Brew Scoops 4-18-18

Brew Scoops 4-18-18

By Gail Kearney, gailekearney@gmail.com

Born inside their nano brewery in Boston, Samuel Adams New England IPA is a medium-bodied, hazy brew featuring a big punch of citrus juiciness. The slight sweetness is perfectly balanced by the pineapple and grapefruit hop character, without being overly bitter. Clocking in at 6.8% and a low 35 IBUs, the unfiltered IPA provides a burst of fruited hop aroma and leaves drinkers wanting another sip. In comparison to West Coast style IPAs which have prominent hop bitterness and a light, dry mouthfeel, New England IPAs are generally known for a juicy, luscious mouthfeel and opaque, hazy appearance – and are best enjoyed fresh. Available year round on draft and 16-oz 4-pack cans. samueladams.com

As an ode to fishermen and the bounty they bring to the table, Narragansett Beer is proud to release Fresh Catch, a new year-round addition to its growing portfolio of award-winning craft beers. Fresh Catch is a supremely refreshing blonde ale that embodies everything it means to be from a coastal town. It’s about heritage, the tradition and importance of the fishing industry, and the excitement on the faces of friends and family when the first lobster, crab, or grouper of the season hits the table. Brewed with seafood pairing in mind, this blonde ale boasts aromas of citrus and passionfruit and is dry hopped with citra for a crisp grapefruit finish. At 4.2% and 23 IBUs, this session ale is a beer-fridge mainstay all year round. Available in 6-packs of 16-oz tallboys and 12-packs of 12-oz cans throughout the entire Narragansett footprint. narragansettbeer.com

Stone Brewing released 10.6% Stone Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout. With roots in both the old world and new, this sinfully delightful beer makes its debut with slight tweaks to the original Stone Imperial Russian Stout recipe. The original recipe has been augmented by the careful addition of Belma hops and flaked oats. Pouring jet black with a fluffy chocolate head, the aroma is rich and roasty with the scent of dark chocolate and espresso. Flavors of black currant and chocolate complemented by notes of graham cracker and marshmallow produce a long-lasting smooth and silky finish. Available nationwide in 12-oz 6-pack bottles, 22-oz bottles and draft. stonebrewing.com/totalitarian
Stone Brewing encourages its brewers to live in a world of pure imagination… If they can dream it, they can brew it. As a result, Stone presents Stone VirtuALE IPA, the latest liquid exploration into the world of experimental hop technology. The beer incorporates first-use technology – INCOGNITO™ – a brand new proprietary technique for processing hops. The resulting Citra and Mosaic extracts highlight different qualities of the otherwise familiar hops. While hop extracts have been around for years, new processes for separating the lupulin (that delicious hoppy goodness) from the plant material offer new layers of complexity for brewers to explore. With West Coast bitter roots and a dank hop kick that finishes surprisingly tropical, the 7.7% IPA is nothing short of a blockbuster release. The beer pours light gold carrying floral, resin and grapefruit aromas. Flavors of berry upon grapefruit and hibiscus give this beer a soft bitter finish complemented by a light hint of honey. Available in 22-oz bottles and draft in select states nationwide. stonebrewing.com/virtuale

Founders Brewing Co. has been making headlines with the release of Solid Gold, a highly affordable premium lager launched earlier this year and sold exclusively in cans. It will also be the first Founders release available in a convenient 24-pack size, limited to Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin in Meijer stores along with select participating retailers. The new recipe features lager yeast, corn and lemondrop hops for just the right hit of flavor. Made for sessionable drinking, 4.4% Solid Gold will appeal to classic lager drinkers but adds a craft character, to balance natural sweetness with a touch of citrus. True to the lager style, it is a beautiful non-filtered beer, golden in color, with a smooth aftertaste. Available year-round in 6-pack cans, 15-pack cans and on draft throughout the entire Founders distribution network – that’s right, no bottles. foundersbrewing.com

Cisco Brewers is bringing Gripah IPA, a citrusy IPA bursting with ruby red grapefruit, to beer drinkers across the Northeast in 6-pack bottles and 12-pack cans. The beer was first brewed in 2015 to celebrate Cisco’s 20th anniversary and was a big hit on Nantucket. This release marks the first time Gripah IPA will be available off-Island and the first new year-round addition to Cisco’s portfolio since 2014. At 5.5% and 50 IBUs, it has a light body and a bright, citrusy nose that compliments the Citra, Amarillo, Galaxy and El Dorado hops, making it an ideal beer for spring and summer drinking. The addition of real grapefruit zest at the end of fermentation delivers an impressive burst of citrus flavor and aroma that leaves you longing for another sip. ciscobrewers.com

The monks at Spencer Brewery are getting peachy! Spencer Trappist Peach Saison marks the launch of the brewery’s new Fruit Series and is the first Saison brewed commercially by a Trappist brewery. This 4.3% farmhouse fruit ale is the 8th beer style that Spencer has made commercially available. This fruit series nicely complements the monastery’s other product line, Trappist Preserves, which the monks at St. Joseph’s Abbey have been making and selling since 1953. Opening in 2013 in Spencer, MA, it is the only Trappist brewery located outside of Europe. A beer’s “Trappist” designation refers not to its style, but to the fact that it is produced and sanctioned by the International Trappist Association. Of all the breweries in the world, only eleven may carry the “Authentic Trappist Product” logo. spencerbrewery.com

 

The next big thing in hoppy beer is here, say hello to The Hemperor HPA. New Belgium Brewing’s new year-round release showcases the game-changing union of hops and hemp, plants genetically related that produce similar organic aromatic compounds known as terpenes. This 7%, 55 IBU ale is brewed with hemp hearts (the meat of the seed, minus the shell) and dry-hopped with Simcoe and experimental HBC 522 hops to create a dank, pungent hop aroma balanced by a sweet, mildly bitter finish. Federal law prohibits brewers from using hemp leaf and flower, so New Belgium brewers found a creative solution using other natural plant materials that perfectly emulate those hemp terpenes The restrictive regulatory process around brewing The Hemperor HPA gives New Belgium the opportunity and platform to raise awareness around the social, environmental and economic benefits of industrial hemp. Beer drinkers will be encouraged to learn more and take action at thehemperor.com. Now available on draft, with 12-oz. bottles arriving across the nation on May 21st (the beer is currently banned in Kansas). The Hemperor HPA contains no THC or CBD.

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., is adding a new beer to its iconic core product portfolio, Yuengling Golden Pilsner, a modern pilsner crafted with the perfect balance of hop and malt character for crisp, smooth refreshment. Born from six generations of brewing expertise, Golden Pilsner is Yuengling’s first year-round beer to debut in 17 years. At 4.7% and 135 calories, this all malt beer combines pale and specialty malts, Hallertau and Saaz hops to create a bold, noble hop flavored brew with a smooth, clean finish. It is available in cans and bottles in Cleveland, OH; Harrisburg and Schuylkill County, PA; Atlanta; the Virginia Beach area; and RI. In Florida, the new beer is available in the Tampa and Fort Myers area as well as Orlando. Golden Pilsner will expand throughout FL and GA in April and May, and be available across Yuengling’s entire 22-state footprint by the end of the year. yuengling.com

Winner of a Bronze medal at World Beer Cup for American Style Sour (2013), Red Poppy, The Lost Abbey’s Flander’s red ale with sour cherries makes its 2018 debut. Inspired by the California state flower, Red Poppy is a veritable celebration of sour cherries. Aged in oak barrels for over 12 months, it begins with a burst of fresh tart cherries and layers of tropical Brett funk, leading to a dry, red wine tannic-like finish. Available in both Lost Abbey tasting rooms, it will hit limited distribution throughout The Lost Abbey distribution network beginning in April. lostabbey.com

There are certain areas of the world — notably the Pacific Northwest, Germany and New Zealand — that are known for producing the types of hops that make your mouth water and your face melt. Often, the East Coast isn’t on that list. Until now. Flying Dog Brewery’s East Coast Hop Project is a first-of-it’s-kind variety pack that highlights a different farm and the regionally-viable hops they produce: IPA with Black Locust Hops – Starting small and now expanding to a full-service hop harvesting facility outside of Baltimore, Che and Lisa Carton’s hops have been featured in Secret Stash Harvest Ale for many years. In this beer, the citrus, pine and resin of their Cascade and Chinooks dominate, proving how well popular West Coast varieties grow on the East Coast. Pale Ale with Pleasant Valley Hops – Dan Carroll is betting big on sustainable hop production in Maryland. His insight has shaped major academic studies in the field and proved that hop farming south of the Mason Dixon has plenty of room to grow. In this pale ale, big citrus (notably orange and grapefruit) from his Cascade and mild herb and spice from his Nugget hops play beautifully with Maryland-grown Synergy and Scala malt. Rye Pale Ale with Pedersen Farms Hops – A scientific approach to cultivation has led Pedersen Farms to thrive in the Finger Lakes. With 18 varieties of hops on 20 acres, Rick and Laura Pedersen were the first to grow hops commercially in NY since before World War II. Their Centennial, Mt. Hood and Chinook bring floral and citrus to a spicy and malty-sweet grist. By promoting regional hop farms – year after year – through the East Coast Hop Project, Flying Dog hopes to accelerate both the supply and the demand for quality, local hops. The East Coast Hop Project will hit shelves starting April 16 for a limited time. flyingdogbrewery.com/eastcoasthopproject

It may be the worst kept secret in New England, but Baxter Brewing has been having a torrid love affair with hops. For Hop Tryst IPA, they combined eight different exotic and exciting hops to let everyone know just how enamored they are. To keep the base of the 6.4% beer fresh and clean, only lightly kilned malts were used while adding a touch of oats and wheat to lend some smoothness. Almost all of the hops were added at the end to highlight the aromatic expressiveness of the hops, rather than their capacity for bitterness.
Drawing inspiration from two of the world’s greatest fermentation traditions, German Sour Ales and Sparkling Wines, Baxter Brewing crafted this genre crossing concoction: Prost Secco Kettle Sour. Kettle soured and then blended with a wheat centric ale fermented with Chardonnay grapes, peaches and pears, this one-of-a-kind 5.4% sour is crisp and tart while showing beautiful depth of flavor and aromatics. Both available year round. baxterbrewing.com/

Lagunitas Dark Swan is an 8.5% sour ale fermented with dark red wine grapes, giving it its uniquely deep and rich purple hue. Then it received the signature Lagunitas treatment with a healthy dose of experimental dry hops. This might just shock your taste buds! There just really isn’t anything else like the Dark Swan… it’s a dark purple hybrid ale the takes their house yeast and feeds it some Petite Sirah grapes to munch on. It’s smooth, slightly sour, and superbly strange. Give it a taste, if you dare! Get it while you can! This one hitter is only available through April. Also from Lagunitas, Lucky 13, the ultra-mega-mondo red ale (8.8%, 77 IBU) originally brewed in 2006 to commemorate Lagunitas’ 13th year, is back this year in bomber bottles. lagunitas.com/ 

Beer drinkers will soon see a new variety 12-pack from Alaskan Brewing, one which revolutionizes the sampler pack phenomenon. Take a peek inside the box with the Frontier Pack’s interactive window feature, which allows interested shoppers a chance to see, touch, turn – everything but taste the rotating beer styles inside the pack. These beer-viewing windows provide the opportunity for consumers to pinpoint exactly which rotating styles are included. Each Frontier Pack will include staples Alaskan Amber and Icy Bay IPA, along with two other styles. The first, a limited-edition style, will be a limited release beer only available for a short time, and could be a fan favorite, a new style, or an experimental brew. What’s found in one pack may not be seen in the next due to the limited nature of these styles. The other, a brewers’ choice style, will be an exclusive brew selected by one of Alaskan’s team of brewers, who will handpick their favorite beer of the moment to be included in the pack. Available in participating markets. alaskanbeer.com

Anchor Brewing Co. announces the debut of San Franpsycho® IPA, a Juicy IPA created with San Franpsycho®, a community-based clothing and lifestyle brand. To craft this inventive 6.3% IPA, Anchor experimented with different recipes and, along with San Franpsycho, invited the public to taste various batches and vote on their favorite at Anchor’s pilot brewery & bar, Public Taps. Brewed with 2-row pale, red wheat and acidulated malt, it pours a hazy golden straw color with a white fluffy head. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth yet mildly effervescent with a hint of back-end tartness. It is fermented with a mixed culture of yeast to create a unique and fruity estery nose, unlike any other IPA from Anchor. Brewers add peach and apricot fruit puree during the secondary fermentation, giving the beer a hint of sweetness and fruity aromas of peach, apricot, and pineapple with a bit of funky dank. Available April through September in 12-oz bottles and on draught at select bars, restaurants, and stores as well as at Anchor Public Taps and the Anchor Brewing Taproom. anchorbrewing.com