Victory Brewing Dinner @ Max’s Oyster Bar Feb 6th

6IBi8qfTU8_djN_g2JRRId2nlXorjY74UiIWwkGJr-_R96PwnfHduweUpf0F2JSTr4XwxPQUiuplX-yOkAxmwPyF0GLWJUG33kryM-rBl5yUsyQynQz0YyjvJw=s0-d-e1-ftCraft beer is one of the great pleasures in life, and when you put it together with a great meal, can you claim Victory?  Without a doubt!

Take a break from the winter chill and claim your victory on February 6th with a great selection of Victory Brewing craft beers paired with the exceptional cuisine of Max’s Oyster Bar Chef Scott Miller.  We love doing beer dinners and when we can pair up with a great selection of our favorite beers, it makes it just that much better…

VICTORY BREWING CO.

CRAFT BEER DINNER

Thursday February 6th, 2014

6:30 PM  RECEPTION

Victory Prima Pils
Spiced Hamachi Rolls | Grilled Pineapple | Shiso
Lemongrass Braised Short Rib “Fritters” | Ginger Beer Gastrique
Grilled Clam Flatbread | Fennel | Preserve Lemon

Victory Helios Farmhouse Ale
Melville Cheese & Roasted Cauliflower Gratin Pickled Onion | Sriracha Caviar | Mustard Greens

Victory Mad Kings Weiss
Cornmeal Fried Cod
Okra | Green Tabasco Aioli | Pork & Collards

Victory Hop Ranch Imperial IPA
Shrimp Meatballs
Curry | Eggplant | Yogurt | Cilantro

Victory V 12 Belgian Ale
Rellenos
Confit Chicken | Smoked Bean Puree | Chorizo Vinaigrette

Victory Dirt Wolf Double IPA
Smoked Beef Brisket
Dumplings | Pho Broth | Hoisen Side Car

Victory Old Horizontal Barley Wine
Blood Orange Panna Cotta
Yuzu Gelee | Pomegranate | Lemon Shortbread

Click here to visit Max’s Oyster Bar Website

Terroirs of Mendoza with Jeff Mausbach February 19 @ Max Downtown

We are very pleased to announce a special tasting opportunity with a great wine personality and all around fun guy – Mr Jeff Mausbach.  

As Wine Education Director and Communications and Marketing manager for Catena Wines from Mendoza for 13 years, Mr Mausbach traveled the world preaching the gospel of the unique character of  high altitude Malbec from Mendoza, explaining the character and expression of its many different terroirs.  In 2010, he and several partners decided to produce their own labels and began Malbec 55, a wine company celebrating the workers who get their hands dirty while crafting the fine wines of the region.  Jeff-Mausbach

Mr Mausbach will be on hand at Max Downtown for an opportunity for our guests to meet him, discuss the Argentine wine industry and taste through a a cross section of Malbec wines from various vineyards in the regions and terroirs. Light passed hors d’oeuvres will be available to accompany the wine tasting.

February 19, 5:30-7:00

Meet and Greet with Jeff Mausbach
5:30-7:00

Wine selection:

TintoNegro Uco Valley malbec
TintoNegro Mendoza malbec
TintoNegro Limestone Block malbec
Angulo Innocenti malbec
Angulo Innocenti cabernet sauvignon
Angelo Innocenti unisono

cost is $35 per person plus tax and gratuity

please call Max Downtown for reservations 860-522-2530

Click here to visit the Max Downtown Website

Stone Beer Dinner February 4 @ Trumbull Kitchen

It is with great pleasure that we announce our next beer dinner with our friends at Stone Brewing.  Since 1996, Stone has become one of the most iconic and well-loved breweries in the United States.  Known for making firmly hopped beers with just a hint of attitude, we really enjoy these beers and know you do to. Join us on February 4th, and break the winter cold with some hand crafted brews from the great state of California, along with some tasty treats from Chef Chris Torla.  Word has it that Jeff Nelson will be on hand to expound on the virtues of the beers and answer any questions you may have – he is always full of great things to say and definitely knows his Stones.  When was the last time you were Stoned??

Stone
 

Stone Beer Dinner
February 4, 2014

Happy 30 minutes, pre-dinner reception in the loft
Enjoy By 2-14-14
Burnt ends with Stone porter BBQ sauce
Smoked Pit ham and onion jam sliders
Charcuterie Sampler
Lamb pancetta wrapped asparagus

Matt’s Saison
Manchego and Hoja Santa Cheese Plate
Quince paste, CT honeycomb, porter crackers

Stone IPA
Indian Chicken Korma
Boneless chicken breast, pistachio yogurt sauce, aromatic basmati salad

Arrogant Bastard
Crisped Maryland Crab Cake
Blood orange marmalade, local apples, smoked jalapeno

Sublimely Self Righteous
Cocoa Braised Beef Short Ribs
White cheddar polenta, garlic kale

Cost on this is $75 per person (excluding tax & gratuity)

Seating is very limited (we are not just saying that – the loft at TK only holds 26 seats)

please call TK to reserve your seat 860-493-7412

Click here to visit the TK website 

Max Downtown Library Wine Added for the Holidays

by Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group

Several times a year, Justin Gavry (Sommelier at Max Downtown) and myself go through our library reserves and pull out selections that we feel are ready for addition to the regular wine list.  We do this as other selections that have sold through open up space both in our stock room and on our wine list proper.

Downtown_Gallery

It may not be as well known as it should, but at Max Downtown we keep a substantial number of selections in reserve off the wine list, allowing them to age and develop to optimum drinking levels before we add to the list.  This is a huge commitment on our part, both in inventory dollars and space, but it is a commitment that we feel makes our wine program one of the best around.  There are many wines that come available to us to buy, but are far too young to be drunk right away.  These wines – some California Cabernet, some Bordeaux, some burgundy and others, really can benefit from a number of years of cellaring to soften the tannins and allow for the flavors to reach their peak.

Below is a list of the wines that we have recently added to the Max Downtown wine list, many of which you will notice are in the range of 10 years old. We feel this is the best time for many of these wines, and we hope you will agree.

1) Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots Estate Red, Knights Valley 2002
2) Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots Estate Red, Knights Valley 2003
3) Joseph Phelps ‘Insignia’ 2004
4) Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 1999
5) Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2000
6) Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2003
7) Shafer Vineyards  Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select 2004
8) Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
9) Château Léoville-Las Cases 2000
10) Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
11) Two Hands ‘Ares’ Shiraz Barossa Valley
12) Tenuta dell’Ornellaia Ornellaia 2004
13) Elderton ‘Command’ Shiraz 2004
14) Avignonesi Riserva Grandi Annate, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG
15) Dominus Napa 2003 & 2004
16) Quintessa Napa 2005

Marguet Visits Max Downtown

Max Downtown in Hartford is very pleased to welcome Mr Benoit Marguet to our Tavern for an informal meet-and-greet on Wednesday, October 23rd.  Max Downtown has been a great supporter of Grower Champagnes and has listed the wines from Champagne Marguet for some time, now.

Benoit MarguetChampagne Benoît Marguet in Ambonnay is one of many extremely interesting small producers in Champagne. He is the kind of producer that you rarely find, unless you know exactly where to go.  

Passing through the region, Mr. Marguet will be on hand from 5-6pm to taste and discuss his family wines, spread the word about the individuality of small producer wines such as his, and to bring a bit of France to Hartford.  Champagne is one of the true luxuries of the wine world, but one that is affordable to anyone.  Celebrate these lovely wines and gain a bit of understanding about the region and it people from one of our favorite producers.

Organic farming is the preferred method at Champagne Benoit Marguet, utilizing plow- horses and minimal inputs create an environment that will produce outstanding grapes and preserve the land for generations to come.  The attention and commitment to these details show in the wine and create a quality divide that is quite apparent when tasting against most large production producers.champagne_marguet_horse

We will be sampling some selections from Champagne Marguet along with complimentary treats from the kitchen to pair.  Any and all are welcome to join us.

New Wines at Max’s Oyster Bar

by Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director

I am very pleased to announce several new additions this week to our wine list at Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford.  Both Bob Cooke, Managing Partner, and myself tasted these wines in recent weeks and felt they were compelling enough to add to the program.  We always look for wines that share that special combination of very high quality and that compliment the cuisine of Chef Miller.  These wines each fit this criteria.

