Monday, February 11, 2013

Blizzard & Beers - Boston Edition #EBF

Well that was fun, not at all like I thought it would be, but fun just the same.  On Thursday friends and family decided to take Nemo head on (PS dear weather channel..really? Nemo? stop naming winter storms please). So we drove on down to Boston in relative calm waiting to see what impact this coming storm would have on us, the Beer Advocate Extreme Beer Fest, and the city of Boston in general.

We booked a bonus night near Downtown Crossing at the Omni Parker House because we did not want to get caught up driving from #BTV (Burlington, VT) in a blizzard. Even though the event was eventually cancelled, I don't regret doing that one bit because it turned out to be a fun weekend regardless.


Newbury Street on Saturday
Early that day the Alstrom brothers assured everyone the show must go on, despite the clear indication travel was going to be a nightmare. However  coming from Vermont I was all for it. Getting to Boston wasn't a problem for us in the slightest. The only tactical error they really made was just how intensely and vigorously they chose to stand by this. Everything pointed to a failure here, the systems were all shutting down, twitter was abuzz with angry tweets, the boards over on BA were exploding with unusable tickets and anger from guests that could not make it. It was the perfect storm, and in the end the storm won. Bottom line, I get it. Just wish they had handled it differently and set expectations  but I'm not bitter. So much was out of their control and we all just had to deal. Some handled that better than others, and although super bummed out, my friends and family owned Nemo, and the Boston beer scene this past weekend.

We got the news from a friendly bartender at Meadhall around last call early Friday morning that "the bros" were actually in the building still and filming a video about the cancellation, trying to find the right way to do it.  We had a killer time at Meadhall by the way, first time visitors. Won't be our last, the staff was phenomenal and the beer selection as good as it gets. Was impressed that they won't serve beer if they don't have the proper glassware, our bartender even told us they occasionally could not serve something if all the glasses were being used. Love it.

Earlier in the night we had discovered a dive near our hotel in an ally called Barracuda  so we hopped back in a cab and found our way back there for another hour or so before calling it night. Sweet place with good bar food and a solid beer selection.

Got Beer?
Much of Friday was spent waiting for this blizzard to hit, hardly snowed or even showed signs of a storm until 4 when I would have typically lined up for Night of the Barrels. However, instead we found or way to some great Bloody Mary's and lunch at The Pour House, followed by a walk to Bauer Wines and Spirits. We put work on the beer selection, spending nearly $500 between 3 of us. Came away with some great beer for the blizzard, stuff I can't get in Vermont like "Smoking Wood" from The Bruery, "Famine" from Backlash, and "Marooned on Hog Island" from 21st Amendment. Combined with the beer what brought from home, we were ready for anything. We found a restaurant nearby that was still serving dinner and drinks during the blizzard on Friday night, that was a fun walk, was glad I had snowpants! At that point all cars had been ordered off the road so the city was free for the walking, pretty surreal  That would continue all the way through most of Saturday as well. Later we got back to the hotel (DoubleTree near Chinatown) and kept the party going. Quite the beer graveyard we had...Bourbon County Stout, Nugget Nectar, Wookey Jack, Double Jack and more were consumed either in the lobby or out side in the middle of the street. What a blast! We made our own EBF right in the hotel.
Flowerpot turned Fridge
Keeping it classy

Saturday we wondered the snowbound city for awhile just to get out of the hotel, hit up Bukowski Tavern off of Boyleston, another sweet bar with great craft beer. Many of the folks at the bar were clearly in town for EBF, most stayed upbeat and positive because why bother lamenting over something we could not impact.

Later after more hotel beers and a little relax we made our way out to The Lower Depths in Kenmore. We needed tots, the best in the world. You have to go have their tots. Was happy they opened up after shoveling out nearly 2 feet of snow, another great beer bar. Then it was on to beer works because the Yard House was closed. Short stop there, then all but two of us rolled back to the hotel. We carried on, next stop "Bleacher Bar" who knew? A bar in Fenway on a blizzard bound night? Yes please, one drink and then we found a cab and made our way to Lord Hobo in Cambridge.

Great beer, bar, and company for this achievement!
I managed to try a few from Shorts (Bloody Mary beer anyone? AMAZING), a brewery that does really unique and tasty stuff. Was looking forward to their EBF offerings, maybe next year. The night ended sharing a Stone Vertical Epic 05-05-05 with my buddy for my 1000 unique check in on Untappd. Rad way to close out an interesting, fun, and expensive weekend in Boston.  The weather kept us from getting everywhere we wanted to go, but we made the best of it.

What was your experience like in Boston for EBF? Nemo get you down? Will you go back if they reschedule? What is/was your favorite place to enjoy a beer in the Boston area?

Until next time. Cheers!

No comments:

Post a Comment