my kitchen the beverage cart travel

a fine evening for beer tasting

January 6, 2012
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I live in Boston, specifically the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain–or JP as the locals call it. It’s a funky little part of the city with lots of parks, a giant pond, dive restaurants, thrift stores… you get the idea. Awesomely everything I could possibly need is within walking distance. (Just in case you were wondering the hardware store carries large aluminum roasting pans.)

One of my favorite destinations is Cityfeed. Think: fresh market, craft beers, grilled sandwiches (order the #14), proponents of everything local and they make a damn fine latte.

Tonight was “1st Thursday” in JP which probably has the worst logo I’ve ever seen. It’s just so very bad. In 1988 there was a delightful song entitled “I want to know what you’re thinking” by the one-hit wonder “band” Information Society. The 1st Thursday logo is a near rip-off of their album cover.

I digress.

I have to admit what really brought me out to 1st Thursday at Cityfeed was the promise of Danish Pastries. I haven’t had a proper “Danish” in… a long time. It’s hard to describe the difference between what Danes call a Danish and what Americans call a Danish, but there is no comparison. The Danes just know their pastries. Also, interestingly, Danes actually call “a Danish” viennabrød. (Vienna Bread). It would be kind of funny if they referenced a food by their own Nationality. I wonder what the Austrians call it–Kleine Kuchen Luxembourg’s?

The Danish Pastry House in Watertown, MA is partly owned by, A Dane, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. It’s true that the olfactories can resuscitate such rich and lucid memories with one small inhalation. On first taste I was instantly transported back to the village of Ny Stenderup flying low over rolling green fields, red and white flags and thatched roof houses.

Next: beer tasting. Not one, but two… two local breweries sharing some of their best. First up was Slumbrew (Somerville Brewing Company). I can’t help but speculate that Slumbrew came from Somerville’s not always fair nickname ‘Slummerville’. (Hey just because it’s a vortex and impossible to get in and out of does not necessarily make it a slum.)

I’m horrible at remembering things like tasting notes, which I understand contradicts my earlier statement regarding the olfactories ability to conjure up flights of fancy–but there was quite a line and I was doing a fantastic job of knocking people over with my camera bag. I will say this… if you can get your hands on a bottle of their Happy Sol DO SO NOW. I’m not a big Hefe lover, but this I could drink all night. In the shower. On the T. Shoveling the sidewalk (which currently has no snow). As described from their website:

A refreshingly tart and crisp hefeweizen brewed with local MA wildflower honey, orange peel and coriander, and fermented with the juice from over 1,000 blood oranges. It’s a cloudy, yet effervescent beer, with lingering banana and citrus notes balanced against a healthy wheat backbone and hoppy finish from Mt. Hood and Crystal hops.

Next up: Cambridge Brewing Company. I’m a bit more familiar with some of their beers but hadn’t previously tasted any of the three that they had available for tasting. Because my neck and shoulders are fucking killing me I’ll spare you the minutia of every memory I had while tasting these fantastic beers. (Hint: I was flying!) I walked home carrying a bottle of the “Audacity of Hops” (get it?). Very floral and for a double IPA very little bite. I do love their labels especially the Scotch Ale.

On the walk out I stopped to listen to Fax Holiday, a local band that the bassist self-described as “indie rock with a folk twist”. (When I used to describe my band of yore it was always “indie rock with a vintage R.E.M. twist” which, come to think of it, was a not a terribly accurate description.) I stuck around until they blew a fuse… having been in bands most of my life I could completely empathize. But they sounded great, check ’em out. For fans of Band of Horses, Okkerville River. Visit their site faxholiday.com for a free listen.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Joanna January 6, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Mmm, CityFeed. Now I am thinking about their grilled sandwiches… GOSH. Thanks Dave, now I’m hungry!

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