Catawba Brewing Co. Introduces El Gato Mariachi as Newest Seasonal Release

CVB-ElGato12ozFRONTCatawba Brewing Co. (Morganton, North Carolina) has officially announced that it will begin the Seasonal Release of El Gato Mariachi Horchata White Ale on February 21.

Created as an “homage to the famous drink of taquerias across Latin America – and envisioned as the perfect beer pairing for tacos,” El Gato Mariachi is an horchata-inspired White Ale that “incorporates all the traditional Horchata ingredients into a wheat ale base – along with a healthy dose of milk sugar.” To make things extra authentic, rice was added to the malt bill to “[lighten] the body for excellent drinkability, without sacrificing its creamy mouthfeel.”  Clocking in at 5.3% ABV, El Gato Mariachi features “an enticing aroma of freshly baked cinnamon rolls . . . and finishes with just the right blend of vanilla sweetness and a touch of cinnamon spice.”

El Gato Mariachi will debut at Catawba Brewing Co. locations on Friday, February 21 and is scheduled to enter distribution shortly after the on-site release.  You can expect to find this Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, North Carolina and throughout the rest of the brewery’s five state distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for El Gato Mariachi from Catawba Brewing Co.

Release – Seasonal; launching February 21, 2020
Style – White Ale
ABV – 5.3%
IBUs – 15
Malts – 2 Row Pale & Malted Wheat
Hops – Summit
Added Ingredients – Flaked Oats, Flaked Rice, Vanilla, Lactose & Cinnamon
Fun Fact – “It also happens that Taco is the name of a cat belonging to Catawba Sales Manager, Ashley. So, when it came time to name the beer and its mascot, the idea of a ‘taco beer’ and Taco the Cat naturally aligned. That’s him up there with the piercing green eyes, dressed in his finest charro suit.” 
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia
Beer Finder –


Orpheus Brewing Adds Elusory IPA to its Year-Round Portfolio

orpheuslogoOrpheus Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that it will introduce Elusory IPA as its newest Year-Round offering in March 2020.

Elusory IPA is double dry-hopped Hazy/Juicy India Pale Ale “loaded with juicy Mosaic hops and supported by citrusy, soft Azacca with a bold combination of Columbus and Comet.”  Coming in at 6.7% ABV, Elusory promises to be “a soft, pillowy IPA with layers of orange, melon, stone fruit, and dankness.”

Elusory IPA is scheduled to debut on March 1, 2020.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round offering available in 16 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located within Orpheus Brewing’s distribution footprint in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.  Prost!

Vital information for Elusory IPA from Orpheus Brewing

Release – Year-Round; launching March 1, 2020
Style – Hazy/Juicy India Pale Ale
ABV – 6.7%
Hops – Mosaic, Azacca, Columbus & Comet
Availability – 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Alabama, Florida, Georgia & Tennessee 



Tastings Notes – The Classics: Hacker-Pschorr Weissbier

HackerPschorrPourx800For this installment of Tasting Notes, we turn a spotlight on the long-standing classic that is Weissbier from Hacker-Pschorr (Munich, Germany).

With “more than 600 years of world class brewing experience” behind it, Weissbier is a German-style Hefeweizen that is “naturally cloudy, full-flavored and uniquely refreshing.”  Coming in at 5.5% ABV, Weissbier “[caters] to consumers who know beer and appreciate the historic brand’s unique and complex flavor.”

Hacker-Pschorr Weissbier is available Year-Round in newly introduced 4-packs of 16.9 oz. cans and on draft.  You can expect to find this classic offering at fine beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida and throughout the rest of the U.S.

Now we have gone over a bit of the background information concerning this beer, what do you say we enjoy a tall pour of German brewing tradition over some Tasting Notes?

Tasting Notes for Weissbier from Hacker-Pschorr

Appearance: A slow, careful pour from a 16.9 oz. can produces an absolutely gorgeous Hefeweizen that is golden orange in color and capped with almost four fingers of dense and creamy bright white foam.  When held to direct light, the deep golden hues gain vibrancy and the oranges radiate with intensity.  The beer has that trademark Hefeweizen cloudiness, but a steady carbonation activity can still be observed coursing within.  Head retention is fantastic, eventually falling to a lasting finger that dutifully notches the glass with a line of lace after each sip.

