Pabst Brewing Company confused the hell out of pretty much everyone when they launched PBR Hard Coffee earlier this summer. It’s easy to do when an iconic lager-maker makes something besides… lager. The curveballs keep coming too, with a PBR Whiskey on the way, a boozier version of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and even a hard seltzer. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap your mind around it.
This summer only a handful of markets (like 4 states) got PBR Hard Coffee at the start of July. It was so successful, Pabst is taking the booze-for-breakfast drinking nationwide in 2020.
PBR Hard Coffee is a first for the company uses Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, milk and a touch of vanilla. The finished drink is 5% alcohol by volume. It literally tastes like a boozy yoo-hoo, and you really can’t smell the alcohol on your breath, in case you’re considering a new way to deal with the stresses of your 9-5. (Also, personal editor’s note. Boozy yoo-hoo is the most accurate description I can think of. Some keyboard jockey d-bag called it lazy journalism. That’s fine keyboard jockey d-bag but guess what. That description is pretty damn accurate. This is PBR Hard Coffee, not Shakespeare.)
So if you didn’t get any this summer, 2020 isn’t far away and Hard Coffee will go national. That is if being wired and tipsy is your thing.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Firestone Walker Coconut Merlin, a variant of the brewery’s popular milk stout, debuts this week.
“Merlin” is Firestone Walker’s signature milk stout – which is simply sensational if you haven’t tried it yet. For this seasonal release, brewmaster Matt Brynildson decided to change up this release with shredded and toasted coconuts.
The coconut is added after the milk stout’s fermentation, allowing the new beer to circulate through the coconut shreds. “We did a trial run on this beer and it was unbelievable,” says Ali Razi, the brewery’s production director. Leading Firestone Walker to make sure this was the next iteration of Merlin.
“The toasting really brings out the best flavors from the coconut, much like toasted and roasted malts deliver rich, complex flavors.” – Matt Brynildson
Firestone Walker Coconut Merlin is available on draft and 12-ounce cans in full distribution as a limited seasonal release.
The craft beer industry continues to expand the lower-calorie offerings industry-wide. Dogfish Head, Southern Tier, and Harpoon are among a few notable breweries that added low-cal, low-ABV options earlier this summer. Bell’s Brewery is currently prepping a “light” version of Two Hearted Ale dubbed Light-Hearted Ale for early 2020. Now, nationally distributed Oskar Blues is launching One-y IPA.
Beginning in mid-September, Oskar Blues One-y IPA will join the light beer fray, described as “low-cal” and “high haze.” The brewery’s goal was to create an IPA that huge, hazy, and hoppy, without the calorie count of a regular IPA or Imperial IPA.
Juice Drapeau, the head brewer at Oskar Blues pilot brewery in Lyons, Colorado did so with a heavy hit of hops. One-y IPA is dry-hopped with El Dorado, Comet and Citra hops, with Mosaic and French Aramis added to the whirlpool.
“The aroma hits you first. There are notes of citrus, honeysuckle, peach, and mango. The beer is fruity with a hop haze and a nice biscuit flavor to the malt. The use of pale ale malt and wheat, along with the hefty dry hop load, creates a medium body. It’s easy to drink – pairs well with breakfast, lunch, or dinner.”
Oskar Blues One-y IPA is just 4% alcohol by volume, and 100 calories per 12-ounce serving. Available nationwide year-round this month.
Style: Hazy IPA
Hops: El Dorado, Comet, Citra, Mosaic, French Aramis
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round.
Debut: Mid-September 2019
California’s Mother Earth Brew Co. begins a new series: Project X: Beer + Art as August winds down.
This one-off series will feature limited release, specialty beers, focused what Mother Earth Brew calls “big impressions” from the first sip to last. This first release taps the very popular hazy India pale ale style.
Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Nelson were chosen for Groove Rider to create an intensely aromatic hop experience.
Finishes dry enough to be West-Coast, but fruity enough to be East Coast. It’s everything you’d want from a hazy in 2019.
The can artwork was done by 48beerproject. The Project X: Beer + Art Series will be an ongoing indie artwork/brewing project.
Mother Earth Groove Rider is available across the entire brewery’s distribution footprint in 16-ounce cans and draft for a limited time starting at the end of August 2019.
Style: Hazy IPA
Hops: Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo, Nelson Sauvin
Malts: 2-Row, White Wheat, Oats, Acidulated
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Limited Release.
Debut: Late August 2019
6.6% ABV, 30 IBUS
Wild Leap Vanilla Ice Cream Stout, the brewery’s sixth new release in Summer 2019, debuts.
In keeping with the brewery’s line of ice cream themed beers (you shouldn’t have missed Bomb Pop Double IPA), LaGrange, Georgia based Wild Leap Brewing has released a new imperial milk stout, inspired by a big bowl of vanilla ice cream. According to the brewery, it’s the heaviest bodied beer Wild Leap has created to date.
The base is a boozy milk stout (brewed with lactose), and a heavy dose of vanilla. So much so, that the brewery’s CEO calls this release “high in decadence.” Wild Leap’s head brewer Chris Elliott used to work for Blue Bell Ice Cream, so the fusion of past and present jobs is sure to continue in future beers.
Wild Leap Vanilla Ice Cream Stout is available in 12-ounce cans and draft for a limited time.
Monday Night Silkscreen IPA is the latest seasonal release by the Atlanta-based brewery.
Silkscreen is features some pretty citrusy and floral hops – El Dorado, Amarillo, Lemondrop, Mandarina Bavaria, Citra, with what is sure to be smooth finish thanks to an addition of rolled oats.
Silkscreen packs in plenty of citrus and floral notes….Pair this one with late summers at the lake, grilling out with friends or leftovers after a hard day’s work.
Monday Night Silkscreen IPA is available in 12-ounce cans and draft as a seasonal release.
Hops: El Dorado, Amarillo, Lemondrop, Mandarina Bavaria, Citra
Malts: 2-Row, Spelt, Rolled Oats, Acidulated Malt.
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
Debut: Mid August 2019
A successful year-round cream ale now inspired by a frosty popsicle. Mother Earth Creamin’ Creamsicle debuts year-round.
Mother Earth Brew Co. has a wildly successful cream ale – Cali Creamin’. It’s not often you find a brewery with a cream ale as their top seller. Building on that success, the brewery has launched a dessert-themed counterpart, Creamin’ Creamsicle.
The base is the familar cream ale, with a dose of vanilla beans, and creamier thanks to lactose milk sugar.
Cali Creamsicle features hints of vanilla and a distinct citrus cream flavor that finishes slightly sweeter than it’s Cream Ale counterpart. Just as refreshing, just as iconic.
Mother Earth Creamin’ Creamsicle will be available in 12-ounce cans and draft year-round in late August 2019.
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round
Debut: Late August 2019
5% ABV, 18 IBUs