Boulevard Brewing Co. Adds Berry Noir Sour Ale to Seasonal Lineup

BoulevardLogo2Boulevard Brewing Co. (Kansas City, Missouri) has officially announced that Berry Noir, a Sour Ale with mixed berries, will make its Seasonal debut in early November 2019.

Developed to be a Sour Ale “that [is] rich in flavor for a winter release,” Berry Noir starts with a base of Boulevard Brewing Co.’s house Berliner Weisse that is then infused with blueberry juice concentrate and blackberry juice concentrate – “dark, sweet berries . . . enjoyed in the colder months.”  Coming in at just 4.2% ABV, Berry Noir possesses “a light, spritzy body [that amplifies] the refreshing qualities of this fruited sour and begs for another sip.”

Berry Noir hit the Greater Kansas City area this week (November 4) and is scheduled to roll out in other regions in the coming days/weeks.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Missouri and throughout the rest of Boulevard Brewing Co.’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Berry Noir from Boulevard Brewing Co.

Release – Seasonal; launching November 4, 2019
Style – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 4.2%
IBUs – 11
Added Ingredients – Blueberry juice concentrate & blackberry juice concentrate
Suggested Food Pairings – “Creamy cheeses, mixed greens & citrus salad, strawberry shortcake, balsamic-glazed pork chops, cheesecake with fresh berries”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.boulevard.com/beer/beer-finder/

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New Realm Brewing Continues Wooded Reserve Series with Release of Golden Pastry Stout

newrealmlogo2New Realm Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that it will hold a Limited Bottle Release for Golden Pastry Stout, the latest release in the brewery’s Wooded Reserve Series, in its Atlanta Taproom on Tuesday, November 5.

Arriving as the second release in New Realm’s Wooded Reserve Barrel Aged Series, Golden Pastry Stout is a White/Golden Stout that has been “aged seven months in Barbados Rum Barrels with coffee & cacao.”  This treatment gives the beer “layers of coffee, rum, vanilla and oak notes with hints of cocoa.” Weighing in at 10.5% ABV, the “complex yet simple” Golden Pastry Stout offers a “subtle sweetness [that accentuates] the coffee and cocoa perfectly.”

Golden Pastry Stout will officially release in New Realm Brewing Company’s Atlanta Taproom (550 Somerset Terrace NE | Unit 101 | Atlanta, Georgia) on November 5, 2019. This special release is limited to only five cases of 500ml bottles (limit of one bottle per person), and your best bet to secure your bottle of Golden Pastry Stout is by reserving in advance through CraftCellr (click here to do so **UPDATE** Pre-order is officially sold out **UPDATE**). These bottles are guaranteed to disappear with a quickness, so be sure to lock yours down ASAP. A limited amount of Golden Pastry Stout will also be available on draft during the release. Prost!

Vital Information for Golden Pastry Stout from New Realm Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Wooded Reserve Barrel Aged Series; November 5, 2019
Style – White Stout
ABV – 10.5%
Added Ingredients – Coffee & cacao
Treatment – Aged for seven months in Barbados Rum Barrels
Availability – 500ml bottles & draft
Distribution – None; Taproom only release
Reserve Online – https://newrealm.craftcellr.com/

Rogue Ales Releases 2019 Edition of Santa’s Private Reserve

Santa's_2019_22oz_BottleRogue Ales (Newport, Oregon) has officially announced that the 2019 vintage of Santa’s Private Reserve Strong Ale will be coming to town in November.

Released each Holiday Season with a new gift added to the recipe each year, the 2019 Santa’s Private Reserve is a Strong Ale uniquely brewed with candy cap mushrooms – “a highly-prized, edible, maple-flavored fungi.” If you happen to be unfamiliar with this magical ingredient, candy cap mushrooms “are one of the only sweet mushroom varieties and are commonly used in breads, cakes and custards.”  Coming in at 8.1% ABV, Santa’s Private Reserve features “a deep maple flavor and aroma,” honey notes from the chosen malts, and “a touch of citrus from Rogue Farms grown Cascade hops.”

