Beer Guy: Beer, The Beach and Boston
- June 27, 2012
- on 6/27/2012
- MoJo: Kevin Smith
For a very long time, the term, "great cans" did little to invoke craft beer. Sure, it invoked beer...more accurately, it invoked e stereotype of a Pabst Blue Ribbon-swilling construction worker immersed in the act of hooting at an attractive woman passing by a construction site. There was a time that great beer in a can was an oxymoron. Then a time when it meant Guinness Pub Draft.
In recent years, that has been changing, and with it, the concept of the beach beer.
What, you ask, is a beach beer? Simply put, it is a beer that is easily transported to the beach, consumed and disposed of. And bottles just don't fit that description. Beach beers also work well for camping and hiking.
With advances in the can liners (cans are coated with a thin line of plastic to keep the beer from garnering a tinny taste from the can), many craft breweries are now presenting their offerings in cans - at least in part due to the fact they are choosing to go green, and in part because the can offers better protection from outside elements and provides a better flavor experience (and there is an industry debate regarding how environmentally sound cans really are, but that's a column for another day). As more craft beer gets canned, more choices come available for going to the beach; Flying Dog, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, 21st Amendment, and Sierra Nevada are all among the craft breweries who now offer their products in cans.
And that makes it a whole lot easier to have better beer during your next visit to the beach.
I spent the last week visiting my old stomping grounds. The kids were with my parents, and my wife and I were in The Old Town, celebrating our anniversary in the city in which we got married.
I lived there for five years in the ‘70s and then throughout the ‘90s. It was good to be back. Screw, "you can't go home again," with the exception of a few aesthetic changes, I felt like I had never left.
When I lived there, there was a thriving Irish pub scene, and craft beer was just beginning to make in-roads. Harpoon was still a relatively new brewery, and The Sunset Bar & Grill was relatively new. John Harvard's Brewhouse (brewpub) had also just popped up. Now the city and surrounding area hosts a variety of breweries and bars catering to the scene, and I kept going back to one of those places.
With locations in Cambridge, and Boston's Back Bay (I could be found at the Back Bay location often during my visit), The Bukowski Tavern is a must for the craft beer geek visiting the Massachusetts capital. With the Ramones blaring on the radio, the dark, irreverant bar/tribute location to Charles Bukowski offered both excellent pub grub, and a surprisingly large menu of beers in tap and in the bottle. For my money, I would love to see a place like this pop up in Frederick. While I'm not asking for the Bukowski to franchise to Frederick (not that I would mind), I think that a place like the Bukowski would find its own niche here.
Tapped and Uncapped
I haven't been a big fan of the Oskar Blues beers in the can - I fell they have been signifficantly better on tap; however, I was very fond of Deviant Dale's Pale Ale, an Imperial IPA. Hoppy and smooth, this one is a must try for any pale ale drinkers out there. I would go into greater detail, but I'm writing this on the Boston Common on my iPad, and it is starting to rain.
Until next week, be well, and drink good beer.
You must log in to post comments.