Founders Curmudgeon’s Better Half, originally the third release in the brewery’s Backstage Series, returns in August.
The grumpy “Curmudgeon” on the label is best known for appearances on hiatus old ale by the same name. In February 2012, the brewery released Curmudgeon’s Better Half as a part of their Backstage Series, now known as the Barrel-Aged Series.
Curmudgeon’s Better Half is the familiar old ale brewed with molasses and aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. (Similar to Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout.) Fan demand prompted the return of this boozy treat.
Six years later, how is it? Let’s take it back to December. Christmas saw the return of another legendary beer in Founders lineup – Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS). The fans clamored and traded for it like it would cure cancer. The reviews ended up being a little mixed, and here’s our theory why. It’s been a quite a while since the last release, and so many barrel-aged beers have come and gone in that time span. Folks built it up in their minds over the years to a level CBS couldn’t achieve, no matter how good it actually was.
Curmudgeon’s Better Half was pretty great in our opinion six years ago and really hasn’t been subjected to this mental buildup over the past half decade. We never thought we’d see it again. With the first sip, we are instantly reminded of the subtle beauty of this beer. There aren’t a lot of old ales running around breweries these days. The original Curmudgeon was brewed with molasses and had a touch of sweetness that mixes with hints of brown sugar and caramel. This version aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels didn’t throw “Better Half” over the top. Each sip is a subtle symphony of vanilla oak, sweet maple, caramel malt, with a finishing alcoholic heat and lingering sweetness. A slow sipper after dinner, or in a rocking chair on a porch as the sunsets. Our love affair was rekindled immediately.
Every year, the brewery plans to bring new creations to their coveted Barrel-Aged Series, but a few releases from the past beg to be re-released. Founders fans have been begging for Curmudgeon’s Better Half to return since it’s release 6 years ago. “This was a beer that needed to get back into the rotation,” says Barrel Maestro, Jason Heystek.
Founders Curmudgeon’s Better Half will make its return starting August 24th in the new 12-ounce bottle format, 750-milliliter bottles, as well as draft.
12.7% ABV, 35 IBUs
Allagash Avancé will be available in the brewery’s taproom again on July 14th.
Back in 2013, the Portland, Maine based brewery started purchasing fresh strawberries from Dole’s Orchard in Limington, Maine. The fresh fruit was combined with a strong ale brewed with four different strains of Belgian yeast, as well as multiple sugars including molasses, date sugar, white cane sugar, and dark rock candi.
Avancé is a strong, sour ale with aromas of strawberry preserves and toasted oak. Berries and more oak continue in the flavor, which concludes with a warm, sweet finish.
Allagash Avancé is available in 12.7-ounce bottles in the brewery’s taproom July 14th, alongside Coolship Cerise.
Style: Belgian-style Strong Ale / American Wild Ale (w/ Strawberries. Date Sugar. Candi Sugar. Molasses. White Cane Sugar. Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Hops: Perle, German Tradition, Tettnang, Saaz
Malts: 2-Row, Malted Barley Blend, Munich, Caramel, Carapils
Availability: 12.7oz Bottles
A great seasonal is about get a little better, thanks to some time spent in oak. Saint Arnold Bourbon Pumpkinator is coming this fall.
The brewery’s seasonal, single batch, pumpkin beer has a cult following among their fan base. It got its start as the ninth release the brewery’s Divine Reserve Series. The brewing team’s pumpkin beer approach is an imperial pumpkin stout, brewed with black and caramel malts, plus pumpkin, molasses, brown sugar, and spices. This “pie in a bottle” offering is the most expensive beer Saint Arnold has brewed.
In 2017, the Houston, Texas brewery is kicking the seasonal up a notch, with Saint Arnold Bourbon Pumpkinator.
As Bishop of Metz, Saint Arnold spent his life warning of the dangers of drinking water and extolling the virtues of beer. During his funeral, his pallbearers stopped to quench their thirst, but they only had one mug to share among them. Then a miracle happened. The mug never ran dry, and all the mourners we satisfied.
Saint Arnold has begun teasing the release of this barrel-aged offering, but no debut date has been set.
Ed note: Bottle size has been changed to 12oz, instead of 22oz as previously reported.
When Burial Beer Co.’s Skillet Donut Stout has gotten some barrel-aged treatment in the past as a draft only rarity. Finally last May, the brewery bottled it for the first one. This June, Seasoned Skillet bottles will be available at the brewery once again.
Burial Seasoned Skillet is a Barrel-aged riff on Skillet Donut Stout, one of the brewery’s most popular beers. It’s an oatmeal stout brewed with molasses, milk sugar, and a 50/50 blend of Big Trouble and Hologram Counter Culture Coffee.
The finishing touch is the 9 months in Willet Bourbon barrels. (Last year was bourbon barrels.)
Bottles of Burial Seasoned Skillet go on sale again June 3rd at the brewery in Asheville, North Carolina.
Availability: 750ml Bottles
Latest Return: 6/3/17
Athens, Georgia based Terrapin Beer Company made waves a while back with their zombie themed Walking Dead Bood Orange IPA. In February, it returned once again in cans for the first time. The brewery now has two zombie apocalypse inspired beers on shelves. The newest? Terrapin Lucille.
If you follow the show, Terrapin Lucille is named for the evil fella wreaking havok on our beloved Rick Grimes and crew – Negan and his weapon of choice, Lucille. The barbed wire should be a dead give away. If you haven’t been watching, the show gets pretty brutal. (And bloody.)
This beer drinks like dessert, but doesn’t drink like the 9.4% alcohol by volume beer it actually is. Perhaps this “Lucille” will do a little damage to your head as well. The imperial stout is brewed with both molasses and vanilla, and aged on hickory, maple, and white ash. All the wood that makes baseball bats.
Molasses dominates this beer, but isn’t overpowering, heavy or syrupy. Expect hints of brown sugar, dark chocolate oak and a touch of smoke.
Terrapin Lucille is available now in 500 milliliter bottles for a limited time.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Flying Dog Dark & Stormy Ale has been selected as the first experimental release in what the Maryland brewer calls the “Sub Rosa” Series.
In Latin, Sub Rosa means “secret” or “secretly” which makes the small-batch, one-off series aptly named. Cocktail fiends have already probably guessed, Flying Dog Dark & Stormy Ale is based on the drink by the same name.
A traditional Dark and Stormy cocktail features ginger beer, bitters, and dark rum. This beer-cocktail hybrid was created by Kyle Bolte of Flying Dog, and features a touch of ginger spice to offset the vanilla, cinnamon and molasses added to the base beer. Bolte spent what had to be some pretty boring hours of his day tasting rums and ginger beers to find the exact flavors he wanted.
Pairs well with a semi-deserted island with Scarlett Johansson. – Flying Dog
Flying Dog Dark & Stormy Ale will be available in 16 ounce cans at the brewery only, on March 11th. Each release will be limited to 50 cases, thanks to the limitations the pilot system. A “Lactose IPA” is slated for April.
Heavy Seas Partner Ships Imperial Brown Ale, the fourth in the brewery’s Partner Ships Series, has officially debuted.
Thus far there have been three collaborative releases. The first – a red IPA brewed with Maine Beer Company. That ode to hops was followed up by a collaboration with Hershey, Pennsylvania’s Troegs Brewing, and most recently, a rye witbier brewed with Terrapin.
The fourth release is brewed with one of California’s most well-known breweries, Stone. Brew day was back in October for this imperial brown IPA brewed with blackstrap molasses.
Brewed with Blackstrap Molasses in the kettle, chewy malt character supports layers of American hop mayhem (we are playing with Stone after all) – a burly, palate obliterating Imperial Brown IPA!
Heavy Seas Partner Ships Imperial Brown IPA will be available in 22 ounce bottles. Estimated release – November, 2016.
Availability: 22oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: November, 2016