This is the second weekly installment highlighting the craft beer scene of Florida State's opponent. This segment will feature a brewery from the area and a beer from another brewery in the area, with a focus on best representing the craft beer scene of the Noles weekly opponent. We also try to include options that are readily available to those who may not be traveling to the games and want to pick something up from their local package store. Without further delay we present to you craft beer in Boston.
Boston is known in the beer industry for the microbrewery that isn't quite micro, Boston Beer Company. The Samuel Adams brands are ubiquitous, and are a tap handle stalwart alongside the Big 3 macro brands. You can get any number of different styles of Sam Adams beers in your local grocery store, restaurant or liquor store. I've also heard they do a really good tour, so if you're in town for the game, give it a shot. In addition, Sam Adams was arguably a large part of the early stages of changing consumer palates and opening the doors to the bevy of craft beer options we have today. However, we aren't here to sing the praises of Jim Koch's little business. Let's do something more bold.
Cambridge Brewing Company is located in the Boston metro area community of Cambridge, well known for being the location of a movie about a janitor. I picked up their The Audacity of Hops Belgian Double IPA at my local Total Wine, where a 22 fl oz bomber was available for a reasonable price, under $10. The description from the bottle:
Liberally hopped to an audacious degree, our Belgian Style Double IPA reaches across the aisle, bridging the brewing philosophies of old world and new. Five hop varieties work together to form a delicious nonpartisan coalition with spicy Belgian yeast character. It's beer we can believe in!
The guys at CBC first released this beer in 2008, around the time of Obama's first election - and the marketing language plays heavily on this, pitting Belgian yeast vs American hops instead of red vs blue. I would most certainly vote for a candidate whose slogan was "Hops and Change".
Appropriate to its political influence, The Audacity of Hops offers both the bitter bite of a heavily hopped IPA and the smooth, spicy kick found in its Belgian yeast strain. I really enjoyed this beer. For being 70+ IBU and 8.5% ABV, this beer goes down smooth. Too smooth, in fact. You'd have to be one of Steve Addazio's 300 lb. Dudes to have more than a couple of these and coherently talk about Gordon Wood in a Cambridge bar.
A more commercially available brewery from the Boston area is Harpoon Brewery. Harpoon's beers, while not as widely distributed as Sam Adams, can be found in some restaurants and most grocery stores and package stores. The Harpoon IPA is their English IPA and their best distributed beer. A very mild IPA by today's standards in America, it clocks in at under 6% ABV and 42 IBU. It's a pretty solid beer. Nothing special, nothing I would go out of my way for, but I won't push it away if it's put in front of me. Kind of like Boston College football. If you want to go hard before game time, try Harpoon's Leviathan Imperial IPA.
If you're in the Boston area for the game, Trillium Brewing Company is in the area and worth checking out. While not distributed in Florida that I'm aware of, Trillium has an excellent reputation. Our friends over at SBN Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician highly recommend their Double Dry Hopped Congress Street.
If you're unable to get your hands on any of the above mentioned beers, that's okay, we would love to know what kind of beer you will be enjoying this weekend as Florida State takes care of business against some Dudes from Boston College.