Suds & Smoke

Welcome to what will hopefully be a reoccurring beer review segment that will cover everything from craft to crap. I admittedly, enjoy the cheap mass produced swill over your more high end craft brews, so my views will certainly differ from the typical beer reviewer. My go to pairing with a cigar is a cold beer, so along the way I’ll offer recommendations. 

This segment is featuring Epigram Brew Co, a new brewery located in Tyngsborough Massachusetts. They offer all different styles of beer, while still providing the IPAs that the masses crave. I will be the first to tell you that IPAs almost never satisfy me, so this will be an interesting venture. 

Follow Epigram Brew Co on Instagram @epigrambrewco and visit them at

Passionate (Sour) by Epigram Brew Co.

True to Description (20): 18

Appearance (5): 5

After Taste (10): 9

Drinkability (10): 8

Aroma (5): 5

Versatility (20): 16

Overall Enjoyability (30):  25

Total Score 86

Cigar Pairing Recommendation: Mighty 54 Privada Cigar Club by Chico Rivas. This Dominican puro doesn’t seem like it would be the candidate to pair well with a sour beer, but it proved to be perfect. It had enough spice and depth to stand up to a stronger profile found in the beer, but the creaminess is really what mingled so well with the burst of fruit from the beer.

Temptation (NE IPA) by Epigram Brew Co.

True to Description (20): 20

Appearance (5): 5

After Taste (10): 10

Drinkability (10): 8

Aroma (5): 5

Versatility (20): 17

Overall Enjoyability (30):  30

Total Score 95

Cigar Pairing Recommendation: Espinosa Knuckle Sandwich Habano. Truthfully, I’m not a huge IPA guy. When done right, I can really I appreciate them though. This one is absolutely done right. One of the issues I find with IPAs is the flavor is so strong that I can’t enjoy my cigars with them. This combo here was perfection. The Knuckle Sandwich offered the pepper kick and touch of cinnamon that smoothed out a bit of the bitter edge you naturally get from an IPA. The tropical fruit and lime notes in the Temptation worked along side the baking spices found in the Knuckle Sandwich and had me tasting a fresh key lime pie in an almost cake form. This pairing will be revisited regularly because at times, Temptation gets the best of me. 

Opportunity (Kolsch) by Epigram Brew Co.

True to Description (20): 20

Appearance (5): 5

After Taste (10): 9

Drinkability (10): 10

Aroma (5): 3

Versatility (20): 20

Overall Enjoyability (30):  29

Total Score 96

Cigar Pairing Recommendation:  Opportunity is a crisp and clean Kolsch beer and it could really pair with any cigar you throw at it. I went through a broadleaf, Habano and a Connecticut shade cigar working on this review and honestly all of them paired beautifully. The one that really stood out though was the HVC Hot Cake Golden Line Connecticut Shade. The floral notes in the cigar were amplified by the herbal and floral notes in the beer. Neither the beer nor cigar overpowered one other, working together like a well oiled machine. This review experience leaves me feeling grateful for the Opportunity. 

Final Thoughts: Epigram Brew Co. has beers for every taste. The first thing I really noticed was the quality of beer. You can really tell that a lot of passion was put into the process and zero shortcuts were taken. I’m most impressed that I found an IPA that I not only genuinely enjoy, but also really pairs well with cigars, something I thought I would never find. I highly recommend checking out Epigram Brew Co.

Andrew Nagle

My name is Andrew Nagle and I live in a small town in New Hampshire. I spend my days working Quality Control for an Aerospace manufacturing company. I’m an avid Boston sports fan. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, son and two dogs.