Aroma: The malts casually push through first to establish a solid bready presence (think really good, hearty wheat bread that is still warm). This sets the stage for the yeast to take over with big notes of banana and clove.  The hops then interject with some floral tones and a touch of black pepper before the profile closes with a bit of bubblegum.

Taste:  The yeast character is just heavenly, providing generous amounts of banana, clove and bubble gum.  The wheat then neatly weaves its way into the yeast notes, creating a complementary bready quality that translates as freshly baked banana bread.  The hops then surface to round everything off with a bit of citrus, black pepper and tangy floral notes.

Mouthfeel:  On the light side of medium in body with a medium to high carbonation level, this Hefeweizen is ridiculously smooth, easy drinking and thirst quenching.  Lightly sweet on the palate, the overall experience is nicely balanced as the yeast and hop notes even things out.  The 5.5% ABV is not at all detectable, further adding to the beer’s high level of drinkability.  The aftertaste is just a bit of clove, citrus and bubblegum.

Final Thoughts:  After just a few sips, it becomes quite clear – not that it was ever in doubt – that Hacker-Pschorr Weissbier possesses all the characteristics you expect from a well-composed Hefeweizen.  Where it sets itself apart from the long list of iconic German-made Hefeweizens is in the area of overall drinkability.  With its lighter body, higher carbonation level, reasonable ABV and refreshing flavors, Weissbier is downright crushable and a perfect option if you want to break up your routine when it comes to daily drinking options, lawnmower beers, etc.

Once we combine all of the above with the fact that Hacker-Pschorr Weissbier is newly available in these handy 16.9 oz. cans, we can easily declare that now is the perfect time to revisit this classic.  Just grab a few 4-packs, load up the cooler or fridge, and enjoy this traditional German goodness while watching the game, grilling out with friends, at the beach, after a hike, etc. After you crush that first can and reach for the second (and watch your buddies do the same), you will make sure that Hacker-Pschorr Weissbier – and other Hefeweizens like it – will have a place next to those IPAs and Pilsners the next time you entertain or hit the outdoors.  Prost!

Second Self Beer Co. Launches Pastry Stout Series with Release of Dad Made Breakfast Stout

SecondSelfLogoSecond Self Beer Company (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Dad Made Breakfast, a Pastry Stout with Oats and Coffee, in mid-February 2020.

Arriving as the first release in a three-part Pastry Stout Series that will introduce new flavors and brewing techniques, Dad Made Breakfast is a “high gravity, non-adjunct” American Stout brewed with oats, coffee and roasted malts, Specifically developed to be a vegan product, Dad Made Breakfast (9% ABV) cleverly mimics the Pastry Stout experience while “containing zero lactose, artificial ingredients or sweeteners.”

“At Second Self, it’s a constant goal of ours to release new offerings that appeal to a wider audience. For that reason, we’re excited to be releasing a vegan stout with Dad Made Breakfast.” says Second Self Co-Founder and Beer Architect, Jason Santamaria. “For the two beers following in the series, we’ll be experimenting with new flavor introductions and brewing techniques.”

Second Self’s Pastry Stout Series will continue later this year with the Limited Releases of Stepdad Made Breakfast – a Breakfast Stout with Maple Syrup and Blueberries – and Grandad Made Breakfast – a Bourbon Barrel-aged version of Stepdad Made Breakfast.

Dad Made Breakfast is rolling out now and will hang around only as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 16 oz. cans and on draft at Second Self’s Westside Tasting Room (1317 Logan Circle NW | Atlanta, Georgia) and at select craft beer-focused establishments located within the brewery’s distribution footprint in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.  Prost!

