New beers from Boulevard, Samuel Adams, Stone tasted Fri, 11 Oct 2013 20:16:15 +0000 Norman Miller Despite my recent travels and the large amount of beer I have purchased in the past week, I slipped in a few new brews to review this week.

First up is the new Boulevard Brewing Company’s Reboot White IPA. It is a re-release of 2011 Collaboration Series No. 2. Brand_Reboot Beer is for the birds … and that’s a good thing Fri, 11 Oct 2013 13:25:05 +0000 Norman Miller The Mass Audubon Society is hosting a charity beer festival at the Boston Nature Center next month.

Birds and Brews will be held at the Boston Nature Center, 50 Walk Hill St., Mattapan, on Nov. 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. BNCBirdsBrewlogo Heady Topper by the numbers Wed, 09 Oct 2013 20:17:18 +0000 Norman Miller Some quick facts about the Alchemist's Heady Topper, which kind of shocked me when I did the math.

According to founder/brewer John Kimmich, The Alchemist, based in Waterbury, Vt., brews 9,000 barrels of Heady Topper, the number one ranked beer in the world according to Beer Advocate reviews, a year.   A look at beers from Smuttynose, the Tap and a new cider Fri, 04 Oct 2013 20:37:08 +0000 Norman Miller I’ve been slightly obsessed with Oktoberfest beers lately, so I haven’t had a chance to try a bunch of new beers recently.

However, I did slide in a few, including a brand new to me Oktoberfest.

But first is the Straw-Barb Short Weisse, the newest in the Smuttynose Brewing Company’s Short Batch series. There were only 912 of these bottles available.

Berliner weisses, a tart, German-style [...]]]> Festivals, Oktoberfests and the release of Norm Thu, 03 Oct 2013 20:39:22 +0000 Norman Miller Depressed that summer is gone? Don’t be because there are tons of beer events going on in the next few days and they’ll help you get rid of the fall doldrums.

John Harvard’s Brewery & Ale House in Shoppers World in Framingham is hosting an Oktoberfest Party on Oct. 13 (rain date Oct. 20) from noon to 6 p..

This outdoor event, which is family friendly, will take place outdoors on the patio and in [...]]]> Come to Wellesley Books on Tuesday for my book and beer Fri, 27 Sep 2013 19:45:57 +0000 Norman Miller bookInterested about learning about local breweries and have a few drinks at the same time? Then Wellesley Books is the Place for you on Tuesday.

I will be on hand signing [...]]]> Active on social media? Find me Fri, 27 Sep 2013 19:26:31 +0000 Norman Miller Hello beer people. Are you active in social media like me? If so, here’s just a quick list of places where you can find me on line.

For my Twitter, click here.

For my Facebook page, click here.

For the Seacoast Beverage Lab Podcast Facebook page, James Watt and Martin Dickie are traveling around the U.S., visiting breweries to brew unique beers while trying to find as many “craft beer virgins” to introduce to good beer.

And, thanks to the new show, “Brew Dogs,” that debuted on Tuesday on the new Esquire Network, we can follow the founders of the Scottish BrewDog brewery around for their adventure.

The first episode features [...]]]> Advice to new brewers Tue, 24 Sep 2013 20:29:48 +0000 Norman Miller I don't typically offer advice to brewers, except to say to brew a beer with coconut and you'll be a millionaire.

I don't brew and I don't own a business, so I don't typically want to give business and brewing advice.

However, I do drink a lot of beer (research) and I feel I can objectively taste when a beer is good, or if there is something wrong with the beer. I typically know when a beer is something I just don't like compared to when something is wrong with a beer. [...]]]> New beers from Harpoon, Maine Beer and others tasted Fri, 20 Sep 2013 20:51:25 +0000 Norman Miller A new week and a new set of beers have hit the shelves in the past few weeks. Here’s a look at five new beers you should take a look at.

First up is the latest beer in the Harpoon Brewery’s 100 Barrel Series, the Saison Various.

The Saison Various is a collaboration of four different Harpoon brewers vision of a saison that are then blended together. One brewer used East Kent Goldings hops with coriander and white peppercorns while another used no spices at all. [...]]]> Jack’s Abby, Wormtown news Wed, 18 Sep 2013 21:28:45 +0000 Norman Miller Jack’s Abby Brewing made an announcement today that will get those who visit the brewery very excited – they have taken the first step to be able to sell pints of beer in their tasting room.

On Tuesday, the Framingham Board of Selectmen approved Jack’s Abby’s Farmer Series Pouring permit, which will allow them to serve 16 ounce or less pours of beer in the tasting room.

However, [...]]]> SKYBOKX to host first beer dinner Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:27:15 +0000 Norman Miller SKYBOKX 109 GastroSports, a relatively new Natick restaurant, is hosting its first beer dinner on Sept. 26.

The four course meal features all Massachusetts beers, and a tasty looking menu. The dinner costs $40 and the dinner runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 21221121 Have you ever wondered who would in in a beer stein holding competition – a football player, a basketball player, a baseball player or a hockey player? Probably not, but you could find out tonight.

This is a little late, but Samuel Adams and the Beer Summit is hosting its annual Octoberfest celebration tonight and tomorrow at the Castle in Boston. Tickets are still available. I have a self-imposed ban on buying fall seasonals prior to Sept. 1, but once that day rolls around I head to local liquor store to pick up a few of my favorite Oktoberfest-style beers.

But, this year, I had trouble doing that. Oktoberfests were scarce.

The two stores I went to were nearly devoid of Oktoberfests, my favorite style of seasonal beer. Sure, there were a couple, but some of my favorites – Spaten and Hofbrau and others – were no where to be found. [...]]]> Battle of the radlers – Stiegl vs. Schöfferhofer Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:28:30 +0000 Norman Miller If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I have had a recent obsession with the Stiegl grapefruit radler. I have had a lot of it to drink.

But recently, I tried something different, the Schöfferhofer Grapefruit [...]]]> Pizza and beer pairing advice Wed, 04 Sep 2013 20:47:22 +0000 Norman Miller Everyone knows that pizza and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly, but in the next couple of weeks I have a challenge – pair 10 gourmet, grilled pizzas with 10 different beers.

And, since a lot of beer geeks like to share their opinions, I’m looking for some advice.

The first pizza is called the White-on-White and it’s made with white asparagus, oil-packed artichoke hearts, lemon juice, grits, white bean puree, parmigiana-reggiano cheese and [...]]]> Sierra Nevada Beer Camp reviewed Thu, 29 Aug 2013 20:33:00 +0000 Norman Miller The summer is over and all the kids are back from camp. But, just recently hitting stores is the latest edition of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Best of Beer Camp mixed pack.

Each year, several lucky people get the chance to head out to Chico, Calif., and brew beer with the brewers. And, each year, the best of those beers are released in the Best of Beer Camp mixed pack.

This year’s pack includes thee [...]]]> Beer is good to drink and to read about Wed, 28 Aug 2013 20:51:46 +0000 Norman Miller The best thing about beer is obviously drinking the beer, but I also enjoy to read a good book about beer while enjoying my beer of choice.

Lately, it seems like a lot of new beer books are hitting store shelves. In this week’s column, I feature Joshua Bernstein’s latest, “The Complete Beer Course.”

And now, I have two [...]]]> New beers from Slumbrew, Smuttynose and Stone reviewed Fri, 23 Aug 2013 20:47:55 +0000 Norman Miller The weekend is here, so many of you will be heading to the beer store trying to find some new beers to try.

So, as my continued service to you, I tried several new beers (and a new cider) that you'll see on the shelves to help you decide if it's something you'll like.

First up this week is the new fall seasonal cider from Angry Orchard, the Cinnful Apple.

Liking this cider will really be dependant on whether [...]]]> Boston is losing a good beer writer Thu, 22 Aug 2013 20:18:30 +0000 Norman Miller As a person who reads a lot of beer blogs and columns, was saddened when I read that Heather Vandenengel, who writes the Honest Pint for the Dig, is leaving Boston.

I’ve become a fan of her columns over the past couple of years. She did a fantastic job of covering local beer and the local beer scene. My favorite column of hers was a feature on the history of beer in Boston. John Holl, author of "The American Craft Beer Cookbook," will be in the area next month doing a series of book signings.

AmericanCraftBeer This year I swore I would build something for my Chinook hops to climb all over, or up, and I didn’t do it again.

I just let do what it wanted. Its taken over on corner of my porch like it has in the past, but this year it seems bigger. Last year I got two pounds of wet hops. I think dry it ended up being just around a pound.   Beer pun makes great beer name Thu, 15 Aug 2013 14:22:31 +0000 Norman Miller I’m always up for a good beer pun and a creative beer name.

After today, I have a new favorite beer name and it’s going to be tough for anyone to beat – the Marzen Scorsese Oktorberfest Lager from the Tap Brewing Company.

Marzen I love German beers but always wondered why you never see any German IPAs or double IPAs?

They don’t violate the Reinheitsgebot, the German beer purity law that prohibits anything but water, barley or hops, but none are commercially available in the U.S. Stone-17thAnniversary_Photo-WEB This week I’ll take a look at a pair of new-ish beers that you can find locally on liquor store shelves.

First up is the Anchor Brewing Company’s California Lager, the first entry in Anchor’s new Zymaster Series. It was previously released as a limited only draft beer.

The California Lager is a recreation of a lager brewed in California in the late 1800s by a brewery named Boca. Back then, due [...]]]> One year later, a thank you to all Thu, 08 Aug 2013 11:05:37 +0000 Norman Miller One year ago today, the most important person in my life, my mother Donna Miller, died.

This past year has been a roller coaster of emotions. A lot of fantastic things happened. My book, "Beer Lover's New England" came out. Luckily, I got copies before my mother died so she got to see it. It made her happy when I read her this part of the acknowledgements, "First, I want to thank my mother, Donna Miller, who convinced me, despite her not liking that I drink beer, to write this book. [...]]]> Sitcom pilot based on early days of Dogfish Head in the works Wed, 07 Aug 2013 17:05:30 +0000 Norman Miller While taking a quick read of Twitter earlier today, I saw a Tweet that mentioned that Fox was looking to develop a show based on the life of Sam and Mariah Calagione, the founders of Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales.

Intrigued,  I wanted to find out if this is true, so I shot an email out to Sam Calagione. He said the planning is in the early stages, but did share a note he sent to the brewery staff about the show. There are some things that are generally accepted in the beer world, such as stouts are supposed to be black in color. Every beer judge in the world will tell you that’s true.

Everyone may have to rethink that because Night Shift Brewing’s Snow is a stout like you've never seen before – a white stout that is the color of a pilsner.

Snow is a 3.5 percent alcohol by volume "white stout," brewed by [...]]]> Boulevard variety 12-packs coming to Massachusetts Tue, 06 Aug 2013 17:05:22 +0000 Norman Miller I hate when I read about brewery exclusive beers and how good they are, mainly because I’m jealous because I can’t get to the brewery to get said beer.

The Boulevard Brewing Company of Missouri announced Monday something that fixes that a little – beginning this month, all variety 12-packs will feature two beers that were previously brewery-only releases.

“Until now, the only way consumers [...]]]> Guest blogger: New Hampshire: Part 3 Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:05:13 +0000 Andrew Kuhn This past week I went back up to the North Conway area for the last of the New Hampshire get aways for this year. Typical stuff like kayaking, swimming, blueberry picking, and Storyland was done, but really the beer was the most important of it all.

 Our first night there I picked up a six pack of Sam Adam’s Porch Rocker. I normally don’t buy six packs due to their price, but it was being sold for $7.50, and at that price a six pack made sense to buy. I had never had [...]]]> New beers from Samuel Adams, Smuttynose and Stone reviewed Fri, 02 Aug 2013 17:05:44 +0000 Norman Miller A beer made with my favorite ingredient in the world, a recreation of an American classic and a barrel-aged quad with a funky name are all being featured today.

The three new beers, the Samuel Adams Tetravis, Smuttynose Brewing Company's Cluster's Last Stand and Stone Brewing Company's collaborative beer, the R&R [...]]]> New breweries to be featured at Summer Brewfest Thu, 01 Aug 2013 17:05:59 +0000 Norman Miller The Sixth Annual Summer Brewfest at Indian Ranch on Saturday will host 25 breweries and three cideries, including three of the newest brewing companies in the state.

The festival is on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the shores of Lake Chaubunagungamaug (Lake Webster) and will feature more than 100 beers total, live music and food.  A coconut obsession Wed, 31 Jul 2013 17:05:29 +0000 Norman Miller I remember when my obsession with all things coconut started – as a young lad in preschool.

I still remember Mrs. Linez (the spelling may be off, I was 4-years-old the last time I saw her) cracking coconuts one day and giving everyone a little coconut milk.

That was more than 30 years ago, and the coconut obsession remains. I drink coconut water, coconut coffee and coconut soda, and coconut encrusted shrimp is a favorite of mine.

But, above all else, I'm [...]]]> Beer #9: Thomas Hooker’s Barrel Aged Saison Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:20 +0000 Norman Miller It’s not hard to find a Bourbon-barrel aged beer – it seems like every fourth beer coming out nowadays have been aged in some sort of Bourbon or whiskey barrel.

The latest beer from Thomas Hooker from Connecticut does just that – a saison fermented in white wine barrels, and the results are the best beer they’ve brewed in years. Beer #8: Shipyard Brewing Company Barrel-Aged Monkey Fist Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:20 +0000 Norman Miller Those who know me know I’m not a big fan of Shipyard Brewing Company. So, when I tell you that I really, really liked the new Bourbon Barrel Aged Monkey Fist India Pale Ale, you know that means something.

