Terrapin Beer Co. Welcomes Back Baseball Season with Return of Frenchy’s Blues

Terrapin Beer Co. (Athens, Georgia) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Frenchy’s Blues, a Berliner Weisse brewed in collaboration with former Atlanta Braves outfielder – Jeff Francoeur, in late June/early July 2020.

Dropping just in time to celebrate the return of Atlanta Braves baseball, Frenchy’s Blues is a Berliner Weisse “made with blueberries from Major League Blueberries, which is a farm operated by Francoeur, his father-in-law Malcolm McCoy and blueberry expert Winn Morgan.” Coming in at just 5% ABV, Frenchy’s Blues is a “tart and refreshing” summertime treat.

Frenchy’s Blues is rolling out now and will be hanging around for a limited time. You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Georgia only. Prost!

Vital Information for Frenchy’s Blues from Terrapin Beer Co.

Release – Special/Limited; late June/early July 2020
Style – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 5%
IBUs – 5
Malts – Wheat, Pilsner & Torrified Wheat
Hops – Fuggle
Added Ingredients – Blueberries from Major League Blueberries
Suggested Food Pairings – “Aged ham on pretzel bread, havarti, or cheesecake with blueberries”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Georgia only
Beer Finder – https://www.terrapinbeer.com/beer-finder

Sideward Brewing Set to Drop Cans of Star Rider IPA

Sideward Brewing Co. (Orlando, Florida) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Can Release of Star Rider New England IPA on Thursday, July 2.

Brewed to be the “newer, cooler big brother” to Sideward’s highly-rated Space Wizard IPA, Star Rider is a New England-style India Pale Ale “made with all the new space age hop products” – Mosaic hop oil, Mosaic Cryo, Sabro Cryo and Vic Secret hops. Coming in at 7.9% ABV, Star Rider features “big notes of citrus with underlying pineapple, passion fruit and pine.”

Star Rider will roll into the Taproom at Sideward Brewing Co. at noon on July 2. This Limited Release offering will be available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans as long as supplies last. Star Rider is a brewery exclusive offering and will not see distribution. Prost!

Vital Information for Star Rider from Sideward Brewing Co.

Release – Limited; July 2, 2020
Style – New England-style India Pale Ale
ABV – 7.9%
Featured Hops – Mosaic hop oil, Mosaic Cryo, Sabro Cryo & Vic Secret
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans
Distribution – None. Taproom only

Boulevard Brewing Co. Introduces Manhattan Social Club as Latest Limited Release

Boulevard Brewing Co. (Kansas City, Missouri) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Manhattan Social Club during the week of July 6, 2020.

Meticulously crafted with the help of local bartenders to capture all the nuances found within the ingredients – rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters and a cherry – used to create a classic Manhattan cocktail, the barrel team at Boulevard Brewing set the foundation of Manhattan Social Club with an Imperial Rye Ale to “mimic the rye whiskey and give it the necessary spicy rye note.” The bitters were recreated with “a heady combination of spices” that were added during both the brewing process and in the barrel, and the added cherry was achieved by adding . . . you know . . . cherry. The beer then went on to be 100% barrel-aged in “a variety of different rye whiskey barrels” with the addition of plum purée to infuse a character similar to that of sweet vermouth. Coming in at sip-worthy 12.5% ABV, the finished Manhattan Social Club “has an underlying sweetness that dances below the spicy and herbal notes, truly reconstructing the flavors of the original” Manhattan.

Manhattan Social Club will debut in the Kansas City area during the week of July 6 and will enter expanded distribution shortly after that date. You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles at craft beer-friendly establishments located in Missouri and select markets located within Boulevard Brewing Co.’s distribution territory. Prost!

