By Dan Kochakian
Brewers Greg Ouellette and Mark Harrington will tap their Oktoberfest Lager in September at Martha’s Exchange in Nashua. Also debuting is the brewpub’s 24th anniversary ale, a Belgian Strong Golden at 8.5%. A fresh hop ale with local wild hops (in the 6.5% range with First Gold), Velvet Elvis, Apple Brown Betty (an apple wood-infused Belgian brown), and Pumpkinweizen are also hitting the taps. The Martha’s crew will be pouring at the Passport Beer Fest at the Strawberry Bank Museum in Portsmouth and the First Annual Derry After Dark Festival, both on September 16. You may also catch up with them on Oct. 6 at the Milford Pumpkin Festival.
Backyard Brewery in Manchester officially opened on July 28. You may now enjoy some of the 12 draft beers on the patio with a full range of food items.
Henniker Brewing’s Ora, an 8.5% Belgian-styled Tripel, part of the Off The Grid Series, was named #1 New Hampshire craft beer for 2016 by Wicked Brew Review, and it just made its return in August in 22-oz bottles and kegs. With barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt, this beer may also be found in VT and ME. Coming in September is Flap Jack, a robust maple double brown ale at 7%/45-IBU.
Mark Bowers, president of NERAX (New England Real Ale Exhibition) does double duty as a brewer in Somerville, MA, at Aeronaut where the 8.5% Double Hop Hop sold out in record time in mid-August. Mark recently had the pleasure of brewing with Shaun Hill at the Farmstead in Greensboro Bend where the duo brewed a farmhouse beer with sorrel and blueberries that’s set for release in October/November; this brew is a collaboration with Sterling College. Hill Farmstead was tied with Founders at #6 in the American Homebrewers Association awards in July.
Before the summer fades away, treat yourself to a wonderful bbq lunch outdoors at Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville. Allen and Jamie, owners and brewers, always impress us with their Mosaic IPA, Saison Lamoille, Pitch Black Ale and The Wind, but recently, they offered two Gose casks at The Hotel Vermont that knocked us out. One was finished with lime and El Dorado hops and the other was complemented with mango and Mosaic hops. For a quiet break in the city of Burlington, check out Hotel Vermont’s bar and deck with 10 taps, including four from Hill Farmstead, including the 9% Ephraim.
Don’t miss Harpoon’s Octoberfest Road Race in Windsor on Oct. 8. Run 3.6 miles and then relax with Harpoon beer and brats while you listen to the latest in oom-pah revelry.
In Waterbury, home to Craft Beer Cellar, Blackback Pub and Prohibiton Pig Brewery, Arvads Grill, a nearby beer bar, was sold and is now a Belgian brasserie, enticing for those not enamored with hazy and hoppy Vermont IPAs.
Bobcat Brewing in Bristol has a new 5.8%/60-IBU IPA brewed with all local malt from Peterson Malts and is loaded with Nugget and Cascades and dry-hopped with Galaxy, Simcoe and Citra. The Oktoberfest will be served in 24-oz steins and there’s a 4-course German menu to accompany your brew.
Frost Beer Works in Hinesburg has installed a new canning line with plans to be canning its beers by the end of September.
Sad News for Vermonters, but good news for beer fans in North Carolina: Casita Cerveceria, the fabulous brewery run by Ryan Witter-Merithew, has moved south. Brewed at Hill Farmstead, Ryan’s beers ran the gamut from recipes with kaffir lime, juniper berries, lemongrass, lavender, sage and hibiscus. Best of luck to you, Ryan. We hope to visit soon.
Halyard Brewing, who makes a variety of ginger beers, has started operations in the old Infinity Brewing space in South Burlington. Four ginger beers have started the series with a basic True Ginger Beer (5.5%), Wayward Amber (7.35%), Nicole’s Extra (6%), and Tempest Dark.
Congratulations to Mike Scarlata and Jason Powell of Ten Bends Beer in Hyde Park who just celebrated their first anniversary in business in August. Ten Bends produces 25 barrels a month and is known for its hazy and hoppy IPAs. The guys have departed from the popular New England style on occasion to brew the 9.7% Fargone Lullaby, made with maple sap, and is blueberry-conditioned.
Paul Kowalski, former Vermont news columnist for Yankee Brew News and ex-Long Trail brewer, owns Five Corners Pub & Brewhouse located at the Salt Ash Inn in Plymouth. Fans enjoy Paul’s Cone Trooper IPA, McNeill’s White IPA and Pub Pale Ale.