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Archive for the ‘Brewer: Wachusett’ Category

Wachusett Larry

May 21st, 2010 by Aaron Goldfarb | 10 Comments | Filed in Brewer: New England, Brewer: Wachusett, Country: America, Grade: A regular, Grade: A-, Style: IPA

7.5% ABV on tap and from a bomber

The east coast gets derided for making mediocre IPAs, “incorrect” IPAs, and perhaps rightly so, but a few weekends ago I stumbled across two New England gems while in Boston.  I was ostensibly in town to watch the Yankees rock the Red Sox in front of scads of pink Sawx hatted fans at Fenway, but my #1 (nonverbalized) goal for my traveling party was to actually make my first trip ever over to The Publick House to try their recent and much ballyhooed inspired collaboration with Wachusett.

Located right off the slow-(and-Caucasian)-as-sin T stop in Brookline, The Publick House is a beautifully large bar loaded with mostly Belgian taps and bottles, attentive bartenders, a surprisingly packed and good-looking (non-beer geek, thank god!) crowd, a very solid artisan cheese-laden food menu (the mac and cheese is particularly divine), and plenty of space for quiet contemplation of expensive beers.  It surely deserves mention on the short list of the east coast’s best beer bars alongside Blind Tiger and Rattle ‘n’ Hum in NYC, Monks in Philly, and Churchkey and Paradiso in DC.

I was bursting with excitement when I saw the Larry tap, having read much online about this newish and somewhat under the radar release stacking up to the best of the west coast’s IPAs.  I’m not sure if that’s completely true, but this is an enormous winner.  I’d had a few so-so offerings from Wachusett in the past, and though they were accomplished enough, there was nothing to show me those Massachusetts boys had this kind of greatness in them.  Larry has an insanely floral and piny nose and the taste is straight tropical citrus with mild bitterness.  A nice underlying hint of sweetness that really ties the beer together like Lebowski’s rug.  A mild carbonation and just incredibly juicy, this one goes down quick and easy, I loved every sip of it.  This has surely got to be the east coast’s best overall IPA.*  I liked it so much I had several glasses and then the next day visited the Publick House’s terrific beer shop next door, PH Provisions, where I loaded up on as many Larry bombers as I could carry.  Now I’m fretting where I can possibly get my Larry fix once my stash runs dry.  Sure wish this had year round, coastal-wide (length?) distribution.

A

New England Gandhi-Bot

8.8% ABV canned

The next day I hit up The Publick House’s newest (American) craft venture down the street, American Craft fittingly, because nothing excites me more than spending a beautiful spring day drinking inside a mostly empty dark bar that still smells like the previous nights bacchanalia.  There, I noticed a canned beer on the menu and, being semi-fetishistic toward canned craft beer, I ordered the tallboy which greeted me with one of the best and most amusing labels I’ve ever seen.  Now I’ve never had anything from Connecticut’s New England Brewing Co. before other than their somewhat overrated and very trademark infringing Imperial Stout Trooper, but after enjoying immensely this beauty, I’m eager to try more of their (canned?) offerings.  Gandi-Bot is another splendid “west coastish” IPA loaded with grapefruit and barely even a hint of a malt backbone.  Prickly and extremely dry and bitter, a well-hidden 8.8% ABV, I truly enjoyed this beer but felt it just lacked a little something, a little uniqueness, to catapult it into the true masterpiece class.  Nevertheless, well worth seeking out.

A-

*OK, if I’m gonna say something so brash then I best try to compile my own list.

IPA

1.  Smuttynose Finest Kind
2.  Clipper City Hop3
3.  Dogfish Head 60 Minute
4.  Dogfish Head Aprihop
5.  Victory Hop Devil

DIPA

1.  Larry
2.  Brooklyn Blast
3.  Captain Lawrence Captain’s Reserve
4.  Southern Tier Unearthly
5.  Smuttynose Big A

Two notes:  I didn’t even consider Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute because, even though it’s a masterpiece, it’s a whole ‘nother beast.  And, unfortunately, I’ve never had the much-lauded The Alchemist brewpub’s Heady Topper.  I would gladly kill for you if you could send me a growler of it.

I’m sure I missed some.  What’s your east coast top IPAs list look like?

Wachusett Summer

July 18th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Wachusett, Country: America, Grade: B regular, Style: "Summer" beer, Style: Wheat (Hefeweizen)

4.2% ABV

I was sitting at the Secaucus Junction train station on Friday afternoon listening to Bowie’s “The Prettiest Star” on my iPod when my dad called to tell me my grandma had just died. This was not unexpected as she was old and had been bedridden for a few years after having suffered a stroke. And, quite frankly, I wasn’t even that close to her, probably having spent less than a month’s combined time with her during my lifetime. Nevertheless, I broke down for an ever-brief second or so, not quite long enough for the slobs and perverts that hang at a train station to ogle me, to think me the “weirdo,” but long enough to feel something come over me.

I spend too much fucking time at train stations. Waiting. Waiting as my life passes me by. No one lays on their death bed reminiscing about the 25%* of their life that they sat waiting–their life in standstill–depending on countless other people and events in the universal ballet to get their train there, to free up a snag on the highway so they can move, to have a crowd of fatassed tourists part so they can continue on down the sidewalk toward their destination. To not have their life slowed down by uncontrollable others, to let their life fucking continue on to the “important stuff.”

As my grandma lay dying in a cheap hospital bed, I sat on a cheap wooden bench wedged between a sleeping bum and a fat retard in a Carlos Beltran jersey seemingly dying the same death. I will never get those minutes back. No matter how smart, rich, educated, handsome, flirtatious, or powerful one is, time is not something you can acquire more of. In fact, it is the only thing one can’t acquire more of**. As Aurelius said, “Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash.”

Nothing is more a kick in the ass to “carpe diem” than the absolute madness of sitting alone in a train station. It’s like a goddamn coma that you are fully conscious of being in. What can I do? A crossword, a little light reading, learn who Jennifer Aniston’s currently spreading her legs for, listen to a podcast, dick around on my phone, eat some Pringles, doodle?

This is no life.

Which is why, what is the first thing a person says after a long and hectic train/bus/airplane/car ride?

“I NEED A DRINK.”

A drink to get their comatose life kickstarted again. The alcohol acting like the jumper cables to your heart and brain. Allowing you to reenter the world of emotions and feeling, pain and happiness, want, desire, horniness, and plain old living.

There is no time to scrutinize the offering, the drink. No time to select something “special. ” You just take what’s fucking given to you and enjoy it. In my case, I entered my friend’s house at the end of a long and arduous trek up the eastern seaboard and was handed a Wachusett Summer. Nice. I’d never had it before.

And it was one of the better summer beers I’ve ever tippled. Spicy with a good, rich body of lemon and wheat flavors. I detest most so-called “summer” beers because they are citrusy and thin little offerings. Just cause it’s July doesn’t mean I need to slug down watery piss. Now, while Wachusett Summer doesn’t have much ABV to speak of, it’s still a quality brew. In fact, I’d say it’s almost as good as Sam Adam’s terrific summer offering. I’ll certainly have it again on my next once-a-decade trip into New England.

Thus, I said a silent cheers to my grandma and began trying to enjoy my life again courtesy of glorious beer.

B

*Made up stat.

**Save maybe a few more inches at the end of your cock (though I hear medical technologies can do wonders nowadays!)

Wachusett Blueberry Ale

July 17th, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | No Comments | Filed in Brewer: Wachusett, Country: America, Grade: B-, Style: Fruit Beer

4.4% ABV

Yet another blueberry beer.  I’m starting to think I should have a special category for blueberry beers!

My friend claimed this is the best blueberry beer around, but New England people are committed homers so you have to take what they say with a gigantic grain of Kosher salt.  Wachusett Blueberry has a great smell and a solid taste.  Kinda sour finish.  No hops, pretty light, too little alcohol, very drinkable.  I didn’t want to insult my pal but I think this beer is simply average.  Nothing spectacular.  Or maybe I’m just totally burned out on blueberry fucking beers.  Yeah, that might be it.  In fact, I think I’m burned out on the blueberry altogether.  I gotta take at least a one-month hiatus from all things blueberry.  So I don’t want to see no blueberry pies, cobblers, cakes, crumbles, crisps, pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads, crepes, compotes, bagels, yogurts, parfaits, jellies, jams, ice creams, milkshakes, frozen yogurts, edible undergarments, or certainly fucking blueberry beers any time soon.

B-