Lately I’ve been out and about with friends and someone always asks, “How did you meet X?” and the inevitable answer is “the internet!” especially in the beer community.
A couple of months before I even step foot in Urban Grape, I connected with Hadley, one of the owners on Twitter. Partially for my work with High & Mighty, mostly for our obsession with the Real Housewives. We hit it off and I over the moon excited for their announcement of a store opening in the South End. Granted, I don’t live far from Chestnut Hill but a girl can never have too many options. I attended their anniversary party last summer, saw plans for the new store, and I met Ben Bouton, their beer manager. (Gentlemen take note, Ben proposed to his fiance at the Samuel Adams Brewery!) Ben’s excitement for beer is contagious, which makes the launch of Urban Hops that much more exciting. We connected with him on the 5 beers he’s most excited to have in the shop and at the tasting this Sunday, 2pm – 5pm at BOTH locations.
Brasserie St. Feuillien Saison- It’s true, the famous St. Feuillien is now in cans!! Absolutely perfect for your trip to the beach or the lake this summer. Established in 1873, St. Feuillien has become one of Belgium’s most well known and respected breweries. This slightly tangy, earthy saison is considered a ‘terroir driven beer’, its spicy notes evoking the beautiful farmland of Belgium from which it was inspired. Crisp and refreshing, St. Feuillien’s Saison (in cans!) is sure to be a summer favorite for all!Brauerei Plank Pilserl- Currently under the direction of the 16th generation Michael Plank (brewery was established in 1617!), this German pilsner is an absolute benchmark of the style. This beer captures the essence of German noble hops with a balanced spiciness to go along with the traditional pilsner malt. This beer doesn’t need to be showy, it is absolute perfection in a bottle!
Stillwater Artisanal ‘Cellar Door’- Coming from Baltimore, MD, this elegant American Farmhouse Ale is perfect for sipping outside on the porch. The hops lend herbal and citrus notes to the nose and palate. The ale is finished with white sage, which brings an earthy spice to the beer. Featuring Stillwater Artisanal’s house saison yeast, this beer is dry and refreshing on the hottest of days.
Prairie Artisan Ales ‘Prairie Ale’ Saison- Out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, relative newcomer to the craft beer scene, Prairie Artisan Ales, got their break through Kickstart! This saison features a blend of both ale and wine yeasts, with some brettanomyces added in for its drying qualities. Both spicy and fruity, this beautifully crafted (and labeled) farmhouse style ale will keep you hydrated and happy!
Binding-Brauerei Schofferhofer- Total guilty pleasure beer! Weighing in at a modest 2.5% ABV, Schofferhofer is a blend of German hefeweizen and grapefruit juice! An homage to traditional German ‘Radler’ (a mix of hefeweizen and lemonade), this beer lends the bitterness of the grapefruit, and refreshing quality of a hefeweizen. I know I’ll be throwing these back all summer!
Unlike wine at the Urban Grape, beers will be organized by region. From a beer that is aged with raspberries in
Sauterne barrels, to the latest release by well-known local craft brewers, Urban Hops hopes to strike a balance
between the more extreme and everyday beer offerings. Education is always at the forefront within the store, and
Urban Hops will be no different by hosting monthly tastings with brewers and events.
“People have realized that beer is not what it was twenty years ago, and their idea of what makes a great beer is
expanding,” explains Beer Manager Ben Bouton. “And like a lot of great wine that we feature at the Urban Grape,
much of this beer is not prohibitively expensive. One of the most sought after craft beers in the world is only $6 a
bottle.” Ben has completed the first level of the Cicerone Certification Program, which provides credentials to
people who work with beer, providing proven expertise in the selection, acquisition, and serving.
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