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: NYC Musts Old & New

An old adage usually goes something like, “Being around family should last the extent of fish in the fridge; 2-3 days max.” Alas, call me crazy, but time always seems too short when visiting my family; even after a week!

Fortunately in our maturity and growth, as both a family and individuals, we’ve developed quite the rhythm. Unfortunately, in spending time with them (and The City being so overwhelmingly full of exciting people to see and things to do) I have to be diligent in my “Must Visit” list.

Here are a few, yes a FEW, of my personal “NYC Musts,” God willing, weather pending.

1) Union Square Greenmarket:

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I grew up going to this farmer’s market as a kid. I distinctly remember being pushed around in a stroller, excited at the prospect of petting goats straight from the farm, where my parents went to get goat milk before it was trendy. (Such visionaries those two!) There were apples to snack on, fresh cider to sip, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a ‘sausage stick,’ while taking in the sites and sounds of farm fresh goodness abound.

To this day, if I’m in town on a Monday, Wednesday or obvious Saturday- the Union Square Greenmarket is a must. I grab a $2 bag of salted pretzels from Martin’s Pretzels and at least a 1/2 quart of apple cider from Breezy Hill Orchard. Oh, and in the winter, I never opt for cider donuts, but always pair their hot mulled cider with a molasses cookie. I don’t know how they do it, but they are always chewy no matter the time of day you purchase them!!! I grab my snacks and wander through the farm fresh goodness abound, like a kid in a farmer’s market.

2) East Village Cheese:

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$1 Brie. There. I said it. If you’ve read my blogs at all, you know, I’m into Frugality without compromise of enjoyment in any form. Even loving many of the finer things in life, I still cry; “With God as My Witness, I shall never go hungry again,” and East Village Cheese answers my cries and cravings without a huge dent in my wallet. Brie, Carr’s crackers, Prosciutto, and oh so much more are found hidden inside this hole in the wall establishment. Specials of the day are strewn across the storefront with signs on 8×11 pieces of paper with colored markers. I always try to shop here during the day on weekdays when it’s least crowded. However, if you do decide to stop in, ‘post Farmer’s Market on a Saturday,’ come with time, and much patience, to this unique gem.

3) L.A Burdick:

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I’m lucky enough to have this establishment not once, but twice in Boston (Harvard Square & Copley Square). However, I come to the Flat Iron, NYC location for my Dark Chocolate Grey Goose Martini. Are you kidding me? I mean seriously! The first time I had it, I fell in love. The way it coated my mouth and soothed my soul in a chocolate haven. The bustle of a tiny little European style cafe, was the perfect atmosphere to be lost in NYC, yet found inside that perfectly shaped V of a glass. Slowly sipping to The Point, enjoying the fresh chocolate shavings, that lasted until the decadent finale. Mon dieu, I can face anything after that. Even a long ride back to Boston. 🙂

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

XO

*DivAmber

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