Intergalactic, Planetary Brewery: Bell’s Announces “The Planets” beer series

Sometimes, when several things come together, it’s described as cosmic. I can think of no better word to describe Bell’s Brewery’s latest beer series, “The Planets”. Music, beer, and astronomy combine for this series of seven beers inspired by The Planets.

English composer Gustav Holst wrote The Planets between 1914 and 1916. It is a seven-movement orchestral suite, with each part representing a planet of the Solar System that was known at the time, with the exception of Earth. Check out the whole thing below.

Bell says the composition “seemed to lend itself as a vehicle for commemorative beers,” Although they should be celebrated, however, the beers are meant to be consumed and enjoyed. Bell says, “We’re encouraging people to drink these; A double IPA to start with? You don’t want to save that for a year.”

This idea of drinking beer right away makes me very happy. Although I do have a few bottles aging away, I think it is great that Bell is encouraging good beers that are ready to consume at their best when they are released.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I should mention that a few bands have been inspired to do their own take on The Planets as well. Check out King Crimson’s take on “Mars” from their 1969 performance at the Fillmore.

Bathory also arranged part of “Jupiter” on their song “Hammerheart” from 1990’s Twilight Of The Gods.

Mars, the Bringer of War, which is a double IPA, will be the first to arrive and be released in August. The schedule for the rest of the beers to be released is below. I think I am most looking forward to the Venus beer, and “Neptune, the Mystic” which is said to be inspired by one of Bell’s homebrews, “Dr. Bell’s Medicinal Stout”.

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Check the Bell’s website for more info on where to find these cosmic beers!

 

Hudson Hop and Harvest 2013

Last weekend I volunteered at the Hudson Hop and Harvest Festival in Peekskill, NY. I had attended the year before, so when I found out they were looking for volunteers this year, I jumped at the chance. This year’s festival was moved to a larger location, at Riverfront Green Park, located just on the cusp of downtown Peekskill with a beautiful view of the water.

I spent the evening pouring beers from Peekskill Brewery, Troeg’s, Victory, Smuttynose, as well as Doc’s Hard Cider. It was great to see beer geeks and beer n00bs (sorry, I had to) alike enjoying great brews together alongside delicious food with awesome live music all day. Seriously, I only encountered a handful of snobs, and the douche baggery was kept to a minimum. Cheers to the woman I watched eat a whole Mt. Hood Hop and wash it down with a beer. If you’re going to be ridiculous at a beer festival, at least entertain me, and this lady won for the day. Seriously though. Everyone there was out for a good time, and most people seemed to be genuinely interested in trying new beers. Kegs of Oktoberfest offerings seemed to kick the fastest, with people still celebrating the beginning of October.

My favorite beer of the day was Peekskill’s Simple Sour. I am not the biggest fan of the berliner weisse style. However, Peekskill’s was slightly sweet, and very refreshing. It was unfortunately the only beer I was able to taste from Peekskill Brewing, and I look forward to tasting more from them.

Music was provided all day with Evan Watson, Fundimensionals, Elijah and the Moon, Mary C and the Stellars, and Saints of Valory. 107.1 The Peak WHUD, one of my favorite radio stations, sponsored the event. They play an awesome mix of alternative music, their ever-changing playlist pretty much sounds like most of my record collection, except with less metal and hip hop. Lots of surprises and “deep cuts” from well-known artists.

Did I mention there was food? So much food. Trucks and booths were set up everywhere, and I unfortunately did not get to sample nearly as much as I would have liked had I not been working. I very sadly missed visiting a booth from a place called the Waffle Cabin and was very disappointed. So after getting handed a flyer for an upcoming show there, I ended up at the Birdsall House after the festival for a pint of Empire Cream Ale on a nitro line and a beet-and-grain burger with goat cheese and spinach. Awesome food, and a really cool beer-garden style patio on the side. I highly recommend it, despite how busy it was because it was a post-Hop and Harvest hotspot.

Judging from the success of the past two years, it seems like the Hudson Hop and Harvest Festival will be an annual event for years to come. I can only hope that each year continues to get better as it has so far!