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Although the calendar may not have made it official yet, my family has decided to turn the page on Summer and embrace the arrival of Fall.  With temperatures in the 60s last weekend it seemed the weather was willing to play along as well. We welcomed the new season in style this past weekend with a trip up north to Ipswich, MA where we started out our day with some apple picking and farm animals at Russell Orchards.  It was our second year in a row taking our son there and he

After getting our fill of apple treats, we journeyed on to the Spencer Pierce Little Farm in Newbury to check out Ipswich Ale Brewery’s Harvest Festival.  It was an all ages, family-friendly event that offered something for everyone.  The venue was beautiful and my toddler had a blast seeing his second round of farm animals (including his favorite – a horse!), getting a caricature drawn, and playing lawn games with some of the other children.  Also featured that day was a steady supply of live music, 1860s-rules baseball games, and a variety of food trucks. And, of course, there was also plenty of Ipswich beer, which was being poured out of the brewery’s fantastic tap mobiles – a small fleet of vintage trucks equipped with tap handles for dispensing beer on the go.  There was a wide variety of styles pouring that day, including my beloved Route 101 and 1620 IPAs, but since I was in a festive fall mood I went with a pair of seasonal options (procured at a cost $6 per 16 oz. pour).  

Beer number one was Chucktoberfest, a 6.1% Marzen.  It had a nice orange/copper body with some off-white lacings around the top of the cup.  Its sweet, toasted malt aroma carried over into the taste where it faded into a blend of clean, bready malts and mild earthy hop presence that brought to mind everything you’d expect from a German-style lager.  It made for some easy drinking and was a good start to the fall season.

My second, and final, beer of the day was the 5.4% Pumpkin Porter.  I broke my own rule regarding pumpkin beer with this one (never before October!), but the festive spirit moved me once again.  Looking back at my old posts, apparently this is second time I have done so for this beer!  Pumpkin beers in general are pretty hit or miss with me, but I liked this one more than most after trying out a full serving.  It poured a black body topped by a thin, foamy white head. Tastewise, it offered up a mild roasted malt backbone with notes of pumpkin and spice on top.  

While I suppose it’s a little bit late to tell you all to head on over to this event, I will say that the BeerRantsAndBooks crew had an excellent time.  I always welcome the chance to drink some fresh Ipswich Ale and the novelty of having poured from their tap mobiles made it extra special. Keep an eye on the brewery’s events page to see where they may be popping up next!