I find the Ringwood yeast Shipyard uses is overly noticeable, turning most of their beers into a buttery-flavored miss.

However, the Monkey Fist IPA, aged in Bourbon barrels is a true treat. The Bourbon hides the butter flavor from the yeast, and really lets the [...]]]> Beer #7: Slumbrew Happy Sol Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:20 +0000 Norman Miller Slumbrew Happy Sol has been one of my personal favorites since the first time I’ve tried it.

This wheat beerslumbrews is brewed with blood oranges. I love fruit beers, as long as they’re brewed with real fruit – it gives the beer real [...]]]> Beer #6: Backlash Beer Company’s Catalyst Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:19 +0000 Norman Miller Some beers are sneaky. When you drink an 8.5 percent alcohol by volume beer, you expect to be able to taste a little booziness. It gets a little dangerous (or fun) when you can’t taste the booze because you can drink it a little too fast.

backlash_beer_logo Beer #5: Baxter Brewing Company’s Summer Swelter Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:19 +0000 Norman Miller I’ve been a big supporter of Baxter Brewing Company’s beers over the past couple of years.

However, the one beer I haven’t been a big fan of has been the Summer Swelter. The problem is I’ve a big fan of radlers and similar drinks, and the Swelter is not quite there as one of those, and two lemony for a traditional beer.

It’s not a bad beer, it’s light and easy to drink – something you could have many of at a cookout, but I rather [...]]]> Beer (err….cider) #4: Fatty Bampkin’s Cider Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:19 +0000 Norman Miller I developed a love for hard cider last summer. A good cider can be as complex as a good beer, and they are ultra-refreshing – a perfect beverage to combat 90 degree days.

One of my favorites is the Fatty Bampkins’ Cider from Maine. This cider is made with seven different locally grown apple varieties, and is fermented Bourbon and rye barrels. I love the bourbon flavors, as well as the vanilla notes you get from the barrels. The best thing is, you don’t lose the [...]]]> Beer #3: Foolproof Brewing Company’s Backyahd Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:18 +0000 Norman Miller Beer shouldn’t be drank by itself – it should be part of an experience. At least that’s what Foolproof Brewing Company believes.

Every beer is named for a particular experience, where you should be, or what you should be doing, while drinking the beer.

Take, for example, the Backyahd, a 6 percent alcohol by volume IPA. This has become a recent favorite of mine. It’s meant to be enjoyed while Grey Sail Brewing Company of Rhode Island, like Foolproof Brewing Company, is trying to expand craft beer in Rhode Island.

jennyThe Flying Jenny Extra Pale Ale, a hoppy pale ale that borders being an IPA, begins with strong floral hops. Once you take a sip, you [...]]]> Beer #1: Idle Hands Craft Ales Pandora Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:18 +0000 Norman Miller In Massachusetts, 2011 was a banner year for breweries. Eight fantastic breweries that opened that year.

One of those breweries was Idle Hands Craft Ales, started by husband and wife team Chris and Grace Tkach, a brewery that specializes in Belgian-inspired ales.

Their flagship is Pandora, a Belgian pale ale that comes in at 6 percent alcohol by volume.

The Pandora combines a spicy/fruity character from the Belgiain yeast with the bitter, citrusy hop flavors. [...]]]> Live blogging about to begin Sat, 27 Jul 2013 17:11:17 +0000 Norman Miller The live blogging event at the Beer Bloggers Conference is about to begin.

We will be sampling beers from Backlash Brewing Company, Baxter Brewing Company, Fatty Bampkins Cider, Idle Hands Craft Ales, Otter Creek Brewing Company, Newburyport Brewing Company, Night Shift Brewery, Notch Brewing, Rising Tide Brewing Company, Shipyard Brewing Company, Slumbrew and Thomas Hooker Brewing Company.

The brewers will be coming around describing the various beers and we will be [...]]]> Slumbrew beer dinner in Cambridge Wed, 24 Jul 2013 17:11:09 +0000 Norman Miller Do you like eating good food and drinking good beer? If the answer is yes, then the Cambridge Common is the place for you to be on Tuesday.

cambridge_common_rest_logo audacityI meant to post something about this earlier, but I got caught up working on other things, but  Tom Acitelli, author of the wonderful “Audacity of Hops,” will be at the Guest blogger: New Hampshire trip, part 2 Mon, 22 Jul 2013 21:22:56 +0000 Andrew Kuhn While in Portsmouth, NH this past weekend I had two really great beers.

