Monday, May 31, 2010

Blue Hills . . . Brewery

By now, you know I love beer. I also love parks. So what happens when you combine beer and parks? Blue Hills Brewery!

Just a few minute drive past the Blue Hills State Park in a barely marked industrial complex you'll find this unassuming brewery. The place is small, I mean small. The 'tour guide' hanging out at the bar pouring from a few bottles. We got to try Watermelon Ale, Red Baron Ale, two kinds of IPA and Extra Pale Ale. We had to cajole the guy giving us our pours into giving us some history and tell us about the brewery. Turns out they're just about a year and a half old and run by one of the brewery suppliers for the northeast. They just do one tank at a time. And they hand-bottle everything. Here's the actual bottling equipment:

Growlers are only $9 here (vs $11-20 at the corner store), so the drive becomes totally worth it.

They also do four events a year. Check out their next event on my Boston on the Cheap calendar on July 10th: Summerfest. Music, beer, and beautiful blue hills . . .

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Groupawn Comes to Beantown

The Groupawn is arriving tonight in Boston. I've had fun living vicariously through his blog as he has given up every single worldy possession and given a stack of groupons to live off of for a year. (Oh if I didn't have life commitments.)

Let's see what he does! Maybe something from the Boston on the Cheap calendar? Maybe the Helicopter tour from today's groupon?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Days that stand out.

"When we look back on our lives, what will remember are the crazy things we did, the times we worked harder to make a day stand out."

-Donald Miller in A Million Miles in A Thousand Years

Its true - the days where everything went right, when I laid on a beach all day or went to bed early aren't the days that stick in your head so well.

And what life is worth living if nothing you ever do sticks?

Its not just that things must go awry for us to remember them, though I have plenty of memories I look back and laugh at, its the days where I went out of my way to make it different. Maybe that's why travel is so satisfying. Everyday on a trip you're working harder to make the day stand out.

But I can do the same thing when I'm at home. After reading this passage on Saturday I baked some crackers, bought some cheese and took Chris on a bike ride up to a little-known mount in the city with a great view of Jamaica Plain. The uphill bike ride wasn't cake, but the hard work to get to the top made the view icing.

I promised myself to keep working harder to make my days stand out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Free Tastings . . . of Alcohol!

This weekend I wrote about free food tastings. This week has also become one big alcohol tasting fete!

Last night I was inducted into the Secret Sherry Society. Which actually isn't so secret. Masks were provided, but most of us decided to show our own face. Not only did we get unlimited cocktails and shots, but also tasty tapas and a flamenco show! (Who knew sherry was Spanish?)

Tonight take your pick of events.

Friends of Harpoon Open House 6-8pm (Friends of Harpoon card or email required)
Scotch Tasting at Mantra 5-7pm
Boogaloo Event with free drinks at Salmagundi 5:30-9pm (password is Boogaloo)
Wine Tastin at rialto all night

More events abound at my Cheap Boston calendar.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tastings Weekend

Free tastings galore this weekend! First up . . .

Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand is a pretty new fresh produce joint right next to Fenway, which I'm sure makes shopping hell on game days. No worries, it's an away game on Saturday.

This Saturday, 12-3:00 catch tasty samples at the stand--pies, icecream, pita chips and spreadable fruits. Sounds like a full lunch to me!

Cheese Cellar always has super classy events, with knowledgeable staff and often art too. This Saturday 1-4:00, store-owner, Kathy, will feature condiments. We're talking plum butter, pickles, hot sauces, olive bruschetta and more. Not lunch, but certainly will get your tastebuds going.
See more tastings and events going on this weekend at my Boston on the Cheap Calendar.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Luck of the Irish

Only my name is Irish, but I seemed to have been touched by their luck. Just this week I won another contest. I recommend you get on the Daily Dig list yourself. It's funny, but I can't even find a link on the Weekly Dig website for this amazing deal-bringer. Here's the link from my email. Each day you'll get news on a couple events going on in town. The Weekly Dig often has tickets for the event you can score by being the 11th person to email them, or in my case, emailing them a name of a song from Jesus Christ Superstar.

My two tickets for Jesus Christ Superstar were in the orchestra and worth $186! That, and Ted Neely, who originated the role of Jesus in the movie was starring in it. (You don't even have to be a theater geek to appreciate that.)

Our pre-theater dinner was at Jacob Wirth's, a great downtown German restaurant with an excellent beer list. And our meal was $25 off, thanks again to the Weekly Dig. Check out Dig Deals to snag your own coupon for JW's and other local restaurants. Hot tip: forgo the shipping charge and waiting for your gift certificate in the mail. Email Amanda @ the Weekly Dig dot com. You can pay for your deals in cash and pick them up from their studio near the South End.

Happy cheap weekend adventures - I'm off to the Lilac Festival.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Free Weekends

Spring in Boston means free stuff galore. Keep your eye on my Boston on the Cheap calendar for future free stuff. Here's a sampling of my recent adventures.

Free doesn't get much better than free sailing. That's right, the hi-brow leisure activity which normally costs hundreds for lessons (let's not even talk about actually buying a boat), was free last weekend Courageous Sailing offered free trips around the Boston Harbor with a barbecue on the dock.

Monday I enjoyed the Museum of Fine Art, which has an extror extraordinarily dinarily high admission fee of $17 for free. The museum was celebrating it's annual event, Art in Bloom, in groups submit floral arrangements inspired by art in the museum. Yes, it's just as strange as it sounds, but really I'm there to see the art anyway. The new Tomb exhibit was amazing and well worth dodging the flowers for.

The world is practically your free oyster when you have a bike--any beautiful day turns into a bike ride into an event in itself. Friday I rode around the historic North End, picking up produce, fresh fish and spices for the weekend bbq. My search for phyllo dough led me to the Golden Goose on the waterfront. They had the phyllo dough I needed and a free wine tasting, hosted by a Southie-type, whom you'd expect to know about types of Miller than the Lorraine region of France. I topped off the beautiful day with a near free meal alfresco, thanks to my Groupon.

Saturday was Wake Up The Earth Festival - over 30 live acts of musicians, dancing, circus performers and all manner of hippie craziness right out our front door. I started off the day, though, with a free tour of orchards in Boston by Bike, which showed where I can get free fruits all summer long. Only the rhubarb is pickable, so far, but stay tuned for updates as I venture out picking in a few months.