Archive

Category Archives for "The Beers"

Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

This policy was worked through and put into place by myself, COO Tatum Stewart and members of our Board of Directors.

Craft Beer Cellar is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion across its’ entire network and at every Craft Beer Cellar location.

Our human capital is our most valuable asset. The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our work culture, but our company’s reputation.

We embrace, encourage and celebrate our employees’ differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our employees unique, who they are and who we are, together.

Craft Beer Cellar’s diversity initiatives are applicable, but not limited to our practices and policies on:

  • recruitment, evaluation and hiring
  • wages, benefits and other methods of compensation
  • professional development, training, and education
  • promotions and/or transfers
  • social programs
  • layoffs and/or terminations

The ongoing development of our work environments are built on the premise of gender and diversity equity that encourages and enforces: a) respectful communication and cooperation between all employees, b) teamwork and employee participation, allowing for the representation of all employees and perspectives, and c) employer and employee contributions to the communities we serve, in order to promote a greater understanding and respect for diversity.

Employees and employers of all Craft Beer Cellar stores have a responsibility to treat others with dignity and respect at all times. All employees are expected to exhibit conduct that reflects inclusion during work, at work functions, on or off your work location, and at all other company-sponsored and/or participation events. All employees and employers are expected to complete and certify in our annual diversity awareness training to enhance their knowledge and be able to fulfill the responsibilities outlined above.

Any employee or employer found to have exhibited any inappropriate conduct or behavior against others may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of either employment or a store’s right to operate as a Craft Beer Cellar.

Employees who believe they have been subjected to any kind of discrimination that conflicts with the company’s diversity policy and initiatives should seek assistance from a supervisor, manager, or owner at your location. If you have notified a supervisor, manager, or owner at your location and do not feel that actions or remedies are being addressed, please notify Craft Beer Cellar, immediately.

Additionally, all employees, employers and/or store owners are expect to implement and follow Craft Beer Cellar’s Diversity & Inclusion Policy in relation to and in interacting with the customers that shop in our stores or frequent our tap rooms, as well as suppliers, brewery representative, delivery personnel and other business-to-business individuals that may frequent our locations.

Suzanne Schalow

Co-Founder and CEO of Craft Beer Cellar. Suzanne is an academic at heart and spends much of her time working on beer education, events and marketing. Passionate about the beer industry, telling better beer stories and finding that one beer that changes everything. In the meantime, you can rest assured she's fallen off in a Chalice of Chimay Premiere or Liter of Benediktiner Hell.

The beer she can't stop thinking about: 2016 Jolly Pumpkin Bam Bier

Diversity & Inclusion: A Request

In light of recent developments regarding the discrimination lawsuit involving Founders Brewing Company, Craft Beer Cellar will be asking all store owners to consider no longer purchasing their products until we have a better understanding of how they are addressing the challenges outlined in the lawsuit, as well as how they are working on their internal policies, procedures, and employee relations.

Currently, Craft Beer Cellar does not implement purchasing mandates; therefore, we are not requiring any store to remove Founders’ products from your shelf sets or taps, but rather, asking you to consider selling through what you have, and not reordering at this time. Our decision is not personal, yet cuts to the core of who we are as individuals and as minority members of society and business, with a strong interest in offering the best environments to our employees and customers, as well as growing together as an industry.

As ardent supporters of craft beer and this industry, it deeply saddens us that we feel we need to take this step. However, we feel that this is necessary in order to continue working on elements of our own brand, including integrity, diversity, and inclusion. Craft Beer Cellar prides itself on supporting diversity and inclusion, as is evident by our individual store owners, staff, store environments, and customers, alike.

We are reminded of how important culture, diversity, and inclusion are, both in the work place, but also in life. These past two weeks especially, have reminded us of how seemingly careless people can be with the feelings and emotions of others, including behaving in a racist manner.  Every brick and mortar retail business owner has the opportunity and responsibility to have positive interactions with their employees and customers on a daily basis.

In addition to asking all Craft Beer Cellar locations to consider no longer purchasing Founders’ products, we’ve developed a Diversity & Inclusion Policy, effective immediately, for all stores. The policy is intended to reach every employee, manager and store owner and be used to help guide us, internally, at our Bottle Shops & Tap Rooms. It’s also intended to be implemented toward the people that spend their money in our stores: our customers. These people are a core part of our communities and are invested in Craft Beer Cellar – we recognize this and want to ensure that our philosophies and policies have a positive effect, from the inside, out.

Reply Hazy

Reply Hazy

Wednesday May 7th, 2019

"New England IPA is a beer style that can be really tasty when well made, but it can’t even sit on the shelf for two weeks. It has no shelf life at all. It’s the first beer style based around Instagram culture and based around social media” - Garrett Oliver in Morning Advertiser

Lately it seems that the national and veteran brewers in the US are either stating they’ll never make a hazy, juicy, 'New England-style' IPA, or are finally making one. Does this mean they’re jumping on the bandwagon? Or did they take their time because they don’t like the fad and were seeing if it would pass? Avery Brewing put out a whole statement on why their Hazy IPA would remain draft-only because of the logistics of canning and keeping fresh a hazy beer, only to reverse course on that a year later and start canning Hazyish IPA.

"In case you thought the haze craze wasn't real, New England IPAs had over 6.9 million check-ins in 2018, up 68% over last year."

- Untappd (@untappd), January 8, 2019 

Maybe there's a third reason. Firestone Walker, with their entry, Mind Haze, is saying they wanted to take the time to get it right and put their own spin on the style, making it both shelf stable and affordable.

Mind Haze is full of passion fruit, lemongrass, and mango aromas with matching creamy fruity flavors. The haze is real, but it is definitely not murky. The creamy mouthfeel and most of the haze are coming from a hefty portion of oats and wheat in the grain bill. "We're not relying on residual yeasts or starches for turbidity," Brewmaster Matt Brynildson said. "The haziness and mouthfeel of Mind Haze are cultivated by more stable means, namely using 40 percent wheat and oats in the grain bill while nailing the timing and interplay of our hop additions.”

Some of the ‘controversy’ surrounding these types of beers has to do with the language used to describe them. The name IPA and even Hazy or Juicy IPA, are so broad that people compare apples to oranges. Is it even fair to compare a double dry-hopped $24 4-pack purchased direct from the brewery with a decidedly also hazy, but not as opaque nationally distributed and shelf-stable version?

Maybe people forgot that hazy IPAs have always been around. Wheat IPAs are hazy and have a lot of citrus hop aroma. 

Mind Haze is a wheat-forward hazy, but not muddy IPA, that delivers on the fruitiness even die-hard haze bois will enjoy, which can partially be attributed to the yeast strain used. Firestone even added a new yeast for this beer, reporting that “We now have a 3rd full time yeast in the family who I am happy to report has fit in perfectly and gets along well with staff and cellar. The key was learning how to propagate and ferment with the new strain on the larger system.” This fruity yeast strain in combination with the hopping we’ve come to know and love from Firestone Walker makes a really fruity, soft, delicious beer.

Perhaps a lot of this back and forth is because we’re not using the best descriptor words that we could be. We honestly feel that the new shelf-stable hazy juicy beers are low in bitterness, not clear (though also not murky), have a rich mouthfeel (contributed by oats and wheat), and have a lot of fruity flavors. While I get a ton of peach, apricot, pineapple, and mango aromas from Hazy Little Thing, Sam Adams New England IPA, and Mind Haze, they aren’t quite the all out fruity assault that I think customers expect from an eponymous hazy, juicy IPA. 

So why are these more national versions of this still getting so much flak? After all, they’re bringing the once niche style to the masses. Which NEIPA are you seeing at the airport? Which of these hazy juicies can you get in mid-America? If you’re not a wait-in-line-for-beer type, you may not have the reference of what Trillium or Treehouse is like. These ‘big craft’ beers are delicious, accessible, and affordable. But are they really a great example of a ‘true’ Vermont/NE/Hazy IPA? That's an objective question, but one thing is clear: they are delicious and well-made beers.

Virginia Thomas

In addition to being a Certified Cicerone, she is an Introductory Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. After nearly 10 years of working in craft beer education, she finds that talking to people about what beverages they like and why, and helping them to choose new beers to try (that they will hopefully like) - is her favorite part of the job. Her home base is Chicago, but she's often found in the Boston area, New Orleans, or wherever her passion for good food & drink takes her.

The beer she can't stop thinking about:
New Image Brewing Blackberries & Cream Dyad

Smuttynose Is Still Here

Smuttynose Is Still Here.

Friday, October 26th, 2018

2018 began with somewhat of a rough start for the craft beer world. Just two weeks after we rang in the new year, on January 15th, Green Flash announced that they would be pulling out of 32 states after building a distribution footprint that covered the entire country. Three days later, we were hit with news that the legendary Portsmouth, New Hampshire brewery Smuttynose would be sold at a bank auction due to “overleveraging of investments and missed growth projections”. Just one day after that, on January 19th, we learned that California’s Mendocino Brewing and New York’s Olde Saratoga Brewing Co. suddenly closed and laid off all employees as billionaire owner Vijay Mallya faced charges of money laundering in excess of $1 billion.

It was a sad stretch of days within the industry as many questioned whether or not the whole year would be heading down this path. Craft Beer Cellar HQ is based in New England, so of the three, Smuttynose hit closest to home. Though the brewery’s relevance had been waning for years, there’s no debating the quality of beers like Finest Kind IPA and Robust Porter. Taste aside, the combination of dated branding and producing brewpub styles of the 90s had slowly diminished the excitement around Smutty.

Since January, we hadn’t heard much about Smuttynose other than their sale to Venture Capital firm Runnymede Investments back in March. The classic regular rotation beers were still available in the market and demand remained roughly stagnant. It felt as though they may slowly fade into the sunset. That was until we received an email titled, “Smuttynose is making big moves!” earlier this week. 

Attached in the email was a press release and information on two new (and hazy!) releases. Mysterious Haze and Whole Lotta Lupulin are a double dry-hopped New England IPA and a Double IPA, respectively, and are packaged in 16oz 4-Packs with fresh, modern sticker labels. The release of these two beers symbolizes a sort of rejuvenation for the Smutty brand that has been taking place behind the scenes in the months since their purchase.

According to the press release, “After ownership transitioned last spring to a local family-owned NH investment firm, Runnymede Investments LLC, Smuttynose has already made strides towards the future. In the past several months, Smuttynose has increased its staff to 84 full-time and part-time workers, added several new members to their marketing team, and beefed up their sales team with more representatives and account managers.”

All of this sounds like things are moving in the right direction for the brewery. The anticipated double release will take place at long-time Smuttynose supporting establishments throughout the end of October and into the beginning of November. Cans are expected to hit stores within their distribution footprint beginning in November as well.

THE BEERS

Mysterious Haze
New England IPA
6.7% ABV, 47 IBU
Malt: 2 Row, Malted Barley, Wheat Malt, Oats, CaraHell
Hops: Citra
Yeast: Chico

Introducing Mysterious Haze, a new year-round offering from deep within the hop labs here at Smuttynose Brewing Co. This medium -bodied, double dry-hopped New England IPA is a master class in showcasing the tropical characteristics of Citra hops, featuring initial notes of grapefruit, guava and mango that melt beautifully into a complex aftertaste of citrus and delicate herbs. Just how much will you love it? That’s a mystery only your first sip can unravel.

Whole Lotta Lupulin
New England Double IPA
8.6% ABV, 90 IBU
Malt: 2-Row, Malted Barley, Wheat Malt, Cara Malt, CaraHell
Hops: Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial
Yeast: Chico

Whole Lotta Lupulin marks its triumphant return to the Smuttynose year-round lineup, a double IPA as bold as it is balanced that’s sure to satiate even the most seasoned hop palates. Brewed with a bursting combination of complimentary hops – including Citra and Amarillo– and anchored by a sturdy yet not overpowering malt foundation, it drinks lighter than its 8.6% ABV might imply, imparting notes of tropical and guava and an intoxicating aroma of floral, resinous pine.

PHIL CASSELLA

Phil is passionate about telling the stories of the people and businesses behind the beer we love, primarily through the visual mediums of photography and design. With a B.S. in Marketing from Syracuse University and having completed the University of Vermont's Business of Craft Beer certificate program, Phil knew he wanted to be a part of this industry from an early age, and tailored his education around it. You typically won't find anything with an SRM greater than 10 in his glass, but there's a good chance it will be a Czech Pils, mixed-fermentation Saison, or a soft Pale Ale.

