Three things you may not know and might want to know.

Mark Haynie, one of the good guys in our beery world, is leaving New Jersey now that he’s retired and moving to New Hampshire. To mark this life-changing life change, he no longer looks like he appears at right, the way you’ve always known and loved him. Instead, he now looks like this:
Looks New Hampshire-ish already, don’t he?  I can so see him a couple of months down the road leaning on a roadside fence in his bib overalls and harrumphing to tourists that “you can’t get there from here.” Happy trails, good buddy. Live Free or Die and all that. From your happy visage, I would assume that you haven’t yet thought about how long those drives to Monk’s Beer Dinners are gonna be. I mean, you’re not gonna stop now, are you?

Westvleteren 12°, a Belgian classic which is often cited as the world’s best beer, will go on sale legally in this country for the first time ever in September. However, St. Sixtus Abbey, where the beer is brewed, has given its blessing for a small quantity of the beer to be previewed at The Festival  in Worcester, Mass.. next weekend.  Eight cases of Westvleteren 12° will be poured ay each session, with samples limited to one per person., and all attendees will be offered the opportunity to purchase Westvleteren XII gift boxes (6 bottles of beer and two commemorative glasses) from Julio’s Liquors, Westborough, Mass., which will join Shelton Brothers in donating profits from these sales to fund much-needed renovations of the St. Sixtus Abbey. Those gift sets, by the way, are a one-time thing and will be released to the general market when the beer arrives in September and then never seen again.

In news not involving New England, Weyerbacher Brewing will release a new one-off, Sour Black (5% abv), a Black Ale aged in Wine Barrels a week from this coming Friday (June 29). From their website: “The barrels used are the same Pinot Noir barrels which produced Rapture. Brettanomyces lambicus was added to the barrels adding a nice acidity. It’s fruity and tart with just enough roasted character; a truly delightful dark ale. Sour Black Ale is packaged in a 750ml bottle finished with a cork and cage. This beer is available exclusively at the brewery and will not be distributed anywhere else. There are only around 350 cases available (that’s about 4,200 bottles). That may sound like a lot of beers, but let’s say there are 4,200 bottles and the average person buys 6 bottles… that means that only 700 lucky people will get Sour Black…we are not holding any back for future dates. When this beer is gone, it’s gone forever!”

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