Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Summer Close-Out

Boy, has it been a while since I've thrown something up on the old Tippling House blog. The end of summer sort of slipped away and instead of spending time inside drinking beer and tip-tapping away on the keyboard, I was out and about drinking great beer, travelling hither and thither and soaking up the last rays of sun before the equinox takes them away.

I spent a great deal of time brewing this summer. I had a good five week run brewing every Thursday and bottling every Sunday. I managed to get in an Amber Ale, a Blueberry Wheat (for Amanda), a Belgian Session Amber, a Session IPA and a Belgian Dubbel. Abigail was a great help on brew days. While she crawled around in one half of the kitchen playing, Daddy ran around in the other half brewing. I found out that she's actually quite keen on the smell of hops--I can't wait until she's old enough to REALLY help me brew. It's always good to have an extra pair of hands on brew day, no matter how small they might be.

Beer at the Durham Bull's game.
In June I visited Los Angeles and I was also in North Carolina helping Reilly and Nicole move into their new place in Durham. Reilly and I visited North Carolina back in January 2011 and I was very impressed with the beer scene.  Since then, both New Belgium and Sierra Nevada have announced plans to build new facilites in the state, thus reinforcing my original assessment of the state as a new mecca for beer-lovers. The trip in June furthered my appreciation for the Tar Heel State as I enjoyed many a tipple from the likes of Foothills Brewing, Natty Greene's, Fullsteam and Carolina Brewing. Look for a post about North Carolina soon, 'tis a wondrous beerplace.

July was hot, but we had fun. Abby turned one and we had a pool party and cupcakes. This part isn't about beer, but it really meant a lot to me to see how happy Abby was and to see how much she's grown in a year.

I visited both Samuel Adams and Harpoon. I have to admit, as much as I enjoyed drinking Sam Adams Octoberfest, it was a little strange doing so in the heat of the brewery's beer garden...and in August.  The Harpoon Brewery holds several tasting hours throughout the week, reserving tours to only the weekend.  The Seaport District on Boston's waterfront was teaming with life as I drove to Harpoon and it appeared that everyone had heard about Harpoon's tasting.  I managed to wiggling into the back for the one-hour sampling of half a dozen or so offerings on tap in the tasting room. They certainly give you your fill of beer for the low, low cost of absolutely nothing.

Amanda and I wrapped up the summer with a quick trip to New Hampshire and Vermont and a pop over to Waterbury for some ice cream and beer. After a quick tour 'round Ben & Jerry's, we pulled off Route 100 into The Alchemist Cannery for some fresh Heady Topper. That was a pretty good day. We ended up on a hillside outside Montpelier eating cheese and bread and drinking Vermont's greatest natural resource, Heady Topper. Special thanks to Grammie and Granddad for watching Abby for the day.

It looks like I'll have a bit of a busy fall at work (and play), so I'm not sure how often I'll be updating the blog. I'll do my best to post reviews of some of my favorite fall beers and I still have a couple beer travelogues to jot down.  So for now, happy journeys and good beer to you all.

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