Brew Scoops – 9-1-18

Brew Scoops – 9-1-18

By Gail Kearney, gailekearney@gmail.com

Anchor Brewing Co. announces a new spin on Anchor Steam Beer, San Francisco’s original since 1896. Anchor’s flagship beer is now available in cans for the first time. Neither fully a lager nor fully an ale, 4.9% Anchor Steam is in a category of its own, a blend of pale and caramel malts, fermentation with lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures in shallow open-air fermenters, and gentle carbonation in Anchor’s cellars through an all-natural process called kräusening. With flavors of mild toasted malt and a touch of caramel, Anchor Steam is balanced by bright, piney hoppiness. It has aromas of toasted bread crust maltiness followed by bright evergreen Northern Brewer hops and floral esters. A smooth and velvety mouthfeel is accompanied by lively bubbles from the natural kräusening process and a crisp, bright hop finish. Anchor Steam 19.2-oz cans are available as a convenient single or easy to grab 4-pack nationwide. Find a beer near you using the Anchor Beer Finder  (photo: Erin Conger)

Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant announces the release of Tropical Blast Gose, which brings together bright, bold tropical citrus flavors and a unique tart and salty finish. Promising to excite with the brightness and refreshing sweet and slightly sour notes of freshly squeezed blood orange and pineapple up front, the 4.2% session beer boasts a subtly salty, refreshing finish that makes the drinker reach for another sip. Goses, which are traditionally brewed to be slightly tangy and salty, are brewed using both malted barley and wheat to provide a bit of sharpness and a smooth mouthfeel. After the brewhouse addition of spices such as coriander, the style is then fermented with wild, top-fermenting yeast to produce a dry, bubbly, puckery product. Available in 16-oz cans at most Iron Hill Restaurant & Brewery locations throughout PA, DE and NJ. ironhillbrewery.com

Brewery Ommegang is proud to announce the release of Fruittanomyces, a dry-hopped witbier. Brewed with malted and unmalted wheat and oat flakes and spiced with sweet orange peel and coriander, the beer is fermented with mango, kiwi, and passion fruit juices and dry-hopped with Citra and Cascade hops before aging in the bottle with Brettanomyces. It pours a hazy straw color. Tropical fruit and overripe funk dominate the complex aroma which also includes subtle notes of cinnamon, clove, and banana bread. At 5.3%, Fruittanomyces is effervescent and surprisingly refreshing with a lingering sweetness on the finish. As with all unpasteurized brett beers, Fruittanomyces is alive, and the flavor will develop over time. This beer is suitable to enjoy now or to be cellared. The funky, flavorful limited edition beer is in stores now in 750-ml bottles. ommegang.com

For the first time in Yards’ 24-year history, the regional craft producer has started canning their flagship beers: Philadelphia Pale Ale, Brawler and Signature IPA. These go-to brews are available in traditional 12-oz and 16-oz pounder cans that can be found in the Yards Taproom and wherever Yards beers are sold. yardsbrewing.com

Located right off Appalachian Trail mile marker 842 in Virginia, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. is (literally) in the heart of the A.T. – the trail, thru-hikers, and mountains are central to the brewery’s identity which is why creating a beer to benefit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy made so much sense to DB. For every case sold of Devils Backbone Trail Angel Weiss, DB donates $1 to the ATC and its efforts to protect and preserve the Appalachian Trail. This year, the Bavarian-style Weissbier features new packaging and is available in cans and bottles for the first time as well as a new 15-pack case. 4.9% Trail Angel is light in body and fruit-infused with hints of honey, banana and clove. Fun fact: due to the brewery’s proximity to the A.T., every year DB picks up hundreds of thru-hikers and brings them to Basecamp for a hot meal, beers, and a place to shower and pitch a tent for the night. dbbrewingcompany.com 

Founders Brewing Co. announced that they will release Curmudgeon’s Better Half as the fifth installment in the 2018 Barrel-Aged Series. This marks the first time the 12.7% beer has been bottled since 2012. Curmudgeon’s Better Half features the brewery’s recently retired old ale, Curmudgeon, as the base beer. Aged for months in bourbon barrels that have previously held maple syrup, the result is sweet, rich and utterly delicious. It will be available in 4-packs of 12-oz bottles, 750-ml bottles and on draft in the Grand Rapids and Detroit taproom beginning on August 24 and everywhere else later that month. Founders also announced the return of seasonal favorite and former ArtPrize winner, Mosaic Promise, with a new can design which celebrates the artsy heritage of this beer. First released in 2014, the original Mosaic Promise package design label is inspired by a stained-glass window on permanent display in the Founders taproom. Mosaic Promise is a single hop ale brewed exclusively with Mosaic hops, and a single malt, Golden Promise. Juicy mango and earthy pine flavors combine with powerful aromas, it is extremely drinkable at 5.5%. Available through November 2018, in 6-pack and 15-pack cans. foundersbrewing.com

Woodchuck® Hard Cider reveals two new styles! Woodchuck has always believed that hard cider is a bridging beverage between beer, wine and spirits. In the past ciders such as Belgian White or Hopsation were crafted for beer drinkers, and their newest offerings are inspired by wine. Taking a bite out of the Rosé wine category, Woodchuck’s Bubbly Rosé is crafted using a blend of red apples and back sweetened with fresh juice to deliver a balanced cider with a pink hue and elevated carbonation for a sparkling crisp fruit forward taste. Woodchuck’s Bubbly Pearsecco variety is a dry, bubbly pear cider with a crisp clean finish, taking inspiration from sparkling wine. Both ciders have an ABV of 6.1%. Available nationally beginning in September in 12-oz. 6-pack cans. vtciderco.com

Bavarians have been celebrating the harvest with beer festivals since before the 1400s. Märzen is brewed in March to be ready for the September and October beer festivals. Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen delights the senses: this full-bodied, amber-gold colored, 5.8% deep lager offers a bouquet that blends hearty German barley with elegant hops and impressive richness. Spiced with enough hops to make it snappy and thirst-quenching, Fest-Märzen shows classic Bavarian style and the elegant Ayinger signature: inviting, rather than aggressive, bitterness. This wonderful limited-production seasonal beer is being delivered now to a store, bar or restaurant near you. Sold in 4-packs of 330-ml bottles, 500-ml (16.9 oz.) bottles, and 30-l kegs. merchantduvin.com

Cascade Brewing has released its Framblanc 2017, an 8.4% blend of sour blond ales aged for up to 14 months in oak wine barrels with more than 3,500 pounds of white raspberries. Fresh flavors of raspberries, green grapes, white peaches and pears earned Framblanc the gold medal at the 2017 Oregon Beer Awards. This marks the third 500-ml bottle release for Cascade, on the heels of Kriek 2017 and Apricot 2017. Available at Cascade’s two Portland-area pubs – Cascade Brewing Barrel House and The Lodge at Cascade Brewing – and through the brewery’s worldwide distribution network on draft and in 500-ml bottles. The next scheduled Cascade Brewing release will be the introduction of 500-ml Rose City Sour in September. CascadeBrewing.com

The latest beer from Alaskan Brewing Co.’s Pilot Series is Imperial Pumpkin Porter, just in time for the onset of fall. Inspired by the harvest season and the huge vegetables produced by Alaska’s long summer days, Imperial Pumpkin Porter is big, bold, and full of rich pumpkin flavor. Alaska’s long daylight hours produce some of the largest pumpkins in the world, their smooth, velvety texture and slightly sweet flavor call to mind a holiday meal – perfect, as Alaskan recommends this beer be paired with harvest fare like turkey, sweet potatoes, and (of course) pumpkin pie. A new version of 2014 fan favorite Pumpkin Porter, at 8.5%, it embodies the same smooth, robust pumpkin flavor and slightly smoky aftertaste with the inclusion of Alaskan’s signature alder-smoked malts. alaskanbeer.com

Stone Brewing is proud to announce the release of Stone 22nd Anniversary Anni-Matter Double IPA. Not only is this IPA worthy of anniversary-beer-status, this beer specifically showcases the talents of the brewing team at Stone. It is also the winner of the Stone Spotlight Series, the annual competition that pits Stone’s brewers against one another in friendly rivalry. Brewers Jason Smith and Jose Flores created the winning recipe – a beer they called Anni-Matter – a winning small batch pilot brew, which has been scaled up into this double-deuce of a double IPA! Jason and Jose gathered up their arsenal of anti-haze techniques, brewing with vibrant Denali hops against a base of Crisp Clear Choice Malt. The solid malt background of the 9.1% double IPA is complemented with complex hop fruit flavors of cherries, apricot, melon and citrus. It is full bodied with a short, clean and dry finish of ample bitterness and a slight warming from its elevated ABV. For the first time Stone’s anniversary beer will be released in 12-oz six-pack bottles in addition to 22-oz bottles and draft. stonebrewing.com/22nd

Bear Republic Brewing Co. launches Thru the Haze India Pale Ale, a hazy, 6.4% IPA built in the style of Bear Republic ales without hop centric bitterness. Crafted from a half decade of research, Thru the Haze retains the aromatics of Vic Secret, Citra and Hallertau Blanc hops with a dry malt profile. Grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas set the stage for a huge citrus explosion of flavor on your taste buds, without all the bitterness. Popularized on the East Coast, this IPA style has been lovingly brought to life in the newest Bear Republic recipe. Beginning the week of August 20th, It will be available in six-packs and on draft at select retailers, bars, and restaurants wherever Bear Republic beer is sold. 
www.bearrepublic.com/bear-tracker

As summer begins to fade, Einstök – Iceland’s #1 craft brewer located 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle in northern Iceland – wants to raise awareness of its beers that are historically popular during the fall.
 Arctic Pale Ale provides a balance of three kinds of hops with pure Icelandic water to create an ale unlike any other. Cascade hops give it American character, while Northern Brewer and Hallertau Tradition add just enough bitterness to make this ale refreshingly Icelandic. The result is a unique craft beer with a mild, slight toffee, generous hop aroma and flavor from late hop addition. Wee Heavy, an Icelandic Scotch Ale, is brewed with locally farmed and smoked barley and spiced with native Icelandic angelica – a fabled herb ancient Vikings used as currency. It features a rich color, creamy head, a sweet malt aroma and a hint of the smokiness delivered by the birch. The malty richness and caramel notes hit the tongue, with savory smoke coming later. A year-round favorite, Toasted Porter offers clear notes of toffee and dark chocolate for a roasty and rich flavor, with a medium body that is robust, yet smooth on the palate. With a deep, dark color, the porter also has a hint of toffee and licorice, as well as a subtle coffee undertone. 
einstokbeer.com

AleSmith Brewing Co. is offering the new Cinnamon Vanilla Barrel-Aged Speedway Stout and already popular Barrel-Aged Old Numbskull in 330-ml (11.2 oz) bottles. Packaged in custom “Barrel-Aged Release” two-packs, these higher ABV beers can be enjoyed more easily by an individual consumer as compared to the traditional 750-ml bottles. The stout, at 13%, is a blend of two different versions of AleSmith’s award-winning Speedway Stout, each going through its own unique aging process. The first part of the blend was aged in American oak bourbon barrels; the second part of the blend was aged in bourbon barrels that had previously held cinnamon and vanilla extract. After aging, these two parts were blended and aged again with vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks and given a dosing of locally roasted coffee. The effect is a full-bodied brew with complex notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon. A staple of AleSmith’s barrel-aged lineup, 12% Numbskull is a bourbon barrel-aged variation of their classic barleywine put through a lengthy aging process in freshly used American oak bourbon barrels. The resulting malty brew boasts notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, coconut, and oak. Limited quantities of these releases are available for purchase in mix and match packs of two only at the brewery. alesmith.com/specialtyreleases

Dogfish Head will celebrate Labor Day weekend with a lineup of three beer releases at the Milton Tasting Room (6 Cannery Village, Milton, DE). To close out the last day of August and cheers to the start of a new season, Dogfish Head will begin shipping its Fall release of 120 Minute IPA in late August. Between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. stop by for a beer and enter for a chance to win a limited-edition 120 Minute IPA poster – only 250 prints available. The IPA will be available in 4-pack/12-oz bottles. Dogfish Head will also release 250 750-ml bottles of Bourbon Barrel-Aged 120 Minute IPA in the Tasting Room at 11 a.m. Friday. Full-bodied and complex, this beer takes the fan-favorite 120 Minute IPA to the next level, aging it in bourbon barrels for seven months and then dry-hopping it with a boatload of high-alpha American hops. Clocking in at 17%, it’s jam-packed with barrel notes, and boasts an abundantly fresh hop flavor and aroma. On Saturday, September 1 at 11 a.m., Dogfish Head will release 200 750-ml bottles of Grisette About It!. Brewed with heirloom oats and raw organic einkorn – one of the earliest known varieties of cultivated wheat – Grisette About It! gets its subtle nuttiness and soft spiciness from a blend of noble Czech Saaz and fruity German Hallertau Blanc hops. Fermented with two strains of Belgian yeast and aged in French Oak Chardonnay barrels for two months, this 3.5% brew is pale and hazy with notes of toasted oak and soft vanilla. Both were hand-bottled and numbered by Dogfish Head coworkers and will be sold on a first come, first served basis, limited to two bottles per person. dogfish.com

Schlafly Beer has mixed 1,000 bottles of White Pumpkin Ale within traditional Pumpkin Ale six-packs. 6.0% White Pumpkin is a slightly hazy, golden beer made with heirloom white pumpkins and packs the punch of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spices. It is brewed with Magnum hops and grains of Pale, Euro Pils, Carapils, White Wheat and Flaked Oats. Schlafly’s traditional Pumpkin Ale is frequently referred to as “pumpkin pie in a glass” – a well-balanced 8.0% brew from start to finish with notes of caramel and ginger throughout. It is fermented in pounds of fresh pumpkin squash, brewer’s wort, and sugar before being filtered through a cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg spice infusion. Since there is one bottle per random six-pack, seekers will need to look closely for the white label within the signature orange. schlafly.com

The Abbey of Zundert decided to begin brewing beer in 2011 after the monks determined that their farm was too heavy to maintain. The monks developed a beer to their taste and made it available in the Netherlands and Belgium. In September 2018, export to the US starts through Merchant du Vin. A beer that the abbey describes as ‘slightly unruly’ – 8.0% Trappist 8 is chestnut-colored and bottle-conditioned, with aromas of caramel, herbs and spices. Initially floral and slightly sweet; character develops from light caramel to a lovely, dry, mellow hoppy bitterness as the flavor opens. Brewed within the walls of Zundert Trappist Monastery by the monks of the abbey. Producing just 5,000 hL annually (about 4,300 BBL), Zundert is one of the smallest Trappist breweries in the world. In 11.2-ounce (330 ml) bottles, 12 per case. http://merchantduvin.com/brew-zundert-trappist-8.php

Samuel Smith Pure Brewed Organic Lager now available in cans! Lightly kilned organic lager malt grown in the UK is the main ingredient, with a substantial addition of organic UK Vienna malt. Samuel Smith’s has begun to source organic hops in England; some of the organic hops used in the recipe come from New Zealand. Certified Organic by the USDA-accredited UK Soil Association. The 5.0% lager has a bright straw-gold color; medium body, pure barley malt flavor and herbal hops in perfect balance. Clean and crisp, with brilliant conditioning. http://merchantduvin.com/brew-samuel-smith-pure-brewed-organic-lager.php