Creature Comforts River Ridge Red debuts June 15th.
Combine Independence, Virginia’s River Ridge Organics raspberries, and Athens’s, Georgia based Creature Comfort’s oak barrels and talent, and you have this new wild ale.
Creature chose some of their best barrels to blend onto the fresh raspberries, punching down the fruit into the barrels for a full two weeks. After that, the raspberries soaked in the ale for another six months in oak, until the brewery achieved a balanced acid profile.
Creature Comforts River Ridge Red will be available in 500-milliliter bottles at the brewery on June 15th, $17.99 each. Limited 6 per person/mule.
Image: Creature Comforts
Firestone Walker Violet Underground, a cross-Atlantic ocean collaboration, debuts this week. Part of the brewery’s Barrelworks Program.
Jim Crooks, Firestone’s medal-winning master blender is good friends with Brett Ellis, co-founder, and brewer at England’s Wild Beer Company.
Dissecting this beer yeast first – Ellis sent Crooks some Wild Beer’s native yeast. Crooks then fermented two base beers. One with Barrelworks yeast and California golden raspberries, and the other with Wild Beer’s English funk. Both bases were aged in French oak between 6 months and a year. French candied violet petals were added to a handful of barrels. The result? Something Crooks calls a “head trip”.
“Violet Underground is an intentional head trip. It’s golden in color yet smells like raspberries, offering a bunch of unexpected sensory notes that all come together in the glass.”
The beer name is presumably a play on the 60’s rock band Velvet Underground, that once had Lou Reed.
Firestone Walker Violet Underground is the second packaged release in 2019, available in 375-ml bottles and draft
Style: American Wild Ale (w/ Golden Raspberries. Violet Petals. French Oak Aged.)
Availability: 375ml Bottles. Draft. Limited Release.
Debut: Early June 2019
Hi-Wire Tropical Sour debuts at the brewery’s South Slope location in Asheville, North Carolina this weekend.
The wild ale program at Hi-Wire has constantly impressed us at Beer Street Journal. This new release is a “tropical” inspired oak-aged American wild ale, aged on fresh mango, pineapple, and guava.
Hi-Wire Tropical Sour will only be available in 750-milliliter bottles with no distribution at the brewery this weekend.
Three Taverns Voyage, a new open fermented mixed culture saison, debuts today.
This unique release is a mixed culture saison, which uses Three Tavern’s house saison yeast, Georgia-grown wheat, and North Carolina rye. Voyage is the first in a series of ‘Wooden Vat’ releases by the Decatur, Georgia based brewery.
No, this isn’t fermented in steel. Three Taverns Voyage is open-fermented in oak. Old world style.
…Crafted with Georgia grown wheat and NC artisan rye then open fermented in an oak vat with our house saison blend, bright aromas of citrus and pineapple mingle with a bouyant funkiness to create a complex drinking experience.
Those with the appreciation of funky, open-fermented, Belgian-style wild ales can seek this at the brewery starting April 5th.
Style: American Wild Ale (Oak Aged)
Availability: 12.7oz Bottles. Limited Release.
There are plenty of rośe inspired beers in the beer market right now. While they almost incorporate grapes, Epic Brewing Rośe, from the brewery’s Oak & Orchard Series, achieves a rose flavor with strawberries and an “epic” house mixed culture wild ale.
Epic Brewing’s sour program continues to impress us. Recent Oak & Orchard releases like Strawberry Rhubarb, and Pink Guava were some of the best American wild ales we tried at Beer Street Journal in 2018. (Incidentally, their Quadruple Barrel Baptist was one of our 2018 favorites as well.) Rośe Ale truly keeps this impressive flavor journey alive and well into a new year.
Strawberries, hibiscus, and rose hips are part of the approach for Epic Rośe. Each sip is a wash of oaky tart strawberry flavors, with a light, lingering floral aroma on your palate. The rose hips and hibiscus are perfectly subtle. This might be more enjoyable the sipping actual rośe wine. Far less sugary, and in our opinion, far more complex than any pink wine you’ll find at the same price point.
American wild ales grow in popularity in the United States every year. If you don’t know what to look out for, let us help. Don’t dare sleep on Epic’s Oak & Orchard Series. We fought over the last sips of Pink Guava, and sipping this Rośe Ale in the sun with hints of spring in the air made for a downright poetic drinking experience.
We can’t wait to see what the brewery does next ?.
Availability: 12.7oz Bottles
Debut: February 2019
This collaboration is a big one, perfect for a winter release. The two breweries created an imperial stout, aged in both whiskey barrels and brandy barrels, with figs and dates. After blending into the finishing tanks, Bamburana was then aged again on Amburana wood spirals. Amburna is a tropical tree native to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru.
“We were pleasantly surprised with the vanilla and gingerbread spice nuances this South American wood contributed into the finished beer and look forward to putting this delicious beer in front of folks,” said Wayne Wambles of Cigar City Brewing
Oskar Blues Cigar City Bamburana is a national release in 12-ounce cans and draft starting in mid-January, 2019.
Debut: Mid-January 2019
Allagash FV 13 returns to the brewery once again this weekend.
A Belgian-style golden ale is the base for Allagash FV 13. The beer is fermented in stainless steel with the brewery’s epic house yeast, then transferred to a 2,700-gallon French oak foudre (exactly like the one on the label).
What is even more unique about FV 13, is that a portion of the previous batch of this beer is used to inoculate (ferment) the new edition. A little bit of the old makes the new.
This year’s beer features an aroma with notes of graham cracker, lime zest, and vanilla. The flavor blends sweet and tart with notes of grapefruit and raspberry, and finishes with a cleansing bitterness.
Allagash FV 13 is a 375ml bottle release. Each release takes four years to brew, ferment and condition before public release.
Availability: 12.7 oz bottles
Latest Return: September 2018