Don’t Miss This

Posted in Bell's Brewing, Don't Miss This

Bell’s Larry’s Latest Sour Ale hits shelves, replacing ‘Smitten’

Bell's Larry's Latest Sour Ale

Bell’s Larry’s Latest Sour Ale is a brand new seasonal hitting shelves for the first time.

The base beer for this new release is a dry-hopped kettle soured ale, similar to Oarsman Ale, featuring bold hops like Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy, and El Dorado. Various renditions of this beer have been found on tap at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe in the past.

Bell’s Arabicadabra (coffee milk stout) debuts in October.

Larry’s Latest Sour Ale offers a refreshing citrus tartness combined with incredible tropical aromas.

This seasonal release will bump Smitten Golden Rye Ale from the late winter/early spring lineup for a while.

Bell’s Larry’s Latest Sour Ale will be available in 12-ounce bottles, 16-ounce cans, and draft starting in February.

Style: Sour Ale
Hops: Mosaic, Citra, Galaxy, El Dorado

Availability: 16oz Cans, 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: February 2018

5% ABV

Posted in Don't Miss This, Modist Brewing

Modist Brewing is raffling off their Super Bowl tickets from the “Dilly Dilly” incident

Dilly Dilly. That’s nonsensical phrase/ latest creation of the Budweiser marketing team, made popular by the King Arthur style tv spots. You’d think that using a phrase like “Dilly Dilly” to sell light beer would be a dumb idea, but the brand has certainly found great success in the campaign.

Last year, Anheuser Busch filed (and was granted) a federal trademark for “Dilly Dilly”, for use in relation to, and selling, their light beer. Basically, if beer is involved, no one but AB can use it.

Minneapolis based Modist Brewing got the attention of AB in December when they released Dilly Dilly Mosaic IPA on draft. Instead of the standard cease and desist letter, Bud took a more classy approach. They sent over their own medieval scribe reading the C&D letter from parchment, then offered a set of Super Bowl tickets to Modist (who is located in the Bowl’s host city this year) to smooth it all over.

Instead of taking the very expensive seats for themselves, Modist has decided to raffle off the tickets to Minnesotans. The proceeds will go to the employee’s favorite charities.

“As much as we would love to watch our employees joust for a chance to go to the big game, our employees have instead decided to raffle off the tickets  to the benefit of their favorite charities…”

The whole incident will ultimately raise a good bit of money for a good cause.

Modist is hoping to raise a whopping $50,000 dollars for charity. Starting January 30th at 7 pm, raffle tickets can be purchased for $25 dollars at the taproom. You have to purchase the tickets in person.

  • We will be only raffling off 2,000 tickets, limit 2 per customer, with a goal of raising $50,000!
  • These are badass seats: Section 120, Row 18, seats 15 and 16
  • In addition to raising money for our causes, our goal is to also give Minnesotans a really good chance at winning. If you buy 2 tickets, your chances are 1/1,000 (assuming we sell them all). If you and whoever you’d bring get to tickets, your chances are 1/500 – for a prize with a current market value of close to $10,000. It’s kinda cool.

In honor of the raffle, as well as playing off the mediavel “legal” actions of late, Modist will debut Dungeon Juice today at 5 pm. Subtitled “Another  Juicy IPA”, the release is brewed with heaping amounts of Simcoe, Azacca, and Citra hops.

The Eagles meet the Patriots on Sunday at 6:30 pm EST.

Image via Modist Brewing

Posted in Don't Miss This, Great Divide, New Releases

New Series, New Beer: Great Divide Wood Werks Belgian-Style Sour debuts

Great Divide Wood Werks Belgian-Style Sour

Great Divide Wood Werks Belgian-Style Sour will kick off a new barrel-aged series for the brewery on February 1st. 

Denver, Colorado-based Great Divide’s most well-known barrel-aged releases Hibernation, Old Ruffian, & their Yeti Imperial Stout. Thanks to extra oak barrel purchases, more of these treats are available nationwide.

