From the Bottle Collection: Underground Blueberry Ale

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

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I bought this some time in the late 90’s to early 2000’s. I remember it being a very mild Blueberry, pale malt, decent head, great clarity and obviously the rest pale malt. Mouthfeel was light, from what I remember. I do believe it was blueberry extract, or mostly extract. But at low levels it can be tough to tell.

The label claims medium body, but memory tells me pretty light. Probably the malt they used that made me feel that way. There are malts that give more of a sense of fullness. I’m guessing mostly pale. So the gravity may have been higher than the mouthfeel indicated.

The brewery had to have been in Marlborough, Massachusetts for only a brief while. I go through there every year and somehow missed it. There have been at least two breweries in the area, one before, one since. I keep missing Sherwood, which started brewing in the mid-2000s, and have had their beer. Tasty. And Pilgrim Brewing that used to be in Hudson in the 1990s. Hops growing outside. Warehouse environment. If I remember right I was attracted to Pilgrim because they were, at the time, brewing Dog’s Breath beer for Eagle Brook Saloon… now brewed by Ipswich.

According to legend they brewed it on a lark and served it under the name Underground Brewery at Northampton Brewfest. I attended the first one so it’s likely I conned the server into giving me an empty bottle because from what I have read the brewery never quite off the ground.

Brooks on Beer: Learning to Homebrew

Written by Jay R. Brooks for The Contra Costa Times and mercurynews.com

The new year is a perfect time to start something new — like homebrewing. (David Perry/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)
The new year is a perfect time to start something new — like homebrewing. (David Perry/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT)

The new year is a perfect time to start something new — like homebrewing. There’s no better way to appreciate the beer you drink, and unlike most hobbies, at the end of the day, you’ve got beer. How’s that for a reward?

There has been a huge surge of interest in homebrewing in recent years. The American Homebrewers Association saw its membership jump to 35,000, a 20 percent increase from 2011 to 2012. According to their estimates, 1 million people — including 130,000 Californians — made beer or wine at home last year. With more than a thousand clubs and 300-plus homebrewing competitions nationwide, it’s clear that the DIY beer bandwagon has arrived.
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