The Beerhunter: Drink Local! The Valley’s Top 10 Must-Try Craft Beers
Sep01

The Beerhunter: Drink Local! The Valley’s Top 10 Must-Try Craft Beers

Welcome back from summer vacation! Sadly, the heat wave isn’t over just yet. But the Beerhunter predicts cool evenings ahead, so be sure to make time to kick back on your couch, porch, or at your favorite neighborhood bar and appreciate everything the Valley’s craft beer scene has to brag about. While you were off getting some sun and resting up, the Beerhunter has been hard at work paring down the long list of local offerings into a...

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The Beerhunter: Brattleboro by the Glass
Aug04

The Beerhunter: Brattleboro by the Glass

The southern Vermont town of Brattleboro does a lot of things right: green hills, friendly people, fun bookstores, and a few stellar swimming holes. But this month, the Beerhunter looks into this town’s newest promising trend: craft brewing. Out of the beer spots in Brattleboro, I particularly recommend two: the tasting room at Hermit Thrush Brewery on High Street and the Whetstone Station restaurant and brewery on Bridge Street. Hit...

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The Beerhunter: The The Other ‘L’ Word, never fear, good light beer is here
Jul08

The Beerhunter: The The Other ‘L’ Word, never fear, good light beer is here

Thinking about “light beer” brings up distasteful, albeit fun, memories. Long nights in college spent pouring cans of Keystone into red plastic cups; fly-fishing with grouchy uncle Roy, paddling around with a cooler full of Molson; going to that barbecue last summer that only stocked bottles of Bud Light Lime. (Talk about an ice bucket challenge.) Why do low-calorie beers taste bad? It’s simple. Calories in beer come from...

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The Beerhunter Abroad! Perusing Peruvian Brews
Jun10

The Beerhunter Abroad! Perusing Peruvian Brews

Peru The American craft beer landscape is an ever-expanding picture, but if you want to call yourself a seasoned beerhunter, you need to wander off the map from time to time. So in late May I set off on vacation to Peru, primed to enjoy a break from routine — and to put those precious vacation days toward some research of my own. My main point of curiosity is the interplay between culture and beer. When sitting down in a faraway...

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The Beerhunter: Black and White and Red All Over, jump on the beer color wheel
May12

The Beerhunter: Black and White and Red All Over, jump on the beer color wheel

At the beginning of The Matrix, Morpheus gives Neo a choice: Swallow the blue pill and wake up to his old boring life, or take the red pill and discover everything he’s been missing. I felt like Neo the other day as I stood in the package store, gazing at an ever-expanding selection of craft ales. Like him, I was teetering on the edge of the familiar, and my quandary was color-coded. I knew that I needed to broaden my horizons and...

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The Beerhunter: You’ve Got to Try Sour Beers
Apr14

The Beerhunter: You’ve Got to Try Sour Beers

Who’s up for a fresh glass of saccharomyces cerevisiae? I’ll take one! Though, personally, I like to mix this yeast variety with water, hops, and barley. Combine those four magic ingredients and you’ve got yourself a beer — tastier, and much easier to pronounce. But first, a beer science moment. As far as yeast cultures go, saccharomyces is predictable. It loves doing exactly what it is told, which is to convert sugars from the malt...

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Beerhunter: Tips for your next brewery tour
Mar18

Beerhunter: Tips for your next brewery tour

Up in Vermont there’s a glow-in-the-dark circus party at the end of the world. Neon streamers and Mardi Gras beads hang all over the place. Colorful string lights set the room aglow. Some visitors hunker down at the long bar counter, but others try on jester hats, toss Frisbees, and laugh behind the curtains of a photo booth. The visitor center at Magic Hat, called the Artifactory, is packed full of silly diversions — a tourist stop...

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Dive! Five unpolished gems with cheap drinks and charm to spare.
Mar03

Dive! Five unpolished gems with cheap drinks and charm to spare.

Everyone has a favorite dive bar; a place you can go in your old jeans and sweater, have a beer for under $3 and watch some “Wheel of Fortune” with townies looking to unwind. Dive bars — and we use the term lovingly — tend to be physically and metaphysically secluded. Signs are minimal and the website, if it even exists, barely functions. The good ones are tucked away like unpolished backstreet gems. Last week, Advocate writers took...

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Beerhunter: Lager Gets Crafty
Feb18

Beerhunter: Lager Gets Crafty

In the warm, bright tasting room of Fort Hill Brewery in Easthampton, my friend took a sip from a sample glass and frowned. He took another and made the same face. “It’s a lager,” I said. “They’re all lagers here.” He looked surprised. Then he finished his drink and nodded. “It’s good.” What just happened here? Well, two things. For one, the American craft brewing scene is all about the ales, not lagers. This is why, when my friend...

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The Beerhunter: Save a Keg. Tap a Cask: Cask beers make a slow, sweet comeback
Jan21

The Beerhunter: Save a Keg. Tap a Cask: Cask beers make a slow, sweet comeback

Nothing screams American mass-market beer like that big silver “Coors” bullet train. TV spots show it rocketing through a winter blizzard, smashing huge glaciers into ice rubble before steaming into town like the Polar Express for the college set. Ahh, refreshing! Should beer really go down like a blast of the Arctic? Maybe if you don’t want to taste it. But nearly all American beers served on draft hit your pint glass at between 35...

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Beerhunter: Iron Duke Brewing’s Signature “Baby-Maker” is Born

The new Iron Duke Brewing facility in Ludlow might be a bit of a trek for some Valley beer chasers, but the visit pays off in small pleasures. One of those is sitting at the bar in their busy taproom listening to college kids and grandparents alike shout, “I’ll have a Baby-Maker!” Nick Morin, co-founder of the brewery, says he named this amber porter for his pregnant wife, who was nine months along when the first barrels debuted in...

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Introducing the Beerhunter
Nov29

Introducing the Beerhunter

Throw down your coasters and pull up your stools — there’s a new beer column in town. You’ll be seeing the Beerhunter every month in the Advocate. But who, exactly, is this wanderer of the night? Well, I could pretend to be a jaded, salt-of-the-earth connoisseur, with decades of experience taste-testing new brews. But you’d see through that pretty quickly. So let’s come clean before we hit the bars: I am...

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