Even with more oak, Great Divide still has some small batch love to give – in the form of the new Wood Werks Barrel Series set to debut in February. 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the brewery’s original Barrel-Aged Series. At the time, nearly every barrel they had came from Colorado local, Stranahan’s Whiskey. Brewery founder Brian Dunn thought it was time to upgrade the program taking what he characterizes as “a more modern approach” to barrel-aged beers.

Great Divide Wood Werks Belgian-Style Sour has the honor of being the first release of this new era. A Belgian-style tripel ale has been souring for 15 months in red wine barrels on plums.

“This Belgian-Style Sour showcases our creativity and thoughtful approach to a Belgian-Style Tripel. It really is a labor of love and patience.” -Brandon Jacobs, brewing manager

Great Divide Wood Werks Belgian-Style Sour will be a 12-ounce bottle release, available nationwide starting in February. Look for a Flemish Sour Brown Ale to join the series in May, and a Barrel Aged Brown Rye Ale in August.

Style: American Wild Ale (w/ Plums. Wine Barrel-Aged.)
Availability: 12oz Bottles
Debut: 2/1/18

9.3% ABV

Posted in Burial Beer Co, Don't Miss This, New Releases

A brooding, dark sour? Burial The River to Hell Runs Red

Burial The River to Hell Runs Red

If this is Burial Beer Co.’s idea of what the rivers in hell taste like, count us in.

The Asheville, North Carolina based brewery’s Solera program has yielded another release, and it indeed runs deep red. Burial The River to Hell Runs Red is Oud Bruin ale (Flanders Brown Ale) that spent 6 months in Brunello foeders, only to be re-fermented in Sanctuary Vineyards Tempranillo barrels for 9 months. Hold on, not done. 75% of this sour ale was aged on raspberries, while the remaining 25% on blueberries.

The release is truly a dark, brooding, sour ale. As it warms the depth of this beer is revealed – a wash of bold Spanish black grapes and a subtle hint of dry Italian wine barrel, finishing with just the tiniest hint of vinegar and raspberry. Fans of sours like The Bruery Tart of Darkness or Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza will find a new love in hell here.

Burial The River to Hell Runs Red is a brewery only release, in 16.9-ounce bottles.

Style: American Wild/Sour Ale (w/ Blueberries. Raspberries. Foudre Aged. Wine Barrel Aged.)
Availability: 16.9oz Bottles
Debut: 1/13/18

7.5% ABV

PIC: Beer Street Journal

Posted in Don't Miss This, New Releases, Sam Adams

A union of ale & lager, Sam Adams ’76 is a fantastic session beer

Sam Adams 76 Can

It might be hard to imagine an ale and a lager meshed together in a single beer. Especially since beer is pretty divided into one of those two categories. As it turns out, a fusion of the two styles can be pretty amazing as we just learned with Sam Adams ’76.

The brewers at Boston Beer Company used two active fermentations, one for a lager and one for an ale to create Sam Adams ’76. The idea is to blend the “fruitiness” of an ale with the smoothness of a lager. Sound a little odd? We thought so too.

The year of experimenting (around 60 iterations according to the brewery) was well worth it. Sam Adams ’76 is one of the best session beers we’ve tried in a long time. ‘76 pours a light gold/straw flavor and looks almost creamy at first splash. Imagine something like a pale ale brewed with Cascade, Citra, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops blended with a crisp lager. Yeah, it’s hard to piece together that flavor. That’s why trying this beer is a must. This hybrid beer compliments a wide range of food, those days when you start day drinking early, or just a break from a hefty IPA or stout session with friends. Easy drinking, clean, refreshing, all those buzz words are applicable here.

In our minds, this beer is definitely a win.

Sam Adams ’76 is available in 12-ounce cans now, draft in April 2018.

Style: Light Lager (Hybrid Beer)
Hops: Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic, Cascade
Availability: 12oz Cans. Draft (April). Year-Round
Debut: January 2018

4.7% ABV

Image: Beer Street Journal

Posted in Don't Miss This, Firestone Walker Brewing, New Releases

Dunk your cookies in Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout

Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout Can

Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout has been canned for the first time this month.

