Proof Brewing Co. Adds Munich Style Lager to Year-Round Lineup

image003Proof Brewing Co. (Tallahassee, Florida) has announced that Proof Lager will officially join the brewery’s Year-Round portfolio on Friday, April 19.

Serving as Proof Brewing Co.’s “salute to the classic German style”, Proof Lager is a “bright, refreshing” Munich-style Lager that “showcases a balance of light malt with a delicate German Noble hop aroma.”  Weighing in at an easy-drinking 5% ABV and 24 IBUs, Proof Lager boasts “a clean, crisp finish which pairs perfectly with a sunny day or any day you please.”

“The Proof Lager is a great everyday-beer for any occasion,” said Byron Burroughs, Proof Brewing Company’s founder. “From the craft beer novice to the aficionado, any drinker will find our Lager is enjoyable year-round.”

Proof Lager will officially launch in Proof Brewing Co.’s Tasting Room on April 19 and is scheduled to enter distribution shortly after the on-site release.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located within Proof Brewing Co.’s distribution footprint in Florida.  Prost!

Vital Information for Proof Lager from Proof Brewing Co.

Release – Year-Round; launching April 19, 2019
Style – Munich-style Lager
ABV – 5%
IBUs – 24
Fun Fact – Proof Lager won a bronze medal at the 2018 Florida Best Beer Championships
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Florida

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Product Review: Personalized Growler Cooler Bag from Groovy Guy Gifts

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A big thank you goes out to 7venth Sun Brewery – Tampa for allowing us to photograph in their beautiful tasting room.

Not too long ago, Groovy Guy Gifts reached out to us to see if we would be willing to review their Personalized Growler Cooler Bag.  Figuring it would make for a fun little project, we agreed and put this product to the test this week.

**Disclaimer: Groovy Guy Gifts supplied Mashing In with a Personalized Growler Cooler Bag in exchange for an honest review of the product**

The Personalized Growler Cooler Bag is made of a light-weight, military green canvas and has brown faux leather trim around the base and on the handle.  It is cylindrical in shape and measures in at just over 12 inches tall and 23 inches around. The bag features a sturdy carrying handle that folds flat and a removable shoulder strap for easy transport. The front of the bag has a small pocket where you can easily stash an ID, credit cards, cash, newly acquired brewery stickers, a small bottle opener, etc.  This pocket also acts as the frame for the personalized embroidery option of a single initial.

The interior of the main compartment has an insulated liner made of thick gray plastic and is capable of holding water in case any ice melts before you get your growler to its final destination. This area can easily accommodate a 64 oz. jug-style growler with an ice pack, a 32 oz. growler with ice and/or ice packs, or two 32 oz. crowlers with ice and/or ice packs.

In addition to just being a growler tote, this item’s versatility just might make it your new best friend for bottle shares as it also has the ability to hold and keep cold two 4-packs of 12 oz. cans, one 4-pack of 16 oz. cans and one 4-pack 12 oz. cans, three 22 oz. bottles, or two standard 750ml bottles (it is not quite tall enough to accommodate 750ml bottles with cork & cage).

We put the Growler Cooler Bag to the test by picking up a 32 oz. growler at 7venth Sun Brewery at noon on a 90 degree day in Tampa, Florida.  The growler was filled at the beginning of our visit and then placed directly into the bag with no ice.  It was then left in the car as we ran errands for around 3 hours or so.  Upon returning to the office, the growler was still cold and just a couple degrees warmer than fill temperature.  To test the bag’s ability to hold water, it was then filled halfway with ice and left in a hot garage for two days. The ice did completely melt but there were no signs of leaks.

Everything above amounts to a whole lot of positives, but we do have to report that there are a couple negatives.  First, you can tell the bag was mass-produced and the stitching got incredibly wonky in some areas.  The bad stitching is most prevalent at the bottom of our bag and it actually deformed its shape a bit.  With that said, we only received one bag and it is entirely possible that this was an isolated incident that somehow made it through quality check.  The good news is that the bad stitching did not appear to affect the bag’s performance or durability.

