.6 of 10) Comments: An interesting blend of beers bringing together the Czech pilsner with the California-style steam beer.  The beer has a rich golden color with a bit of haziness, but not much head. The aroma is an earthy bread crust.  The taste…

Beer Review: Berkshire Hoosac Tunnel Amber


Beer: Hoosac Tunnel Amber Brewer: Berkshire Brewing Company Source: Draft Rating: *** (7.1 of 10) Comments: This amber ale is a comforting cloudy copper brown. The aromas include a biscuit scent with hints of fruit.  The taste is bready with a peppery finish and a sweet caramel aftertaste.  It’s a well-balanced brew that fills the mouth…