The beer he can't stop thinking about:
Notch The Standard (preferably served Mlìko)

Revisiting Classics Vol. 2 – Allagash White

Revisiting Classics Vol. 2 - Allagash White

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

My love for Allagash White can be directly traced back to Harpoon UFO White – a definitive gateway beer for me. When I was in college, beer runs to Wegman’s consisted of a suitcase of Rolling Rock or Miller High Life and a mixed six pack of craft. Those six beers, typically chosen for their label artwork, were oftentimes made up of 50% UFO White. Fresh squeezed lemon, a hint of biscuit, and orange peel. It was simple, refreshing, approachable, and perfect for the golf course (which was free to play with my student ID when/if Syracuse, NY weather allowed for it).

UFO White, alongside Sierra Nevada Torpedo, opened the rabbit hole of beer to me, and I fell deeply and quickly. Not being one to tip-toe into things, a ‘best brewery in the world’ Google Search query led me to the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, and less than a year after ‘discovering’ craft beer, I was driving 3+ hours to Hill Farmstead. American iterations of Witbier and West Coast IPAs were quickly forgotten in the hunt for the next New England Double IPA, Barrel-Aged Stout, or American Wild Ale aged in Wine Barrels on apricots.

In my mind, Allagash White is Belgian-Style Witbier perfected. Allagash’s 2-Row malted barley blend, red wheat malt, raw white wheat, oats, and carapils contribute the delicately hazy, pale yellow appearance. The head is a pillowy off white that feels like cream on the palate. It’s spiced with a blend of coriander, Curaçao orange peel, “plus a secret one, just to keep a little mystery”, according to Allagash founder Rob Tod. There has been plenty of speculation on what that secret ingredient could be: grains of paradise, anise, black pepper, chamomile, etc. Whatever it is, it plays it’s part in a masterful flavor experience that is both somehow simple and complex all at once.

There is a refined elegance to Allagash White, yet it is a beer that can be found at almost any bar, restaurant, and package store here in Boston. It’s enjoyable at any point in the year – refreshing in the summer, with a spice character and silky mouthfeel that stands up throughout the winter months. White is one of my favorite food pairing beers. Salad, white fish, chicken, oysters, lobster, mozzarella – it enhances a huge variety of dishes. 

Over the past year, we’ve sold Allagash White at a pace of nearly 18 bottles per day (0.75 cases/day). Those numbers, for a bottle shop of our size, means that this beer is easily one of our top selling beers. That shouldn’t be surprising, for all of the flavor that this beer offers, it’s extremely approachable. Minimal bitterness, combined with a creamy experience on the palate and familiar flavors of orange peel, black pepper, and coriander allow for this beer to be perfect for newcomers to craft and experienced vets alike.

It’s basically all I drink. I love our other beers, but I just always seem to gravitate back to White. Every once in a while, I still discover an aroma or flavor I’ve never gotten before.

– Rob Tod in Downeast Magazine

Belmont, MA is certainly not the only place on Earth where White is enjoyed. That beer currently makes up roughly 80 percent of the brewery’s total annual production; something like 74,500 of 98,000 bbls per year. A good chunk of that consumption may be due to Rob Tod himself. He’s often been quoted stating that he will seldom drink anything other than White. With the vast variety of offerings that Allagash puts out annually, the quality of which are nearly unmatched, it says something when the founder of the brewery almost exclusively drinks the flagship beer.

We live in the era of one-off can releases and infinitely rotating draft lines. It’s exciting – there’s always a new beer to try and a unique flavor experience to be had, but in my opinion, we should all be a bit more like Rob Tod. Variety may be the spice of life, but the secret spice in Allagash White has me going back time and time again.

PHIL CASSELLA

Phil is passionate about telling the stories of the people and businesses behind the beer we love, primarily through the visual mediums of photography and design. With a B.S. in Marketing from Syracuse University and having completed the University of Vermont's Business of Craft Beer certificate program, Phil knew he wanted to be a part of this industry from an early age, and tailored his education around it. You typically won't find anything with an SRM greater than 10 in his glass, but there's a good chance it will be a Czech Pils, mixed-fermentation Saison, or a soft Pale Ale.

The beer he can't stop thinking about:
Notch The Standard (preferably served Mlìko)

>