Category Archives: Beer

Reminder To Self:

Never drink Yuengling again. Awful.

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Of Hikes and Beer

Hubby has been in the hiking mood. Last week we hiked Mt. Sugarloaf in South Deerfield. “Hiking” is an overkill word for Mt. Sugarloaf State Reservation. It’s just over 600 ft but the view was spectacular! Check it out:

Connecticut River from Mt. Sugarloaf

Connecticut River from Mt. Sugarloaf

Once we climb back to earth, we headed over to the “Scenter” of the Universe, the Yankee Candle Flagship Store. Have you ever entered a mall and walked into a wall of scent and realized you walked in front of a Yankee Candle Store? It’s the same with the flagship store but this place has more than candles. There’s a “Bavarian Village” that snows every four minutes, a castle with “safe” gothic stuff and a country store with pottery items and central Massachusetts crafts (my fave spot, BTW). O.K., O.K…we bought candles. Aromatherapy items for me (cinnamon and frankincense candles) and “anonymous” candles for Hubby. (I’ll never reveal what gets him going.)

Today, we motored back to the area and our destination was Mt. Holyoke Range State Park. There’s tons of trails and a few peaks. We made it up Mt. Norwottuck, which is just over 1,000 ft, with lovely views of north central Massachusetts. Look for yourself:

That's Amherst in the distance!

That's Amherst in the distance!

After our vigorous hike, we motored over to Amherst to the apted named Amherst Brewing Company (ABC). The food was good but the beer was better. I quaffed the Two Sisters Imperial Stout, Massatucky Brown, and the Patch Porter. Hubby stuck to the Brown and Porter but sampled my Stout. The beer was most excellent.

Only in a place like Amherst, home base to five liberal colleges, would a place like ABC have a bartender named Tucker, show MSNBC on the tube and have a bleached blonde with hot pink fingernails lament her biology class homework to Tucker. (“I’ve been reading the same sentence over and over and just don’t get it.”)

As I staggered back to the Matrix, I couldn’t take the liberal atmosphere any longer. I slapped my magnetic “Avoid Obama Trauma” bumper sticker on the hatchback door and felt much better.

Overall, it was an excellent day.

Fall is Here

How can you tell it’s Fall?

Pumpkin ales are on tap.

Green Mountain Coffee‘s Pumpkin Spice is for sale.

Stonewall Kitchen‘s Maple Pumpkin Butter is available.

Lanni Orchard‘s Apple Cider is on Hannaford’s shelves. (You thought I was going to say Pumpkin Cider, right?)

Happy Fall!!!

Home Away from Home

I work for a federal agency that operates a visitor center in the middle of Boston, MA. Every day I get asked the same five questions; one of which is, “Where’s Cheers?” Even though it’s been off the air for over a dozen years, there is something about Cheers that attracts people; a welcoming place with welcoming people. A second family.

Hubby and I have that place, O’Connor’s in Worcester, MA. It is a restaurant/bar with a family aura. Hubby was a regular for years and then introduced me. It has a cherry wood bar, with lots of taps lined around the walls. The ubiquitious JFK bust overlooks the bar, along with signs touting “Freckin’ Irish Whiskey” and “If Irish eyes are smiling, they’re up to no good.” The bartenders lean toward the outgoing female…not the Hooter’s type, but just the nice, customer-friendly type.

O’Connor’s holds a special place in my heart because it’s where Hubby (then “just” a boyfriend) said, “I love you” for the very first time. (And it wasn’t after downing three drinks, either!) Even then, O’Connor’s was a spot to chill and talk about anything.

O’Connor’s has an incredible draft beer selection. Where else can you get:

* Beamish on tap? O’Connor’s.

* Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale? O’Connor’s.

* Wexford Cream Ale? O’Connor’s.

I love that they are closed on Sundays (except for Mother’s Day and around the T-Giving/Christmas holidays).

If you live in central MA, or are just passing through, take Route 12 or exit 4 off Rt. 290. It will become your place, too.

Last Gasp

Labor Day is the unofficial last day of summer for both Americans and Canadians. Though the warm weather can last another month, by September 2 school children know its back to school and adults have used up their vacation time.

Hubby and I celebrated the holiday by doing nothing!!! We scooted to Hannafords for a quick shopping run and then to the local packy store to load up on Smithwick’s (pronounced “Smidicks”) for him and Wachusett Blueberry beer for me.

Firing up the grill, Hubby cooked salmon using his own super secret marinade and sweet potatoes coated with a miso/honey glaze (made by moi, thank you very much). The potatoes went into a salad with raisins, scallions and mint with a red bell pepper dressing and everything went into our stomachs.

Yes, life is good.

Nothing says summer like beer and sweet potatoes.

Nothing says summer like beer and sweet potatoes.

Beer Heaven II

Today, Hubby went back to BEER HEAVEN, aka Yankee Spirits, in Sturbridge, MA. I forced upon him my digital camera and he brought back evidence showing the long row of liquid refreshment that awaits you, O Blog Reader, in BEER HEAVEN.

I've died and gone to...

I've died and gone to...

Don’t Fruit The Beer

Hubby told me a story from his past….Once upon a time he was at McNally’s Grille & Pub in Westminster, MA, likely quaffing a Guiness or a Sam Adams Lager. Westminster is the home of Wachusett Brewing Company, so it wasn’t unusual that a Wachusett salesman was at the pub also. He asked Hubby if he would like a sample of Wachusett Blueberry Ale. Hubby looked at him and said,

“If I wanted a wine cooler, I’d have ordered a wine cooler.”
And Thank You For Your Support

And Thank You For Your Support