The first was Resonation Pale Ale by Great Rhythm Brewing Co. I found it at the Dolphin Stalker Restaurant, I had never had this beer before, and was very surprised by it. I usually have one beer, and then if I have a second one its a different kind, but I liked this one so much I stayed with it. I can’t wait to try whatever else comes from them. If you haven’t had this beer its worth seeking out. [...]]]> New beers from Full Sail, Sierra Nevada, Stone, Widmer put to the test Fri, 19 Jul 2013 18:21:23 +0000 Norman Miller Each week, more and more beers seem to be hitting liquor store shelves. It’s almost impossible to keep up with them all.

Here are a few that I’ve had a chance to try as I continue to sacrifice my liver for the enjoyment of my liver.

Full-Sail-English-Pale-Bottle More and more, classic breweries are finding new ways to experiment with classic styles.

IPAs seem to be the style played with the most – you can get Belgian IPAs, black IPAs, white IPAs, rye IPAs.

Now, one of the quintessential styles in American brewing history, the steam beer is getting a facelift thanks to Narragansett Beer.

They have announced the release of its newest installment in the Private [...]]]> Hey Jack’s Abby, happy birthday Tue, 16 Jul 2013 15:14:02 +0000 Norman Miller Jack’s Abby Brewing, the little lager brewery from Framingham, is celebrating its second anniversary this week with two celebrations and the release of a brand new beer.

On Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Jack’s Abby Brewing will be at the British Beer Company in Framingham with a tap takeover. I went on vacation to the North Conway area of New Hampshire last week, and had a great time. The kids went boating, swimming, hiking, fishing, and we made our first trip to Storyland. Really just an amazing time with the family. Oh, and I drank some New Hampshire beers too.

First up was Squam Brewing Company I was able to get this at Discount Beverage in Conway. They had a number of their beers there, but I chose No Wake Wheat since I was in the mood for a wheat ale. It was [...]]]> Smuttynose’s Fashionably Old Ale arrives at Julio’s Thu, 11 Jul 2013 17:10:44 +0000 Norman Miller Julio's Liquors will be hosting the release of its brand new Smuttynose Brewing Company beer brewed exclusively for Julio's – the Fashionably Old Ale.

From noon to 3 p.m., Smuttynose's Director of Brewing Operations, David Yarrington, and Jess Rice, Smuttynose's Western New England field manager will be on hand, during the release. During the release, people will have a [...]]]> A fun beery trip Tue, 09 Jul 2013 17:10:25 +0000 Norman Miller I don’t usually post things like this because it basically amounts to an advertisement.

However, this beer-related travel package seemed really cool, so I’m going to share it with you all.


(Stockbridge, MA) Catering to craft beer aficionados, The Red Lion Inn is pleased to offer a new package that combines [...]]]> Battle Road beer will be easier to find Fri, 05 Jul 2013 17:10:19 +0000 Norman Miller This is good news for Battle Road Brewing Company fans as their beers will now be easier to find.

Here’s all the news you need to know about their new distribution deal:

Battle Road Brewing Company Declares Independence  

Signs New Distribution Agreement with Patriot Craft Alliance

 Ipswich- In the spirit of July 4th, Battle [...]]]> New beers to look out for Wed, 03 Jul 2013 17:10:15 +0000 Norman Miller There are a few new beers that will be hitting shelves soon that you may want to keep an eye out for.

Bear Republic Brewing Company of California has announced that Cafe Racer 15, will be available in bottles this summer in several states, including Massachusetts.

Cafe Racer 15 is a double IPA, which took a silver medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.

The Cafe Racer 15 is brewed with Citra, [...]]]> Guest blogger: Squam Brewing Company and other stuff Mon, 01 Jul 2013 11:10:26 +0000 Andrew Kuhn I’m heading to New Hampshire soon, and when I’m away on vacation I like to try the local beers that are in that state I’m in.

Thanks to Norm’s book, I read about Squam Brewing Company, and will be What's better than drinking a few good beers – how about drinking a few beers while gorillas watch you and get jealous?

The Franklin Park Zoo is hosting its fourth annual Brew at the Zoo on Aug. 17 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The event will feature beer from many breweries, some cider and food from local events. There are so many new beers out there, it’s hard to keep up with them.

So, dear reader, I will sacrifice my liver and try as many of these new beers as possible and let you know how they are

SixtyOneWebbottleFirst up is [...]]]> Guest Blogger: Beer gift Sat, 22 Jun 2013 21:20:28 +0000 Andrew Kuhn I have a birthday coming up soon, and I’ve been asked what I’d like to celebrate this most awesome of all occasions.

I’d like to be left alone for the day to grill meat, and drink good beer. However, I don’t see that happening. That whole having a family thing seems to interfere with my inner need to be a hermit.

I’d like a kegging system. That would be nice. The mini kegs seem to be ideal for me since they’re small, easy to take to a [...]]]> Book signing next week in Portsmouth Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:21:37 +0000 Norman Miller beer-lovers-guideIf you happen to somewhere near Portsmouth, NH next Thursday (June 27), stop by Book & Bar, 40 Pleasant St.

I'll be there for New Hampshire [...]]]> News from Brooklyn, Jack’s Abby, ‘Gansett, Stone and Sam Adams Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:21:33 +0000 Norman Miller A lot going on in the beer world, and with a lot of time off lately, I’m starting to fall behind on it all. So, here’s all of it all at once.

First up, the “Brooklyn Brewery Mash: Advenutres in Food, Film, Music, Books & Beer” is coming to Boston from July 9 – 14.

There will be tons of events in Boston throughout the week at such locations as Stoddards Food & Ale, 48 Temple Place; The Tip Tap Room, 138 Cambridge St., and Bear’s [...]]]> My policy on reviews Tue, 18 Jun 2013 17:21:10 +0000 Norman Miller For some reason, several people have asked my about my review policy lately, so I’m going to explain it here.

If a brewery sends me beer, it’s not guaranteed I will review it. I review brand new to the market beers, but if its a beer that is released year in and year out, I’m not going to review it. I also typically only review beers that are available in Massachusetts.

Also just because a beer is sent to me and I decide to review it does not mean there [...]]]> OnTap put to the test Thu, 13 Jun 2013 17:15:31 +0000 Norman Miller Last week, I wrote a blog making fun of the new OnTap Liquid Beer Enhancer, scoffing that a squeeze of some liquid into a beer can turn a bland, mass-produced lager into a fine craft ale.

The fine folks of OnTap stepped up, sending me a sample package of its two beer enhancers, the American Ale and the Pale Ale.

So, armed with these little bottles of liquid [...]]]> Copper House Tavern hosts Harpoon Wed, 12 Jun 2013 17:15:28 +0000 Norman Miller The Copper House Tavern, a new pub at 477 Totten Pond Road, will host a Harpoon Brewery tap take over on Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Among the beers available will be two new pilot beers, the Schwarz Bier and the Barrel-aged porter.

Also available will be several of the Leviathan series, including the Czemobog Russian Imperial Stout (the best of [...]]]> Oktoberfest in June? Seasonal madness Tue, 11 Jun 2013 17:15:37 +0000 Norman Miller If you read this blog often, you’ll probably notice that I have one particular pet peeve – seasonals that are released waaaaaayyyy before the season they’re brewed for.

Last night, I got an email that instantly irritated me – the Paulaner brewery of German is releasing its limited edition Oktoberfest Wiesn early this year – this month. June. Oktoberfest beers on the shelf in June.

I enjoy Oktoberfest beers. They’re probably my favorite [...]]]> Guest Blogger: The best beer Mon, 10 Jun 2013 17:11:42 +0000 Andrew Kuhn My neighbor was generous enough to give me a bottle of Hill Farmstead Ephraim this past week.

photo-8He didn’t need to, but I’ve given him a lot of my beer, and he was kind enough to return the favor. I [...]]]> The end of craft beer? Fri, 07 Jun 2013 17:11:46 +0000 Norman Miller Craft brewers be warned, you are no longer needed.

There is no longer a need to pay the extra money for your finely crafted beer. Now, I can buy an 18 pack of cheap beer and then buy an OnTap Liquid Beer Enhancer and you’re all set.

OK, maybe not.

The OnTap Liquid Beer Enhancer ads have been making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter today. It is basically a Grab a ‘Gansett … tie for Dad Thu, 06 Jun 2013 17:11:56 +0000 Norman Miller Narragansett Beer has once again released a tie for Father’s Day.

The new ties – one designed by Ivonne Blanco of Boston and the other by Ricky Perotta, of West Warwick, R.I. 2013-Tie-Winners

The ties are [...]]]> New Backstage Series beer from Founders is coming Wed, 05 Jun 2013 17:12:00 +0000 Norman Miller Founders Brewing Company easily falls near the top of my list of favorite breweries, but I’m not so sure about the newest entry into the Backstage series – Mango Magnifico.

I like mangoes, and I actually think it’s a flavor that could translate well into the right beer. However, it includes an ingredient I can’t stand – habaneros. I don’t like any pepper – I don’t even use pepper on food.

But, Founders does a good job with [...]]]> A look at a few new beers Tue, 04 Jun 2013 17:11:27 +0000 Norman Miller It’s time to take a look at a few new beers that have hit the liquor store shelves in the past few weeks – some are tasty and others … well, others may be an acquired taste.

First up is the Jack’s Abby Brewing’s Smoked Maple Lager. This beer was a collaboration with Lawson’s Finest Liquids of Vermont, and features maple syrup and [...]]]> ACBF this weekend Thu, 30 May 2013 11:11:22 +0000 Norman Miller Beer Advocate’s American Craft Beer Fest is kind of presenting a problem for me this year, but it’s not a bad problem – there’s just too many beers to choose from.

Each year I go, I always seek out new breweries that attend the fest and try at least one of their beers, while also checking out some of the special beers from some of my favorite breweries. If you’re a fan of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, don’t go to Howlers in Pittsburgh, Penn.

The bar has announced that they will not sell Boston Lager or any other Boston beer during the NHL Conference Championships between the Penguins and the Bruins. boston lager After mowing the lawn, and doing some yard work I usually drink a beer. I don’t know what it is but for some reason mowing the lawn makes me crave a beer.

schlitzThere’s just something satisfying about drinking a beer, and [...]]]> You like beer talk? Tune into the Seacoast Beverage Lab Podcast Thu, 23 May 2013 22:21:12 +0000 Norman Miller Do you like learning about beer, hearing what’s going on in the beer world or listening to brewers talk about their breweries and the beers they brew?

Then, I have the podcast for you. (Spoiler alert, I take part in it).

Every Monday, live on Google Plus, the Seacoast Beverage Lab Podcast takes place beginning at 8 p.m. and goes for about an hour.

The podcast is [...]]]> Beer and trademarks Tue, 21 May 2013 20:20:54 +0000 Norman Miller One of the things I like the most about the beer world is there is a sense of community – those who work at various breweries seem to really get along with each other and seem united against the big boys of brewing.

However, being a brewery is still a business. The people who own and work at the breweries must protect their interests and sometimes that involves lawyers.

The latest is Magic Hat Brewing Company’s I had planned to bottle the Imperial Coconut Stout, or ICS for short, but life got in the way.

The coconut has now been sitting in the bucket downstairs with the beer for about coconutsa month. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I do [...]]]> Harpoon to debut Session IPA to raise money to fight ALS Thu, 16 May 2013 17:22:31 +0000 Norman Miller Earlier this month, the ALS Therapy Development Institute announced that 38 breweries across the country will be taking part in the Ales for ALS campaign.

The Ales for ALS campaign is designed to raise money for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, research.

As part of the program, brewers received a special blend of “experimental hops” donated by B.T. Loftus Ranches and Hopunion. With the [...]]]> Beer tasting/book signing in Canton on Friday Wed, 15 May 2013 17:22:51 +0000 Norman Miller Looking for something to do on Friday? Come to the Canton Public Library, drink some beer, listen to be talk about beer and buy my book.

The library, 786 Washington St., is hosting a “Book & Brew” event to raise money for the library. Admission is $10.

There will be beer sampling form 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., and then I’ll talk at 8, and then there will be more sampling. I will also be signing copies of Foolproof Brewing Company of Rhode Island has officially launched in Massachusetts.

I wrote a column about this new brewery, and why I’m excited about them coming here, a few weeks ago. Click here to read it.

Here’s the info from Foolproof:

Foolproof Brewing Company Launches in Massachusetts

PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island, May [...]]]> Have a very beery summer Tue, 14 May 2013 17:18:15 +0000 Norman Miller Summer is just about here, and that means the weekend calendars are packed with beer events nearly every single weekend.

Here’s a look at several upcoming events that all look like a lot of fun. I’m hoping to get to most, if not all of these.

First up is Julio’s Liquor’s 11th Annual Spring Beer Fest. The free festival will be on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rte. 9 liquor store. [...]]]> Guest Blogger: Gluten free Mon, 13 May 2013 12:12:57 +0000 Andrew Kuhn I have a couple of friends who can’t have any wheat products.

I think this is a shame, because it means they can’t enjoy beer. Sure they drink wine, and cider, but beer is something that they stay away from.  sorghum Stella Artois to debut Cidre in the U.S. Thu, 09 May 2013 17:18:40 +0000 Norman Miller Stella Artois has announced that it will be introducing its new European-style cider in the U.S. this month.

Described as a “crisp, distinctive European-style cider made with apples hand-picked from wine growing regions,” the cider will be available in four packs of 12-ounce bottles and 24-ounce single bottles.

“Stella Artios Cidre is designed to be savored and is very different from There are probably only a handful of breweries that I like every beer they brew, and now two of them have announced that they are releasing a collaboration beer.

