Allagash Brewing Co. released its first non-wild, blended, barrel-aged beer. Pastiche starts out as four different beers, all created by senior Allagash brewers. The beers, made with various local malts, were brewed specifically to blend well together after a brief stay in barrels. In flavor, Pastiche is a complex, yet approachable amber with notes of caramel, dried fruit, spirits, and oak. Barrels included in the aging process were: rye whiskey, vermouth, port, rum, bourbon, red wine, gin, and brandy. After aging the beers between three and four months, the brewers got together and blended them all into a single, unified whole. This limited release will ship to the brewery’s full distribution footprint. The beer will be available in 750-ml bottles and on draft at select locations.
An Allagash favorite has also returned – Map 40, a Belgian-style stout that’s blended with cold-brewed coffee from local roaster Speckled Ax. The aroma is strong in coffee and light in roasted grain. Light nuttiness accompanies flavors of chocolate, raisin, and a resounding coffee note that weaves its way throughout. Overall, it’s a rich, creamy stout with a clean finish. The name of the beer is a nod to the name of the coffee – Map 40 Mokha Java – which is itself a nod to one of the roaster’s favorite parts of Maine: the Forks in Somerset county. It is available in 4-packs of 12-oz bottles and on draft at select locations. allagash.com/
A popular hop is the all-star in the latest release from the Genesee Brew House Pilot Batch series. SIMCOE S.M.A.S.H Pale Ale, a 5.5% single-malt, single-hop brew, features the Simcoe hop, best known for its ability to deliver outstanding flavor and aroma, as well as bitterness. Juicy and hop-forward with aromas of pine and citrus, the Simcoe hop combined with the SMaSH brewing process is the ideal addition to Genesee Brew House’s annual S.M.A.S.H. series. The limited-time-only ale will be available through winter in six-pack bottles, as well as on draft in select bars and restaurants throughout the East, Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes. geneseebeer.com
Louisiana’s original craft brewery, Abita Brewing Co., is raising a toast to New Orleans’ Tricentennial celebration with the launch of Maison Blanc. Abita has embraced the “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler” attitude and lifestyle that so many New Orleanians hold near and dear, and Maison Blanc is the pinnacle of the company’s relationship with the city. New Orleans’ French heritage can be found right in the name of the beer, it is brewed with malted barley, wheat and Sauvignon blanc grapes, and its taste will remind visitors and residents of the city’s light yet festive atmosphere. abita.com
As Game of Thrones approaches its final season, Brewery Ommegang and HBO Global Licensing are excited to announce the launch of the Royal Reserve Collection, a collectible series of four special, limited release beers, each designed and brewed as an homage to one of four epic figures in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms. The first beer in the series is Hand of the Queen, a beer brewed for Tyrion Lannister. As one who knows a great many things, Tyrion knows and loves wine above all else, so Hand of the Queen is a big, bold barleywine, brewed with a complex blend of specialty malts and carefully-selected old-world hops, and comes in at 11%. Malt forward and multifaceted, the beer balances the intense flavors of brandy-soaked raisins and dark fruit with the lighter notes of apricot. Hints of molasses and toffee are evident before a finish characterized by the classic yet distinctive barleywine alcoholic heat. Available throughout Ommegang’s distribution network beginning in April, offered both on draft and in 750-ml bottles. The rest of the series will launch in July, October, and December 2018. ommegang.com
Alaskan Baltic Porter is a fan favorite from previous years, and it’s back as the latest addition to Alaskan Brewing’s limited Pilot Series. Aging allows it to develop rich, new flavors, highlighting some notes while others mellow. First brewed in 2008, and again in 2009 and 2012, fans have aged every vintage of Alaskan Baltic Porter, enjoying this rare beer on special occasions and in vertical tastings. Smooth, deep maltiness abounds in every sip, with a rich mouthfeel and vanilla intensity, and an undeniable warming from this 9.8% porter. The jet-black color comes from the deeply roasted malts, with hints of cherry and dried fruit, and notes of bourbon and toffee present from start to finish. alaskanbeer.com
