Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale is known epically as one of the best (if not the best) India pale ale in America. Double Two Hearted Ale, which is is basically Two Hearted turned into the hoppy Incredible Hulk, was bottled last year and brewery fans couldn’t’ get enough. Then it was revealed that the “Hearted Ale” series had a lesser-known, lovable lighter side – Light Hearted Ale.
The 110 calorie, 8.7 carb, 3.7% alcohol by volume “light” ale has been a Bell’s General Store exclusive release, showing up on social media as early as last summer.
Gearing up for a wide-scale release, Bell’s has overhauled Light Hearted’s artwork. This lighter approach to one of America’s most popular India pale ales utilizes two hops – Centennial and Galaxy.
A light IPA Success
As 2020 gets underway, this beer joins the ranks of a growing segment of lighter, lower calorie, lower alcohol by volume creations by craft brewers. The category is growing every month, but much like any India pale ale, the light IPAs are not created equal. Without naming names, some of the releases are either too thin, low flavor, or even worse – tastes like hoppy water. You might be saving the calories but you’ve also thrown flavor out the window. Bell’s solved the calorie over flavor equation, and they did it beautifully.
Light Hearted Ale is born of the same creative expertise that pushed Two Hearted Ale to elite status in American brewing. Centennial and Galaxy hops walk hand in hand through each sip, bolstered by an actual malt backbone (a term brewers hate) that his been missing in a string lactose and adjunct heavy IPAs hitting shelves coast to coast. Those looking to make a more health-conscious beer choice, look no further.
Bell’s Light Hearted Ale will be available year-round in 12-ounce cans and draft starting in late-January
Image: Beer Street Journal
The hard seltzer industry is on fire, and about to get crowded at the top. Bud Light Seltzer launches Monday.
Hard seltzer was the clear winner in the beverage industry last year. The beverage segment, now worth in excess of $1 billion, saw historic and unparalleled growth from coast to coast. While mega-brewery Anheuser Busch already has two seltzers in the market now – Natty Light Hard Seltzer and Bon & Viv, a Bud Light branded hard seltzer headed to market absolutely predictable.
We expected an official release and marketing blitz leading up to summer 2020, but Bud has opted to debut Bud Light Seltzer ahead of the Super Bowl. ABI has already spent millions on 4 minutes of commercials during the game, dedicated to both Bud Light and the new seltzer line as well as Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold.
Four flavors will be available on Monday – Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Strawberry, and Mango. Each can is 100 calories and 5% alcohol by volume, but unlike Truly Hard Seltzer, Bud Light’s release has 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving. All four flavors will be available in 12-ounce cans, in a 12 can variety pack, as well as 25-ounce cans. (Think convenience store purchases.)
The category leaders at the start of 2020 are White Claw, largely own by Mark Anthony Brands, and Truly Hard Seltzer (Boston Beer Company). Pabst Blue Ribbon announced its own seltzer last year at 6% ABV, as well as Four Loko which is a whopping 12% ABV.
The hard seltzer segment grew 210% over the past year, according to Nielsen data. America’s craft brewers are releasing hard seltzers at a brisk pace too, including Avery Brewing, Schlafly Brewing, NoDa Brewing, Sockeye Brewing, and Atlanta’s Scofflaw Brewing.
All four flavors of Bud Light Seltzer should be on shelves nationally by mid-January. Now we wait to see what the Seltzer Knight looks like #FizzyFizzy.
Park City, Utah’s Wasatch Brewery will have a brand new look this November. A full brand refresh debuts after Halloween.
The new-look corresponds with Utah’s change in their (still) antiquated laws surrounding alcohol by volume restrictions. As of November 1st, beer sold and convenience and grocery stores moves from 4% to 5% ABV.
Wasatch branding has moved away from painted can designs in favor of a clean, bold, colorful can design with the Wasatch name as a central focus. Per Scott Doutre, the brewery’s creative director:
“Some elements will feel like familiar reinterpretations of long-standing design icons that have been connected to the Wasatch brand for years. The new packaging is bright and attractive so it will ‘have legs and walk off the shelves’ but still have a strong connection to the brand – irreverent and with attitude.”
Additionally, Wasatch is releasing two new beers alongside the rebrand – Island Hop Tropical IPA (year-round), and Pickup Lime Sour (seasonal).
Wasatch Brewery was started in Park City in 1986 by Greg Schirf. In 2000, Wasatch merged with Squatters Craft Beer, which was founded in Salt Lake City. Their beer lineup is currently available in 20 states.
The latest seasonal from Crux Fermentation Project, Mountain Traffic is now available.
Traffic truly sucks, but we are going to assume this hoppy red ale doesn’t. Per Crux:
After a fun day in the mountains, nothing sounds more satisfying than sharing a refreshing pint. And while that long line of brake lights heading back into town may slow your journey towards fulfillment, this hoppy and malt-forward red ale is well worth the wait – robust and bursting with rich, hop flavors and a balanced malt body this easy-drinking, apres-whatever winter refresher will have you seeing a different shade of red.
Crux Fermentation Project Mountain Traffic is available as a seasonal release in 16-ounce cans and draft.
Style: Red Ale
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Seasonal Release.
Debut: October 2019
7.8% ABV, 50 IBUs
Image: Crux Fermentation Project
New Realm Tyrannosaurus Flex, a new hazy imperial IPA debuts Halloween week 2019.
This imperial can of haze is rocking a sweet 80’s vibe and one of the largest land predators to ever exist. The brewing team used all New Zealand hops for this release – specifically Moteuka, Wai-ti, and Rakau.
Brewed exclusively with hops from New Zealand…combined with Norwegian Kviek yeast gives this monster DIPA a cretaceous amount of juicy, fruity notes such as mango, pineapple, peach, apricot, and citrus.
New Realm Tyrannosaurus Flex is available in 16-ounce cans and draft at both the Atlanta and Virginia Beach locations for a limited time.
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Limited Release.
Debut: Late October 2019
8.5% ABV, 35 IBUS
Martin House Sour Pickle Beer is back in action at the Texas brewery. This time for good.
Back in August, the Fort Worth-based brewery partnered with nearby Best Maid Pickles on a pickle/pickle collaboration. Martin House used their Salty Lady Sour Gose and incorporated Best Maid’s dill pickle brine in the brewing process. Additionally, Best Maid created a craft beer pickle modeled after Martin House’s gose.
The end result is a refreshing and pickle-y sour/salty combination that will certainly hit the spot during these hot summer days.
The brewery also has limited variants of this pickle beer, which include Bloody Mary, Xtreme Hot, Xtreme Sour.
Martin House Sour Pickle Beer is available in 12-ounce cans and draft.
Image: Martin House
Arrogant Bastard Jägermeister Ale is headed out to select markets now, a Germany brewed special release for the U.S.
A staple in nearly every bar in America – Jägermeister. The herbal liquor is made with 56 different herbs and takes more than a year to produce. Jäger’s headquarters is in Wolfenbuttel, Germany, nearby Stone’s Berlin brewery that they sold this year. The last collaboration from Stone Berlin is debuting this month- Arrogant Bastard Jagermeister Ale.
The base beer is Arrogant Bastard Ale, an American strong ale that is the flagship beer of Stone’s Arrogant Consortia, the cocky brewing subset of Stone Brewing. According to Lizzie Younkin, public relations manager for the brewery, the beer was brewed after the sale by Stone’s brewers that were hired by Brewdog as they took over the Bern facility. A few senior brewers from Stone’s Escondido brewery also traveled to Berlin to oversee the final pieces of this collaboration.
Jagermeister Arrogant Bastard Ale is brewed with similar spices as the digestif counterpart according to Stone. While the brewery hasn’t disclosed which spices, some of the most notable in Jager are anise, poppy seeds, citrus peels, juniper berries, licorice, and ginseng.
Neither beverage has now, or ever contained deer blood. Sorry internet theorists.
Jagermeister Arrogant Bastard Ale is headed to select markets across the U.S. in October, including California, Colorado, D.C., Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennesee, and Washington.
Style: American Strong Ale (w/ Various spices.)
Availability: 750ml Bottles, Corked & Caged. Limited Release.
Debut: October 2019