For the first time in SweetWater’s 20 year history, the brewery finally has a pilot system. In keeping with the fishing and rivers theme, the 5 barrel brewhouse is lovingly called “The Hatchery”. The little brewhouse pales in comparison to the 400 barrel brewhouse just a few hundred feet away. This month a second release from the pilot system emerges – SweetWater Mexican Style Lager.
The first release from The Hatchery was SweetWater Mosaic IPA, a single hopped spin on their venerable year-round IPA. Side note – that beer is fantastic. Many fans hope that beer gets full-scale brewhouse treatment.
This Mexican-style lager is actually a Vienna lager, brewed a little lighter and sweeter than its American cousin. SweetWater’s Travis Stone wanted an easy drinking beer to chug as the weather gets warmers, and by the looks of it, he’s done it.
Slightly sweet, malty, and tropical fruit aromas.
SweetWater Mexican Style Lager will be available in 12 ounce bottles (in the brewery’s variety pack) and draft, starting Friday May 5th.
Style: Mexican Lager
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.=
Sierra Nevada (CA/NC) is currently packaging a new mixed pack for the fall. The new case will contain Pale Ale, Tumbler, Vienna Lager, and Oktoberfest.
While Pale Ale is year round, and Tumbler is a fall offering, Vienna Lager and Oktoberfest have never been officially bottled until now.
The Mills River, North Carolina facility is currently packaging the 12 packs. (Presumably Chico, California as well.)
In addition, 24 bottle cases are being produced, specifically reserved for bulk buy warehouses (Sam’s Club, CostCo, etc.)
About Vienna-style Lager:
The flavor plays slightly toward caramel and toasted lager malt, but remains balanced and drinkable with a clean finish perfect for a summer session.
Heavy Seas is rebranding Marzen to Cutlass Amber Lager in 2013. Marzen (Cutlass) is the brewery’s most award winning beer. Less of a marzen, and more of a vienna style lager- Cutlass has gone through identity changes, from BaltoMÃ¤rzHon, Heavy Seas MÃ¤rzen, and now Cutlass Amber.
Brewed with Pale, Crystal, Vienna, and Munich malts, this amber lager boasts a toasted biscuity flavor, perfectly balanced with Noble hops yielding a well rounded, smooth drinking beer.
Style: Vienna Lager Availability: 12 oz bottles, Draft. Year round
Harpoon’s 100 Barrel series is what the brewery calls a return to their roots. The 100 Barrel series is exactly as it sounds. Small batch, one of a kind, 100 barrels. Throughout the year, a different Harpoon brewer will create a recipe from start to finish. As a finishing touch, the brewer signs the label. It’s completely their creation. Like a piece of artwork. To date, there have been 31 releases from the 100 Barrel Series. Make way for #32.
Edition #32 is Pott’s Landbier. A little name backstory for you – Landbier is German for “country beer” or a simple, everyday session beer. It’s 4.8% ABV so it definitely qualifies. I’m not going to try to summarize this beer’s bio as Harpoon has done so well already –
“The origins of this beer go back to 2003 when a group of German brewers, including Rainer and Joerg Pott of Pott’s Brauerei, took a tour of American breweries that included Harpoon. A few years later in 2007 Joerg joined the Harpoon staff for the summer months to learn more about American craft beer.
During Joerg’s 3-month tenure at Harpoon, the idea of brewing a beer together was mentioned often, but the timing never quite seemed to work out— until now.
Pott’s Landbier, or “country beer,” is a traditional session lager with a decidedly malty backbone made up of a blend of German and North American malts. The smooth malt character is tempered by the German bittering hop Magnum, which lends a clean, crisp balance. This beer is finished with more German hops for a spicy herbal palate and aroma. Fermented with Pott’s proprietary lager yeast — and imbued with over 240 years of German brewing tradition — this is just the beer to quench your summer thirst.”
Pott’s is classified as a Vienna lager. Vienna lager was developed in Vienna in 1841 by Anton Dreher. Vienna lager is described as a reddish brown or copper colored beer with medium body, and slight malt sweetness. (There’s more to that, but you get some of the idea.)
Known Ingredients –
Hops – Magnum
Yeast – German Lager
Availability – 22oz Bombers. Draft. One time, small batch, 100 Barrel brew. On shelves now until sold.
Taste Expectations – Hot summer days make for great session beer drinking. It’s a strongly carbonated amber lager, with bready caramel malts and a noble hop flavor. It’s light and crisp.