Before we delve into Rogue’s newest spirit, you need to understand the labor-intensive process that led up to it. It’s a pretty long process.
The best place to start has to be Rogue Farms, the brewery’s agricultural arm of their operation in Independence, Oregon. It is there the brewery grows the hops and malts used in a plethora of their beers, especially Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout. It only gets more complicated from here.
Before the brewery in Newport, Oregon is busy making an imperial stout, the Rogue distillery had taken some beer mash to distill into white whiskey. That whiskey hasn’t been aging in barrels Rogue simply just ordered from a cooperage. Rogue’s got one of those too. In-house barrel-maker Nate Linquist makes barrels out of Oregon Oak (Quercus garryana) that are then charred before the whiskey is left to age.
Once the whiskey was done, Rolling Thunder was transferred into the wet barrels for barrel-aging for months before bottling. Pretty labor intensive for a barrel-aged imperial stout.
Now, Rogue has gone a step further. Those barrels that once had Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout were filled again with Rogue barrel-aged whiskey to finish in the stout touched barrels for an additional two years.
Farm to brewery. Brewery to distilling. Coopering, charring, aging. Rogue continues to do it all. Now you can get Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey for your spirits collection. According to Rogue, this new whiskey release boasts prominent notes of chocolate and coffee that complement the flavors of whiskey-soaked Oregon Oak.
Rogue Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey is available in 750-milliliter bottles nationally in limited quantities.
Scofflaw Brewing is building a second location in their home city of Atlanta, Georgia.
Selig Enterprises, one of the largest real estate companies announced this morning that Scofflaw Brewing will join The Works, an 80-acre mixed-use development coming to Atlanta’s Upper Westside.
Scofflaw’s home at The Works will span 9,000 square feet and serve as the brewery’s main R&D facility. Expect an open design with a large outdoor area featuring games and friend gathering places. The open plan will be designed to give brewery attendees a more intimate look at the brewing process.
“I have a great relationship with the Selig family and their business. There was no question that creating a Scofflaw R&D brewery and tasting room at The Works was the right strategic decision for our team.” -Scofflaw CEO Matt Shirah.
Scofflaw Brewing’s new location will be built alongside a 16,000 square foot food hall by Robert Montwaid known as Chattahoochee Food Works. The food hall will feature food vendors, entertainment and chef-driven events, a test kitchen and artisanal market shops.
The Works is an 80-acre adaptive mixed-use development Atlanta’s Upper Westside, located off Chattahoochee Ave. near Topgolf Midtown. According to Selig, The Works’ vision includes “distinctive retail and dining, imaginative experiences and inspired gathering areas in an interconnected environment preserving the character of Atlanta’s historic industrial Upper Westside. The multi-phased master plan comprises 350,000 square feet of retail and entertainment, 500,000 square feet of office space, 500 residences, 200 hotel rooms and 13 acres of green space.”
Phase One, 27 acres, is currently under construction and scheduled for opening in early 2020.
Image: Beer Street Journal
At the 2018 Firestone Walker Invitational, Creature Comfort’s Adam Beauchamp was having a beer with Russian River’s Vinnie Cilurzo. Beauchamp mentioned Creature Comfort’s ‘Get Comfortable’ Campaign, their annual community outreach program. Creature Comforts helped raise funds to help folks affected by the 2017 Sonoma fires, so Cilurzo couldn’t wait to get involved.
The two breweries collaborated on an India pale ale, brewed with Strata, Amarillo, Comet, and Pahto hops. “Get Comfortable IPA” finishes at 7.2% alcohol by volume.
This year, Creature Comforts has chosen the following nonprofits to benefit from the funds raised from sales of the collaboration: Action Ministries, Advantage Behavioral Health, The Ark, Athens Community Council on Aging, Bigger Vision, Chess & Community, College Factory, Family Connection-Communities in Schools, and Mercy Health Center. These nine non-profits will be highlighted throughout the 2019 Get Comfortable campaign season, which wraps up in November.
Creature Comforts Russian River Get Comfortable IPA is available in 16-ounce cans and draft throughout the duration of the campaign.
Hops: Strata, Comet, Amarillo, Pahto
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. February-November 2019
Debut: February 2019
This collaboration is a big one, perfect for a winter release. The two breweries created an imperial stout, aged in both whiskey barrels and brandy barrels, with figs and dates. After blending into the finishing tanks, Bamburana was then aged again on Amburana wood spirals. Amburna is a tropical tree native to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru.
“We were pleasantly surprised with the vanilla and gingerbread spice nuances this South American wood contributed into the finished beer and look forward to putting this delicious beer in front of folks,” said Wayne Wambles of Cigar City Brewing
Oskar Blues Cigar City Bamburana is a national release in 12-ounce cans and draft starting in mid-January, 2019.
Debut: Mid-January 2019
In the wild west of hazy India pale ales, one of the best breweries out there is about to release one of their own after a year of experimentation. Firestone Walker Mind Haze IPA debuts this month.
Firestone’s brewmaster Matt Brynildson recognizes this hazy IPA trend got its start on America’s East Coast, but according to him, he also sees it starting with Bavarian hefeweizens. This may help explain the flavor profile in Firestone Walker Mind Haze IPA.
This can of hop-haze boasts a creamy mouthfeel and tropical-banana aroma according to the brewery. (Where the Bavarian influence comes into play.) The brewing team amplified the esters from the yeast and paired it with fruity hops.
“We’re not relying on residual yeasts or starches for turbidity. The haziness and mouthfeel of Mind Haze are cultivated by more stable means, namely using 40 percent wheat and oats in the grain bill while nailing the timing and interplay of our hop additions,” says Brynildson.
It’s this hazy IPA meets Bavaria flavor that Firestone Walker hopes really puts their own “stamp” on the style.
Firestone Walker Mind Haze IPA hits the brewery’s entire distribution footprint this week in 12-ounce cans and draft.
Style: Hazy IPA
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
Debut: January 2019
This Friday, America’s oldest brewery will release a beer that’s a little different from the famed Amber Lager. Yuengling Bourbon Barrel Reserve is coming to Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
Prior to modern refrigeration, brewers of the world used cold caves to ferment beer at colder temperatures. Incidentally, Yuengling has their own hand-dug caves that were in heavy use in the 1800s. It is there that the brewery has been resting a Marzen-style beer in bourbon barrels for 120 days prior to its release.
As much as this release might excite the hardcore Yuengling fans, Bourbon Barrel Reserve is not only draft-only but solely available at the Pottsville taproom on January 11th at 5 pm.
From one of the most popular purveyors of hops comes something a little different this month – a lager. Stone Tropic of Thunder Lager ships nationally this week.
Citra and Mosaic and rising star Cashmere are the hop stars of this craft lager, which boasts flavors of pineapple, citrus and coconut. In their descriptions, Stone wants you to think of this lager as a desert island beer.
Mainstays Citra & Mosaic along with newcomer Cashmere hops are joined by their juicy tropical aromas of citrus, pineapple and coconut (try stringing all that together in a catchy tune). The rescue ship will find you all soon enough. For now, set aside the non-working cell phone and lack of social media (again, work with us here), kick back and revel in your moment of tropical island lagoon serenity.
Stone Tropic of Thunder Lager is available in 12-ounce cans and draft nationally starting in January 2019.
Hops: Citra, Mosaic, Cashmere
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
Debut (Nationally): January 2019
Image: Stone Brewing