Holy Habanero

I have to admit…I was a little nervous as I was taking the cage off of this bottle of Viva Habanera from Night Shift Brewing. Knowing that I am a craft beer fanatic and a spicy food fanatic, my wife bought this for me as part of my anniversary present, but I was unsure about habanero peppers in my brewski (or any type of peppers for that matter). Since it’s National Chili Day and my wife is cooking some, I figured what better time to open up this bad boy!

Well, it turns out that I had nothing to worry about; the beer is delicious and I am drinking it as I type this! The smell and initial taste is, to me, classic Belgian (the yeast is their Belgian house strain) but after you swallow you get that pleasant, warming burn of the peppers. I’m interested to see how it goes with the chili that is simmering away on our stove…I’m betting that it will be a great combo.

Just a nice looking bottle:

IMG_2724

Here’s the description of the beer and the folks behind it:

IMG_2728

It’s great when a batch is small enough that there is handwriting on the bottle:

IMG_2725

My wife’s famous chili is just about ready:

IMG_2730

I’d love to stay and chat but I’ve got eating and drinking to do 🙂

 

 

 

JK Crossroads

Knowing my passion for riding my motorcycle to places for quality beer and food, my buddy highly recommended JK Crossroads in East Templeton, MA. Since it was 30 degrees and sunny this morning, I decided to combat the Monday morning blahs and took off on my bike for a beer breakfast. Crossroads is not big but man…do they pack a ton of awesomeness into that space!

They have 15 taps and today 7 of them were pouring craft beer from Wachusett (MA), BBC (MA), Wormtown (MA), Lefty’s (MA), Lagunitas (CA), Firestone (CA), and Anderson Valley (CA). East Coast vs. West Coast Smackdown! Anyway…I went with a Lagunitas Sucks because I just love that beer; it was served in a killer Lagunitas largemouth mason jar.

I super sized the Hungry Man’s Breakfast and it was a behemoth. I went with 3 eggs over hard, 3 dinner plate sized 3/4″ thick blueberry pancakes, a ton of house made roast beef hash and home fries, and homemade sourdough toast. It was easily enough for 2 people but I have a hollow leg so I downed the whole thing without mercy.

The people and the service were spectacular and I was treated like a regular from the moment I walked through the door. The other patrons at the bar were also super friendly and we all chatted like old friends. This is a wonderful spot and one that I hope to go to as frequently as possible.

Update (4/13/14): Second visit to JK Crossroads, and this time I brought two riding buddies with me…they loved it! Here are two new photos:

A refreshing pint of Flower Power IPA:

IMG_3163

Had to super size the Hungry Man again!

IMG_3165

The rest of the photos are from my first visit. Just parked near the kitchen window and I can already smell the goodness:

IMG_2693

A shot of some tables opposite the bar area (there is also another dining room):

IMG_2697

Obligatory helmet pic:

IMG_2694

Here are ten of the taps…

IMG_2696

…and here are the other five.

IMG_2695

My glorious glass of Lagunitas Sucks:

IMG_2698

The aforementioned breakfast of champions:

IMG_2699

Why yes…beer does speak (look closely at the bottom of the glass).

IMG_2704

All this for $16.46?! I had $25 in my pocket and I gladly gave it all!

IMG_2706

Honestly, JK Crossroads is an absolute gem and I can’t wait to get back there with my family and friends!

 

 

 

Bull Run

We had our anniversary beer brunch today at The Bull Run in Shirley, MA. I’ve been with the motorcycle gang before after bike night but never for breakfasty things with my wife. Housed in a tavern dating back to 1740, the place is just so rich with history. We ate at the bar in the Tap Room and you can’t help but wonder how many stories those old walls have heard over the centuries. The food is fantastic and made with fresh ingredients sourced from local farms. Today they had 5 different beers on tap from Wachusett Brewing Company and two from The People’s Pint, including their delicious Pied Piper IPA (I had a pint but neglected to take a photo).

Parked right below this bad boy:

IMG_2677

I really do have a sign issue:

IMG_2676

IMG_2689

IMG_2687

Heading to the front door…

IMG_2678

…and in to see the hostess:

IMG_2680

The hearth and sitting area in the Tap Room:

IMG_2682

Our view from the bar – only half of the taps:

IMG_2684

Today’s draft offerings:

IMG_2683

The mural gracing the one wall of the Tap Room:

IMG_2681

A shot of a dining room:

IMG_2686

Just part of my glorious brunch (rocked some eggs and home fries, too):

IMG_2685

In addition to the food and local craft beer, plenty of great music happens here:

IMG_2688

Update (6/8/14): Another awesome brunch with my wife today!

br-1

Baxter Stowaway IPA:

br-2

Somehow I always end up with 2 plates:

br-3

You will not be disappointed if you visit The Bull Run!