Vital Information for Manhattan Social Club from Boulevard Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Smokestack Series; July 6, 2020
Style – Imperial Rye Beer
ABV – 12.5%
IBUs – 9
Malts – Pale Malt, Wheat Malt, Munich, CaraRye, Special W, Cara 50, Cara 300 & CaraFoam
Hops – Bravo & Styrian Golding
Added Ingredients – Dextrose, brown sugar, dark brown sugar, nutmeg, orange peel, lemon peel, star anise, cinnamon, plum purée & cherry
Suggested Food Pairings – “Creamy goat cheese with fig jam, truffle popcorn, cocktail hour”
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles
Beer Finder – https://www.boulevard.com/finder/

Flying Dog Brewery Urges You to Stay the F*ck Home with New Variety Pack

Flying Dog Brewery (Frederick, Maryland) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of its Stay the F*ck Home Emergency Pack, a Variety 12-Pack that includes some of the brewery’s “highest-octane brews,” in late June 2020.

Compiled as an act of do-goodery that will hopefully inspire beer lovers to do the right thing during the COVID-19 crisis, Stay the F*ck Home (or STFH) is a Mixed 12-pack filled with the following three high ABV brews (descriptions sourced directly from the brewery’s press release):

  • Gonzo Imperial Porter – A bold and forceful beer, just like the man it was brewed to honor – Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, founder of the Gonzo journalism movement. Complex layers of roasted chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, and vanilla malt flavors are balanced with a one-of-a-kind hop bite that hits you like a homemade firecracker. ABV – 10%
  • The Truth Imperial IPA – Flying Dog developed The Truth Imperial IPA over the course of 3 years, and it was scientifically engineered to be the holy grail for IPA lovers. With big pine notes and stone fruit underpinnings, The Truth comes from a hop blend so aromatic and complex you’ll almost forget you’re drinking an 8.7% Imperial.
  • Double Dog Double IPA – With an ABV over 12%, the wild, untamed Double Dog Double IPA is seductively full-bodied, with a deep red color and subdued malty sweetness. World famous gonzo artist Ralph Steadman put it so succinctly when he declared that Double Dog is, “For that night. That other goddamn night.”

“Over the last few months, we saw that interest in variety packs spiked; people were reaching for beer that would keep their fridges full and their options open,” said James Maravetz, VP of Marketing for Flying Dog Brewery. “We created this limited release variety pack of heavy hitters for all beer lovers to enjoy, but especially for the folks who are still spending extra time at home….or in their concrete-reinforced underground bunker.”

The Stay the F*ck Home Emergency Pack is scheduled to roll out at the tail end of June and will hang around for a limited time. You can expect to find this Variety 12-Pack of 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer-focused retailers located in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and throughout the rest of Flying Dog’s distribution area.  Prost!

Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka from Zodiac Spirits

For this special Spirits Edition of Tasting Notes, we find the line where Vodka meets Whiskey by getting into a dram of Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka from Zodiac Spirits (Rigby, Idaho).

Developed to serve as a shining example of Zodiac’s “passion to go a step beyond,” Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka starts with a gluten-free, potato-based Vodka that is “first infused with natural Black Cherry extract and blended in Idaho, USA with water from the Snake River Aquifer.” Once distilled and blended, the Vodka is then sent to rest in American Oak barrels “to acquire the taste of an incredibly smooth and mellow whiskey with soft cherry and spice overtones.” Weighing in at 35% ABV (70 PROOF), Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka “can be enjoyed straight or mixed with your favorite cocktail.”

Zodiac Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka is featured exclusively at Bigfire, a restaurant located in Universal CityWalk at Universal Studios Orlando, in its Oaked Cherry Manhattan” and “White Old Fashioned.” If you would like a bottle of your own, you can visit Cask Cartel to purchase a 750ml bottle of Zodiac Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka.

Alrighty . . . now that we are all caught up on the story behind this offering, let’s see what a “Barrel Rested Vodka” is all about over some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka from Zodiac Spirits

Appearance: Poured slightly chilled from a sample vial into a tasting glass, Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka presents itself as perfectly clear and the lightest of straw yellows in color. When held to direct light, most of the color washes out but a tinge of faint yellow is left to remain. When jostled about in the glass, this vodka leaves a slick arch behind which drops wide tears that retreat slowly down to the liquid level.

