Why Do I Drink? (How Music Became Running Became Beer)!

Please note that this is my first Session blog so please be kind, also note that Baltimore Beer and Bistros came up with this months topic:


I’m going to go back in time because that would be where this story began. I can vaguely remember when the Braves won the World Series back in 1995 and I was 18 years old.  I remember it because it was the first time I had ever gotten drunk. This was a time where Craft Beer was almost non-existent. This night was full of Miller Lite and waking up your friend at around 3 am (which is ok at 18 and not in your mid thirties *how exes come into play*).

Fast forward to the day before Thanksgiving of that year.  I was introduced to the band Albert Hill.  To me this was better than getting drunk.  This was better than Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and Pearl Jam which I really liked at the time!  This was music of the Gods:

albert hill

I’ll spare you mid 9o’s  press photo and give you a shot of their famous but not widely released EP.

A few months later I may have went to my first or second Jump Little Children concert. A different band but also when I lived in South Carolina they were also local! A band that I enjoyed because it wasn’t Bass, Drums, and Guitar. However there was a mix of cello, accordion, melodica, and upright bass included.  This night I was pulled over for running 74 in a 45. One more MPH and it would have been possible jail for me.  Why would I have went so fast?  Of course seeing a girl with that puffy cheek dimple faced cuteness I had a crush on get groped on by another dude:


The thought was that a major label deal would be the best thing for the JLC. It was like InBev buying out Goose Island and Blue Point. 

I remember for my 21st birthday going to a street fest in Columbia. The night of going into my 21st birthday my first beer was a beer was from RJ Rockers from their brewpub. The day after I asked the festival sponsors if I could have the Bud Light Banner with my actual 21st birthday on it and the organizers said no.  This may have been Going into the new millennium I still followed both of these bands but my interest was waning.  On NYE of 1998 going into 1999 I had my first Thomas Creek beer. I thought it tasted like chalk. This is also coming from a guy who at one time thought that IPAs were the worst beers in the world (they are the best in my opinion now and evolve every day for the better). This can also be said of Thomas Creek, they have lasted the test of time and put out some fantastic beers!  The world at this time was Macro vs. Import. Imports are just the Macros of their countries though (There’s that one special bar where they get imported kegs of Guinness from Ireland, please let me know when you find it).

Why do I mention all of this?  It was a part of moments that come back to you when you think about these things.

Fast forward to 2007 and what I would consider my very first race and 1000 miles removed from my previous surroundings.  This was the Doyles 5 Miler in Jamaica Plain:

Doyles 5miler

I would suggest to go to raceit.com and search for Doyle’s 5 Miler but it might be easier to get the paper form at Doyle’s and give it to the bartender!

This being said I ran this race and started to do many more afterwards.  What did I not know about this race was that there was post race beer. I didn’t learn this until the following year! This is where I also had learned that Harpoon sponsored their own five miler. This has now culminated to Cambridge 5k and their support of such local breweries at Cambridge Brewing Company, Slumbrew, Notch Brewing, Night Shift Brewing, Treehouse Brewing, and DownEast Cider.  Each of these brands bring a different, needed, and unique element to brewing in the Boston Area. These people influence what I drink. Drinking local is what we should all aspire to do.  From our music to our beer it is best to support your friends.

Think about it: times, interests, and styles will change. This is what I am saying after drinking a “Pliney the Elder” and a “Heady Topper” back to back. This is probably a once in a lifetime event but it is always about keeping things fresh!


Five Beers Of The Month (January 2013 minus one week)

So let’s just start where the first day of the year brought this house:


And then for a week my beer drinking went to this:


So was everything good I had on the first day of the year but then afterwards was not?  Let’s take a look:


Backacre “Sour Golden Ale”- Let’s just say that if you have never had this then you are missing out.  It might also be a beer that is harder to find than Heady Topper in Vt! When you get your hands on this beer from the blendery in Vermont do yourself a favor and drink it!



Cigar City  “Hopped on the High Seas w/ Citra”- This beer was brought back to me from a friend who visited  Florida. This is heaven when it hits your lips.  The fact that he brought back two cans of this to one of everything else is a testament.  If you have a chance to get your hands on this then do so immediately!



