Chicago, Illinois based Off Color Brewing brewed an interesting collaboration back in 2016 that you might find a little shocking. The craft brewer teamed up with MillerCoors – specifically the brewers of Miller High Life. In the David vs. Goliath world of craft brewing vs. macro brewing wasn’t ready for a collaboration like this. There were quite a few beer geeks were that overly butthurt by the team’s creation. If you couldn’t’ get emotionally passed it the first time, we have some bad news. Off Color Eeek! has returned.
That’s a bit “Off Color” right? As it turns out, the brewing teams of Miller & Off Color are good friends who have talked about this collaboration for years. In the summer of 2016, a collaboration finally happened. Honestly, this “macro” meets “craft” collaboration turned out to be pretty awesome.
The base beer uses Miller High Life ingredients – the same that have made the Champagne of Beers popular for years. Off Color used their funky, acidic mixed cultures in primary fermentation, then lagered it for three weeks. The final flourish is the bottle conditioning with Champagne yeast. (That last move might have been obvious.)
The result is actually a relatively complex American wild ale with a touch of the grainy undertones you’ll recognize as Miller High Life. Easily one of the most interesting collaborations we’ve ever seen in craft beer. The duo very LITERALLY created the Champagne of Wild Beers.
Off Color Eeek! (Batch 2) is available in 750-milliliter bottles in Chicago starting March 18th. Limited distribution is pending.
Style: American Wild Ale
Availability: 750ml Bottles
Latest Return: March 2018
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Those magically inspired, beer-loving individuals are sure to love this artwork. Monday Night Mischief Managed will emerge from their barrels soon.
Mischief Managed is a no-boil Berliner Weisse that has been barrel-soured in white wine barrels. Fresh raspberries have recently been added to the barrels, then allowed to ferment a second time. The result should be a beer that would make Moody, Wormtail, Padfoot & Prongs proud.
Monday Night Mischief Managed will be a 500-milliliter bottle release. The brewery has not yet announced a release date.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Monday Night Excolatur debuts on February 10th.
The base beer for Monday Night Excolatur, a dark sour, has been aging in a blend of bourbon and rum barrels for more than two years. For the last four months, Excolatur has been aging on Montmorency cherries.
“Excolatur is Latin for ‘Development.’ This beer started out in fresh bourbon barrels before a transfer to rum barrels. We then inoculated it with locally sourced Pediococcus and Lactobacillus strains and aged it for another year before refermenting it on Mont cherries.
Monday Night Excolatur is now available in 500-milliliter bottles at the brewery’s “Garage” location as of February 10th, with limited distribution across the brewery’s footprint.
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.
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.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
It was a sweaty, stormy day in Atlanta years ago, even before the build of SweetWater’s wild ale expansion “The Woodlands” was complete, that SweetWater Cambium was born. Brewers Nick Burgoyne and Chris Meadows were transferring wort from the brewery’s number one selling 420 Extra Pale Ale into a stainless steel tank. On any other day, this beer would have been donning the “420” hoppy badge of honor and headed out the door in a matter of weeks. This liquid, however, had a much grander destiny that would take years to complete.
The ever-so-stunning The Woodlands was a drawing on a piece of paper when the brewers and lab biologists at SweetWater started isolating Brettanomyces strains and souring bacteria for the brewery’s wild ale program. On this day, as the thunder boomed over the city, the years of microscopic work were about to pay off. Isolated Brettanomyces strains, along with a Belgian saison yeast and Lactobacillus bacteria were set free in the tank. Nature will handle it from here.
About 8 months later, an American wheat ale base (similar to the now-retired Sch’Wheat Wheat Ale) topped off tank then allowed ferment out before finally being transferred to the brewery’s oak foeders for a full year. Cambium was finally bottled in December and has been conditioning on their House Brett ever since.
A bit like a Robert Frost poem, two roads diverged for that pale ale wort and only one went into the wood(s). This weekend you’ll see it really made all the difference.
Nearly two years in the making, SweetWater Cambium will debut in 500-milliliter bottles on January 27th.
Monday Night Beyond The Clouds, a new Brettanomyces heavy IPA debuts on January 27th.
Everything you love about tropical hops and the funkiness of Brettanomyces comes together beautifully in Monday Night Beyond the Clouds. Especially if you are a fan of both.
This release has been fermenting for months at brewery’s new location “The Garage”, fermenting with six different strains of Brettanomyces. According to head brewer Peter Kiley, about half were Monday Night’s strains, and the other half are commercially bought.
The result is a hazy, funky, tropical IPA that leaves you wanting more than one glass. The balance of hops to Brett character can only be described as “perfect”.
Bottles of Monday Night Beyond the Clouds can be reserved now online (mobile only) for the brewery release on January 27th. Limited market distribution to follow.
Style: American Wild Ale (Brett IPA)
Hops: Citra, Huell Melon, Mosaic, Simcoe
Availability: 500ml Bottles