Monday, 4 October 2010

New England Beer Adventures!

Sam Adams Octoberfest and Brick Red in Boston

For a month in Autumn my ship changes itinerary to do a New England and Canada run. The passengers come to see the Fall leaves change colour and feel the crisp air… we come for the beer!

The New England and Canada itineraries are fondly known to the crew as the Beer Run because there are just so many tasty local beers to try in the ports we go to. Here are a few of the delights I have had the pleasure to try:

Boston, Mass. USA

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The Sam Adams Brewery Tour

Boston is home to my favourite beer of all time – Sam Adams. Britain might call me a traitor for saying such things, but it’s true! My first time in Boston I made a beeline for the Sam Adams Brewery. If ever you are in Boston, you should take this tour. Not only do they show you around the original brewery, that now produces small batches of newer brews, you are given a free glass and get to try three different types of Sam Adams beer. They very cleverly send you out through the gift shop after plying you with beer so you buy things! They also give you directions to the first bar that ever sold Sam Adams on tap - Doyle's Cafe. If you have the stamp on your hand from the tour and order a Sam Adams with your food, you get a free Sam Adams glass!

These are the Sam Adams types I have tried:
Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Samuel Adams Irish Red
Samuel Adams Winter Lager
Samuel Adams White Ale
Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat
(a fave!)
Samuel Adams Brick Red (Only available in Boston)
Samuel Adams Octoberfest (probably my favourite beer ever)

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Sam Adams Cherry Wheat at Doyle's Cafe

Bar Harbour, Maine, USA

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Bar Harbour Blueberry Ale at the Thirsty Whale

Bar Harbour is famous for it’s lobster and it’s blueberries. It’s beer is no exception – you can find some of the best blueberry beer here. Sea Dog is a local brewery and it’s Blueberry wheat is so fruitful you wonder if there’s any beer in it. We also found a gluten free beer here for my friend who is a coeliac, which made her very happy. We recommend going to the Thirsty Whale is you’re in town.

Beers I have tried from Maine:
Bar Harbour Blueberry Ale
Atlantic Brewing Company Leaf Peeper Lager
Sea Dog Old East India Pale Ale
Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat
Sea Dog Octoberfest
Redbridge Gluten Free Beer

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Redbridge Gluten Free beer at the Thirsty Whale

Newport, Rhode Island, USA

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Newport Storm Octoberfest

Newport, home to all the mansions and sail boats, is also home to Newport Storm beer. Their lager and Octoberfest are quite tasty. Have a drop with a lobster roll in any of the pubs on the wharf.

Beers from Newport:
Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale
Newport Storm Octoberfest
You can also find a good selection of Sam Adams and Sea Dog available here.

St John, New Brunswick, Canada

Moosehead Lager in St. John

Now we move up to Canada, out first stop being St. John. St. John is the home of Moosehead Lager, which is a fine, refreshing beverage for a hot day. It even comes with lime now. I also recently discovered Russell Brewing Company here which makes a nice selection of ales. My favourite was the Cream Ale, a red ale with great flavour.

Beers from St. John:
Moosehead Lager
Russell Honey Blonde Ale
Russell Cream Ale
Russell Extra Special Lager

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Russell Honey Blonde Ale in St. John

Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

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The selection of beer at the local market in Quebec City

Quebec City is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. Whether you are sitting in a restaurant having a beer or going on a picnic with food bought from the local market, there are some good beers here. There are a couple of local breweries there, St. Ambroise does a great Pumpkin Ale that is great for Halloween, and Chambly has a refreshing Blonde Ale. I prefer the red ale of theirs though. The local market has a great selection of local and import beers including Le Mondaine which has beautiful artwork on the label.

Beers from Quebec:
St. Ambroise Pumpkin Ale
St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout
Blanche De Chambly
Rousse De Chambly
Le Mondaine

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La Mondaine and Blanche De Chambly from Quebec

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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My favourite, Garrison Raspberry Wheat at Maxwell's Plum, Halifax

The last, and my favourite, stop on our beer run is Halifax in Nova Scotia. There are quite a few local breweries in Halifax, the most famous being Alexander Keith. You can tour the brewery and be taken back in time to 1867 – it’s cute! I’m not a fan of India Pale Ale, which is Alexander Keith’s main ale, but their dark ale is tasty. Propeller Brewing Company is also in Halifax, they don’t have a tour but you can taste their wares. Their Pumpkin ale isn’t too bad. Garrison Brewing Company is probably my favourite in Halifax, their Raspberry Wheat is one of my favourite beers ever!

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Maxwell's Plum, Halifax, Nova Scotia

If you are in Halifax you should definitely go to Maxwell’s Plum. This bar has 130 beers to choose from, including 60 on tap! The food is great too, I could spend all day there. Check it out next time you are in Nova Scotia!

Beers from Halifax that I’ve tried:
Alexander Keith Red Amber Ale
Alexander Keith Dark Ale
Alexander Keith Premium White
Propeller Brewing Company Pumpkin Ale
Garrison Raspberry Wheat
Pump House Blueberry Ale
Fruili Strawberry Ale (this one might not be from Halifax but I tried it at Maxwell’s Plum)

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Alexander Keith's Brewery, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Garrison Brewing Company, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Propeller Brewing Company, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Mmmmmm I beer!

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