BlogDBB Post 4 – The Northeast Kingdom is Kind

Good morning, friends! BlogDBB is back, and James here to tell you all about the trip to Boston Ben and I took for the Hop Culture Spooky Brews beer festival! It was a whirlwind 36-hour trip to the great North, but we couldn’t have had a better experience while we were up there! We thought Southern hospitality was a thing, but we quickly learned that New England hospitality is definitely a thing too. So, sit back, grab your morning cup of joe, and read on!

We arrived in Boston shortly before lunch, checked into our hotel, which was situated right by historic Fenway Park, and then sprinted back out to hit our first watering hole. We were eager to explore the city’s beer scene prior to the festival getting under way, so we started our day off at Trillium’s new taproom right near Fenway. We then went to go see fellow Spooky Brews counterparts, Lamplighter Brewing. We were treated to a wonderful tour of their brewing operations, and tried a multitude of beers, all of which were fantastic, especially their crispyboi! We had to get back to the hotel after to don our Halloween costumes, and delve into the madness that is Spooky Brews.

Fat Thor (Ben) was super ready for Spooky Brews!

I’m going to say this, the gang at Hop Culture really knows how to throw a killer party! Everybody was dressed to the nines, and we were no different. Ben was dressed as Fat Thor from Avengers: Endgame, and may have only been rivaled by the gentleman dressed as Zach Galifianakis from Between Two Ferns. As this was our first time pouring at a festival in New England, Ben was curious to see how a hazy IPA would fare in the home turf of where the style was developed, so we brought Juice Demon just to see. We also loved how The Universe is a Donut turned out so much that we decided to send that as well. The festival was incredible! Attendees, brewers, volunteers and sponsors alike were all as kind and welcoming as could be, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the response we received from everyone who tried our beer!

Thankfully we had almost the entire day on Saturday to check out some of our new brewery friends prior to heading back to Charlotte! After stuffing our faces with some much-needed seafood we trekked about 45 minutes south of the city to go see Dino, Mikey and the gang at Vitamin Sea Brewing. Our table mates from the festival, Kings Brewing, were also hanging out, so we got to spend an afternoon getting to know these two growing giants in the beer game. It was truly humbling to spend time with such welcoming, kind and insightful people. It also helps when the beer from both breweries is exceptionally good. As much fun as we were having at Vitamin Sea, we promised our other new homies at Widowmaker Brewing we’d check out their spot before flying out. Once again, Ben and I were shown every ounce of kindness in their slammed taproom. If you ever order their hazy IPAs then make sure you’re paying attention to which one is handed to you because Ben and I had to trade glasses of a Triple IPA and a regular IPA several times before figuring out which beer was ours. Their beer was that mind blowingly smooth.

Upon heading back to Charlotte, Ben and I were able reflect on a whirlwind 36 hours that now has us incredibly motivated and hungry. Exchanging ideas amongst peers, making friends, seeing people get excited when they try your beer for the first time, and experiencing different walks of life is truly energizing! We are so fortunate to be a part of such an amazing industry, and we can’t thank ALL of our hosts enough for such a rewarding weekend! Until next time Boston… which we’re hoping is relatively soon!

James, Ben & Dino Funari of Vitamin Sea Brewing