There are plenty of rośe inspired beers in the beer market right now. While they almost incorporate grapes, Epic Brewing Rośe, from the brewery’s Oak & Orchard Series, achieves a rose flavor with strawberries and an “epic” house mixed culture wild ale.
Epic Brewing’s sour program continues to impress us. Recent Oak & Orchard releases like Strawberry Rhubarb, and Pink Guava were some of the best American wild ales we tried at Beer Street Journal in 2018. (Incidentally, their Quadruple Barrel Baptist was one of our 2018 favorites as well.) Rośe Ale truly keeps this impressive flavor journey alive and well into a new year.
Strawberries, hibiscus, and rose hips are part of the approach for Epic Rośe. Each sip is a wash of oaky tart strawberry flavors, with a light, lingering floral aroma on your palate. The rose hips and hibiscus are perfectly subtle. This might be more enjoyable the sipping actual rośe wine. Far less sugary, and in our opinion, far more complex than any pink wine you’ll find at the same price point.
American wild ales grow in popularity in the United States every year. If you don’t know what to look out for, let us help. Don’t dare sleep on Epic’s Oak & Orchard Series. We fought over the last sips of Pink Guava, and sipping this Rośe Ale in the sun with hints of spring in the air made for a downright poetic drinking experience.
We can’t wait to see what the brewery does next 🔥.
Availability: 12.7oz Bottles
Debut: February 2019
All corn-troversy with MillerCoors from the Super Bowl aside, Budweiser is working up a new flavor of Bud Light. Bud Light Lemon Tea is poised to grab consumer sales this year.
AB InBev sales have declined in the United States. Shipments of Bud Light have dropped every year for nearly a decade now, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. Despite Bud Light’s decline, Budweiser has found great success with Bud Light Lime, and most recently, 2018’s Bud Light Orange. According to AB, Orange was one of the beer industry’s most successful product launches all year.
These “premium” products (that’s an Anheuser-Busch term for these flavored segments) success are opening the door for Bud Light Lemon Tea. The description reads “lager brewed with real lemon peels and aged on tea leaves with natural flavors.” The “real” and “natural” will no doubt play a big role in the deluge of expensive marketing Budweiser will inevitably roll out when this beer launches. Especially after taking shots at MillerCoors use of corn syrup in recent commercial spends.
Both CNBC and AdAge have run stories with Bud Light VP Andy Goeler who explains these Bud Light extensions as a way to get beer drinkers to come back to Bud Light. Not to far off from the craft beer industries #FlagshipFebruary campaign to remind drinkers not to forget about the core beers in their hunt for pastry stouts, one-offs, and quadruple dry-hopped haze. Whether megabrewer, or craft brewer, core beer sales are falling.
If it’s any evidence of the popularity of these flavored brand extensions, 2 of the top 5 searches on Beer Street Journal every month are Zima (MillerCoors) and Bud Light Platinum. Bud Light Orange is #36.
Anheuser-Busch has not officially announced this release.
Imperial stout fans, look to Asheville, North Carolina. Hi-Wire Salted Maple 10W-40 Imperial Stout debuts Friday
This series started with 10W-40 Imperial Stout, so named because the chocolate, coffee, and vanilla heavy stout pours like motor oil.
Never resting, Hi-Wire has released more variants of 10W-40, including Horchata, German Chocolate Cake, and even a Barrel-aged 10W-40. This beer is quickly becoming a state “stout icon”.
Up next – Salted Maple 10W-40. This edition takes the imperial stout base and combines maple syrup, pink sea salt, vanilla beans, chocolate, and lactose milk sugar. Sounds like a chocolatey salt maple candy.
Hi-Wire Salted Maple 10W-40 will be available in limited 16-ounce cans on Friday, March 8th.
Highland Slow Crush Tart Spritz Ale will join Asheville, North Carolina’s oldest brewery’s lineup in May.
After speaking with Highland Brewing this morning, it’s very evident the team is excited about this new release. Slow Crush, subtitled a “tart spritz ale”, is a kettle sour that mimics the Aperol Spritz cocktail.
To achieve this, Highland used a few botanicals you don’t find very often in beer – gentian root, cinchona bark, and hibiscus flowers. They contribute the kettle soured base beer, brewed with flaked rye malt and Citra and Amarillo hops. The result according to the brewery is an effervescent beer with a refreshing acidity that is perfect for any occasion.
“This is a dynamic time in the industry and at Highland.We are exploring what Highland beer can be and creating beers that are different from anything we have ever done before. Slow Crush refers to the tradition of gruits and aperitifs and the way that brewers and distillers tried to achieve balance with different herbs and spices… – Trace Redmond, R&D Brewer
Highland Slow Crush will be available in 16-ounce cans year-round starting in May 2019.
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round
Debut: May 2019
Everyone knows Pabst Blue Ribbon, aka PBR. The pop culture phenomenon was introduced in 1844 and is easily one of the most well-known beers in America. What’s next for Pabst? It looks like Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey.
A label surfaced this week for PBR Whiskey, an apparent collaboration with brewer/distiller New Holland Brewing, based in Michigan.
As you can see from the label above, the whiskey label draws from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer artwork, with the description “This is Pabst Blue Ribbon Whiskey. Made from nature’s choicest products that, legend has it, Jacob Best used in 1844 to provide its smooth, complex flavor.”
One more thing impossible to ignore – the label states “Aged 5 seconds”.
New Holland signed a partnership with Pabst in 2016 to expand their national distribution footprint. Sources within the brewery who do not want to be named have hinted to Beer Street Journal in the past that the partnership is rapidly expanding, but declined to provide more information.
The 80 proof whiskey is slated for 750-milliliter bottles.
Emails to Pabst Blue Ribbon were not returned.
Norfolk, Virginia based O’Connor Brewing Company has released a new year-round beer into their 8 year old lineup – Proper Lager. A lighter beer that’s needed an IPA and adjunct heavy industry.
For the better part of 2018, O’Connor Brewing was perfecting the recipe, brewing process and launch of this new year-rounder. A lager is a beer you have to get right. There aren’t dark malts, barrel aging or pounds of vanilla beans or fruit to cover up any missteps in the brewing process.
Proper Lager is a helles-style lager, brewed properly according to O’Connor. Helles-style lagers are German pale lager beers (with pilsners, and Dortmund Export styles). Helles in German translates to bright, or light. Incidentally, that description is perfect for this new lager. It’s every bit a bright, crisp and clean beer, that’s impossible to put down.
Without digging deep into the thesaurus, Proper Lager is simply fantastic.
O’Connor Proper Lager is one of seven flagship beers available year-round, in Virginia, Washington D.C., and parts of North Carolina. Available in 12-ounce cans and draft.
Style: Helles Lager
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round.
Debut: February 2019
Founders Mas Agave will be the 3rd Barrel-Aged Series release in 2019, following Backwoods Bastard and CBS.
This margarita-inspired release is an imperial gose, brewed with agave and lime, and aged in tequila barrels. According to Founders, the tequila gives this beer “just the right amount of kick”.
The label is inspired by Day of the Dead imagery, especially the altars built to honor loved ones.
Founders Mas Agave will be available in 750-milliliter bottles, 12-ounce bottles, and draft in May 2019