The FISHBROOK POND BREWING COMPANY was established in the fall of 2002 to support the mountaineers atop Mount Erebus, who are (not) often hankering for liquid entertainment. Conditions on the mountaintop are oftentimes quite severe, and a quality beverage can be the difference between life and thirst.
.:: FISHBROOK PALE ALE ::.
The first batch of Fishbrook Pale Ale was brewed in late September 2002 and bottled the weekend before the 25th Annual Oktoberfest. A SMaSH brew: Single malt + single hop. Simplicity never fails in beer. Many of us are drawn to it for that reason. Also the fact that you get a nice buzz....
Two cases were backpacked up the mountain and not a bottle survived (despite the presence of a keg of the fine, superfine Davidson's Brown Ale. That kicked as well.) A second batch was brewed on November 11, 2002 and bottled 2 weeks later. We brewed these at Barleycorn's, Dan Eng's 'Brew-on-premises' in Natick. Both were American-style Cascade-hopped IPAs, Sierra Nevada-inspired, brewed by JB. I tried these (in another scientifical field test alongside the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Dan's recipe tried to clone. It stood strong, different yet not lacking. Got me hooked on brewing beer.
BATCH #1: BREWED: September 2002 BOTTLED: Oktober 2002 BARLEY: Caramel 20 HOPS: Cascade MOUNTAINS: Erebus
BATCH #2: BREWED: November 11, 2002 BOTTLED: November 25, 2002 BARLEY: Caramel 20 HOPS: Cascade MOUNTAINS: White Mountains NH
.:: NOT YO MAMAS LAGER ::.
(Fall 2003) #3. Next up was the Not Yo Mamas Lager, an extremely hoppy lager brewed with fresh hop flowers. First time we brewed with dese natural hops. Interesting as they have to be broken up (like weed, or so I have read) and require more than the concentrated pellet hops. I think they taste a bit different as well. Fresher. Jen, Quarter, Devo, and JB steeped the barley malt on this one. The surveillance photo at right documents the secret late-night stealth field test, in a mysterious unnamed State Park somewhere in southeast Massachusetts. Hush hush... This is all the information available to the general public at this time. If you knew any more, we'd hafta kill ya. Rumor is that a fine brew is being poured at Area 51. (This conversation never happened.)
BREWED: 2003 BOTTLED: 2003 HOPS: Classified MALT: Classified FIELD TEST: Redacted.
.:: SCUMBY'S DANCING ABORIGINAL STOUT ::.
.:: JUST SAYIN' IPA ::.
(February 28, 2003) #4 & #5. And in support of the Newport Erebus Director's Meeting in late March, the masterbrewers (which incidentally doesn't make you blind) created a batch of the highly-touted Scumby's Dancing Aboriginal Stout (brewed with the secret head) and another of Just Sayin' IPA, both brewed on February 28, and bottled just before the festivities on March 28th.
The March 23rd bottling session was a blast. Guitar wizard Jimmy Spil lent a hand as we tasted Scumby's Dancing Aboriginal Stout and the Just Sayin' IPA for the first time. The stout is a bit sweeter than Guinness, which we all consider the industry standard, but tasty fer sure. Four barleymalts bring it round and abound. The IPA is an English IPA, dark in color and hoppy (Northern Brewer, 2 helpings of Goldings, and Cascade hops to finish). Curious to taste this one in a week or two, as the flavors meld.
SCUMBY'S DANCING ABORIGINAL STOUT: BREWED: February 28, 2003 BOTTLED: March 23, 2003 No other info. Just sayin'. JUST SAYIN' IPA BREWED: February 28, 2003 BOTTLED: March 23, 2003 HOPS: Northern Brewer, 2 helpings of Goldings, Cascade hops to finish
.:: SOLSTICE ALE ::.
