99 Bottles columns

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

By the Glass

Sip rosé with fish, meat, or hard-to-pair foods

Rosés can do what other wines can’t, including go with hard-to-pair foods.

BOTTLES

Low-alcohol brew once made for field workers

Notch Brewing Co. is making Notch Saison in a can, with lots of flavor and very low alcohol by volume.

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Summer beers with staying power

After Samuel Adams began using lemons in its summer ale in 1996, hundreds of warm-weather seasonal beers followed suit.

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Narragansett names beer after horror author

Narragansett Brewing Co. is celebrating the Howard Phillips Lovecraft with an ale named for him.

Quick Bite

Cured meats, bold wines in the Backroom on Moody Street

The Backroom, adjacent to Moody’s Delicatessen & Provisions, would make any self-respecting cardiologist weep.

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Feel the love for sour beer with Love Child No. 5

If you like lemonade, you’ll probably like sour beer. But, say brewers, it’s never cool to surprise something with it.

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Hand-filled growlers at tiny RiverWalk Brewing

RiverWalk is a small, self-distributing brewery, and founder Steve Sanderson has stories to tell, especially one that happened last year.

BOTTLES

Easy Jack is bright without a hoppy wallop

Easy Jack, from California’s Firestone Walker Brewing Co., is being made year-round with German hops.

Recipe for Embayed Vessel cocktail

Recipe for Embayed Vessel cocktail

BOTTLES

A new spring seasonal from Anchor Brewing Co.

Anchor Saison Spring Ale is the brewery’s first attempt at a Belgian-style beer.

BOTTLES

New Alden is a winner

Mayflower Brewing Co. has recently begun to expand its offerings, notably to a double-IPA called Alden.

By the Glass

Washington State winemakers push the boundaries in the glass

Northern Rhone grapes syrah and viognier are generating buzz.

BOTTLES

Rye of the Storm packs a punch

Newport Storm wanted a bold brew to celebrate its 16th anniversary.

BOTTLES

A bock that sticks to your ribs

Boston Beer Co.’s Double Bock has won a dozen Great American Beer Festival medals.

In a weekend, learn what’s in your glass

Island Creek Oyster Bar is assembling some of Boston’s brightest in beverage to conduct a weeklong wine festival.

BOTTLES

Smuttynose’s tribute ale a pet project

Smuttynose Brewing Co. pet dog, Olive, who passed away recently, now has a beer named for her — Really Old Brown Dog Ale.

BOTTLES

Trillium Brewing set to expand

JC Tetreault and his wife, Esther, have signed a lease for Trillium Brewing Co. on a 16,000-square-foot space in Canton.

By the Glass

Reds that capture the spirit of the Rhone

From the sea of Cotes du Rhone bottles, selecting value pours that offer both character and quality can be a challenge.

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If you find a Polaris bottle, consider yourself lucky

Hard-to-find Polaris, a one-off beer that takes a long time to brew, is a specialty item from Rising Tide Brewing Co. of Portland, Maine.

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Taking to the Steel Rail

Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale looks like a Bud but has a lot more flavor.

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Palate Wrecker hits you with heavy hops

The label of Palate Wrecker says, “Our heavy hitter. Your palate will recover, but you will remember that last round forever.”

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Sixpoint’s Bengali is one cool brew

Sixpoint comes in shiny, skinny, silver cans, the kind you associate more with energy drinks than cream ales.

insdier

Mazi Piri Piri’s small-batch hot sauce made by hand

Mazi Piri Piri is fiery without bitterness. It’s addictive as a condiment, or slathered on chicken before baking.

BOTTLES

Allagash’s Interlude started as an accident

A strain of yeast ruined some Allagash Brewing Co. beer but improved others.

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Long Trail Brewing Co. still hip

Long Trail is offering a Belgian Pale Ale from its Farm House Ales series, which indicates that the company wants to stay relevant.

99 Bottles

Black forest cake by the glass

Using local ingredients to brew beer makes perfect sense, but what if you’re in Switzerland, a country synonymous with snow-covered peaks?

99 Bottles

Guinness’ Blonde lager is a craft act

Guinness brews Blonde American Lager in Latrobe, Pa., with American Willamette, Mount Hood, and Mosaic hops.

99 Bottles

When beer and wine merge in the glass

An Italian beer brewer agreed to collaborate with Harpoon Brewery, but he wanted the brew to be made with red wine.

99 Bottles

A little joke turns into an unusual brew

The Luciferin Golden Imperial Stout announcement was meant as an April Fool’s joke four years ago, but Stone Brewing Co. just released a light-colored stout.

99 Bottles

Sour beers are trendy, but not new

Within the craft beer community there is a group of sour beer enthusiasts.

By the Glass

A trio of wines for the Thanksgiving feast

Three delightful bottles from the Golden State that pair splendidly with everything.

99 BOTTLES

No brewery, no problem for Copenhagen’s Mikkeller

The absence of a dedicated brewing space hasn’t stopped Mikkeller from releasing around 600 different beers.

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Trillium Brewing Co. earned its long lines

Trillium Brewing has quickly established itself as one of the best breweries in the state.

99 Bottles

Hopsters jumps into branded brew market

Hopsters, a brew-your-own beer establishment and bar in Newton, has begun distributing its own branded brews.

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Hopping into craft beer debate

There may be a time and place for bad beer, but there’s no arguing that it’s better.

99 Bottles

A special bottle from Harpoon, a surprise from Samuel Adams

Three Harpoon beer hall employees collaborated on a recent release.

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World Wide Stout’s strong first impression

When Dogfish Head Brewery’s World Wide Stout debuted in 1999, it was the strongest beer in the world.

99 Bottles

Pumpkin beer is here

No one agrees on pumpkin beer, which is part of its charm.

By the Glass

Winemakers tame Uruguay’s irascible grape

Winemakers from Uruguay, tucked between Argentina and Brazil, are eager to recast tannat as their signature grape.

99 bottles

Lord Hobo Brewing Co. on an IPA mission

The owner of a Cambridge beer bar is opening a large brewery in Woburn in early 2015.

99 Bottles

What’s brewing on the Cape

The founders of Naukabout beer are hoping to build a brewery down the Cape.

sunday supper

Recipe for salmon, corn, and potato chowder

Fish, corn, and chowder should be on the menu as often as possible.

sunday supper

Salmon and succotash, then chowder

Succotash is the base for broiled salmon first, then chowder.

99 Bottles

Enlightenment Ales and Kissmeyer Beer & Brewing Titania

Ben Howe and Anders Kissmeyer have combined to brew an exceptional saison.

99 Bottles

Vienna lager with Pioneer spirit

The Vienna lager undergoes a modern transformation in a new release from Pioneer Brewing.

99 Bottles

Mule proves corn can be king

Corn has been vilified as an ingredient in beer, but one local brewer is out to change that reputation.

Recipe for summer seafood stew

A Portuguese- style seafood stew the first night begins with chorizo and uses plenty of crushed red pepper.

99 Bottles

Shiner Beer comes to Mass.

The iconic brand from the 105-year-old Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas, will enter Massachusetts this month.

99 Bottles

Flying Dog Brewery taps a Chesapeake Bay tradition

Flying Dog Brewery’s summer ale brewed with Old Bay seasoning is surprisingly tasty.

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Centuries on, Gose comes on

The German Gose is incongruous with our expectations of beer.

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Dogfish unveils its latest music-inspired brew

Dogfish Head has collaborated on another music-inspired beer, this one with artist Julianna Barwick.

short order

In S’well bottle, things stay cold for a day

Stainless-steel bottles from S’well are constructed with double-walled insulation, keeping cold drinks cold, wherever you are, for 24 hours.

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Two new cideries with a local approach

Cider Creek Hard Cider and the Artifact Cider Project are launching in Massachusetts.

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CBC’s refreshing beer brewed with Japanese knotweed

Cambridge Brewing Company’s knotweed beer has a natural tartness from the plant with rhubarb-like qualities.

99 Bottles

Brasserie Cantillon deserves its world-class reputation

Cantillon’s lambics are said to be among the world’s best.

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A brew of ‘Substance’ in Maine

Three more brewing companies have set up shop in Portland, Maine.

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Everett’s Night Shift adds brewing and tap room space

Night Shift Brewing, which specializing in barrel-aged sour beers and other brews with unorthodox ingredients, is expanding.

99 Bottles

Weekly 99 Bottles Beer Tasting

Each week I’ll walk you through a different brew, sharing my thoughts and welcoming yours.

99 Bottles

Weekly 99 Bottles Beer Tasting

Each week I’ll walk you through a different brew, sharing my thoughts and welcoming yours.

sips

How to pour wine without popping the cork

Wine professionals are talking about Coravin Wine Access System, a high-tech device that allows them to pour wine from a bottle without popping the cork.

99 Bottles

Off Color Troublesome and Berkshire Mountain Distillers . . .

Despite a proliferation of breweries not seen in this country since before Prohibition, today’s beer market is filled with one-note beers. Bitter. Watery. Malty. Yeasty.

99 Bottles

Session IPAs just in time for warmer weather

This summer, several major breweries are releasing session IPAs marketed as hoppy, flavorful beers you can take to the beach or drink with lunch.

99 Bottles

Henniker’s wheat beer a delight

Henniker’s tap room is open for growler fills, tours, and tastings Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.

sips

Private label wines blended exclusively in Dorchester

Boston Winery, open to the public, offers state-of-the-art facilities to make wine “from grape to glass.”

99 Bottles

A new Slumbrew brewery in Somerville

The makers of Slumbrew beer have signed a lease on a space that will house a brewery and tap room expected to be in operation as soon as October.

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A tasty, albeit expensive, sour beer

Crafting high-priced beers is labor-intensive, but knowing the amount of work that goes into a beer doesn’t guarantee you’ll like it.

Northlight Baking’s macarons have vibrant colors, cool flavor blends

Shira Melen of Northlight Baking Company makes a wide variety of macarons in the kitchen at EHChocolatier.

Sunday Supper

An inexpensive beef roast turns into Swiss melts

Eye of round is a lean, inexpensive, and sometimes tough cut of beef that is typically braised to maintain moisture and tenderize.

99 Bottles

Another standout brew from Fort Point’s Trillium

The smell on this brew is louder than its bite. The first sip is nice and buttery, with a pepper kick and a smooth vanilla finish.

Sips

Bottles to try before you buy, presented with fun and flair

Walk into any wine shop on a weekend afternoon or evening, and chances are good that there will be several open bottles to taste.

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New England spring beers

It’s finally time to transition the column to lighter offerings. Here are the results of a side-by-side tasting of spring brews from Harpoon, Sam Adams, and Long Trail.

99 Bottles

Narragansett planning another R.I. collaboration

A tweet last week from Narragansett set the New England beer world abuzz with the possibility of the release of the lemony drink.

At the Wine Expo, you need a strategy and a spit bucket

If the prospect of 1,800 wines to sample sounds daunting, approach the event as a time to increase your wine knowledge.

99 Bottles

Reviews of two very different stouts

“Death” by Backlash Beer and Idle Hands’ “Absence of Light” can help you occupy the space between now and Memorial Day.

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Monks’ ales in Massachusetts

How the Spencer monks’ brew stacks up against four other well-known but very different Trappist brews.

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Traditional beers with a twist: Porter and Barleywine

Stone Smoked Porter offers the smell of coffee beans and vanilla, while Avery Brewing’s Hog Heaven is loaded with hops.

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Food and beer pairings gain popularity at restaurants

An increasing number of chefs prefer beer to wine when pairing their dishes, and some chefs are even getting into brewing beer themselves.

99 Bottles

Sam Adams’s Rebel IPA part of an East Coast revolution

The IPA, formerly a West Coast specialty, is evolving.

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Stout reviews: Magic Hat, Rising Tide, AleSmith Brewing

Saturday’s winter solstice knocks over the final barrier between you and thicker, maltier brews.

sips

DIY beer, but not in your own basement

Hopsters in Newton and Barleycorn’s in Natick allow you to book a beer-brewing session, choose a recipe, and brew on site.

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.