Seminar Speaker at the DC Craft Beer Festival

On Saturday, November 22nd I'll be speaking about the history of brewing and the current beer scene in the Northeast at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Copies of my book will be for sale at a discount following a brief Q&A. This ticketed event is open to the public and includes beer samples from as many as 75 breweries. Food from a variety of vendors will also be available for purchase.

Following my talk at both sessions will be Michael Tonsmeire, author of American Sour Beers: Innovative Techniques for Mixed Fermentations. Although Michael and I haven't met, I've been a fan of his homebrewing blog, The Mad Fermentationist, for a long time. Follow this link for a little preview of what we'll each be talking about and stop by the Craft Concierge Center if you want to geek out about Gose, Gueuze or Gruit (you can't drink sours all the time). To purchase tickets to the DC Craft Beer Festival, visit the event's website

Books on Tap at Shmaltz Brewing Company

On Sunday, August 10th at 2:00 pm I'll be speaking about brewery tourism, the Northeast beer scene, and my new book at Shmaltz Brewing Company in Clifton Park, New York. Part of their summer-long Books on Tap series, this ticketed event is open to the public and includes food samples from The Ruck in nearby Troy. For more information call (518) 406-5430 or visit the Eventbrite website

Jeremy Cowan, founder and owner of Shmaltz, will serve as moderator and will also lead tours following our conversation. Although we've crossed paths at various festivals, I haven't had the chance to sit down and talk with him since I led a panel on beer tourism at the New York Travel Festival last April. It will be my first visit to his brewery and I'm looking forward to the event. If you live in the Capital Region, or are planning to be in the area during the second weekend of August, grab a ticket now for a fun beer tasting, discussion, and book signing.

Pages & Pints at the Lewiston Public Library

On Friday, April 25th at 6:00 pm I'll be speaking about brewery tourism, the Northeast beer scene, and my new book at the Lewiston Public Library in Lewiston, Maine. Part of the library's Pages & Pints book talk and beer tasting series, this free event is open to the public and will take place in the library’s Callahan Hall. For more information call (207) 513-3135 or visit their website

After my talk, things will move to Baxter Brewing Company on Mill Street for a reception and beer tasting with cheese pairings provided by Forage Market. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at both the library and the brewery. Plus, if you purchase two or more copies of The Great Northeast Brewery Tour on Friday, I'll throw in a copy of The Homebrew Journal.

And, if you live on the Portland Peninsula, you can also catch a ride to and from the event with me courtesy of the Maine Brew Bus. Round trip transportation courtesy of Lenny (or Mabel, their other brew bus) is $15 and leaves from the Rising Tide Brewing Company at 5:15pm sharp. 

Sights and Bites Along Cape Cod's Old King's Highway

Every summer, thousands of drivers get caught in the crawling queue that backs up the Mid-Cape Highway, chipping away at patience and time better spent at the beach or on the water. Starting in Sandwich on the Upper Cape, dodge the traffic and take a scenic detour down the Old King's Highway, a quieter road that hugs the coast out to Provincetown. From cranberry bogs to picturesque church steeples, there’s much more to see on Route 6A and plenty of places to pull off for a quick snack or leisurely diversion.

Founded in 1969 and recognizable by its wrought iron roadside statue, Titcomb’s Bookshop has evolved from a small antiquarian book dealer into a three-story business with an international following. Stop in to flip through A History of Chowder, grab a game for the kids, or pick up a paperback to bring to Sandy Neck Beach Park just up the road. Lifeguarded from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the beach is accessible with a parking sticker or a day pass ($15-20). Go for a dip, read under your umbrella, or take a short hike on the nature trail to look for signs of deer, reptiles, and wading birds. After a little sun, continue into Barnstable for a visit to Cape Cod Beer, a craft brewery that proudly advertises “a vacation in every pint.” Cape Cod Red, a full-flavored amber ale is their bestseller, but on a hot day, Beach Blonde, a golden-hued easy drinker might be a better choice. Time your stop with a tour and tasting (Monday-Saturday), or grab a growler to go (from $11).

Round Three: The Great Northeast Brewery Tour

It's been a busy winter. Definitely the busiest I can remember. Since January 15th, when Voyageur Press published my third book, I've been up and down the East Coast from Maryland to Maine and back. Snow and ice stymied my plans here and there, but overall it's been wonderful meeting so many people who want to learn more about craft beer, and I've enjoyed returning to many of the breweries Bethany and I visited during our research for The Great Northeast Brewery Tour. In fact, it's been so much fun that I'm hitting the road a third time at the end of the month, beginning in Newburyport, Massachusetts. 

Once again, for details about times and locations, please check out the book's Facebook page or follow me on Twitter. See you in a few weeks!
  • Friday, March 21, 2014 - RiverWalk Brewing Company (Newburyport, MA) 
  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - BRIX Wine Shop (Boston, MA) 
  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - Moat Mountain Brewing Company (North Conway, NH)
  • Friday, March 28, 2014 - Oxbow Brewing Company (Newcastle, ME)
  • Friday, March 28, 2014 - Elements: Books, Coffee, Beer (Biddeford, ME)
  • Sunday, March 30, 2014 - Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge (Annapolis, MD) 
  • Thursday, April 3, 2014 - Thomas Hooker Brewing Company (Bloomfield, CT)  
  • Friday, April 4, 2014 - The Spotty Dog Books & Ale (Hudson, NY)

A Tale of Two Poutines

It was the best of ideas, it was the worst of ideas, it was a day of wisdom, it was a day of foolishness. This is how my epic tale of poutine consumption begins. Because how else would you describe a person's decision to eat, in under an hour mind you, two generous servings of a dish consisting of gravy-soaked french fries and squeaky chunks of cheese curd? Which isn't to say I regretted it. I've always tended to agree with Oscar Wilde's philosophy on life: "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

Late last year, Tourism New Brunswick, an office of the provincial government, invited me to spend a few days in Moncton, Saint John, and the capital of Fredericton, also known as the City of Stately Elms. By the time I turned up at Greater Moncton International Airport, warm weather had already gone south for the winter, and the nightly news forecast small amounts of snow for the duration of my visit. So, realizing that I'd be spending more time indoors than out, I prepared to experience New Brunswick with knife and fork in hand. And from my first meal to my last, I wasn't the least bit disappointed. 

At Tide & Boar Gastropub, Chef Michel Savoie served a charcuterie board with house-made pate, smoked salmon, boar sausage, smoked beef brisket, Bay of Fundy scallops, and my first taste of dulse, a red seaweed common to the cuisine of the Maritimes. Plus, after sharing a bottle of Unibroue's Grande Reserve 17 with Chef Savoie and owner Chad Steeves, I can confidently say that this Belgian-style dark ale has the ability to make a memorable meal even better. Next, Chef Jesse Vergen at Saint John Ale House dazzled my senses with a tasting menu that began with enormous oysters on the half shell and finished with a fried pumpkin pie pastry dusted with cinnamon sugar. Moosehead Cask Ale was my beer of choice that evening.