NERAX (New England Real Ale Exhibition) is held in late April/early May each year in Davis Sq. Somerville, MA. This event offers some of the best beers you will ever find in the Northeast.
VFW Hall hosting NERAX
VFW hall where NERAX is held

NERAX
What is real ale?

Real ale is cask conditioned beer that is different from other beers by the way it is brewed. These beers are top fermented, like all ales, but are typically fermented in a secondary vessel, like a cask or bottle. Real ales are always served from the secondary vessel and are not pasteurized or filtered. Due to the lack of filtration yeast and other  particles are left in the beer. This plays a role in the taste and clarity of the ale and can make for a cloudy beer if poured incorrectly. Once a cask or bottle is opened it should be consumed within 48 hours to preserve the freshness of the flavor.

When is the beer ready?

Real ale is alive. There is live yeast in the cask to provide the final fermentation and to ensure proper condition. The beer arrives about two weeks before the NERAX festival. It is vented; finings are added; and the cooling tubes and jacketing are put on each cask/keg. The beer is put onto stillage and will not be moved again until the cask is empty so that the sediment will not be disturbed.

The beer at NERAX
The kegs and casks

 

Enjoying a beer at NERAX
Enjoying a pint at NERAX

 

CAMRA

(Campaign for Real Ale) is an organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional cask conditioned ales. They are based in the UK and have over 45,000 members worldwide. They were formed in response to the many mergers of small breweries by larger companies who replaced their traditional real ales with mass produced beers. 

Danielle at NERAX
Danielle at NERAX

The crowd at NERAX
The crowd at NERAX

The bar
The bar

Getting really crowded!!
Getting very crowded

BEERS WE SAMPLED

Old Slapper - Bank Top (England)

Summer Lightning - Hop Back (Englnd)

JHB - Oakham (England)

Special Bitter - Young's (Scotland)

Fenway Vanilla Stout - Boston Beer Works (USA)

Raven Haired Beauty Mild - Bru Rm at Bar, CT (USA)

Grail Pale Ale - Franconia Notch Brewing Co, NH (USA)

Harpoon Ale - Harpoon, MA (USA)

Dead Horse IPA - McNeill's Brewery, VT (USA)

Mild - The Tap, MA (USA)

Hop Devil - Victory Brewing, PA (USA)

OUR TOP PICKS

Fenway Vanilla Stout (Boston, MA) Boston Beer Works - 5.25% ABV, Full-bodied oatmeal stout with a balanced blend of roasted malt and dark chocolate overtones. Real vanilla beans and a touch of molasses provide a unique subtlety that rounds out the rich flavor profile.

Raven Haired Beauty Mild (New Haven, CT) Bru Rm at Bar - 3.7% ABV, a smooth dark malt quality and easy drinkability. Hints of raisin and rich malt give way to a clean roast malt finish.

Redbones in Davis Square - Somverville, MA
A trip to Somerville would not be complete without a stop at Redbones!

Inside Redbones
Inside Redbones

Redbones Kitchen
Redbones Kitchen

Pulled pork
Mmmmm.... Pulled Pork

Keep real ale alive! Support your local brewers and brewpubs

 

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This page was last updated on:

12/26/2005
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