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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Sierra Nevada celebrates Oktoberfest

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


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.


Everett brewery is (sort of) combining yoga and beer

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


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.”


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.

Add dots and dashes to plates

An upgraded version of the plastic type is the Prep & Deco Bottle from Prepara.


Ease your way into sour beers

I posed this question to several local experts: If you were letting someone try sour beer for the first time, what would you serve?

Dining out

Small plates, big flavors from BISq, Bergamot’s sister restaurant

The restaurant is convivial and relaxed. One can drop by for a snack and a glass, or settle in for a few bottles.


Lessons from an urban forager

On city streets, Stacey Daley hunts for juneberries and mulberries for jam, and purslane and chickweed for the salad bowl.


Portland, Maine’s Peak Organic goes national in a big way

Having the word “organic” in your name is sure to help attract foodies, but Peak pushes on that connection.

Drinking your kale and other healthy sips

It’s muggy and it’s swimsuit season. What could be healthier and more refreshing than vitamin-packed juice?


Goose Island gets crafty with marketing

Several teams from Goose Island Beer Co. are going around to key cities to offer their craft brews. They’re owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, so they have deep pockets to do it.


New and fizzy and local

A producer in the Bay State and another in Maine are making fizzy pours that reflect distinct approaches to crafting wines.


A brand built around low-alcohol summer sips

At 3.7 percent alcohol by volume, American Summer belongs to a stable of session beers designed to quench in the summer heat.


Catalyst bartender is dedicated to craft cocktails

Catalyst Restaurant in Technology Square manages to be both stylish -- it’s a destination for private cocktail events — and inventive.


Notch Brewing gets new digs in Salem

The new place for the beer company will have space inside to brew, and space outside for a European-style beer garden.


A good entry beer for warm weather

Jack’s Abby in Framingham will open a larger brewery and event space and expand its barrel-aging program.

Senegalese-inspired drinks

Magbe Savane of Revere uses flowers, fruits and roots to make Makomas, her line of three African-inspired, natural beverages.


‘You can’t move a brewery overnight’

In February, Idle Hands Craft Ales founder Chris Tkach was served an official letter telling him to vacate his property. But you can’t move a brewery overnight.


Like Uber, but for booze

The Boston-based company Drizly launched an app designed to deliver alcohol straight to your door.

State’s growler law up for debate

Massachusetts law prohibits breweries from filling growlers not their own.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


A new spring seasonal from Anchor Brewing Co.

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


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.


Rye of the Storm packs a punch

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Taking to the Steel Rail

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


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.”


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.


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.


Allagash’s Interlude started as an accident

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


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.


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.


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.

99 Bottles

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.

99 Bottles

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.

About the reporter


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.