One Bitchin Brew Blog

Written by Mike Brunsfeld, THE Beer Guy

You know what sucks almost more than no beer? Being served by a bartender, at a brewpub, who knows little about beer and she or he knows even less about the brews brewed at their brewpub. Now if it’s a multi-tap bar, well I’ll cut them a little slack. 30 plus rotating taps plus hundreds of bottles that shift brand names? Hey, it’s tough! Just give me what I asked for, not you think I’ll put up with instead. If the tap’s suckin suds from the bottom, well come tell me. Don’t just pour and assume.
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Colonial Beer

Wiki Commons picture: “Mayflower in the fog.”

From Nat Shapira’s four part series (as of now) for

(Click on link above for rest of article.)

Authoritative accounts of the voyage of the Mayflower to the New World note that the original destination of both ship and passengers was Virginia, and that either bad navigation or stormy seas, or both in combination, caused the Mayflower’s crew, fearing insufficient beer on the return trip to England, to put the Pilgrims ashore at Plymouth, 600 miles from their intended destination.

As much as rare roast beef, beer was considered to be the Englishman’s food, and beer was regarded as an Englishman’s due. Beer was a healthier drink than water and was consumed from morning to night by everyone in all classes of society, from babes in arms to the elders seated by the kitchen fireplace.

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From the Bottle Collection

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.

Frog N’ Hound Pub Ale

What possesses a pub/bar owner to have someone brew a bland beer when there’s plenty of “bland” to be had? I mean you’d think you’d want something distinctive, but no… so many: not all, are mediocre’ ale versions of Bud. Showing the owner really doesn’t understand those who love craft beer… or that those who drink bland swill may be convinced to “try” in this case… but their brand loyalty trumps good taste and common sense.

Such is the case with Frog N’ Hound, if I remember right. I am assuming it was brewed for a pub, since I had it at a place of the same name, once again “if I remember right.” Been a while. Sadly I seemed to remember it may have been brewed by the brewer at one of the best brewpubs on the east coast, in Willimantic, CT. If so I can’t fault the brewer: I know him… he’s damn good.

Probably brewed this way “by request.” Not “horrible,” just not worth the sip. Then, on a recent visit to Willimantic, I found out that the main brewer for Frog N’ Hound wasn’t David, thank the beer Gods. Since he was stuck in the brewery I didn’t get a chance to ask what he did know about it, And the bartender acted as if I was as ancient as a mummy for even having quaffed Frog N’ Hound. I didn’t dare tell her about the dusty as a mummy bottles from the Bottle Collection: some from the 60s and 70s.

Oh, wait, I did tell her. See what drinking really good beer does?

Frog N’ Hound had a nice label, but that was about it.

Stop by Willimantic Brewing instead. Oh, and expected to see pictures of Willimantic soon, just to further tempt you to stop by. Anything from their taps would be a far, far better quaff than…