Aroma: The aromatics open with a sweet burst of candied black cherry. The barrel then pushes through with a solid rush of sweet vanilla. Alcohol rounds out the profile, but it is quite tame and reserved. The aroma reads almost exactly like the interior of a decadent cherry cordial.

Taste: Each sip opens with that neutral spirit you expect from a good vodka, but it slowly morphs to take on a new, more dynamic personality. Smooth vanilla emerges to offer a creamy, almost bourbon-like vanilla note. The black cherry is shy at first, but it gradually blooms to add a gently sweet fruitiness to the experience. The profile closes with incredibly sneaky, soft tones of cinnamon and spice. All expected flavors are present but not at all overly aggressive.

Mouthfeel: Slick in feel, this offering consumes and coats the palate before quickly evaporating (just as you would hope from a vodka). It does lean to the sweet side, but it is not at all cloying. The ABV offers a pleasant warmth in the throat. The finish is mostly clean but there is just a lingering kiss of black cherry left in the aftertaste.

Final Thoughts: All too often, a flavored vodka in your glass means there is a good chance that it will be overly sweet, come across as unnaturally flavored, and not give you any indication that it is actually a vodka because it is completely dominated by the added flavoring. This is not at all the case with Zodiac Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka.

Zodiac Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka easily sets itself apart from its peers in the flavored vodka game in many ways. First, it tastes and smells like vodka. Sure, it is no longer purely neutral, but it does retain the spirit of the base vodka by providing that clean vodka finish in both aroma and flavor. Second, the black cherry flavoring was added with a deft hand so that it complements gracefully instead of bullishly consuming the entire experience. Finally, the barrel-resting process pulls natural, bourbon-like vanilla notes out of the wood, further reinforcing Zodiac’s subtly and intent to ensure that this offering indeed tastes like a fine spirit and not just an alcoholic flavored syrup.

By starting with a quality vodka, knowing when to say “when” with the black cherry extract, and venturing into a hybrid territory that falls somewhere between vodka and whiskey, Zodiac Spirits has carefully crafted something incredibly special with Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka. Thanks to its nuance and dynamic character, Zodiac Black Cherry Barrel Rested Vodka can be thoroughly enjoyed straight up and also has nearly limitless potential when it comes to both vodka- and whiskey-centric cocktails (one sip of it neat and it becomes quite clear why Bigfire is having so much success in reinventing classic whiskey cocktails with this vodka). It is fun, it is playful, and it will make an incredible addition to anyone’s home bar. Head over to Cask Cartel and get yourself a bottle of this Limited Release while you still can. Prost!

Costa Brava Cocktails Launches with Two Zero Sugar, Zero Carb Offerings

Costa Brava Cocktails (Los Angeles, California), a new line of sugar-free, zero carb premium vodka canned cocktails from LazKap Beverages Inc., has officially launched in Southern California with the release of two flavors: Lemon Drop and Vodka Cranberry.

Founded by Matthew Kaplan and Ethan Lazar – lifelong friends and LA natives – and inspired by their time studying abroad in Spain, Costa Brava Cocktails is a new lineup of craft cocktails packaged in “vibrant 12 fluid ounce [cans] that [capture] the spirit of Los Angeles’s sun, surf and sand lifestyle.” Lemon Drop and Vodka Cranberry, the brands’s first two releases, both come in at just “6.7% ABV, contain only 130 calories, and are gluten-free, without sacrificing the great taste.”

“We have been best friends since we were 9 years old. Our junior year of college, we were lucky enough to spend a semester studying abroad in Barcelona. One of the last days of our trip was spent at a beach in the Costa Brava of Spain. Embarrassingly, we had put on so much weight abroad that neither of us wanted to go shirtless. When we returned home to Los Angeles for the summer before our senior year at UMASS Amherst, we knew we had to make a change. Even though we cut sugar and carbs from our diets and began working out every day, one thing held us back: we enjoy socializing, which sometimes includes having a few drinks with friends. We soon realized that there were no SUGAR FREE AND CARB FREE alcoholic beverages on the market that lived up to our standards of quality and taste. There was a gaping opportunity in the alcohol market, so we got straight to work. Through a tremendous amount of trial and error, we developed Costa Brava Cocktails, a great tasting line of premium canned cocktails that contain ZERO SUGAR and ZERO CARBS.”

Matthew Kaplan, Co-founder of Costa Brava Cocktails

Costa Brava Cocktails is currently self-distributing Lemon Drop and Vodka Cranberry in Los Angeles, California. You can expect to find both of these new offerings available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans at “select West Los Angeles liquor stores and on-premise locations.” LazKap Beverages Inc. plans to expand its the distribution footprint for Costa Brava Cocktails in the coming months with a “full Southern California rollout, which will be a runway for national expansion.” Prost!

Founders Brewing Co. Will Close Out 2020 With the Release of a New KBS Variant

Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) recently teased in its Cadre Newsletter that it will put a bow on its 2020 Barrel-Aged Series by introducing its newest KBS variant, KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge, in November 2020.

Inspired by the old-fashioned fudge that is so beloved in Michigan, KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge is an Imperial Stout that “[amplifies] the rich chocolate notes of [the original] KBS using Mackinac Fudge coffee, then [adds] maple syrup and [ages] it in oak Bourbon barrels.” Weighing in at 11% ABV, KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge is “a bold new take on [a] barrel-aged classic – one that could only have originated in Michigan.”

KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge will debut in November and is scheduled to hang around through December 2020 (as long as supplies last). You can expect to find this new Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s nationwide distribution area. Prost!

Vital Information for KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series; November – December 2020
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 11%
Added Ingredients – Mackinac Fudge coffee & maple syrup
Treatment – Aged in oak Bourbon barrels
Fun Fact – KBS Maple Mackinac Fudge follows the release of KBS Espresso as the second packaged variant of KBS
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

New Realm Brewing Serves Up Some Southern Tee This Summer

New Realm Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that it will continue its Sour Series with the Limited Release of Southern Tee in July 2020.

Carefully crafted to capture the ultra-refreshing experience found in “the half tea, half lemonade classic made popular by golf’s one and only ‘The King’”- Arnold Palmer, Southern Tee is a “southern-style” Berliner Weisse that brings together “tart lemons, the sweetness of . . . lemonade, and rich tea flavors.” Coming in at just 4.8% ABV, the thirst-quenching Southern Tee boasts “a slightly sweet flavor while still showcasing the tart taste of a Berliner Weisse.”

“For years, fans have gravitated towards this style, so we’ve added our own twist by brewing a Berliner Weisse with a little lower alcohol at 4.8%. It’s so refreshing and perfect for the end of a round of golf and for wherever else your summer takes you,” said Bob Powers, Co-Founder and CSMO of New Realm Brewing.

“Normally a Berliner-Weisse is tart and very dry, but with Southern Tee, we added a bit of sweetness to balance out the tartness and accentuate the lemon and tea flavors, so it drinks like the popular mix popularized by ‘The King’ himself,” said Mitch Steele, Co-Founder and Brewmaster.

Southern Tee will launch at New Realm’s Atlanta and Virginia Beach locations on June 30 and distribution will follow shortly after the on-site release. You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located within New Realm’s distribution footprint in Georgia and Virginia. Prost!

Vital Information for Southern Tee from New Realm Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Sour Series; July – September 2020
Style – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 4.8%
IBUs – “very low”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Georgia & Virginia

Wild Leap Brew Co. Launches Smoothie Supernova Series with Brewery-only Release of Raspberry Lemonade

Wild Leap Brew Co. (LaGrange, Georgia) has officially announced that it will kick off its new Smoothie Supernova Series with the Taproom Exclusive Release of Smoothie Supernova – Raspberry Lemonade on Friday, June 26.

Releasing as “Wild Leap’s first-ever taproom only release and brew designed to taste like a beer smoothie,” Smoothie Supernova – Raspberry Lemonade is a Smoothie-style Ale blended with “vast amounts” of lemon and raspberry purée. Coming in at 5.5% ABV, the “tart and sweet” Smoothie Supernova – Raspberry Lemonade has a “consistency [that is] thick and creamy, but sippable, so no straw is necessary.”

“Brewing a beer with huge fruit additions is something we’ve always wanted to do,” says Chris Elliott, Wild Leap’s Chief Brewing Officer. “Our recent expansion allowed us the capability to offer these unique beers as a to-go options. We now have larger tanks and the ability to run the beer through our can line.

“Because of the large additions of fruit added after fermentation, we’re strongly recommending that the beers are kept at refrigeration temperatures at all times and consumed within 14 days of the packaging date on the bottom of the can,” explains Elliott.

Smoothie Supernova – Raspberry Lemonade is releasing exclusively in Wild Leap’s taproom on June 26 and online ordering is available now so that you can easily arrange curbside pickup. This Limited Release offering will be available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft for as long as supplies last. Due to the amount of fruit added after fermentation and the beer’s limited shelf life, Smoothie Supernova – Raspberry Lemonade will not see distribution. Prost!

Vital Information for Smoothie Supernova – Raspberry Lemonade from Wild Leap Brew Co.

Release – Limited/Smoothie Supernova Series; June 26, 2020
Style – Fruit Beer/Smoothie-style Ale
ABV – 5.5%
Featured Ingredients – Lemon & raspberry purée
Fun Fact – “Smoothie Supernova is a series of small batch beers blended with vast amounts of fruit purée to create rich, smoothie-like textures and flavors. Because of its unique properties and brewing process, Wild Leap’s Smoothie Supernova is stylistically in a class of its own.”
Warning – “Contains ingredients which can re-ferment and increase package pressure when warm. Always store cold and drink within 14 days of package date.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft

Curbside Pre-Order – https://app.upserve.com/s/wild-leap-taproom-lagrange
Distribution – None. Taproom-only release

Stone Brewing Signals for Limited Return of Farking Wheaton w00tstout

Stone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of its 2020 batch of Drew Curtis / Wil Wheaton / Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout on Friday, June 26.

A comic-book-inspired fan-favorite that was first brewed in 2013 as a collaboration between Drew Curtis of FARK.com“nerd royalty” Wil Wheaton and Stone Brewing co-founder Greg Koch, Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout is a “massive” Imperial Stout brewed with pecans, wheat, and flaked rye and “one quarter aged in Bourbon barrels.” Weighing in at a mighty 11.5% ABV, Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout is “a whopping, intense, superhero of a beer with profound complexity that makes it ideal for cellaring… if you can wait that long.”

Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout will hit Stone Brewing locations on June 26 and distribution will begin shortly after the on-site release. You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer-focused establishments in California only. Prost!

Vital Information for Drew Curtis / Wil Wheaton / Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton w00tstout from Stone Brewing

Release – Limited; June 26, 2020
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 11.5%
IBUs – 45
Featured Ingredients – Pecans, wheat & flaked rye
Treatment – 1/4 aged in Bourbon barrels
Fun Fact – On the label artwork: “This year’s ridiculously badass artwork originates from the hand and mind of Kevin Nowlan, who comes to us on behalf of Hero Initiative. Kevin has previously lent his talents to Doctor Strange and Batman comics while also contributing character design for Batman: The Animated Series. His label art depicts our iconic Gargoyle keeping a watchful eye, protecting us – and you! – from the evil spirits of bad beer.”
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft

Distribution – California only
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready