Relax

Summer Beer Review Beers

Finally. Summer. The season that beer was made for. We’ve got the beers that were made for the season. Whether you’re enjoying one (or two) on the couch, the deck, the dock, the boat, the trail or the ballpark, there is no better time of year for a nice cold brew. Here are a few of our personal recommendations. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Today’s magical, burgeoning craft beer world offers more brews and flavors than we could ever hope to quaff in one summer. We do have other things to do, believe it or not. So be sure to do some exploring on your own, too… Here’s to summer!!

 

Victory Summer Love

Victory Summer Love beer

The crew at Victory nailed this one. A light and delightful summer ale. European noble hops provide a gentle and earthy hop profile, pleasantly balanced with clean, crisp German malt. A little grassy, a little citrusy, this beer is mellow and refreshing, like a sunny afternoon in the backyard. The addition of whole flower Simcoe and Citra hops adds a notable lemony zing at the end. Perfect for afternoon sipping at the beach or in the park.

Downingtown, PA 5.2%

Pairs with: Sumac-herbed chicken, pan-fried whitefish, fried clams, coleslaw, potato salad, garden salads and corn on the cob.

 

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

Racer 5 IPA

This brew has been winning gold medals since 1997, which in craft beer years is ancient history. Amber-gold, medium bodied, sporting a crisp, almost crunchy carbonation. Columbus and Cascade hops abound in each sip, repping the Pacific Northwest terroir. Pine and citrus notes dominate, dancing across a robust, grainy malt foundation. Touches of fruit, grass and caramel snap along from the sidelines. Refreshingly bitter and full-flavored, but not overpowering. Because summer is too short for anything less.

Healdsburg, CA 7.5%

Pairs with: Barbecue all day — chicken (get some char on there!), burgers, steak tips, sausage, wings, beef shish kebabs, grilled poblanos, as well as robust snacks like cheese fries, pizza and nachos.

 

Bent Water Thunder Funk IPA

Bent Water Thunder Funk IPA

Straight from the tanks of the newest brewery on Boston’s North Shore. Burnt orange in color, this malt-bomb IPA is loaded with jolly tropical fruit notes like mango, stewed orange, ripe pineapple and key lime. The big malt bill adds a toasty, honey-sweet booziness. Herbal and citrus notes flit around the edges of the aroma and flavor.

What sets this brew apart is a notable lack of bitterness to counter all that hop and malt sweetness. It’s unusual for an IPA, to be sure. Some will say the guys at Bent Water missed the mark here, but we argue that they have pioneered a new genre – the malt-forward IPA! Perfect for those who love big, IPA-sized flavor but don’t like bitter.

Cheers to these guys, we can’t wait to see what they do next!

Lynn, MA 7.3%

Pairs with: Chicken Salad, grilled cheese, lamb shish kebabs, grilled swordfish and tuna (especially served with chutney), fish tacos, pork chops, lamb chops, potato chips, sorbet, fruit salad.

Port Wipeout IPA

Port Wipeout IPA

An exemplary West Coast IPA. Dry, bitter, grassy, pithy, and a little floral. The nose is warm, fresh and green, like a sunny hill in Santa Barbara. Each citrusy sip is fresh like ocean spray in Monterey. You’ll catch hints of fruit popping up here and there, too. The brew finishes dry and light for such a full-flavored West Coast IPA. Sips almost like a brut Champagne, but with shaggy hair and sunglasses. Surf’s up!

San Marcos, CA 7.5%

Pairs with: Grilled or fried fish, roasted or barbecued game birds (duck, quail, cornish hen or pheasant), wings, sausage or kielbasa on a roll with grilled peppers and onions, pasta dishes dressed in an oil-based sauce, pizza and flatbreads, and quinoa salad.

 

Bass Ale

Bass Ale

Here we have a beer with true heritage. First brewed in England in 1777, Bass Ale lays claim to the world’s oldest trademark. That iconic red triangle has been featured in paintings by Picasso and Manet, and in James Joyce’s Ulysses. It was also served on the Titanic (talk about ice cold beer!). While the company’s ownership has changed hands and forms over the years, the recipe has survived.