Two years ago, Nitro Merlin Milk Stout debuted on draft. Since then, Firestone Walker’s brewmaster Matt Brynildson has been researching options to make it work in cans. Ultimately, the brewery accomplishes this without a nitrogen widget.

“We looked at widgets, but couldn’t find a way to use them without exceeding our specs for total dissolved oxygen in the beer, which ultimately affects freshness and shelf life, so we had to look elsewhere.” -Matt Brynildson

The brewery retrofitted the brewery’s canning line with a liquid nitrogen drip machine. A drop of liquid nitrogen is dropped into the can, which immediately turns into nitrogen gas. The can is filled and sealed, mixing the gas in both the liquid and trapped in the headspace. For best effect, use what Firestone Walker calls the “surge pour” by inverting the can three times and pouring hard.

Flavor. Nitro Merlin has been an incredible beer since its inception. Brynildson and his team ported the beer over to cans beautifully. The beer is smooth and creamy, with just a touch of lactose sweetness and hints of milk chocolate. If you’re into beer pairings, drop a few dollars and order Brown Butter Cookie Company’s “Original” cookies . The pairing is as heavenly as it is addictive. They compliment each other so well, you actually want to dip the cookies in the beer. (And fight your friend/lover/spouse for the last bite and sip.)

Firestone Walker Nitro Merlin Milk Stout is the brewery’s first packaged nitro beer, hitting shelves nationally in January 2018.

Style: Milk Stout (w/ Lactose. Nitrogen.)
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
Debut: January 2018

5.5% ABV

Image: Beer Street Journal 

Posted in Don't Miss This

Untappd releases the Top 10 most checked in beers of 2017. Guess which style dominated…

Popular beer rating app Untappd has released the top 10 beers consumers checked into in 2017. One style continues to dominate the list.

Despite light lager dominating overall sales in the United States (we’re looking at you Bud Light), topping Untappd’s list capturing 193,988 check-in’s is a session India pale ale – Founders All Day IPA. The Grand Rapids, Michigan based brewery debuted the hoppy session beer in 2011, and has since added 15-packs of cans, as well as 19.2oz single cans.

The state of Michigan claims second place as well with Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. This American IPA classic had a big 2017, unseating Russian River’s Pliny the Elder as the nation’s best commercial beer according to the American Homebrewer’s Association member’s poll. Pliny has held that honor for the previous 8 years.

The third spot is occupied by America’s oldest brewery – Yuengling. Their Traditional Lager was checked in 176,391 times in 2017. Judging by the shade (and terrible spelling attempts) thrown at Yuengling, it would seem that some folks have come to the conclusion that the brewery shouldn’t be considered craft beer, “because lager sucks”. Here’s the twist for those naysayers – Yuengling holds the number one spot as the largest craft brewery. Not only are they still family owned and operated (since 1829), but their annual production is less than the Brewer’s Association defined cut off of 6 million barrels.

The 4th largest craft brewery New Belgium holds the 4th and 5th check-in spots with Voodoo Ranger and Fat Tire respectively. Voodoo Ranger has spun off into a series of variants over the past year. (Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze just hit shelves this month.) The amber ale Fat Tire is not only a staple many craft beer fans, but a gateway into craft for thousands.

Interestingly, Scottish craft brewer Brewdog and their #1 selling Punk IPA made the top 10 as the only foreign brewery to crack the list. That is – if you still count them as foreign. Brewdog opened the doors to their first production facility in the United States in 2017, located in Ohio.

Founders KBS, the brewery’s famous and highly sought after barrel-aged imperial stout boasts 120,249 check-ins and is the only dark beer on the list.

Dogfish Head (#14 in sales volume), Stone Brewing (#9 in sales) and Cigar City all round out the top 10.

It comes as no surprise that the India pale ale continues to dominate the craft side of the beer industry, claiming 7 out of 10 of top 10 check-ins last year. That leaves just one amber ale, one amber lager, and a barrel-aged stout in the group.

The obvious conclusion? America still loves their hops, and we doubt that will ever change.