I grew up on Duke’s Mayo, which was highly unlikely considering I lived in state that was completely devoid of Duke’s. To this day I couldn’t tell you what mayo my friends ate growing up, but I’m sure it was something with a tangy zip, or some crap like that. We would vacation to see family a few times of year, whether upstate South Carolina, or Charleston and my father would stock up on Duke’s. We’d drive back north with a trunk full of mayo, and Beanie Weenies to get through another few months.(The pimento cheese was always a short term delicacy.) Later he would have family members ship it.
Either way. My southern born and raised family however, was and still is – a Duke’s Mayonnaise family.
Charlottesville, Virginia based Champion Brewing Company has just introduced a new lager, meant to be paired with a southern sandwich favorite – A Duke’s heavy BLT.
The beer is a 5.1% ABV vienna lager perfectly named Family Recipe, brewed with Vienna malt, Magnum and Saaz hops. While I haven’t had the beer, I can tell you a BLT, with crispy bacon, lettuce as cold as the fridge, topped with Duke’s on white bread washed down with a crisp lager is a thing of beauty in the humid southern summer heat. Champion Brewing only uses Duke’s Mayonnaise in their restaurants for a reason.
When I told my father about this collaboration he literally stopped speaking mid conversation and wanted to know where to get it. The irony now is that he can get all the Duke’s he wants, but not the beer. Life can be so cruel.
Champion Family Recipe debuts this week Champion’s Tap House, Champion Grill, and Champion Ice House. The brewery will also be pouring Family Recipe at the Duke’s Mayo Classic games this year in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Doubleheader features East Carolina University versus Appalachian State University and UGA opening against Clemson.
Additionally, Family Recipe is shipping 16-ounce cans across Virginia and North Carolina for a limited time.
Style: Vienna Lager
Hops: Saaz, Magnum
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Limited Release
Actor Nick Offerman, Lagavulin Whiskey, and Guinness are debuting a new partnership ahead of Father’s Day 2021. A combination of single malt whisky and beer – Meet Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish.
Offerman and Lagavulin began a partnership back in 2014. Offerman, probably most famously known as Ron Swanson on the tv show Parks and Rec, was often seen drinking Lagavulin Whisky and rare steaks throughout the show. Swanson (Offerman) even visited the distillery in Scotland in Season 6.
Created with Offerman’s father Ric in mind, Lagavulin took an 11 year Islay Single Malt and aged it for 4 months in Guinness casks from the brewery’s Open Gate Brewery in Maryland. The resulting flavor is describing as ‘sweet peat’ – combining the intense peat and charred wood notes of the Lagavulin with the roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and sweet caramel notes from the Guinness casks.
Offerman’s entire Lagavulin: My Tales of Whisky, including a new episode for this new collaboration is available on YouTube.
Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish will be available in 750-milliliter bottles at select retailers starting in May, $79.99 each.
Ecliptic Chuckanut Vienna-Style Lager
The sun is setting over Wild Heaven brewery in Avondale Estates. It’s finally turning cooler in the south, which is perfect “beer and bourbon” weather. But then again, what weather isn’t.
This beer collaboration wasn’t easy to come by. Bulleit Bourbon barrels have never really been available to the broker market. You couldn’t broker a few barrels to age your beer of choice. The whole project exists thanks to industry networking, planning, discussions with the distillery, and of course, your PR push. Remember, beer is as much sales as it is an art form.
There’s Bulleit/Beer cocktails and food from Chef Shay Lavi cooking outside, but I’m here for the beer.
Drawing on something I said in part one of this series. Years ago, possessing a bourbon barrel-aged beer in your cellar meant you were winning. Being good at brewing barrel-aged beer meant understanding where the beer and barrel came together in a unity of amazing flavor. That means making sure it and doesn’t fall flat with no barrel notes, or worse the barrel overruns it. “Not enough barrel aging” was the “too hoppy” 1-Star rating on Untappd of a decade ago.
That’s not the case with Wild Heaven 95 Shilling. It’s the balance of toasty caramel, and rich vanilla oak that blend together in a greater sum of the parts of the process. Exactly what it should be. This beer is an instant reminder of the well-made classics that got so many addicted to craft beer in the first place. Beer meets barrel extremely well with fresh Bulleit barrels for the win.
“For me, this is one of the more rewarding parts of what we do,” says Executive Vice President Sarah Young. “The more we can spread Wild Heaven around in front of more than just beer people, is always something we look for.” The list of local partnerships nearly doubled in just 2020 alone. To date they have worked with Atlanta icons like Giving Kitchen, Mercedes Benz Stadium, The Fox Theater, 680 TheFan radio station, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Big Peach Running Co, CURE Childhood Cancer, Stuckey’s Corporation and more. Basically, Young has been busy.
One thing I can tell you for certain. Not every bourbon barrel makes great barrel-aged beer, but after trying Wild Heaven’s and Bulleit barrel collaboration, Bulleit definitely does.
Standing here drinking this beer at the brewery’s bar, campfire smoke heavy cold fall air whips through the open garage doors. For a second it feels like a fun dream after the year we’ve all had. The excitement about beer releases has returned to me. I’ve missed this.
Wild Heaven and Bulleit created a great beer here, with a second creation just a week away. Not everything in 2020 is terrible.
A year ago, two famous Pennsylvania companies – Yuengling and Hershey’s Chocolate announced a one of a kind beer collaboration – Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter. Much to the chagrin of fans of either, it was limited to draft-only, in a handful of locations.
Because 2020 needed good news, this month Yuengling unveiled bottles, destined for wide distribution.
The base beer is Yuengling’s nearly 200-year-old Porter recipe, plus “the world-famous taste of Hershey’s chocolate. Sadly for yet another year we still don’t have answers on the brewing process, but this year – we finally tasted it.
Once you crack open a bottle of Hershey’s Porter, you’re hit with the undeniable smell of Hershey’s chocolate. If you’ve ever toured the factory, or in my case – grew up going to Hershey Park on marching band trips, you’ll never forget that sweet and unique smell. (Yes.. marching band. Keep reading.)
The flavor is equally as real and rich as the smell. The roasty flavor of Yuengling Porter (one of the two beers first introduced by the brewery in 1829) blends beautifully with the Hershey Chocolate flavor. The success of this beer lies in the instantly addictive burst of Hershey’s aroma and flavor. It’s really uncanny.
Chocolate beers in the brewing world are abundant, so when one stands out like this, it’s a gift. Yuengling Porter and Hershey’s are equal partners in flavor. For that reason, it’s a collaboration that truly works.
Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter is a limited release in 12-ounce bottles and draft.
Image: Beer Street Journal
We wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t know that today, August 1st, is National Mustard Day. There’s a “day” for everything. While you are smothering everything in spicy yellow goodness, there’s a craft beer to pair with it. Oskar Blues Mustard Beer.
It’s craft beer, so you know we aren’t kidding. Oskar Blues partnered with French’s on the collaboration, a tropical wheat beer infused with the yellow stuff. 150 pounds of it to be exact. The result is a wheat beer with a yellowish tinge, boasting flavors of lime, lemon, tangerine, and passion fruit to complement the spice and zip added by the mustard.
Last year French’s made a mustard flavor ice cream for the occasion. We never got to try it, but some folks on social media melted down over its mear existence. (One person even called it a slight against God. That might be a little much.)
Oskar Blues Mustard Beer was available to ship on CraftShack.com, but it sold out pretty much immediately.
Style: Wheat Beer (w/ French’s Mustard)
Availability: 12oz Cans. Limited Release.
Update: Sold out. Everywhere. Next stop, ketchup day.
8th Wonder Viet-Irish Coffee debuts at the Houston, Texas brewery this weekend.
This first bottle release by 8th Wonder is indeed a big one, especially since the brewery calls this beer Imperial Rocket Fuel. Viet-Irish Coffee is based on year-round Rocket Fuel, a 4.6% alcohol robust porter brewed with Greenway Coffee and milk sugar.
This imperial edition features the same locally roasted Greenway Coffee and aged in Jameson Whiskey barrels.
8th Wonder Viet-Irish Coffee will be available in 22-ounce bottles and draft when the brewery opens on Saturday, January 25th.
Image: 8th Wonder