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Earlier this week I officially made it through yet another trip around the sun and celebrated in part with a pair of spectacular brews I found at the Rye and Thyme restaurant in Leominster, MA.  It was a somewhat random stop on the way to our final destination, but it was certainly a welcome one.  Boasting some amazing pub food and an equally impressive tap list, this was definitely my kind of place!

Beer number one was Wizard Burial Ground from Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids, MI.  Checking in at 10%, this bourbon barrel aged Quad was certainly an eye opener!  It poured a see-through amber colored body with a thin white head and had an invitingly sweet smell.  As for the taste, it packed a huge caramel and dark sugar sweetness upfront followed by a hint of bubblegum yeast in the middle and smooth, warming bourbon notes on the finish.  The pleasantly medium-thick mouthfeel held the flavors well, making this one amazing brew and an excellent start to my special day.

My second beer of the lunch was Screenshot, an 11% Imperial Stout from Prairie Artisan Ales.  Brewed with hazelnut coffee, it poured to a thick black body topped by a layer of tan foam.  It opened with a delicious mix of rich dark malt and sweet cream that was soon followed by moderate notes of hazelnut coffee, espresso, and dark chocolate.  It closed with a good luck of sweet, roasty heat and featured a super smooth thick body.

And there you have the two brews that helped me kick off my birthday celebration.  Here’s looking forward to another year full of great beers and (eventually) books!