Elevated Living: “Things Are Looking Up” for Berkshire Brewing Co.

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Things Are Looking Up!

“Things are looking up!” is an understatement for Berkshire Brewing Company, who will be celebrating 20 years this September. On February 1st 1994 Chris Lalli and Gary Bogoff broke ground and began renovation on an old cigar factory in Deerfield, MA; transforming it into what would be a, “cutting edge microbrewery.” Eventually, with on site expansion and distribution reaching beyond Massachusetts to much of New England, BBC graduated from microbrewery to regional brewery status. Known for their flagship, Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, BBC now brews nine flavors year-round, as well as seven seasonal ales and lagers. Regardless of expansion, they stay true to their local roots, home brew ingenuity, and continue to be an avid supporter of local farmers and partners in Deerfield, MA and beyond.

Berkshire Brewing Company uses locally grown hops among other supplies in their unfiltered, unpasteurized beer; which also contains no chemical additives or preservatives.

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Local hops

In addition, they continue to, “support local,” by providing already processed grain for animal feed to farmers, where it would otherwise be thrown away. Furthermore, there are even select collaborations such as the Berkshire Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale. The infamous blend, using four Bourbon Barrels hand selected by Julio’s Liquor Store staff in Westborough, MA, brewed exclusively for Julio’s Liquor Store.

Their openness to ideas and collaborations is something they’ll be bringing to Hyper-Local Brewfest 2014 with two very distinct flavors.  Dean’s Beans Coffee House Porter is made with organic coffee extract from Dean’s Beans in New Salem, MA. Dean Cycon, CEO, travels the world to find and produce coffees that are organic, fair trade, and kosher. Using the cold press process for this extract, there are five gallons of coffee extract for every 250 gallons of porter. (This would make for a great adult ice cream float; or a wonderful marinade for some ribs!)

Speaking of food, BBC will also be delighting with their Raspberry Barley Wine Style Ale, formerly known as “Raspberry Strong Ale.” Continuing in the ‘strong style,’ packing a punch of 9% ABV, this ale changes a bit each year, varying upon the produce of season. Using locally grown raspberries from Deerfield, MA, purchased and frozen when ripe, until thawed for brewing in January. Spending about two-and-a-half to three weeks in the fermenter, they use one pound of raspberries per pound of beer. Perfectly complemented by the malt barley, it’s a subtle hint of summer in your bottle.

A celebratory year, it’s apparent the, “No Hype- Just Good Beer,” motto translates to the employees and a typical day at the brewery. “We get up every morning, with a passion to make good beer. We’re an honest company, precise to historical styles and processes; where quality and customer service come first.”

What makes it all happen!

Where the magic happens!

This rings true to the founders quote, “It’s all about the beer, but the beer is nothing without the people.” Cheers to 20 years- and many more- of taking these local ideas to a whole other level; in our bottles and beyond.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate Your Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

Elevated Living: Frugal? Yes. Cheap? Never

As a frequent traveler between Brooklyn, NYC where I was born and raised, and Boston, MA my current home, (#YankeesForever) I have tried many a routes, services and options to connect the two as a passenger. As a college student, and even in my post collegiate days, I was always scouring for the fastest and cheapest availability; which was usually never a match. The most popular, affordable, and being in Brooklyn convenient of these options, was “The Chinatown Bus.” Cheap may be an option, but after a bus full of infested cockroaches falling from the air conditioning units I soon realized it was not the only option.

The fundamental aspect to understand whether one is being Frugal and when one is being Cheap, no matter how broke you are, is knowing your worth. Are there other extenuating circumstances? Always. Does Whole Foods accept EBT? I believe not. My opinion clearly stems from the availability of being fortunate enough to: Have Options.

On my latest trip home, being now, wherein which I write from an Amtrak whizzing 20 minutes south of Providence, RI, I am enjoying a Brooklyn Beer Summer Ale, homemade popcorn and two seats to myself. I was proactive enough to provide my own Adult Bevy (it is Happy Hour y’all) and snacks thus saving some funds. Always traveling with my trusty water bottle (I hate paying for water when I can bottle at home!) I opted to splurge on a sandwich for the road.

Many think of “Amtrak” and believe they can’t afford it. Instead, because I booked two weeks in advance, I was able to score a $49 OW (one way) fair. Greyhound/ Peter Pan is known to charge as much as $40 OW for an even longer bus ride. Also, signing up for Amtrak’s Frequent Traveler Miles program (Free) I earn miles towards trips.*

This is something I think that comes up a lot, with my peers, friends, and even family. We believe so many things to be unattainable, instead of spending time figuring out how they can be attainable. We think we lack worth in the form of being able to afford something, instead of taking the time to be proactive, persistent, and patience in planning our course of action. I’m sitting in a seat for $130+ easy, yet I have two for $49. People on this train are paying $6 for Coors Light (Bless your heart) and I’m chilling with Real Beer; if that helps to further my point.

