Spent the evening with Andy Crouch watching the Yankees play the Red Sox at Fenway. The only thing missing was a New York loss. Like all the best baseball games, it was a morality play on the fields and in the stands. I was looking down the first base line from our seats in the right field corner when A-Ro(i)d got absolutely pegged square in the upper back by good guy Canuck pitcher Ryan Dempster. But that was when the Sox were winning. Next time up? A-Rod hits a long lingering homer.
Oh, yes. This is a beer blog. Andy suggested we meet at Citizen Public House just by the ball park. Excellent choice. The best sort of blend of good beer and drink, interesting food and comfortable but stylish setting. He was a little delayed so I was given the time to have a few Jack D'or by Pretty Things. And I added another species to the list with a flounder dinner. Once in the park and once the surreal feelings of walking into the TV that may only be experienced by a sports fan who has not seen his team at home since he was 10 years old, we sat. And talked about a lot of things. We both work in the law but in different fields and under different constitutions.
And we talked about beer. At the park, there was the feeling that a page had been turned back. Long Trail pale ale, Harpoon IPA and Wachusett Green Monster were on offer at nine bucks for a 12 ounce pour. Solid beers but not the range you might find in other parks. We touched on an idea I raised in passing the other week on Twitter, retro-craft. I wonder whether, once this era of over hopping, over souring and, frankly, the sort of over producing that reminds me the relationship between R+B and disco... we shall have retro-craft. Well balanced beers highlighting the main components of water, malt and yeast with hops returning to their proper job of framing and cutting the cloy. Will it happen?
There was another sort of good beer future on display elsewhere in town on Sunday. We were out on a forced march for the kids through the MIT campus in Cambridge looking for a little something something when we came upon a team of volunteers shredding and slicing pumpkins at the CBC. Got to speak with brewmaster Will Meyers a couple of times as the kids enjoyed the part of the vacation known as "Dad at the Beer Related Business". We talked gourds, Will describing how he was looking for sugar pumpkin flavour, not pie and not even so much spice. This meant ensuring the pumpkins had limited fermentables, so the beer became an expression of the fruit, not a mirror of a dish made with pumpkin. The growing season was late so the crop was brought in from an Amish farm near Augusta, Maine. One of the group, Lee Movic of Belmont's Craft Beer Celler, in passing called the beer they were help make was a fresh pumpkin ale. I will post some photos of the scene in a bit. I am still figuring out how to post images on the new iPad.
So, what is the take away? Three scenes: one comfortable, one a bit higher end and one all about exploring possibilities.