I’ve been a fan of Boulevard Brewing Company since before they started distributing in Massachusetts, and I’m a constant drinker of the beers from Sierra Nevada and have been ever since I started drinking beer.

What does this mean? It means I’m excited as heck to try the new Terra Incognita when [...]]]> Beer fetches $1,600 at auctions Tue, 07 May 2013 17:22:24 +0000 Norman Miller I have mixed feelings about beer auctions.

For the most part, I’m against them. I look at them sometimes as beer hoarders taking advantage of other people, jacking up the price for beers for those who truly want to it to enjoy.

I advocate beer trading – that way both people benefit.

However, I have a somewhat different opinion when its a true auction house such as Skinner The other night on Twitter there was some back, and forth on beer, and perceptions of beer for women.

The gist of the conversation was that the beer industry tends to think hoppy beers are for men, and chocolate, or fruity beers are for women. I don’t know what I think, but I do know the perception of hoppy beers being drunk by mostly men is out there. The most hyped can in craft beer is finally here, the Samuel Adams can, or as it has become known, the Sam Can, is about to hit store shelves.

Samuel Adams spent billions of dollars (OK, reportedly $1 million) designing the new can, which is designed to “provide a drinking experience that is closer to the taste and comfort of drinking beer from a glass.”

The can’s special design is supposed to enhance the flavor in such ways as I just want to say how much I have hated this April. It was awful even before what happened on April 15th, and then got worse from there.

The events that have taken place are horrible, and hopefully some good will come of all of it


. I’m hoping May will be much better, and [...]]]> New beers to keep an eye out for Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:16:30 +0000 Norman Miller There are several new beers that will soon be hitting store shelves that you need to keep a look out for.

The first one, which I had the extreme pleasure of trying last night, is the Boulevard Brewing Company’s Love Child No. 3.

The Love Child series is a set of wild ales that are barrel aged with wild yeasts.

If you’re a fan of funky sour beers, Love Child No. 3 is for you. There is a pleasant [...]]]> Have a story about Harpoon IPA? You could win a prize Wed, 24 Apr 2013 17:16:23 +0000 Norman Miller The Harpoon IPA turns 20 this year, and Harpoon wants to hear your stories about the beer. And, if your story is magnificent, you could win a prize.

Here are all the details, as well as a photo of an early version of the IPA bottle/six pack:

20 Years of Harpoon IPA

The brewery celebrates with favorite stories

Boston, MA (April 24, 2013) – Twenty years ago in Boston, Harpoon IPA was brewed for the first time.  Harpoon [...]]]> A look at new beers from Samuel Adams, Jack’s Abby, Stone, others Tue, 23 Apr 2013 22:21:30 +0000 Norman Miller Whenever the seasons get close to changing, the liquor store shelves get flooded with a bunch of new beer.

Here is a look at a few beers that you may (or may not) want to try.

First up is the latest in Full Sail Brewing’s Pub Series, the ESB, which had previously only been available in the Oregon brewery’s tasting room. 10390367_BG2What to do with a day off?

I know, bottle the wheat ale and move the stout to a secondary where its going to chill out with some coconut.

That’s a good day off indeed, and [...]]]> Harpoon raises money for One Boston Thu, 18 Apr 2013 17:21:09 +0000 Norman Miller The Harpoon Brewery is joining the list of breweries that are doing their part to help those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings.

Here are all the details about how sales of beer and pretzels at the Harpoon Beer Hall will help those in need:

Brewed For Boston Nights" at Harpoon

Like most in and around Boston, Harpoon employees immediately felt compelled to "do something" after the tragic events of Marathon Monday in Boston. So for the next three [...]]]> Fundraiser in Framingham, donation from the CBC Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:21:16 +0000 Norman Miller In my post from earlier today, I mention the kindness and generosity that I’ve seen from breweries, and beer people in general, over the past few years, and now I have another example of it.

Jack’s Abby Brewing and The Tavern, 102 Irving St., Framingham, are joining together to host a fundraiser on Wednesday to raise money for those affected by [...]]]> Why I write about beer Tue, 16 Apr 2013 15:13:14 +0000 Norman Miller Most of the people who read this blog know me as a beer writer, but that’s not all that I do.

I’m also the cops and courts reporter for the MetroWest Daily News here in Framingham. For the past 12 years, I spend my days writing about bad things. I’ve written about some truly unspeakable acts over the years – husbands killing wives, fathers killing children and women being kidnapped off the street and rape.

Writing about beer has been an escape for [...]]]> Guest Blogger: Hops are coming Sat, 13 Apr 2013 17:20:17 +0000 Andrew Kuhn The first sign of spring. The hops are rising.