Remember when a Guinness ice cream float was a radical idea? Well, make way for Cookie Puss and Cookie O’Puss collaborations from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. and Carvel Ice Cream. Cookie O’ Puss, described as a Pastry Stout, is brewed with Carvel’s signature chocolate crunchies, heavy on cacao and roasted notes, to enjoy for St. Patrick’s Day. Cookie Puss is a Milkshake IPA brewed with Carvel’s legendary vanilla ice cream in celebration of Carvel’s 85th birthday. The brews are a sequel to last year’s Fudgie the Beer success.
“Our collaboration with Carvel is something that we are having a lot of fun with – it’s also something that we take seriously as brewers,” said Scott Vaccaro, Founder of Captain Lawrence Brewing. Our goal has been to create quality beers that our fans will enjoy, while also ensuring we express the character of both Captain Lawrence and the Carvel cakes that inspire these new brews.”
Cookie O’Puss is available throughout Captain Lawrence’s distribution print while the Cookie Puss Milkshake IPA is only available in New York State, because of the closure of the TTB, which regulates interstate beer sales, during the government shutdown. The Milkshake IPA is expected to be more widely distributed for Carvel’s 85th birthday later this year. For more information about the partnership, the beers and where to find them, visit CPtheBeer.com.
Meanwhile another sweet tooth beer has been getting a lot of media play. Saturday Morning is a Calypso-hopped IPA inspired by Lucky Charms marshmallows. It is not an official collaboration with cereal maker General Mills, and will highlight at a “magically ridiculous” brewery only release party this Saturday at Smartmouth Brewing in Norfolk, VA.
Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, CT is about to unveil its new $15 million expansion. Area Two Experimental Brewing will be entirely focused on sour, barrel-aged and experimental beers.
Included at Area Two will be barrel-aged, lambic-style sour beers, beers aged in barrels obtained from distilleries, wineries and other sources as well as beers spontaneously fermented from local, airborne yeast. Beer will also age in large wooden tanks known as “foudres” for as long as two years to deliver unique characteristics found in these highly complex beers. The 25,000 sq ft facility, set to debut March 11, features a tasting room with a seasonal patio and a rooftop beer garden.
The showcase of the operation will be Area Two’s coolship; a large, shallow steel pan housed in a separate building facing the property’s wetlands preserve. The wetlands will be a rich source of local microflora which will be introduced to the fermenting beer as it rests in the coolship. This process, called “spontaneous fermentation,” is behind some of the world’s most renowned sour beers – and now the same process has a home in Stratford.
The coolship building features a unique curved ceiling, designed by Brewmaster Phil Markowski, to encourage the desired microbes to settle into the cooled wort and facilitate spontaneous fermentation.
Situated on 10 acres, Two Roads’ entire property now includes the original and new brewing facilities, a wetland with a future nature path, a large grass field, dubbed the ‘Hopyard,’ for outdoor events and parties, hop vines and a botanical garden where various fruits are grown to be used as brewing ingredients.
Offerings at Area Two will include several Lambic style ales, a tequila barrel-aged gose, a bourbon barrel-aged cherry quad, a sour beer aged in whiskey barrels, an ale aged in a Calvados foudre sourced from Normandy, France and Kombucha – among several other creations.
New York City Beer Week is in full swing. Kicking off last weekend with Opening Bash, held at the Brooklyn Expo and featuring over 70 breweries from NYC, NY State and special guests from around the country. The week has been rife with tap takeovers galore, special events like the beer Trolley Tour, and collaborations with out of town brewers. (See photos)
The week culminates this Sunday, March 3 with the Ruppert’s Cup Awards and SMaSH (State Malt and State Hops) Beer Brunch, noon to 2 pm on March 3 at Randolph Beer DUMBO. Ruppert’s Cup voting includes favorite venue, bartender, event, in Brewery and Retail sections, as well as favorite out-of-town brewery and favorite SMaSH beer. If you didn’t vote yet, go to https://www.nycbrewed.com/nycbeerweek.
In a Beer Week offshoot, Brookfield Place – the shopping, dining and office complex on the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan – the iconic Winter Garden transforms into a classic biergarten that showcases 15 of New York’s top breweries from Upstate New York, Long Island and New York City at the Best Brews of New York contest.
Thursday night 5-9pm sessions have so far focused on Upstate New York and Long Island; NYC breweries are on the ballot March 7. Visitors are invited to cast their vote for their favorite brew to determine which five breweries will make it to the final round on Thursday, March 14. The People’s Choice winner will be decided by the event’s attendees, guided by beer connoisseur and Cicerone, Anne Becerra. The event is free to attend with food from Brookfield Place top eateries available for purchase throughout the festival. All beer sales will benefit a charitable cause. In partnership with the participating breweries, 100% of the beer sales will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
Brewery Ommegang announced that it’s taking a year off from its long-running Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival. In a Facebook post the brewery stated, “You’ve likely noticed that over the past 12 months, we’ve renovated our home with the expansion of our Tap House, and we’ve renovated our branding, with fresh new labels, packaging and tap handles. In this same vein, we feel it’s time to renovate our biggest event.” They pledged to bring the festival back in 2020. Fans wishing to make suggestions for the festival can do so at BCTC@ommegang.com.
CraftBeer.com – the Brewers Association’s website for beer lovers – has released its annual list of Great American Beer Bars, celebrating establishments across all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico, that readers voted as outstanding for imbibing independent beer. More than 30 percent of the beer bars CraftBeer.com readers nominated are making their first ever appearance on the list.