“Santa recently paid us a visit at our Newport, Oregon headquarters and brought along freshly foraged candy cap mushrooms,” said Rogue Innovation Brewer Michael King. “We, being curious, decided to try our hand at a mushroom beer. The result: a deliciously sweet, strong ale that is certain to bring the holiday cheer.”

 

“People say that Santa Claus loves milk and cookies, but we heard from Santa himself that after tasting Santa’s Private Reserve, he is actually a bigger fan of beer and cookies,” adds King. “Santa told us that this festive beer hits the spot during his busiest time of year.” 

This year’s batch of Santa’s Private Reserve is rolling out now and will hang around only as long as supplies last. You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Oregon and throughout the rest of Rogue’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Santa’s Private Reserve (2019) from Rogue Ales

Release – Limited; November 2019
Style – Strong Ale
ABV – 8.1% 
IBUs – 20
Malts – 2 Row, Munich, Brumalt, C-40 & DextraPils 
Hops –  Rogue Farms Grown Cascade 
Yeast – Pacman Yeast
Added Ingredients – Belgian Candi Sugar & Candy Cap Mushrooms
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://finder.rogue.com/

Stone Brewing Updates its IPA Mix Pack

StoneLogoStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially announced that it will release its latest IPA Mix Pack – featuring Stone IPA, Stone Ghost Hammer IPA, Stone Tangerine Express IPA and for the first time ever in bottles, Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA – in late October 2019.

Arriving just in time for “your upcoming holiday parties – be they spooky, jolly, turkey-centric or otherwise,” the newest Stone IPA Mix Pack is a variety 12-pack containing three 12 oz. bottles of the following four hop-fueled India Pale Ales (descriptions sourced directly from the brewery’s website):

  • Stone IPA – By definition, an India pale ale is hoppier and higher in alcohol than its little brother, pale ale—and we deliver in spades. One of the most well-respected and best-selling IPAs in the country, this golden beauty explodes with tropical, citrusy, piney hop flavors and aromas, all perfectly balanced by a subtle malt character. This crisp, extra hoppy brew is hugely refreshing on a hot day, but will always deliver no matter when you choose to drink it.  ABV – 6.9%  IBUs – 71
  • Stone Ghost Hammer IPA – A fermenting beer never slumbers. Consequently, there is always scattered activity tending our precious beers throughout the dark hours. In these late nights and wee hours that hallowed responsibility falls to the shoulders of the overnight Brew Crew. These brewing soloists brave the long nights, often alone, to do what needs to be done. Most areas of the brewery are dark or in shadows. Throughout the night the cellars resonate with the occasional knocking of expanding and contracting pipes. It can be a bit spooky to hear the brewery creak and groan as if possessed by a spirit randomly knocking about with a mallet. This IPA, liberally hopped with Loral™, honors our intrepid overnight team by naming it after their mischievous poltergeist companion – the Ghost Hammer.  ABV – 6.9%  IBUs – 56
  • Stone Tangerine Express IPA – This ain’t no just-add-juice approach. This one is for adults. We use bountiful whole tangerine purée, which brings pithy, crisp bitterness to the citrus flavor. In addition to the complexities of the tangerine — the likes of which you can only get by using the whole fruit — we judiciously employ just a hint of whole pineapple for a backnote (you’d likely not even pick it out of the mix if we didn’t tell you it was there). We’re not looking for a sweet concoction to appease the “I want my beer to taste like fruit juice” crowd. This is Stone. We like our IPAs to taste like IPAs. Big, bold and not for kids.  ABV – 6.7%  IBUs – 75
  • Stone ///Fear.Movie.Lions Double IPA – New England-Style IPAs are all the rage. Fans of Stone repeatedly ask for our take on the style, which can be met with some criticism. Rooted in West-Coast style IPAs for decades, how would we do it? Fear no more. Our brewers took the approach to deliver incredibly hoppy and aromatic flavor while keeping it very balanced, and upping the alcohol unnoticeably – nailing this astounding one-of-a-kind creation.
    Overall this unfiltered double IPA is juiced up with massive tropical & citrus notes. The mild bitterness and relatively dry body compliment the style, and the residual maltiness nicely rounds it out. Lingering lime peel and tropical fruit derived from the hops stand out on the finish, begging one to seek out more.  ABV – 8.5%  IBUs – 60

The refreshed Stone IPA Mix Pack is rolling out now and will be available until the next update.  You can expect to find this Variety 12-pack of 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer-friendly retailers located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution network.  Prost!

StoneIPAMixPackBottles

 

DuClaw Brewing Co. Celebrates Barleywine Season with Return of Devil’s Milk

DuclawLogoDuClaw Brewing Co. (Baltimore, Maryland) has officially announced that its award-winning Devil’s Milk Barleywine Style Ale is returning to craft beer shelves and taps now for a limited time.

Back once again to prove that “Barleywine is Life,” Devil’s Milk is an American Barleywine intent on “[seducing] your palate with sensual fruit esters, a mighty malt backbone, and demonic hop presence” (the hop bill changes each year and this year’s batch features Centennial and Chinook hops).  Weighing in at a substantial 10% ABV, Devil’s Milk “is best served in a snifter to accommodate its ABV and allow complex flavors to emerge as it warms in your hands.”

Devil’s Milk is set to return in late October/early November 2019 and will stick around for a limited time.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Maryland and throughout the rest of DuClaw Brewing Co.’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Devil’s Milk from DuClaw Brewing Co.

Release – Limited; returning late October/early November 2019
Style – American Barleywine
ABV – 10%
IBUs – 88.4
Malts – CaraWheat Malt, Crystal 150, Torrified Wheat, Melanoidin Malt & Pale Malt
Hops – Centennial & Chinook
Recommended Glassware – Snifter

Availability – 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://duclaw.com/beer-finder/

New Realm Brewing Adds Tart’s Content Berliner Weisse to Sour Series

NRBC_Tart'sContent_12oz-Can picNew Realm Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Tart’s Content Berliner Weisse on November 4, 2019.

Developed to capture the feel of autumn and the Holiday Season, Tart’s Content is a “richly fruited Berliner Weisse aimed to impress the palate with its tart, citrus and spiced fall flavors.”  Coming in at 4.6% ABV, Tart’s Content “pairs well with harvest festivals, fall leaves and family feasts.”

“Last October, we started brewing Lemon Pucker and we took five barrels of a batch and placed it into our pilot system,” said Mitch Steele Co-Founder and Brewmaster of New Realm Brewing. “The original thought was to make a cranberry Berliner since cranberries have their own natural tartness. After we tasted the beer, we agreed that it needed more complexity so we added cinnamon and orange peel in an attempt to try and recreate the delicious cranberry dishes one might find at a holiday party. The result is our latest addition to our Sour Series.”

Tart’s Content is scheduled to release on November 4 and will hang around for a limited time this Holiday Season.  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 throughout New Realm’s distribution footprint in Georgia and the Hampton Roads area in Virginia.  Prost!

Vital Information for Tart’s Content from New Realm Brewing Company

Release – Limited; launching November 4, 2019
Style – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 4.6%
IBUs – 10
Added Ingredients – Cranberry, cinnamon & orange peel
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution Georgia & the Hampton Roads area in Virginia

 

Boulevard Brewing Co. Cozies Up to Fall, Gets Back in the Plaid Habit

BoulevardLogo2Boulevard Brewing Co. (Kansas City, Missouri) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Plaid Habit, a Canadian Whisky Barrel-aged Imperial Brown Ale, on November 4, 2019.

Originally introduced in 2018, Plaid Habit is a double-mashed Imperial Brown Ale that has been “matured for 18 months in freshly emptied 10-year Canadian rye whisky barrels.” Coming in at a cozy 12.5% ABV, Plaid Habit supplies “checkered notes of rich vanilla, charred oak, warming whisky and spicy rye” that pair beautifully with the colder temperatures ahead.

