Last Monday night Allison Bloch and Bill Hall visited a new brewery called Drop Zone Brewing in Winthrop. It’s been open for six weeks, is veteran-owned and has a “phenomenal” 1882 American Brown Ale (according to Hall). Separately, Hall works in the beer industry and Bloch just likes to drink beer. But together, they are Beers Over Boston.
But before they were BOB, they were simply a couple. A couple who loved going on beer adventures together. Their first date was at Dorchester Brewing Co. in November 2019 and while they try to throw non-beer related activities into their dates, like Bloch says, “it tends to always go back to beer.” So, why not spread that love?
It all started almost exactly a year after they started dating, during the pandemic. It was November 2020 when Hall had been laid off from his job with a beer distribution company. He started to feel isolated from his work friends and the industry itself.
They started to venture out and document their joint beer adventures in a safe way while making new friends over a combined interest during a time where meeting new people was nearly impossible.
Now, they have over 10,000 followers on Instagram and have even attended weddings and baby showers of fellow beer bloggers they have met through their page!
Is now a good time to mention that Bloch is literally allergic to beer? Well, some beer. If she drinks a beer that’s “too hoppy”, she can’t breathe. If that doesn’t show dedication, then nothing does. Don’t worry, she tends to stick to the ciders, sours and lighter beers, the ones that don’t cause her throat to close, that way she can provide the reviews and the feedback that their followers want to hear!
The two of them go to different breweries to do tastings and review their experience by documenting it on their social media in a positive, fun way.
“We break down the barrier for those who aren’t as knowledgeable or as confident to walk into a brewery and order a schwarzbier,” Hall said.
Not only do these tastings provide them with the chance to educate others on different beers – and what to eat with them, Bloch says “anything potato” and Hall says “a traditional, fun, German sausage plate all day long” – but it allows them to showcase some local spots all the while making friends along the way.
Whether you go to Castle Island Brewing in South Boston, Widowmaker in Braintree, Remnant in Somerville or you go to Cambridge where if you “throw a rock, you’ll hit something,” there are endless breweries to explore over Boston.
Distraction Brewing in Roslindale is another notable spot. They went there one day, Hall spent four hours talking to and drinking with the owner at the bar (which to Hall is the most important thing in the business, that liquid to lips sales technique) and the next thing they knew, they were doing a beer collab with them.
Bloch and Hall knew that they wanted their beer to be a kolsch style, “the kind of beer you pull out of a cooler during a game of kickball, run across your forehead to cool down and then take 3 “sips” and it’s gone.” The name, Konventionell Kolsch was a play on the Kolsch Konvention, which was established to regulate how the drink could be produced and the criteria the drink must follow to be considered a kolsch in Germany back in the 1980s.
To Bloch, it was a surreal moment seeing their idea come to fruition. To Hall, he felt like it organically fell into place considering how long he had been in the industry and his passion for it all.
Here’s another beer fun fact from Hall:
Roughly 13,000 years ago, Mesopotamians and Sumarians were some of the first to cultivate beer when their regular drinking water became scarce and unsafe to drink. It became the first recorded recipe for any culinary produced product in history.
Now back to the article:
For those who might not know what a kolsch is or have no interest in venturing into the wide world of IPAs and beers beyond Bud Light, Hall has some words for you.
“99.9% of the time, it’s because they drank Natty Ice in college or the last beer they had was their husband’s warm Busch Ice on a fishing trip,” Hall said. “Even if it’s not for you, try a sip. No one will be offended if you don’t like it. People in the industry want to find the right fit for you.”
So if you fall under the category of “beer isn’t for me,” you might need to take a page out of the Beers Over Boston book and just try different kinds from different places.
After all, there are beers all over Boston.