The indispensable tool for the Massachusetts adult beverage trade.

Lew Bryson


Last October, three Irish distillers were sitting on the stage at WhiskyFest New York.  The audience: very serious aficionados who’d paid hundreds of dollars to be there.  The deep subject: Understanding Irish Whiskey.  Colum Egan of Bushmills was leading the audience through a tasting of Bushmills 21 year old.  Don’t...
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Big imported beers had a few rough years adjusting to the surge of craft beer (which continues, of course), a harshly reset economy and consumers who seemed to be re-evaluating what they wanted from a beer.  Did they want a badge, or a new flavor, or a prestige buy, or...
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Pilsner Urquell

The first was last September. I was at the brewery in Pilsen, in the Czech Republic.  We saw the huge, modern brewery with the big copper brewing kettles (heated by direct fire) and the massive stainless fermentation and maturation tanks . . . all aboveground.  Then we were led below...
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The Flavored Whiskey Phenomenon

IF YOU’RE UNDER 4O, “liqueur” might be an unfamiliar word.  Chances are if you’ve ever had a liqueur, it was a slammed shot of Jagermeister.  Americans tend to go for more straightforward drinks, like beer and wine.  When we do drink spirits, we stick to full-proof stuff like vodka, rum,...
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“You ever been up to see Bob Ryan, taste his whiskey?” Jeremy Goldberg and I were sharing a couple pints at his Cape Ann Brewery one beautiful Gloucester morning last year, talking about how the town was developing and sustaining local businesses. I didn’t even know there was a distillery...
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Marty Siegal, the owner of Marty’s in Newtonville, has been working in liquor retail for 44 years. (“We’ll make that from when I turned 21, let’s keep this legal,” he told me, adding that he got married that same year.) The family’s liquor business dates from 1948, when Marty’s grandfather...
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Massachusetts Malt

Malt – germinated and kilned grains of barley – is the basic building block of beer and Scotch whisky. I’ve been to maltings, the big processing plants where raw harvested barley is cleaned, soaked, turned, allowed to germinate, and kilned. I’ve stood high on top of the huge grain silos,...
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Pretty Things

“Dann’s somewhat famous for failing,” Martha says. “This time, people really wanted him to succeed.” That’s Dann Paquette, the brewer of Pretty Things beers, that Martha’s talking about; she’s Martha Holley-Paquette, Dann’s wife and partner in the Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project. Dann smiles wryly at this spousal evaluation,...
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Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when you walk into most craft beer-focused bars these days, the taps run a little bit on the heavy side. 7% IPA, 8% double amber ale, 9% imperial IPA, 6% weissbier, 12% imperial stout . . . I’ve been in places where there were...
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