Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Newburyport Brewing Company Visit


Earlier today I took the afternoon off so I could make a trip up to Newburyport and visit a couple of breweries. First on my list was Newburyport Brewing. My hosts were none other than co-founders Chris Webb and Bill Fisher, accompanied by brewmaster Mike Robinson.

Chris and Bill’s story is quite fascinating. To summarize, in 2011 the two noted a lack of craft beer in the Newburyport area and decided to start a brewery. In 2012 equipment started rolling in and by spring 2013 brewing operations were in full swing. In it’s first year, Newburyport brewed 5000 barrels, making it one of the fastest growing breweries. Today, despite the recent significant addition of equipment, the brewery can’t keep beer on shelves. Further expansion is planned.

I got a can of Plum Island Belgian White RIGHT off the line.
I got a can of Plum Island Belgian White RIGHT off the line.

Some of the success can be attributed to amazing foresight. For example, one of the first investments the two made was in a canning line. Even earlier than that, long before beer was being brewed on premise, they purchased rights to relatively rare strains of hops.

Bill spoke fondly of Brewmaster Mike Robinson, saying that “Mike was a huge part of the success we have seen”. Robinson, has quite a resume including New England Home Brewer of the Year and Samuel Adams Longshot winner. An original bottle of his Old Ale that won the award is pictured in the gallery below.

Left to Right: Bill Fisher, Me, Mike Robinson, Chris Webb
Left to Right: Bill Fisher, Me, Mike Robinson, Chris Webb

In addition to beer, Chris and Bill have a passion for music. The two play in a funk band together (Chris is lead vocals, while Bill is on horns) and the brewery regularly hosts local bands, who are featured in the Live from Newburyport Brewing series of shows. The brewery also supports local artists, featuring and selling art out of the tasting room. Fisher explained how important it is for Newburyport Brewing to invest in the local community, saying “We wanted this space to be a community place.”

If you’re in the North Shore area, I HIGHLY recommend swinging by the brewery!


5 Reasons to Drink Craft Beer at the Ballpark

Fenway Park. Image courtesy
Fenway Park. Image courtesy

Baseball and beer: two of America’s favorite past-times. Each year, millions of Americans head to the ballpark and line up to indulge in cotton candy, hot dogs, popcorn and of course, beer! The explosion of the craft beer industry has resulted in far more beverage options at the park than even a few years ago. Today I will give you five good reasons to “go craft” next time you’re at a ball game.

5. It’s worth it
Unless you’re an Angels or Diamondbacks fan (cheap beer, but full of tears), you are probably paying big bucks for your frosty beverage at the ballpark. On the other hand, if you’re unlucky enough to be a Red Sox or Cardinals fan, you probably take out an equity line on your mortgage before heading to the concession stand. Fenway Park boasts the most expensive beer in professional baseball and $7.50 will buy you 12 ounces of your favorite macro-produced yellow-fizzy beverage. For an extra $1.00, you can upgrade to a variety of craft beer options. That’s a 13% increase in price, for a product that’s roughly 1000% better. Spend the extra dollar, folks.

4. Drink Local
In 2013 the Belgian-Brazilian brewing company Anheuser-Busch InBev, raked in $43.2 billion in revenue. For comparison, all of the craft breweries in the United Stated, combined, grossed $14.3 billion. Most ballparks fill their craft tap lines with beer from relatively local breweries. By buying craft beer, you’re supporting the local economy and keeping your dollars in the ‘hood. Craft brewers often “pay it forward”, focusing on using local ingredients, which in turn supports local farms. If none of this inspires you, think about it this way: your support means the brewer can afford to make more delicious beer, and you love delicious beer, right? Plus, who would you rather support: Joe beer-brewer that lives down the street, or a multi-national faceless corporation?

3. Three words: Alcohol by Volume
If you’re spending more time in the bathroom line than watching the game, you’re probably having a great time. You’re probably also determined to get hammered. The average domestic macro beer is about 5% alcohol by volume, and if you’re drinking light beer, it’s more like 4%. That amounts to, at a minimum, two to three beers per hour to maintain that buzz. Certain types of craft beer have a higher ABV; ergo, fewer beers to buy, less time in lines, same end result. Oh, and please drink responsibly. Don’t be that screaming, sloppy drunk jack-wagon that everyone in the bleacher section cranes their necks to stare at.

2. You’ll look cool
Look around. Everyone’s cup is full of yellow stuff. Here’s your chance to be trendy and cool. When you sport a craft beer, you’ll get to tell people how fantastic your English bitter or your Belgian triple is. You can dazzle people with tales of how your beer tastes like coriander, spices and banana. Everyone will want to be you. Pro-tip: You’ll be rocking classy beer, but don’t get full of yourself. No one likes a show-off; leave the fancy-pants, cane and top-hat at home.

1. Taste
Even if you enjoy your light beer, I promise you, there is a craft beer out there that you will enjoy much more. For instance, try a kolsch or a wheat beer. Don’t get me wrong, mindlessly crushing domestics has its place and time; I’ll tear through Coors Light on the golf course like it’s going out of style. Savoring a beer on your palette for a moment before it goes down the hatch is a great feeling, especially when combined with the warm sun on your face, the smell of roasted peanuts and the crack of a bat. In short, there is nothing quite like craft beer at the ballpark.

Beer Prices in 2013, courtesy
Beer Prices in 2013, courtesy