1. Original Gravity -- once described as "a classical music nerd’s slightly tipsy wet dream" -- is excited to announce the program for its third season of unique music experiences.

    Each show pairs local musical composition talent with specially-crafted artisanal beers -- the brewers will listen to the music of the composer(s) and craft a unique, never-before-released beer to be enjoyed at the event, for a special synaesthetic experience engaging taste and sound. This season will include four concerts held at a variety of locations, at both familiar, stalwart breweries as well as some fresh new faces.

    Here are some highlights from the upcoming 3rd season:

    * Musical Robots (June 17, 2016): A battleground where man's creativity struggles against our

    * Soliloquy (Fall 2016): An intimate evening of instrumental solos featuring the music of Felipe

    * Illumination (Winter 2016/17): A curated show of contemporary works by local composers at the all-new Lamplighter Brewing Co. in Cambridge.

    * Paula Matthusen (Spring 2017): Matthusen's works consider discrepancies in musical space – real, imagined, and remembered – in the re-imagined taproom of Idle Hands Craft Ales in Malden.

    Original Gravity is also planning a special 2016 satellite event on August 11 at Rising Tide Brewing

    About Original Gravity
    Curated by local pianist and composer Keith Kirchoff, Original Gravity Concert Series takes modern classical music out of the concert hall and presents it in an informal, fun environment: a brewery. Committed to the music of New England composers, the Original Gravity crew collaborates with the host brewers to design a beer specifically in tune with the artist’s work, creating a blended synchronicity of sound and zymurgy.

    Keith Kirchoff (Artistic Director) is a pianist, composer, and Vice President of the Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS). Specializing in works which combine interactive electronics with solo piano, his Electro-Acoustic Piano tour has been presented in six countries. Keith is also an accomplished homebrewer and beer connoisseur, having travelled extensively in the United States and abroad in search of the perfect pint.

    machines' extensibility, held at Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, where historical procedures and local yeast meet novel ingredients. A new beer release will be accompanied by the music and machinery of Scott Barton, Dan Tramte, Dan VanHassel and our call-for-scores winner David Ibbett.
    Company in Portland, Maine, featuring Transient Canvas and Dan VanHassel playing the works of New England composers.
    Lara, Brian Sears and our call-for-scores winner Eun Young Lee at Bone Up Brewery, Everett's newest taproom.
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  2. There is no doubt that while on vacation you want to drink great beer and eat great food! No one wants their taste buds, to be on vacation while on vacation. Cape Cod, MA and the islands are becoming more then a beach destination now; it is also becoming a craft beer destination. No longer do you have to pack the car with several 30 racks of macro beers or pack the car with your favorite craft beers. The Cape and Islands are becoming more and more of an area where you can find craft beer at stores and now the area has a handful of great breweries. You can find pretty much every single major craft beer brand on the Cape and islands. Obviously some stores are better than others when it comes to the craft beer selection but there is no doubt a good store in the area where you are staying. This post is going to help you find the craft beer/breweries in the area.

    Cape Cod’s oldest brewery is Cape Cod Brewery which is located in Hyannis, MA. I have visited Cape Cod brewery twice over the last 6 years (the first time just a few hours before I proposed to my wife). You can take a tour and sample the beers at the brewery and the gift shop is also a home brew store. I have always enjoyed their selection of brews. Most bars and liquor stores on the Cape will carry Cape Cod Bee, so if you don’t get a chance to visit the brewery you will most definitely be able to find it while on vacation on the Cape.

    The next brewery on the Cape that you can visit is Devils Purse Brewing Company located in Yarmouth. My family has a condo in the area so luckily for me I have had the opportunity to visit
    Devils Purse at least 4 times in the last year. At Devils Purse you can sample up to 4 beers and get crowlers (32 oz. beer cans) and full or half growler fills. I haven't had a bad beer from Devils Purse. You can find Devils Purse all over the Cape and I have started to see it in stores in the Boston area.

    The Capes third beer company is Naukabout Brewing Company. Since they are a contract company you will not find a tap room and/or brewery to visit. However, you can find all three of Naukabout beers all over the Cape. All three of the beers are really delicious and the owners are real nice guys.

    There are two new breweries that are in the planning/construction phases. One will be Barnstable Brewing which will start out located in Hyannis on Main Street. They are working on some logistics that will hopefully be resolved early summer so they can open soon. The next brewery is Hog Island Beer which is located in Orleans. Their jailhouse tavern will be opening in early June 2016 and this will be Cape Cod’s third working brewery.

    If you are just passing through the Cape and jumping on a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket you are in luck. Between the two islands you have three breweries to choose from.

    On Martha's Vineyard you have two breweries to visit. The first is Offshore Ale Co. which is a brewpub located in Oak Bluffs, MA. The food and beer here were tasty.

    The second is Bad Martha Brewery and Tap Room which is located in Edgartown on the island of
    Martha's Vineyard. I have not had the opportunity to visit there yet but hope to soon.

    Nantucket also had its own brewery which is Cisco Brewers brewery. The brewery had shuttles from downtown to the brewery every half hour which was very convenient. The brewery is also home to a winery and distillery. The brewery is great because you can go on tours, sample beer and listen to some music. The brewery has stage acts that come in and sing all of the time. A must visit if you visit Nantucket.
    As you can see you have several options for local craft beer when you visit Cape Cod. I know personally this has been an exciting few years as more and more craft breweries are opening up in the Cape!
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  3. NH Capitol FINALLY gets a craft brewery

    Concord will be home to New Hampshire's newest craft brewery, Lithermans Limited, who are opening their doors for the first time on Friday, April 8th at 4:00pm.  Founders Steve Bradbury Jr. and Michael Hauptly-Pierce (MHP) have been in development-mode since 2013, and moved into their Concord location at 126 B Hall St in October 2015.  Says co-owner Steve, "With the efforts the city has put into revitalization, we knew it was the right place to build our business. What is a cool town without a brewery?" 

    "People have begun to incorporate buying fresh, local beer into their purchasing habits," says co-owner MHP, "and we want to fill that niche for the greater Concord area."   Offering musical spins on classical styles, the brewery will offer 5 beers at their launch, including 'Self-Titled' pale ale and 'Bowwow Yippie Yo IPA'.  Beers will be available for tasting and growler fills on-premise at the brewery Fridays 4-7 and Saturdays 12-5, and at finer craft beer stores and grocery stores starting mid-April.  

    The tasting room is focused on creating a comfortable and unique experience for guests.  The musical theme is tastefully present without being overwhelming, from old 45s lacquered into barstools to photos of Steve and Michael with musicians to framed copies of the first albums they released.

    "We are putting a lot of attention toward quality, but we also see opportunities in other aspects of running a brewery," says MHP.  "Many breweries have great liquid, but struggle getting it to market.  Others have great branding but unimpressive products. With 20 years of brewing experience, and over 25 years of wholesale account management and marketing, we have some added skill sets often lacking in start-up nanos."  "Plus," adds Steve, "we have an amazing brand master, Steve Lee of SteveLee Design, in our corner.  Our graphics and visual identity are unforgettable."

    The name Lithermans Limited is a play on the archaic phrase 'Litherman's load'.  "The modern analogue is returning from the grocery store with a car full of groceries, and attempting to carry it all in one trip," remarks co-owner Steve.  "You fumble with the keys and the door, the bags rip... You end up expending more effort than if you have broken it up into several sensible loads. THAT is a Litherman's load."


    Lithermans Limited Brewery.  How much can YOU carry?

    More information on Lithermans Limited can be found on Facebook, www.Lithermans.beer or at the brewery at 126 B Hall St Concord NH
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  4. Dave Richardson is living his dream. He is the owner of Worcester’s newest craft brewery Flying Dreams Brewing Company. Brewing professionally is nothing new to Richardson as he has been brewing professionally for the past 13 years. Prior to opening Flying Dreams Brewing Company Dave was part owner of Gardner Ale House. After having a 22oz bottle of one of Flying Dreams Brewing Company beers I wanted to learn more about the brewery and the man behind it. Several weeks ago I was able to sit down with Dave Richardson at Flying Dreams Brewing, sample some brews, talk about Flying Dreams Brewing Company, the craft beer industry, and Seinfeld.

    Dave how did you get into the beer business?
    I have been in the beer business for about 13 years. I attended UC Davis and obtained my master degree in Brewing Science and engineering in 2003. After college I got my first job at Redhook in Portsmouth in 2003 and stayed at Redhook for 3 years. In the spring of 2006 my former business partner Rick and I started the Gardner Ale House in Gardner, MA. Gardner Ale House was a brew pub, we didn’t distribute, we didn’t bottle, and we didn’t keg it we just served it at the brew pub. I got a lot of brewing experience at Gardner Ale House. I got to brew a lot of different recipes and I got a lot of experience in brewing and recipes development but not really that much exposure to the broader market. We were making great beer at Gardner Ale House but not many people had heard of us and my name wasn’t synonymous with brewing great beer. I felt I was ready to take that next adventure to bring the beer that I was already making to the broader market. The Gardner Ale House is a great place and I didn’t leave it for bad reason, I just felt it was time to move on.  In May 2015 I left Gardner Ale House to open Flying Dreams Brewing Company and we have been open for 4 months.

    Dave you are a self-proclaimed “beerologist”.  Can you tell us more about this?
    Those aren’t my exact words, someone else wrote that for me. I just have a lot of experience drinking and creating beer. I have gone to Europe and tasted beer in different
    countries in Europe. I have been across the United States tasting beer. I am always trying new beers I haven’t heard of before. Every beer that I make I want it to be the best possible beer that I can make. Sometimes I want to make something unique and different and want to blend styles together, like the Nightcrawler India Dark Ale. Other times I want to be more traditional and want to make a pilsner that tastes like you get on a cobblestone street in Prague. If you are a brew master at Budweiser then you are good at just making one or two kinds of beer.

    Flying Dreams Brewing Company is a great name for a brewery. How did you come up with the name?

    It is from a few different things. The first is the most cliché answer which is that it is my dream coming to flight, like my dream taking off. As a child I had a lot of flying dreams. The dreams were very inspiring. When I woke up from a flying dream I had a sense of well-being and confidence and it was a very inspiring. I am also very involved in the disc golf community. I like the sport and I like the people involved with the sport. I wanted something to do with flying disc in the name of the brewery. On the logo has a little disc golf basket hidden in there.



    You brew five main beers. Which of your five beers that you brew is your most popular?

    That is hard as we have only been open for 4 months. I haven’t brewed anything that long to have one popular beer. Dreaming of Summer we will always have on. Nightcrawler was one of the first beers that we brewed when we opened in the winter and it was always supposed to be a fall/ winter seasonal beer. It was really popular but we will be phasing it out soon for its spring counterpart and then its summer counterpart. Green Dreams seems to be popular and I can see that being another year round beer. Our double IPA Belzacca is super popular but it’s a double IPA series. It’s hard to say because this series seems very popular but we have only made this one so far. The second one is just as good, but it has a different hop combinations and it has a different name. For now I am telling people I am going to make a different double IPA each time.

    Where can people find Flying Dreams Brewing Company beers?
    We are just starting to spread out, but we are available on tap at about 30 locations around Worcester and metro Boston. We are also available at 30 liquor stores around the state.

    Canning has become popular in the beer industry. Do you have any plans to can Flying Dreams Brewing Company beers?

    I don’t have the room to do cans at this time, but I would absolutely like to do cans. My original business plan was based on cans but I had to adjust my business plan based on the space which is why I decided to go with the 22oz bottles. My plan is when we grow bigger and move out of this space we will be able to can the beer and sell it in a 4 pack of 16oz cans.
    If you weren’t an owner of a craft brewery what would you be doing for a job?


    If I wasn’t an owner of my own brewery I would be brewing beer for someone else.

    Dave if you could be a cast member on any TV show in the last 20 years what should would you be on?


    Seinfeld!
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  5. Tonight's review is of Throwback Brewery Donkey-Hote. Throwback Brewery is located in North Hampton , New Hampshire. I picked up Donkey-Hote when I visited the brewery back in late January when I was on the Granite State Growler tour. If you have a chance to visit Throwback Brewery you won't be disappointed. Donkey-Hote is an American Double/Imperial IPA and is 8.2% ABV. Donkey-Hote comes in a 16.9oz bottle.


    Donkey-Hote pours a cloudy amber color with a nice off white head with good retention. The head left a good amount of lazing on the side of the glass. Aroma had a nice hop aroma also had a little citrusy. The taste is bitter, hops and a little citrus. Even at 8.2%ABV Donkey-Hote is a very drinkable beer I like it a lot. If you like IPA's I think you will like this beer as well.
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  6.  
    [Somerville, MA] Original Gravity will finish its second season on Thursday, April 7th at 8pm at Slumbrew, American Fresh Brewhouse, 15 Ward Street, Somerville, MA, with an exceptional program featuring the imaginative and engaging music of local New England composer Kirsten Volness. Kirsten’s music centers around the edges of the natural world and the ethereal, combining and combating to usher forth a transcendent tapestry of sound.
    Bringing this exceptional music of strings and electronics to life will be MA local stars:
    Lilit Hartunian, violin
    Perry Tal, violin
    Sam Kelder, viola
    Steve Marotto, cello

    Slumbrew will prepare an exclusive, never-before-released beer crafted solely for this Original Gravity concert, only available at the show. The creation was inspired by the music of Kirsten Volness—a unique, synaesthetic treat for the audience.

    Tickets to Original Gravity are $15, on sale now. Seating is limited, so we encourage early purchase: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/original-gravity-spring-concert-slumbrew-kirsten-volness-tickets-21787609326

    About Original Gravity
    Curated by local pianist and composer Keith Kirchoff, Original Gravity Concert Series takes modern classical music out of the concert hall and presents it in an informal, fun environment: a brewery. Committed to the music of New England composers, the Original Gravity crew collaborates with the host brewers to design a beer specifically in tune with the artist’s work, creating a blended synchronicity of sound and zymurgy.
    http://www.originalgravitymusic.org

    Keith Kirchoff (Artistic Director) is a pianist, composer, and Vice President of the Society for Electro Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS). Specializing in works which combine interactive electronics with solo piano, his Electro-Acoustic Piano tour has been presented in six countries. Keith is also an accomplished homebrewer and beer connoisseur, having travelled extensively in the United States and abroad in search of the perfect pint.
    Kirsten Volness is a composer, pianist and educator based in Rhode Island. Drawing inspiration from nature, spiritual philosophies, and social and environmental issues, her music draws from a multitude of musical traditions.  She has received commissions from the BMI Foundation, ASCAP/SEAMUS, the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance, and World Future Council Foundation, REDSHIFT Ensemble, and has written for performers such as NOW Ensemble, Colorado Quartet, and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. She collaborates often, as co-director and pianist of Verdant Vibes new music ensemble and concert series, pianist/multi-instrumentalist for new music ensembles Hotel Elefant and Hub New Music. Recent collaborations include Meridian Project, a multimedia performance/lecture series exploring astrophysics and cosmology.


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  7. We are back with the series of “What does it cost to drink at your area sporting events”. I have written twice previously about what it costs to drink beer at MetLife Stadium, home of the New York Giants and New York Jets. At MetLife a domestic macro beer will cost you $10 and premium/craft beer will set you back $12. It is pretty expensive to imbibe while watching a football game.  To continue our series we checked out what it cost to drink at the TD Garden in Boston, home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics.  My buddy Steve asked me several weeks ago if I wanted to go to the Celtics game, so on the night of February 25th we headed to the Celtics verses Bucks game.

    After getting a couple of beers and some food at a bar near the TD Garden it was time to take the couple minute walk to the Garden for the game. Steve knew a side entrance to avoid the lines so we
    were inside looking for beers in what seemed like just a few minutes. Before we got to our seats it was time to find some beer. The first beer stand that we came to was an import beer stand with Heineken, Amstel Light, Dos Equis, Newcastle Brown Ale, and mixed drinks. All I have to say is “wow”.  Each of the beers that I mentioned will cost you $11.75. We passed right by this beer stand and walked further to see if we could find any better beer and as we did I wondered if I would still have money in my pocket by the time the game was over.

    Our next stop was the Sierra Nevada beer stand and I was surprised that a Sierra Nevada beer was listed at $10. How is Sierra Nevada beer cheaper than Heineken, Amstel Light or Dos Equis? Is it more because it doesn’t have to sit on a container ship for that much longer before being put on tap? Before deciding on what beer to buy, we decided to see what other beer we could find.  Our next stop was a 5 feet away to a Harpoon, hard cider and cocktail stand. You have a choice of 4 different Harpoon beers, Harpoon IPA, Harpoon Take 5, Harpoon Long Thaw and Harpoon UFO.  All the Harpoon beers were listed for $11.75 for a large. The strange thing is I never saw a price for a smaller Harpoon beer. Steve and I decided we were both going to each get two Harpoon beers. I got two Take 5 IPA’s and Steve got Harpoon IPA.  After $23.50 for each of us for our two beers we were now off to our seats. We had some great seats about 10 rows from where the Celtics come out. After watching warm ups and the first quarter it was time for more beer so we each bought one more.

    The TD Garden has a nice variety of beer to drink for the craft beer lover and for the macro beer fan.  I was surprised that we didn’t see any beer from Budweiser, Miller and Coors. Maybe I was looking in the wrong location but Steve and I didn’t see one stand that sold any of the products from the big 3. As I am not a fan of the big 3 I might have bought them to save $2-3 a beer.  I think the beer prices are way over priced but I am not hugely surprised where the prices were at. My suggestions to people going to a game and/or event at the TD Garden is drink more outside the Garden at one of the local bars/ restaurants in the area and save your money.
     

    My final score for the TD Garden is 3 out of 5. The positives are that they had a good variety of beer options, wine and mixed drinks. They also had many beer stands where you could get a beer quickly and get back to your seat and watch the action. Also, the lines at the beer stands moved fast. The negatives would be that at some stands you had a list price for a large beer but no price for a small and the servers didn’t even ask you what size beer that you wanted they just gave you the most expensive one. Again, I wonder if they even offer a smaller size? Lastly, is the price for a beer at the TD Garden. You may as well take out a second mortgage to drink here. 
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  8. Tonight on my way home from work I had the opportunity to visit Bent Water Brewing Company located in Lynn Ma. Bent Water Brewing Company is one of the Boston’s areas newest breweries. Bent Water Brewing Company  tap room recently opened last week so I was happy that I was in the area this afternoon to visit the tap room on my way home. The Tap Room is a nice size with a nice long  bar with I thinking 10-14 bar stools to sit at. The Tap Room also had several high top chairs and tables to sit at and a couch. To keep you entertained while you sample your Bent Water Beer you can play shuffleboard table, a packman arcade game and two TVs. You also had huge windows that
    looked into the brewery. The tap room had 8 beers on  that you can sample and two of the beers on tap to sample are exclusive to the tap room. You can sample a couple of beers for free in small tasters glasses. They don’t have samplers at this time but that is not a big deal since it is only the first full week being open. You also buy full pints to drink at the tap room and growlers, and cans to take home. This tap room was really nice I felt I was in a nice bar or lounge scene. Best of all the staff was really friendly and was very knowledgeable about the beer. I picked up a growler and a six pack, I will be back soon.
     
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  9. Zach Poole & Don Littlefield and the rest of the Maine Brew Bus crew have branched out and will be opening Boston Brew Bus this spring in Boston. Zach, Don and the team will be touring the 100 breweries located in Massachusetts. If you want to learn more about Boston Brew Bus check out our interview with Boston/ Maine Brew Bus Co-Owners Zach Poole & Don Littlefield that I did last year http://journeytothebeerstore.blogspot.com/2015/07/jttbs-sits-down-with-zach-poole-don.html  We are looking forward to seeing the Boston Brew Bus driving around the city.
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  10. Recently my brother in-law Chris and I had the opportunity to go on the Granite State Growler Tour. My sister-in-law had given me this fantastic gift for Christmas. I mean what could be a better gift for a beer lover and beer blogger writer. I was beyond excited for this gift…the hardest part was having to wait the 5 weeks to go on this tour!

    The five week was over it was finally January  30th, the day to go on the Granite State Growler Tour! I was waiting at the door for my sister in-law and brother in-law Chris to come pick me up. It felt like 9:30 couldn’t come fast enough.  When they finally arrived I jumped in the car with my iced coffee and we were on our way for a quick trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to start our beer tour journey.  We were the first ones to arrive and when the bus arrived we jumped out of the car and on to the bus. Once everyone who was taking the tour arrived and we met our tour guide crew for our day. David Adams, the owner of Granite State Growler Tours and our driver for the day and Mark tour guide/MC/ Story teller.  After going over some rules we went over the plan for the day which included visiting three breweries and a distillery and then we were off, and yes Chris and I were excited.


    After a short drive we were at our first stop Earth Eagle Brewings . We arrived at Earth Eagle before they were open to the public and had a private tour with one of the co-owners. After the short tour
    was completed we got the opportunity to sample several of Earth Eagles Brewings brews. Chris and I were excited about this. Each sample came in a small sampling glass. Earth Eagle Brewings tap room, is a tap room and a restaurant. David Adams owner of Granite State Growler Tours told Chris and I that they make some great food.  When we were at Earth Eagles they had 6 of their beers on draft and they also had 5 other craft brews on tap and you could also get a mixed drink. Chris and I were excited to jump right in and sample some brews. I think we both sampled 4 out of the 6 beers. Before leaving I picked up a growler of Ancestral IPA before heading back out to the bus.


    Once we were all back on the bus, we were on way to our next stop at Throwback Brewing Company. I visited Throwback about two years ago at the original brewery but hadn’t made it back t
    o the new brewery so I was excited. On our drive Mark, kept us all entertained by telling us stories about the area. Once we arrived at Throwback Brewing, we were all brought to the brewing area, away from the crowds hanging at the taproom and dining room, for a private tasting with one of the owners. Co-Owner and Head Brewer Annette Lee, met us and informed us about the brewery and explained about the beers we were sampling. They had us sample 3-4 different beers that were served from pitchers. Before heading back to the bus Chris and I fought the crowds to buy some beer. We each bought two bottles each of Donkey-Hote.  Throwback was a really nice brewery and restaurant. The food
    looked and smelled great and the beer was great. I think Chris and I could have stayed for another hour drinking and eating but it was time to get back on the bus to our next stop.  Chris and I would definitely bring our wives to come back for dinner and drinks at Throwback.


    Once back on the bus we got served a hot beer pretzel that was made by Dave’s mother. These pretzels were amazingly good. Before I could finish my pretzel we were at our next stop at Sea Hagg Distillery located in North Hampton.  Sea Hagg Distillery makes rum and some other liquors. The group got to meet with the distiller and had a tour of the distillery. Chris struck up a good conversation with the distiller and after the tour it was time for some samples. You could sample any of the products that they had available. The samples were maybe 1 oz and the rum was great. After our samples we looked at the merchandise and then Mark and Dave said it was time to jump back on the bus to continue our journey to our final stop.
    Our final stop of this great tour was Smuttynose Brewing Company. I have visited Smuttynose before but have not visited the new brewery located in Hampton, NH.  I was looking forward to this visit and it didn’t disappoint!  Smuttynose Brewing Company’s new brewing facility is amazing! The Brewery is probably twice the size of the old brewery and had a gift shop where you can buy anything Smuttynose that you heart desires. We arrived at the brewery just at the right time and we w
    ere able to join a tour. After the tour we had the opportunity to sample some beer. I think we had the chance to have 4 free samples. The samples were much bigger than we had at any other brewery. This is a good thing but when you have been drinking since 10:45 not so much.  Chris and I each had two samples.  We walked around the store and I picked up a tap handle to add to my collection of tap handles and a bottle of Smuttynose Rocky Road. Along with the brewery Smuttynose has a restaurant on the property and several of the iconic exhibits from some of their great labels. Chris and I walked the grounds and took some pictures. 
    Before we knew it, it was time to get back on the Granite State Tour bus to make our way to our starting point. Granite State Growler Tour was a great tour.  It was a great way to visit several breweries at once and get some special treatment without having to worry about  who is driving. Both David and Mark were great.  They not only knew a lot about the craft beer industry in New Hampshire, they also knew about history in the area. If you have the opportunity to go on the Granite State Growler tour I suggest that you do it. I want to go on the tour again at
    some point and visit some other breweries. I do have a birthday coming this summer…maybe someone will get it for me.
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