Founders Brewing Co. Introduces Civilized Brut IPA as Newest Seasonal Offering

civilized_brut_graphic_portraitFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced that it will roll out Civilized Brut IPA in November 2019 so that it may serve as the first Seasonal Release on the brewery’s 2020 Brand Calendar.

Developed to appeal to the “more sophisticated IPA drinker,” Civilized Brut is a Brut-style India Pale Ale that possesses “a clean and restrained bitterness” alongside a “malt sweetness [that allows] the hop notes to tantalize your senses in a bold yet never-overpowering way.” Coming in at a refreshing 6% ABV, the “unconventionally sophisticated” Civilized Brut is “brilliantly bubbly, refreshingly crisp and stunningly clear, similar to a fine Brut Champagne.”

“Nothing says refreshment like a dry, sparkling, hop-forward IPA,” said Brewmaster, Jeremy Kosmicki. “Civilized Brut has just the right amount of bitterness and hop flavor to not overwhelm the clean and dry finish of this beer, while the high effervescence makes it feel like a party in every sip.”


“As the majority of brewers are introducing hazy, New England Style IPAs in the market, we have decided to take another road,” said President Dave Engbers. “Civilized Brut is a crystal-clear IPA that’s bursting with effervescence and elegant aromatics. Perfect for champagne and IPA aficionados alike.”

Civilized Brut will hit Founders Brewing Co.’s Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms on October 30 and is scheduled to enter distribution in November 2019.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 15-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’ s nationwide distribution network.  Prost!

Vital Information for Civilized Brut IPA from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Seasonal; November 2019 – March 2020
Style – Brut India Pale Ale
ABV – 6%
IBUs – 45
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 15-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder –



Straight to Ale Adds Third Rock Maibock to Lineup of Limited Releases

STA3rdRockStraight to Ale (Huntsville, Alabama) has officially announced that it will introduce Third Rock Maibock on October 16 as the brewery’s newest Limited Release offering.

Developed to help craft beer drinkers settle comfortably into the cooler days of autumn, Third Rock Maibock is a traditional German-style Pale Bock that is “malty with a mild bitterness and a creamy white head.”  Coming in at 8% ABV, the medium-bodied Third Rock Maibock features a “light, crisp hop finish that feels like fall in your glass!”

Third Rock Maibock will debut in the Taproom at Straight to Ale on Wednesday, October 16 and is scheduled to enter distribution shortly after the on-site release.  You can expect to find this new Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida and throughout the rest of the brewery’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Third Rock Maibock from Straight to Ale

Release – Limited; October – December 2019
Style – Maibock/Pale Bock
ABV – 8%
IBUs – 8
Suggested Food Pairings – “General: Korean barbecue | From Ale’s Kitchen: Kimche Pork Tacos”
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee & Louisiana

Second Self Beer Co. Launches New Contender Hazy IPA Series

SSB_NewContenderSecond Self Beer Company (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that it will introduce New Contender, a new series of Hazy IPAs, on October 12 with the Limited Release of El Dorado vs. Mosaic.  

Inspired by Second Self’s appreciation for classic fighting video games, New Contender is “a creative spin on the hazy IPA by using a new two-hop blend each time it’s brewed, resulting in original flavor combinations with each release.”  Each “round” will have two hops “‘battle it out’ to see which remains for the next release.”  The winner of each release will be chosen by the Second Self team and the “vanquished hop” will be replaced by a “New Contender” for the next release in the series.

New Contender – El Dorado vs. Mosaic, the inaugural release in the series, is a Hazy India Pale Ale that pits the “tropical fruit flavors” of El Dorado hops against Mosaic’s “flavors of mango, pine, citrus and herbs and aromas of tropical and stone fruit.”**

** Hop descriptions sourced from Hopslist **

“We love the creativity of our team, and when Head Brewer Austin Brumley came to me with this idea, I knew we had to run with it,” says Second Self Co-Founder and Beer Architect, Jason Santamaria. “We’re excited to experiment with different hops in ways we have not before. I can’t wait to see how the beer community responds to it.”

New Contender – El Dorado vs. Mosaic will debut at Second Self’s Five Year Anniversary Party at their Westside Taproom (1317 Logan Circle NW | Atlanta, Georgia) on October 12.  Future New Contender releases will be available for purchase in 16 oz. cans at Second Self and at select craft beer-friendly establishments located within the brewery’s distribution footprint in Georgia and South Carolina. Prost!

