It’s a Cider Revolution at the Hyper Local Brewfest // June 9 & 10

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On June 9th and 10th The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts will be hosting it’s 6th Annual Hyper-Local Craft Briefest. With craft beer hitting maximum saturation, hard cider is really taking off. This is being called a ‘cider revolution’. And the Brewfest will have plenty of cider to sample from Cider companies all around New England. 

This years’ Cider vendors include: 

Prospect Ciderworks was founded in 2015 as Harvard Cider Company, located out in Harvard, Massachusetts. One of the founders, Mark Finnegan, grew up in the area which has a plethora of orchards–fairly common for Central Mass. The idea at the start was to do something different and to push the boundaries of craft cider while still using and showcasing local apples, and in the first full year of business they launched three flagship ciders as well as a summer seasonal. The drive of their ciders is to experiment with new flavor profiles that haven’t typically been used in traditional cider-making.  

Last fall, Prospect Ciderworks moved to a 6,500 sqft facility just south of the South End in Newmarket Square. With the move they decided to change the name to respect the fresh start: Prospect Ciderworks is an homage both to Prospect Hill in Harvard, which has a beautiful view of the Nashua River Valley, and to the street that the three founders first lived on in high school. Prospect Ciderworks will be on shelves come the end of May-early June.

Stowe Cider is handcrafted and made in small batches from local apples in Stowe, VT.

Artifact Cider is a brewery based in Everett, MA that crafts ciders of distinction from the superb apples of New England. Unfortunately they don’t have a tasting room but you can find their ciders at various locations in and around Boston!

Lookout Farm Cider is a true craft cidery. They use modern fermentation and traditional aging techniques to produce a uniquely refreshing hard cider since 1651. Lookout Farm is located in South Natick, MA, and is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the U.S.

Bantam Cider is a modern, craft cider made locally in Massachusetts from fresh pressed apples and all natural ingredients. The brewery is located in Somerville, MA.

There are a whopping three unlimited sampling sessions over two days. To purchase tickets, click here

Time & Dates:

  • Session 1 – Friday, June 9th  (6:30 – 9:30 PM) 
  • Session 2 – Saturday, June 10th  (3:00 – 6:00 PM)
  • Session 3 – Saturday, June 10th  (7:00 – 10:00 PM)

The event will be held at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA. Tickets are $48.00  for general admission and $89.00 for a pair. The Brewfest will gather nearly one thousand local craft brew fans to celebrate together with dozens of vendors over two days, and three sessions, of unlimited drink samples, food, and fun!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for my review and all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Cider & Artisan Beverages offered at the Hyper Local Brewfest

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On June 9th and 10th The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts will be hosting it’s 6th Annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest. So you are probably thinking, “I can’t drink beer!”. I know!! The Briefest is not only about beer. Over the years it has grown to include a number of cider and artisan beverage companies and this year there are quite a few gluten free beverages available at the Fest for you to try!
 
This year there will be an abundance of cider at the festival, which just so happens to be one of my favorite drinks. From cider to cold brew, there is plenty for the non-gluten drinkers to sample. 
 
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Green Bee hand crafted beverages are made with real ingredients, real flavor and the natural sweetness of honey.  Green Bee beverages harness the power of local bees to offer a healthier alternative to mass produced beverages (this soda but healthier). 

Say Hello To The Green Bee Way:

  • Only use fresh squeezed juices and real ingredients.
  • Ingredient lists are short and clean.
  • You will never find refined sugars. Just pure honey.
  • Made without chemicals and preservatives.

I love that I can drink soda that tastes real and doesn’t make me feel bad after drinking it. The flavors are strong – in a good way – and so fresh tasting! Green Bee Craft Beverages can be found in natural food stores, fine restaurants, leading supermarkets, gourmet shops and fine pubs, including Boston-area Whole Foods, Cambridge Naturals, Allandale Farm, and Luke’s Lobster restaurants. Green Bee Craft Beverages is handcrafted and bottled in Brunswick, Maine.

Prospect Ciderworks was founded in 2015 as Harvard Cider Company, located out in Harvard, Massachusetts. One of the founders, Mark Finnegan, grew up in the area which has a plethora of orchards–fairly common for Central Mass. The idea at the start was to do something different and to push the boundaries of craft cider while still using and showcasing local apples, and in the first full year of business they launched three flagship ciders as well as a summer seasonal. The drive of their ciders is to experiment with new flavor profiles that haven’t typically been used in traditional cider-making.  

Last fall, Prospect Ciderworks moved to a 6,500 sqft facility just south of the South End in Newmarket Square. With the move they decided to change the name to respect the fresh start: Prospect Ciderworks is an homage both to Prospect Hill in Harvard, which has a beautiful view of the Nashua River Valley, and to the street that the three founders first lived on in high school. Prospect Ciderworks will be on shelves come the end of May-early June.

DrinkMaple was founded by two dedicated triathletes in May 2014, DRINKmaple Organic Maple Water is a premium, plant-based hydration beverage containing one single ingredient: maple sap. Boasting 46 naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, antioxidants and prebiotics, the functional beverage is naturally low in calories and sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, organic, Kosher and non-GMO, as well as being naturally subtly sweet and refreshing with a hint of maple. DrinkMaple is available all over Boston including, Whole Foods, CVS, Wegmans, Stop & Shop.

Other gluten free beverages to look out for at the festival:

Commonwealth Coffee Co.‘s craft cold brew coffee is micro-roasted, micro-brewed, and fairly traded specialty coffee from the best coffee farmers in the world.

ParTea Infuse the Booze is made in Somerville, MA. Their infusers are made up of of dried fruits, herbs, and spices packed into paper tea bags. Add any spirit of 80 proof or higher and get delicious results. Each kit comes with flavor-specific recommendations, and you can have fun experimenting!

Stowe Cider is handcrafted and made in small batches from local apples in Stowe, VT.

Artifact Cider is a brewery based in Everett, MA that crafts ciders of distinction from the superb apples of New England. Unfortunately they don’t have a tasting room but you can find their ciders at various locations in and around Boston!

Lookout Farm Cider is a true craft cidery. They use modern fermentation and traditional aging techniques to produce a uniquely refreshing hard cider since 1651. Lookout Farm is located in South Natick, MA, and is one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the U.S.

Bantam Cider is a modern, craft cider made locally in Massachusetts from fresh pressed apples and all natural ingredients. The brewery is located in Somerville, MA.

A handful of beer vendors also have gluten-free beer, but I am currently not 100% sure as to what flavors will make an appearance at the festival.

There are a whopping three unlimited sampling sessions over two days. To purchase tickets, click here

Time & Dates:

  • Session 1 – Friday, June 9th  (6:30 – 9:30 PM) 
  • Session 2 – Saturday, June 10th  (3:00 – 6:00 PM)
  • Session 3 – Saturday, June 10th  (7:00 – 10:00 PM)

The event will be held at The Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA. Tickets are $48.00  for general admission and $89.00 for a pair. The Brewfest will gather nearly one thousand local craft brew fans to celebrate together with dozens of vendors over two days, and three sessions, of unlimited drink samples, food, and fun!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for my review and all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Gluten Free October Fest // Saturday, November 7, 2015 (discount code)

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The Gluten-Free Oktoberfest in New York City is the first gluten-free event of its kind on the East Coast. GF Oktoberfest was created so that people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease could safely come together and mingle while enjoying a selection of over 45 gluten-free ciders and beers and an unlimited amount of gluten free food. To add to the fun, meet some of the cider makers and brand ambassadors! Feast on a full gluten-free Oktoberfest menu with traditionally mouthwatering sausages, meatballs, pizza, pretzels, desserts, and much more.There will be vegetarian options too!

 GF Oktoberfest was founded by Jeffrey Reiss, founder and owner of Pie by the Pound, a New York City restaurant that specializes in the gluten ­free pizza. In 2004, Jeffrey discovered his own gluten intolerance and adopted a gluten ­free lifestyle. At his restaurant, Reiss prepares gluten ­free pizza, sandwiches, desserts and sells a wide variety of gluten ­free beer and cider, making Pie a food haven for the gluten­ free community. Reiss says he strives “to maintain one of the biggest menus of gluten free beer and cider on the East Coast with a rotating list of favorites.” 

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This years’ GF Oktoberfest is being held on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 124 4th Ave. (between 12th and 13th Street). There are two sessions: 1-4pm or 5:15-8:15pm. 

You can purchase tickets to the event here. To receive a 10% discount, use promo code VipDiscount at checkout.  A portion of the proceeds with be donated to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. 

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The Biltmore Bar & Grille in Newton hosts Gluten Free Beer dinner with Downeast Cider on July 21, 2014

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Every month The Biltmore Bar & Grille in Newton, MA holds a beer dinner with different breweries and this month they have teamed up with Downeast Cider. Since their cider beers are gluten free, they’ve decided to create an all gluten free dinner menu. The price for the event is $55 per person (not including tax and gratuity), and the menu for the event is:

Farmhouse Salad
Black tea smoked duck
Manchego cheese, golden raisins, arugula
Downeast Cranberry

Sea Scallop
Coriander dusted scallop
Roasted local apples, shallots and green beans
Downeast Original

Lemonade Cider Granita
Downeast Lemon

Korean BBQ
Hard seared Korean marinated beef
Crispy red quinoa, garden vegetable kimchee
Downeast Saison

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Buttermilk ice cream, house made honey brittle
Downeast Honey

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Can’t make it to the dinner? It’s ok. Although The Biltmore’s regular menu may not look to be as gluten free friendly as other restaurants, some of the items can be made GF just by omitting an item or two. And with any allergy they take care in any cross contamination. For the upcoming dinner, they will cook out of our prep room with different equipment.

Some other gluten free beers they have on their beer list are: Ipswich Celia Saison, Woodchuck, Estrella Damm Daura, and Downeast on draft.

Biltmore Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

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Taste of Somerville 2014

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Taste of Somerville is held annually in the heart of Davis Square. Produced by the Somerville Chamber of Commerce Dining & Nightlife Group, The Taste of Somerville is a unique way to experience Somerville’s dining and nightlife scene. The 2014 Taste of Somerville will feature over 40 notable participating restaurants, breweries and retailers.

Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit The Somerville Home, a private non-profit corporation that has a proud history of providing residential services to the elderly and disabled individuals of the community.

As someone who doesn’t make it to Somerville very often (as in never) I was excited to check out all the restaurants. I know Somerville is home to many renowned restaurants. For two hours I had the privilege of learning about the various establishments and sampling the culinary riches Somerville has to offer.

2014 Featured Participants:

Arts at the Armory            Aeronaut Brewery             Ball Square Wines

Bantam Cider                      Bergamot                              Bibim

Boston Burger                    Brass Union                          Bronwyn

The Burren                          Casa B                                     Cuisine en Locale

Diva Bistro                          Dave’s Fresh Pasta              Earl’s Kitchen

Eat at Jumbo’s                    El Potro Mexican Grill      Espresso Plus

Five Horses Tavern             Foundry on Elm                 Fuji Sushi

Goose Island Brewery       Harpoon Brewery              Highland Kitchen

Holiday Inn                          Horizon Beverage               The Independent

Johnny Appleseed              Johnny D’s                            J.P. Licks

Jules Catering                     Kindred                                  Kirkland Tap & Trotter

Legal C Bar                           Lyndell’s Bakery                 Noor Mediterranean Grill

Olde Magoun’s Saloon      Orange Leaf                         Orleans

PJ Ryan’s                              Pizza Posto                             Redbones

River Bar                             Sabur                                        Saloon

Slumbrew                             Somerville Theatre             Taza Chocolate

Tony C’s                               United Liquors                    West 7 Bistro

I was impressed with variety of food samples and the number of gluten free options. Here are some of my favorites and highlights of the night:

Pulled Pork Taco from Bergamot
Pulled Pork Taco from Bergamot

Chicken stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto
Chicken stuffed with mozzarella and prosciutto

Beet Shooters from Jules Catering
Beet Shooters from Jules Catering

Asparagus Puree
Asparagus Puree from Cuisine En Locale

Cucumber Gazpacho from Sabur Restaurant and Lounge
Cucumber Gazpacho from Sabur Restaurant and Lounge

Sushi from Fuji
Sushi from Fuji

Grilled Chicken Skewers from Noor Mediterranean Grill
Grilled Chicken Skewers from Noor Mediterranean Grill

Taza Chocolate
Taza Chocolate

Chili Bar
Chili Bar

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Rum based Coffee Liquor
Rum based Coffee Liquor

 

I was also tried two ciders I had not known about before:

 

Ace Cider
Ace Cider

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Johnny Appleseed

And an old favorite:

Bantam Cider
Bantam Cider

And great wines too:

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It was such a great way to learn about Somerville’s restaurants and their gluten free offerings.

Bummed you missed out on this year’s event? Don’t worry it’ll take place again next June so mark your calendars now!

 

Disclaimer: I received a ticket to this event free of charge. I was not paid for my review and all my opinions are my own.

 

Get This Week's Gluten-Free Deal!

Saying hi to our Nutritionist and doctors from Visions Health Care

The Healthy Villi Gluten Free Expo 2013 Recap

This past Sunday I attended the New England Gluten Free Expo put on by The Healthy Villi at the Sheraton Hotel in Norwood.Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 8.44.54 PM

We spent the morning strolling and browsing the aisles of dozens of gluten free vendors, sampling gluten free chips, crackers, breads, bagels, pizza, pasta, beer, cupcakes, baked goods, and so much more. I discovered dozens of tasty new foods, like Against the Grain’s gluten free, dairy free, yeast free bread, and Breads by Anna’s gluten, soy, rice, and nut free bread mixes.

We also had the opportunity to purchase some of the items from the vendors and from A New Leaf. In addition to sampling products, six workshops were held throughout the day, including; Eating Out Around the World Gluten Free, Gluten Free Challenges, and Newly Diagnosed Workshop.

Below is a picture recap of some of the many products we tried:

Way Better Tortilla Chips
Way Better Tortilla Chips

Against The Grain makes 2 dairy free products: Cinnamon Raisin Bagels & Vermont Country Rolls
Against The Grain makes 2 dairy free products: Cinnamon Raisin Bagels & Vermont Country Rolls

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Number 9 Tortilla chips and salsa

Treat Cupcake Bar makes gluten free cupcakes, as well as dairy free, egg free and soy free
Treat Cupcake Bar makes gluten free cupcakes, as well as dairy free, egg free and soy free

JD's Pizza
JD’s Best Pizza

Saying hi to our Nutritionist and doctors from Visions Health Care
Saying hi to our Nutritionist and doctors from Visions Health Care

Namaste gluten free mixes. Some are also Yeast Free
Namaste gluten free mixes. Some are also Yeast Free

Breads by Anna: Gluten, Dairy, Potato, Corn, Soy Free!
Best Discovery of the day – Breads by Anna: Gluten, Dairy, Potato, Corn, Soy, and Yeast Free!

New Planet Beer
New Planet Beer

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Organic drinks not just for toddlers but adults too.
Organic drinks not just for toddlers but adults too.

Gluten Free Summer Camp.
Gluten Free Summer Camp.

Crunchmaster crackers. Yum!
Crunchmaster crackers. Yum!

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*Photos courtesy of Katie Dennis.

Based in Boston, The Healthy Villi is a membership-based, non-profit, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide support and education to people with celiac disease and their families.

Drizly Delivers Alcohol Right to Your Door

A new alcohol delivery service app called Drizly, developed by three Boston College alums, rolled out this past spring and we used it tonight for the first time. I don’t know what took us so long to get on board!

Drizly is a convenient and enjoyable way to buy alcohol. Drizly allows users to have their favorite beer, wine, and/or liquor delivered to their door in 30-60 minutes, without the hassle of going to the liquor store, and without any markup!

I’m sure you’re asking, “How is this legal?” Well, rest assured, it is completely legal. The Drizly team is following Massachusetts law and has worked with some of the best law firms in the state to ensure that everything is absolutely on board. They have a state of the art ID verification system that makes sure the person ordering and receiving the alcohol is over the age of 21.

So how do you get started? Simply download the Drizly app and put in your address and payment info. Browse their list of available beer, wine, alcohol and extras (bitters, Bloody Mary Mix, martini olives, etc.), place your order and then sit back and relax.

Save $5 on your first order with promo code “glutenfree”. Enjoy!

Photo Courtesy of Katelyn Dennis

Gluten Free Boston Girl’s October Happenings

Can you believe it’s October? I can’t! September just flew by! I love fall in New England. I love big comfy sweaters, fall foliage, apple picking, the fresh flavors of fall veggies and being outside before the brisk winter months.

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Photo Courtesy of Kate Garrity

This month there are a lot of great events and festivals happening. This weekend, which is supposed to be beautiful and warm, is the 4th annual Boston Local Food Festival on the Greenway, where festival goers learn about the benefits of sustainably grown and produced food, shop the market – lots of gluten free goodies!- eat delicious local food, participate in fun, educational activities and exhibits, and engage with top local chefs.

There are lots of other great things to do this month, including apple picking, gluten free cooking and baking classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education, and the Gluten Free Expo at the end of the month! Check out these and other great events below. Will I see any of you there? I hope so!

Photo Courtesy of Katelyn Dennis
Photo Courtesy of Katelyn Dennis

Boston Local Food Festival October 6, 2013

For one spectacular day each year, the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts transforms the Greenway and the City of Boston into the nation’s largest local & sustainable food hub! Boston Local Food Festival is a free outdoor festival that showcases farmers, local restaurants, food trucks, specialty food producers, fisher folks, and organizations focusing on healthy food and fitness from New England. The festival also features lively chef & DIY demos, a seafood throwdown competition, diverse music and performances, family fun zone and more.

Local Craft Brewfest October 12, 2013

New this year, to make this the best Local Craft Brewfest yet, they’ve extended the tasting period AND have opened up the previously VIP area of distilleries, mead and cider for all attendees taste! They will be featuring 50+ beer tastings, 20+ tastings from distilleries as well as cider, mead, and delicious local food. Tickets $45. Save $5 with promo code “GlutenFree5”.

Gluten Free Halloween Chocolates at BCAE October 20, 2013

Just in time for Halloween, treat yourself or a loved one to hand-made chocolate treats! Learn about making molded and filled chocolates, ganache truffles, and a flourless chocolate cake recipe that is endlessly adaptable. Extra sensitive? All Chef Mary Greenfield’s recipes are either allergy-friendly or can be with very simple modifications. Sign up here. Gluten free classes in Nov/Dec include Gluten Free Holiday Sides, Gluten Free Holiday Treats, and Gluten Free Chocolates.

The Healthy Villi’s Gluten Free Expo October 20, 2013

A day to stroll and browse the wares of scores of vendors of gluten free offerings. An Opportunity to swap tips and stores with hundreds of other people who follow the gluten free diet and attend one (or more!) of 6 workshops covering all aspects of the gluten free lifestyle. My favorite part is sampling the gluten free products and going home with samples and coupons for me favorite goodies.  Tickets $20 for members, $30 for nonmembers.

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival October 26-287, 2013

This festival brings together an amazing array of vegetarian natural food providers, top national speakers and chefs, and educational exhibitors in a fun and welcoming environment. There will be cooking demos, kids activities, food samples, shopping specials and deals, and so much more. Not everything will be gluten free but over 75% of food vendors do have gluten free products. Another chance to sample and purchase your favorite foods, discover new products, and speak with professionals. Free.

Kitchen Surfing, any day any time.

Kitchensurfing is a community for a unique food and social experience. Meet, cook and eat together, host a dinner, or join others. This site offers an easy way to find a private chef—many from top local restaurants— online, to come into your home and cook a private dinner, cater a small (or large) gathering or give you and your friends a cooking lesson.  No mater what your budget or dietary restrictions you can find a chef to suit your individual needs.

 

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Gluten Free at the 2nd Annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest

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Who says you can’t enjoy a Brew fest if you have a gluten intolerance?

The 2nd Annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest took place this past weekend at The Armory in Somerville, and it was a big success! HCB is a major annual fundraiser presented by The Boston Local Food Committee of the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) that highlights and promotes local brewers of beer, cider & mead, artisan beverage makers, home brewers, and food vendors.IMG_3260Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest is a unique event that not only showcases local beverage producers, but also showcases local brews incorporating local ingredients!

This event is not all about beer. There were plenty of ciders, wines, meads and other beverages to try. I was quite surprised at the number of cider breweries that were present at the event.

Downeast Cider was offering samples of their original blend and cranberry blend ciders. IMG_3256

The Original Blend is made from freshly pressed local apples. Downeast Cider never adds concentrate, artificial flavors or sweeteners to their ciders either. I loved the interesting twist of  the cranberry blend, in fact, it was one of my favorite ciders of the night.IMG_3255I also enjoyed Farnum Hill Cider’s Summer Cider. It was light and refreshing. IMG_3259 Urban Farm Fementary was also on hand, sampling their cider and kambucha teas. After speaking with UFF founder Eli last week on the phone, I was excited to finally try his stuff. The cider was tart, and I was not a fan. The kambucha on the other hand was absolutely delicious. I loved the Chaga Chai made with chaga mushrooms and ginger. I can’t wait until they start selling this in Boston (really soon!).  You can read more about UFF here.IMG_3268

I’m not a big Mead drinker, because I find it to be too sweet, but for Mead lovers Moonlight Meadary was there for the second year in a row sampling 4 of their 26 flavors of Mead.

New this year, SBN launched their first Hyper-Local Home-Brew Showcase Night, highlighting home-brews and home-brewing with local ingredients. The Showcase, featuring a Homebrew Club Jamboree, provided  a chance for aspiring brewers, brew fans and the curious minded to experiment, learn more about home brewing, interact with other aspiring brewers, as well as taste a selection of the brews.

Again, I was impressed with the number of ciders and gluten free options, including a gluten free braggot (fermented beverage) made with mead and sorghum extract instead of the traditional barley malt. The result was a surprisingly refreshing, well-balanced beverage that tastes vaguely like cider. Randy Baril of Homebrew Emporium, located in Cambridge, was the mastermind behind this drink. He also also made an Australian Shiraz. This medium bodied wine was robust and had notes of blackberries and spices. I enjoyed it a lot. There was also a Johannesburg Riesling, made by Erik Baxtrom, but as a non-riesling drinker I passed on this one.

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The Northshore Brewers sampled two ciders on Friday night, one made with apples from Gould Hill Farm and the other with apples from Brooksby Farm. Made from different types of apples, these were remarkably different. Gould Hill Farm was my favorite of the two, and one of my favorites of the night.IMG_3262

I also tried Grown-up Soda (GuS). The ginger ale tasted like ginger ale ought to taste. The lemon flavor was very tart and not very sweet. All 4 flavors – cranberry lime, extra dry ginger ale, lemon, and grapefruit – are 100% natural, made with real juices, natural extracts and cane sugar (not corn syrup).IMG_3257 IMG_3258

While having unlimited tastings from local brewers I was also able to sample, and purchase, delicious gluten food from Vermont Smoke & Cure, Q’s Nuts, and The Chicken and Rice Guys.

IMG_3253Vermont Smoke & Cure are makers of some of the finest sausages, bacon ham and other smoked meats.  All of their products, except for the Beer Brats are made without gluten, MSG, milk products, nuts, antibiotics and preservatives. The smoked peppercorn had a great kick to it. The chipotle was too spicy for me and my low heat tolerance; I don’t know why I even tried it! IMG_3269Q’s nuts is a small family owned and operated nut artisan company in Somerville. Flavors include original sweet roasted cashews, peanuts, pecans, and almonds, as well as more exotic varieties including key lime ginger, Mexican chocolate, chocolate raspberry, sweet and sassy, rosemary sea salted, banana foster, and chocolate coconut. I buy these almost every week at the farmers market.Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 2.45.29 PM

For dinner I had a plate from The Chicken and Rice Guys, that included chicken, lamb and rice. The house yogurt sauce was the only one that was known to be 100% gluten free. The BBQ sauce may or may not have been, one of the cooks did not know because they left the larger bottle in the truck. But honestly, it didn’t need the sauce because the meats were flavorful enough on their own. IMG_3266 IMG_3267For those of you thinking about attending a brewfest, and if it’s worth it or not, I’d say it is. There was plenty for me to sample and taste.

The 4th annual Local Craft Brewfest at Moakley Courthouse is taking place Saturday Ocotber 12, 2013. This could be your chance to try some amazing local wines, ciders and mead!IMG_3272

 

Disclaimer: I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own.

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Urban Farm Fermentory

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As the Boston Local Food Festival gears up for its second annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest on June 14-15, Urban Farm Fermentory is celebrating a year of firsts, including its first appearance at the Hyper-Local and a new tasting room. What’s more, UFF products will soon be available, for the first time, in select Boston locations.

Founded in March 2010 by entrepreneur Eli Cayer, Urban Farm Fermentory is an experimental fermentation center located in Portland, ME. Until now, their products have only been available in and around the Portland area. But that is all about to change, and Bostonians will soon be able to enjoy UFF cider, mead and Kombucha without having to travel so far.

UFF is eager to participate in this year’s HCB. Eli can’t wait “to meet new people and introduce [his] products to Boston in hopes of turning people on to it.” They will be sampling their Kombucha and maybe the cider as well. This year was a bad “apple year” in Maine and UFF is “running on reserves [of cider]”. Eli told me he was unsure if they’d have enough cider left to bring to HCB, but not to fret because they have plenty of the popular, and delicious, Kombucha on hand to sample.

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For those of you unfamiliar with Kambucha, it is a naturally fermented tea beverage that some people claim to be a miracle drink. It contains living bacteria and probiotics that are said to aid in digestion and gut health.  Never tried it before? Well now is your chance. UFF Kambucha flavors are always changing, but some recent flavors include Cranberry, Maple Sap, Parsnip and Dandelion Greens, and Rhubarb.UFF3

UFF’s motto is “experiencing the taste of then and there and then tasting the here and now.” So what does that mean exactly? Because everything is fermented seasonally in small batches, the end results vary batch to batch. Each batch “always tastes a little different depending on the farm, the year, and the crop. They do this “to explore and learn what ingredients taste like” and “to better educate people.”

According to Eli, allowing things (ingredients) to come and go with the seasons creates a higher quality product. “We work in harmony with nature. We work with what we have now and don’t try to force systems into place to grow crops when it’s not natural.” And that is what makes UFF truly unique.

Community engagement and education are two of UFF’s top goals. UFF aims to obtain as many of its ingredients from the local community as possible. The apples, blueberries, ginger, honey and most other products are locally sourced. Local sourcing supports the community, small family-owned farms and promotes product freshness. And you won’t find UFF products in your local Stop and Shop or any large chain store. “Our products are only sold in mom & pop stores. We want to keep the small businesses going; we prioritize dealings with local businesses. It’s a reverse of how things are going.”

For more info on Urban Farm Fermentory visit their website. For more info about the Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest and to purchase click here. To save $5 off your ticket use code “homebrew5”. I hope to see you all there Friday night!

Groupon: Up to 68% Off Cider- and Kombucha-Brewery Tour and Tasting with Growlers for 2, 4, or 10. (Expires 120 days after purchase.) Get it here.

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