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February

Featured Microbreweries

Buzzards Bay Brewing Co.

Few microbreweries have a sister vineyard or a well thought out mission statement, but Buzzards Bay Brewing has both. The Russell family, who owns the brewery, also operates the successful Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery. Buzzards Bay Brewing is based in the heart of the southeastern Massachusetts farming community. The brewery uses a portion of its 140 acres to grow hops, barley, and pumpkins for their ales and lagers, producing truly locally made and handcrafted beers. Historically their area produces some of the finest hops found anywhere.

In 1982 Bob and Carol Russell purchased historic "Smith Long Acre Farm." Following a family discussion, the Russells declared they would create an organizational structure that would participate in the agricultural use of those lands for the production of food, wine, and beer. And no, they aren’t interested in adopting you or any of your friends! The Russells also aimed to integrate each family member's individual talents, and serve the public good. With their noble manifesto in mind, the Russell's created two successful ventures founded upon their deep regard for local agriculture. (Portions of their profits from beer go towards the preservation of Massachusetts's farmlands.)

The brewery was founded in the summer of 1998 and by that winter was producing 3,000 gallons of ale a day. The Russells brew, bottle, and package all of their microbrews at the brewery. Their German-made Kunzel 4-roll mill cracks the malt into superlative grist. A custom made Newland's 3 vessel brew house then assists in converting that grist into ales. The resulting brew is so fresh, the Russells say, "it will transport you straight to the gentle rolling hills outside our front door." Their double pre-evacuation bottling process means reduced oxygen levels in the bottles, which guarantee that their products remain stable.

Head Brewer Gary "Goose" Gosselin began brewing beer professionally in 1990. Goose brings a bounty of knowledge, passion and experience to Buzzard's Bay Brewing. He began his career in a Boston brewpub and has been the head brewer at top-notch brewpubs in Providence, Rhode Island and Albany, New York. Goose prides himself on using the finest malts and hops in the world as well as the vanishing art of all natural carbonation through secondary fermentation.

For more information about the brewery and tours either check out their web site at: http://www.buzzardsbrew.com/, email Goose directly at goose@buzzardsbrew.com or just pick up the damn phone and call them at 508-636-2288.

Olde Buzzard Pale Ale

Buzzards Bay Brewing made an impressive debut last holiday season with Olde Buzzard Pale Ale. The ale was an instant hit, even among the hard-bitten press. Called an "outstanding ESB" by Brew Reviewer Tim Cotter, it is full of malt and hops for "lip-smacking taste." The brew quickly became the flagship drink of the Buzzard's Bay operation. Although named a Pale Ale, this brew is a full- bodied and well-balanced extra special bitter (ESB). The Yankee Brew News suggests that the ale is a perfect fit for clams and seafood appetizers.

It’s brewed with massive amounts of English malt which are balanced nicely with East Kent Goldings hops. Look for a fresh sweet caramel malty nose with a fair amount of spicy hoppiness evident in this deep amber ESB. We found it’s body medium and flavor packed with a complex toasty sweet malt profile and enough hop bitterness to please most hopheads. Note a dry hop lingering finish. Overall, a damn tasty interpretation of the classic style.

Recommended Serving Temperature: 42 to 47 degrees

Original Gravity: 1.054 degrees Plato

International Bittering Units: 45

Alcohol percentage by volume: 5.9 %

Buzzards Bay Stock Ale

Buzzards Bay Stock Ale is yet another handcrafted brew in the truest sense of the phrase that reminds one that there's a very viable difference between a stock ale and a wanna-be-micro contracted at a regional brewery. This highly drinkable Amber Ale is brewed with a combination of English Crystal, Two row-pale, and Caramel malts. Northern Brewer and Centennial hops are used up front for their bittering characteristics while a serious dose of Cascade hops are added towards the end of the boil primarily for their aromatic contributions. Stock ale is also dry hopped with Cascade hops. Immediately look for an intense and very pleasant floral and fruity hop nose up front. Note nice head retention in this filtered, copper, medium-bodied beer. Stock Ale starts with a rich caramel flavor, moves into a well-balanced floral hop character towards the middle and finishes on a dry medium-bitter note. Overall, a big and flavorful interpretation of an Amber Ale. You’re gonna dig it! Enjoy!

Recommended Serving Temperature: 42 to 47 degrees

Original Gravity: 1.044 degrees Plato

International Bittering Units: 39

Alcohol percentage by volume: 5.1 %

Stoudts Brewing Company

The Stoudts Brewing Co. brews this month’s seasonal selection, Stoudt’s Otoberfest a classic Marzen arriving just in time for your own private Oktoberfest celebration! Stoudt's is a microbrewery in Adamstown, Pennsylvania with a name that is known among Marzen fanciers. However, specialty brews are not this brewer's only special claim. Over the years, Stoudt's has been rewarded for its superlative efforts with 20 gold, silver, and bronze medals at the Great American Beer Festival. Additionally, the brewery took a Gold medal in 1996, and a Bronze in the 1998 World Beer Cup International Competition. Stoudt's has netted several World Beer Championship accolades as well. Masterbrewer/President Carol Stoudt, is considered to be one of the country's first contemporary female brewers. "Our beers are made solely with spring water and the finest barley, hops and yeast, to provide an all-natural product with no preservatives". She founded the brewery in 1987 and is the first woman in America to oversee the design and development of a microbrewery from inception to completion. This month, you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourself why this stellar brewery has been so widely recognized. We know you’re going to appreciate the passion Carol puts into her brews.

For more information about the brewery and tours either check out their web site at: http://www.stoudtsbeer.com/, email them at beernet@redrose.net or pick up that funny thing on the kitchen wall a press these numbers: 717-484-4387.

Stoudt's Octoberfest

What better, or more traditional way to celebrate Octoberfest than with Marzen, a beer that not only has a unique name but also arrives bearing a signature foil Oktoberfest label? This is an authentic Oktoberfest "bier." It’s brewed with a combination of Two-row pale, Dark Munich and Dextrin Pale malts which add to the beer’s body and head retention. Look for a crisp, malty and somewhat biscuity nose in this medium-bodied, deep copper-colored, filtered Marzen. We found it to start with a complex sweet maltiness with moves into a nicely balanced crisp hoppiness ending with more malt as the style dictates. Overall, this is a classic interpretation of the style.

Recommended Serving Temperature: 39 to 44 degrees

Original Gravity: 13 degrees Plato

International Bittering Units: 27

Alcohol percentage by volume: 5.0 %

American Pale Ale

Stoudt’s American Pale Ale is brewed with a combination of Two-row pale, Crystal and Munich malts. Carol hops this one twice during the mash, once again in the whirlpool and then dry hops the bad boy again, all with lovely Cascade hops. You’ve gotta like that! You shouldn’t be surprised when you note the nose is dominated by a powerful floral hop character. Look for great head retention in this filtered, light amber, medium-bodied pale ale. We found the taste to start with a nice balance of pale maltiness balanced well with a tart hop bitterness. This pale ales is on its way to becoming an India Pale Ale. Note a hint of malt in the finish, but its mostly those tasty cascade hops lingering on. Overall, a very flavorful, full, and rich pale ale. We loved it.

Recommended Serving Temperature: 45 to 50 degrees

Original Gravity: 13 degrees Plato

International Bittering Units: 39

Alcohol percentage by volume: 5.0 %

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