As you may have noticed, I'm not Steve Greenlee. Steve has gone on to a better place (Maine), but his blog lives, and he's kindly asked me to take over as he departs for a new job. Before I start, let me say how grateful I am that Steve started a beer blog on Boston.com. Long before I had visions of writing for 99 Bottles, I was a fan of it. Steve has brought intelligent beer writing to this space and to the pages of the Globe, and I hope to write about beer in as lively and informed a manner as he did.
The plan won't be to replicate exactly what Steve did for 99 Bottles. There will be reviews of beers and bars and postings of beer events around the region, but I hope to introduce several new features that I'll be asking for your feedback on. The goal will be to keep the blog local, though notable beers from other places will need to be discussed. Knowing that the palettes and the beer knowledge of readers varies, there will be a good mix of stuff for beer geeks and beer novices alike.
A little about myself, and then we'll get to the beer, which is really the point. I've covered the Celtics and updated the sports pages of Boston.com since 2005. I've written about beer for Beer Advocate magazine. I live in South Boston, an up-and-coming beer destination I'll talk more about soon.
One of my bosses asked me last week what my qualifications were for writing about beer. I thought about it for a second but couldn't think of something better to say than, "I've tried a lot of it", which wasn't a very good thing to say to my boss at all. So I left it alone. My hope is that readers will see my passion for craft beer in the weeks and months ahead.
My journey into craft beer started in bits and pieces. I was lucky enough to go to college in the great state of Maine, though at first I didn't realize the privilege as it related to beer. Like it is for many college students, price was a factor in determining my beer choices. But on one of many trips into Portland, I paired a burrito from Granny's in the Old Port with an Allagash Dubbel. The sweet, toasty flavors of the beer contrasted with the spice of the food. I was intrigued.
The Flatbread Company down the street served Atlantic Brewing's Coal Porter, a beer whose smoky flavor meshed with the flavor of the restaurant's wood-fired pizza. When I had the chance to stay and work a month in Bar Harbor, home of Atlantic Brewing, I made a trip to the brewery by myself while a biology project I was involved with was incubating. At the brewery I tried a sample of Brother Adam's Bragget Ale (a braggot/barleywine) and knew I needed to have more. I spent my final day in Bar Harbor scouring store shelves for the beer because the brewery was closed. I found a bottle to take home, and I've been on a quest for good beer ever since.
There's nothing left to do but get started. My first review, of Deviant Dales Pale Ale, looks at one of my current favorite IPAs. I'll post that this afternoon. More beer posts are coming in the days ahead. E-mail me (email@example.com) and start a conversation. Follow me on Twitter. Cheers.