Hill Farmstead Flora B/B

I was in the mood for a single nice beer on Friday night after having hit it pretty hard the night before.  Usually when I am in a mood like that I will generally reach for either a stout or sour, since they are more complex than the IPAs or hoppy ales I usually drink.  I have two of the Hill Farmstead Flora B/B's hanging in my cellar, so before dinner I popped this in the fridge to cool it down a bit. I typically prefer water or wine with food, so after everything was cleaned up, I popped open this bottle.  An approachable 375ml that Hill Farmstead uses for its lower yield beers, attractive label, pours a nice fruit purple/red with moderate foam.  The foam dissipated fairly quickly.  Lots of HF funk on the nose, some fruits.  Taste was pretty nice, fruit is restrained, unlike some American wild ales.  I contemplated this over the 45 minutes or so I drank it, and really enjoyed it the whole time.  I look forward to my next bottle.


Muqueqa Boston - Yum

hot sauce on the left is key.

Muqueqa is a Brazilian fish stew, primarily from the Bahia region.  You pour it over some rice and are off to the races.  Side of beans is key.

For me, a big old picanaha steak with a fried egg on it.  Side of carbs - fries and rice.


Panerai PAM111 E Series (2002) Sausage Dial - Recent Acquisition

My recent addition to the watch stable is a Panerai PAM111 E Series.  This watch which is from the 2002 vintage of 3500 PAM111s features the "sausage" dial which means the numbers are painted on, rather than sandwiched like in later versions.  Maybe somewhat less desirable, but a bit more collectible.  I had been looking for a Panerai for awhile, and the PAM111 with its second hand at 9 o'clock and no date was a great option.  The E Series also features the graffiti decorated movement that is visible on the back of the case, adds some nice visual interest.  I have worn this watch every day since picking it up, and believe I got quite a discount at $3,000.  It does not have the original strap or buckle, but that's not a problem for me.  I did not get the original box either, which is not a problem, but was able to get the certificate of authenticity with matching serial number, which gives me some comfort.  Check out the on-wrist and movement images below!


Sante Adairius (SARA) West Ashley

As described by Sante Adairius themselves, West Ashley is "orange, lactic, and bursting with apricot aroma, West Ashley is built for consideration and conversation. While Ashley starts as a simple Saison, careful aging in French Oak Pinot Noir barrels with apricots, our house microbes, and warm encouragement transform her into a tart, complex and delectable beer."

I opened this beer up on a Friday after a long week at work and I wanted to drink something special.  I have had the beer before, but only split between 4 friends at a tasting event.  The beer is very apricot centric, but it is definitely does not have the same bitterness of a typical american wild ale like Duck Duck Gooze.  I would classify it as a funky saison with apricots added, however "classifying" a beer like this is kind of foolish as it really is in a class of its own.  

Great ratings on Beeradvocate and hard to trade for, but worth seeking out!


Trip to Hill Farmstead April 2015

Last weekend my wife and I made a trip to one of our favorite places in America, Vermont.  My primary desire was to replenish my stores of Hill Farmstead Brewery.  This brewery is widely considered the best in America, and some would say the best in the world.  Sean Hill, the brewer, is not a specialist, he makes world class hoppy ales in addition to sour, dark, farmhouse and everything in between.  He is committed to a sustainable business that can support itself and although he has grown rapidly, there is a target size for the company that he does not want to exceed.  This goal allows him to focus on doing the best possible work he can, which results in amazing beer.  He utilizes growlers so that he can ensure that his beers remain fresh. I much prefer to support a "local" brewery than one of the large conglomerates.  Also, Sean goes to great lengths to respect his community and helps support other local businesses.  He takes great pride in working in a remote area, and although you have to actually go to the brewery to buy his beer, he avoids wasting resources on things like distribution to stores.

The brewery

My haul

Edward - Flagship Pale Ale

Single Hop Pale Ale - Mosaic

Society & Solitude #5 Double IPA


Recent New England IPAs: Gray Sail Captain's Daughter, Lawsons Sip of Sunshine, and Trillium A Street IPA

Gray Sail Brewery out of Westerly, RI is a relatively new brewer who has struck quite a hit with their Double IPA, Captain's Daughter.  Pretty hoppy, but still drinkable.  Only available in MA/RI, as far as I know, but I enjoyed it!

Sean Lawson of Vermont's Lawson's Finest Liquids most famous beer is Double Sunshine, his double IPA produced in extremely limited batches.  When Mr. Lawson decided that he needed to scale the business a bit, he set up an agreement with Two Roads Brewing on Connecticut to brew his modified Double Sunshine recipe as Sip of Sunshine.  Originally packaged and sold only in kegs and 22oz bombers, the transition to 4 packs makes a ton of sense, especially in light of local competition in Vermont and the superior QPR of 16 oz cans.  This is brewed monthly in CT and then distributed in both CT and VT.  Great beer, comparable to Heady Topper in my opinion.

Trillium Brewery, in my view, is Boston's response to the Vermont beer scene's relentless quality.  While Boston and the vicinity has a number of good breweries, none are truly great, especially when it comes to producing the renowned IPAs that are coming out of Vermont.  I have had a number of great beers from Trillium, including Melcher St IPA, Congress St IPA, and Fort Point Pale, which drinks more like an IPA.  Unfortunately, A Street, does not live up to the others or its $10 price tag.  Still a good beer, but nothing special.