Earlier in the week, we tasted the new releases from Domaine Serene from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  Domaine Serene enjoys a very high reputation for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir production, and we were very pleased with selections of each.  Typically we will not rely too heavily on any single winery for multiple wine listings, but these wines were so good that we took both.  On the list for this weekend is the Domaine Serene Chardonnay Evenstad Reserve 2012 and the Evenstad Pinot Noir 2011.

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The Chardonnay is delicious, plane and simple.  A generous, but very well integrated, layer of oak rides just under lovely flavors of ripe apple

and fresh pears – the combination coming across as beautifully balanced and elegant enough to enjoy with delicate (but cooked) seafood.  Not an exact replacement, but certainly on par with 1er Cru Puligny.

Domaine-Serene-101102401.jpg.jpg

The Pinot Noir to me was just short of the Chardonnay in its overall quality, but quite good in its own-right.  For me, I enjoy the elegance of Oregon Pinot Noir, but still always want to see a bit of depth in the fruit and not a wine that is weak like “traditional” French Pinot Noir.  This wine has just that – lush, but not sweet, cranberry and deep cherry fruit, some spice and a balanced lovely long finish.  I would prefer the Chardonnay, first, but I’m not kickin’ this to the curb, and would be quite content with this and lovely piece of grilled salmon, or swordfish, such as is on the specials menu this weekend at MOB.

download (2)Also hitting the list shortly is a great wine that is a little hard to classify as it does not fall in any single varietal camp, but rather is among the new generation of finely tuned blends that have become quite popular, as of late.  The is the Blindfold White Blend from famed winemaker Dave Phinney of Prisoner Wine Co.  This wine has a big chunk of Chardonnay, with a great selection of Rhone-regional varietals thrown in.  Varietals such as Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier and Grenache blanc, plus a touch of Riesling and Semillon just for some added aromatics.  To me this wine is excellently balanced, with deep flavors of waxy apples – really loved his wine.

26187Additionally, I am very excited to be able to finally offer the fabulous Brut Rose from Billecart-Salmon Champagne, perhaps the most famous of the Rose Champagnes.  Over the past few years it has been a challenge to acquire this wine as the previous importer caused pricing and availability to be a challenge for us.  Now with a new importer, Billecart has become available for us once again – and so we have it starting this weekend.  Not cheap, but the elegance, the complexity of the fruit, the racy acidity, make Billecart all that and then something.  Had a good week?  Come celebrate with a bottle and dozen of the freshest oysters around.  You will be happy with that choice, for sure.

 

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Finally, if Billecart is not quite in your wheel-house, but you still love the beauty of sparkling rose wines, I have selected what I consider to be one of the finest Spanish selections – the Raventos i Blanc de Nit Cava Rose.  A favorite winery, this particular wine is a great value in the sparkling wine category.  Deeper fruit than what you might find in the champagnes, it delivers a lot of freshness and elegance.  Made from some less-than-familiar grapes (Xarel.lo, Macabeo, Monastrell, and Parelleda), the combination is really delightful.  Have this with some fried seafood apps or maybe some fresh tuna.

 

New cocktails for the fall are coming next week, on the menu starting Monday October 14.

 

MBWH Brewery of the Month: Oskar Blues from Colorado

Oskar-Blues-at-Burgerby Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group

Each Month Max Burger West Hartford has a brewery that we like to focus on and pay a little extra attention to.  There are so many great craft breweries in the United States, at this point, that we feel it is important to support this effort and recognize the great brewers in and out of CT.  For the month of September, we have chosen Oskar Blues Brewery from Longmont, Colorado, as our feature.oskar

Why Oskar Blues??

The make great beer.  At affordable prices.  Only in cans (and kegs, which are big cans). They have a lot of fun doing it. We have a lot of fun drinking it.

Founded in 1997, by Dale Katechis, who now owns several related breweries and brew pubs, Oskar Blues made a statement by being the first craft brewery to “bottle” their brews in cans, rather than bottles.  They are basically credited with starting what has become a national trend in brewing by using lighter weight, recyclable aluminium cans, kind of the way a lot of older styled brands were consumed.  They also like to do things like Mountain Bike and Hike, and since cans are lighter than glass these beers are often found along for the ride.

2012_7_13_oskarblues_fullline

 

Oskar Blues makes 6 different styles of beer:

  • Dales Pale Ale (the first, 6.5%abv and lighter than an IPA),
  • Old Chub Scotch Ale (8%abv and made with a variety of malts that lean toward the heavier side),
  • G’Knight, a fuller style of beer that is brewed in honor of Gordon Knight, a Colorado firefighter who lost his life in 2002 (8.7%abv),
  • Ten FIDY and Imperial Stout at about 10%abv, this is the seasonal’s seasonal as it is big and hearty
  • Mama’s Little Yella Pils, which is a smaller batched Pilsner style made with German malts and Bavarian hops (5.3%abv)
  • Gubna an Imperial IPA that is dry hopped and and comes in at 100 IBUs and 10%abv

Max Burger West Hartford will be featuring a selection of Oskar Blues Brews throughout the entire month of September, plus on the third Wednesday of the month, we have a very special keg that will be tapped at 5pm.  Join us in person to taste and enjoy this great beer and all the others from Oskar Blues all month long in West Hartford.

Beer on Tap This Week (and Next) @ Max’s Oyster Bar West Hartford

At Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford Center, we have a great selection of rotating draft beers.  We try to keep the options changing in order to give our guests the best and freshest choices around.  We do have our standards that are always on tap: Brewtus Maximus, Guinness Stout, etc., but the other lines are dedicated to regional and national craft brews, ranging in style from lighter lagers and session ales to fuller bodied porters and stouts, with all kinds of styles in between.  Check out what we have coming up in the next few days and weeks…

Line #1 – IPA / PA – first up: Dogfish Head Test Batch 61 IPA; then Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA; then Maine Brewing Company MO (Madeline & Oliver) Pale Ale

Line #2 – Seasonal – first up: Two Roads Saison; followed by The Cambridge House Copper Hill Kolsch; then Backeast Bachtoberfest

Line #3 – Pils – on line: Victory Prima Pils

Line #4 – the Limited / Local – going first: Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Quad; then Stone Enjoy by 9/13/13 IPA; followed by Thomas Hooker Brewing Liberator Doppelbock

Line #5 – Fruit / Wheat – first selection: Founders Rubeus; followed by Brooklyn Brewery Companion; and then Stone Coconut IPA; and finally Allagash White

For those who really need to know (and we are in that camp) here is some background info on these beers…

Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA
Stone Brewing Co. California, United States
American Double / Imperial IPA | 9.50% ABV
Notes:
Inspired by new experimental German hops, our brewing team is celebrating our 17th Jahrestag by taking palates on an unconventional tour of Deutschland by way of Southern California. In doing so, we used a grain bill comprised exclusively of pilsner malts and German hops with crazy awesome names: Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal, Smaragd & Strisselspalt. Dry-hopping with Sterling, a U.S. hop with Saaz parentage, lends a bit of familiarity, but be forewarned, this is a unique beer that takes the IPA–a style we’ve already pushed far beyond it’s previous limits over the years–to interesting new territory.

Cambridge Brew House Copper Hill Kolsch
Cambridge Brew House (Granby, CT)
2005 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner!
2005 & 2006 Great International Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner!
German Style Light Ale. Smooth, easy drinking with subtle noble hop character. 4.8%ABV

Ovila® Abbey Quad with Plums
Rich, dark, and infused with the complex sweetness of abbey-grown plums.
Ovila Abbey Quad is heady with aromas of caramel, rich malt, and dark fruit balanced by the spiciness and delicate fruity notes of a traditional Belgian yeast. This complex beer is a collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. It features sugar plums grown on the grounds of the Abbey and harvested by the monks in Vina. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale.
Quadrupel (Quad) | 10.20% ABV

Two Roads Workers Comp Saison
Stratford, CT 4.8 % ABV
A traditional farmhouse ale made with a very expressive yeast strain that contributes an array of tropical fruit, spice flavors and aromatics. Brewed with a variety of harvest grains including barley, wheat, oats and rye as was likely the case with farmhouse brewers of yore. The result is a complex, refreshing and distinctive example of this esoteric style. Intensely fruity (passion fruit, pineapple, mango, lychee), slightly spicy (clove, white pepper)