This Old World brew greets the thirsty reveler with mellow caramel, vanilla, herbal and earthy notes. Noble hops and English malt keep it subtle and balanced, with a bit of toastiness. However we were surprised to discover hints of orange and even melon when we allowed it to open up a bit in a glass! All around an easy-to-like beer, right down the middle of the plate.

Staffordshire, England, 5.1%

Pairs with: Fried things — fish and chips, fried fish sandwiches, fried clams, crab cakes, falafel, samosas, as well as hot buttered lobster rolls (toast that bun!), roasted or barbecued chicken, roasted peanuts and buttered popcorn. Makes a great beer batter base too!

 

Boulevard Brewing Love Child #7

Boulevard Brewing Love Child

Because summer is about getting weird, wild and funky. The Love Child series features barrel-aged wild ales fermented with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus. This latest rendition is tight, tannic and quite tart. We’re talking tart like biting into a lemon — one that was aged in an oak barrel alongside sour cherries, crabapples and wild blackberries, all of which come through in the sip. The big, feral tartness and wild fruit notes are backed by a faint but reliable woody yeast funk. A slight mustiness, fragrant cherries and fresh lemongrass come through on the nose.

This brew has a thin head that dissipates quickly, but it remains effervescent to the end, with a persistent strings of carbonation rising from the glass like prosecco. In fact, the mouthfeel and overall sipping experience is similar to bubbly — light, dry and crisp. Despite the definite fruit notes, there is very little sweetness here. The result is a fireworks display for your tastebuds. Pucker up.

Kansas City, Missouri, 8.2%

Pairs with: Panko crusted chicken, fish and chips, grilled catfish and swordfish, low-spice thai noodle dishes (especially ones prepared with lemongrass), chicken marsala, aged hard cheeses such as Manchego, Gruyere and Asiago, and cherry pie.

Port Brewing bottle cap

Father’s Day. It’s the holiday we were born to curate. Our vast selection of keepsakes and treasures will help you give Dad a truly standout gift. Here are a dozen highlights from the Craft & Caro stockroom that are sure to inspire you. 

Groom

Manicure set, Cologne, and Shaving set

1.) F. Hammann Stainless Steel Manicure Set

F. Hammann Leathergoods has been making world-class items since 1864. Five generations of the Hammann family have maintained a standard of excellence that defines their brand. Production is still carried out entirely on-location in Offenbach, Germany. The company processes its own leather, using only all-natural tanning agents. This handsome manicure set is complete, compact, and built to last a lifetime. The Eschenburg tools inside it are made with precision, for precision performance, year after year. $162

2.) MCMC Dude No. 1 Cologne

MCMC Fragrances makes all-natural perfumes and colognes in Brooklyn, NY. Founder Anne McClain studied aromatherapy and then perfumery in Grasse, France. Anne and her sister Katie oversee the manual production of each heavenly fragrance in their line. Dude No. 1 is a refreshing take on the masculine essence. A deep base of sandalwood, Virginia cedarwood and Haitian vetiver mixes with Moroccan rose, spicy ginger and pink peppercorn. Fresh, exotic, and seductive, for the James Bond in every dad. $75

3.) Mühle Sophist Buffalo Horn Shaving Set

These masters of heirloom-quality shaving accessories broke ground in Saxony, Germany at the conclusion of World War II. Over the decades, their commitment to excellence has endured and grown along with them. This gorgeous set is a gift Dad will cherish for the rest of his life. Beautiful, hand-turned buffalo horn and corrosion resistant chrome are painstakingly finished with a high-gloss polish. Famously soft silvertip badger hair makes the perfect lather every time, for a luxurious start to the day. A classic set of tools for the man who deserves the very best. $505

 

Travel

Frost River Bag

 4.) Frost River Overland Valise Weekender

Frost River makes beautiful, adventure-ready bags in Duluth, Minnesota. Their vintage style and high-quality construction are inspired by the trail blazers, prospectors and craftsmen who first explored the Northern Wilderness. In honor of that bygone era, Frost River’s methods and materials adhere to traditional production values. Each bag is made carefully from Martexin waxed canvas from New Jersey, quality leather from SB Foot Tannery in Minnesota, and finished with solid brass hardware. The Overland Valise Weekender is a ruggedly handsome, hardworking, sophisticated travel companion that you can count on to haul more than its fair share of the load. Sound like someone you know? $300

Leather wallet and Bottle opener key shackle

5.) American Bench Craft Hammer Riveted Wallet

Brothers Jason and Chris founded American Bench Craft in 2014, to honor “the heritage of [their] grandfathers and the products they relied on.” Every American Bench Craft product is made by hand with manually-powered machines and tools in their home workshop. The Hammer Riveted Leather Wallet is the flagship design on which they ran their Kickstarter campaign. Each wallet is made from a single piece of high-quality, naturally dyed leather that is folded and riveted, not stitched together, for unmatched durability and longevity. A sharp-looking, simple wallet that Dad can count on. $74

6.) Metal Shop Key Shackle Bottle Opener

Possibly the ultimate Dad gift. Simple to use, always handy for popping your favorite bottle, and entirely manly. Hand-machined from raw 304 Stainless Steel and then hand-finished, each Key Shackle opener bares unique production marks. Jon Fontane started Metal Shop in 2013 to honor the memory of his grandfather’s New Jersey machine shop. He eschews modern mass-production practices, and designs thoughtful, unique items, meant to honor authentic craftsmanship. He works out of his studio in Connecticut, in partnership with a collective of small, family-run machine shops. $45

 

Work

Fisher Space Pen, Bull & Stash leather notebook and Almanac Industries Blueprint cards

7.) Almanac Industries Blueprint Notecards

Husband and wife team Jacob and Whitney Cecil make their exquisite stationery one sheet at a time on their antique letterpress. They find joy in all things old fashioned, including attentive craftsmanship. These classic cards are no exception to their efforts. Their Blueprint series features nautical images and diagrams, including boats, rope knots and lighthouses. Each set includes fifteen heavyweight cards, hand-stamped with your image of choice. Whether Dad is the sender or the recipient, he is sure to appreciate the extra touch that these elegant cards add to the occasion. $32

8.) Fisher Original AG7 Astronaut Space Pen

Probably the coolest pen in the solar system. This is the original Space Pen, designed for use by astronauts and tested by NASA. It accompanied the crew of Apollo 7 into space in 1968 and has been used on every American space flight since, including the first moon landing. The design has never changed. The AG7 is uncannily satisfying to use. Solid chrome-plated brass and steel components lend a healthy weight to the pen. The action on the click mechanism is fluid and substantial, an homage to classic analog mechanics, akin to the pleasure of using an antique cash register or cable clutch. Fisher’s proprietary pressurized ink cartridge ensures a smooth flow, flouting all atmospheric and gravitational conditions. Proudly made in the USA, for every boy, young and old, who still wants to be an astronaut. $50

9.) Bull & Stash Leather Notebook

Oregon-based Bull & Stash is new to the world, but their rugged notebooks are destined to be classics. A staple of the Craft & Caro selection, each notebook is made from a single piece of naturally dyed leather from free-range American cows, hand-finished at a family-run tannery in Santa Croce, Italy. The thick, oiled leather forms a flexible, spine-free, water-resistant cover. The refillable paper pad is held in place with two aluminum screws, for added durability and easy replacement. Every Bull & Stash will develop a distinguished patina over the years, each as unique and personal as the writing inside. A wonderful example of an everyday item elevated by imaginitive design. $5-$50

