Sunday, November 11, 2012

The People’s Pint, Greenfield, Massachusetts


I recently attended Ciderdays, the western Massachusetts celebration of all things Malus Domesticus, especially hard cider. On our way home we hit one of my favorite places in the area for dinner, The People’s Pint, a great brewpub in Greenfield, MA.

The People’s Pint has several great beers of their own, and carries a good selection of beer and wine- and also locally crafted ciders and meads.  The food is good, and reasonably priced- with a bias to healthy and local goods.  It has a good college town vibe (not a drunken college pub vibe).  A little loud when crowded, but not too bad (certainly not the ever-popular “food and yelling” nonsense so common lately).

Need to know: they do not take credit cards, so bring cash (or checks if you are familiar with that technology).  Plenty of off-street parking very close to People’s Pint, just down Ames St. near the restaurant.



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ciderdays in Western Massachusetts

I just got back from another great day at Ciderdays, the western Massachusetts celebration of all things Malus Domesticus, especially hard cider.  Ciderdays are the first weekend of November each year, and I have only missed one year in the past decade or so.  From the website:
“CiderDays is a community event celebrating all things apples in Franklin County, Massachusetts. 2012 marks the 18th year of this event and there will be two days (November 3rd and 4th) of orchard tours, cidermaking and tastings, workshops and much more. This is for all who love apples, fresh or hard cider, apple cuisine, apple orchards or just being in New England in the fall.”
My regular routine is checking in and stocking up; first with the great folks at West County Cider, then up the hill to Apex Orchards to load the car with apples.
There are a variety of events, from tastings and tours, to classes and a marketplace.  This is in the rolling hills of northwestern Massachusetts, beautiful and bucolic, with several events happening in Shelburne Falls, a quaint and artsy town on the Deerfield River, which is spanned by the charming (really, it is) Bridge of Flowers (sadly not very impressive in November during Ciderdays).  Most of the activity happens on Saturday, but more and more happens on Sunday each year.  I never miss the cider tastings and discussions with leading cidermakers.  If you are interested in making your own cider, this is the place to be, unpasteurized sweet cider is available at Pine Hill orchards (and occasionally elsewhere), and there are plenty of talks and classes to get you started, or help you improve your cider.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Anthony Bourdain’s top five bars

I have a bit of a backlog, I owe a lot of posts on places across the US- but while I shirk the awesome responsibility of helping you drink and dine your ways across the globe, there is a list of  Anthony Bourdain's Top 5 Bars over at the annoying, ad- and popup-laden Food and Wine magazine web site. 

These skew heavily towards dive bars, and I’m good with that.  I can vouch for two of the five myself, Double Down and Mac’s Club Deuce (one on the backlog list); and the other three are on my list of places to hit when my travels take me to their cities.

Yes, this list is over a month old, but better late than never?  And by the way, do not click the “related” article “50 best bars in America”, it is a obnoxious slideshow of mostly pretentious and undoubtedly hipster-laden posers.