Notch is a planned brand of all session-strength beers. He's currently brewing test batches at Kennebunkport Brewing (where he brewed back in the 1990s before opening Tremont) and selling them in the Boston area. As some of you may know...my son's started at Boston University, so I've had a couple trips to Boston this summer, and got to try two of Chris's beers.
The first occasion, which led to the picture at right (that's Slowfest* co-founder Jim Stanton, Chris, me, and Slowfest founder Jeff Lawrence) at the Lower Depths, right on Commonwealth Ave after the first day of BU Orientation (Thomas was off getting acquainted, Cathy was off to the right, having some well-deserved quiet time with her beer). We were sampling the Notch Summer Session. It was light, just a bit hoppy, refreshing, and three-pint drinkable. Really, I know! (Afterwards, we rolled out and grabbed a Sazerac up the street at Eastern Standard, where we ran into about four BU deans...getting drinks and dinner. I like this school.)
The next time was when we dropped Thomas off this past weekend. After moving him in (fourth-floor walk-up...oy), it was time for lunch. Where to, I asked him. "How about Deep Ellum?" he said, making me feel so good about all the money we'd spent on his education! Not only did they have Notch Hoppy Session, they had it on cask! Man, that was excellent, and the way session ales should be: zippy bitterness and puffy hop aroma, with a great depth of character you can only taste in a low-alc beer when it's on cask: malt, esters, and bitterness rolling around and loving your tongue. I had another.
Notch works, and it's selling, too. As I would urge you with any session beer, please support them whenever you can -- assuming you find you like it. This is all about good session beer, after all; this is not like the early days of craft brewing where we bought it because we were supporting them, not supporting them because we liked it. But...I'm pretty sure you'll like Notch!
*Is this awesome, or what: Slowfest was(and will be again) a festival of local food and session beers.about killed me that I couldn't make it up there to attend. What a fantastic idea, and why can't we have this in Philly? Steve Mash, I'm looking at you, brother. You're the man to make this happen! Need help?
**Despite Chris wearing the shirt, and pimping SBP at every given opportunity, there is no financial link between The Notch and me. I may well end up doing some events with him at some time, but other than that? I just love promoting any kind of session beer, and Chris happens to agree with just about every tenet of SBP. It works.