Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blue Hills Brewery

Submission by Susan Finn
- Long-time supporter of The Childrens Museum in Easton
- Social media enthusiast at

The folks over at Blue Hills Brewery, located just up the street a bit on Route
138 in Canton, claim that beer is their life! Since 2009, they have been creating great tasting beers which they say are inspired by the elements and nature around, embracing the rich history of the Blue Hills and the South Shore. 

Recently, I had an opportunity to chat with Jim O’Neil, the Director of Operations for Blue Hills Brewery. I asked Jim what that position means at Blue Hills Brewery. He told me that he is involved in just about every aspect of the business other than the hands-on brewing process. That means he oversees financials, HR, social media, interns, sales team, donations, and event planning. It’s safe to say that Jim knows just about everything there is to know about Blue Hills Brewery.

Jim started our conversation by pointing out how much he absolutely loves his job. The atmosphere at the brewery truly is fun (just like everyone thinks it is!) There is always something interesting going on, and everyone has a great attitude. And each day is different. A couple of days a week they are brewing.  Another couple of days a week the bottling or kegging takes place. Another day is for cleaning.

I learned that the Blue Hills brew house has the capacity to brew 20 barrels at a time! That's about 620 gallons per batch. The beer spends the first 7-9 days in a primary fermenting vessel. After that time, it will be transferred to a secondary fermenter where it gets chilled to about 40 degrees. It is kept there for another 7-10 days. Finally, it is ready to be filtered, carbonated and kegged. All of the Blue Hills beer is brewed on site.

There are some great internship opportunities here. In July of 2012, The Boston Globe published an article about the popularity of a Blue Hills Brewery internship. There have been 60 interns at this location since 2011. 12 of these have gone on to work in the industry. Jim tells us that the prerequisite for being an intern here is experience and a passion for home brewing.

Jim told me that their most popular beer is the Blue Hill IPA (which comes in bottles, kegs, & cans.)  It does seem that the IPA is the most popular style in USA. It seems to be the one most people know about it.

The Blue Hills Brewery I.P.A. recipe is formulated true to its style:

“It has a fiery amber color and weighs in at 6.6% ABV. We use a blend of American hops to give it a citrus, almost tangerine aroma from the top of the glass. As you drink the beer you can taste the sweet creamy caramel malt roll over your tongue. At the end once again taste the big hop flavor that is a trademark of all I.P.A.'s, but yet, so smooth that it won't make you pucker at the bitterness.”

What's the next beer we should be looking out for? He answered that the fall
release is the Imperial Oktoberfest. This is a traditional German-style Marzenbier. It’s a refreshing beer, brewed with a nice balance of malt and hops. This style is a limited release.

My favorite question to ask beer enthusiasts is what beer and food pairing they would recommend. Jim had an answer ready. One of his favorites is to have a nice stout with a plateful of cold oysters. He told me it’s the Yin/Yang effect. The hearty stout balances out the subtle, slightly briny flavor of the oysters. I, for one, am going to try this, for sure!

Blue Hills Brewery proudly states “Variety is the spice of life. We strive to offer seasonal beers that reflect the diversity of our world and beer culture.”

Click here for Blue Hills Brewery's current beer offerings. You are invited to their public beer tastings held every Friday from 3-7pm and on Saturdays from 1-7pm.

We are honored to have Blue Hills Brewery representing their craft beer this Saturday, August 22nd at A Night At The Brewseum.

Tickets are still available for the 2nd Annual Night At The Brewseum.
Click here for event details and to purchase tickets.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Where in the World?

To build off of our geography day, Where in the World?, we want to emphasize the importance of exposing your kids to other cultures. During this summer drop-in day at The Children’s Museum in Easton, we were able to explore many aspects of the world’s geography and cultures. Various activities helped educate kids about our planet’s water supply and soil erosion, giving them an important outlook on our planet. Visitors to the Museum made flags from different countries, and we had additional arts and crafts that allowed kids to become more aware of where they are in the world. Also, there was a fun game of geography twister that was a huge hit!

With the passports you have created at the Children’s Museum, you can continue to add and mark places you and your kids have explored. It is easy to learn about various cultures without having to actually travel. Cooking and tasting foods from other countries is an excellent place to start at home! It can become a weekly tradition with your kids as you mark the different countries of which you’ve explored in the kitchen. Laying out a map and marking the countries or stamping in their passports will be a reminder of each unique experience. 

Geography Twister
It is simple to investigate authentic cuisines from around the world; doing so by setting the scene at home for your kids to really imagine what it's like in other countries can be a great eye-opening experience. You can get started by searching online about various cultures and their recipes or visiting your local library. Trying a different cultural restaurant or visiting the international isle in any grocery store is also a simple way to investigate various countries’ foods with your kids. Try some of these food recipes from around the world!

Not able to attend our day of exploring the world at the Museum? You can easily make your own passport at home by using an old notebook or simply stapling a few sheets of paper together. In addition, try some of the following educational at-home activities!

Helping your kids become more aware of where they are in the world is so important. Explaining the different times zones, exploring how different cultures dress (traditional clothing print out), and even learning a few words (50 ways to say hello) in other languages are excellent places to start at home. Doing so, can help your children become more aware of just how big the world around them really is. Visiting your local library is a fantastic place to begin exploring other cultures with your kids as well.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Date Night

By Carla Ramsey

Life can get mundane and flat at times. My husband and I are always on the lookout for something new and flavorful, where we can kiss the kids goodnight and head out for some adult time with each other and friends. Living in
Easton has many great qualities but, no matter where you live … sometimes you want to do something new and different

Having two kids under the age of 8, I became quite the frequent patron to The Children’s Museum in Easton. Now you may say, “Where is this going;” children museum and adult time do not sound like a story that can be brewed together…

Last year, The Children’s Museum in Easton held a fundraising event to support the exhibits and education programs of the museum, A Night At The Brewseum. It was a night where adults could mingle, taste local beers and partake in a new and exciting outing. It was a celebration for each of us to have the time we needed in an atmosphere we were looking for. We invited a close couple of friends and walked down to the center of North Easton.

Upon arriving, we were immediately impressed with the organization and
efforts the staff and volunteers had put into this event. Outside in The Wild Place, their outdoor learning center was transformed into a Beer Garden. Breweries were set up under tents, allowing us tasters to mingle and sample. There were 14 craft beer producers from the North Shore to Western Massachusetts and a few that stretched outward to Maine and other New England points. We each found our favorites and found ourselves mapping out a plan of action to taste several again and make our way onto the other breweries while enjoying the live entertainment. The scene was really “hoppy”!

After trying every 3 oz sample our palate desired in a classy (real glass!)
2015 Tasting Glass
souvenir tasting glass, we decided to venture inside to see what else was being offered. There was more live entertainment and my husband and his friend, Dave, found a great place to hang out … the local amateur brew competition was right downstairs, and they had a feeling that their opinion needed to be heard. They, as did I and Dave’s wife Sarah, sampled what our “neighbors” were offering from their basement brew experiments. Let me tell you, these competitors took this event with all seriousness and we were all quite impressed. Some of them deserved to be outside with the big boys!

Home Brewing Competition Inside
Now that we were feeling effervescent, we took our bellies over to the catered food section and enjoyed some complimentary nourishment from Buffalo Wild Wings plus a lot more food available to be purchased outside. With great conversation, meeting friends of old and making friends of new, everything was what my husband and I were looking for.

And now, all four of us will be returning to this year’s A Night At The Brewseum on August 22nd. We are popping with curiosity to see what the amateurs will be brewing up, as well as what other great regional breweries will have to offer this year! Kudos’ to The Children’s Museum in Easton and their staff and volunteers for not just hosting the beer tasting but for catering to our thirst for more!

Hope to see you at the event!

Tickets are still available for the 2nd Annual Night At The Brewseum.
Click here for event details.