The second negative when it comes to this Personalized Growler Cooler Bag is that Groovy Guy Gifts discontinued this model shortly after sending us the sample.  Although you can no longer get this exact bag, the company did replace it on their website with a larger, backpack-style Personalized Growler Cooler Bag featuring a much larger front pocket, two side pockets capable of holding 64 oz. growlers, and personalized embroidery options that include a single initial inside a square outline or a custom line (max 12 characters) at no additional cost. The best part about this upgrade is that it costs $29.99, the same price as the smaller bag that we received.

All in all, we are incredibly happy with the Growler Cooler Bag that we received, and it will definitely be put to work carrying beers to bottle shares and events we attend from here on out.  If you are in the market for an insulated growler/beer bag or just some personalized beer-themed gifts for friends, we suggest you give Groovy Guy Gifts a look to see if they have anything that meets your needs.  Prost!

 

Hidden Springs Ale Works Schedules Bottle Release for Darkness in the Light

HiddenSpringslogoHidden Springs Ale Works (Tampa, Florida) has officially announced that it will hold a bottle release for Darkness in the Light Barrel-aged Imperial Stout at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 20.

Developed to harness the power found within the most dualistic of confections, Darkness in the Light is a cookies-and-cream-inspired Imperial Stout that has been aged in Bourbon barrels.  Clocking in at 12% ABV, Darkness in the Light is sure to be the perfect beer pairing for any plans you may or may not have in store for 4/20.

The Darkness in the Light bottle release will take place at Hidden Springs Ale Works (1631 N. Franklin St. | Tampa, Florida) at 11 a.m. on April 20. Bottles will be $30 each and the brewery will announce the bottle limit 15 minutes before opening. Cash is preferred, but cards will be accepted.

A couple things to keep in mind if you plan to attend this bottle release:

  • Parking – Remember to park in Hidden Springs’ lot directly across the street, or on the street up and down Franklin, on Henderson just west of Tampa, or on 7th Ave.
  • Once you are in line, make sure that you hug the wall near the door on Henderson so that foot traffic will not be affected on the sidewalks
  • Above all, please be respectful of the brewery’s neighbors

Darkness in the Light will not see distribution and will only be available in bottles on April 20 (there will be no draft availability during the bottle release).  If you aspire to procure a bottle of Darkness in the Light, make sure that you are in line for the 10:45 head count on Saturday and just hope that the beer gods deem you worthy. Good luck out there. Prost!

Avery Brewing Co. Set for National Release of Double Barreled Maple Stout

Avery_A_Logo_WhiteCircleAvery Brewing Co. (Boulder, Colorado) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Double Barreled Maple Stout in late April.

Arriving as the 52nd release in Avery Brewing Co.’s Barrel-Aged Series, Double Barreled Maple Stout is an “indulgent” Imperial Stout that was “aged in Bourbon barrels THEN aged in maple syrup barrels and dosed with coffee, cinnamon, and extra maple syrup.”  Weighing in at an absolutely massive 15.3% ABV, Double Barreled Maple Stout can be easily enjoyed “for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner!”

Colin says, “Keep your pastries, we’ll have our flapjacks and black coffee.”

Double Barreled Maple Stout will officially release in Avery Brewing Co.’s Tap Room during the weekend of Friday, April 26 and is expected to enter distribution shortly after the on-site release.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Florida, Colorado and throughout the rest Avery’s nationwide distribution network.  Prost!

Vital Information for Double Barreled Maple Stout from Avery Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series; April 26, 2019
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 15.3%
Treatment – “Aged in Bourbon barrels THEN aged in maple syrup barrels and dosed with coffee, cinnamon, and extra maple syrup”
Availability – 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.averybrewing.com/brew-finder

 

Garage Brewing Co. and Pink Boots Society Collaborate on Hop ‘N Boots Red IPL

HOPNBOOTSGarage Brewing Co. (Temecula, California) has officially announced that it will release Hop ‘N Boots, a limited-edition Red India Pale Lager brewed in collaboration with and support of the Pink Boots Society and women in the brewing industry, on April 19.

Crafted at Garage Brewing Co. by “a group of several women involved in the craft beer industry” on Pink Boots Society’s 2019 Collaboration Brew Day and in conjunction with International Women’s Day, Hop ‘N Boots is a Red India Pale Lager brewed with “Yakima
Chief’s Pink Boots blend featuring Loral, Glacier, Mosaic, Simcoe and Sabro hops.”  Coming in at 6% ABV, the “clean, straightforward and super drinkable” Hop ‘N Boots promises to supply its drinker with a sensory experience filled with “tropical fruit and dank notes.”

“Girls rock! How important is it to have women in the craft beer industry? Extremely important,” Laura Ulrich, Pink Boots Society’s president said via email. “We want diversity in our beer and we also want it in our business. We have great palates, amazing beer knowledge and we make some really great beer.”

 

“I love how we all come from different paths which means we all bring something different to the brewing process,” said Maurine Frey, Garage Brewing Co.’s microbiologist and project lead on Hop ‘N Boots. “Relationships and friendships are formed with people we might not have met.”

Hop ‘N Boots is a draft-only offering that will officially release in Garage Brewing Co.’s brewpub/taproom and at various bars and restaurants throughout Southern California beginning on Friday, April 19.  To further support the Pink Boots Society’s mission, Garage Brewing Co. “will donate 50 percent of proceeds of on-premise sales of Hop ‘N Boots to Pink Boots Society.  At Garage Brewing’s brewpub in Old Town Temecula, pints of this brew will be specially priced at $5 per pint with 50 percent of proceeds donated to Pink Boots Society.” Prost!

Vital Information for Hop ‘N Boots from Garage Brewing Co. & Pink Boots Society

Release – Limited; April 19, 2019
Style – India Pale Lager
ABV – 6%
Featured Hops – Yakima Chief’s Pink Boots Blend featuring Loral, Glacier, Mosaic, Simcoe & Sabro hops
Fun Fact – “Pink Boots Society’s mission is to assist, inspire and encourage women beer industryprofessionals to advance their careers through education and Garage Brewing Co. wholeheartedly supports that mission!”
Availability – Draft only
Distribution – Southern California

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The brewing team behind Hop ‘N Boots

Three Taverns Craft Brewery Releases Fan-Favorite Saporous in Cans

threetavernslogoThree Taverns Craft Brewery (Decatur, Georgia) has officially announced that its wildly-popular Saporous Sour Ale will begin a Limited Release – in both cans and on draft – in mid-April.

Heavily “influenced by the character and flavors of Latin and South America”, Saporous – defined as “capable of exciting the sensation of taste” – is an American Sour Ale with passion fruit, guava, and lactose.  Complementing each other beautifully, these tropical ingredients supply Saporous (5% ABV) with “refreshing fruit flavors and a creamy and smooth mouthfeel.”

Saporous officially released in The Parlour at Three Taverns on April 13 and is scheduled to hang around through September.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located within Three Taverns Craft Brewery’s distribution footprint in Georgia.  Prost!

Vital Information for Saporous from Three Taverns Craft Brewery

Release – Limited/Sour Asylum Series, April – September 2019
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 5%
Added Ingredients – Passion fruit, guava & lactose
Fun Fact – On the can design: “The eclectic and dazzling can design is, as always, from our friends over at Metaleap Creative.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – http://www.threetavernsbrewery.com/find-our-beer

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Allagash Brewing Company Introduces Darling Ruby Grisette

AllagashDarlingRubyPourAllagash Brewing Company (Portland, Maine) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Darling Ruby, a Farmhouse Ale with a twist of grapefruit, in April.

Crafted to be an approachable introduction to a lesser-known style of Farmhouse Ale, Darling Ruby is a Grisette (click here to learn more) that has been dosed with “the zest and juice of 2,000 lbs. of ripe grapefruit to really amplify [its] citrusy hop character.” Clocking in at an easy-drinking 4.5% ABV, Darling Ruby is here to crush spring thirsts with a delightful “medley of tangy and tropical notes.”

Darling Ruby officially started rolling out in early April and will hang around as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer-focused establishments located in Georgia, Maine and throughout the rest of Allagash Brewing Company’s distribution area.  4-packs of 16 oz. cans will be available exclusively in the brewery’s can footprint in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and in Western and Upstate New York.  Prost!

Vital Information for Darling Ruby from Allagash Brewing Company

Release – Limited, April 2019
Style – Grisette
ABV – 4.5%
Malts – 2-Row Base Malt Blend, Malted Red Wheat, Raw Wheat & Victory Malt
Hops – Crystal & Loral
Yeast – Saison
Added Ingredients – Fresh Grapefruit Juice & Zest
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft; 4-packs of 16 oz. cans available exclusively in ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, NJ & Western + Upstate NY
Beer Finder – https://www.allagash.com/locator/

Schlafly Beer Honors Apollo 11 with Launch of Lunar Lager Pack

image002 (1)Schlafly Beer (St. Louis, Missouri) has officially announced that it is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with the release of Lunar Lager, a sampler 12-pack of four exclusive lagers.

From the aesthetics of the packaging to the selected lager styles, everything about the Lunar Lager Pack has been carefully selected and designed to properly capture “a few of the most memorable moments from the historic moon landing” of Apollo 11.  This commemorative variety pack contains three 12 oz. bottles of each the following four beers (descriptions sourced directly from the brewery’s press release):

  • Lift-Off Lager – This unfiltered German lager calls back to the moments during one of the most exciting accomplishments in America. The light golden, hazy beer is an ode to the haze that filled the air that day.  ABV – 5.5%  IBUs – 20
  • Apollo’s Orbit Black Lager – Although it’s as dark as the view outside Apollo’s window, this lager is smooth, crisp and drinkable.  ABV – 5.0%  IBUs – 25
  • Moon Walk Dunkel – This dark, malty German lager pays tribute to the two brave men who strolled across the moon 50 years ago. The dark brown lager is balanced in both malty sweetness and hops.  ABV – 4.5%  IBUs – 20
  • The Eagle Has Landed American Lager – Light, golden and refreshing, this true American lager pays homage to the famous phrase that has been cemented as one of the most memorable sayings in our history.  ABV – 5.0%  IBUs – 25

“Apollo 11 is one of the most exciting feats for humankind, in our nation and beyond, and its impact clearly lives on to 2019,” says Founding Brewer Stephen Hale. “We thought that the 50th anniversary of such a cultural phenomenon deserved a special beer to celebrate so we are releasing four.”

The Lunar Lager Pack is rolling out now (mid-April 2019) and will be available for a limited time.  You can expect to find this Limited Release variety 12-pack at select craft beer-friendly retailers located in Missouri, Tennessee, and throughout the rest of Schlafly’s distribution footprint. Prost!

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Fun Fact – On the packaging design: “The bottle design and packaging thoughtfully evoke the spirit and pop culture of the 1960s. The fonts were inspired by popular records and albums from the ‘60s as well as the sans serif font, used in popular print ads and science fiction during the era. The square shape around the corners of each bottle label was inspired by the shape of a television screen, a medium through which many Americans experienced the moon landing. Additionally, the colors were inspired by the 1969 Ford and GM automotive paint chips.”

Tasting Notes – Kombucha Edition: Ginger & Oak from Flying Embers

FlyingEmbersGOpourX600For this installment of Tasting Notes, we jump-start our workweek with a probiotic boost thanks to a few pours of Ginger & Oak Organic Hard Kombucha from Flying Embers (Ojai, California).

One of three Core offerings from Flying Embers, Ginger & Oak is an Organic Hard Kombucha fermented with “black tea, . . . kombucha culture with live probiotics” and “a unique botanical adaptogenic base of roots including ginger, turmeric, ashwagandha, and astragalus.”  This refreshing brew is “USDA-certified organic, gluten-free, vegan and has zero grams of sugar at a sessionable 4.5% abv.”

Ginger & Oak is available Year-Round in 16 oz. cans and 22 oz. bottles.  You can expect to find Ginger & Oak – along with Lemon Orchard and Ancient Berry – at kombucha-friendly retailers located within Flying Embers‘ distribution footprint in Southern California, “the San Francisco Bay Area, Oregon and Washington; southwestern states Arizona and Texas; and . . . the east coast via New York, Philadelphia and [the] New England area.”

