Don’t Miss This

Posted in Don't Miss This, Magnetic South Brewery

Anderson, South Carolina gains 3rd brewery with Magnetic South

Anderson, South Carolina will soon be home to three craft breweries. Magnetic South Brewery has started renovations.

Anderson, aka “The Electric City,” was devoid of breweries, craft or otherwise, for over 180 years. Then Carolina Bauernhaus brought sour and wild ales to the city in late 2015, followed by Electric City Brewing in 2020.

Later this year, Magnetic South Brewery will join Anderson’s historic downtown strip.

Anderson wasn’t the first city of choice for the brewery, which had been targeting Clemson prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Apparently last year’s COVID disruptions pushed the founders to look at Anderson, scraping their plans for Clemson’s The Astro Theater about 30 minutes away.

Paul Cain, Tanner Coombs, and Adam Willier are renovating a 10,000 square foot building that once housed a A&P grocery store, and most recently Carquest Auto Parts. The location will not only be home to a brewery, but kitchen and outdoor beer garden.

Magnetic South has already been producing beers through Thomas Creek in Greenville.

A target opening date is rumored late summer, early fall 2021.

Images: Beer Street Journal

Posted in Don't Miss This, Founders Brewing

Founders KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa coming in November

Founders KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa

Founders KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa a new variant of the brewery’s famed KBS Stout debuts in November.

For years, the ‘Ides of March’ brought the seasonal release of Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, aka KBS. Like everything in beer brewing, things change. Founders shifted KBS to year-round status and started releasing variants of the venerable stout.

To date, variants have included KBS Espresso and KBS Mackinac Fudge. This November a third variant will debut – KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa.

…the sumptuous, deep coffee and chocolate flavors of KBS rise to the next level with a swirl of cinnamon and a hint of vanilla to create a sweet-but-not-too-sweet barrel-aged drinking experience. It’s a whole new spin on KBS that’s sure to sweeten your spirits.

Joining Founders KBS Cinnamon Vanilla Cocoa will be the return of KBS Espresso. Both will be available in 12-ounce bottles and draft across the brewery’s distribution starting in November 2021.

Style: Imperial Stout (w/ Vanilla. Chocolate. Cinnamon. Barrel Aged. Bourbon.)
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Limited Release.
Debut: November 2021

12% ABV

Posted in Don't Miss This, Scofflaw Brewing Co., Seasonal Return

From meme to beer: Scofflaw Karen From Next Door IPA

Scofflaw Karen From Next Door

What was one of my worst regrets from 2020? Joining the Nextdoor app. Sure, it seemed like a good idea for safety awareness. But then you read it. The stream of self-entitled complaints, and the constant stream of self-righteous posts. It started as “Can I speak to your manager” haircut and memes, and  ultimately becoming “Karen.” You can probably chalk this phenomenon up to a Dane Cook stand-up bit from years ago.

Nextdoor is full of Karens, as Scofflaw Brewing found out the hard way when your brewery is next to a neighborhood. Honoring that love/hate/can’t stop reading the comments relationship is Scofflaw Karen From Next Door IPA.

There have never been more Karens our lives…so in honor of Mother’s Day, and for moms protecting their children from vicious servers everywhere, we tip our hats to you, Karen.

The hazy India pale ale speaks for itself, or to the manager directly. To our calculations, “Karen” has been released at least twice by the brewery in the past year, selling out fast each time.

If you missed it last time, Karen From Next Door IPA is back stirring up shit at the brewery. No mute button needed.

Style: IPA
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Brewery only
Latest Return: 5/6/21

6% ABV

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Posted in Brewery Expansions, Don't Miss This, Ecliptic Brewing

Ecliptic Brewing to open 2nd brewery this summer

Ecliptic Brewing Portland

Portland, Oregon-based Ecliptic Brewing is opening a second location in nearby Southeast Portland this summer.

Ecliptic is calling the new space the “The Moon Room,” taking over Base Camp Brewing’s space that closed earlier this year.

“We’ve been talking about opening another location for a long time now, so we’re really stoked about this opportunity. There’s a lot of work ahead to make it happen, but the team is excited for growth,” says John Harris, Ecliptic owner, and brewmaster.

“The Moon Room” will be more than a taproom – it will be a full brewery and production facility, complete with a custom Ecliptic food truck and full bar. Expect the new facility to have an emphasis on lager production.

Ecliptic Brewing’s “Moon Room” is located at 930 SE Oak Street, Portland.

Watch: Ecliptic Brewing Moon Room Teaser

Ecliptic Brewing Kegs BSJ

Kegs at Ecliptic. Image: Beer Street Journal

 

Posted in Don't Miss This, New Realm Brewing

New Realm Brewing’s new Alpha Water is a fresh take on hard seltzer

New Realm Alpha Water Cans Final

Face it, hard seltzer is here to stay. We almost dismissed it as an odd summer trend a few years ago, and now the seltzer industry is valued over $4 billion dollars. Alpha Water is one of the newest boozy water brands hitting the market and it’s worth checking out.

Atlanta-based New Realm Brewing opened in early 2018 with a state record-breaking 20,000 barrel annual capacity. That same year, New Realm purchased Green Flash Brewing’s Virginia Beach location, renovating as New Realm Virginia Beach early that fall. Within the first year, the brewery was operating at near capacity across the board.

Taking tanks away from beer to make anything else would have seemed like a bad business move, but you can’t ignore hard seltzer anymore.

“I didn’t know what the heck I was doing,” Mitch Steele, brewmaster & co-founder says, mid-chuckle.

That’s pretty much the response we’d expect from Mitch. His brewing has had such an impact on craft brewing in America and the last thing we thought we’d be asking him about is fermenting fruity dextrose water. The man literally wrote the book on brewing IPA.

New Realm Brewing’s foray into hard seltzer wasn’t just done because it’s a hot new trend.

“Demand for something that wasn’t beer was in high demand in the restaurant, but Georgia law prevented us from selling anything else but what we make,” Mitch says. Ultimately that means you have to make a cider or a seltzer.

So how do you switch gears from IPAs and pilsners to hard seltzers? Well, when Google didn’t help, Steele asked around. “One of our suppliers had an employee that worked in hard beverages in Wisconsin for years,” he tells us. “After a 2+ hour phone conversation with him, I had enough direction to get started.”

From there, it was test batch after test batch, trying to get the yeast right and the flavoring on point. Plus, figuring out what flavors to run with. All in all, New Realm tested over 15 different hard seltzer flavors. The most popular, which was the first chosen to be packaged, is Acai & Blueberry, along with Citrus Punch, Cucumber and Lime, and Black Cherry.

Lemon Hopburst, while loved by the brewers- apparently failed to impress amongst taproom attendees.

Unlike some seltzers, these flavors are quite memorable. The cucumber doesn’t walk a fine line with tasting like pickles, the blueberry aroma is fresh and bright, and the Citrus Punch over ice is simply a win. Honestly, that flavor could and should be in its own 12-pack.

Hard seltzers were a weird notion from the start, but as we have come to find out, are here to stay. Just like IPAs, hard the seltzer world is becoming the “wild west” of flavors.

Alpha Water gets it right.

Oh yeah, we took it to Vegas too. PICS: Beer Street Journal

New-Realm-Alpha-Water-Las-Vegas

Posted in Don't Miss This, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer Company

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer arrives with four flavors

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer Cans

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer has arrived.

While the mineral water from Monterrey, Mexico has been around for more than a century, the national obsession with it seems more recent. Bartenders love it for cocktail making (think Gin Fizz or Palomas), other folks swear it cures hangovers.

Topo Chico was always popular in border states like Texas, but distribution was unfortunately limited. All that changed in 2017, when soda giant Coca-Cola acquired Topo for $220 million. The rest of the United States finally got a taste of what the “extra bubbly” water was all about.

For those who love Topo Chico, but thought it lacked alcohol, your prayers have been answered.

Molson Coors Beverage Company has the production contract for Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, brewed under the “TC Hard Seltzer Company” out of Tempe, Arizona. Topo Chico states the hard seltzer is created with the same Monterrey water that has made the beverage so famous.

Four flavors are available on the official launch date of March 29th – Exotic Pineapple, Strawberry Guava, Tangy Lemon Lime, and Tropical Mango. Each 12-ounce can contains 2 grams of sugar and is 4.7% alcohol by volume. Additionally, 24-ounce cans will also be available at launch (which jacks your sugar content to a whopping 4 grams.)

When it comes to Topo Chico the flavor and bubbles it what sets it apart. The hard seltzer is no different. The flavor is bold and flavorful, finishing almost creamy. At times you almost forget it’s hard seltzer. Topo entering the seltzer market could have simply been a money-maker by putting the Topo name on the can, but as we’ve found – you get Topo and great flavors.

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will be available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas, plus six cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York City, Northern New Jersey, Seattle, Washington, the District of Columbia and Vancouver, Canada.

Posted in Don't Miss This, New Realm Brewing

New Realm Hoptropolis, & a reminder how much we’ve missed draft beer

New Realm Hoptropolis Can

I’ve missed draft beer. That’s a phrase I never thought I would say unless I accidentally stumbled back in time to 1930.

Now, there is nothing wrong with packaged beer. But a pint fresh from the taps is a thing of beauty I had probably taken a little for granted until COVID-19 basically killed draft beer in America for a while. New Realm Brewing’s Hazy Like a Fox IPA was a staple during quarantine, and sitting down at a bar this week finally have a fresh pint felt a little bit like a hoppy Christmas.

Except that’s not what I got.

Every beer drinker has had that internal debate whether to say something to the bartender about a miss-poured beer, and look a little pretentious in the process, or say something. If you say something, the beer will just be poured down the drain. Such a waste. What was sitting in front of me wasn’t Hazy Like a Fox, but equally if not more delicious. It’s been a shit year, so I decided to stay the course and be grateful I’m sitting in a bar and not on a Zoom call.

As it turns out, it was New Realm Hoptropolis. This “juicy” IPA debuted back in 2018, and honestly, that was the last time I had it.  As of late the beer has been popping up everywhere. Jeff Chassner is New Realm’s VP of Business Development and a good friend, so I asked him what was up. As it turns out, New Realm is “leaning in” on Hoptropolis as spring and warmer weather sets in.

“Hazy Like a Fox is now our number one selling beer both inside and outside of the brewery, and Hoptropolis isn’t far behind,” he says. “We figured it’s time to remind folks don’t forget about our other favorite IPA.”

It’s built on Loral, Citra, El Dorado, and Azacca hops which are all headliners in juicy IPAs in these days. Georgia is lucky to have an IPA god like Mitch Steele working his brewing magic with Tyler and team.

Covid lulled me into a bit of a rut. Same safety beers during a turbulent time – until the wrong pull of a tap. I very literally proved New Realm’s point without even knowing it.

On the same topic, that’s another unintended problem beer has dealt with during the ongoing pandemic. It’s not just a loss of volume to every brewery in America. It’s the loss of the variety and exploration you get sitting down in front of a tap wall. Trying something new by the pint is much less daunting than 6 pack commitments.  A notion I nearly forgot after playing it safe so many months now.

Thanks, Hoptropolis.