Jester King- Noble King” –  I’ve seen a lot of Hype about Jester King so when I was in SC at the Community Tap it was obvious that I had to pick this up.  Labeled as a hoppy farmhouse ale it also had the characteristics of a sour.  Complex and unique.  If you have a chance to pick this up then do so!


Sixpoint “Hi-Res”- If you have had Resin you know how nice it is. If you see Hi-Res from the outside it is 11% ABV!  Beers with this much ABV you feel certain are spiked with some kind of liquor. This one is very smooth and could be very deadly if you have too much of it! This one is definitely worth drinking though when you can get your hands on it.



Crooked Stave “Wild Wild Brett Blue”- It was a nice and pleasant surprise to have this brought to a bottle share in January. This friend got 1000 friend points although they didn’t need them.  As for the beer it is nice to. When you get to try a beer brewed with blue spruce tips and Brettanomyces yeast it is a delicious treat!

What beers did you enjoy in January or now?  Feel free to let me know!


Ermergerd Yuengling!! A #YuenglingLaunch Will Bring Very Little Change To Craft Beer In Massachusetts!

There has been a lot of talk about Yuengling coming into Boston since December. A few nights ago was the release party for Yuengling in the Boston area at the Boston Seaport:


And just about all of Boston went crazy:

I’ve also seen people get concerned that this will really hurt craft beer but I think we need to go into the past to really see if that is the case.

Back in 2004 I was introduced to Yuengling.  I remember friends had bought it from across the border in North Carolina.  It was interesting at the time because Imported beers were the king that everyone looked to as being a higher class.  This being said it did seem like Yuengling had just a bit more flavor than Heineken or Becks.

I had moved from South Carolina to Massachusetts in 2005. In 2007 there was Yuengling everything all over every bar in Spartanburg. At the time you would have thought that RJ Rockers (the hometown brewery in Spartanburg) didn’t exist because of all of this.  Fast-forward seven years later RJ Rockers is doing stronger than ever.  I even drank a RJ Rockers “First Snow” at Rattle N’ Hum in New York City a few weeks back!

The fact it was brought in from North Carolina as my introduction to it, well let’s just talk about all the breweries that are popping up in Charlotte, Asheville, and the Triangle Area. In the past few years after Yuengling was released the following breweries opened up and have been successful:


Big Boss

Wicked Weed





Natty Greens

and many many more are opening every day in North Carolina!

The excitement might already be  gone by the time it is available in bars and stores:

But here we are Massachusetts, a lot of us are worried just a bit by the tap handles being taken over but actually we need to know what Yuengling actually is:

It was America’s first brewery in 1829.  This being said the Lager is a bit like Bud Light but with a Caramel flavor to it.  The fact that it is at the same price point will obviously bring more popularity and clout to being a popular choice at your local bar. To see the effects of this you have to look at the different types of beer drinkers there are out there.

Beer Drinker A: This beer drinker drinks nothing but Craft Beer.  They would rather not drink at all than to touch a Coors, PBR, Bud Light, and ETC. Yuengling will have zero effect on this type of drinker and when you look at it they might have been the best thing to have happened to Craft Beer in Massachusetts.  They are the gateway or one of a few gateways that will lead to becoming a craft beer drinker.  Yuengling Lager is like Sam Adams but without as many hops and a crisp finish with the mouthfeel to go with it at then end.  To quote what it is I will say this “Flavorable but Flat”. Beer Drinker A doesn’t go with flat! 10% of beer drinkers are Beer Drinker A and this number is rising!

Beer Drinker B: This beer drinker loves Craft Beer but will have a Miller High Life to not kill the budget on occasion. This person is someone who is adept to keep something cheap on standby but always appreciates a good craft beer more-so than not.  Will this hurt Craft Beer? No.  This person will drink it and replace some of those High Life’s with Yuenglings.  This will replace Beer Drinker B’s craft beer consumption by 0%. I’m going to say without analytic evidence this is roughly 50-60% of beer drinkers in the market.

Beer Drinker C: This is a person who lives on Bud Light, Miller Light, etc… Not only this though but they also drink adjunct filled local options as well Like Narragansett (who is actually creating some new tasty beers), Old Style (Chicago) or Olympia (Pacific Northwest). The problem is that these beers is that they are falling out of favor with the modern-day consumer. Yuengling coming into an area like Boston cuts into the Bud Lights and the Narragansetts of the world.  It does so because of its flavor and price point.  That being said it doesn’t compare when it comes to a true craft beer.  However this is the untapped market.  Sometimes though people don’t want a heavy flavor.  I can’t hold that against them. This is also %30 and declining fast!

Besides people went to the Yuengling launch for the party and not for the beer:

And how much fun was @BostonTweet having at the #YuenglingLaunch:

That’s right, he was enjoying a Guinness at Solas in Boston!

It’s going to be OK Boston Craft Beer.  In the long run you are about to get busier!

America, FUCK YEAH!

In a lot of circles Bob Dylan was called a sell out for his commercial on Super Bowl Sunday.  You didn’t see said commercial?  Well watch it in full and pay close attention at around 1:26 going forward:

“And when it is made here, it’s made with the one thing you can’t import from anywhere else: American Pride.  So let Germany brew your beer…”  And this is where I stop.  Granted Switzerland makes watches and your Iphone is make in Asia per this commercial but my beer?  Let’s take inventory of the beers I have left to drink at my house.  Also just as we hear the words “portion of the proceeds” means that only a portion of the money goes to charity we will take the words “Made in America” to mean just that.  Beers owned by other countries like Boulevard and Budweiser will still be considered American since they are made here (also as a side note I still respect Boulevard because I know Duvel makes quality beer).

After taking the tally in my house here is how things broke down:

Canada: 7 (These are Trader Joe’s beers being aged. Made in Canada so I am following rules here.)

Italy: 1 (I liked the Bottle)

England: 1 (A Christmas gift from my niece that has been aged for over a year!)

Belgium: 1 (A Christmas gift from my niece again.)

USA: 87 (22 of these coming from Massachusetts where I live.)

Just to make a point that one of these is a Budweiser Clamato.

Speaking of Budweiser I’m curious of how they feel about this ad.  That being said they are into marketing puppies and horses:

…and celebrity scavenger hunts:

and homecoming parties for soldiers:

Let’s get this straight though, they know nothing about making or marketing quality beer!  Therefore you have not heard a peep nor will hear a peep out of them over this issue!

To prove my point further I went to two bars in Somerville Massachusetts to scan every beer they had by country of origin.  The first bar was Redbones and the second bar was Olde Magoun Saloon.  To take this task a bit further both Redbones and Olde Magoun Saloon have Oktoberfests every fall.


The tally at Redbones were as follows (including draft and bottled beer):

America: 31

Germany: 4

Belgium: 7

Ireland: 1

England: 4

Netherlands: 2

Mexico: 1

So if you are doing the math there are nine American beers to every one. So that being said you can also see that there are more American beers available than all other countries combined.  Let’s move over to Olde Magoun Saloon.


Let’s take a tally on what was on tap at Olde Magoun Saloon by country of origin:

America: 13

Belgium: 9 (it’s Belgium beer month)

Germany: 4

England: 2

The main problem isn’t Bob Dylan selling out:

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is getting that cash money for selling Italian owned cars that are Made in America!

We should have known that Dylan was a sell out ten years ago:

The problem is a company hired a marketing firm who didn’t even look to see that the state where Chrysler  is located would be a top 5 state for producing beer.  When you look at the big picture it may not be much longer until Bells and Founders will distribute beer to every state.  Not only that but such renowned breweries as New Holland, Shorts, Jolly Pumpkin, Brewery Vivant, and Atwater all reside in Michigan.  I can’t blame New Holland partner and Beervangelist Fred Bueltman for his very honest letter to Chrysler. Insult a man or woman about their passion and you bet your ass the gloves come off!

America is doing more than fine with their beer.  Beer analyst and writer Bryan Roth of “This Is Why I’m Drunk” broke this down earlier this week in regards to American having 82 of Rate Beers top 100 beers (Germany has as many as the inventory in my apartment).

The main problem of where we are at on this is that Chrysler is not connecting with people. Lee Iacocca was a brilliant man and he once said “I hire people smarter than me and then I get out of the way”.  The issue with this commercial isn’t with Bob Dylan selling out.  It is with a company that didn’t look out in it’s back yard to see what it had. But maybe it did and there were leaning towers and a Vatican.


Whomever made the decision to say “let Germany brew your beer” might have not been in America and they were definitely not in Michigan!

I love shitty, generic, cookie cutter beer festivals.

I’m not one to reblog many things but I think it can be said there are way to many beer fests which are not out there to help the brewers. These fests are just there to make a quick buck for the promoter and nothing more. This being said I have to give appreciation to Beer Advocate, Drink Craft Beer, Brewvival, and the many brewers guild festivals that help the brewers and producers of fine craft beer do what they do. For the ones who are asking for donations and doing shitty beer fests, may you continue to get shitty brown ales and the absence of my attendance! This is a story of one of the promoters who puts on these events!

matthew 'fuj' scher

Especially when they have really shitty, generic, cookie cutter websites, too.

NOTE: Previous images removed at owner’s request. Current image may contain portions of copyrighted works that totally don’t belong to Thomas Tarry, Jr. nor The Results Group, in fair use as a parody. I’ve put about as much effort into this picture into as Tom does his websites and beer festivals.
Tom Tarry

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Top Five Beers Of The Month (December 2013)

I know, I know. I should be putting this out before the end of the month or the very beginning.  Not at the start of the last week in January.  That being said I am not going to give up just yet!  Also, here you go and these beers were quite good!


RJ Rockers- “Strawbeery” – I’ll be the first to admit that I have love for my hometown brewery (from Spartanburg SC originally).  This being said they have one thing they do an awesome job with is their beer infused with fruits.  They finally made “Son of a Peach” a year round beer.  I remember stopping by the Brewery around Christmas and this being on draft.  I’ve got a feeling that this one might graduate to year round status sooner than you think.  And if you can’t get New Glarus fruit beer offerings you’ll still be winning by having fruit beers from RJ Rockers!  And speaking of Strawbeery it was fantastic with a great taste of strawberry you might forget you are drinking beer!


Night Shift- “Bean Porter” – When I first tried “Bean Porter” I think the first thing I noticed on it is the nose.  I won’t be lying if I said it was the most fantastic nose on a beer I have ever had.  The coffee and vanilla mixed with Rye and Whiskey blends this out to be one of the top beers this past year.  I think if there is one beer I would love to see go from Small Batch series to a full-time beer.  You can go ahead and worship Bourbon County but know this blows it right out of the water!


Omnipollo – “Fatamorgana” – I can’t say that I am overly fond of beers not made in the USA. This being said I grew up in an age where Imports were considered Craft (Heineken, Stella, Guinness) . Now that being said this is only the second international beer to ever make a top five of the month list of mine.  I loved this beer when I had it at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville NC.  If you would have told me this was supposed to have a saison I would have said that is crazy but that being said this is one delicious IPA.  Sweeden, you win on this like you will win gold medals in Sochi!

orange bliss

Westbrook- “Orange Bliss”- I remember going home to Spartanburg SC and trying this at Growler Haus.  I was expecting a saison but what I got was much more awesome.  This is actually Westbrook’s 3rd anniversary chocolate stout which I was told by staff at the Greenville Beer Exchange was the recipe for Mexican Cake but replacing the hot peppers with Oranges.  If this is the case then I think they should try doing this with all sorts of things because it is delicious. Imagine covering your oranges with chocolate and putting it with a nice stout!  That is what this is.  If there is a collab with RJ Rockers and Westbrook it would be the end of the world because we do not deserve such fine things!

global warmer

Sixpoint- “Global Warmer”- I must admit I didn’t know what to expect when I first had this but I will say that it was pretty phenomenal.  This has all the citrusy goodness you can expect from an IPA and it goes down smooth with no boozy aftertaste at all. This is the beer the world needs because we’ve all been under a polar vortex for too long!

So what are your five best beers of the month…or whenever?