WERE YOU IMPRESSED WITH THE FAITHFUL ASSEMBLED AT THE WILD COLONIAL? Absolutely. Being at a place with such deep Providence history and atmosphere was a special treat for me, and every single person I talked with that evening was interested and passionate about great beer. All in all a fantastic crowd. I'd return in a heartbeat.
IN THE BOOK YOU NOTE THAT IPAS ARE YOUR FAVORITE STYLE OF BEER. WHAT'S SECOND [AND THIRD] ON YOUR LIST? Black IPAs and Double IPAs. And a really fantastic Gueuze. Hmmm . . . maybe we should try making a Gueuze IPA? Just kidding . . . it's not even possible . . . or is it?IF STONE BREWS HAD A SOUNDTRACK, WHAT SONGS WOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE PLAYLIST? Every time I hear [Radiohead's] OK Computer I think about the early days at Stone. Steve would crank it up in the brewery and I would hear it into the eve as we worked late. Johnny Cash is also something that the early days bottling guys would play . . . over and over and over and over. I love Johnny Cash, but I'm only just now 10+ years later getting back to enjoying listening to him again because they overplayed him so much.
EVER HAD A CLOSE CALL WITH ONE OF YOUR CROWD DIVES? I did knock over my senior executive assistant Sue Daughters into Irwin Jacobs's lap (of Qualcomm fame) when I stage dove after my acceptance speech at the San Diego Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Fortunately, no one was hurt. I think I'll keep my stage dives from bar tops and rock concert stages from now on.
HUZZAH! Big fun at the Rhode Island Convention Center last weekend: On Friday I was privileged to be among the 55 judges at the 15th Annual Great International Beer & Cider Competition . Congrats to Trinity Brewhouse, whose Imperial Brown won second place in the Strong Beer — Other category and Saison was the third-place Belgian Wheat Beer. Narragansett's Fest grabbed the Oktoberfest gold, and their Porter finished third in the Robust Porter face-off (the complete list is at distilleryage.com/GIBC_2011_WINNERS.pdf). On Saturday, more than 5500 hopheads attended two sessions at the GIB Fest. Standout samples included the Hoponious Union IPA from Jack's Abby (Framingham, MA) and the astounding brews from the mad geniuses at Blackstone Valley Brewing Supplies. On the flip side, I learned a valuable lesson: if a beer has garlic in it, do not drink it (i.e., Garlic Amber Ale from New Haven's the Bru Room, which took top honors in the Fruit/Spice — Ale category).
GOBBLE IT UP It couldn't be more fitting: Mayflower Brewing's Thanksgiving Ale. The seasonal offering from the gifted artisans in Plymouth, MA, is a combination of an American Strong Ale and an English Old Ale (the aptness continues). The flavors are as diverse as the fare at a festive meal, boasting a variety of rye malts, barley, a dusting of brown sugar, and the smoky presence of toasted American white oak (its aging element). It's a tasty, complex, hearty brew. Bombers (about $7) will are available now. Bring a few to your celebration, instead of yet another pumpkin pie.
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