99 Bottles columns

Gary Dzen writes about the best beers, ale, lagers, and microbrews available in Boston and the rest of Massachusetts.

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Bottles: Leaf peepers who also like beer are in luck

They’ll be heartened to know there are more than a dozen breweries nearby, including New City Brewery, which is celebrating its third anniversary with a party Oct. 14.

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Bottles: Castle Island Brewing’s success is going Hi-Def

The brewery is getting bigger, and its beers are getting better.

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Bottles: Beauty and the beer

Westport’s Buzzards Bay Brewing is stunning. Just keep your free-range kiddos in check.

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Aeronaut showcases its artistic flair

The brewer is collaborating with deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum for “Arts and Ales,” a tasting pairing Aeronaut beers to some of the sculptures dotting the Lincoln museum’s lawn.

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Magic Hat’s excellent IPA is no act

Initially available only in Vermont, TFG is making its way into Massachusetts this month.

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Six Massachusetts beers to drink right now

With dozens of new craft beers flooding the market every month, it can be hard to know what’s good.

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Portico’s focus is making good stuff better

The brewing company doesn’t have a flagship but puts its main lineup front and center.

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Beer with a lobster background note? Yes, really.

It seems inevitable a Maine brewer would eventually make a lobster beer. But Tim Adams is not a kitschy brewer, and Oxbow’s beers aren’t gimmicks.

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Five beers for hot days

Here are five beers to help you while away those hot and hazy days.

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The rise and appeal of the Mexican-style lager (with or without the lime)

American craft brewers have recently adopted the Mexican-style lager, applying the name to a new wave of beers even as the definition of the style evolves.

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Growth, competition, and challenges: the state of craft beer today

A look inside the final industry statistics from 2016.

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When people say ‘I don’t like fruity beers,’ they aren’t really saying anything

They’ve got fruit. But that’s about all they’ve got in common. Case study: Road Jam vs. Mr. Pink.

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Sam Adams Rebel IPA needed fixing. Will this do the trick?

Boston Beer Company tries a new move: changing the formula of a flagship.

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Five brews you should be drinking right now

Will you be having the perfect lager or the road trip-worthy double IPA?

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Sour beers, barrel aging, and pinball: Down the Road puts down roots

Another brewery finds a home in Everett.

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From Smuttynose, a beer of a different color

Smuttynose Brewing Company’s Blackberry Short Weisse is as pleasing as it is purple.

Lord Hobo’s new beer, Glorious, is its best one yet

And company founder Daniel Lanigan is planning a brewery and brewpub for the Seaport.

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For RiverWalk Brewing Company, a new space means new possibilities

The Newburyport outfit will have a 3,000-square-foot tap room, an outdoor biergarten, and a greater variety of beers to try.

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‘How did you hear about us?’ With Cold Harbor Brewing, it’s a good question.

To sample the Westborough outfit’s beer, the best bet may be to head straight to the source.

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Six beers you should be drinking right now

A ton of new brews have hit the stores since early January. Out right now, these selections are worth trying.

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Fat Tire and more roll into Massachusetts

New Belgium Brewing Co., the nation’s fourth-largest craft brewery, is expanding into the state.

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What’s extreme beer? Depends when you ask.

The Extreme Beer Fest pushes the boundaries, from fruit beers and alcohol bombs to a more-nuanced notion.

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‘The biggest, baddest expression of the brewer’s art’

It’s time to celebrate barleywine at Cambridge Brewing Company.

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When your beer can is also a miniature art gallery

Collective Arts Brewing showcases the work of young artists on its labels.

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Yet another brewery for Trillium (and it likely won’t be the last)

More beer for everyone as the company plans a new Fort Point spot. You’ll be able to drink beer on premises.

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Capturing the flavor of Cape Cod in an oyster stout

Devil’s Purse Brewing Company’s new batch of Intertidal Oyster Stout is made with bivalves from Chatham Shellfish Company.