Maine Brewing Company MO
Our first run at an American Pale Ale. Flavors and aromas of zesty citrus, passionfruit, and pine present themselves throughout. A very subtle malt sweetness for balance, but this is intended to finish dry
Freeport, ME- 6 % ABV
http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/maine-beer-mo/167472/

Dogfish Head 61 Minute
6.5 % ABV
Whenever Dogfish Head President Sam Calagione and his neighborhood friends gather for drinks, they give each other a big ol’ man-hug and order a round of 60 Minute IPA. A few years ago, Sam also ordered a glass of his favorite red wine and poured a little into each pint of 60 Minute. They all dug the combination of fruity complexity and pungent hoppiness, and the blend became a beloved tradition.Sixty-One captures that tradition in a bottle and marries two Dogfish Head innovations: beer/wine hybrids — which Dogfish has focused on for well over a decade with beers like Midas Touch and Raison D’être — and continually-hopped IPAs. The name Sixty-One is a reminder that this beer is Dogfish Head’s best-selling 60 Minute IPA plus one new ingredient: syrah grape must from California. The label, painted by Sam, is a twist on a typical watercolor. Rather than using water, Sam mixed the green pigment with beer and the red pigment with wine. And because Sixty-One pairs so well with chocolate, he painted the browns on the label with melted chocolate

Stone R & R Coconut IPA
7.7 % ABV
http://www.stonebrewing.com/collab/rr/
Originally dreamt up by homebrewers Robert Masterson and Ryan Reschan, who earned themselves the top prize in our 2013 American Homebrewers Association homebrewing contest, this innovative beer marks a refreshing sea change for IPA lovers everywhere. It was brewed with 280 pounds of coconut and an unusual blend of hop varieties, including a few from faraway lands or just brand spankin’ new, and is guaranteed to taste like no IPA that’s gone before. Prepare yourself for a tropical breeze of a brew that will lull you to a place of tranquil contentment for a little R & R.

Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock
Style: Doppelbock Lager
ABV: 8.5%
Available: Year Round
Hopped with German and Czech hops and fermented with Bavarian lager yeast, this traditional doppelbock blends an extensive amount of select dark malts to achieve its rich and creamy character. Rich and filling, this brew is a malt lovers dream.
Ingredients
◦Malts: Bohemian Pilsner, Munich, Vienna, Caramel Munich, Carafoam, Chocolate, Roasted Barley
◦Hops: German Select, Czech Saaz
Stone Enjoy BY IPA …9/13/13
9.4% ABV
You have in your hands a devastatingly fresh double IPA. While freshness is a key component of many beers- especially big, citrusy, floral IPAs- we’ve taken it further, a lot further, in this IPA. You see, we specifically brewed it NOT to last. We’ve not only gone to extensive lengths to ensure that you’re getting this beer in your hands within an extraordinarily short window, we made sure that the Enjoy By date isn’t randomly etched in tiny text somewhere on the bottle, to be overlooked by all but the most attentive of retailers and beer fans. Instead, we’ve sent a clear message with the name of the beer itself that there is no better time than right now to enjoy this IPA.

Allagash White
Our interpretation of a traditional Belgian wheat beer. Brewed with a generous portion of wheat and spiced with coriander and Curacao orange peel, this beer is fruity, refreshing and slightly cloudy in appearance.
Description: Belgian Style Wheat
ABV: 5.0%
Profile: Light, Crisp, Fruity, Spicy
Serving Temperature: 38°-50°F