Vital Information for Dad Made Breakfast from Second Self Beer Company

Release – Limited/Pastry Stout Series; mid-February 2020
Style – American Stout
ABV – 9%
Featured Ingredients – Oats, coffee & roasted malts
Fun Fact – “Keith Rein, design specialist at Salt and Paper House in Athens, Georgia, created the artwork [for Dad Made Breakfast] in addition to a number of other labels he has made for Second Self. The labels will evolve with each [Pastry Stout Series] release.”
Suggested Food Pairings – “Roasted spare ribs, bacon, cheddar cheese, broccoli rabe and vanilla ice cream”
Availability – 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Alabama, Georgia & South Carolina


Cascade Brewing Puckers Up for Valentine’s Day, Releases Pear Mary & Kentucky Peach 2019 Sour Ales

cascadelogoCascade Brewing (Portland, Oregon) has officially announced that it will treat sour beer lovers to two Limited Releases – Pear Mary and Kentucky Peach 2019 – on Valentine’s Day 2020.

Making its debut as an all new Sour Ale project from Cascade Brewing, Pear Mary is a “blend of sour blond ales aged in oak wine barrels then naturally fermented with juice from Northwest-grown pears and infused with fresh rosemary.”  After a slumber of up to 18 months, Pear Mary (7.1% ABV) emerges from the barrels to offer “notes of fresh pear, pine and ginger with a balanced acidity, soft fruit sweetness and champagne-like effervescence.”

Back to provide fans with a new vintage featuring fruit from 2019, Kentucky Peach 2019 is “a blend of sour wheat and quad ales aged in bourbon and wine barrels for up to 16 months with fresh, Northwest-grown peaches.”  This treatment yields “flavors of ripe peaches and warm bourbon with hints of oak and a light malt sweetness.”

Both Pear Mary and Kentucky Peach 2019 will officially release in Cascade’s two Portland pubs – Cascade Brewing Barrel House and Lodge at Cascade Brewing – on February 14 and will enter distribution shortly after that date.  Pear Mary will be available in 500ml bottles and on draft through Cascade’s regular distribution network while Kentucky Peach 2019 will be available on draft only through limited distribution.  Prost!

Vital Information for Pear Mary 2019 from Cascade Brewing

Release – Limited; February 14, 2020
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 7.1%
Treatment – Blend of sour blond ales aged in oak wine barrels then naturally fermented with juice from Northwest-grown pears & infused with fresh rosemary
Availability – 500ml bottles & draft


Heavy Seas Beer Set for Taproom Release of Bottomless Mimosa Sour

45718056452_40d9331d94_cHeavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) has officially announced that it will begin the Taproom Exclusive Release of Bottomless Mimosa Sour, the brewery’s second release from its 15 Barrel Brewhouse in 2020, on February 21.

Inspired by the “perfect balance” found in everyone’s favorite brunch cocktail, Bottomless is a mimosa-inspired Sour Ale “brewed to be pleasantly dry like champagne, but juicy and tart like orange juice.” Coming in at 7.25% ABV, Bottomless is here to make it so “Sunday brunch will never be the same.”

“Our newest Taproom release is a play on the Mimosa,” says Heavy Seas Brewmaster, Christopher Leonard. “We’ve brewed an extremely dry beer, brut if you will, with the addition of some flaked rice to give it extreme drinkability and a touch of that creamy mouth feel one gets from champagne. We’ve added a solid dose of orange juice and just enough citric acid to provide a tart balance. At 7.25% ABV, it’s what one would expect in a super fun, tasty, brunch-inspired brew.”

Bottomless will debut in the Heavy Seas Taproom on Friday, February 21.  This Taproom Exclusive offering will be available for purchase in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft during the release.  Bottomless will not see distribution. Prost!

Vital Information for Bottomless Mimosa Sour from Heavy Seas Beer

Release – Limited/Taproom Exclusive Series; February 21, 2020
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 7.25%
Fun Fact – “The Bottomless label artwork was designed by local Baltimore artist, Chris Gipple, of Nightshift Creative, who also designed Heavy Seas’ 24 Anniversary beer label this past December. All the taproom exclusive beer labels will be designed by Chris in 2020.”
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – None. Taproom only

Creature Comforts Brewing Co. Schedules Double Bottle Release of Good Migrations & River Ridge Black

creaturecomfortslogo_editedCreature Comforts Brewing Co. (Athens, Georgia) has officially announced that it will begin a Limited Bottle Release for two offerings from its Wood Cellar and Mixed Fermentation program – Good Migrations and River Ridge Black – on Saturday, February 15.

A special collaboration project inspired by Indian Ladder Farms Cidery & Brewery’s farming initiative, Good Migrations (5.9% ABV) is a Saison brewed with barley, hops, blueberries, and raspberries that were “all estate-grown by Indian Ladder in Altamont, New York.”  To round out the recipe and add a “little flavor local to Athens,” the breweries also “used DaySpring Farms wheat, local honey, and Creature Comforts’ house culture to create a lightly fruited and delicious Saison.”

Crafted to highlight “Creature Comforts’ local agriculture initiative,” River Ridge Black is a Dark Ale “aged in French oak for over a year with [the brewery’s] house-mixed culture” and then “conditioned on top of organic black raspberries” sourced from a southeastern farm, River Ridge OrganicsRiver Ridge Black comes in at 8% ABV.

Good Migrations and River Ridge Black will both release in the Tasting Room at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. on February 15.  Good Migrations will be available for purchase on draft and in 750ml bottles while River Ridge Black will be available on draft and in 500ml bottles.  Both of these offerings are brewery-only releases and are not expected to see distribution. Prost!





Founders Brewing Co. Adds Unraveled Juicy IPA to Year-Round Portfolio

Unraveled_IPA_FullWrap_12oz_CanFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced that it will introduce Unraveled IPA, the brewery’s first packaged Juicy IPA, as its newest Year-Round offering in mid-February 2020.

Originally released in 2019 as a part of Founder’s Brewing Co.’s Mothership Series – a lineup of experimental, taproom-only offerings – under the name Mucho Lupo, Unraveled IPA is a Juicy India Pale Ale “dry hopped with traditional hop pellets and lupulin powder, an innovative hop product that separates lupulin from the hop flower.”  With wheat and oats providing “a smooth backdrop to carry all those wonderful hop characteristics,” Unraveled IPA (6.6% ABV, 50 IBUs) is a unique Juicy IPA that pours “beautifully clear.”

“This is one of my favorite IPAs to come out of the brewery in a while,” said Brewmaster, Jeremy Kosmicki. “The hop character is aggressive with its citrus and tropical flavors and aromas while the addition of lupulin powder – rather than relying on over dry-hopping with just pellets – helps keep the grassiness in check. It has great balance and is clean, bright and refreshing.”


“It’s not often we add a beer to our year-round lineup, so when we do it’s definitely reason to celebrate,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “Jeremy wanted to create a juicy IPA that poured clear and he hit the nail on the head with Unraveled IPA. It’s hop aroma and flavor can stand up next to even the juiciest of juicy IPAs, but its clean, crisp finish is unmistakably Founders. Unraveled IPA fits in perfectly alongside Centennial and All Day as yet another fantastic IPA option you can find from Founders.”

Unraveled IPA will debut in Founders Brewing Co.’s Grand Rapids taproom on February 11 and in its Detroit taproom on February 18, and full distribution will follow in mid-February.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of the brewery’s nationwide distribution network.  Prost!

Vital Information for Unraveled IPA from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Year-Round; launching mid-February 2020
Style – Juicy India Pale Ale
ABV – 6.6%
IBUs – 50
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder –


Marker 48 Brewing Kicks Off 2020 Small Batch Beer Passport Program

Marker 48 logo (1)Marker 48 Brewing (Weeki Wachee, Florida) has officially announced that it will begin the 2020 iteration of its popular Small Batch Beer Passport program on Wednesday, February 12.

Established to be a fun way to celebrate innovation, imagination and experimentation at the brewery, Marker 48’s Small Batch Beer Passport is an annual promotion that allows their fans to enjoy 48 weeks of “unique one-off beers” for the chance to win one of three prizes at the end of the year.  Developed by Marker 48’s brewers and select guest brewers, new small-batch beers will release each week (beginning February 12) and the offerings will include “everything from sours to barrel-aged beers, and many styles in between.”

“It’s allowed our brewers to experiment with brewing all while exposing our beer fans to new styles that they may not have otherwise tried,” said Tina Ryman, Marker 48 co-founder and co-owner, and “Happiness Bestower in Charge.”

Anyone visiting the brewery can order and enjoy these small batch brews, but you must purchase a Small Batch Beer Passport to participate in the promotion.  A very limited amount of passport books is available to purchase in Marker 48 Brewing’s taproom.  Each Small Batch Beer Passport costs $100 and includes “one FREE small-batch beer per passport holder per week, while supplies last.”  Passport holders will receive a stamp in their book for each unique small batch beer enjoyed for the chance to win one of these amazing prizes (winners will be notified when the program ends in early 2021):

Grand prize: (One winner with all 48 stamps, over $1,000 value)

  • One passport book for 2020
  • One $100 Marker 48 gift card
  • A two-night stay for two people in a Homosassa vacation rental house. (Dates subject to availability)
  • A half-day inshore fishing in Homosassa for one person with Marker 48 owner Maurice Ryman (Dates subject to availability)
  • The chance to brew a small batch beer with brewers
  • One 64-quart RTIC cooler (or equivalent) wrapped with Marker 48 logo and filled with Marker 48 beer

Second place: (One winner with 25-48 stamps. Over $400 value)

  • One passport book for 2020
  • One $50 Marker 48 gift card
  • One 25-quart Ozark (or equivalent) Marker 48-wrapped cooler filled with beer
  • A Marker 48 flag
  • A Marker 48 tin tacker

Third place: One winner with 10-48 stamps (Over $100 value)

  • One passport book for 2020
  • One $25 Marker 48 gift card
  • Three 4-packs or equivalent of Marker 48 beer
  • A Marker 48 flag
  • A Marker 48 tin tacker

In addition to being entered into the contest, passport holder who collect all 48 stamps will receive “an exclusive Marker 48 Small Batch Beer shirt AND a special 20 oz. glass to be kept in the brewery to receive pours of core beers for the same price as 16 oz. beers.”

Small Batch Beer Passports are available now at Marker 48 Brewing and the first beer of the program will be tapped on February 12.  The fact that you get 48 beers throughout the year for just $100 should be reason enough for you to consider participating in the 2020 Small Batch Beer Program. Throw in the chance to win one of the three great prizes listed above, and then this promotion becomes a cannot miss opportunity for beer lovers living anywhere near Marker 48 Brewing. Just make sure you secure you Small Batch Beer Passport before they sell out.  Prost!


Sixpoint Brewery Goes Big with Limited Release of Atomic-Res New England-style Triple IPA

sixpoint-atomic-res-siteSixpoint Brewery (Brooklyn, New York) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Atomic-Res NE IIIPA in February 2020.

Here to take the “essence of RESIN . . . to its realized extreme,” Atomic-Res is a New England-style Triple India Pale Ale “loaded up with Citra, Galaxy, Mandarina Bavaria, and Idaho 7 Hop Hash.”  It is the added hop hash – “pure lupulin collected during pelletization [that is] preserved, then frozen with liquid nitrogen and shattered into the beer during dry-hopping” – that supplies the desired “chain reaction of hop intensity going off in every sip.”  Coming in at 11.8% ABV, Atomic-Res allows you to “experience pure juice at the ATOMIC level!”

Atomic-Res NE IIIPA is scheduled to launch in February 2020 and will hang around as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this new Limited Release available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, New York and throughout the rest of Sixpoint’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Atomic-Res NE IIIPA from Sixpoint Brewery

Release – Limited; February 2020
Style – New England-style Imperial/Triple India Pale Ale
ABV – 11.8%
Hops – Citra, Galaxy, Mandarina Bavaria & Idaho 7 Hop Hash
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft