Tasting and festival fun!

Note: Newburyport Brewing asked if I would like to write some posts for their blog on the brewery website. This is a post about my experiences working events for the brewery. 

My name is Jason Chalifour. I am a homebrewer, blogger, Recognized Beer Judge Certification Program judge, craft beer fan, and have been working on the Event Team at Newburyport Brewing Company since May. As a side job there are worse things I could be doing than meeting people and talking about beer.

The first event I attended was at a bottle shop in Hingham. My first day I learned a very important lesson, never drive through Boston. Ever. It is never safe. Even at 1:00 p.m. on a Saturday there can and probably will be traffic.

My second event was at O’Neils in Salem. They usually have at least one Newburyport beer on tap. At the time they had both Green Head IPA and Plum Island Belgian White on tap. We were pouring samples and giving away t-shirts to customers who bought pints at the bar. I even had two bands ask if and how they could play at the brewery.

Folks always ask if we do tours and tastings at the brewery. When I tell people that we do, how Metzy’s is at the brewery every Thursday, and that there is live music with our 5PM Sessions they always light up. Not being from Newburyport, I hope I have been giving clear directions to the brewery.

Some of the events I’ve worked haven’t been your typical beer geek crowd. On Fathers Day I was pouring at Jewell Towne Vineyards. People who aren’t beer drinkers, or are light beer drinkers really enjoy Plum Island Belgian White. It’s not overly hoppy or bitter. Wine drinkers enjoy the fruitiness from the orange peel in the beer.

Craft beer drinkers that try Green Head for the first time really enjoy it. Most traditional East-Coast IPAs are fairly malty and by current standards, lightly hopped. Traditional West-Coast IPAs are hoppier but the hops dominate, making the beers a bit one-note.  Green Head more than any beer I have tasted melds both traditions by combining a nice malt flavor with a potent hop flavor and aroma. The IPA fans I encounter feel the same way when they try it.

The Pale Ale is my personal favorite. I always talk to customers about how the English Maris Otter base malt gives the beer a perfect balance. With Melt Away, some customers are not familiar with session beer. I usually describe it as a beer you can have a six-pack of on Tuesday, and still make it to work on Wednesday. The Citra and Amarillo hops in Melt Away also give the beer a different flavor from Green Head.

Going to tastings and festivals really is a lot of fun. Maybe I will see you there!

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