Kona Brewing Co. announced its first blonde ale, Kanaha Blonde Ale, is available nationwide. Kanaha (pronounced ka-NA-ha) Blonde Ale is a bright, sessionable beer made with real mango fruit, adding a juicy, tropical flavor. Previously available in only California and Hawaii, Kanaha Blonde Ale, named after the Kanaha Beach winds where colorful domed kites can be seen flying over the blue waters, offers a refreshing, clean taste with a lightly toasted malt character. At only 99 calories, tasting notes include pale and caramel malts; Alchemy, Mosaic and Amarillo hops with the special ingredient of mango fruit. In addition, Kona is re-releasing Koko Brown Ale nationwide. A part of the Aloha Series, Koko Brown Ale has a nutty, toffee flavor made with real toasted coconuts. konabrewingco.com
Hops are on full display in Summit Brewing Co.’s latest IPA Collection. Summit Sága IPA leads the charge with its robust hop flavors and aromas of kiwi, apricot and passionfruit. Summit Wee IPA is heavily hopped and low in alcohol. This sessionable pale ale presents aggressive aromas of passionfruit, melon, pineapple and tangerine, as well as sturdy malt flavors of bread crust and toast. At 4.7% and 35 IBU, it avoids that dominating bitterness characteristic of some session IPAs. Summit Experimental Hop IPA, assertively hoppy at 60 IBUs with intense aromas of fresh berries, pineapple, apricot, peach and coconut, this 6% IPA deploys hops so new and mysterious they don’t have names. Summit Imperial IPA is the baddest beast in the box, a powerful ale that’ll batter your senses with immense aromas of tangerine, stone fruit, melon and lemon – thanks to a giant all-American hop bill. Weighing in at 8.5% and 105 IBU. The variety box of twelve 12-oz cans hits shelves in late January, and a limited amount of Summit Experimental Hop IPA will be made available on draft. summitbrewing.com
Nine Pin Cider Works, New York’s first farm cidery, has announced the release of a new cider in its specialty can series: Earl Grey, the latest collaboration with Guilderland, NY-based Short and Stout Tea Co. Crafted with 100% New York State apples, cold infused with earl grey tea, and aged on lemon peel. The floral nature of the beverage is reminiscent of a fine spring day. 12-oz cans available at bars, restaurants, and retailers proudly carrying Nine Pin products. ninepincider.com
Kicking off 2018 with four fantastic fan-favorite beer releases in brand new packaging, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is excited to reacquaint its fans with a quartet of diverse, flavorful beers. Dogfish is bringing back the bold, honey-tinged, 9% imperial stout, Wood-Aged Bitches Brew, aged and blended in giant oak and Palo Santo wood tanks where it develops vanilla, chocolatey-licorice wood aromas with a sweet, roasty, coffee flavor finish. Brewed as an homage to Miles Davis’ 1970 landmark jazz-rock record, Bitches Brew is a fusion of three threads of imperial stout aged on oak and one thread of Tej, a native African honey beer, aged on Palo Santo. Now available in 6-packs of 12-oz bottles. For the first time in cans, Dogfish is releasing two culinary ingredient enhanced beers in beautiful, bold packaging. 7.3% Lupu-Luau IPA is a coconut IPA brewed with a tropical trifecta of toasted coconut, coconut water and an experimental hop which adds coconut aromas. This beer gets its natural haze from Pils malt, flaked barley and rolled oats. Available in 6-packs of 12-oz cans.
Namaste White is a 4.8% Belgian-style witbier brewed with dried orange flesh and peel, fresh-cut lemongrass, a bit of coriander, peppercorns and a generous dose of good karma. This refreshing, sessionable white ale is available in 12-packs of 12-oz cans. A longtime champion of all things collaborative and artful, Dogfish Head is excited to celebrate its 2018 Off-Centered Art Series with the release of Romantic Chemistry. This beer is a serious IPA brewed with an intermingling of mango, apricots, ginger and a beautiful essential oil called myrcene. This harmonious combination results in a citrusy explosion making it exponentially spectacular and is the reason for its namesake as it’s an ode to the love shared between its ingredients. Dry-hopped with three varieties of hops and clocking in at 7.2%, Romantic Chemistry is available in 6-packs of 12-oz bottles.
Cascade Brewing has released its newest project, Midnight Bramble, a 6.6% blend of wheat and blond ales aged in oak wine barrels for up to 18 months with black and red raspberries, fresh ginger and thyme. This unique project offers carefully layered flavors of ripe bramble fruit with a refreshing ginger lift and soft notes of lavender and pine. The Northwest sour ale is now available in 750-ml bottles and on draft through Cascade Brewing’s worldwide distribution channels, as well as at its