Backeast Brewing Bachtoberfest
Back East Brewery and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra are releasing Bachtoberfest, an Oktoberfest-style seasonal beer produced by Back East Brewery. Beginning the week of August 26th, Bachtoberfest will be available on tap at many great restaurants throughout the Greater Hartford and New Haven markets, including several restaurants in downtown Hartford
Bachtoberfest also will be available for purchase at the Hartford Symphony’s 70th Anniversary Opening Night performances at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts October 11 and 12. Beginning August 28th, Bachtoberfest will be available for purchase in half-gallon growlers in the tasting room at Back East Brewery in Bloomfield, CT. Back East will be donating a portion of the proceeds from each growler sold to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in support of their artistic, educational, and community programs.
Back East Brewery Co-Founder Tony Karlowicz says, “It is an integral part of our mission as a local brewery to support this vibrant community. The Hartford Symphony’s 70 year dedication to the arts speaks for itself and we are thrilled to partner with them for this special edition beer.
Back East Brewing Company is a small, craft brewery located in Bloomfield, CT. Founded by cousins Tony Karlowicz and Edward Fabrycki, Jr., Back East opened in July 2012 and is now distributed on draft and in cans throughout Greater Hartford and New Haven. For more information on Back East Brewery, please visit www.backeastbrewing.com
Marking its 70th Anniversary Season in 2013–2014, The Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is Connecticut’s premier musical organization. The Hartford Symphony is the second largest orchestra in New England and is widely recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. Under the musical direction of Carolyn Kuan, the HSO presents more than 100 concerts to over 120,000 people each year. For more information on the HSO, please visit www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Max Burger WH Brewery of the Month: Sixpoint Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

Sixpoint-BreweryThere are few people who would not agree that the beers from Sixpoint Brewery, located in Brooklyn, are some of the tastiest craft brews being made on the East Coast these days.

Originally founded in 2004, by two college room-mates, Sixpoint has only been distributing its brews outside the local area for a few years now, and canning product only since 2011.  But, the styles and quality they have developed in that short period of time has put them on the map with top line brewers in the US.

This month (August), Sixpoint Brewery is the featured brewery of the month at Max Burger West Hartford.  All month long you will find at least one if not multiple beers on tap from Sixpoint.  Plus, on the 17th, the guys from Sixpoint have promised us a special cask that will be tapped just at Max Burger and when its gone, its gone.

One of the things that makes Sixpoint so interesting is that they make a lot of beer; not just in volume but in selection.  It seems as though they love to experiment and keep things moving.  By building a loyal base of fans with an ever-changing collection of Ales, Sixpoint essentially always has something for everyone available. In fact, one of their series is called the Mad Scientist Series which has a rotating selection of smaller production brews.

Check out the Sixpoint website for the latest news and availability.  

This is one of the things that we love about this brewery, there is always something great coming from them, either seasonally or as part of one of their more limited series and is why we have picked them to feature this month.  Come in to Max Burger West Hartford all month long as see what the latest offering is from Sixpoint.  We are sure you will enjoy it!

Seven Reasons to Visit Max Burger Today – IPA Day

by Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director Max Restaurant Group

Today is IPA Day!  And to celebrate one of the most iconic beer styles, Max Burger in West Hartford is pouring seven IPA styles from seven of our favorite breweries.  On draft until they are gone, we have gotten a selection of local and national products that are recognized for their top quality and individual style.  See the range below, but first a quick history of IPA…

I.P.A. (or India Pale Ale, to your and me) – The Historical Angle

Ales have been produced in England and other regions of Europe for over 600 years, and by the 17th and 18th centuries, several things began to happen to influence the traditional styles of beer being produced.  With more advances toward the industrial revolution machinery and technology began to modify the roasting process, making it larger (more commercially scaled) and the raw resources changes from primarily wood ovens to larger coal or coke fired).  This allowed for greater control of the roasting process and lighter, or paler, malts began to be produced and used for brewing.  This led to paler styles of beer than had previously been made, hence the names Pale Ale was used for these brews.

Also, the British Empire was expanding its boundaries and domains, which now included the far east and India.  Shipping beer to these outposts created a situation where preservation of the products was key.  By using hops in greater and greater quantities, British brewers discovered that they could maintain the stability of the beer over long sea voyages, plus it made the bees taste really good, as well.  The highly hopped pale ales were often designated for shipment to India and so the name India Pale Ales was soon coined and stuck.

Today we know the style to be relatively mild from a malt point, but highly hopped for both aromatics and bittering.  Just about any respectable brewery makes a version (or two or three) of IPA, including the now regularly found Imperial IPA, which usually have an even elevated level of hop.  Enjoyed by many, the IPA has become well known and in high demand, so that we even see single variety hopped beers being produced, almost similar to the single vineyard expression of wines.  Enjoy one of these seven brews on tap today at Max Burger West Hartford…

Gandhi-Bot1 – Gandhi-Bot Double IPA – New England Brewing Company (Woodbridge, CT) – produced with three varieties of American hops, this is a CT State favorite and is usually found in limited release on draft.  We are big fans of beers from NEBCO, and are very pleased to have this in the line-up today.

Victory Hop Devil

 

2 – Hop Devil IPA – Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA) – a big styled IPA utilizing American hop varieties for the robust but balanced style that Victory is known for.  Coming in at 6.7% abv, it is right in the middle of what you can expect from an IPA.

Ballast Sculpin

 

3 – Sculpin IPA – Ballast Point (San Diego, CA) – one of the harder to get beers from this 15+ year old brewery, the Sculpin just arrived and is a bit more Pale than most, but still packs a bit of a punch at 7% abv, just like the tasty fish it is named after.  This is a real treat.

Back east imperial IPA

 

4 – Imperial IPA – Back East Brewing (Bloomfield, CT) – local it is with this top of the line Imperial style from local brewers Tony, Ed and Mike.  The Back East style is out of the premium range and comes in at a hefty 9.5% abv, but maintains a balance and freshness throughout.  Great drinking beer, just need to watch the intake levels (a bit).

Green flash le freak

 

5 – Le Freak IPA – Green Flash Brewing (San Diego, CA) –  obviously a great place for brewing beer, San Diego’s other great brewery is Green Flash.  The Le Freak IPA is an award winning style that merges the Belgian Tripple style with an American Imperial IPA style.  Nearly at the top of the register at 9.2%, it is a beauty of a beer.

 

Sierra Blindfold6 – Blindfold Black IPA – Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, CA) – the classic northern California Pale Ale brewer makes a statement with the Blindfold IPA, a brew that almost doesn’t exist.  Very limited availability on this keg, this is a beer that should be on everyone’s must-try list.

 

six point galaxy7 – Spice of Life Series: Galaxy IPA –  Six Point Brewing (Brooklyn, NY) – this series celebrates the HOP, by brewing and releasing with a single variety each month.  The 2013-2014 releases get kicked off this month with the Galaxy hop from New Zealand and Australia.  Big, fruity expression of hops in this brew.  Quite lush and tasty for the style.  Six point delivers with this one.

Max’s Tavern Pours Tree House Brewing Tornado IPA (LIMITED!!!)

by Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director, Max Restaurant Group

Max’s Tavern is Springfield is turning a new leaf of sorts and will be featuring a very special and limited brew this weekend.  We have one log of the Tree House Brewing Torando IPA, a beer that was born during the June 2011 Springfield tornado (click here to read the brewery’s account of that fateful day).  Tree House Brewing Co. is located off-the-beaten-path in Brimfield, mass, and due to recent zoning issues, may or may not be continuing producing the highly regarded brews they have become known for over the past year.

Brewery description of the Tree House Tornado IPAtree house brewing

“Tornado” – An extremely liberally hopped APA.  Tornado was crafted during the unfortunate events surrounding the June 1st, 2011 Brimfield Tornado.  We created the beer in honor of the circumstances as we experienced them and luckily escaped the path by 1/2 mile.  Tornado is loaded with notes of pine, tropical fruit, and citrus.  At 5.6% alcohol, it’s super refreshing.

We are very fortunate to have secured one of the handful of remaining kegs and will be tapping it at 5 pm on Saturday, July 20.  Typically there are only about 45 pours from a log, so when the beer is gone, its gone, maybe forever, but not forgotten…much like the tornado it is named for.

Join us at Max’s Tavern in Springfield at the Basketball Hall of Fame to get a taste of this special brew.  Call 413-746-6299 for additional details.

Drink of the Week at Max’s Tavern: Moonshine Mojito

By Brian Mitchell, Corporate Beverage Director Max Restaurant Group

Moonshine mojito (summer 2013)

Max’s Tavern in Springfield, Massachusetts, has been working very hard to bring some really creative and tasty cocktails to their menus.  This summer we have a great lineup of cocktails to offer guests, and the response from those trying the drinks is absolutely fabulous; everyone is happy and thrilled with the selection.

One drink in particular seems to be doing very well – the Moonshine Mojito.  This drink was created and placed on the summer menu to take advantage of some great product coming out of a local distiller, Bully Boy Distillers from Boston.  We use their White Whiskey as the base and hit it some fresh mint and lime juice, juts like a classic mojito recipe.

bully-boy-white-whiskey

 

Refreshing and smooth is the best way to describe it, with no heavy “whiskey” fl
Come on down to Max’s Tavern (at the Basketball Hall of Fame) and try another great Max Cocktail.avors, this beverage is delicate and very drinkable, especially during the summer heat-waves.

Cheers!

Max Burger WH Brewery of the Month: Hooker (Bloomfield, CT)

Max Burger CircleEach month Max Burger of West Hartford selects a brewery to feature and showcase special beers and drink nights around.  For the month of July, the select Brewery of the Month is Thomas Hooker Brewery of Bloomfield, CT.  The Max Restaurant Group has a close working relationship with the Hooker staff as they brew the Brewtus Maximus American Pale Ale, which is the house beer at the Max Group and the Pale Ale selection in the Hooker beer line-up.

hooker logoAside from Brewtus Maximus, Thomas Hooker beers will be on feature all month.  Plus, there will be a special evening on Wednesday July 17, featuring small batch variations on some of Hooker’s regular beers, including a Rauch style Helles.  The guys from Hooker came over to Max Burger last week and smoked some malts in the smoker at the restaurant.  They have used this custom smoked malt as an ingredient in this very limited production version of the Munich Helles Rauch Bier, which is a “lighter” style smoked lager beer perfect for summer and smoked/grilled meats.

Here is how the brewery describes the beer – Munich dark, pilsen and vienna malts blended with special grains smoked right on site at Max Burger. This light style lager has a smokey flavor with a bready finish. This sessionable lager is sure to please a variety of palates.  ABV 5%

The concept for this style and the quality of the Hooker products can be attributed to the two brewers at the company.  These are two young but experienced brewers that have recently joined forces at Hooker and are making huge strides in quality and taste improvements.  They have a smaller brew system for making variations on their regular line plus some test batches.  The future is bright for Thomas Hooker Brewery and their brewmaster, Stephen Andrews, and his assistant Sean Piels (see their bio’s below).

SpinsterAnother Hooker beer that you will find on draft throughout the month at Max Burger is the Hooker Spinster XPA – the Spinster name comes from the fact that this is a single hop varietal Ale, hence the Spinster…Single…get it?  Tasty though, not mean and nasty.

Here is what they says about this one…

Dry Hopped Spinster XPA (cask conditioned)- We took our newest creation, the Spinster XPA, and dry hopped with Mosaic and Citra hops. The unfiltered XPA’s citrus aroma from late addition Summit hops blends with the Mosaic’s mango and lemon notes as well as the Citra’s tropical tones. ABV 4.8%

Meet the Brewers…

Stephen Andrews – Head Brewer

A graduate of Chicago’s World Brewing Academy International Diploma in Brewing Technology Program at Siebel Institute of Technology and Doemen’s Academy in Munich, Germany, Stephen also has a degree from the London based Institute of Brewing and Distilling. While studying and training as a brewer, Stephen’s travels have brought him to Bavaria, Austria, Belgium, England and an expansive tour of Germany. During his time in Germany, he trained in authentic German styles using a 7 barrel Steinecker brewing system. Back in the states, this Simsbury local joined the Thomas Hooker team in early 2011, where he has brought a wealth of creativity and brewing knowledge.

Sean Piel – Brewer

A graduate of Brewlab School of British Brewing Technology, Sean first found his passion for beer home brewing with his father at a young age. After attending Brewlab, Sean traveled to Belgium, Scotland and Ireland. Sean ended up spending time living in England and Germany to learn about different breweries, techniques of brewing and different beers. He rounded out his stay in Europe with a year long internship at Stoettner Brewing Company in Pfaffenburg, Germany. Upon his return to his native Connecticut, Sean came on board as a brewer at Thomas Hooker Brewing Company in the end of 2012.