Vital Information for New Contender- El Dorado vs. Mosaic from Second Self Beer Company

Release – Limited/New Contender Series; October 12, 2019
Style – Hazy India Pale Ale
ABV – 6.5%
IBUs – ???
Featured Hops – El Dorado & Mosaic
Fun Fact – “Keith Rein, design specialist at Salt and Paper House in Athens, Georgia, created the cheeky artwork in addition to a running list of other labels he has made for Second Self, such as the more recent releases of their cocktail-inspired series and Golden Blonde.”


Wild Leap Brew Co. Releases Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 Double IPA

wl_individpage_alpha9_can.pngWild Leap Brew Co. (LaGrange, Georgia) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9, a double dry-hopped Double IPA, in mid-October 2019.

Here to “[follow] in the juicy footsteps of its predecessors” in Wild Leap’s experimental Double IPA series, Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 is a Hazy Double India Pale Ale that has been double dry-hopped with Michigan Chinook hops, a Midwest varietal of the Chinook hop that is typically grown on the West Coast.  These hops have a “new, distinct taste” that lends this beer “the sweetness of pineapple . . . paired with a tart grapefruit bite.”  Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 clocks in at 8% ABV and 46 IBUs.

“The Chinook hop traditionally brings a piney, dank flavor that is about 70% pine and 30% pineapple,” explains Chris Elliott, Wild Leap Head Brewer. “With Michigan Chinook, we are finding that those flavors have almost flipped, and we are getting a much sweeter result with a strong pineapple essence.”


“When brewing new volumes in the Alpha series, we are always seeking the new and unknown,” shares Elliott. “When we first learned of these varieties being grown on small farms, it was the perfect fit for Volume 9.”

Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 is set to debut during the week of October 14 and will hang around as long as supplies last.  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 Wild Leap’s distribution footprint in Georgia. Prost!

Vital Information for Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 9 from Wild Leap Brew Co.

Release – Limited/Alpha Abstraction Series; mid-October 2019
Style – Hazy/Juicy Double India Pale Ale
ABV – 8%
IBUs – 46
Featured Hops – Michigan Chinook
Fun Fact – “The Alpha Abstraction Double IPA series was created as an opportunity to explore the plethora of hop varieties and to experiment with flavor profiles they create. Volume 9 continues with this trend by introducing Michigan Chinook hops to the brewing process.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder –

Funky Buddha Brewery Set for Return of Morning Wood

morningwood2019Funky Buddha Brewery (Oakland Park, Florida) has officially announced that Morning Wood, a breakfast-themed, barrel-aged Imperial Porter, will reappear for a limited time beginning on Saturday, October 12.

Created to prove that there is nothing “better than beer for breakfast,” Morning Wood is an imperialized version of Funky Buddha’s fan-favorite Maple Bacon Coffee Porter that has spent some time aging in High West Whiskey barrels. This treatment lends a “smoothness to [this Imperial Porter’s] smokey, salty, rich combo of maple syrup, fresh roasted coffee, and bacon-like flavor.”  Coming in at an eye-opening 11.2% ABV, Morning Wood is “a true breakfast of champs.”

Morning Wood will officially release in the Tap Room at Funky Buddha Brewery on October 12 and is scheduled to enter distribution shortly after the on-site release.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Florida and throughout the rest of the brewery’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Morning Wood from Funky Buddha Brewery

Release – Limited/The Living Barrel Series; October 12, 2019
Style –  Imperial Porter
ABV – 11.2%
IBUs – 25
Treatment – Aged “for months” in High West Whiskey barrels
Suggested Food Pairings – “Maple syrup-drenched pancakes, bacon and egg sandwich, molten chocolate cake, braised short ribs, steak and eggs, mofongo, chicharron”
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
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Perrin Brewing Company Entices Fans with S’more Stout

SmoreStout_Mock-copy-1200x2048Perrin Brewing Company (Comstock Park, Michigan) has officially announced that it will begin distribution of S’more Stout, the newest offering to come out of the brewery’s Side Hustle Series, in October 2019.

Crafted to be a “7% ABV twist on your favorite fireside treat,” S’more Stout is a Milk Stout “loaded with flavors of marshmallow, graham cracker and chocolate.” With lactose supplying a “rich, creamy mouthfeel,” S’more Stout is a “toasty, desserty stout” that will certainly have you “asking for S’more!”

S’more Stout is available now at the Perrin Pub and is scheduled to enter distribution in early October 2019. You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Michigan only. Prost!

Vital Information for S’more Stout from Perrin Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Side Hustle Series; late September/early October 2019
Style – Milk Stout
ABV – 7%
Fun Fact – On the Side Hustle Series: “Perrin will release a new Side Hustle Series beer every other month for statewide distribution. The series allows Perrin’s brewers to creatively explore new ingredients and techniques, and provide Michigan’s craft beer lovers with innovative new flavors.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Michigan only
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Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz from Rogue Spirits

RogueCucumberPour2For this special edition of Tastings Notes, we get acquainted with the new line of Sparkling Craft Cocktails from Rogue Spirits (Newport, Oregon) by getting into a can of Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz.

Crafted to “embody the spirit of the DIY ethos of mixology”, Rogue’s new selection of gluten-free Sparkling Craft Cocktails are made “with award-winning Rogue Spirits and 100% natural ingredients.”  Coming in at just 7.5% ABV, each Sparkling Craft Cocktail “delivers a sophisticated, yet refreshing experience with bona fide craft cocktail credentials.”

This new line launched back in August with the following three offerings (descriptions sourced directly from Rogue’s press release):

  • Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz – Inspired by cucumbers grown on Rogue Farms, Rogue Spirits Gin forms the base of this cocktail while the cucumber and lime provide a farm-fresh citrus balance.  ABV – 7.5%
  • Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda – Inspired by the cranberries that grow on the Oregon coast, Rogue Spirits Bayfront Vodka forms the base of this cocktail while the cranberry, elderflower and lime add a refreshing tartness.  ABV – 7.5%
  • Ginger Lime Vodka Mule – Inspired by a favorite at the Rogue Pub in Newport, Oregon, Rogue Spirits Bayfront Vodka forms the base of this cocktail while ginger and lime provide a refreshing balance of citrus and spice.  ABV – 7.5%

All three Sparkling Craft Cocktails listed above are currently available in 4-packs of 12 oz. slim cans at select retailers located in Florida, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Michigan only.  Nationwide availability is scheduled to begin in January 2020.

With all of that background information now out of the way, what do you say we crack open a cold one . . . er, cocktail and get into these Tasting Notes?

Tasting Notes for Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz from Rogue Spirits

Appearance: Poured over ice into a highball glass, this Sparkling Craft Cocktail is a foggy, icy white in color and builds a 1/2 finger of spritzy bubbles that dissipates almost immediately.  Despite its cloudy appearance, you can still see a steady carbonation presence bubbling away within. It basically looks like a mix between a cocktail made with soda or tonic and a hard seltzer.

Aroma:  The aromatics are pretty subtle overall, but you can immediately pick up on an incredibly clean note of fresh cucumber.  Juniper and a mix of nondescript botanicals then surface to hint at the presence of gin.  The profile closes with the soft minerality of quality sparkling water.

Taste: That gin note blooms a bit more here to offer soft tones of juniper, citrus peel, coriander, and various other botanicals, This sets the stage nicely for a refreshing note that can only be described as slices of cucumber dressed with fresh squeezed lime.  Everything wraps up in the finish with a wash of sparkling water.  All of these notes may be light, but they still somehow remain distinct and absolutely present.

Mouthfeel:  Light in body with a bright carbonation presence, this Sparkling Craft Cocktail is wonderfully easy drinking.  None of the flavors are aggressive or dominating on the palate. Everything is just nice and balanced against a backdrop of very clean sparkling water.  The 7.5% ABV is nearly undetectable, further adding to this offering’s high level of refreshment and drinkability.  The aftertaste is just a soft whisper of fresh cucumber.

Final Thoughts:  Just like its appearance, the overall experience provided by Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz falls somewhere between a hand-crafted cocktail and one of those hard seltzers that are so popular right now (yes, we have dabbled in the dark art that is hard seltzer).  With that said, this Sparkling Craft Cocktail quickly sets itself apart from those often-artificial tasting hard seltzers by showcasing nothing but good ole natural ingredients.  The cucumber and lime notes combine with the gentle gin character to create a genuine cocktail experience that reads similarly to a bit of Hendrick’s Gin topped off with a heavy pour of high-end sparkling water.

All in all, Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz has quite a bit going for it:

  • It is filled with fresh and natural flavors and aromas
  • It is ridiculously easy drinking
  • It is wildly refreshing
  • AND it conveniently scratches that cocktail itch with just a pull of the tab on a can

It is a truly unique and delicious offering, and – if you are at all a fan of cucumber and/or gin – we highly recommend that you give it a try whenever Rogue Spirits’ Sparkling Craft Cocktails hit your area.  Prost!

Schlafly Beer Adds Old Fashioned Ale to Lineup of Saint Louis Crafted Cocktails

SchlaflylogoSchlafly Beer (St. Louis, Missouri) has officially announced that Old Fashioned Ale, the final release of 2019 in the brewery’s new line of Saint Louis Crafted Cocktails, will debut in October.

Developed to be “an approachable take on the grandfather of cocktails,” Old Fashioned Ale is an American Strong Ale brewed with blood orange juice and aged on bourbon barrel chips.  Coming in at 8% ABV and 30 IBUs, Old Fashioned Ale “[serves] up effervescence with notes of citrus, bitters, and smoke with a rich golden hue.”

“You taste every element of an Old Fashioned, combined with every component that is expected from a full-bodied Ale. This contemporary twist on a long-time bar favorite is the best of both worlds, especially as we transition into fall and the colder months ahead.”


– Stephen Hale, Founding Brewer at Schlafly Beer

Old Fashioned Ale is hitting the market now with availability in 4-packs of 330ml apothecary-style bottles.  You can expect to find this new cocktail-inspired brew at select craft beer-friendly establishments located “throughout the Midwest, in St. Louis, Missouri as well as surrounding states.” Prost!

Vital Information for Old Fashioned Ale from Schlafly Beer

Release – Limited/Saint Louis Crafted Cocktails Series; October 2019
Style – American Strong Ale
ABV – 8%
IBUs – 30
Added Ingredients – Blood orange juice
Treatment – Aged on bourbon barrel chips
Fun Fact – “Old Fashioned Ale is the final release from Saint Louis Crafted Cocktails in 2019. With its simple text and packaging, the line of Saint Louis Crafted Cocktails evokes the spirit of craft cocktails – an air of mystery and intrigue for what’s inside. The unique apothecary-style bottle exemplifies an experimental brew: a cocktail that’s not a beer, and a beer that’s not a cocktail. For more information, follow on Instagram at @stlcraftedcocktails.”
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Firestone Walker Unveils Molé Merkin Barrel-aged Milk Stout

FirestoneWalkerLogoBlackFirestone Walker Brewing Company (Paso Robles, California) has officially announced that Molé Merkin, the fourth out of five Proprietor’s Vintage releases slated for 2019, is available now for a limited time.

Inspired heavily by “family recipes inherited from [Barrel Program Manager Eric Ponce’s] grandmothers,” Molé Merkin is a Milk Stout aged in “bourbon barrels with additions of Puya chile peppers, cocoa nibs and cinnamon to capture the essence of the traditional Mexican sauce known as molé.” This treatment gives the beer “a hint of sweet spice” from the added cinnamon, “while the cocoa nibs bring luscious balance to the medium lingering heat of the peppers.”  Clocking in at 7.8% ABV, Molé Merkin “is a smooth, chocolaty stout with its own distinctive kick.”

“Fall is a perfect time of year to enjoy Molé Merkin. It offers these warming spices that really go with the cooling weather and vibes of autumn.


This beer has a lot of personal meaning behind it. Every time I taste it, it brings back childhood memories of family dinners and gatherings, where molé dishes were a staple. It’s that sense of joy and flavor that I wanted to convey with Molé Merkin.”


– Eric Ponce, Barrel Program Manager at Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Molé Merkin is rolling out now and will be available only as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in individually boxed 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in North Carolina, Texas, California and throughout the rest of Firestone Walker’s distribution network. Prost!

Vital Information for Molé Merkin from Firestone Walker Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Proprietor’s Vintage; late September/early October 2019
Style – Milk Stout
ABV – 7.8%
Treatment – Aged in bourbon barrels with additions of Puya chile peppers, cocoa nibs & cinnamon
Fun Fact – “Ponce chose Velvet Merkin as the base beer because it was the perfect foil for the style he envisioned: ‘As a milk stout, it has this creaminess that evokes the creamy texture of molé. It also has chocolate notes that play really well with the cocoa nibs and cinnamon.'”
Availability – Individually boxed 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder –


Avery Brewing Co. Brings Mephistopheles Back from the Dead

desktop_1454460353_Bottle_mephistopholesAvery Brewing Co. (Boulder, Colorado) has officially announced that Mephistopheles Stout will rise once again to make a limited time appearance in October 2019.

Resurrected by Avery Brewing so that he may resume “his evil duties on earth,” Mephistopheles – also known as “the crafty shapeshifter, the second fallen angel; he who does not love light” – is a “midnight black” Imperial Stout “dominated by roasted and black malts” laced with “notes of anise with an espresso finish.” Coming in at a menacing 14.5% ABV, Mephistopheles hopes to lure you “into his darkness, a tangled and intricate labyrinth of bittersweet rapture.”

Mephistopheles is set to return on October 3 and is scheduled to hang around through December 2019.  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 of Avery Brewing Co.’s distribution territory.  Prost!

Vital Information for Mephistopheles from Avery Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/The Demons of Ale Series; October – December 2019
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 14.5%
Malts – Special B, 2-Row, Roasted Barley, Black & Aromatic
Hops – Sterling & Bravo
Yeast – Westmalle Belgian Ale
Availability – 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder –