Bebe’s Boyd Street IPA {Brewing Beer at Hopsters}

This post has been a long time coming! Last year, I got RM a gift card to make beer at Hopsters Brewery in Newton Corner… conveniently located a short 5 minute walk from our apartment. However, for any number of reasons, we didn’t end up making it there until RM’s birthday back in December. When we realized we still hadn’t gone AND his birthday was on a Friday night, we figured it would be a great way to celebrate his day.

We loved Hopsters for many reasons before our visits (beers are great, food is delicious, vibe is on point), but after we worked with their team to make beer and saw how much they knew and how passionate they were about beer, we loved them even more! It was pretty cool watching them in their element.

Since this was RM’s gift and because he is the beer lover out of the two of us, I let him make all of the decisions in terms of what type of beer we were going to make. Recently, he’s really been into IPA’s, so he chose to base the beer off of their Double IPA recipe. What is really neat about the process is that they use their recipes just as that- a base- and then as you start the actual process they offer different options/suggestions for how to change it up a bit. For us, we opted to change it up in terms of the types of “hops” we used.

I had no idea there were so many to choose from! Between that and the wheat and barley, it was such an interesting project and learning experience. On top of learning about hops and beer ingredients, we learned about the process when it came to actually brewing the beer.

It starts out in a big barrel type thing where the water and hops and other ingredients get heated to a certain temperature. While this happens, we had the chance to have a beer (not the one we were making, haha) and some food. I think it was about an hour or so. Once this was up, we watched as they moved the beer from the barrel into keg type setup that they keep in their lower area. From there, the beer takes a few weeks to go through the fermentation process. Once it’s reached that point, you go back and start the bottling process.

The first session takes about 2 hours when you include the wait times throughout various parts of the process. The bottling takes about an hour and a half as you have at least 72 bottles to fill and cap! For some reason, our brew created nearly 90 bottles but we had to give them to Brody (or Brady? I can’t remember his name, but he was the one who helped us with our brewing- he was amazing!!) since we were only allowed to take 72 home by law.

(And yes, while it make look like we bottled on the same day due to RM wearing the same shirt, it was done about 3 weeks later… he just clearly loves this shirt 😉 )

Once we finished bottling, we were able to put our labels on and take them home. After your first visit, they give you the link to where you can upload your label design to their template so they can print it for you. The brewing, bottling, labels and gratuity are all included in the cost, which is nice. It was about $230 for us to make an IPA (just as an FYI).

And as for the name, RM’s father had nicknames for his 3 kids and Bebe was RM’s nickname. He also lived in the apartment we currently live in when he was a kid (during the Bebe nickname time period), so he decided to go with Bebe’s Boyd Street IPA. The close runner up was the Irritable Italian IPA (gotta love a good alliteration), which I think should be the name the next time we do it 😉

Overall, this was such a fun experience and we learned so much! We would both recommend this to anyone who enjoys beer or is looking for a good gift idea! Big thanks to Hopsters for making it such a fun activity- and for helping us brew and absolutely delicious beer!

Questions for you: have you ever made beer before? Or wine? What’s the last activity date youv’e done? 

“Do you eat that?”

Every couple of weeks, it seems like my company is hosting a luncheon for some type of contract/business win. Most of the time it’s pizza and salad, but other times it’s random. Last week, it was sandwiches. I’m not a huge sandwich fan, but I think that’s because we never ate a lot of them growing up. I didn’t have ham and cheese for lunch, we didn’t go out for Italian subs, and I didn’t even like jelly or jam for a while so I would just eat peanut butter sandwiches, which isn’t really your traditional sandwich. In other words, my indifference towards sandwiches has nothing to do with the fact that there’s bread (often times lots of wonderfully delicious bread) involved with it; I don’t not (love that double negative) eat sandwiches because of the carbs. I’m all set with applying rules to different food categories and letting that dictate how I eat.

But, the other day when we were talking in the kitchen about the sandwich lunch, a coworker looked at me and asked: “Do you eat that? You probably don’t.”, to which I replied “I do eat sandwiches and bread, it just has to be one that tastes really good to me. Or I have to be in the mood.” Take for instance, the most amazing prosciutto and cheese sandwiches we had while we were in Italy. They were so simple, yet so fresh and all around absolutely incredible so I gladly ate those on more than one occasion.

I find it funny how many people label or regard me when it comes to food and exercise. So often, people automatically assume that just because I write a healthy-living blog, because I generally choose lots of veggies, protein, fruits, etc. and because I workout and teach fitness that I don’t eat “unhealthy” things. That I don’t eat carbs. Or fats. Or sweets. As such, it’s fairly frequent that I’ll get the “I didn’t know you ate that.” or “ahh, it’s good to see that you splurge, too” when I’m seen grabbing a cookie, or peanut butter filled pretzels, or chips, or whatever else might be where I am (kitchen, at a party, at an event. etc.)

While I know people generally  don’t mean any harm with their comments, it can be frustrating because it’ snot my intent to send out the message that I only eat “healthy” things and don’t eat the “less healthy” things. Yes, I do workout a lot, but that’s because I truly enjoy it, not because I feel like I have to. Yes, I do try and “eat well” most of the time, but that’s because it makes me feel good to eat that way, not because I’m afraid to eat “less healthy” choices. But, there are also plenty of times where I skip workouts because I’m tired/sore/not feeling it. There are plenty of times where I happily agree to go out and get wings or pizza or ice cream.

Bottom line, there are plenty of times where I don’t fit the “healthy person” stereotype that society loves to talk about and label. I am a real person and I do my best to be my best every day. And sometimes that’s skipping workouts, having vino or eating a damn sandwich- guilt free, at that! Which, if you’ve followed me for a while, you surely know already 😉

I’d love to hear from you on this- do you find yourself following “food rules” or labels? Does that effect how you approach food? If not, how do you practice balance or moderation when it comes to food and exercise? 

 

Friday Things

Hey there! Happy Friday! This week has flown by- can you believe it’s already mid-March? And St. Patrick’s Day, at that! Is anyone doing anything to celebrate? I don’t think I am, but I’m OK with that- I’ve had plenty of years where I’ve had St. Patty’s day celebrations so a quiet one this year doesn’t bother me.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve popped in with a Friday post! And, to be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll continue with my “Five on Friday” series. It’s been fun, but these days I feel as though I’m struggling to find 5 share-worthy things with you, so what’s the point in that? Instead, I’d rather just share things of interest and relevance when they occur- sound good?

  • As Close to Us As Breathing- This was another book club book for one of my book clubs and I really enjoyed it! It was about a Jewish family in the mid 1900’s and it was interesting to see just how different things where back then and how badly different ethnic groups did not get along. It’s also interesting to see the family dynamic of the main character’s family.

  • Share your stuff!- After class last Saturday, two people tagged me in their after-class meal pictures and it was so fun to see how they refuel. I always re-post in my Instagram stories, so if you want to be included, be sure to tag me!

  • Snow Day Baking- While we were home together on Tuesday, RM and I both felt like cookies. We didn’t have the traditional cookie ingredients in the house so I googled “Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies” and this recipe popped up first. Luckily I had all of the ingredients so I whipped them up and we were both so happy with how they came out! They’re definitely “healthy” cookies, but they satisfied our cookie craving, too!

  • Sweat, Shop, Snack at New Balance Don’t forget, in 2 weeks I’m hosting a fitness event at the New Balance flagship store in Brighton. At 6:30 we will start a cardio kickboxing class and then after that you’ll have a chance to shop around (with a 20% discount) and snack on Larabars, sip on Purity Organics and more. Grab a girlfriend (or boyfriend!) and get your spot now– you don’t want to miss this!

I think that does it for me! I’ll be at the Y tomorrow morning for kickboxing if anyone wants to join in on the fun 🙂 10am!

Questions for you: Have you read any good books lately? Have you done any good baking lately? What are your plans for this weekend? 

Wednesday Workout: At-home 4 Round Bodyweight Circuit

Hello! Did you catch my recap of our Jackson Hole trip yesterday? It was a fun one to recap! One thing I didn’t talk about in that post was working out- weird, right? Although I did not put on a pair of sneakers once, I did do one quickie at-home bodyweight circuit that I wanted to share with you. It’s by no means the hardest workout here on B2B, but it was a nice little afternoon pick-me up on the day we did not ski. As for the days we skiied, I felt as though that was all I needed, especially when combined with the amount of walking we did as well. Skiing didn’t necessarily feel HARD to me (my legs were not burning or tired), but I knew my body was still working a lot so I decided to take it easy.

Not “working out” (in the traditional sense) for this extended period was actually a really nice break from my traditional workout grind that I do week in and week out, and I found that I came back looking forward to getting back to my normal workouts. I missed lifting heavy things and sweating!

Regardless of whether you’re traveling, just looking for a little something, or are stuck inside (snow, rain, etc.), this might be the perfect workout for you!

I uploaded video’s to my Insta story throughout the workout so you can see what I did here (with the exception of triceps dips- that video didn’t upload, but I think those are common enough to not need a video):

As always, let me know if you try this- I love knowing that these workouts are actually valuable posts! haha 😉

Questions for you: Did you do an at-home workout yesterday during the storm or was shoveling your workout?

Ski/Snowboard Trip To Jackson Hole

Now that we are back and unpacked from our trip, I wanted to share some highlights and details with you in case you’re thinking of taking a ski/snowboard trip out west. I’ll preface this post by saying that I am by no means an avid skiier, but it’s something that I am trying to do more of since RM really loves snowboarding. That said, he was the one to plan the trip which was a nice treat! I hope you enjoy the recap!

Why Jackson Hole?

RM generally takes a snowboard trip out west every year and Jackson was a mountain that he had not been to yet. When he started asking around, everyone who had been to Jackson Hole had such great things to say so we decided to check it out. Two of my close friends from college lived out there after we graduated and taught skiing so they were a great resource for us to get our “must do/try/see” list together.

We decided to fly right into Jackson Hole which was a great decision because the views from the plane as we got into the area were literally the most beautiful thing. If you’ve never been, the airport is basically in the midst of the mountains so even when you get off the plane you’re looking at mountains all around. Plus, they serve mini mimosas to you!

Where To Stay

We chose to stay at the Sleeping Indian condo’s in Teton Village, but if we had known it was a 15 minute walk to get to the mountain base restaurants/bars/etc., we would have opted to stay elsewhere. The condo we rented had everything we needed, but was lacking in some of the things that would have been nice. For instance, we would’ve liked if it was a little more updated, if it had an easily accessible hot tub (rather than walking down the road to use a community one) and if it was in a more central location. While the walk wasn’t THAT far, at night when it was dark and cold and we were tired from skiing, it was the last thing we wanted to do! We ended up staying in a few nights because of it. If/when we go back, we will likely stay at the Snake River Lodge, Teton Mountain Lodge or another one of the more centralized hotels. Staying at the Four Seasons would be amazing, but that comes with a hefty price tag 😉 Staying in downtown Jackson is also an option, but that’s about a 15-20 minute drive to the mountain so if you plan on going for a ski/snowboard trip we would suggest staying in Teton Village.

What To Do

Ski! Snowboard! Snowmobile! Snowshoe! Cross-country Ski! Shop! and those are just the winter activities. Even if you aren’t a skiier/snowboarder, there are definitely plenty of things to do, but since we went with the purpose of going skiing/snowboarding, that’s primarily what we did.

Our first full day there was beautiful- low 40’s and so sunny- so we opted to not ski and head into downtown Jackson to do some touristy things. We shopped, took pics at the antler arches, had drinks and lunch at the Snake River Brewery and popped into the famous Million Dollar Cowboy Bar because it was a “must do”! RM was so glad we did because we ended up seeing Sanjay Gupta and his family there. If don’t know who this is, it means you don’t watch CNN enough 😉

 

 

We had other things we wanted to do, but since we were skiing for 3 days we just didn’t have enough time to get it all in.

As far as skiing, we were lucky that the first day we skiied was nice because we were able to soak in the most amazing views from the chair lifts/gondolas and throughout our trail runs. It started snowing at the end of our first day on the mountain and literally didn’t stop snowing the rest of the trip, which made for great skiing! We skiied the right side of the mountain the most- Apres Vous, Casper, Teton, etc. We did venture up to Bridger a few times, but between the wind and snow, the visibility was basically non-existent so it was not that fun for me. I loved the blue and double blue trails on the other parts of the mountain, though, but I will say that it is a pretty challenging mountain in terms of steepness so the blues and double blues were no joke! I feel like when I ski here back east it’s going to be such a letdown since the mountains aren’t as tall and there aren’t as many trails to choose from.

 

and just for fun… this video is of me trying to be “good”

Watch me whip, watch me nae nae. ⛷🎿#jacksonhole #skiing #springskiing #volcom #northface #smith #powpow #powfordaysbrah

A post shared by Monique Gagnon (@burpeestobubbly) on

 

and this is what reality is generally like…

I could watch that and still laugh a hundred times over!

Where To Eat/Apres Ski

This is probably my favorite thing to recap because there were so many great restaurants/bars for food and Apres Ski.

  • Mangy Moose– Obviously this is number one on the list! Everyone told us that we had to go there because they have the best apres ski and they were not wrong! It was always the most crowded and the drinks (get the margarita!!) and food were awesome- and reasonably priced. There was also a live band every day! If you go to JH, you MUST go to the Mangy Moose. It’s also worth noting that they have a little grocery store in the lower level where we were able to get some staples for our condo- including wine and beer!

  • Il Villaggio Osteria– This was in Hotel Terre and had amazing pizza! One night RM wasn’t hungry (too many apres ski nachos and wings…) and we ended up walking over there and sitting in the lobby bar and I had the meatballs and kale salad which were great. Another night RM was laid up because of a hurt foot (he’s fine now) so I walked and picked up pizza for us and we both raved how good it was. They also have other traditional Italian dishes that sounded amazing.
  • Spur Restaurant – This was in the Teton Mountain Lodge and was another hot spot for dining. We grabbed seats in the bar area and shared a delicious salad, mini tuna tartar tacos, steak and a droolworthy bread pudding. The staff was incredibly attentive and warm- I can’t say enough good things about this restaurant!

  • The Handle Bar– This was a restaurant in a prime location: direct base of the mountain connected to the Four Seasons. We had and Apres ski round of drinks there one day after skiing and were able to sit outside which was a nice March treat. We ended up having dinner there- an incredible burger!- on our last night. They’ve got a great bar inside, too!

  • Alpenhof– They had great apres ski deals, but we only had drinks there. They were supposedly a great apre ski spot, however, the few times we popped in to see if we wanted to stay, it was really quiet. It’s still in a great location so I would check it out if you are in the area!
  • Snake River Brewery– We popped in here during our day in town and ended up having lunch there, too, which was a fantastic idea since the food ended up being really delicious. And who am I kidding? The beer was also really good (and I’m not even a huge beer person!). We shared a salad and steak tacos and both agreed the tacos were the best we’ve had (for the steak varietal).

  • Million Dollar Cowboy Bar– We felt like we needed to pop into this bar since it’s a pretty famous landmark in Jackson. It was fun soaking in all of the details throughout the bar.

We had all intentions of making it back into town on our last night to check out the Silver Dollar Bar at The Wort hotel, but it was still snowing and we didn’t want to make the trek back to town so unfortunately we never made it back 😦

All in all, this was such an incredible trip and we would both highly suggest it to anyone who is looking for adventure in an absolutely beautiful place. I really hope we can make it back out here again!