Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jim's Travels: Boston

As chronicled on these pages, I have been traveling quite a bit lately. A few weeks back, I flew up to Boston to hang out with my friends Shawn and Alan. Shawn lives in the Boston area with his wife Jess. Since Alan was going to be in town for work, I got invited up for the weekend.

As is the norm for my friends and I, the visit revolved around drinking, particularly of the barley and hops variety. Shawn and Alan pick me up from Logan International Airport on Friday around lunch time. We preceded to one of Shawn's favorite chicken wing joints for some grub and brews. I enjoyed a pint of Harpoon IPA with my chicken wings.

Afterwards, we headed over to Sunset Grill and Tap which is located in Allston neighborhood of Boston. I decided to order a flight of beers from Boston-area breweries. The flight included Beer Goggles Barleywine from Wormtown Brewery. As to be expected from a barley wine, this one had a big flavor and was high in alcohol (10% ABV). Even the small flight sample of the brew was difficult to finish. Another beer in the flight was Dočesná Czech Hop Harvest Ale which is the 38th offering from Harpoon Brewery's 100 Barrel Series. The other two brews were Dean’s Beans Coffeehouse Porter from Berkshire Brewing and Great Pumpkin Ale (!) from Cambridge Brewing.

The rest of that Friday has faded into the haze. It should be no surprise that the start of Saturday was spent recovering from the night before. Saturday afternoon, Shawn, Jess, Alan and I made our way over to the Boston Beer Company for a tour of the brewery known for producing Samuel Adams beer. I had done the tour by myself on a previous visit to Boston, so I was already familiar with the discussion of beer ingredients and the brewing process. The tour ended with a beer sampling that included their flagship Boston Lager and the seasonal Octoberfest. The new selection to me was the Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA.

Saturday night was dedicated to birthday parties for some friends of Shawn and Jess, including the friend who was the inspiration for this post. The first stop was a bowling alley which had candlepin bowling instead of the ten-pin type with which I am familiar. I elected to skip the bowling and instead focus on my beer which was an Oktoberfest Lager from Berkshire Brewing Company. This was my second brew from BBC in as many days.

After stopping at a wine store to pick up a party gift, we proceeded to the house of another birthday girl who was sharing a party with yet another birthday girl. The party featured a wide selection of alcoholic beverages and good food. Guests could entertain themselves with beer pong and bean bag toss. I partipated in both activities during the course of the evening. In between glasses of Sangria and Jell-O shots (which were consumed in memorable method), I squeezed in a few bottles of beers. Two of the brews were from Harpoon Brewery. One was their UFO Hefeweizen, and the other was their Summer Beer. I also had a Smuttynose Finestkind IPA. Smuttynose Brewing Company is located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

That wraps up the Boston trip. Since returning from Boston, I have traveled to Los Angeles, but there will not be a post covering that trip. I should have a return trip to Montreal in a couple of weeks and a week-long trip to Vegas at the end of November.

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