Relax

Flask, copper shot glasses and Sportes log stove

10.) Beier-Lederwaren Ostrich Finish Steel Flask

Another standard-bearer of fine German design, Beier-Lederwaren has been manufacturing high-quality accessories since 1922. Their stainless steel flasks are built to last a lifetime. While we carry an extensive selection of Beier-Lederwaren flasks, this particular one is our favorite. Rich cow leather, expertly finished to resemble exotic ostrich hide, lends a classic, debonair look to this little heirloom. Give Dad a touch of European flair. $89

11.) Jacob Bromwell Old West Copper Shot Glasses

Jacob Bromwell has been making iconic American goods since 1819. Their first Cincinnati factory opened to supply westbound settlers with the necessities of life on the frontier. Every heirloom item is made by hand in America, from materials sourced in America. These copper shot glasses are hot-tinned according to Jacob Bromwell’s proprietary method, making them the real thing, not just ornamental replicas. Worthy of the likes of Wayne, Eastwood and Bronson. Sure to add a touch of style to Dad’s bar. Maybe he’ll even break out some of the good stuff for you. $150

12.) Sportes MITI Swedish Log Stove

For the dad who loves the outdoors, even the one who thinks he has all the gadgets he will ever need to answer the call of the wild. MITI means “log” in the tongue of the aboriginal people native to Quebec, where Sportes is located. Their ingenious Log Stove is designed to perfect a concept developed by the Swedish Army in the 1600’s. Simply quarter a medium-sized log, stand the four pieces up, then position the Log Stove on top. Lock it into place with the included spikes. Suddenly a few pieces of timber have become a stable stove, complete with cooktop and steady burn temperature. Adjust the spacing between the logs to raise or lower temperature. Pretty cool, right? Dad will think so too. (Rib eye not included.) $65

Filed Under: Events, Gift Guides, Groom, Relax, Travel, Work
Craft & Caro's 4/20 Collection

Craft & Caro is always there to help equip you for life’s richest occasions. For all the connoisseurs with cause to celebrate this Wednesday, we present our April 20th smoker’s guide. Show your best buds how much you care, with some artfully designed tools of the trade. Are you experienced?

Storage Solutions

Smoking accessories from Craft & Caro

Herb Preserve Jars (1) $8-$20 There is always room for innovation. Herb Preserve has even made a few improvements to the standard glass jar. Theirs feature light-blocking pigmented glass, an airtight sealing lid, and thick, durable construction. Fragrances stay in, light and air stay out. Assorted sizes, designed to work as a set, make this line the most convenient (and discreet) way to tote your buds, whether you’re walking the dog after dinner or spending the week in Joshua Tree.

Pocket Ashtray (2) $48 Tsubota Pearl provides us with a graceful solution to an eternal struggle. The handy pocket ashtray fits easily in your pocket, purse or bag. Pop it out whenever you need it. Prevents messes and unwanted scents on clothing, cars and furniture. Polished chrome, hand wrapped in leather. The classy way to ash.

Bronson Cigarette Case by Jacob Bromwell (3) $198 A beautiful keepsake from one of our favorite heritage brands. Jacob Bromwell has been making fine household goods in America since 1819. This handsome cigarette case is hand soldered from pure copper. Hot-tinned on the inside for a rugged finish. Easily holds a dozen healthy handrolls. Built to last a lifetime, by the company that patented the first flour sifter.

Lighters and Grinders and Buds (Oh my!)

Herb grinders and lighters from Craft & Caro

Space Case Herb Grinder (4) $30-$44 Aircraft grade aluminum, finished with an anodized non-stick titanium coating. Magnetic seal, low-friction teflon gasket. Precision-machined dull-resistant teeth. Yes, we are talking about a grinder. This space-age unit is built to shred smoothly all afternoon. Enjoy a fine, consistent grind for years to come, with a lifetime warranty to back it up.

Sweetleaf Herb Grinder (5) $26-$32 The trusty vintage herb grinder with the patented “peg” design. Made in Canada since Bachman Turner Overdrive was making hits. No tricks here, just simple, solid construction (from polished aluminum) and an iconic design.

Tsubota Pearl Black Satin Lighter (6) $48 Tsubota Pearl, a family-run business, has been designing lighters with expertise since 1952. Over the years they have designed dozens of lighters that embody the term “modern classic.” This satin-finished brass model is sharp. Each component is manufactured with care, for a smooth, reliable performance. Uses clean-burning butane. Light your fire like a pro.

Tsubota Pearl Onyx & Mother of Pearl Checker Lighter (7) $264 Oh Tsubota Pearl, you shouldn’t have. This gorgeous onyx and mother of pearl-finished brass lighter is one of our personal favorites. A precious keepsake for yourself or the special connoisseur in your life.

The Sweet Scent of Discretion

Scented items from Craft & Caro

Wary Meyers Candles (8) $28.50 These funky candles are handmade by artisans John and Linda in coastal Maine. Fun, all-natural scents like Sea Salt & Watermelon and Honey & Cocobolo Wood provide sensuous ambiance all afternoon. Perfect for setting the mood or clearing the air.

Dyer & Jenkins Shelter Spray (9) $20 Ditch the harsh deodorizers. These rustic scents are made from all-natural essential oils. The most convenient way to refresh any dank smelling room, tent, cabin, closet, pillow fort or Chevelle SS. Available in Walden (cedar & balsam fir), Clemens (vanilla & tobacco) and Whitman (peppermint & tea tree). Portable, fast acting and easy to use. Where were these things back in the dorm??

Sonny Marshall Studios Balance Incense Holder (10) $95 Sometimes there is no substitute for a good Nag Champa session. This unique incense burner is handmade from white oak by L.A. woodworker Sonny Marshall. A small brass weight holds your incense of choice, while balancing the fulcrum-mounted ash catcher beneath it. A beautiful zen curio for your desk, meditation shrine or bedroom.

Filed Under: Culture, Events, Gift Guides, Relax
11 Fabulous Gift ideas for Mom from Craft & Caro

Craft & Caro strives to be the finest purveyor of gentlemen’s essentials, but many of our fine products are beloved by ladies as well! We put this luxurious Mother’s Day gift guide together for the fashionable mom in your life.

 

The Executive Collection

Executive Collection for Craft & Caro's Mother's Day Gift Guide

For the mom who means business.

The Lajoie Shoulder Tote (1) is simple, sharp and gracefully stylish. Laser cut Dutch leather, hand stitched with urban-farmed beeswax twine, gives this bag an elegant precision. A few modest accents add a touch of flair, elevating it from formal work tote to rock-star-chic fashion accessory. Built in Montreal to last a lifetime. $365

A handwritten note is always more heartfelt than a store-bought card. Think outside of the shoebox with Bohemia Correspondence Cards (2)! These colorful greeting cards from Prague are themselves a worthy gift consideration. The sturdy, bordered cardstock with matching tissue-lined envelopes makes versatile stationery for lighthearted hellos, holiday greetings or formal affairs. $32

Now let’s equip that bag with some accessories of its own. We recommend the Schon DSGN #0001 Metal Pen (3), made here in Boston. Solid, stately and classic. Its heft in the hand commands authority, just like Mom. Fabricated from your choice of silver or black aluminum, limited edition brass, bronze or titanium. Rolls Royce not included. $58

One of our Bull & Stash Refillable Notebooks (4) completes the set. A single piece of deliciously soft nubuck leather, hand finished in Italy, forms the jacket of this tough, travel ready notebook. Spine-free and very flexible, this attractive jotter is the professional way to scratch, scribble and brainstorm in the office, on the commute or in the park. Cut in three sizes, including two pocket-sized. $15-$50

 

The Vacation Collection

Vacation Collection for Craft & Caro's Mother's Day Gift Guide

Because motherhood is a beach.

The iconic Pendleton Glacier Park 5th Avenue Throw (5) makes a lovely keepsake for any room in the house. Its plush Merino wool is irresistibly soft — perfect for curling up on the couch, laying out on the beach or picnicking in the park. A gift to be enjoyed for years and years. Manufactured in Oregon since the 1860’s. $138

Mom can pack her Pendleton into a Revival Series Boston Bag (6) for her afternoon excursion. This historic design is tastefully executed with rugged canvas, hand-stitched leather and solid brass hardware. All the trappings of a good time can fit into this handy tote. A removable leather shoulder strap makes carrying heavy cargo easy. Buttons up or down for adjustable size, in case Mom’s afternoon off turns into a whole weekend! Proudly designed and made in Boston. (Check out designer Marie Thompson’s recent coverage in The Boston Globe!) $198

No sunny afternoon is complete without a nice cold drink! Owl’s Brew Cocktail Mixers (7) provide a fun and easy way for Mom to enjoy some DIY craft bartending. Made in Vermont from freshly brewed tea, fruit and herbs, each Owl’s Brew comes ready to mix with your spirit of choice. Add ice, give it a stir and you’re done!  Feeling more creative? Give classic cocktails a new twist or experiment with custom recipes! It’s even great on its own, as a refreshing artisanal iced tea. $10-$18

 

The Pamper Collection

Pamper Collection for Craft & Caro's Mother's Day Gift Guide

She pampered you. Here’s your chance to pay back the favor with some all-natural items, crafted to delight the senses and soothe the soul.

A standout addition to any culinary library, Infuse: Oil, Spirit, Water (8) is filled with enough inspired infusion recipes to last all summer long! Mom will have a blast making her own garlic confit oil, peach bourbon, homemade limoncello and pineapple-mint-coconut water, to name a few. This beautifully illustrated guide even includes secondary food and cocktail recipes incorporating its luscious infusions! Another thing to look forward to next time you’re invited to dinner at Mom’s. $25

No Mother’s Day gift guide would be complete without a scented candle or two. MIZU (9) nails it with their perfectly balanced hand-poured candles. Made with 100% natural soy wax and essential oil blends. Each scent in the Mizuworld Collection captures fragrances from a particular region of the globe, like Lemongrass & Jasmine for Thailand and Fig & Olive for Greece. Yum! Brighten Mom’s world with something extra special. $22.50

Bring a touch of the exotic to Mom’s morning routine! Wary Meyers Soap (10) is beautiful, festive and fragrant. Made with love by a funky pair of interior designers who left New York City for the rocky shores of Maine. Their dazzling all natural soaps sport bold, playful scents like Beachy Coconut, Grapefruit & Clementine, and Cedarwood & Vanilla. A gentle glycerine-based formula makes these soaps soothing and moisturizing, with a luxurious smoothing finish. $14

Thorn & Bloom Artisanal Botanical Perfume (11) redefines high-end fragrance. This premium line of all-natural eau de parfums is hand crafted by certified natural perfumer Jennifer Botto. Natural botanical ingredients create more nuanced and authentic aromatic profiles than conventional perfumes can achieve. Each intricate scent is inspired by Botto’s childhood memories of her family’s farm in upstate New York. A truly precious treasure to share, made just down the road in Somerville, Massachusetts. $65-$199 (Full interview with Jennifer Botto here.)

There you have it, friends. Eleven inspired gifts to help you show your mother just how special she is. The only thing left to figure out is how to out-do yourself next year.

Mother's Day Gift Guide from Craft & Caro

Filed Under: Boston, Gift Guides, Groom, Relax, Travel, Work
Spring Beer Review pt. 2

Readers loved our Spring Beer Review so much that we decided to pop another six for you! It was hard work but we survived. Here’s to Spring!

 

Professor Fritz Briem 1809 Berliner Weisse
1809 Berliner Weisse

1809 is a re-creation of the unusual Berliner-Weisse style — a refreshing, light-bodied, German wheat ale characterized by a lactic tartness. In fact the recipe includes Lactobacillus, the same bacterial culture used to make yogurt. Berliner Weisse known as a summer treat in many places, but we can’t wait that long.

Pour this hazy straw-colored ale into a tall glass. You’ll find ripe Meyer lemon, hay and fresh grass in the nose. It drinks like a light hefeweizen but with a zingy, lemon yogurt tartness. There’s a subtle creaminess in the mouthfeel that fans of this style find irresistibly satisfying. The wheat body provides soft backing notes of fruit and grain. A great refresher all spring and summer long, especially since this style tends to clock in between three and five percent!

(Pro tip: Can’t find it? Look for White Birch Brewing’s Berliner Weisse in a yellow can! Excellent American version of this brew.)

Freising, GER, 5%

 

Anchor Steam Beer

Anchor Steam Beer

Anchor Brewing’s Steam Beer is the defining example of Steam Beer, one of the only brews with American roots. First brewed in Gold Rush-era San Francisco, this approachable amber lager has the characteristics of an ale. Think of it as the mellow west coast cousin of Sam Adams Boston Lager. Northern Brewer hops, known for their herbal and woody aromas, provide a somewhat gritty but moderate hop profile. Pale and Caramel Malts balance the brew with a toffee sweetness. A strong carbonation keeps this medium-bodied beer light on its toes.

The nose presents hints of caramel and pine but ultimately this is a beer that simply smells like, well, beer! Rightly so. A less sophisticated style than most modern craft brews, Steam Beer was first produced to slake the thirst of tired miners and sailors. Do your part and pop one in the park. A great beer for any Opening Day!

San Francisco, CA, 4.9%

 

Brasserie de la Senne Taras Boulba

Brasserie de la Senne Taras Boulba

A gorgeously dry Belgian pale ale. This beer is hopped like an American pale but unmistakably refined like a true Belgian. The nose is fresh, damp, earthy and faintly floral, somewhere between jasmine flowers and roses. The sip is dry, bitter, almost champagne-y. Slight notes of orange peel and wheat flit by. The finish is tightly bitter, with traces of yeast and jasmine flower.

This would make an excellent alternative to some bubbly on a picnic, especially paired with roast chicken or pan-fried fish!

Brussels, BEL, 4.5%

 

Lord Hobo Brewing Hobo Life Session IPA

Lord Hobo Hobo Life Session IPA

Fresh like fiddleheads. Dank notes of raw sourdough consort with herbal and citrus hop aromas in the nose. A Citra dry-hop session provides juicy notes of grapefruit and key lime that pop on the palate, yet the brew remains light and effervescent. A pale biscuit maltiness with tinges of toasted caramel rounds out the sip. The flavor lightens towards the end, finishing clean. Definitely a session IPA but with more flavor than usual, because why not? Another great one for working up to full IPA hoppiness in weeks to come.

Woburn, MA, 4.5%

 

Alpine Brewing Duet IPA

Alpine Duet IPA

Speaking of which, here is an IPA to hit your stride with as the days get warmer. Big aromas of tropical fruits and flowers rise from the glass when you pour this purebred west coast IPA. Bursts of fresh-squeezed tropical fruit (we got grapefruit, mango, sour cherry and green apple!), spruce and even skunky cannabis greet the palate. A caramel malt backbone and bright lemony notes frame the sipping experience. Despite a full orchestra of flavors, this brew still finishes light and clean. All around a graceful and gratifying west coast IPA. Hell yeah.

Alpine, CA, 7%

 

Stone Enjoy By 4.20.16

Stone Enjoy By 4.20.16

Call it art, call it hubris, call it an affront to science. Whatever you call it, Stone’s Enjoy By series is always fun. Each release is a one-time brew of intense magnitude, “brewed specifically NOT to last,” according to Stone. Every super-hopped batch must be enjoyed fresh, hence its name. Enjoy By 4.20.16 is a “devastatingly dank” double IPA brewed with ten strains of luscious hops! Huge waves of ripe tropical fruit are peppered with a piney spice. The palate reels in ecstasy. A broad, honey-sweet malt body manages to balance the load. The brew remains just crisp and dry enough to be way more more drinkable than an Imperial IPA ought to be! Definitely a far out tribute to an already groovy day of the year. Cheers!

Escondido, CA, 9.4%