Tasting Notes: Más Agave Grapefruit from Founders Brewing Co.

For this installment of Tasting Notes, we settle into the holiday weekend by getting into a pour of Más Agave Grapefruit from Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Introduced back in May as the first variant of the brewery’s wildly popular margarita-inspired Más Agave, Más Agave Grapefruit is also an Imperial Gose “brewed with agave and sea salt before being aged in tequila barrels.” It then sets itself apart from its predecessor once it is removed from the barrels by dropping the lime addition and getting “a dose of fresh grapefruit juice to ramp up the tanginess and to pay homage to [Founders Brewing Co.’s] other favorite tequila-based cocktail, the Paloma.” Coming in at around 10% ABV, Más Agave Grapefruit is “sweet, salty, and mouth-puckeringly delicious.”

Más Agave Grapefruit is available now and will stick around through the end of July 2020.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering 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.  

Now that we all know how a Paloma-inspired beer is made and how to get it, let’s pop the top on a bottle of Más Agave Grapefruit and combine beer and cocktail hour over some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Más Agave Grapefruit from Founders Brewing Co.

Appearance: A steady pour from a 12 oz. bottle fills the branded snifter with a beer that is a rich copper in color and topped with just under a finger of loose, slightly off-white foam. When held to direct light, bright orange tones push through to add some brilliance and shine to that copper. The beer is dark but clear, and a vibrant carbonation presence sparkles within. Head retention is minimal, receding quickly to the thinnest of rings that occasionally leaves some spotty lacing.

Aroma: Citrus bursts from the glass and greets the nose with sharp notes of grapefruit zest and juice alongside just a twist of lime. Agave then rolls in to consumes the profile with a wave of tropical sweetness. This note opens further to expose a light tequila note that is more sweet than earthy.

Taste: Things shift around a bit here as a bright, slightly bitter presence of grapefruit zest, juice and pith collides and marries with the sweet agave to strike a beautiful and enticing balance of flavors. The slightly sour Gose base and its wonderful level of salt combines with the pleasant tequila notes to fully capture the cocktail experience and absolutely nail the characteristics of a Paloma.

Mouthfeel: Leaning toward the medium side of full-bodied with a high carbonation, this Imperial Gose drinks lighter than expected and has a refreshing effervescence. Moderately sour and complemented with a nice mix of sweetness and bitterness, this offering is incredibly playful and zesty on the palate. The 9.7% ABV makes itself know with a gently building warmth in the throat, but it never gets out of control. The aftertaste is all grapefruit drizzled with just a bit of agave nectar.

Final Thoughts: Just like the original Más Agave, Más Agave Grapefruit is a massive Imperial Gose that tastes exactly like the intended cocktail it was modeled after while still somehow retaining a dangerously high level of drinkability uncommon for a beer of this ABV. The aromatics and flavors are spot on for a Paloma (besides a touch of added maltiness), but it gives you that full cocktail experience with the convenience of just popping open a bottle or pulling a tap. This level of convenience and its approachable/recognizable flavor makes Más Agave Grapefruit a great option to stock the cooler/beer fridge with this summer because it will easily appeal to non-beer-drinking cocktail fans, seasoned craft beer lovers and everyone in-between. Make sure you give it a try before its limited run comes to an end. Prost!

Cascade Brewing Captures Patio Paradise in a Can

Cascade Brewing (Portland, Oregon) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Patio Paradise in early July 2020.

Releasing just in time for 4th of July weekend, Patio Paradise is a Sour Wheat Ale “aged in oak barrels for up to 10 months then infused with hand-zested grapefruit peel, locally sourced fresh basil, ground coriander and Oregon coast sea salt.” Coming in at 5.5% ABV, Patio Paradise is built for ultimate summertime refreshment.

Patio Paradise is available now at Cascade’s two Portland pubs – Cascade Brewing Barrel House (click here to pre-order for local delivery or pickup at the Barrel House) and Lodge at Cascade Brewing (pickup only at the Lodge) – and distribution will begin in the coming days. You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans & on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Oregon and throughout the rest of Cascade Brewing’s distribution area. Prost!

Vital Information for Patio Paradise from Cascade Brewing

Release – Limited; July 2, 2020
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 5.5%
Treatment – Aged in oak barrels for up to 10 months then infused with hand-zested grapefruit peel, locally sourced fresh basil, ground coriander & Oregon coast sea salt
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft

Schlafly Beer Releases Summer-Themed Patio Pack

Schlafly Beer (St. Louis, Missouri) has officially announced that it will begin the Seasonal Release of its Patio Pack, a Variety 12-Pack filled with summertime refreshment, in late June/early July 2020.

Put together to ensure that everyone on your porch or patio has a beer to enjoy this summer, the Patio Pack is a Mixed 12-pack of 12 oz. bottles that includes the following four approachable and easy-drinking brews (descriptions sourced directly from the brewery’s press release):

  • Dry Hopped APA – A hoppy ale with bitterness and prominent aromas of citrus and fruit. Dry-hopped to perfection, this American Pale Ale is a great pair for al fresco dining. ABV – 6%
  • Raspberry Hefeweizen – A true fruit beer fermented with real raspberries for a flavor that’s tart, low in bitterness and full of citrus aromas. ABV – 4.1%
  • Pale Ale – As Schlafly’s flagship beer, this English-style beer is a mild session ale with a refined balance of hops and malt. An approachable classic, especially for summertime sipping. ABV – 4.4%
  • American Lager – The smooth, crisp flavors puts this lager on the lighter side of craft beer. American Lager is a beer that appeals to the masses with a craft brewer’s care and attention to detail. A crushable choice for all beer drinkers. ABV – 5%

“During warmer seasons, beer drinkers gravitate towards lighter, sessionable beers. The Patio Pack gives us the opportunity to showcase that we brew a number of lower ABV beers across a variety of styles. The Patio Pack is a summer staple that our customers look forward to, and we try to keep it interesting by offering different selections every year,” explains Schlafly’s Founding Brewer Stephen Hale.

The Patio Pack is rolling out now and will be hanging around through the summer months of 2020. You can expect to find this Mixed 12-Pack of 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer-focused retailers located in Missouri, Tennessee and throughout the rest of Schlafly’s distribution footprint. Prost!

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!

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