For the first time, Chimay has utilized its original Christmas brew to create their latest addition to the Chimay Trappist family – Chimay Grande Réserve Barrel Aged Rhum Edition. The flavor profile of this brew not only embodies its original characteristics of Grande Réserve with a fresh yeast fragrance, slight notes of caramel and vanilla, but also builds the profile to include an incomparable rounded, oak flavor. For this specific batch, rhum-aged barrels were used. This edition from February 2017 boasts an excellent blend of characters of Chimay Grande Réserve and Rum. Unfiltered and unpasteurized, this 10.5% Belgian strong ale is available seasonally in 750-ml (25.4-oz) bottles and is ideally served at cellar temperature (50 to 54°F). chimay.us
Shipyard Brewing has updated the recipe for its popular Monkey Fist IPA. Now featuring a revamped malt bill that includes less crystal malt, more pale malt, and an addition of flaked oats. The beer’s hop bill includes its original Cascade hop and two new hop varieties -- Mosaic and Citra -- equaling about three pounds of hops per barrel of beer. It also features less alcohol (6%) and hop bitterness (from 80 to 50 IBUs). Monkey Fist -- fermented in the brewery’s hallmark open fermenters with Shipyard’s house yeast strain -- also benefits from a revamped fermentation process that enhances the crispness of the beer and extends its shelf life. shipyard.com
Founders Brewing Co. released DKML, an imperial malt liquor aged in bourbon barrels, as the fourth installment in the 2017 Barrel-Aged Series. This new release is Founders’ take on what could be the first malt liquor worthy of a glass. Celebrated as share-worthy, DMKL is a highly experimental release that has been in the works for several years after multiple trail batches. DKML is an imperial malt liquor brewed with corn and lager yeast cultivated by Spanish brewer Mahou San Miguel as part of their partnership with Founders. It shows a smooth sweetness with vanilla tones and light fruitiness thanks to its time spent aging in bourbon barrels. It was finished with a healthy dose of dry hopping to achieve the desired flavor profile. DKML is preceded by Frootwood, KBS and Doom. Available in their 46-state distribution area in four-pack 12 oz. bottles and a 750-ml bottle. foundersbrewing.com
Smuttynose Brewing Co., in collaboration with Whole Foods Market, released Whole Lotta Lupulin Double IPA in 6-pack cans and on draft at select New England Whole Food Markets. A balanced, full-bodied 9.5% double IPA with a glowing amber color and an aroma of citrus with a hint of pine, the first sip offers citrus and floral notes with light caramel sweetness, followed by a notably hoppy finish with a touch of malt. Available in CT at West Hartford and Glastonbury locations, in Bedford and Nashua NH, in Portland, ME, and in MA at Cambridge, Boston, Lynnfield, Hadley, and Dedham stores.
Also available wherever Smuttynose beers are found is the all-new 5.1% Vienna lager Pinniped Special, perfect for both summer and winter. Vienna lager was first brewed in Vienna by renowned brewmaster Anton Dreher in 1841, and is defined by its reddish-brown or copper-colored beer with medium body and slight malt sweetness with hints of toast. Pinniped Special encompasses all that and more, with notes of caramel and toasted bread balanced by a clean, hoppy bitterness before giving way to a refreshingly dry, cleansing finish. smuttynose.com
From Sweetwater, two new brews: first up is TripleTail Tropical IPA, a 5.5% seasonal. Five hop additions give this beer its lush, tropical flavors and aroma. Available through mid-October on draft, 12 oz. six-pack bottles and in Fall Variety 12-packs cans. Next, a new Dank Tank: Torikumi, a wasabi-infused 7.5% blonde ale brewed as a collaboration with Telluride Brewing Co. Available in 4-pack 16 oz. cans and on draft. sweetwaterbrew.com/
Catawba’s 5.4% Small Batch Hoppy Kölsch is light in both body and appearance, crisp and effervescent, with a hint of ale-type fruitiness. It features a traditional malt bill of Old World Pilsner malts, lending a soft sweetness. Catawba brewers make a subtle nod to the American palate by hopping the beer a bit more aggressively than their German counterparts. Noble hops, Tettnanger and Hallertau Mittelfrüh, balance the malt character with floral, earthy notes and provide the beer’s characteristic dry finish. Catawba’s Hoppy Kolsch is a collaboration with Pisgah Area SORBA (Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association). $1 from each pint will be donated to this non-profit organization to maintain trails in Pisgah National Forest, Bent Creek Experimental Forest, and DuPont State Forest.
Last December, Catawba released the first in a new series of fruited IPAs brewed in their Asheville South Slope pilot brewery. Now, the newly branded Friki Tiki IPAs are here to stay. Slated for 30-barrel batches at Catawba’s Morganton production brewery, the first in the series will be the one that lit the torch last winter, Friki Tiki Pineapple IPA. This specialty IPA is available throughout Catawba’s five-state distribution area on draft-only. catawbabrewing.com
Drake’s Brewing Co. is releasing a refreshed and ramped-up Aroma Coma 2XIPA. Drake’s has upped the ante and created a bigger, hoppier, and more punched up version of the perennial favorite IPA. The brewery has added more Citra hops and more of the sticky rye malt and light caramel flavors that provide the backbone for the over-the-top dank hoppiness. The ABV has also been bumped up to 8.0% to give the beer amazing balance. Now available year round in six-packs and on draft at Drake’s San Leandro and Oakland, as well as the best craft bottle shops and rotating tap houses across the West Coast. Summer also heralds a limited release of 2017 Aroma Therapy 3XIPA. A triple IPA that will change every year, this year’s version is bigger than ever at 11%, rivaling the brewery’s legendary Hopocalypse Black Label. Aroma Therapy offers a sensory trip through sunny hop fields from the Pacific Northwest to New Zealand. There’s nothing subtle about this beer: it’s massive, resinous and intensely aromatic. Malt, rye, and orange blossom honey clear the way for multiple rounds of dry hopping with Citra, Ekuanot, Cascade and Centennial. Available in 22-oz bottles and on draft at both Drake’s locations and in select retailers across California. DrinkDrakes.com
101 North Brewing Co. recently contributed their first two additions to the surging canned beer phenomena, both in 16-oz 6-packs. Heroine IPA has nearly reached cult status locally. An amber-colored, 7.2% NorCal-fashioned old-school IPA, Heroine’s assertive crystal malt backbone is accented by a floral, piney hop-profile thanks to an abundance of Cascade, CTZ, Chinook, and Centennial hops. With a lot of breweries going fruity IPA crazy these days, 101 North went a different route and unveiled 6% Indigo Pale Ale, an American Pale Ale made with Blue Agave Nectar. Bittered with a single experimental hop, catalog-named ADHA 484, the hop-profile is best described as citrusy and woodsy, with the highly fermentable agave used to intensify the caramel flavors and hoppy aroma. Both are now readily available throughout Northern California and the Bay Area. 101northbeer.com/