Trip to Hill Farmstead April 2015

Last weekend my wife and I made a trip to one of our favorite places in America, Vermont.  My primary desire was to replenish my stores of Hill Farmstead Brewery.  This brewery is widely considered the best in America, and some would say the best in the world.  Sean Hill, the brewer, is not a specialist, he makes world class hoppy ales in addition to sour, dark, farmhouse and everything in between.  He is committed to a sustainable business that can support itself and although he has grown rapidly, there is a target size for the company that he does not want to exceed.  This goal allows him to focus on doing the best possible work he can, which results in amazing beer.  He utilizes growlers so that he can ensure that his beers remain fresh. I much prefer to support a "local" brewery than one of the large conglomerates.  Also, Sean goes to great lengths to respect his community and helps support other local businesses.  He takes great pride in working in a remote area, and although you have to actually go to the brewery to buy his beer, he avoids wasting resources on things like distribution to stores.

The brewery

My haul

Edward - Flagship Pale Ale

Single Hop Pale Ale - Mosaic

Society & Solitude #5 Double IPA


Recent New England IPAs: Gray Sail Captain's Daughter, Lawsons Sip of Sunshine, and Trillium A Street IPA

Gray Sail Brewery out of Westerly, RI is a relatively new brewer who has struck quite a hit with their Double IPA, Captain's Daughter.  Pretty hoppy, but still drinkable.  Only available in MA/RI, as far as I know, but I enjoyed it!

Sean Lawson of Vermont's Lawson's Finest Liquids most famous beer is Double Sunshine, his double IPA produced in extremely limited batches.  When Mr. Lawson decided that he needed to scale the business a bit, he set up an agreement with Two Roads Brewing on Connecticut to brew his modified Double Sunshine recipe as Sip of Sunshine.  Originally packaged and sold only in kegs and 22oz bombers, the transition to 4 packs makes a ton of sense, especially in light of local competition in Vermont and the superior QPR of 16 oz cans.  This is brewed monthly in CT and then distributed in both CT and VT.  Great beer, comparable to Heady Topper in my opinion.

Trillium Brewery, in my view, is Boston's response to the Vermont beer scene's relentless quality.  While Boston and the vicinity has a number of good breweries, none are truly great, especially when it comes to producing the renowned IPAs that are coming out of Vermont.  I have had a number of great beers from Trillium, including Melcher St IPA, Congress St IPA, and Fort Point Pale, which drinks more like an IPA.  Unfortunately, A Street, does not live up to the others or its $10 price tag.  Still a good beer, but nothing special.  


Concepts x New Balance "Luxury Goods" 997 Made in USA - Hermes Inspired

Concepts, the sneaker store based in the Cambridge neighborhood of Harvard Square, just north of Boston, has a long history of collaborations, and is certainly on the vanguard of sneaker culture.  They have done a number of releases with Asics, Brooks, Vans, Nike, and New Balance.  Their most recent New Balance is based on the Hermes classic orange color scheme, and is on the 997 model, made in the USA of soft suede and leather.  A great runner.  Wore these over the weekend and snapped a picture.


Asics x Commonwealth Gel Lyte V Da Vinci

Asics Gel Lyte V collaborations are some of the most sought after that the brand puts out.  A collaboration with Commonwealth of Washington, DC and Virginia Beach, VA that uses clean colors and solid materials was a no brainer.  This design is based on a classic colorway that is appropriate for Leonardo DaVinci with a blend of colors that was found on his sketches and inventions.  Limited to only 500 pairs, this is sure to be one of the most desirable runners of 2015, with resale already cresting over $400.  Here is my pair.


Weekend Beers and a Bottle of Bourbon

Weekend beverages.  I really love sour and funky beers and decided to crack a couple from my cellar this weekend.  Bottleworks XII is a sour imperial wit, with raspberries, vintage 2013.  Pretty strong funk and sour character and the raspberries are very prevalent.  I can't say I enjoy the wheat aspect of the beer, but it adds a unique character.

Yazoo's Embrace the Funk is not the most widely acclaimed sour, heck its practically unknown.  However, it is absolutely delicious.  Very complex and tart golden sour beer.  More substantial than some offerings, but had a lot of depth.  Won in a BIF, so I doubt I will acquire more, but really darn good stuff.

My parents came to my new apartment to visit, and I offered to open a bottle of wine or split an interesting beer, but my father only drinks American adjunct lagers and my mother didn't want to crack a bottle of wine at 3PM.  He indicated that he would love a glass of whiskey if I had it, but unfortunately, I had not replenished my holdings in quite some time.  I had cleaned out a bunch of recyclable bottles and cans into my car over the weekend in a clean up effort, and decided to use those proceeds to cover 10% of this bottle of bourbon.  A single barrel, barrel strength offering from Four Roses in their OBSO recipe, selected by Table & Vine, a Western Massachusetts alcohol institution.  I love that place, best natural wine selection for the price in MA, bar none.  Anyhow, looking forward to trying this soon, and will share with my pops the next time we hang out.


Nike Metcon Crossfit Shoe - New Colors including CAMO!

Nike has recently released it's Crossfit sneaker to compete with the Reebok Nano.  It is titled the Metcon 1 and features a ton of great details that will perfectly suit a Crossfit athlete.

The MetCon 1 (short for “metabolic conditioning”) is Nike’s ultimate, all-purpose men’s cross-training shoe. From the flat firm heel to the grooved forefoot design, MetCons are built to provide stability on heavy lifts, flexibility on sprints and climbs, and optimal comfort for distance runs and day-to-day abuse.

It’s the small details that help set the Nike® MetCon 1 apart. A rubber padding on the midsole reduces friction during rope climbs. An extra-durable mesh lining offers much-needed breathability. And Nike’s lightweight Flywire cables help maintain a strong support structure without the bulkiness of some other leading cross-trainers. MetCons also deliver dependable traction that performs on the gym floor, the track, and training grounds far off the beaten path.

Nike® MetCon 1 Specifications:
  • Men’s Cross-Training Shoe
  • Weight: 11.2 oz
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Flat, max-support heel for weightlifting
  • Drop-in midsole & forefoot grooves for greater flexibility
  • Breathable, abrasion-resistant mesh
  • Lightweight Vectran filaments (Flywire) for optimal structure and support
The shoe has already come out in a number of great colors, but here are my favorites.