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Party Happy: Rialto + Jack’s Abby Brewery

A few things I learned at last week’s event at celeb chef Jody Adams’ acclaimed Cambridge, MA restaurant, Rialto: beer cocktails are bubbly and delicious; french fries are better sliced like ruffled potato chips; any type of soft cheese compliments saffron roasted peppers on bread; and Jack’s Abby Brewing co-owner, Sam Helder hates punny beer names.

Friend and food blogger, Jacki Morisi (Boston.com’s Chow Down Beantown, Just Add Cheese) was the brains and brawn behind the event, having slipped gracefully into her new position as Rialto‘s marketing and PR coordinator. Amongst the charcuterie, passed plates and educational beer tasting, our guests chatted with the aforementioned Sam Helder (one of the three brothers who own Jack’s Abby), who expressed his utter disdain for the pun-riddled beer names his siblings constantly devise.

At the request for un-punny beer name suggestions, some pals and I commenced our brilliant naming technique: punny beer names.

“Drop it Like it’s Hops?”

Blank stare.

“Lager? I Hardly Know Her!”

Blank stare.

“Too Hops to Trot?”

Walks away.

Regardless, the star of the evening was a deep, dark chocolate-colored lager called Smoke & Dagger, which, as the description reads, “skirts the line between a schwarzbier and smoked porter.” As an only occasional beer drinker myself, I still loved the malty, full-bodied flavor of the brew, which paired well with Rialto’s epic grilled seafood spread.

Verdict: If you enjoy a hearty lager, the Abby boys will be your jam; and for the full experience, check out their tasting room and brewery tour. Also, if you’re looking for beer names, my friends and I would be hoppy to help. GET IT?

For more info on the Framingham, MA-based brewer, visit JacksAbbyBrewing.com and follow them on Twitter at @JacksAbby.

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