We just couldn’t stay away from Two Brews. We tried, we lasted exactly 5 months. A lot has happened in that time. Ran a few 5k’s, went to Vermont a few times. I figured I’d share with you my perspective on the past few months.
I definitely traveled a lot. Between middle of October to mid-December I was in Vermont, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Nevada and Maryland. One discovery that made me happy was finding craft beer bars in various airports around the United Sates such as Goose Island at Chicago O’Hare or Yazoo Brewing in Nashville, Tennessee. When in the vacuum of constant traveling, making sure you find good food and drink is most important. My favorite meal of recent travel was at Flounder’s Chowder House in Pensacola, Florida. I had a local IPA in their signature 23 oz. restaurant logo etched pilsner glass. Tupelo Honey Cafe in Franklin, Tennessee was also a great craft beer stop.
I still found my way back to Vermont at least a couple times in that 150 day span. Needless to say, whenever I go back, it’s a struggle to NOT come back with a car full of beer. The last run was a run from New Jersey up through to Trillium Brewing in Massachusetts, Litherman’s Limited in New Hampshire, and a variety of breweries in Vermont. I even had a little time to grab some hot sauce (and beer) from The Alchemist.
Eric and I finally got around to making an IPA we had been talking about doing. It’s a little brother version of “It’s Complicated Being a Wizard” DIPA from Burlington Beer Company. We called it our “Muggle” IPA. We had a home setup constructed and brewed out in my garage. During the brew process we came upon a few “we’ll improve that for next time” moments. The result was a bodaciously juicy and aromatic IPA. The color, aroma, and flavors were all there… but there was a little extra in the mouthfeel. We already know the cause and have remedied it for next time but the beer was a little too “thick” for an IPA. So as a result, it looks, smells and tastes like a Vermont IPA, but it pours and drinks like a thick stout. Maybe there’s a new market for that?
It’s these home brew sessions that make me think about how lucky I am to have worked with so many great brewers in my travels with Two Brews. Just two years ago I was a complete and utter noob in the world of craft beer. Try listening to some of our first episodes on our archive site (www.twobrewspodcast.com/archive) and you’ll hear some real ignorant gems on my part. Back then I had never observed a brew session let alone tried one on my own. Now I can confidently brew beer at home (of course working out the bugs as I go)!
Since we last caught up, one of my favorite beers of all time had it’s 2016 release. That beer would be a Triple IPA by the name of Dragonsaddle from Hoof Hearted Brewing Company in Marengo, Ohio. In my exploration of hop forward beers, I truly believed that my all time favorite had to be something from Vermont, because after all, they have a reputation for some of the best in the world. However, this little brewery out in the sticks changed that game. Coming in at a whopping 11.5% ABV, this super juicy, punchy, overflowing with pineapple-y goodness triple IPA is dangerously delicious. You’d never know it was knocking up near 12% with how smooth and drinkable it is. Be sure to keep an eye on Hoof Hearted Brewing, they are already exploding locally.
Thanks to a super awesome cousin of mine (thanks, Sarah!), I was able to get a hold of the special edition release of Tribute, a Double IPA from 14th Star Brewing in St. Albans, Vermont. The beer is the same recipe I’ve come to know and love, but the real treat here is the custom artwork on the can. It depicts my late high school band teacher and mentor, Brooke Ostrander. The guy was such an influence in my life, I even have a cat named after the man.
So now Two Brews is back. We’ll be keeping you informed on the beer scene in our areas as close to real time as we can. Be sure to check out the website as it develops into a media hub of all things craft beer. Until then, keep on discovering those awesome brews!