Seasonal Return

Posted in Seasonal Return, Wild Heaven Craft Beers

Wild Heaven Fest Beer, Year 4

Wild Heaven Fest Beer

Wild Heaven Fest Beer returns for a 4th time (if our drinking memory serves us well) this weekend. 

A few years ago, brewery co-founder Eric Johnson debuted Autumn Defense, a creative rendition of the popular fall lager. In that case, [Defense] was actually ale, with “pronounced bright citrus flavors, brewed heavy-handedly with Munich malt.” A festbier in spirit, but as Johnson admits – not very traditional. “You’re not a brewer if you’re not experimenting I guess,” Johnson once told us. 

WILD HEAVEN’S 10TH (11TH) ANNIVERSARY PARTY WEEKEND STARTS 9/17

Wild Heaven Fest Beer follows a much more traditional path. This release is a true Marzen lager, leaving the idea of an “ale festbier” behind for good.  Before even getting to here, tweaks to the recipe were in order. Johnson used Gungeist hops in years 1 and 2 of this release – a European hop of Hallertauer parentage. These hops did make a good lager, but ultimately traditional brewing just wins out. Now the lager is brewed solely with timeless (and traditional) Noble hops from Germany. 

Brewing Fest Beer after giving up Autumn Defense was a journey unto itself. The result is definitely worth tasting, especially as fall looms.

Wild Heaven Fest Beer will be available on draft and 12-ounces cans seasonally starting this week.

Style: Festbier/Marzen

Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft.
Debut: 9/22/18
Latest Return: Early September 2021

?? ABV

Posted in Seasonal Return, Southern Tier Brewing

When life gives you Southern Tier Pumking Whiskey, you make pumpkin bombs

Southern Tier Pumking Whiskey Bomb

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

Posted in NoDa Brewing, Seasonal Return

NoDa Roaring Riot, a lager for Carolina Panthers kicks off August

Noda Roaring Riot Lager

NoDa Roaring Riot cans return to kick off (pun intended) August. Brewed for the faithful beer drinking fans and hardcore tailgaters of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.

The brewery is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and as you can probably imagine are big Panthers fans. NoDa Roaring Riot is dedicated to the passionate fan base. The beer once was a pale ale brewed with rye malt, and now has shifted to something more crushable – a lager. 

NoDa Roaring Riot will be available in 16-ounce cans again Friday, July 28th.

Style: Lager
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft.
Debut: 11/11/16
Latest Return: August 2021

4.5% ABV, 18 IBUS

Posted in NoDa Brewing, Seasonal Return

NoDa Gordgeous Pumpkin Ale returns for a 8th time

NoDa Gordgeous Pumpkin Ale will make its seasonal appearance on August 13th. This North Carolina brewed pumpkin ale touts 100+ pounds of organic sugar and caramelized brown sugar, freshly cracked spices, and 42 pounds of pumpkin.

The recipe started as head brewer Chad Henderson’s homebrew recipe more than a decade ago. (At one point he told Beer Street Journal a giant pumpkin was involved in the process, either in brewing or tapping. Never did get clarity.) NoDa Gordgeous has been a fall offering each year since debuting in 2013.

NoDa Gordgeous is available in 16-ounce cans (4 packs) and draft as an early fall seasonal.

Style: Pumpkin Beer (w/ Brown Sugar, Cardamom, Cloves, Ginger Root, Allspice)
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft
Latest Return: Early August 2021

6.4% ABV, 29 IBUs

Posted in Bell's Brewing, Seasonal Return

Bell’s Oktoberfest returns; continuing a tasty streak

Bell's Octoberfest bottle

Bell’s Oktoberfest finally returned to bottles after a 5-year hiatus in 2016. Thank the brewery’s (then) much-needed brewhouse expansion for that malty glass of festbier fans had been missing. Now in 2021 it seems Oktoberfest is staying a seasonal. 

In the past, this edition of the fall lager is one of the first to sell out. While you are splashing around in the pool in the heat, this beer has been lagering for at least six weeks, just waiting for fall.

With herbal hop aromas, this balanced amber lager focuses on lightly toasted malt that lends body without too much sweetness. Perfect for a week-long wedding celebration in Germany or the start of the Michigan autumn.

Bell’s Oktoberfest is now available in 12-ounce bottles, in both 6 & 12 packs and draft.

Style: Oktoberfest
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Seasonal.
Latest Return: August 2021

5.5% ABV

Image: Beer Street Journal

Posted in Highland Brewing, Seasonal Return

One of the best returns: Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest

Highland Clawhammer Bottle

The first time we had Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest was back in 2010. Even then, it skyrocketed to what we considered one of the best festbiers in brewed in America. 

11 years later, neither this beer, or our opinion have changed. (Besides the label.) 

Summer is flying by, as it always seems after Independence Day. You’re not out of July before oktoberfests start popping up – mainly because of the lead time to produce a lager like this. 

Maybe after all years, it’s worth saying. This beer is as timeless as it is delicious. It’s toasty, light colored, rich, full-bodied, crisp and clean. German inspired, but American brewed. Yet another reason to love fall. 

For the 11th time we announce this beer hitting shelves again. If you haven’t, perhaps it’s time to grab a stein and go for it.

Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
Hops: Hallertau Mittlefrue & German Spalt Select
Malts: 2-Row, Munich, Vienna, Caramel, Pilsner

Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Seasonal Release.

5% ABV 25 IBU’s

PIC: Beer Street Journal

Posted in Bell's Brewing, Don't Miss This, Seasonal Return

Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale makes summer return

Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale makes another return to shelves in July 2021.

For years, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale overtook Russian River Pliny the Elder as #1 India Pale Ale in America, according to Zymurgy Magazine, published by the American Homebrewer’s Association. Elder had the spot for seven years straight. Two Hearted Ale has both “classic” and “epic” statuses in our book.

In the past, you might have been lucky to come across Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale on draft. It’s a hoppier and definitely boozier edition of its famous predecessor, to the tune of 11% alcohol by volume. If you’re a fan of Two Hearted Ale, this bigger edition really delivers. 

Expect 12-ounce bottles and draft of Double Two Hearted Ale to starting hitting shelves within the week. 

Style: Imperial IPA
Availability: 12oz Bottles (New), Draft.
Debut (Bottles): July 2019
Latest Return: July 2021

11% ABV

PIC: Beer Street Journal