Plaid Habit will debut in the Greater Kansas City Area on November 4 and is scheduled to hit other regions shortly after that date.  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 areas “that typically see Smokestack Series Limited Release beers (Rye on Rye, Smooth Fuzz, Love Child series).”  Prost!

Vital Information for Plaid Habit from Boulevard Brewing Co.

Release – Limited; November 2019
Style – Imperial Brown Ale
ABV – 12.5% ABV
IBUs – 13
Malts – Malted Barley, Pilsner, Maris Otter, Pale malt, Honey malt, Patagonia, Caramel 170, Malted Wheat, Flaked Oats
Hops – Topaz
Yeast – Scottish Ale Yeast
Added Ingredients – Brown sugar & dextrose
Treatment – Aged for 18 months in freshly emptied 10-year Canadian rye whisky barrels
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.boulevard.com/beer/beer-finder/

Iron Fist Brewing Adds Hessian Session S-IPA to Small Batch Experiments Series

IronFistLogoIron Fist Brewing Company (Vista, California) has officially announced that Hessian Session S-IPA, a Session IPA with Kaffir lime leaf, is dropping now to serve as the ninth release in the brewery’s 2019 Small Batch Experiments Series.

Brewed to be a “traditional West Coast classic,” Hessian Session is a West Coast-style Session India Pale Ale that has “a Pilsner malt and a top secret undisclosed malt [meet] Mt Hood, Citra, Amarillo, and Cascade hops.” To put a unique spin on the style, the beer was then “dry hopped with Kaffir Lime Leaf, letting the beer simply rest on the leaf to allow everything to break down and release that great, yet subtle flavor out.”  Weighing in at a slightly higher ABV than most Session IPAs, this special brew has been named Hessian Session “because only heavy hitting sketchy hessians are going to pound a 5% [ABV] beer as a session.”

“After our last few higher abv and heavy hopped beers, we decided to brew something a little more sessionable with a big aroma – something they could easily pair with everything from tacos to curries. It’s really what the whole brewing team wants to be drinking right now.”

 

– Tom Garcia, Brewmaster at Iron Fist Brewing Company

Hessian Session S-IPA will hit Iron Fist Brewing Company’s Vista and Barrio Logan taprooms in late October 2019.  This Limited Release offering will be available in limited-edition 12 oz. cans and on draft. Like all Small Batch Experiments, Hessian Session S-IPA is a taproom exclusive that will not see distribution. Prost!

Vital Information for Hessian Session S-IPA from Iron Fist Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Small Batch Experiments Series; late October 2019
Style – Session India Pale Ale
ABV – 5%
IBUs – 46
Featured Hops – Mt Hood, Citra, Amarillo & Cascade
Added Ingredients – Kaffir lime leaf
Availability – 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – None. Available exclusively in Iron Fist’s Vista and Barrio Logan taprooms

Tasting Notes: Vlad the Imp Aler (2017) from Cascade Brewing

VladPour2For this special Halloween week edition of Tasting Notes, we sit down and get acquainted with the infamous Vlad the Imp Aler (2017) from Cascade Brewing (Portland, Oregon).

Known to be “one of the most iconic projects in Cascade’s 20-year history of brewing and blending sour beer,” Vlad the Imp Aler is “a combination of quad and blond ales aged in bourbon and wine barrels for up to two years with orange peel and coriander.”  After its lengthy slumber, Vlad the Imp Aler rises to deliver “a fresh acidity and light malt sweetness with notes of bourbon, citrus and spice.”

The 2017 vintage of Vlad the Imp Aler officially debuted back in mid-September 2019 and will hang around only as long as supplies last.  You can look for this Limited Release offering to be available in 500ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Oregon and throughout the rest of Cascade Brewing’s distribution network.

Alrighty . . . now that we have gone over a bit of this notorious brew’s backstory, let’s pop a bottle and see what Vlad the Imp Aler discloses to us over some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Vlad the Imp Aler (2017) from Cascade Brewing

Appearance: Vlad presents itself as a bright caramel, amber hued brew capped with about a 1/4 finger of white, spritzy foam.  When held to direct light, the amber tones push through and the overall look transitions to more of an apricot color.  The beer is mostly clear and tiny little bubbles can be seen washing about near the top cap.  Head retention is minimal, falling almost immediately to a lasting but very thin ring that drops the occasional dollop of lace on the glass.

Aroma:  The aromatics open with that telltale note of souring bacteria alongside some wet wood.  Bourbon notes then open up with a touch of oak, vanilla and straight boozy bourbon. Vinous qualities are light but there is a bit of wine character layered within.  Citrus tones of orange and lemon lend some acidity and the profile closes with a pretty wonderful dose of funk.

Taste:  The first flavors to hit the tongue are some sweeter tones of honey, caramel, vanilla and light bourbon.  Things then shift suddenly to offer a vinous note that translates as a sweeter white wine note (think Riesling). The Quad base then supplies hints of candi sugar, candied orange peel, and dark fruit that is both sweet and tart – the tart fruit flavor works beautifully with the waves of wild funk and lactobacillus sourness.  The acidity then kicks in with a finish full of citrusy notes from the added orange and coriander.

Mouthfeel:  Heavier side of medium in body with a subtle carbonation presence, this Sour Ale is bright but still maintains a good amount of texture.  The beer balances sweet and sour beautifully while adding just the right amount of acidity.  The vinous notes try to dry things out a bit, but flavors are still allowed to linger a while.  The 11.6% ABV is actually pretty wily, only offering a bit of heat in the throat (nothing near what you expect from almost 12%).  The aftertaste is all honey and citrus.

Final Thoughts:  There is no denying that Vlad the Impaler, the legendary figure in Wallachian history and national hero of Romania, knew how to make an impression. Cascade Brewing’s Vlad the Imp Aler also has quite the personality and easily makes a lasting impression as an incredible American Sour Ale but without all the . . . you know . . . impaling.

Vlad rocks a gorgeous push and pull between sour and sweet that you don’t often find in many Sour Ales (at least not with this level of execution).  The wine and bourbon barrels work beautifully with the base beers and souring bacteria to create a harmonious level of sourness, tartness, sweetness, acidity and even a little drying quality.  Simply calling it a Sour Ale is a disservice because there is so much more going on here. It is a mind-bending experience that challenges your senses and everything you thought you knew about beer. It is unique and memorable.  It is an absolute showstopper. It is Vlad the Imp Aler and you need to get your hands on a bottle or pour while you still have a chance. Prost!

Stone Brewing Gets Festive with Return of Mexican Hot Chocolate Inspired Xocoveza

2019_Xocoveza_12ozCanMockStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has announced that Stone Xocoveza, an Imperial Stout inspired by Mexican hot chocolate, has officially returned for the 2019 Holiday Season.

First introduced back in 2014 as “a limited special collaboration release with San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker (after his recipe won [Stone Brewing’s] annual homebrew competition) and Cerveceria Insurgente,” Stone Xocoveza is an Imperial Stout that creates a Mexican hot chocolate experience with the use of “coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and a generous amount of chocolate.”  Coming in at a comforting 8.1% ABV, Stone Xocoveza “makes a perfect wintry gift from you to your friends, loved ones, or simply to yourself.”

Stone Xocoveza started rolling out at the end of September and is scheduled to hang around through the Holidays and the entire 2019 winter season. You can expect to find this Special Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Virginia and throughout the rest of Stone Brewing’s nationwide distribution network.  Prost!

Vital Information for Stone Xocoveza from Stone Brewing 

Release – Limited/Special; late September through Winter 2019
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 8.1%
IBUs – 50
Featured Hops – English Challenger & East Kent Golding
Added Ingredients – Cocoa, coffee, peppers, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg & lactose
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready