That magical time of the year is upon us.
The MLS season has been underway for just under a week now. The Revs started off their season this past Sunday in Los Angeles with a 1-1 draw and in only a few days we will be attending the Revs 2011 Home Opener against DC. Not only does that mean our weekends have purpose once again, it also means we will be doing our fair share of drinking outside. Some of you might recall our [somewhat] ongoing tailgate posts and our promise of early season beer recommendations. Well, here we go.
For my part, the first tailgate of the season will consist of my most recent home brew: Ginger Wheat Ale. I used fresh ginger and Amarillo hops because I am a fan of citrus notes. Other home brews are bound to show up this Saturday and we look forward to every single drop.
To get a more informed perspective and a great recommendation list we contacted Adam over at BrewEngland and asked for some local beer recommendations, enjoy. Make sure to check out their awesome blog (trust me, they can drink and write much more comprehensibly than us).
Spring Tailgating Recommendations
Back in January Richard from The Drug Is Football (TDIF) contacted me and asked if we would like to do a collaborative post on beer and football (soccer). Naturally, I said sure!
Although I have never officially tailgated before a sporting event, 99% of the time you will find me in a local watering hole prior to a Bruins or Red Sox game (usually Boston Beer Works). When Richard asked for some New England beer recommendations for early season tailgating sessions (March/April), I knew I could come up with a few ideas. With that being said, I have compiled a list of beers that would compliment any pre-Revolution match activities, such as grilling food, helping you keep warm, and getting you ready for the action!
Beer #1: Wachusett IPA
Wachusett Brewing Co. – Westminster, MA
5.6% ABV, 50 IBU
This is a bold, robust, and flavorful IPA! It features a great blend of aroma and hoppy, bitter, and crisp body that leaves you satisfied. Wachusett IPA is pretty easy to find, but we like this beer so much if you can't find it one place, it's worth the drive to find it. It will pair well with hamburgers, hot dogs, or many of the other tailgating favorites!
Suitable substitutes: Wachusett Larry, Smuttynose Brewing Co. Big A IPA, Shipyard XXXX IPA, Ipswich IPA
Beer #2: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Baby Tree Quadrupel
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project - Boston and Westport, MA
Baby Tree Quadrupel with Dried Plums
1pt 6oz, 9% ABV
The Baby Tree Quad is a dark, malty, heavy, and subtly sweet beer. It also has the notes of plum, which help give the Quad it's earthy and sweet flavor. It would be paired best with stews, and with it's 9% Alcohol by Volume, it's going to keep you warm! It's best if shared with friends, which you will be thanked for after they try this beer.
Suitable substitute: Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project Jack D’Or
Beer #3: Mayflower Spring Hop Ale
Mayflower Brewing Co. - Plymouth, MA
Seasonal Spring Hop Ale
5.2% ABV, 37 IBU, 12 oz
Also available on draft
The Spring Hop Ale is the latest release from this up and coming Massachusetts brewery. It is incredibly aromatic, and is easily complimented by the malt and sweetness found in the brew. It is not overly bitter, but does pick up the nice hop flavor. It is slightly sweet as well, but finishes dry. This beer is great on its own, but will pair up nicely with more grilled food!
Suitable substitutes: Mayflower IPA, Sam Adams Latitude 48, Magic Hat Demo Black IPA
Beer #4: Cape Ann Brewing Co. Fisherman’s Navigator (Winter Release, may be difficult to find)
Cape Ann Brewing Company – Gloucester, MA
Fisherman’s Navigator Special Winter Reserve
Double Bock German Style Lager
7% ABV, 37 IBU, 12 oz
Here is a smooth, colorful, and delicious beer. It has hints of caramel, in both its aroma and flavor, which makes this a pleasant beer. It is a winter seasonal, so it may be somewhat difficult to find, but it's worth picking up if you find it. It clocks in at 7% ABV too, which can sneak up on you.
Suitable substitutes: Redhook ESB, Sam Adams Stony Brook Red
Beer #5: Harpoon Brewery 100 Barrel Series Island Creek Oyster Stout
Suitable substitutes: Berkshire Brewing Co. Coffee House Porter, Gritty McDuff’s Black Fly Stout, Shipyard Brewing Co. Blue Fin Stout
It should also be noted that one of my favorite summertime/fall cookout meals is beer brats. I take a package of Johnsonville Beer Brats, poke a hole in both ends, and simmer them for about 40 minutes with two or three Long Trail Brewing Co.’s Amber beers, along with one sliced red onion. You don’t have to submerge the brats completely in the beer, but you’ll want to make sure the beer comes most of the way to the top. Definitely add some spicy mustard and top it with the cooked onions and you’ll be in heaven.
You can check out how to make Beer Brat Burgers here, which was a recipe designed by Sarah. They are incredibly tasty, easy to prepare, and will not disappoint!
For more beer reviews, brewery tours, and general news on New England craft breweries, please check out www.BrewEngland.com!