Brew Scoops 3-10-18

Brew Scoops  3-10-18

Photo credit: Michael Sanders

By Gail Kearney

Anchor Brewing Co. announces the debut of Brewers’ Pale Ale, a bright and fruity American Pale Ale, brewed by brewers, for brewers. And now, Anchor is proud to share it with their beer community. This 5.3% APA is an aromatically complex, double dry-hopped ale that’s crisp, refreshing and flavorful. While this version highlights the unique Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand, providing a deliciously fruity character, Anchor brewers will continue to experiment with different hop varieties, showcasing evolved recipes and new hop blends throughout the year. The flavor and the way the beer presents itself will remain somewhat constant, but each new blend will have unique aromatics. This first blend has a strong aroma of grapefruit, passion fruit, citrus peels and dank piney hops. Brewed with 2-row pale, red wheat, pilsner and acidulated malt, Brewers’ Pale Ale is a crisp and quaffable beer packed with complex hop flavor. It pours a bright golden, straw-color with a creamy white head and nice lacing. Not filtered to intense clarity, it has an intentional slight haziness. It finishes fairly dry with a nice balanced drinkability, making it an excellent lunchtime beer. Available in 6-pack bottles and on draught at select bars, restaurants, and stores as well as at Anchor Public Taps and the Anchor Brewing Taproom in San Francisco.

Magic Hat is heeding the call of a cult-like following demanding the re-release of seasonal favorite Elder Betty from her brewery confinement. A weiss-style ale, it’s brewed with an American hefeweizen yeast and 2-row malted wheat for a bready malt flavor up front. A touch of Apollo hops is added for balance and is complemented by the tart berry notes of elderberry. Elder Betty will be available March – August, and those drinking in her good company are encouraged to do so socially with the hashtag #ShesBack. In another surprising concession, Magic Hat will be sending Betty out in 6-packs of cans in addition to including her in the Jam Pak bottle variety pack.

A new, authentic, oak foeder-aged, Belgian-style farmhouse ale was just released from Bruery Terreux – a brand from The Bruery in Orange County, CA that exclusively focuses on and explores the sour and wild side of beer. Saison Ardennes is a tart saison, hand-crafted to embody the dependable, spirited nature of a classic Belgian-style farmhouse ale. This includes a crisp malt profile, rustic floral and spice notes, and lively carbonation. Further depth and character evolved from a 6-month fermentation and maturation in a large oak foeder previously used for wine in Santa Rosa, CA. It’s a bottle of beer that will pleasantly age over time, thanks to the presence of wild yeast added for bottle conditioning. The beer will be available in 375-ml bottles and on tap in nearly 30 states throughout the country, starting this month. Bottles are also available on (shipping within CA only) and will soon be on the shelves at The Bruery Store at Union Market in Washington, D.C.

For the first time in the 260-year history of Samuel Smith’s Brewery, their authentic, traditionally-brewed Nut Brown Ale will be shipped from England in kegs! First tappings will be in mid-April and kegs should be in limited US national distribution before Samuel Smith’s annual recognition, the #SamSmithSalute, this year Thursday, May 17 – Saturday, May 19. Merchant du Vin imports Samuel Smith’s from England; Traquair House from Scotland; Ayinger and the organic beers of Pinkus from Germany. Our offerings from Belgium include Lindemans lambics, Green’s gluten-free beers, Du Bocq and the Trappist beers of Orval, Westmalle & Rochefort.

New Belgium Brewing and Mexico City’s Primus Microcerveceria have teamed up to capture the spirit and flavor of Mexican street culture and art with their newest collaborative release, Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza. Inspired by Agua Fresca, the refreshing, fruit-infused drink popular throughout Mexico, this super crisp 4.2% beer is brewed with hibiscus, agave, watermelon juice and whole lime puree. This brew is an innovative new style, creating a sweet flash with a touch of tart that evokes Mexican tastes and flavors. It pours a bright amber and a light pinkish white head drifts atop. Fruit aromas complement a sweet, slightly tart taste with a light mouthfeel and crisp finish. Available in 12-oz bottles and on draft as a year-round offering, it can be found across Mexico and currently in five US markets: AZ, CO, NM, NC and TX.

In celebration of Record Store Day, Dogfish Head is bringing independent beer and independent music together as they announce the release of a first-of-its-kind beer and vinyl collaboration with American rock icons, The Flaming Lips. Dropping on RSD (Saturday, April 21), The Flaming Lips will release a limited edition 7” called “The Story of Yum Yum and Dragon,” featuring two original songs inspired by the new Dogfish beer, Dragons & YumYums, a lip smackingly tart pale ale. Along with the limited edition 7” release, Dogfish and The Flaming Lips will also unleash 100 translucent records filled with the actual Dragons & YumYums beer just before Record Store Day. The super collectible beer-filled vinyl will be available at special events nationwide leading up to and on April 21. Hitting retail shelves and taps from late March through August and packing an explosion of fruit in every sip, Dragons & YumYums is an intensely tropical, yet subtlety bitter ale brewed with a combination of dragonfruit, yumberry, passionfruit, pear juice and black carrot juice. Clocking in at 6.5%, this light-bodied pale ale has a balanced sweetness, slightly resinous flavor, with piney aromas and a pink, blush-wine hue.\rsd

National Bohemian Beer Co. announced the release of National Bohemian Crab Shack Shandy, its first new beer to hit the market in over 30 years. The 4.2% shandy is a golden straw-colored lager infused with notes of citrus and a hint of lemon and orange zest, overlaid with finely roasted malt flavor. Light-bodied and easy-to-drink, it culminates in a white foamy head and a quick, dry finish. Crab Shack Shandy is available in 16-oz can 6-packs and 12-oz can 12-packs in MD, PA, DE, VA and DC through the end of the summer.

Coffee + Tripel + bourbon barrels = James Bean. Allagash Brewing Co.’s Belgian-style golden ale that’s aged in bourbon barrels and blended with cold-brewed coffee from local roaster, Speckled Ax is now shipping. It features a balance of caramel, oak, bourbon, and coffee notes. James Bean uses naturally processed Ethiopian beans, known for their stone fruit and dark berry flavors. While the beer rested in bourbon barrels, Allagash ground about 400 lbs of coffee and then put it in a fermenter with filtered water to steep. Once the beer was complete, the coffee was blended back with the beer at a precise amount, to ensure balance among the ingredients. In the end result, complex coffee flavors mix with notes of caramel, vanilla, and bourbon that the beer gained from its stay in barrels. For its 2018 release, the beer will reach Allagash’s full distribution footprint in 750-ml bottles and 5.17 gallon kegs.

Empire Brewing Co. released Particle City at both their Farm and Brewpub locations. Back by popular demand, this brew made its debut in January of 2017. Its local success on draft and rave reviews from brew fests throughout NY made it an obvious candidate for a specialty-canned brand. Still coasting off the demand from last year, the majority of Empire’s Particle City can inventory was pre-sold to Wegmans, but the local supermarket chain didn’t stop there. Over 50 Wegmans representatives actually came out to Cazenovia on February 27th, 2018 for “Empire Beer School” and lent a hand on the packaging line. The 8% brew is aromatic and bright, with tropical flavors and a big juicy mouth-feel that only Citra and Mosaic hops can deliver. NY state flaked oats, late whirlpool additions and a three-stage dry hop give this unmistakable North Eastern-style IPA an iridescent haze. The limited release beer in 16-oz cans will be available at most Wegmans locations throughout New York this weekend as part of their Freshest Beer Program.

3 Daughters Brewing in St Petersburg, FL has just released their newest canned beer, Floating Dock Light. It is an IPA that is brewed like any other IPA but what sets this apart is the calorie count – clocking in at under 120 calories – it is the first and only true light craft beer in distribution in Florida. It features slightly spicy notes with hints of tropical fruit and watermelon. This 4.2% light IPA is available year-round in 24-packs of 12-oz cans, and kegs.

Woodchuck® Hard Cider is excited to announce that it will release a new line-up of ciders starting in 2018 called Tank Series. Each cider will be in the market for three to four months and then will be replaced by the next round of Tank Series innovation. The first Tank Series variety will be 5% Pear Ginger, a cider that was released briefly in select markets in 2017 and won Gold at the World Cider Championships. Pear Ginger infuses both pear and ginger for a cider that is light and refreshing. This first of three new Tank Series available in 2018 is available nationally beginning in March, in 12-oz 6-pack cans and in 15.5 gallon kegs.

Ale Asylum, Wisconsin’s third largest craft brewery, announced it’s releasing its first year-round, packaged lager – the 12 oz. Curl. The delicate balance of German hops and malts make this 5.2% premium pilsner crisp, smooth, and supremely drinkable like a pilsner oughta be. This seasonal pilsner first debuted a year ago, in March 2017, and because of popular demand, it’s now available for purchase year round in WI, IL and MN.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant continues their bold releases of craft-beers-to-go with a new one each month, all vividly designed and creatively packaged in 16-oz or 12-oz cans, bringing ever more of the brewery’s beers into portable packaging. On Friday, March 9, Sweet Leaf IPA became part of the canned collection. It’s a pale yellow American IPA brewed with Columbus, Centennial, Chinook and Simcoe hops for medium body and overwhelming hop flavor. Tune into the subtle undertones of grapefruit, pine and tropical fruit. Clock Out American Lager (April 5) is a refreshing lager to enjoy after a hard day at work. With strong notes of pine and citrus, a smooth and clean finish, and just a hint of bitterness, it is brewed to reward and refresh, balancing flavor and drinkability. Because you’ve still got to clock back in tomorrow. Vienna Red Lager (April 19). is an Iron Hill staple: a European-style amber lager with medium body, delicate malt aroma, slight sweetness and a clean, crisp finish. This marks the first time Sweet Leaf IPA will be available in cans for in-store purchase, sold in convenient 4-packs of 16-oz cans. Clock Out American Lager is a new seasonal, and will be available in 6-packs of 12-oz cans.