Bell’s Oberon is easily one of the most popular seasonal beers in America. (Unless you live in a handful of areas where it’s year-round). Every so often, and in very limited quantities, variants of Oberon have surfaced, such as Pineapple Jalapeno, Guava Raspberry, and Cucumber Basil. This month, another variant – Mango Oberon, has been selected for wider distribution.
Those living close to Bell’s General Store in downtown Kalamazoo have might have seen this beer in the past. According to Larry Bell, brewery president, and founder, says brewery fans have been asking for Oberon special releases to see more distribution.
12-ounce bottles of Bell’s Mango Oberon start shipping in limited quantities across the United States the week after July 4th.
A new Dragon’s Milk is joining the New Holland Brewing family this month – Dragon’s Milk Solera. Unlike the year-round barrel-aged imperial stout, this release is a completely different beer, from grain to glass.
“Dragon’s Milk (the 11%’er) has really given us the ability to experiment and grow the Dragon’s Milk family,” says New Holland’s brand manager Dominic Berquist. “This is really one of the most unique brewing approaches to the series yet,” he adds.
Dragon’s Milk Solera’s base beer is best described as an American strong ale before it’s racked to American oak foeders. New Holland is going to fractionally blend each batch, known as the “solera” method. The oak foeders will house different generations of the base beer, each contributing to what you will taste in the bottle, starting with the master batch, down the line to the youngest batch. The maximum age of a thread of Solera will increase with each blend until reaching an age equilibrium. At release, that’s 7.5 months. At equilibrium, the age will increase to just over 11 months.
Each blend in the process will be numbered, so fans can follow along with blending journey.
…Dragon’s Milk Solera presents a gorgeous mahogany hue. An oaky and subtly sweet nose draws the drinker in for a sip where beguiling flavors of caramel, toffee and fig coalesce into a beer best savored amongst good company.
New Holland Dragon’s Milk Solera year-round starting in mid-July, with draft available in select states in August.
Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager has started shipping nationally as April winds down.
From a brewery best known for their love of India pale ales comes a Mexican-style lager brewed with fresh lime and sea salt. Stone Brewing was founded in 1996 just 17 miles from Baja California. The south of the border inspirations are evident in Stone’s love of hot peppers in brewing, as well as Xocoveza Mexican hot chocolate imperial stout.
Brewer Ben Sheehan created this beer at Stone’s World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station. Look for Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager in 12 and 19.2-ounce cans, 12 and 22-ounce bottles as well as draft.
On Thursday, Atlanta’s bars and restaurants were ordered to close in the wake of the spread of COVID-19. In hopes of maintaining a revenue stream for these many establishments, Atlanta has temporarily lifted restrictions on the sale of alcohol to-go.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an order allowing the city’s restaurants to offer beer and wine to-go, strictly for”off-premise” consumption. The order is only valid for 60 days.
Unfortunately, this emergency order only covers closed beer and wine, not open containers or liquor drinks. (Sorry, no margarita pitchers to-go, or we’d be first in line.)
Across Atlanta as well as the state, breweries, bars, and restaurants have furloughed hundreds of employees. The establishments that remain open have transitioned to a 100% take out option. The addition of closed container beer and wine will hopefully increase the establishment’s revenue streams during the shutdown.
Texas and New York have made similar exemptions during this crisis.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Thursday he will not issue a state quarantine or force businesses to close.
Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing Co. is expanding its business model this week to include hard seltzer. Introducing Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer.
It’s no secret that hard seltzer continues its sales domination into 2020. As major brewing companies jump in the game, America’s craft breweries continue to expand the portfolio. Great Divide has decided it was time.
Within the week, 12 packs of Whitewater will start hitting shelves everywhere Great Divide is sold. Initially, four flavors are available at launch – Mango + Ginger, Pomegranate + Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Wild Berry.
After months of in-house ingredient mixology, Great Divide Innovation brewer and team found the perfect blend of crispness and fruit.
“The timeline to dial in the production side of Whitewater, from fermentation through flavorings, was a meticulous process that our teams deliberated over. With it being such a neutral product like a pilsner, there is nothing to mask any unwanted flavors and no room for error. The end result speaks for itself: an incredibly clean and smooth beverage with potent, natural flavors shining,” says Rau.
Great Divide Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer will be available year-round in 12-ounce cans. Additionally, Mango + Ginger in 19.2 ounces in late March.
Style: Hard Seltzer (w/ various fruit flavors)
Availability: 12oz Cans, 19.2oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round.
Debut: Late March 2020
Nationally, breweries around the United States are either being ordered to close their taprooms or making the choice to temporarily close in the wake of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. Most of these breweries are keeping on a limited amount of staff to cover beer and food to-go options
In the southeast, very few breweries and brewpubs have announced closures due to Covid-19 spread.
Atlanta, the most densely populated city in Georgia with a strong list of breweries, restaurants, and bars is expected to announce widespread citywide mandated closures across the city and Dekalb County.
Jason Santamaria, co-owner of Second Self Beer has been weighing the options for his brewery for days now. “We are already closing the brewery for St. Paddy’s Day, so we don’t inadvertently draw a large crowd,” he says. As of today, the brewery has shifted production to one shift, and closed the taproom, only offering curbside beer to-go.
Nick Purdy of Wild Heaven, which has a taproom in Avondale Estates, Georgia and a brewery/taproom on Atlanta’s Westside has been taking precautions but knew a government announcement was coming. Ahead of the city’s formal announcement, Purdy tells Beer Street Journal, “While we’ve been open with careful protocols, it’s not surprising that a temporary closing of gathering places would make sense. Wild Heaven has been preparing a new pickup option for our West End location, with food, beer, and coffee available. In Avondale, we’ll offer Beer-To-Go.”
Bold Monk Brewing, a beautiful new brewpub on Atlanta’s Westside, along with sister brewpub Max Lager’s and White Oak Kitchen have closed their doors for the time being and furloughed 170 staff members. Owner John Roberts told us that he’s working on a beer and food take out plan.
Decatur, Georgia’s Three Taverns Brewery has shuttered their beer parlour only offering to-go beer, as well as Monday Night Brewing (both locations), and Atlanta Brewing. Northeast in Athens, Terrapin Beer Company and Creature Comforts have both closed their taprooms as well.
Famed beer bar Brick Store Pub has closed, evaluating a reopening day by day. The owners have set up GoFundMe account to help the staff that isn’t working right now: https://www.gofundme.com/f/brick-store-pub-staff.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has not issued a mandate that the state’s bars and restaurants should close, as of Monday evening.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an executive order that limits occupancy of restaurants, bars, gyms, cinemas, clubs, and other public gathering spots to no more than 50 people.
Atlanta is home to thousands of bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, and nearly 20 craft breweries.
Catawba Peanut Butter Jelly Time is like drinking a piece of your childhood. If you haven’t tried this beer, another opportunity is rolling around this week.
Brewed with raspberries and aged on peanuts, this beer takes you back to a simpler time. A time before bills, complicated relationships, acne breakouts, and hangovers. As anyone that has made a PB&J sandwich, the ratio of peanut butter to jelly is paramount. Catawba knows this too and it shows in this alcoholic sandwich of a beer.
Does it really taste like the sandwich? Pretty much. Brewing with peanut butter and a jelly sugar blob isn’t the greatest of ideas. To get around serving up a greasy glass of nasty, Catawba created a base roasty brown ale, aged for weeks on fresh raspberries and peanuts. When this beer is colder, it tastes like peanut butter. Warmer, more sticky jelly notes to surface. Because Peanut Butter Jelly Time is a brown ale instead of a stout, it’s more approachable to those that might be turned off by dark beer. It should be served in a lunchbox between math class and recess.
Last year, the brewery canned a variant – Strawberry Rhubarb which returns again this year in cans only to be found in the taproom.
New for 2020, are two new additional brewery only variants – PBJT! Peach and PBJT! Red Currant.
Catawba Peanut Butter Jelly Time! is available in 16-ounce cans in the taproom starting March 6th, available in Catawbas’s five-state distribution area in the following days.
PIC: Beer Street Journal. 2020 can art is seen below.