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Why 2016 was a banner year for beer

A wealth of new breweries opened, we drank straight from the source, and single ingredients were celebrated and explored.

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Like a figgy pudding in a bottle

Allagash Brewing Company’s holiday stout, Hibernal Fluxus, started out as a homebrewing project.

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At Medford Brewing Co., one beer . . . and counting

The brewers see a need for craft beer that aims for approachability.

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A band, some brewers, and a multidimensional collaboration

Aeronaut Brewing Company and The Lights Out join forces.

Backlash Beer Company to get its own brewery in Roxbury

Until now, the outfit has relied on contract brewing at other breweries around the state.

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Harpoon history, in a 30-pack

Drink your way through the evolution of craft beer.

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Beer + doughnut = beernut?

Find out which desserts and brews go well together at the upcoming Boston Beer and Sweets Fest.

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Hermit Thrush Brewery puts Vermont in the bottle

They only brew sours, using local yeast, pumpkins, fruit, and more

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Beer from a real farmhouse brewery

“We have a really nice fruit orchard,” says Tim Adams, cofounder of Maine’s Oxbow Brewing Company. “We have some beehives. We have pigs that eat our grains.”

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It’s a beer that tastes like a cocktail

Brooklyn Brewery’s Improved Old Fashioned builds on a base of strong rye beer

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Eye-opening approaches to brewing coffee beer

A coffee IPA? Yup.

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Pumpkin beer for beer geeks

Funky Pumpkin and the new Funkier Pumpkin will never be mistaken for Thanksgiving pie

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Get into Oktoberfest spirit with these beers

They’re not as traditional as their German variants

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A new brewpub is coming from the pros behind Battle Road

Scott Houghton and Jeremy Cross have 40 years of combined brewing experience

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Mad Elf gets aged and blended. The result: Wild Elf.

Tröegs gets inventive with its warming seasonal beer.

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Bone Up Brewing up and running in Everett

The tap room offers a “cozy vibe,” says cofounder Liz Kiraly

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Lynn, Lynn, city of unique Bent Water beer

The company’s water and concrete fermenting tanks are just two factors differentiating its products.

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On tap for a good cause: Great North Aleworks’ Alt Rock Beer

The New Hampshire brewery joins up with the Rock On Foundation.

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Why three summer beers are better than one

Newburyport’s Riverwalk Brewing Co. gets hoppier and hoppier as the season wears on.

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Famed for Heady Topper, The Alchemist opens a new brewery in Stowe, Vt.

It could debut as soon as July 1

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Western Mass Beer Week celebrates a new beer hub

“There’s all these cool beer-related things to do out here,” says Brick & Feather owner Lawrence George. “It kind of happened overnight.”

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There’s good beer karma in these here walls

Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company moves into the former Jack’s Abby space.

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Winter Hill Brewing has a lot of love (and beer) for Somerville

The outfit has a new cafe/brewpub.

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A Cape Cod beer that’s only going to get funkier

Devil’s Purse Brewing Company arrives in the Boston area for the first time with Skywave.

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Brazo Fuerte takes the field with five intriguing beers

Beverly Armstrong was a biotech executive and rugby player. Now she is a brewer.

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Letters After Z and more new beers coming from Mystic Brewery

The sour beer is one of several the brewery is experimenting with.

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Backlash Beer Co. grows out of its bottle

Reacting to competition, the company is switching its format to cans.

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A new brewery, and new challenges, for Trillium

The Fort Point outfit expands to a bigger Canton facility, which has 16,000 square feet of warehouse and retail space.

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21st Amendment Brewery celebrates originality

From craft beer in cans to offbeat label art, the San Francisco brewery does things its own way.

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Castle Island Brewing Co. is still Southie in spirit

It’s operated out of Norwood, but the company has roots in the neighborhood from which it takes its name.

Put an illuminated cork in it

Bottle Lights turn empty wine bottles into low-light lamps.

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Norton’s Bog Iron Brewery wants ‘to make beer that people like’

Three home brewers make a daydream a reality.

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For duo, cider is a growth business

Artifact produces traditional New England cider while challenging the definition of what that means.

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Eight favorite winter beers

Drinking beer on a patio is nice, but substantively, beer is a beverage made for winter.

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Pabst revives a legendary Ballantine ale

Pabst Brewing Co. has revived the legendary Ballantine Burton Ale from a company it had added to its portfolio.

Food & Travel

From hippie to hipster in Venice, Calif.

Blocks from the beach where surfers and skateboarders make their daily pilgrimage is the mile-long Abbot Kinney Boulevard, in a neighborhood that has evolved from hippie to hipster.

SIPS

At Fairsted, smoke and rye in the glass

The concise bar menu at Fairsted Kitchen in Brookline has become a sought-after custom cocktail experience.

by the glass by ellen bhang | globe correspondent

House pours

Ten sommeliers reveal wines they uncork at home for under $30. They don’t drink as fancy as you think.

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Utopias tastes more like sherry than beer

Utopias is not easy to make. It’s a blend of beers, some aged in over 20-year-old used spirits barrels.

Pretty Things closure sends shock waves around industry

The news was a surprise to members of the Mass. beer industry, many of whom are in touch with the Somerville owners regularly.

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Whiskey is being made from Sam Adams beer

Boston Harbor Distillery is part of a movement trying to do for craft spirits what Samuel Adams did all those years ago for beer.

Zagat releases ‘30 Under 30’ list of young talent in Boston

The group includes Daniel Amighi of La Brasa, Deuxave sous-chef Stefanie Bu, and The Baldwin Bar beverage director Ran Duan.

Food & Travel

One way to solve a midlife crisis: become a Vermont cheesemaker

When she was having a midlife crisis three years ago, Alissa Shethar bought Fairy Tale Farm, a 250-year-old sheep farm seven miles from Lake Champlain in the heart of dairy country.

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Tiny California brewery adjusts to changes after merger

When miniscule Alpine Beer Co. merged with Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego, there were mixed feelings for Alpine. But now the tiny beer is being distributed nationwide.

New fall beer flavor is peanut butter

Peanut Butter Raincloud, Foolproof Brewing Co. in Pawtucket, R.I., is as far as you can get from a pumpkin ale.

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New City Brewery’s taproom opens with a ginger beer

New City Brewery in Easthampton is making an alcoholic ginger beer in its Easthampton space, offering the brew now in its new taproom.

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Year-old Trappist brewery in Spencer expands its line

Spencer’s Saint Joseph’s Abbey opened a brewery a year ago with one beer. Now they’re expanding.

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Two very different pumpkin beers

Something for every pumpkin beer lover: Post Road Pumpkin Ale is sweet, but not artificial; Boulevard Brewing Co.’s Funky Pumpkin is a sour beer that’s heavily spiced.

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Sierra Nevada celebrates Oktoberfest

Sierra Nevada partnered with German brewery Brauhaus Riegele to make Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest.

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Hudson’s new tap room is part dungeon, part urban loft

One of the cofounders of Hudson’s Medusa Brewing Co. recalls spending afternoons in airy, communal beer rooms on trips to the Midwest and West Coast. Now he’s got one like it.

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Everett brewery is (sort of) combining yoga and beer

What is it link on yoga night at Night Shift Brewing?

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Three locals team up to make boozy ginger beer

Farmer Willie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer is made on Cape Cod by three young entrepreneurs.

Hotel a hive of activity thanks to bees, beer

“You’ve got some grass, pepper. The honey is present mostly in the finish, but I get the character throughout.”

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When an expert taster decides to brew

Daniel Lanigan’s Cambridge bar, Lord Hobo, meticulously curates a draft list of 40 beers. Boom Sauce is the taster’s first signature brew.

About the reporter

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Gary Dzen writes the 99 Bottles column that appears in the food section. He also contributes to the Sips column. Email him at Gary.Dzen@globe.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryDzen.