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BrewScoops 6-14-18

BrewScoops 6-14-18

by Gail Kearney

A revered Belgian tradition – the artful blending of different beers to create unique, transcendent flavors – has a new home at Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, NY. Announcing Blenderie Ommegang, a project focused entirely on very small-batch blended beers. Blend No. 1 is Faith & Fortitude, an elegant combination of aged sour ales and farmhouse saisons blended with beers from Liefmans Craft Blenders in Belgium. The 6.5% beer pours a bright gold with a fluffy white head. Notes of apricot, citrus, and tropical fruits mix with just a hint of barnyard funk. Medium bodied, effervescent, it has a slightly dry finish. Blend No. 2, available in August, is Zen & Zymurgy, a mixed fermentation sour with a delicate saison base and four distinct yeast cultures blending with beer from Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Barrelworks in Buellton, CA. The barrel-aged 5.7% beer is honey-colored, with aromas of sweet fruit, lemon and oak and tart flavors of fruit, malt and Brettanomyces. It pours light and effervescent, with a dry finish. Both donor breweries are Ommegang’s sister breweries in the Duvel Moortgat family. Blenderie Ommegang beers will be available for purchase only at the brewery’s newly expanded and renovated facilities in Cooperstown, on tap and in 750ml bottles. More Blenderie Ommegang releases will be announced later this year.  

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant continues their bold releases of craft beers to go with several fresh offerings for the summer, in 16-oz. cans. In cans now, Hopicana is a hop-forward IPA brewed with real oranges for refreshing, juicy flavor. It’s a West Coast-style IPA that drinks like a cold glass of fresh-squeezed OJ. Appearing in cans in June and July are: Mahalo, Apollo! – a golden, complex and refreshing summer wheat beer spiced with grains of paradise and lemongrass and fermented with Belgian yeast, Crusher – a session IPA with smooth notes of ripe pineapple and grapefruit punctuated by a lightly hopped finish that is refreshing and flavorful and Ore House – a golden IPA with balanced hop bitterness and aromas and flavors of citrus and pine.

Cascade Brewing released its Pêche Fumé 2017 project. The Northwest sour ale is a blend of wheat ales brewed with cherrywood smoked malt and aged in oak barrels for up to 14 months with Northwest-grown peaches. Delicately balancing bold elements of smoke and fruit, Pêche Fumé captures notes of fresh peaches and campfire smoke with hints of dried apples and lemon zest. Pale gold in color and light in body, the beer comes in at 6.8%. This is a limited release with only 400 cases and 100 kegs produced and is available in 750-ml bottles and on draft through Cascade’s regular distribution channels, as well as in-house at both its Portland-area pubs.

David Katleski, President/Founder of Empire Brewing Co. and Co-Founder and President Emeritus of the New York State Brewers Association (NYSBA) has announced that both Empire Brewing locations will begin to dedicate guest taps to NYS breweries in an reciprocal effort to support and showcase New York State’s craft breweries. “Now is the time to support our fellow 420 + NYS Breweries and what better way to do so then to promote their awesome beers on our own taps.” Says Tim Butler, Director of Brewing Operations for Empire Brewing. “In the end, it’s about the celebration of quality NYS beers. We at Empire are excited to work on this with other NYS breweries”.

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers’ new summer variety pack “Suspects & Accomplices” unites the brewery’s original members with their full-flavored session beers. Prohibition Ale (6.1%) pours a deep reddish amber hue with a fluffy tan head that leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass. A lush, complex aroma teases the senses with juicy grapefruit, citrus, pine, spice and candied caramel malts. The mouth-feel is creamy, with a silky, medium body and modest carbonation. Big Daddy IPA (6.5%) is a generously dry-hopped yet surprisingly drinkable American-style IPA. The beer pours a golden straw color, with tight carbonation and a slightly off-white head that leaves a lovely lacing. The aroma and flavor is earthy and resinous with subtle notes of fresh bread. Baby Daddy Session IPA (4.7%) is sunny straw in color and loaded with hops. The aroma and flavor yield citrus and grassy notes: grapefruit, melon, lime, and a touch of spice will delight your palate. It has a full yet balanced body, with a crisp finish and moderate bitterness. Pop Gun Pilsner (4.7%) delivers a clean full body with hints of honey and a touch of malty sweetness. German Magnum, Hallertau, and Saphir hops balance the malt with a crisp bitter finish and infuse the aroma with spice and floral notes. Prost! Now available nationwide through the brewery’s network of distributors as well as at their taproom in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.

Squatters Craft Beers has teamed up with Best Friends Animal Society in announcing their latest brew, Chasing Tail Orange Golden Ale. The ale gets a citrus fruit finish and higher alcohol content at 5.2% in this fresh line extension. Alongside Chasing Tail Orange, the two organizations will be highlighting their partnership throughout 2018 with adoption and fundraising events, as well as offering beer lovers the opportunity to win a trip to Best Friends Animal Society’s Sanctuary in Southern Utah. During the kickoff event, dogs found new homes and attendees learned about animal advocacy opportunities – all while enjoying delicious craft beer. Distributed throughout Squatters Craft Beers’ distribution footprint of 19 US states. 

Samuel Smith’s Brewery adds another chapter to the American beer story: due to consumer & retail demand, four-packs of 14.9 oz. (440-ml) Samuel Smith’s cans will be sold in the US starting in the first half of July! There will be two varieties: Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale – rich, nutty, satisfying – remains the benchmark for brown ales. Brilliant, crisp Pure Brewed Organic Lager holds USDA Organic certification. The flavor shows why it’s the best-selling British lager in the US.

What do you get when you combine world-class brewers, nerdy-cool microbiologists, and a quest for the perfect “healthy-ish” libation? KYLA Hard Kombucha. Brewed the right way and fermented to 4.5% this is how kombucha was meant to be. Shelf stable, with live cultures, 100 calories, and just 2g sugar and 2g carbs, this is a totally new beverage steeped in a 2,000-year history. For years the idea of developing an alcoholic kombucha unlike the world had ever seen was germinating, or should we say fermenting, in the minds of Full Sail Brewing’s master brewers. Now available in two flavors – Ginger Tangerine and Hibiscus Lime. Available in six-pack bottles and on draft. Find KYLA in AZ, CA, CO, FL, ID, MO, NV, NM, OR, UT and WA.

Just in time for summer, Roadhouse Brewing Co. out of Jackson Hole, WY, announces the first chance fans can enjoy its newly released canned beer. Following their expanded distribution on-tap and by the bottle (now available in WY, ID, MT, CO + CA and nationwide online), Roadhouse co-founders Gavin Fine and Colby Cox were keen on cans for packing and portability. New canned releases include: Trout Whistle (6.0%/55 IBU) an American Pale Ale that packs a triple punch with Mosaic, Calypso and Azacca hops, resulting in a citrusy nose balanced by caramel flavor notes for a well-rounded, hop-forward finish. Family Vacation (4.9%/15 IBU) is an approachable American Blonde Ale, delicately dry-hopped and brewed with premium American pilsen malt, this bright and refreshing beer is light in color, crisp in flavor and offers an intriguing aroma. Wilson (7.5% /77 IBU) is a West Coast IPA featuring citrus, tropical and pine notes with a subtle malt backbone. It packs a strong malt flavor that will have you California dreaming. And a bold new release by the bottle: Siren Song Belgian Style Imperial Ale, with hints of raisin and subtle tropical fruit, this 14% Belgian Strong is a complex and simultaneously delicate beer. With a sneakily high ABV, the team describes this beer as “a seductress, a swindler and enchantress,” which pairs well with spicy tuna rolls or your favorite thai takeout.

Win A Trip to Dogfish Head! There’s nothing Dogfish loves more than seeing their off-centered ales out and about, and through fans eyes! And now they’re giving you a chance to see where it all starts by winning a trip to their off-centered world here in coastal Delaware with their Off-Center Your Summer contest! Simply post a picture to Instagram using #offcentered and #DogfishEntry now through Labor Day. They’ll choose their favorite photo and you’ll be on your way to a weekend trip for two to the home of Dogfish Head! What you’ll win: • Airfare & transportation • Two-night stay at the Dogfish Inn • Happy Hour in their Steampunk Treehouse • VIP tour of the brewery, including opportunity to brew beer • $500 gift card to be used at Brewings & Eats and Chesapeake & Maine • Off-Center Your Summer Prize Pack: cooler, KOOZIE® & other sweet gear! It’s a new season full of endless possibilities, so take your adventures – and your summer – up a notch with the simple crack of an off-centered can. Because summer without Dogfish isn’t really summer! Full details here.

Fourth of July barbecues are right around the corner, and it’s time to start stockpiling your favorite beers. For Independence Day, look no further than the beer that started a revolution: Anchor Liberty Ale. One of the most patriotic beers out there, 5.9% Liberty Ale was brewed in 1975 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s midnight ride. The first American IPA brewed after Prohibition, Liberty Ale changed the craft beer landscape forever. This revolutionary forerunner of the modern IPA introduced America to the Cascade hop and the nearly lost art of dry-hopping, a steeping process to infuse beer with bold hop aromas.