Tag Archives: beer

Milk Stout & Chocolate Chip Cookies

photo credit: Stephanie Ewens

It almost seems too simple, doesn’t it. But when brainstorming on what to pair with this easy and delicious Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie from our friends at 
Easy Entertaining, we automatically went to the tried and true standards: Madeira, Port, Moscato. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those wines, we had a head-slap moment when we remembered one of the most iconic and classic pairings of all time: milk & cookies.

Which is why we opened Hitachino’s Sweet Stout when we made the recipe, featured in the Winter issue of 
Edible Rhody. It’s a 21+ pairing of a sweet milk stout that just loves this hot-from-the-oven masterpiece.
The milk stout comes from Japan’s most acclaimed brewery, Hitachino, and unlike some popular stouts, this one has absolutely no bitterness but all lusciousness. It has notes of chocolate, roasted nuts and coffee that bring out the warmth of this simple, rustic and oh-so comforting dessert.

The Skillet Cookie was featured in Edible Rhody’s wonderful profile of local artisan Matt Cavallaro who crafts stunning cast iron cookware here in Providence via his company, 
Nest Homeware. His 4.5-inch Egg Pans are shown in the photo above. 

Visit Edible Rhody online to find 
Easy Entertaining’s recipe for these individual chocolate chip cookies a la mode, then stop in at Bottles to pick up a bottle or two of Sweet Stout.
Bon Appetit!

The Top 7 “Unicorn” Beers

We take a lot into consideration when deciding which products to bring into our store. Of course we have all of the staples, classics and favorites to form the foundation of the Bottles beer program, but where we really have fun — and what we take great pride in — is finding the bottles that are off the beaten path, unfamiliar and unique – ‘unicorns’ if you will! We believe that bringing in these unicorn products for our customers is what sets us apart from the rest. We want to be that place where you can find that super weird thing you read about in Bon Appetit, or that your cousin heard on a rando podcast about micro brews.

Below are our 7 favorite ‘unicorn’ beers, why we’re drinking them and why you should, too. To find them, just look for the sign of the unicorn in store. (Or, ask a staff member – naturally, the unicorns can be hard to spot!)

ENJOY! -Alex

La Fleurette
This beautiful Italian pilsner is a gorgeous orangey-pink hue, and has fun tart little punches of flavor. Birrifico Italiano added roses, violets, bee honey, elderberry and black pepper (to name a few!) to this brew for pretty floral, earthy notes that will be perfect to drink this coming spring.

Montegioco Bran Reserva
What an intense bottle of suds we have here! This deep brown ale gets aged in Barbera wine barrels for at least six months before bottling. So you’re looking at a very rich, oaky, chocolate brew with tons of plum and raisin flavor. We recommend aging this guy for a bit to let that heat from the Barbera barrels cool off a bit. This one will be interesting to watch.

Proefbrouwerij and New Glarus Absolution
A really fun collaboration between Proefbrouweij and New Glarus brings us this malty Belgian Quad that is velvety smooth due to the addition of lactose. This beer is rich and woody because of its time spent in French and American oak. Get two – one to try now and one to age, and keep notes to see how it changes over time!

Alvinne Cuvee D’Erpigny
This ale has a little bit of everything – which makes it great for everyone! It is strong, yet dangerously easy to drink down. Its sour, but sweet like honey. There are deep, rich chocolate notes, but delicate berry flavors as well.

Uerige Doppelsticke
Dark brown and malty with loads of caramel and yet a slight bitterness from the hops. It is very complex, and trying it while tasting different cheeses will bring out a ton of different characteristics of the brew.

The Bruery Mash & Vanilla
If you’re unfamiliar with Mash from The Bruery, I highly recommend checking it out. It is a sweet, oaky bourbon-barrel-aged barleywine and is super intense and rich and delicious. But it’s what they’ve done to that Mash that makes this bottle next-level. They took that super dessert-perfect barleywine and added a heap of aromatic vanilla beans. As much as this seems like something you’d want to age, drink it sooner rather than later to enjoy that fresh warmth of the vanilla.

Apostelbraeu First Bavarian Pale Ale
In my opinion, this is the underdog of this selection. It is so no-frills delicious and approachable, but at the same time is complex and interesting if you’re looking hard enough. Light, hazy and chuggable. This would love to be on the table for BBQs, weeknight roasts and alongside salty oysters.

Prices as of February 15, 2018 and subject to change

What The Heck Is GOSE (and how is it pronounced)?

Gose: It’s the hottest beer style to hit our store in ages. Liam Maloney, Bottles’ beer buyer par excellence, explains why:

Everything old is new again. We’ve seen this cliché played out time & again in our shop, as people ‘rediscover’ Chablis or Merlot, to give a couple of examples.

Yet, as clichéd as it may be, the sentiment rings truer than ever for a beer style that has taken our store by storm: Gose.

Gose (Germans say “GOHZ-uh”. “GOHZ” is what we hear in these parts) is a very unusual, ancient style which originated in the north of Germany, in Leipzig. It’s an unfiltered wheat beer, which makes it cloudy & refreshing, very much like a Bavarian Hefeweizen. Where it differs is in the unusual additions of coriander, lactic acid, and sea salt.

When made correctly, a Gose has a fruity/salty/tart balance that is unlike anything else in the beer world. Tart but not mouth-puckering, fruity but not cloying or sweet, and salty like well-seasoned food. The components are all there, but they are in balance, and your tongue has fun trying to pick out what flavor is coming next.

Why is it becoming so popular?

We think it’s a response to the IPA craze. IPAs are great beers, full of piney, resinous hop flavors, but one can only have so many before palate fatigue sets in. Brewers have responded by creating ‘session IPAs’ with a lighter ABV and muted hop presence, but they often taste like a watered down IPA, and are not as satisfying. Gose, however, at an average ABV of around 4%, offers flavor and nuance without the heaviness and hoppy punch of an IPA.

Like any tart beverage, this beer is made for food, and pairs especially well with summertime fare like fish, grilled sausages & pork chops, potato salad, and barbecue. Much like wine (which is an acid, and Gose features lactic acid in the mix), a Gose will also pair well with cheese. Everything from a fresh, young Chevre to a knobby, rustic aged cheddar will work, and a blue cheese will highlight the salty qualities. Intensely refreshing, a Gose is also a welcome lawnmower beer on a hot July Saturday.

Now, there’s been a lot of talk lately about sour beers, and while Gose falls under that general distinction, it isn’t nearly as punishing as many of the wild fermented, funky, sour beers out there. Do not confuse this style with a ‘Gueuze’! Beer nerds the country over love to pluck out the not-so-subtle notes of horse blanket, cat pee, and musty basement in their Belgian Gueuze, and while there’s certainly a place for that (even Zamfir has his fans), it’s not what most people are looking for in a beer.

What we’re talking about is a delicate beer with subtle flavors of wheat, salt, coriander, & acid. Imagine those same flavors in a perfectly baked sourdough loaf and you’ll have the general idea.

Here are some of our favorite Gose beers for the summer season. We hope you’re intrigued to find out more and give them a try next time you fire up the grill or lawnmower.


Sierra Nevada Otra Vez – Bucking tradition, Otra Vez is sweetened with prickly pear cactus & ‘tartened’ with grapefruit. The fruitiest of the new Gose beers, it’s the perfect ‘gateway Gose’ as an introduction to the style.

Uinta Ready, Set, Gose! – Mildy tart, this Gose is made in a more traditional method than the Otra Vez, and has more tart flavors with less fruitiness.

Sixpoint Jammer – Our favorite entry isn’t afraid of the salt. A healthy dose of Jacobsen’s Sea Salt brings balance to this funky can. You’ll go through a six pack before you know it!

Gosebrauerei Bayrischer Bahnhof Leipziger Gose – For a treat, go straight to the source. Re-vamped and re-opened in 1999, this brewery specializes in the Leipzig treat. We have it imported fresh as often as possible.



Black Hog Brewing Co.

blackhog_cansWe’re rolling out the welcome mat for cans of Black Hog Brewing’s terrific beer.

Made just down a ways in Connecticut (Oxford, to be exact), the popular craft brewery with the super hot label art is the creation of three beer-loving pals: Tyler Jones, whose brewing chops were honed at Mercury Brewing, Smuttynose and Portsmouth Brewery (NH), and brothers Jason and Tom Sobocinski (the latter a PC alum!), owners of the fantastic New Haven-based cheese shop & bistro Caseus, the award-winning bar Ordinary, and Smoke Box BBQ.

We love their Granola Brown Ale, which is brewed with a mix of oatmeal, grains, hops and roasted malts. The guys say they were inspired to make this beer on the hikes they take before beginning one of their legendary pig roasts (which they do often, hence the brewery’s name). While hiking and munching on crunchy granola they decided to incorporate the oat flavors into their beer. It’s smooth and malty, and finishes with – you guessed it – notes of chocolate and raisin.

Their Easy Rye’ Da is an “easy drinkin’” low ABV rye India Pale Ale. They cut back the ABV on this session style rye so that, according to their (really awesome) website, “you can cruise on it all day long, take it easy, have a few and remember what it’s all about.” It’s hoppy, with sweet and spicy citrus notes.

And check out the super hot Ginga’ Ninja, a red India Pale Ale brewed with 6 lbs of fresh ginger in every batch, and named after Tyler’s fiery-haired wife. It’s all ginger up front, and finishes with a lasting hop flavor.

In addition to images of their vibrant design-forward cans, the Black Hog Brewing website is chock full of strong pairing suggestions. And, not surprisingly given Tom and Jason’s background, lots of terrific cheese pairings are offered.

Black Hog Brewing Co.’s cans are on sale for the month of March at Bottles. Come give them a try!


Drink Your Chocolate

Skip the chewable chocolate this Valentine’s Day and give your sweetie the sippable sort. We’re crushing on a few bottles made with real chocolate and genuine skill, those that are good enough to be enjoyed year-round.

Meletti Cioccolato
Thick, dark, creamy, this Italian liqueur is pure pourable decadence. It’s made in Italy with milk and Dutch chocolate, sugar and alcohol, and is intensely rich and smooth with a balanced sweetness. We’re crazy for the Cioccolato any way it’s served: cold & neat (think adult pudding pop), warmed, over ice cream, or as a mixer in any number of cocktails.


Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
This full-flavored dark beer made with chocolate malt and real chocolate is luxurious without being overtly sweet. It’s certainly a satisfying treat on its own, but for something special, consider combining it in a frosty mug with vanilla ice cream and bourbon for the ultimate grown-up float.


Nickle Creek Decadence
A Rhody original, from Foster! This beautiful bottle, reminiscent of Port, has warm flavors of cherry and plum that make way for a dark, bittersweet chocolate finish. It’s a delicious way to end a romantic dinner.

Cheers and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Super Bowl Party Pairings

So your team hasn’t made it to the big game. So what. We can think of at least one reason why this could be a good thing: You now have more time to pay attention to the food on the table and the drink on the bar than the action on the field. And sure, yes, ok, your standard suds will be just fine with traditional game day fare. But put in a touch of extra effort, people – it’ll make game day that much more delicious.

Here are the brews we’ll be drinking when watching the two teams vie for their big fancy rings.


Smokey Sausages with Doppelbocks. The German beer’s big, strong and dark maltiness is a natural fit with the smoky meaty flavor of cocktail sausages & pigs in a blanket. We’re reaching for the  Weihenstephan Korbinian Doppelbock for its figgy, nutty roastiness.


Bowls of Chili with Big IPAs. A classic marriage of a hot-spicy chili with the hop-spicy IPA. We’re going for the sticky, hoppy, bold Lord Hobo Boom Sauce IPA.


Buffalo Wings & Blue Cheese Sauce with German Pilsners. The crisp, floral and refreshing German pils will balance out the wings’ addictive cheesy, spicy goodness. And the classic Bitburger Pilsner fits the bill for us every time.


Potato Chips & Onion Dip with Saisons. Nothing’s easier than ripping open a bag of chips and dipping them into a can of good old creamy, herbal onion dip. Nothing, that is, except cracking opening a bottle of a saison, whose herbal and spicy notes will balance that creamy dip. Allagash Saison, anyone?

Enjoy the game and may the best team win!

The Bottles’ 2015 Gift Guide

We scoured the wide world of beverages to select the perfect gifts for wine, beer and cocktail enthusiasts this year. They’re the bottles that are in-demand, on-trend, highly-acclaimed, and flat-out awesome.

Here’s what to give (and get) this holiday season:

gift1Four Roses Private Label Bourbon: Bottles’ Barrel #3 

Available only at Bottles: our private barrel (hand-selected by us!) of this highly sought-after bourbon: extremely rich & uncut – ideal for the hard-to-shop-for bourbon lover. Limited quantities availability. 



gift2True Born Gin “The Belgian Wheat Act” – Sons of Liberty 

First released earlier this year, this genever-style gin distilled from beer brewed with traditional gin botanicals is for beer and gin lovers alike. Locavores, will love it, too – it’s made in RI.



gift3Fifty-Fifty Eclipse Imperial Stout 

Delicious esoterica for the beer geek: award-winning Imperial Stout (various flavors) aged in oak bourbon barrels. The color of the wax enclosure indicates which bourbon casks were used.

$29.99 (22oz)


gift42010 Barolo 

The gift for serious collectors: 2010 is widely regarded as the most outstanding vintage for Barolo in the past several decades. Choose from our selection of acclaimed producers of this iconic wine.

$45 and up


gift5Creme de Noyaux Liqueur – Tempus Fugit Spirits 

Hand-crafted, all-natural almond & hazelnut creme liqueur for the serious at-home bartender and after-dinner drink aficionado. It’s what we want this year. Limited quantities available.



gift6Sotol Por Siempre 

Wildly popular with the country’s most talented mixologists, this regional mezcal is made with wild-harvested sotol rather than the standard agave. A must-have for the tequila / cocktail enthusiast.



chartreuse_giftGreen Chartreuse V.E.P 

The limited-edition, V.E.P bottling of this classic, secret-recipe liqueur is given special treatment with long aging in oak barrels. Each bottle is hand numbered and encased in a collectable wooden box. A truly special gift.



etna_giftMt. Etna (Sicilian) Wine 

They’re what sommeliers across the country are buzzing about: wines from this volcanic region are the most interesting being produced in Italy today. An outstanding gift for all wine enthusiasts. 

$15 – $65


gift_yellow_wine1999 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes 

One of the world’s most iconic wines is at the top of the bucket-list for many an oenophile. The pricing on the critically-acclaimed 1999 vintage makes this a splurge-worthy gift-of-a-lifetime. Don’t miss out.

$249.99 (375ml)


nips_giftBottles’ Mystery Box of Nips 

Five tiny bottles of booze all in one mystery box – who knows what they’ll get? One of our most popular gifts year after year. Makes a fun stocking stuffer or contribution to the Yankee Swap.



AND, for true one-stop-shopping, ask a team member about our various, festive wrapping & gift card options.

Happy Holidays, and Cheers!

Party Math: A Guide to Buying – and Serving – Booze

The good news is the party’s a raging success and your guests are having the time of their lives. The bad news is the party’s a raging success and you’re about to run out of booze. Here’s how to never let that happen again.


Now that you have that down, ensure your party’s a smash by following these 8 Tips for Entertaining from team Bottles:

1. Don’t forget mixers & garnishes. Figure 1 liter of soda water/tonic/juice for every 3 guests; plan on 1 lemon/lime/orange for every 3 guests as well.

2. Have on hand at least 1 lb. of ice per person for storage & drink-making purposes. Which means your ice trays aren’t enough. Just go buy ice already, and put it in a cooler on the back porch. Trust us.

3. White wine is to be served chilled, not ice cold. Take your whites out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving. Most red wine is to be served a touch cooler than room temp. So don’t store it in direct sunlight, or, gasp, near the oven.

4. Worried about temperature fluctuations when buying cold beer? Fear not. Too much light and extreme heat (think noon heat in an un-airconditioned-car in August) are what will damage your brews. Subtle temperature changes are fine.

5. Always serve food alongside alcoholic beverages.

6. Place pitchers of water near the bar – and keep them filled.

7. Have a designated driver – or your Uber account – queued up for over-indulgers.

8. Reduce party stress by ordering your bottles in advance either in-store or via phone, and Bottles will deliver to your door day of!




New Cigars for Spring! Smoking Monk by Drew Estate


Warmer weather means cigar season is here!

The most recent addition to our humidor is the Smoking Monk series from the cigar firm of Drew Estate.  Among their familiar labels is the Acid line (we have the Acid Blondie in stock).

The Smoking Monk series has five blends all intended to match with specific beer styles.  All five are rolled only in a generous 6 x 54 shape.  This is a lengthy smoke for perhaps relaxing on the 19th hole or while playing a round of golf.

The Hefeweizen blend is on the mild side and an easy smoke.  I smoked all five blends and prefer the fuller style of the remaing four: they are Imperial Stout, American IPA, Porter, and Triple Belgian.  The Smoking Monk is well constructed and contains high quality tobaccos.  Any of these blends smoke well with a fine beer or ale, or simply by itself.

Enjoy one during the Masters Tournament this weekend!