Before taking in a Bruins exhibition game last week, my wife and I stopped at the new Paulaner Bar for a couple of beers. The bar is located directly below TD Garden on the platform where commuter rail trains leave North Station. It had an unofficial grand opening last week.
You may have noticed a watering hole on the platform last year while rushing to catch your train or riding the escalator into the arena, but the space has been revamped with wood from Munich and a tap lineup from the German brewery. Included among the tap offerings are Original Munich Lager, Hefe-Weizen, Oktoberfest, Pils, and Salvator, a bottom-fermented dopplebock that packs a punch with an ABV of 7.9 percent. The beers are authentic and are a welcome offering in a neighborhood packed with sports bars.
Paulaner has some 30 bars around the world. This is their first official outpost in the US. Joe O'Grady, Paulaner's VP of national accounts, says that many Paulaner bars contain an on-site brewpub, allowing each to brew a unique beer. With limited space inside a working train station, there won't be a brewpub at the Boston location. Modeled after a German beer garden, the bar has a metropolitan feel. Big cities should have real food and drink options at their train stations and airports. Given the remodeling of South Station and new restaurants at Logan, this feels right.
If you're catching an upcoming B's or C's game, Tom Michienzi of the Craft Brewer's Guild recently sent me a list of the craft beer selection inside TD Garden this season. On the concourse outside Section 324 you'll find a craft beer garden featuring Allagash White, Brooklyn Lager, Cisco Whales Tale, Ipswich Red Ale, Lagunitas IPA, Magic Hat #9, Original Sin Hard Cider, Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, Troegs Hopback Amber, and Wachusett Blueberry. There are stand-alone booths offering Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Sierra's seasonal offering at Sections 312 and 21.
Long Trail’s Seaport Honey Ginger IPA
The Seaport Hotel is home to more than 1 million bees. That surprising fact jumped out at me when reading about Long Trail Brewery's new Seaport Honey Ginger IPA. The beer is brewed with honey collected in August from the roof of the hotel. The brew is currently being served at TAMO Bar & Lounge, located on the premises.
About 350 pounds of honey were harvested from 11 rooftop hives. Some 300 pounds were delivered to the Vermont brewery for production of the beer. Though the beer is only being served at TAMO, with a newborn at home I pulled a few strings and tried some from the roof of my soon-to-be-former apartment. If you squint you can see the actual seaport in the background of the photo.
I pour the beer and immediately smell the honey. I've brewed a honey beer, so I know that most of the sugar from the honey ferments out in the boil. Still, you can attain floral notes from the honey in the nose of the beer if you use enough of it; 300 pounds must be enough. It smells like dandelions.
The first sip is more hoppy than expected. This is an IPA, after all, and despite the honey it's not overly sweet (again, much of the sugar ferments out). I don't taste much of the ginger, which is probably a good thing. There's nice balance here, a solid IPA made more interesting by an addition of local honey. As a bonus, you can drink the beer in the place the honey was produced. These bees were buzzing over your head all summer long. With their help, Long Trail has managed to produce an appropriately weighted beer for the fall.
‘Ales for ALS’ event
The second annual "Ales for ALS" event takes place at the Waterline Center at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum on Oct. 5. Dedicated to finding a cure for ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), the event features samples of handcrafted beers from a home-brewing contest as well as unlimited local foods. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here. All proceeds from this fund-raising event will go directly to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI).