November Beer Series

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in Beer Blog | 0 comments

Southern Tier Brewery
Lakewood, New York
Founders Phineas DeMink and Allen “Skip” Yahn started Southern Tier with the vision of reviving the practice of small batch brewing to a region rich in brewing tradition. In 2002, with equipment gained from the purchase of the Old Saddleback Brewing Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the Southern Tier Brewing Company began production in the Stoneman Business Park just outside of Lakewood, New York. By 2003, select varieties of small batch ales were locally distributed, and by 2005, sales covered the majority of New York State and Pennsylvania.
Steadily growing, throughout 2010 it became clear that more beer needed to be produced to satisfy a growing customer base. 800 barrels of fermentation vessels has been added to the production area and a 7500 square foot addition has been added for use as a conditioning room. The constantly running brewhaus has also been expanded and updated. In early 2011 the company replaced its bottling line with the most high-tech, state of the art bottling line of its size in North America. It fills, caps and labels an impressive 8,000 bottles per hour, with the ability to package 12,000 per hour at full speed.
This beer begins in spring when oat seeds are sown as soon as the soil can be worked. Meanwhile, select types of barley are planted with hopes that Mother Nature will be kind. The brewers patiently wait until the legumes are mature and ready for the scythe. Upon delivery to the brewery, these ingredients are mixed together in the mash tun where they steep, creating a rich molasses-like liquid. Spicy hops are boiled with the thick brew, giving balance and complexity. Brewers yeast feasts upon the rich sugars, concluding its transformation into oatmeal stout. Pour Oat into a snifter, allow its thick tan head to slowly rise, releasing unbridled aromas. The color of Oat is as dark as a moonless night. Like all good Oatmeal Stouts, this is a meal by itself.
Pretty Things Brewery
Somerville, MA
Pretty Things starts with husband and wife team Dann and Martha Paquette. A few years back, Dann got the brewing bug and left for England to hone his craft. The British influence can be seen in many of PT’s products. Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is a gypsy brewery that has quickly established a household name for itself with their quirky, tasty beers. They are gypsies in that they do not have a brewing home. Currently they are tenant brewers at Buzzard’s Bay Brewery in Westport. Tenant brewing differs sharply from “contract brewing”. A contract brewer’s product is brewed by and often formulated by the brewmaster at the host brewery. A tenant brewer is solely responsible for his/her/their product.

Babayaga, an ancient child eating witch is the inspiration for this late fall seasonal brew. Pretty Things describes this as woodland stout. It is made with smoked rosemary and malt. This is a little stronger than the typical stout and has a pronounced roasted quality.

Valley Malt BSA
Notch Brewing Company
Ipswich, MA
Notch’s BSA (Brewer Supported Agriculture) program follows the model of a CSA. Grain is purchased prior to the growing season to give the farmer the appropriate jolt of capital needed to make it through the leanest time of the year, finance-wise. For that, he is given a healthy share of the crop at harvest. In this case, This year’s barley was grown in Northampton, at Slow Tractor Farm, harvested on July 22, malted in late August at Valley Malt and brewed
that same month. Some harvest beers do not conform to a two million barrel brewer’s “seasonal” schedule, they conform to nature’s seasonal schedule. So, rather than conjure the gods of the Massachusetts harvest to quicken the growth of our barley, we changed the name. The
style of beer does not help our schedule at all, the Valley Malt BSA is a farmhouse ale, brewed with a pain in the ass yeast that has a long fermentation time, so from mash tun to bottle takes well over a month. So here we are in October, and the beer is finally ready for release.
Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Company
Chicago, Illinois
Hoppin’ Frog is a small, hands-on brewery making very flavorful beers in the most flavorful beer styles. We brew high quality beers with an uncompromising focus on detail, from the ingredient selection to the brewing process. A specially designed JV Northwest brewing system creates more flavorful beers by allowing more barley to be used in the brewing process. They also use a premium bottling machine that keeps the beer fresher, and extends storage times compared to other conventional microbreweries. This is very beneficial to retain all the character of these flavorful styles of beer.
While the technical acumen is great, it’s the flavor of the beers that earned them 20th best microbrewery by We are thrilled to be one of 17 states where Hoppin’ Frog is available.
B.O.R.I.S. is an acronym for Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout.
“Love it, a twist on the Russian Imperial Stout. Oats do a Stout good. Dead of night blackness pours from the bottle, slow moving bubbles all jockey for position within the tightly-kept froth. The aroma is so mellow, almost too mellow. Deep, dark berry fruitiness meets soft dark-roasted coffee and a sultry dark chocolate nose. Sublime smoothness, we thank the oats and full body for that. The roasted or burnt grain flavor is firm but not sharp, with massive mocha flavor throughout. Yeah, mocha … the chocolate and coffee overtones battle it out with suggestions of high-percent cocoa chocolate and a Sumatra roasted coffee flavor. Sounds complex because it is. Alcohol is there, warming, but does not make too much noise. Oats and malt lend some sweetness which solidifies the balance. Finishes bitter semisweet.” Beer Advocate 93 points

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