Founders Frootwood kicks off a year of barrel-aged releases by the Grand Rapids, Michigan brewery.
Much of the brewery’s barrel-aged offerings are found in the Backstage Series with a couple of exceptions – the highly desired Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS) and Backwoods Bastard. Incidentally, the next big barrel-aged release by Founders, known as Lizard of Koz, debuted in December. Blueberries and bourbon were a great way to finish out a really weird year.
February will bring Founders Frootwood is a cherry ale, aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels. Speaking of which, Founders ages another ridiculously popular beer in maple syrup bourbon – Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS).
A flavor Battle Royale.
From the moment this story hit Beer Street Journal, the discussion was focused around the flavor. Fear of too much cherry. Fear of the beer being too sweet or too boozy. The result? Honestly, a “Battle Royale” of flavor. Each sip pulls you three ways. The main contenders are bourbon, cherries and maple syrup. Every time you think you have it figured out, you’re forced to go back for more. When you hear someone say a beer is “all over the place,” Frootwood is a great example. Sip this one in a rocking chair while pondering the meaning of life.
We took a crisp, light-bodied cherry ale and hid it away in oak barrels that held both bourbon and maple syrup. After a lengthy sting, it emerged a changed beer, blanketed in notes of warm vanilla and earthy sweetness. The wood proves itself the star of this beer, adding depth and taming the tart cherry while the maple imposes a velvety texture that lingers for not a moment too long.
A few things to note, Founders Frootwood is a 12 ounce and 750 milliliter bottle release, as well as draft. Part of a newly branded “Barrel Aged Series” which will be the new monicker for the brewery’s barrel-aged lineup in 2017 forward. On shelves starting in late January.
PIC: Beer Street Journal
Not Your Mom’s Strawberry Rhubarb is another future “flavored” addition to Small Town Brewery’s lineup.
This is actually the second in a line split. The brewery made industry news with the release of Not Your Father’s Root Beer – an alcoholic root beer. Shortly thereafter came Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale. In June, Not Your Father’s Cream Ale expanded the lineup.
The line split we are referring to is the addition of a “motherly” line of beers titled “Not Your Mom’s” that will begin with Not Your Mom’s Apple Pie.
Soon – Not Your Mom’s Strawberry Rhubarb, another pie flavored beer brewed with strawberry, rhubarb, cinnamon and madagascar vanilla beans will join the lineup.
This beer is the perfect balance of sweet and tart with strawberry and rhubarb juices, Madagascar vanilla and a touch of cinnamon. Just like Mom’s fresh pie, every sip takes you home.
Not Your Mom’s Strawberry Rhubarb will be a 12 ounce bottle and draft release. Small Town has not announced this release.
Short’s Strawberry Short’s Cake is back for Summer 2016.
The base beer for this perennial favorite a golden ale, brewed with fresh strawberries and milk sugar. (That’s lactose for those science-y folks). The end result is a creamy dessert beer that smells and tastes just as it’s billed.
The flavors of shortcake and fresh strawberries transform this beer into rose-colored party nectar that is pleasingly sweet with hints of cream. Biscuit flavors and aromas arise from the use of large amounts of Victory malt.
Summer of 2016 is when we finally got to try this beer for the first time. The strawberries are fresh, the beer is smooth (thanks to the milk sugar), and really reminds us of a a dessert at a hot summer barbecue. So much so, there was a point where you almost want to chew it. Trust us, drinking it is easier.
Short’s Strawberry Short’s Cake is a 12 ounce bottle and draft offering. Seasonally.
Style: Fruit Beer (w/ Strawberries)
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Summer Seasonal.
Latest Return: Late June, 2016
5% ABV, 10 IBUs
Image: Beer Street Journal
Redd’s Apple Ale launched a few years ago, and was met with instant popularity. It was that success that prompted Miller Coors to extend the brand to lineup to include Green Apple Ale, and Strawberry Ale.
Redd’s Blueberry Ale is hitting shelves now, a blend of apple and blueberry flavors.
This flavor offers ripe blueberry tones, ending with the signature crisp apple character fans know and love.
Redd’s Blueberry Ale is a 12 ounce bottle, and 16 ounce can offering, seasonally.
Note: The Redd’s line is NOT gluten-free. The drink is a beer base. This article was corrected to reflect the seasonality of this release, not year-round as previously mentioned.
Duclaw Funk, the brewery’s blueberry citrus wheat ale is back on shelves again in 2016.
The traditional American Wheat Ale serves as a solid baseline, but we couldn’t be content until we tore the roof off this sucker! Funk, our Blueberry Citrus Wheat Ale, sets the rhythm with a soulful fusion of American wheat and hops, before unleashing a stunning encore with big notes of blueberry and Meyer lemon. It’s no jive, you’ll just dig it!
Duclaw Funk is available in 12oz bottles and draft. The beer will be available at all Duclaw locations as of late March.
5% ABV, 16 IBUs
Image: DuClaw Brewing
DuClaw El Kabong is the latest release by the Maryland brewer.
The base beer is brewed with two types of chilies, as well as apricot. The brewery doesn’t mention the base beer style, the than “ale”.
This medium bodied, clear copper ale is crisp & lively, with a surprisingly refreshing mix of deep, dark, fruit sweetness and spicy accents of Chile de Arbol & Ancho Chilie that is at once shocking and throughly drinkable.
DuClaw El Kabong is a 12 ounce bottle offering.
Dogfish Head Oak Aged Noble Rot is a January surprise release by the Milton, Delaware brewery.
First released in 2012, Dogfish Head’s Noble Rot is a wine/beer hybrid. How? Unfermented grape juice, aka “must” from viognier grapes, that have been infected with a helpful fungus called botrytis. Thus, where the name “Noble Rot” comes in. The fungus reduces the water content of the grapes, making them sweeter. Next, the brewery adds pinot gris must, that has been intensified by the a process called dropping fruit (where larges bunches of grapes are clipped to amplify the grapes left behind).
The brewery uses a Belgian strain of yeast to ferment both editions of Noble Rot.
Dogfish Head Oak-Aged Noble Rot has been resting on oak for a full year. Available in 750ml bottles. Shipping immediately.
Beer Street Journal tasting notes: Much of the original flavor of Noble Rot shines through in the oaked edition. Notably, the oak is very prevalent. Honestly, this beer is dominated by notes of the grapes, and oak. Very unique. A great supplement to those that love the original wine/beer hybrid.