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.
Asheville, North Carolina based Hi-Wire Brewing is in the process of building a new taproom in Louisville, Kentucky.
The 5500-square foot space will be located at 642 Baxter Avenue, in Louisville’s Highlands neighborhood – a part of a new mixed-use development. Guests can expect 21 Hi-Wire beer taps spanning year-round beers, seasonals, one-offs and sour ales, 3 taps for wine, and family-friendly activities like soccer pool, table tennis, foosball, and shuffleboard.
“Taprooms are a core revenue stream for our company, especially given our current climate. They create brand ambassadors in those markets. They create jobs and increase wholesale sales in the region,” says Hi-Wire Brewing co-owner Bryna Frosaker.
Hi-Wire Louisville is the brewery’s sixth taproom location and marks just their second location outside of North Carolina. Interesting, this Hi-Wire build is Kentucky’s first out of state brewery to build in the Bluegrass State.
Construction is expected to begin in March 2021.
October 2012 was when the beer world first got a taste of Narwhal Imperial Stout. The beer joined Sierra Nevada’s “High Altitude” Series, shortly after the brewery had debuted another huge stout – 30th Anniversary Imperial Stout. Soon, it looks like another Narwhal will be spotted – Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Peanut Butter Cup Narwhal.
This is far from the first variant of Narwhal that Sierra Nevada has released. The brewery’s Trip in the Woods Series has seen Barrel-Aged Narwhal with red and black currants, as well as Barrel-Aged Cocoa Coconut Narwhal.
As for Barrel Aged Peanut Butter Cup Narwhal., the artwork is all we have right now, presumably brewed and both Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina locations, and at a minimum – available in both gift shops.
Hold tight as this flavored Narwhal Imperial Stout dives to new depths, an abyss that’s rich with cocoa nibs, peanut butter flavor, and hints of vanilla from bourbon barrels. No need to unwrap candies, power the legendary dessert right into your glass.
Barrel-Aged Peanut Butter Cup Narwhal Imperial Stout is a 16-ounce can or bottle release.
Creature Comforts Table Beer, formerly known as Epicurious, returns this month.
This release started with chefs, not brewers back in 2016. The Creature Comforts team sat down with Ryan Smith of Atlanta’s Staplehouse and Peter Dale, Executive Chef and Owner of Athens’ The National with the goal of creating a beer to pair with a wide variety of food.
Table Beer, a foodie’s beer, doesn’t fit any style guidelines according to the brewery. The beer is described as “earthy, floral, and soft citrus hop character that is balanced by complex yeast flavors and subtle bitterness on the finish.”
Rather than looking at industry trends for what to brew next, we brewed a beer that best complements drinking with food and friends.
The label artwork for this culinary-inspired can is thanks to the talent of Athens local Bryn Rouse, whose illustrations can be found on her Instagram feed.
Creature Comforts Table Beer returns in 12-ounce cans across the brewery’s entire footprint starting November 13th. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this beer benefits The Giving Kitchen.
Style: Belgian-Style Session Beer
Hops: Sterling, Saphir, Lemondrop. Dry Hop: Cascade and Comet.
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Limited.
Debut: October 2016
Latest Return: November 2020
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Now it’s a spirit unto itself, Southern Tier Pumking Whiskey is here to make your 2020 even weirder.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – Southern Tier Pumking is easily one of the most unique (and highly debated) pumpkin beer across craft beer since debuting in 2007. If the flavors of pumpkin beers were represented by dots on a map, Pumking is the outlier. That dot in the corner away from the other dots. Why? It may be the most pumpkin pie flavored beer out there. The beer is loved by some, hated by others. One thing is certain – it’s unforgettable.
Pumking Whiskey is the highest proof whiskey in Southern Tier Distilling’s arsenal. It’s a whiskey that’s apparently as memorable in flavor as the beer itself, going as far as to say the whiskey is “pumpkin pie in a shot glass.” They weren’t kidding.
Pumking Ale has an undeniable smell of pumpkin pie when you open a bottle. The whiskey is no different. Pull the cork and you’re immediately hit with aromas of pie, buttercream, and graham cracker, mixed with a little alcoholic heat. The whiskey is smooth and a touch sweet, tasting more fresh and real than the chemical fakeness that’s waiting for you a cup of Seattle’s infamous PSL. Never has there ever been a spirit more deserving of the title “fall in a shot glass” than Pumking Whiskey.
Naturally, a “pumpkin bomb” was in order. So we did it. Worth it. That’s how you take fall by the horns. (Leaves.)
Southern Tier Pumking Whiskey is available for a limited time at the distillery in Lakewood, New York as well as Southern Tier Spirit’s footprint starting in September. After the year we’ve all had, don’t act like this is beneath you now.
Image: Beer Street Journal
Creature Comforts Athena Paradiso with Blackberries & Black Currants will arrive soon as the brewery’s next seasonal release.
A release date for Athena Paradiso with Blackberries & Black Currants is forthcoming.
Image: Creature Comforts
Pabst isn’t letting 2020 slow them down. Today the company unveiled Pabst Blue Ribbon Cannabis-Infused Seltzer. The new offering is labeled under newly formed company Pabst Labs.
Pabst Labs was recently founded by a group of cannabis beverage experts, as well as former Pabst employees. The company has full ownership of the product development, production, packaging, and marketing.
With cannabis laws being varied across all 50 states, California will be the only state seeing the release of the product – found in cannabis dispensaries.
Each 12-ounce can is lemon-flavored, with 4 grams of sugar, 25 calories, 5 milligrams of THC. The cannabis seltzer is non-alcoholic. It is currently Federally illegal to mix cannabis products and alcohol (in professional production). Lemon is the only flavor available at launch. Pabst Labs states other flavors are in development
“Pabst Blue Ribbon has an incredibly loyal and passionate customer base who are open to change and embracing new ideas. We’ve spent a long time creating a quality product for both new and experienced users, and believe the entry of an established brand can help kick-start the cannabis drinks category.” – Mark Faicol, Pabst Labs Brand Manager.
PBR Cannabis Infused Seltzer Seltzer available for customers in a select group of California dispensaries as well as direct to California consumers via shop.PabstLabs.com