(December 23, 2003) #6. A beer is born! (Well, conceived anyhoo...) The FPBC proudly presents Solstice Ale. Winter solstice for 2003 occured at precisely 2:04 am EST on December 22. The kettle was boiling soon after. This offering is highly hopped. Three barleymalts, Chinook hops for bittering, then three helpings of Cascade hops. And why stop there? We'll dry hop it with Centennial and Cascade. Sure do like dem Cascades! Yep! Bottling & consumption date is January 5th. JB note: This turned out to be perhaps the finest to date, my favorite anyway, an excellent highly-hopped IPA.
BREWED: December 22, 2003 BOTTLED: January 5, 2004 HOPS: Chinook & Cascades, dry hopped with Centennial & Cascades.
.:: EQUINOX IPA ::.
(March 10, 2004) #7. EQUINOX IPA was brewed on March 5th, due for bottling the 19th, just in time for the Directors' Meeting. This one's the most adventurous yet. Based on a Tod Mott recipe, EQUINOX IPA features 6 barleys (caramel80, caramel20, carapils, biscuit, aromatic & carafa) & 3 hops (magnum, cascade & liberty.) Dry-hopped with magnum. Tod's renowned nationally for his beer. Harpoon IPA was his recipe, he brewed at the late-great Commonwealth Brewery, and is now the head brewer at Portsmouth Brewery in New Hampshire. Had an IPA there recently that was to die for. I've tasted many of his beers through the years, and he's the best.
(March 20, 2004) The (Friday, March 19) EQUINOX IPA bottling session ran smoothly. The bottling & labeling brigade included Matthew, Kate, Big Nude, & Spil and we were joined by Jamie Magee, publisher of the great Yankee Brew News, taking the first sips of the new brew straight from the source. Today it travels to Newport, RI for the Annual Directors' Meeting. And least but not last, EQUINOX IPA has enhanced the views of mountaineers atop Mt. Eisenhower, Moosilauke (twice) & Jefferson this season.
BREWED: March 5, 2004 BOTTLED: March 19, 2004 BARLEY: caramel80, caramel20, carapils, biscuit, aromatic & carafa HOPS: magnum, cascade & liberty. Dry-hopped with magnum. MOUNTAINS: Mt. Eisenhower, Moosilauke & Jefferson
.:: PRESIDENTIAL ALE ::.
(June 4, 2004) #8. On this day, the kettle was coaxed to a rolling boil, and several hours later PRESIDENTIAL ALE was sent to the yeasties for finishing. Matthew, Kate, Big Nude, & JB fed the barley and hops to the mash in anticipation of Matt's b'day in a coupla weeks. Bottling date is June 18th, and coming soon to a mountaintop near you...
(June 23, 2004) The bottling session for PRESIDENTIAL ALE on June 18th was fetching. Fetching brews for Matthew, fetching brews for Big Nude, for Kate, and most importantly me. And they tasted fetchingly good to boot. An amber ale reminiscent of the late-great Sam Adams but shooting towards the high peaks of the White Mountains. And with a special ingredient. "Thought it was something good, but it's snot... ", so sayeth JB. And after all was said and drunk, there was little left for public consumption. Your loss. But have no fear, Big Nude Brewing is here.
BREWED: June 4, 2004 BOTTLED: June 23, 2004
.:: SHERPA ALE ::.
(September 18, 2004) #9. With the 27th Annual Oktoberfest atop Mt. Erebus almost upon us, the director-at-large, a.k.a. the Weasel, set forth the proposition that a fine brew be drunk atop the mountain in 2004. And so it was written. Then brewed. Weasel & JB brought the kettle to a rolling boil, tossed in a few ingredients from Mother Earth (Caramel 20 barley, 3 helpings of Cascade Hops), with a smattering of Saaz hops for the bittering. SHERPA ALE, now fermentatin' in a small town close to nowhere. And champin' at the bit to be drunk by a bunch of yahoos on top of a mountain in the Adirondacks. (The Good Lord willin' & the barleymalt don't rise...) Speaking of which... the trail was reportedly very flooded for the summer trip a coupla months ago. Might want to hike this in the daylight. Just sayin'......
(October 2, 2004) The high noon bottling session for Sherpa Ale was a lookin' like a lonesome train... When suddensome, a dedicated crew done arrived. Kate & Big Nude came ready to rock, and the Weasel & his kinfolk a tad later. Courtney assisted Kate on the labeling, Big Nude & Sandy prepared the bottles for capping, and the Weasel supervised the capping.
(November 13, 2004) Sherpa Ale was served atop three mountains in the 'Dacks on Columbus Day Weekend. The Weasel hauled a case up Erebus and I drank some atop Algonquin & Iroquois. And unfortunately, the mountaineers atop Erebus ran dry 2 days in and were unable to be saved. At least 'til they got to the Davidson Brothers Brewery on Sunday. I myself (on top and below) kept well-hydrated throughout. -- JB
BREWED: September 18, 2004 BOTTLED: October 2, 2004 BARLEY: Caramel 20 HOPS: Cascade, Saaz MOUNTAINS: Erebus, Algonquin & Iroquois
.:: PUNKINROCK ALE ::.
(October 14, 2004) #10. PUNKINROCK ALE was brewed upon this day, a seasonal special brewed with fresh-baked pumpkin, vanilla bean & pumpkin pie spicage in addition to the usual malted barley, Cascade hops & yeast. All this especially to hydrate the Annual Pumpkin Carving Party this Halloween at the Robinwood Lounge. The lovely and talented Linda and the ol' surly bastid JB did the brewing, with Kate & Big Nude overseeing the effort.
We're bottling on Thursday (or Friday, this isn't rocket science, just rock and roll). In the interim I've tried several Pumpkin Ales. Smuttynose was the best. Cambridge Brewing Company was good as well. Not being a big fan of flavored or spiced beer in general, pumpkin seems pretty natural. Perhaps I'm just trying to con meself. I'll tell you what, though - the brewery smelled like pumpkin pie, know what I'm sayin'?? These flavored brews are not necessarily session brews, but maybe the ladies will appreciate them, and, well... 'nuff said. (Maybe I'm channeling Bobby Peru here, but as things panned out, this was the case.) Case closed.
(November 13,2004) Pretty freakin' good, by most accounts. Not generally a fan of flavored or fruit beers, I found this very drinkable - wish we brewed more! I'd like to think it nurtured some of the creative carving at The Annual Pumpkin Carving Party, which was a resounding success. ("W", a pumpkin star this year described Iraq as the same.)
BREWED: October 14, 2004 BOTTLED: October 28, 2004 BARLEY: caramel malt 80, 2-row malt HOPS: cluster, cascade OTHER: 10lb baked pumpkin, 2 vanilla beans, p-pie spice
.:: BENT STRING BROWN ALE ::.
(November 13, 2004) #11. On Thursday the 11th the kettles were cooking once again. This one's based on a recipe from the Watch City Brewery and we call it Bent String Brown. Malty, hoppy and nurturing is the brewpub's description. JB, Matt & Big Nude will bottle this baby in a coupla weeks and perhaps give it a taste. Five barleymalts and about two pounds of Cascade hops will define this baby's bottom.
(December 1, 2004) On Sunday, Nov. 27th, day of our lord (Big Eddy from Maine), the brew hath been bottled, capped & boxed. And drankethed a bit. Amen. Well, when three rock & rollers get a kiss of the hops, most anything can happen. But since the groupie pickins were slim, they moved onwards to the Robinwood Lounge, caught the end of another glorious Patriot victory (10-1 now) and proceeded to kick out the jams, a power trio Bent String-style, no holds barred.
The brew is excellent, a fine balanced dark ale, not really a Brown Ale in the traditional way - very hoppy and malty. ABV is 6.4%, but seems less. And we're runnin' out way too fast!
(December 5, 2004) Yesterday, Saturday, high noon, had the good fortune of bottling another batch. Thanks, Barleycorn Dan. Really love this one - so full-bodied and flavorful. Licorice comes to mind. And it (no doubt) propelled the Group 5 session to greater heights. (Anna, Pete & Dave didn't hurt none...)
BREWED: November 11, 2004 BOTTLED: November 27, 2004 BARLEY: Five barleymalts HOPS: Cascade
.:: BOOBREW PUMPKIN ALE ::.
(October 2005) #12. This was our second Pumpkin Ale, brewed (en masse) on October 13th, bottled on the 27th. Especially for Mike & Kate's Pumpkin Carving Party, always a blast....
BREWED: October13, 2005 BOTTLED: October 27, 2005 BARLEY: caramel malt 80, 2-row malt HOPS: cluster, cascade OTHER: 10lb baked pumpkin, 2 vanilla beans, p-pie spice
.:: FAT TUESDAY ALE ::.
(Tuesday, February 28, 2006) #13. Brewed on Fat Tuesday and bottled on March 14th, Fat Tuesday was yet another tweaking of the ever-popular Fishbrook Pale Ale. The bittering hops (Cascade & Perle) were upped again by maybe 10%, and the Cascades in the finish about 5%. Lawd have mercy this is a fine beer! Unfiltered, nicely balanced - a fine session brew.
BREWED: February 28, 2006 BOTTLED: March 14, 2006 BARLEY: Caramel 20 HOPS: Cascade & Perle
.:: FISHBROOK PALE ALE 2006 ::.
(July 14, 2006) #14. The bittering hops were upped once again by about 10%. Not bad, but a little hoppy for this style. The Fat Tuesday version is the keeper. The bottling brigade on the 28th was bustin'! Musta been a dozen thirsty bottlers - we went through 2 cases at least. Ya mon!
The beer was earmarked for Joey's Hotter than Hell Party, but, shamed to say, never made it that far.
BREWED: July 14, 2006 BOTTLED: July 28, 2006 BARLEY: Caramel 20 HOPS: Cascade
.:: OKTOBERFEST 2006 ::.
(September 12, 2006) #15. Fishbrook Pond Oktoberfest was a fine lager brewed in the real Oktoberfest tradition. The recipe called for Caramel 20, Caramel 80, Carapils & Munich malts, and Saaz & Hallertauer hops. And cooked up to be a fine fall brew. Very malty and full-flavored. Jim & I did the brewing, and sampled a fine selection of Oktoberfests from Germany, Belgium & the US. Great time.
A case was hauled up the mountain to Erebus, where it was enjoyed on a beautiful spring-like Columbus Day weekend.
BREWED: September 12, 2006 BOTTLED: September 26, 2006 BARLEY: Caramel 20, Caramel 80, Carapils & Munich HOPS: Saaz & Hallertauer MOUNTAINS: Erebus
.:: PUMPKINHEAD ALE ::.
(October 13, 2006) #16. The 3rd Annual Brewing of the Pumpkin was unique in that I chose and baked the pumpkin myself this time, and it was still hot when Matt & I fed it to the boil. Brewed on Friday the 13th (no sh!t!) and bottled on the 27th, and it was enjoyed shortly thereafter at The 10th Annual Robinwood Halloween Carving Fiesta. ('Til I get corrected anyways.)
BREWED: October 13, 2006 BOTTLED: October 27, 2006 BARLEY: caramel malt 80, 2-row malt HOPS: cluster, cascade OTHER: 10lb baked pumpkin, 2 vanilla beans, p-pie spice
.:: STINKYFǕT VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR ::.(October 27, 2006) #17. Our first (naive yet snooty) plunge into the wine market, STINKYFǕT VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR is somewhat unique amongst American wines. The bare feet of the grape stompers were kept unwashed for 30 days, and the fate of the grape was in the hands of the hearty toejam bacterium. The addition of oak chips and yeast completed the process. Sherry and Matt did the deed, and it was amazing to see the yeasties come to life. They were going NUTS feeding on the grapejuice.
(March 23, 2007) The bottling crew, Sherry, Matt, Kate, Big Nude, and wine aficionado Bobby Peru filled and corked the bottles, then sealed and labeled 'em. The wine is 5 months old right now, and by most accounts should peak between a year or two. Tasted pretty good to me though - could turn out to be very good.
BREWED: October 27, 2006 BOTTLED: March 23, 2007
.:: BLUE NOTE ALE ::.
(Newton, MA, December 22, 2007) #18. Awreety awrighty then. My record keeping has gone to hell. Emil (the maestro) & I brewed a kettle of BLUE NOTE ALE on the 9th of June. A fine, fine, superfine hoppy IPA. Well balanced and very tasty. Malts used were CaraMunich, Carapils, Caramel & CaraVienna. Columbus & Centennial hopped it. Perhaps it should have been called C-Note Ale! Wyeast #1056 American Ale did the hard work... Dry-hopped with Centennial. Like the Admiral, always a good move.
Bottling was on June 26th, Emil and his wife (who was perhaps a tad melancholy from the drinkin') doing the work whilst I sampled the product. Just kiddin'. (Next time Emil brewed this one he went home with more bottles. Do the math!)
BREWED: June 9, 2007 BOTTLED: June 26, 2007 BARLEY: CaraMunich, Carapils, Caramel & CaraVienna HOPS: Columbus & Centennial. Dry-hopped with Centennial.
.:: NO QUARTER PORTER ::.
(Newton, MA, December 22, 2007) #19. JB's recipe calls for Chocolate malt, Carapils, Black & Caramel. Hopped with mucho Cascades & Willamette for aroma.
NO QUARTER PORTER. Many questions about the name. Maybe a little history is needed. 'No Quarter' was pirate slang fer "Take No Prisoners!" The Led Zeppelin tune (and I gots to say, their tunes rock as much today as back in the day) was an element. But the clincher was as follows. Cue the fairy-tale music.....
Once upon a time, a fuzzy-headed boy named Quarter brewed an amazing Porter. His Quarter's Porter was the the best in the Land. But the recipe was lost. Gone. Gonzo. (By someone else. I swears on my mama's grave it wasn't me.) And so a first attempt was made to replicate Quarter's Porter. Quarter woulda been there, but apparently has a life beyond beer. So, although the quality of the brew (which was pretty excellent by all accounts) cannot be attributed to his name, heftin' a sh!tload up Mt. Erebus can. Another Erebus miracle!
The bottling crew comprised (Septmber 28th) Quarter, Matt, Lisa, Molly & myself. A few brews were drunk, and a good time was had.
BREWED: September 14, 2007 BOTTLED: September 28, 2007 BARLEY: Chocolate malt, Carapils, Black & Caramel. HOPS: Cascades & Willamette. MOUNTAINS: Erebus
.:: OKTOBERFEST 2007 ::.
(September 17, 2007) #20. Chrikkee. Nothin'?
BREWED: September 17, 2007 BOTTLED: Oktober 10, 2007 BARLEY: Caramel 20, Caramel 80, Carapils & Munich HOPS: Saaz & Hallertauer
.:: FULL MOON PUNKINROCK ALE ::.
(October 9, 2007) #21. Big Nude, Kate & the Matador baked the pumpkin and brewed the beer. Same recipe, different pumpkin. That this was an 'award-winning brew' is not surprising. A quality pale ale with an aroma of pumpkin pie.
BREWED: October 9, 2007 BOTTLED: October 26, 2007 BARLEY: caramel malt 80, 2-row malt HOPS: cluster, cascade OTHER: 10lb baked pumpkin, 2 vanilla beans, p-pie spice