Which, in summary is this:

You make your own decisions.

Make sure they are in your best interest, serving your best worth.

These are the only ways to Elevate Your Everyday.

Oh and that bus I no longer ride has this on their website: “Suspending all buses service to compliances a requested by US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for inspections and repair services.” Yeah. About that. So cheers for now, I have a beer to drink and a view to enjoy.

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate The Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber

Facebook: Elevated Living   Twitter: @DivAmber   Instagram: @DivAmber

*Create an email account for any and all “Frequent” travel, dining, whatever cards- AS LONG AS THEY ARE FREE! So many gifts out there waiting to be claimed by just being “A Member”

Elevated Living: $1 Oyster Crawl

“Why then the worlds mine oyster, which I

with sword will open”- William Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor Act 2, scene 2, 2–5

Fortunately for you, no swords necessary. These three joints have shucked all your oysters for you. Now, if that wasn’t enough to draw you in, and the beverages amazing enough to keep you, oysters are all only $1. Yes, you read correctly. $1. Three different establishments and atmospheres, all within walking distance of each other with one common goal: bivalves for a buck. Go forth and enjoy, the world is your oyster.

Legal Seafoods, a chain known throughout Boston and beyond has a special called “6 before 6.” This means you can purchase $1 oysters 6 at a time anytime before 6pm. It’s not exactly advertised and I recommend calling ahead of time to make sure the Legal’s near you participates. Legal Seafoods is a corporate style restaurant and very by the book more often than not. They have a great wine selection with comprable prices considering most alcohol mark-ups are where restaurants make their money. Their oyster selection is also very pleasing. I believe we had 6 different oysters to choose from ranging from Naked Cowboy (New York), Kumamoto (native to Japan) and many from MA. Enjoy at the bar, or in addition to a meal at your table. Service obviously varies, and some servers/bartenders are more knowledgeable than others. So just ask for your receipt and they usually place the oysters in order they’re listed. Some locations also use popsicles with the names of the oysters written on them. So helpful! Especially after a few rounds… Of oysters I mean 🙂

Marliave, is a place I like to call home away from home every time I go. You walk in and something along the lines of Billie Holiday is probably playing, and the service is outstanding. The third oldest restaurant in Boston, it promotes it’s history without being pompous. Though with the food, cocktails, and service provided, they could be pompous if they wanted to. Marliave serves $1 oysters twice a day, everyday: 4pm-6pm and again 9pm-10pm. I had the pleasure of introducing my mom and my friends to one of my favorite beers, Delirium Tremens. A great belgium beer, a perfect compliment to the oysters.  Though if you’re feigning a cocktail try the Tres Curieux. The staff is knowledgable on everything from food and drink, to oysters and pairings. Alas, if they don’t know- they know to ask, and will find out for you. Again, here at Marliave, the oysters range from around the nation, and beyond, and change daily. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying their French cuisine just yet, but from being associated with Grotto and the newly opened Kitchen on Tremont St., I’m sure it’s nothing short of delectable.

McCormick & Schmick’s is another corporate chain around the nation with a two spots in Boston, MA. Serving $1 oysters only on Tuesdays, McCormick & Schmick’s start serving oysters when they open at 11:30 am, and continue until they run out. Drawing quite a crowd M&S is a known tourist attraction, but many who dine (local and foreign alike) are unaware it’s a $1 destination. M&S serves one kind of oyster for the duration of the special, which pleases some and not others. What pleases all though, is the show performed, as the oysters are shucked in plain sight at one end of the bar. Truly a sight for all to see, their oysters shucked to order. With plenty of cocktails to choose from, there’s also the idea of a white wine flight if you’re feeling fancy.

I chose to end our $1 oyster crawl at McCormick & Schmick’s on purpose. In addition to their $1 oyster special McCormick & Schmick’s run a “Happy Hour Menu” twice a night including a $3.95 half pound burger and an order of wings for $4.95 seen here: Happy Hour Menu This way, if our bellies were requiring more than oysters, we only had to “belly up” to the bar 🙂

  • Boston Legal Seafoods: Long Wharf: 255 State Street Boston, MA 02109 (617)-742-5300 (3pm-6pm)
  • Marliave: 10 Bosworth St. Boston, MA 02108 (617)-422-0004 (4pm-6pm) & (9pm-10pm)
  • McCormick & Schmick’s Park Plaza: 34 Columbus Ave Boston, MA 02116

These are only a few spots among the many in Boston serving $1 oysters; including a new favorite: Barracuda Tavern. Barracuda Tavern serves Blue Point oysters for $.75! All day. Everyday. How’s that for Elation? ‘Get Hooked’ will ya?!

Until then, keep finding ways to “Elevate The Everyday”

XO

*DivAmber