By Dave Marks
There's big news out of San Diego this week: Green Flash Brewing, cited by the Brewers Association as the 37th-largest brewery in the U.S., is pulling out of 32 states. The West Coast brewery just finished construction of a Virginia Beach location and was in a position that not many “mid-sized” breweries have accomplished ... they were in all 50 states.
Their West Coast-style IPAs are on many lists along with breweries like Oskar Blues, Stone Brewing, and Port Brewing, all of whom have faced similar growing pains in their attempts to be a nationwide brewery.
What this means for us:
In the immediate future, it means Green Flash and Alpine Brewing (owned by GF) will be at clearance prices in Massachusetts. At Provisions, we will have six packs of Alpine (normally upwards of $14.99) for $8.99! A Green Flash barrel-aged Belgian brew (Baroque Belgique) sits at $8.99 per bottle instead of $13.99.
In the future, we will have to get our fix for the West Coast IPAs in New York or Connecticut. The latter was initially on the cut-list, but it was announced Tuesday that Green Flash would stay in the Constitution state.
I can't help but think that this is going to be a trend in craft beer for years to come. Breweries that used to sell 4-5 cases a week at Provisions are now keeping their fingers crossed to move 4-5 cases in a month. We've also heard about breweries around the Northeast taking a step back to focus on their home market. Green Flash is just doing it on a large scale.
Underberg is a German digestif bitter made from a secret family recipe. Its cult following is well-earned, as the potent little elixir is thought to aid digestion, prevent/cure hangovers, and — according to Underberg — make one "feel bright."
Don't forget to stock up on coffee and tea before a night of imbibing.
We carry a wide range of locally roasted coffee (Share, Esselon, Haymarket) and tea from local businesses (Tea Guys, No. Six Depot) as well as coffee- and tea-making accessories and tools.
(You also might want to grab a bar of dark chocolate for an extra boost of caffeine.)
Rehydrate and recover with our selection of healing kombuchas, seltzers, and sodas.
Greenfield's own Katalyst makes a variety of unique kombuchas, including Jasmine, Concord Grape, and Green Lovin' (made with blue-green algae and cordyceps mushrooms).
Spindrift seltzers are made with sparkling water and real fruit, including raspberry lime, blackberry, and lemon.
And if none of that does the trick, there's always a little hair of the dog.
Check out our selection of cocktail mixes, including McClure's Bloody Mary Mixer and Cocktail Crate Sriracha Margarita Craft Mixer.
By Dave Marks
It's easy to fall into the same habits with beer … Stick to what you like. Quite frankly. I am not here to tell you what to drink. I’ve just made a list of areas to explore if you are up for some “new beers resolutions,” if you will.
#1 Drink Local: This is always my number 1 beer-drinking goal. If you haven't yet explored the breweries that are surrounding you in Western Mass, you are in for a treat. Fort Hill has everyone talking in the Boston area, and even BLDG 8 and Abandoned Building have gotten some statewide recognition. Not to mention small producers like Stoneman, Bear And Bramble, and Honest Weight, which are small-batch heroes.
#2 Try Sour Again: You may have seen the sour craze and said “no thank you." It absolutely is an acquired taste. However, it's not all acidic, mouth-puckering tart bombs -- there are many balanced, complex, and wonderful sours out there. California's Libertine has some unbelievable subtle, effervescent sours that are sure to please. And Crooked Stave out of Colorado has a wonderful portfolio of small bottles and, just recently, cans for first-timers to explore.
#3 Plan A Trip: It's an absolute pleasure to base a road trip around beer. With the hundreds of breweries in the United States (and Canada!), it's easy to pick a city for a long weekend of fun. (Pro tip: Be aware that many breweries are in industrial parks!) Also, if you do a trip, make sure you visit an established brewery such as Brooklyn Brewery, Allagash, or Victory for a guaranteed good time. Breweries who have been in the game longer simply have more space and usually offer more to do, such as tours.
#4 Reach Out: My personal favorite part of beer is the act of sharing. Beer brings people together. There are many little communities out there based around beer. Some groups are more serious (nerdy) than others. Regardless, the joy of a “bottle share” is a wonderful feeling. Seeing what your friends bring to the table is always fun. Plus, it really is difficult to finish a 750mL on your own (sometimes).