Arrogant Consortia, Stone Brewing’s “arrogant” extension of their brewing operation, was always destined for a collaboration like this. Stone and Metallica have created a new pilsner rolling out nationally.
Musical collaborations are nothing new in the beer industry. Dogfish Head has created several musical releases with Pearl Jam, Guided By Voices, and The Flaming Lips. Dropkick Murphys teamed up with Magic Hat and Megadeth with Unibroue – that’s just the beginning of the list. Now musical hall of fame inducted Metallica has their own national release- Enter Night Pilsner.
Iron Maiden has their own successful beer and Metallica has taken notice. After launching “Blackened,” a Metallica inspired whiskey last fall, beer was an obvious next step. According to drummer Lars Ulrich, Stone Brewing’s name kept coming up while doing some research. Beer fans know how fiercely independent Stone is, and Metallica was drawn to Greg Koch and Stone for that mentality.
Metallica didn’t want to just “slap a label” on a beer, and Koch wasn’t about to do the brewer’s version of the same thing. The band dove head first together into the creation of this collaboration – Enter Night Pilsner.
Now, a lot of folks think a metal-inspired beer should be strong, black, barrel-aged, or be brewed with goat’s blood or something “metal” like that. Most musicians want something on the lighter side of the spectrum to drink before, during, and after the show. The guitar solo on “One” wouldn’t as epic if Kirk Hammett was shit-blitzed on barleywine. A pilsner became a perfect choice (plus Ulrich is from Europe originally and knows the style well).
Enter Night Pilsner is every bit a clean, crisp European style lager with just a touch of aggressive American hops. When Stone Brewing and Metallica say this beer “transcends genres, shatters preconceptions and challenges convention,” we tend to agree. They both have done that in their perspective industries and definitely in this beer. Enter Night is not like any pilsner you’ve had before.
Enter Night Pilsner is hitting shelves nationally in 16-ounce cans.
Crank The Black Album and get drinking.
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft.
Debut (Nationally): Early 2019
5.7% ABV, 45 IBUs
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has made their first-ever acquisition, Sufferfest Beer Co.
Sufferfest Beer Co. is a young brewery, launched back in 2016 in San Francisco, California. Founder and CEO Caitlin Landesberg had been searching for a beer that was the perfect thirst quencher for someone with an active lifestyle. Eventually, that search led her to create her own recipes with a brewmaster and ultimately, Sufferfest Beer Co. was born.
Sufferfest beers are intentionally brewed to be low in carbohydrates, with some being extremely gluten reduced (Less than 5 parts per million.)
Sierra Nevada’s President and CEO said today – “While still in its infancy, Sufferfest is at the front of the wave of ‘functional’ alcoholic beverages. By joining with Sierra Nevada, Sufferfest will be better positioned to grow and continue to lead the way in a rapidly growing and highly competitive space.”
The intention of the acquisition is to better position Sufferfest to grow in a highly competitive space of healthy beer options, including gluten-reduced and gluten-free offerings.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the deal is for 100% of Sufferfest Beer Co.
Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty Lo-Cal IPA, brewed for the health conscious beer drinker, debuts this spring.
The off-centered brewers in Delaware might be the first brewery to create a low-calorie India pale ale for the healthy-minded drinker. Essentially light beer’s version of the venerable IPA
Slightly Mighty Lo-Cal IPA has 95 calories and 3.6 carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving.
India pale ales are known for big hop and malt flavors, making the task of reducing the calorie and carbohydrate content tricky. In the brewing process, enzymes break complex carbohydrates into fermentable sugar that the yeast we turn into alcohol. A typical IPA has on average 16 to 20 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Dogfish cut Slightly Mighty’s to less than four.
Reducing the malt bill reduces the sweetness of the beer, making it taste watered down. Not to mention the astringency from a Dogfish Head-style IPA’s hop bill.
To bring balance to flavor and balance to this low-cal IPA approach, Dogfish has used monk fruit. This superfruit is twenty times sweeter than most fruit juices, low calorie, and a great sweetness replacement for Slightly Mighty. According to the brewery, the addition of monk fruit juice did not add calories to the final IPA.
Dogfish Slightly Mighty IPA is touted to have aromas of pineapple, coconut, and citrus, with a dry, fruity palate. Look for this new lo-cal India pale ale starting in April in 12-ounce cans and draft.
Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale will be bottled for the first time this summer.
For years, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale overtook Russian River Pliny the Elder as #1 India Pale Ale in America, according to Zymurgy Magazine, published by the American Homebrewer’s Association. Elder had the spot for seven years straight. Two Hearted Ale has both “classic” and “epic” statuses in our book.
In the past, you might have been lucky to come across Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale on draft. It’s a hoppier and definitely boozier edition of its famous predecessor, to the tune of 11% alcohol by volume.
Expect 12-ounce bottles and draft of Double Two Hearted Ale to arrive in July 2019.
Style: Imperial IPA
Availability: 12oz Bottles (New), Draft.
Debut (Bottles): July 2019
Today is a big day in beer history. January 24th marks the anniversary of the first canned beer sold in the U.S. thanks to the American Can Company. It was their innovation that ultimately led to the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company releasing “Krueger’s Finest Beer & “Cream Ale” in a new steel can format (we were still years away from traditional aluminum). The New Jersey brewery test marketed 2,000 cans in Richmond, Virginia for the first time 83 years ago.
Interestingly, the American Can Company started this whole process back in 1909. Unfortunately, the 80 pounds of pressure per square inch needed to maintain carbonation caused the first cans to explode. Despite American Prohibition, the company continued their research in hopes of the day beer was legal once again.
As crazy as it sounds now, the sale of beer in cans wasn’t easy. Adoption took time. Gottfried Krueger was founded in 1858 and was pretty set in their brewing ways and pretty much dismissed the idea of canning when American Can approached them in 1935. That was, until the canning equipment was offered for free.
As it turned out, Krueger’s Finest Beer and Cream Ale sales swelled thanks to the steel can sales, prompting Pabst, Schlitz, Stroh’s and Anheuser Busch to adopt canning just to regain market share.
Beer canning in the United States was put on hold for a few years due to a resource strain during World War II. The heavy steel can only had a few years left in use when canning resumed in 1947, as the more modern aluminum can was ultimately introduced in 1958.
Here in 2019, the United States has swelled to a record-breaking 7,000+ breweries. According to 2016 IRI Worldwide Data, canned beer accounts for more than 50% of beer (all beer) sold in the United States.
In the craft beer segment, Brewers Association economist Bart Watson has found a continued increase in market share by cans, seeing more craft breweries adopting at least a mix of cans and bottles.
To think Krueger turned down the idea. Within three months of the first release, Krueger’s newly adopted can format was in the hands of over 80 distributors (which was a lot back then).
Sadly, two years after Krueger’s 100th birthday, the company was sold and the Newark, New Jersey plant was closed. While the brand may be gone, their aluminum efforts have set off a canned revolution that is only growing in American beer today. Of the Top 25 largest breweries in the U.S., from Anheuser-Busch, Pabst, and MillerCoors to Boston Beer, Sierra Nevada, Founders, Bell’s Stone and Brooklyn Brewing – all can at least some of their lineup.
That number just keeps growing every year.
Inspired by the wine country that surrounds the brewery, Firestone Walker Rosalie debuts year-round this month.
Paso Robles, California, the home of Firestone Walker Brewing Company is known to the rest of the world as a premier wine region. The brewery was even constructed on the Firestone family winery. If that influence isn’t enough, local winemakers are always asked to assist in creating Firestone’s annual Anniversary blend.
The path to Rosalie started in September of 2018 when Castoro Winery harvested 200 tons of wine grapes for Firestone Walker. Grape varieties included Chardonnay, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Muscat Canelli, and Orange Muscat. Chardonnay grapes were tapped to take the flavor profile lead, but brewmaster Matt Brynildson wanted other varieties. “The Chardonnay provides these crowd-pleasing textures and flavors. But we also wanted to weave in the other grape varieties to lift the aromas and add complexity,” he says.
The goal with Firestone Walker Rosalie is to create a beer with the body of rosé wine. A cross-over creation, that blurs the line between beer and wine. The acid profile of a rosé can’t be achieved with normal yeast and malts, so the brewery used some souring techniques to achieve this.
A lightly hopped, pilsner malt heavy wort was created, and blended with pressed grape juice. By co-fermenting the wort with the grape juice, the brewery is essentially making beer and wine at the same time.
Where hops would have been added whirlpool step of the brewing process, Firestone Walker opted to use hibiscus petals. This gives Rosalie it’s pink, rosé wine style coloring, with an extra touch of citric acid which brightens up the palate beer. The result of this complicated brewing process? It would seem like one of the most cutting edge beer and wine hybrids created yet.
Look for Firestone Walker Rosalie in 12-ounce cans year-round this month. Draft will launch in April 2019.
Image: Firestone Walker
Creature Comforts STAY G-O-L-D, a collaboration with rap duo Run the Jewels will be available again on January 29th.
Chicago based Pipeworks, New York’s Interboro and Asheville, North Carolina’s Burial Beer Co. have all created their own versions of Stay G-O-L-D in the past.
Athens, Georgia has their own edition of these hit beer collaborations – Creature Comforts STAY G-O-L-D returns again at the end of January. STAY G-O-L-D is brewed with Citra, Mosaic, Chinook, and Strata hops.
“Stay G-O-L-D is a high impact, yet very drinkable IPA, We’re all big fans of Run the Jewels here at Creature Comforts so we were thrilled to have another opportunity to collaborate with them.” – said Co-Founder and Head Brewer David Stein.
Creature Comforts STAY G-O-L-D will be available on-site at the brewery in Athens, Georgia on January 29th. A limited amount will be available in distribution in both Athens and Atlanta after launch day.
Hops: Citra, Mosaic, Chinook, Strata.
Availablity: 16oz Cans
Latest Return: 1/29/19
Images: Beer Street Journal