Ep. 10-& Ryan & Bent Water Pearl Wheat Ale

Hey everyone and welcome to the 10th (!) episode of People & Pints & Podcasts! I was joined by my very good friend, and fellow Boston College student, Ryan Saunders. Ryan is a senior at BC from Cape Cod and has been very supportive of the show. He asked to do a show where “we can talk about beer and bikes” and I was more than happy to oblige. The beer we sampled was Bent Water Brewing Co.’s Pearl, a wheat ale. Ryan had suggested finding something similar to Allagash’s White, a witbier, so, at the recommendation of some of the employees at Craft Beer Cellar Fenway, I went with Pearl. Listen in as we talk about life at Boston College, biking in Boston and of course beer.

Ryan and I met as leaders in Cura, a faith-based organization that facilitates reflective conversation on campus. We talked about how Cura functions at BC though we could’ve talked much more about the benefits of meaningful conversation and honest sharing (hey, that sounds like this podcast!). We then transitioned into the beer.

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Pearl, though certainly distinct from Allagash White, was good and we enjoyed it a lot. We both agreed that it could be described as light and natural (don’t reverse the order of those words, couldn’t be farther from that). Then, Ryan suggested that the ideal drinking location would be after a bike ride in the summer. I agreed but offered that Pearl would be best enjoyed around a campfire. Lastly, Ryan somehow decided that the best food pairing would be a big chocolate chip cookie. Hey, I’m not going to disagree. However, my stomach was drawn to chicken tenders.

After our silly review we switched to a conversation about Bike BC, a biking club here at Boston College. Ryan is co-president of the organization and has really been pushing for a stronger bike presence at Boston College. He, and the other members, organize group rides and facilitate meetings about equipment care and safety. One of their biggest plans has been starting a bike sharing program, which they will be rolling out in a pilot test this spring. In the fall Bike BC hopes to have the program fully functional.

We also talked about the ease and comfort of having a bike in such an accessible city as Boston. I compared it to my experience in Amsterdam, where I biked nearly everywhere. We both lamented the current state of biking infrastructure of Boston but looked hopefully toward the future. Implementing more programs like Bike BC, advocating the recreation and convenience of biking, and incorporating more distinct biking lanes in the city would certainly make it easier to bike through Boston.

Ryan and I enjoyed our chat and loved talking about biking and beers. We ultimately returned to Pearl for a rating out of ten: I gave it a 7.5/10 while Ryan suggested an 8/10. Ryan joked after the podcast that he wasn’t qualified to be rating any craft beers and I laughingly agreed but also offered that its just useful to get a sense, for yourself, how you enjoy a beer. We certainly aren’t experts but reviewing the beer on our own is a good way to know what we like!

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We hope you enjoyed this extra-special 10th episode and, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the show on iTunes! For more info on Bike BC like them on Facebook here. Follow People & Pints & Podcasts on Twitter and Instagram @peopleandpints.

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Ep. 9-& Liz & Jared & Bone Up Brewing Co.

Hey everyone and welcome to this week’s People & Pints & Podcasts episode! I was joined by husband and wife team, Jared and Liz Kiraly, of Bone Up Brewing Co. I had a little trouble finding an appropriate title for this episode; generally, I list my guests and the name of the beer we drink. However, Jared and Liz very generously shared beers that they had brewed for each other for their wedding reception. Liz brewed an English Pale Ale for Jared and Jared brewed a Double IPA for Liz. We get into more of the details of the beer on the podcast but they are never given names. So, I decided just leaving Bone Up Brewing Co. in the title would give you a sense of what we drank. Liz and Jared’s respective beers are not slated for larger scale production but the same quality, character and love will undoubtably be featured in their upcoming beers.

As mentioned on the show (and linked above), I had written a brief profile of Bone Up last week and we covered some of the things I had mentioned in my write-up. Still, we went more in depth in the process of selecting a home for Bone Up, their respective craft beer careers and the look and feel of the brewery.

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Liz and Jared had brought out some cheese and crackers to balance out the delicious beer as we sampled their productions for the show. First, we drank the English Pale Ale which was dry-hopped with New Zealand hops and was a bit more sessionable at around 5% ABV. We approached Liz’s creation with the usual unpretentious review process of the show including the questions: what is a one word description, would you be best friends with this beer and what is this beer’s spirit animal? Ultimately, we got the sense that this beer was very approachable, friendly and comfortable. Afterwards we tasted Jared’s creation, which was a DIPA brewed with blackberries and hibiscus. I was very intrigued by this combination and the color certainly leaned more toward Jared’s description of the beer, “fruit punch.”Again, we picked a one word description of the beer and also decided where the ideal drinking location would be and for whom we would order the beer. You can listen for our in-depth answers but this complex, fruity DIPA was deemed most appropriate for a warm summer day.

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The DIPA

After drinking the beer, paired with some delicious cheese, we continued chatting about Bone Up’s vision and its place in the craft beer community. Again, Liz and Jared confirmed that they feel Bone Up will be unique enough to cohabit the booming craft beer market in Boston and certainly hope to be a “destination brewery.” Their model, though it will include a few flagships and standards, will feature rotating, potentially single-release beers, which we all surmised would be a good way to draw in a crowd. To make the space even more comforting, Jared and Liz hope to bring some board games, books and hopefully even a couch.

Looking to the future, we agreed that having a food truck and possibly a cafe within the same building would make Bone Up feel even more like home. We also briefly talked about Bone Up’s neighbors Night Shift Brewing and Short Path Distillery.

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Jared and Liz shared that they hope to be up and running in the next couple months. The earliest they could have beer available would potentially be June but they still have a few things to wait on. Liz and Jared certainly aren’t waiting around and will be ready to brew once they are able to.

I could have talked with Liz and Jared for much longer but it was getting late and the episode had already exceeded the show’s normal running time (a very good thing, I hope!). To wrap up, we chatted about a mutual appreciation for metal music and swapped some good bands. Jared and Liz checked out August Burns Red while I found a love for The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. We also shared laughs over two excellent shows, Bob’s Burgers and Archer.

Liz and Jared were delightful and very welcoming hosts. I, personally, am very excited for Bone Up Brewing Co. and look forward to its success. Recording this podcast episode served as another reminder of the friendly nature of the Boston craft beer community and I certainly left feeling like I had made friends and certainly had gotten to know some awesome people.

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Usually, I’ve ended each episode with a rating for their beer that I share with my guest; but, because my guests had brewed the beer, they abstained from a rating. So I gave an 8 or 9 out of 10 to both beers. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to offend my hosts but I had no reason to worry because they had both brewed genuinely delicious beer!

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We hope you enjoyed the show! Keep up with Bone Up’s progress at their website here. Follow People & Pints on Twitter and Instagram and email in with any questions, tips or suggestions at peopleandpints@gmail.com

Ep. 8- & Mary & Jack’s Abby House Lager

Hey all! Welcome to another week of People & Pints & Podcasts! For my eighth episode I was joined by my birthday buddy, Mary Yuengert, a Senior from Boston College. I’ve gotten to know Mary through The Gavel, where we were both writers and editors. Mary has become something of a mentor during my time at Boston College, so I’m always happy to chat with her! But, I invited her on the show to talk about her beautiful personal essay for the Authentic Eagles series on The Gavel. We also talked about Mary’s senior year of university, the Jesuit Volunteer Core and self-love! Mary and I enjoyed cans of Jack’s Abby House Lager as we chatted on a lovely Sunday afternoon.

I had mentioned half-jokingly to Mary a few weeks ago that she should come onto the podcast and I don’t know if she thought I was being serious. I was! So, I convinced her to give up a little bit of time on her Sunday and join me as we chatted and enjoyed a delicious beer. Mary called the House Lager “smooth” and aptly “golden,” while I said it was “simple,” but in a good, uncomplicated way. We then agreed that we could happily enjoy about three or four in a row without comprising the flavor. Finally, Mary suggested that House Lager should be enjoyed with a burger and fries, “a high quality burger for a high quality brew.” Then, we agreed that the perfect setting would be a night in with some friends watching a movie.

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Jack’s Abby House Lager

After our “beer talk” we shifted to a more serious topic and discussed Mary’s Authentic Eagles piece, “On Self-Compassion”. Mary described the process as being challenging but ultimately cathartic. She also touched on her anxiety of having to “live in the vulnerability.” On reading her piece, I had been blown away by her honesty, so I understand that she could feel self-conscious or worried about inviting people into her story. I was incredibly impressed by Mary’s strength and her willingness to discuss the process with me on the show. We talked about the challenges of self-love in college and the ways people can learn from Mary’s story.

Afterwards, Mary shared her many “heart-feelings” about Senior year, including her plans for the following year. She is in the middle of applying for a position with the JVC and hopes to finalize her placement soon. Right now, she has the options narrowed down to Los Angeles, California and Portland, Maine. We discussed how a year of service with the JVC works and some of the challenges that accompany it.

Ultimately we returned to Jack’s Abby House Lager for a “definitive” rating. Mary granted the beer a 10/10!! The first 100% on People & Pints & Podcasts! I was feeling a little stingy and gave the beer an 8/10, still a good rating. Subscribe to the show on iTunes and share it with others!

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If you haven’t read it, check out my post on upcoming brewery Bone Up Brewing Co. (future guests on the podcast)

“We can talk about craft beer for hours!”: A Night with Bone Up Brewing Co.

“Do you mind if I take pictures?”

“No, take as many as you want,” Jared responded energetically. “If you aren’t supposed to take a picture of something we’ll let you know after you take it.”

On Wednesday, April 6, I took the trek from Boston College to Everett, MA to get a behind the scenes look at Bone Up Brewing Co., a new craft brewery from husband and wife team Jared and Liz Kiraly. After switching between two Ts and walking along Revere Beach Parkway, I finally made it to Bone Up. The parking lot was flooded and it looked like the snow had interrupted some construction on the loading dock, but after a forceful knock on the outer door I was greeted by Liz. Liz and Jared showed me their softly lit and beautifully constructed taproom. Although narrow, I could imagine the space as a comfortable escape–certainly as on the gloomy day that I had visited.

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Bone Up Brewing Taps

I followed Liz and Jared beyond the taproom and into the main brewing area. Again, the space was small, and still a work in progress, but the work that had been completed already hinted at the exciting potential. The shiny equipment and newly named fermentors (Lemmy, Glenn, Rev and Buzzo), made Bone Up feel very real.

“Is it just you two working here,” I asked.

“Yupp, just us,” Liz admitted.

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“Well we’ve had help from family and friends,” Jared qualified. Both of their fathers had chipped in with constructing the space and moving some of the equipment. I asked about the building and Jared showed me a picture of what the interior used to look like; the transformation is incredible. Liz and Jared explained how when they first examined the space they noticed a knife sticking out of the ceiling. “We tried to throw it out but somehow it turned up again…there must be some weird energy here,” Liz told me, laughing. Mystical cutlery aside, the energy is definitely screaming craft beer and community.

I had asked Liz and Jared if there had been anything specific about Everett that brought them here. “Available space,” Jared joked.

Finding available space was only one part of the puzzle. Bone Up Brewing Co. launched a couple years ago but it had been an idea for Jared for a long time. The process of actually opening a craft brewery is an expensive, time-consuming and arduous one. There are miles of red tape to get through and things can move very slowly. I got the sense that starting a brewery is really just waiting on someone else. Liz and Jared can essentially see the finish line but can’t give a hard date for when they’ll be open for business. The best I could get was a potential “3-4 months,” but even that is a tricky schedule. Nonetheless, the excitement hasn’t waned and Jared and Liz are itching to open.

IMG_4011Jared and Liz are originally from Connecticut but have been calling Boston home for some time. Jared has been homebrewing for about thirteen years, with a stint at Harpoon Brewery. Liz has been joining Jared in homebrewing for about three years but her area of expertise is in graphic art and design; she is responsible for building the brand and creating the awesome artwork. Still, the collaboration between both the brewing and the branding is obvious.

After chatting for a little bit we journeyed down the street to Bone Up’s neighbor for a beer: Night Shift Brewing Co. (Hey! We’ve had their beer on the podcast here and here). I was curious, perhaps a little cautious, about Bone Up being just down the street from Night Shift. The craft beer market, as it grows, becomes pretty competitive, but Liz and Jared didn’t seem too worried.

“We think we can coexist here.” Jared confirmed, “We’re doing things differently enough that it won’t be a problem.”

“And the nice thing about it is: if the line is too long at Night Shift, just grab a drink with us,” Liz added, quite accurately.

Jared even called the street a little alcoholic hub, “There’s a distillery between us and Night Shift! You should check them out.” (I later found out that the distillery is called Short Path and I certainly need to stop by on my next trip to Night Shift and/or Bone Up.)

After clarifying that the three alcohol vendors could happily cohabit the same street, I asked if there were any partnerships or collaborative ideas in the works. After thinking for a beat, Liz and Jared said there wasn’t anything definite, “but they’re definitely happy with us as a neighbor!”

“This is just an idea right now,” Jared said, “but I’d love if we could do some sort of block party with music, food trucks and alcohol.” I excitedly agreed that that would be an awesome event.

“So, where did you come up with Bone Up?” Liz and Jared explained that they had come up with the image of a skull some time ago and had originally settled on a different name, but found that it was being used.

“After some creative brainstorming,” Liz told me, “we came up with Bone Up. It means to really learn about something and we’re all about education and accessibility. We can talk for craft beer for hours!” So, we did!

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The beautiful Bone Up bar

After talking about Bone Up for some time, Liz and Jared asked about my own craft beer experience. I’m sure they were curious that someone so young had the gall to start a podcast. No, but they were curious about what led me here! So, I described my experience abroad in Amsterdam and how I’ve felt a strong connection to craft beer.

“I’m trying to find my place in the community at large,” I admitted, “and I think starting a podcast is a good place for now.”

“So is this just a hobby or do you think you can turn this into something,” Liz later asked.

“No, I want this to be something,” I answered with a laugh.

Liz and Jared shared some tips about breaking out of the insular, college community I’ve had on the podcast, thus far. They asked me how college students feel about craft beer and I said that there’s plenty of exposure, but not a lot of passion necessarily. Still, the fact that craft beer is essentially ubiquitous is a good sign. They also suggested incorporating more education into episodes. I expressed my difficulties in finding the right balance between craft beer nerds and the layman, a space that Liz and Jared agreed is useful to explore.

Towards the end of the night we started talking about a common ground: music. Jared and Liz, as their fermentors intimated, are big fans of metal and I think they were surprised to hear, as I was dressed in a pink oxford shirt, blue Brooks Brothers crewneck and corduroys, “I used to be really into metal!”

“Used to be?”

“Well, I still listen to it but not nearly as much.” As Liz and Jared began their listing bands and I listed mine, the age gap appeared; but, it faded in our mutual appreciation for metal and beer.

“Can I expect any live shows at Bone Up?”

Liz’s eyes lit up, “I would love to! I don’t think we’d have the space…”

After settling our tabs we wished each other a good night and I thanked them for the chance to chat. Suddenly a podcast that I host in my dorm room seemed like it could be doing something cool. I turned with a smile and realized that I’d have to walk about a mile back to the T stop. “We need a shuttle to get people from the T to here,” Jared had joked earlier. “Yes we do,” I thought as I trudged along Revere Beach Parkway. Still, I was giddy at the chance to have chatted with such cool people and look forward to the opening of Bone Up!

Ep. 7-& Kevin & Mayflower Spring Hop Ale

Hey everyone! Welcome to another week of People & Pints & Podcasts! For this episode I was joined by my very good friend Kevin Sheridan. Kevin and I went to high school together at Saint Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, NJ, so we’ve known each other for quite some time. He and I now attend Boston College, where Kevin studies Political Science and Economics. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to chat with Kevin very much this semester, but his joining me on the show provided us with ample time to catch up! This episode was very free flowing but we hope you enjoyed listening and I was glad that Kevin could share a little about himself. We also talked about a potential new craft brewery in my hometown of Cranford, NJ and a new Fenway location for Craft Beer Cellar, here in Boston.

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Mayflower Spring Hop Ale

Kevin and I had hoped that our good friend Bill (frequent guest of the show) would have been able to join, because he also went to high school with us. Sadly, Bill was busy with ROTC training so I only had Kevin on the show. Nonetheless, we took the time to check in on each other and see how our respective semesters were going. Kevin is heavily involved with a Model UN group that facilitates a conference for high school students in Boston. Kevin’s position requires a great deal of administrative work, planning the event, so, along with his course load, Kevin is kept pretty busy. Nonetheless, he took time out of a hectic Saturday to enjoy a beer and chat with me.

On this episode we sampled the Spring Hop Ale from Mayflower Brewing Co., located in Plymouth, MA. Resorting to the standard People & Pints reviewing process, Kevin and I dubbed the beer as “fresh” and “natural,” highlighting the smooth approachability of this seasonal beverage. When asked the “spirit animal” of the beer, we both opted for birds. Kevin chose a blue jay while I picked a canary. Lastly, Kevin decided he would order Spring Hop for his brother and I chose my Dad. We both really enjoyed the beer for its tasty character and agreed it was a good choice.

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Craft Beer Cellar Fenway

I was recommended the Spring Hop Ale while visiting the newly opened Fenway Craft Beer Cellar. The staff at CBC Fenway hosted three tastings, spread throughout the afternoon, from Jack’s Abby Brewery, Wachusett Brewing Co. and Castle Island Brewing Co. I came away with a nice selection and look forward to frequenting the CBC in Fenway!

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During the course of the episode, Kevin and I shared some struggles about the undergraduate life and balancing school work with the stressful search for internships. Kevin will be spending his summer in Manhattan while I continue to apply to and interview for several internships along the east coast. We also briefly chatted about this year’s edition of March Madness and the positives of being 21 years old in a city like Boston.

We also lingered over some developing news in the craft beer world of New Jersey, our home state. Yale Terrace Brewing is aiming to open a brewery in Cranford, NJ, my hometown. The guys at YT have started a Go Fund Me to try to raise money and aide them in their process. Kevin and I considered the impact of a craft brewery in the Union County area of New Jersey. We agreed that it could potentially help increase the young adult presence in a community that has been seeking to sustain that demographic. While I was a bit skeptical of the whole process, I certainly support this endeavor and would be thrilled to see a craft brewery open in Cranford.

Ultimately, Kevin and I returned to Spring Hop Ale and rated it an 8/10. We enjoyed the beer and had a nice time catching up!

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Some upcoming craft beer events in Boston:

Check back again next week for more People & Pints & Podcasts. Please look up the show on iTunes, subscribe and rate/review it! If you like the podcast share it with other people and, as always, send any question, comments or suggestions our way! You can find me on twitter @paradiseohh or via email paradisoj622@gmail.com