Now that we are all a bit more familiar with this offering’s background information, let’s crack open a few cans and get into our first “Kombucha Edition” of Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Ginger & Oak from Flying Embers

Appearance:  Fresh off the pour, Ginger & Oak presents itself as a hazy lemonade-like yellow in color and is capped with loose bubbles that almost instantly dissipate (similar to that of a soda).  When held to direct light, the color intensifies to become more of a sunshiny yellow.  This kombucha is quite cloudy, but a peppy carbonation presence can still be seen streaming within.

Aroma:  Quick to grab your attention, the aromatics open with a pronounced herbal tea character that offers notes of bitterness, maltiness and smoke.  Ginger swiftly rushes in to brighten things with its zesty, spicy and citrus-like qualities. The added turmeric further reinforces the ginger and its citrus notes by adding a touch of orange.  The profile is rounded off with an incredibly pleasant woody earthiness.

Taste:  That herbal tea quality immediately asserts itself here as well by opening the experience with a punchy bitter note (we assume this is the ashwagandha making itself known).  That powerful note is rapidly tempered as the black tea base imparts soothing tones of caramel, leather and honey. Smoke and earth surface just before a bright burst of ginger and citrus (lemon and orange) takes over to close things out.

Mouthfeel:  On the lighter side of medium in body with a lively carbonation, this kombucha is light and easy-drinking.  Moving easily through the tart, herbal and sweet portions of the palate, it eventually finds a nice balance and finishes dry enough to keep you craving another sip.  Coming in at a low 4.5% ABV, there is no sign of heat or booziness. The aftertaste is all ginger and lemon-laced herbal tea.

Final Thoughts: If you do not drink kombucha very often, you might be taken aback a bit by the first sip of Ginger & Oak.  By the second sip, your mind and taste buds adjust, allowing everything to come together as the herbaceous, earthy and bitter notes are balanced by the black tea base and the ginger and citrus tones take things to the next level with a zesty brightness.  This makes for an incredibly enjoyable and invigorating experience that firmly engages your senses and seemingly wakes up your brain.  It is a unique but familiar experience that just leaves you feeling good and satisfied . . . and that is a winning result if you ask us.  If you are looking to mix up your libation lineup with something new/different or are already a big fan of kombucha, be sure to check out Ginger & Oak and other offerings from Flying Embers whenever you happen upon them.  Prost!

 

Rising Sun Hazy IPA Returns to Catawba Brewing Co. Tasting Rooms on 4/20

CatawbaRisingSunCatawba Brewing Co. (Asheville, North Carolina) has officially announced that Cloud Cover: Rising Sun Hazy IPA will roll in for a Limited Release on April 20 (4/20).

Originally introduced in 2018 as the inaugural canned release in Catawba’s Cloud Cover Series, Rising Sun is a Hazy India Pale Ale that features Citra hops in the whirlpool and a dry-hop with Amarillo, Citra, El Dorado and Mosaic.  This intense hop bill supplies Rising Sun (7.8% ABV, 43 IBUs) with a sensory profile filled with notes of “candied peach, ripe melon, lychee, strawberry, and resin.”

Rising Sun Hazy IPA will officially release in Catawba Brewing Co.’s Tasting Rooms on April 20, 2019 (a.k.a. 4/20).  This Limited Release offering will be available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft for as long as supplies last.  Like all Cloud Cover releases, Rising Sun is a taproom-only release that will not see distribution.  Prost!

Vital Information for Rising Sun Hazy IPA from Catawba Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Cloud Cover Series; April 20, 2019
Style – Hazy/Juicy India Pale Ale
ABV – 7.8%
IBUs – 43
Featured Hops – Amarillo, Citra, El Dorado & Mosaic
Fun Fact – “Cloud Cover Series Hazy IPAs are cloudy, intensely hopped, hugely flavorful, and less bitter than their traditional West Coast counterparts. The series showcases juicy tropical fruit flavors and exotic fresh hop character that have made the New England-style IPA so revered among craft enthusiasts. The beer’s distinctive hazy orange glow is a product of brewing techniques and ingredients unique to the style, as is its soft, frothy mouthfeel. Each release in the Cloud Cover Series is named for a historic weather event in the Carolinas.”  
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – None. Only available in Catawba Brewing Co. tasting rooms

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