Note: Two guest posts in a row! That’s because Beer Bloggers Conference is coming up, and I want to gently nudge folks who are attending to think about what they’re bringing. Matthew, one of the two minds behind Bub Gourmand, wrote me a small piece to confirm that even if others don’t know what they’re bringing, Bub Gourmand does!
This will be our second trip to the Beer Bloggers Conference (BBC). It will also mark the first anniversary for our blog. When we started Bub Gourmand a year ago, we were living in the Bay Area of California. When we moved back to Western Massachusetts we truly found the niche we thought Bub Gourmand could serve. We share the things that make this area special.
The Pioneer Valley is a string of small communities each doing their own thing, and these itty-bitty towns are making some of the most exciting stuff around. There’s an informal craft brew potluck at BBC called “The Bottle Share,” where participants get to show off some of the more obscure beers from their local brew-geniuses.
We can’t wait to hear what people think of these:
The People’s Pint
(Greenfield, MA – population: 17,000)
Hope Street Amber
This is Molly’s favorite ESB and I love it too. It’s got a unique character, but still respects the traditions of an English bitter. Our only regret is that we can’t bring The Pint’s kitchen with us, because their grub is as good as their beer.
Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project
(Somerville, MA – population: 78,000)
Like the American spin on the traditional ESB above, this is a hybrid saison with a lot of hoppiness that doesn’t lose a molecule of saison’s crisp character and drinkability.
Berkshire Brewing Company
(Deerfield, MA – population: 5,000)
Unless we can find another bottle of it before we leave, this one we’ll be trying for the first time with everyone else at The Bottle Share. I love Berkshire’s beers most for their signature accents. Like a good hot sauce, you can often tell when you taste something of theirs, no matter what the style.
(Spencer, MA – population: 11,000)
This is the only certified Trappist Ale made in the United States. It’s the real deal: unpasteurized, unfiltered, carbonates naturally in the bottle, and made by bonafide Trappist Monks (no shit). It’s flippin’ delicious.
Artist Beverage Cooperative
(Greenfield, MA – population: 17,000)
This is really its own thing, but still technically within the realm of beer. It’s a local favorite that
is catching on nationally. In the last couple years Ginger Libation has made its way to select locations in California, Florida, Missouri, Maine, Rhode Island, and Texas. It’s pinchy, tart, and at 9% it makes instant fans.
Fire Ciderpopulation 44,000)
This is a New England folk remedy that these folks in Pittsfield have bottled for themselves since the nineties and have been selling locally since 2010. It’s not intended for large quantities. It’d be easier to do a shot of moonshine than a full shot of Fire Cider, but it grows on you. A couple tiny sips and your palette will be reset to zero (your sinuses will also be clear and your eyes a little watery).
Other Important things we’re packing:
We’ve already got our Nalgenes lined up and ready for action. We’re even contemplating bringing our SodaStream. The organizers last year provided pitchers of water on the tables, but it was far too little compared with the beers. We want to go the distance without going into kidney failure, so water is important!
Palette cleansers. Last year there was an abundance of great beer, but not even a stray peanut to nosh between sips. We’ll be stocked and ready for this. We’re bringing raw and roasted nuts, dried fruit, every nonperishable counterpoint we can think of for the styles of beer we’re sure to taste.
That’s our Go Bag for BBC!
11 Jan 2017 Note from Natasha: I had forgotten that Matt and Molly had brought beer from Pretty Things Brewing. Unfortunately, Pretty Things has since gone out of business and removed their website, so I’ve edited the link to show an archived page.