Trips to Night Shift Brewing and Mystic Brewery's Tasting Room

Having spent the last two weekends in Boston, I felt it was necessary to swing by the local breweries and pick up some libations.  It happened to come to pass that Mystic Brewery was opening it's Tasting Room the weekend before the one that passed, and as a fan of their beers, it was a no brainer for me to swing by.  The night before, I picked up a small 355 ml bottle of Saison Renaud, to whet my whistle.

A Saison, brewed with pilsner yeast, it was a very crisp saison and infinitely drinkable.  Still enough funky Belgian essence to be complex.  A great entry level beer.

The next morning I made it out to Chelsea by 12:30 and there was a small crowd gathered in the tasting room.  We did not have a ton of time to spare, but as I checked out the board, I quickly settled on one choice.

A 32 oz "growlette" or Boston Round of Flor Ventus, an American Wild, made with flowers.  Quite a tasty wild, and apparently it sold out within 2 hours.  Certainly a bargain at $10/32oz.  As a note, I felt that Mystic's beer prices were EXTREMELY fair, and the fact that they allowed 32 oz fills for half of the price of the full 64 oz fill was awesome.

Next I traveled onto Everett and popped into Night Shift Brewing, it is fairly inconveniently located in a small industrial area.  There is not much parking, but I had Marina sit in the car while I ran in and grabbed a 32 oz growler of Night Shift's Viva Habanera.  I really enjoyed this rye beer brewed with Habanero peppers.

I enjoyed both of these beers and the experience so much, I made sure that I made another trip this past weekend.  During the week, I was reading reviews of the event and I came across something from the Beer Nut.  Although I was only there for a few minutes, my beautiful wife Marina was captured in a photograph.  

There she is in the black jacket at the bar.  I am behind the bearded fellow.

Anyways, as I mentioned above, I decided to refill both growlers.  From Mystic, I chose the An Dreoilin Saison, and it was fantastic.

From Night Shift, I chose the Somer Weisse, a lemon ginger Berliner Weisse. Clocking in at 5.2% ABV it was much more of a standard American Wild, either way it was quite delicious and I polished it off rather quickly.


My Favorite Merino Wool Pieces: Ibex, Smartwool, Icebreaker

I am a huge fan of merino wool.  It is warm, soft, comfortable, and stylish.  Not only that, but it is environmentally friendly! Only downside is the relatively high cost.  I think all considered it is worth it, especially if you are careful to shop during sale times!

First item is my Smartwool, gray stripe s/s 

This is a great, versatile piece and I am very happy with it, need to get more short sleeves for the slightly warmer months.

Ibex Zepher Zip - Ibex' thickest base layer.  Very soft! pretty warm and stylish, although it is a little bit big for me as it is a size large.  Certainly not a deal breaker.  Purchased on Black Friday from the Ibex store on Newbury St, Boston.

Icebreaker Mondo Zip Tee - Bright red, a favorite of my wife.  A very slim fitting piece, I think this has to do with the provenance of Icebreaker, people not from North America are just smaller!

Ibex Woolies - Thinner than the Zepher and more appropriate for wearing as a layering piece.  I like the black and white stripe design.  This is also the piece I sleep in most often!

Ibex Shak - given to me by my wife, its one of ATL Essential: Winter Edition because it is such a great piece!  Much thicker, not a base layer in any but the most outlandish locations.  This is an amazing mid layer and can even be worn as an outer layer on milder days.  I tend to pair this with my Smartwool short sleeve.

I sometimes wear synthetics too. Patagonia Capilene 3 and a Regulator Zip fleece mid layer.   Not as warm and tend to get stinky, but I got them awhile ago.


Beer Review: Captain Lawrence Hops n' Roses

On a recent trip down to Westchester County, New York, north of the city, I was able to stop into the Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford, NY.  Had a short chat with the guy manning the bar/growler filling station.  I didn't see any of the beers on tap that I needed a full growler of, but I was intrigued by the little 12 oz bottle with the cool label on the shelf behind him.  He gave me a quick run down of the beer and I was sold.  The price tag was a little bit of sticker shock at $15, and I thought about how I might be better off with something from Drie Fonteinen, but whatever, I had made a lot of money that day!

Got around to drinking it the other day, and it was the only beer of the night.  I cut up some cheeses that I had lying around to cleanse the palate between sips.  I was extremely impressed with the artwork on the bottle as you can see its very psychedelic and colorful.

The beer pours out looking like a kriek, which is odd.  I was a little surprised, albeit pleasantly, because of how pretty the tangeriney/red beer looked.  Minimal head and lacing, looks very well carbonated.

I much prefered the smell of this beer to the taste, although that does seem to be the standard response at online beer review site: BeerAdvocate. The fruit/flowery smell was absolutely fantastic, and I could send the barnyard funk present.  I enjoyed the taste of the beer, but it was definitely closer to a wild than a sour.  There was certainly a bit of a sour tinge, but not enough to satisfy my cravings for a really sour beer.  I did get a bit of the "Roses" portion of the beer although the "Hops" left something to be desired.  I am not a fan of Guns n' Roses, but Hops n' Roses, definitely delivered.



Green Flash Palate Wrecker

Green Flash is a great West Coast brewery, and I always enjoy their offerings.  I had heard rumblings of Palate Wrecker on the Internet and had to check it out when I saw a four pack available at my local store.  Touted as an Imperial IPA, this is an absolute hop bomb that checks in at 9.5% ABV.  This beer is obviously extremely hoppy, which as regular readers of my blog know, is my favorite style of beer!  The smell and taste run the gamit of hops, piney and resiny in taste, long finish, fantastic mouthfeel.  I would give this beer an A- as it is just a little too over the top for me to give a straight A.


Morning Routine: Aeropress Coffee & Four Hour Chef Eggs

So my morning routine consists of scrambled eggs and coffee.  Pretty normal, right?  I have tried my best to optimize this routine to make the best quality coffee and eggs in the shortest amount of time.  I really enjoyed Tim Ferriss' book The Four Hour Chef, and saw that he also uses the Aeropress, which I have been a convert to for several years now.  However, I used to be a fried egg man, Tim's book has convinced me that scrambled is the way to go.

Here is what you need to get started with the coffee.  I use freshly roasted beans, from Barismo, if I have recently taken a trip to Boston.  Whole Foods is a local stand by as they offer freshly roasted beans at a great price, and there are no good local roasters.  The beans in my grinder this morning are actually from Coffee Labs Roasters of Tarrytown, NY.  Happened to be down that way and picked up an lb.

Not gonna give you the play by play, I pretty much follow the standard instructions.

Today I decided to use a combo of Curry Powder, Garlic Powder, Red Chili Flakes, and S+P.  Organic Eggs and Grapeseed oil are all the other ingredients needed.


Cleanup is an absolute cinch!