Founders Brewing Co. Unveils Plans for 2018

founderspour_editedAll set for next year, Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially released a 2018 Availability Calendar that is absolutely loaded with new brews, old favorites, and updated packing options.

Just as we always do with all release calendars, Founders Brewing Co.’s full 2018 Availability Calendar is posted below for you to look over at your own pace.  Before we turn you loose, there are a few things on that calendar that we are just dying to point out . . . so let’s knock that out real fast:

  • Breakfast Stout and Backwoods Bastard will be available year-round in 2018.  Yeah, you read that correctly!  Breakfast Stout should seamlessly shift into year-round availability through the New Year while Backwoods Bastard will resurface in late-March to early-April to begin its year-round status.
  • Although the calendar does not mention this, Founders Brewing Co. will be offering Solid GoldAll Day IPARubaeus and all of its Seasonal beers, which include Mosaic PromiseAzacca IPA and PC Pils, in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans in 2018.
  • Double Trouble Imperial IPA will return as a Limited Release in 2018.  It will be available from late-May to July in 4-packs of 12oz bottles across all 46 states that currently comprise the distribution area for Founders Brewing.
  • The Barrel-Aged Series will return in 2018 with KBS (April) and four new releases.  Details about the yet-to-be-named beers will be released throughout the year.
  • Founders is launching a “brand new taproom carryout series called the ‘Mothership Series’. These beers will range from classics like the inaugural release, Red’s Rye IPA, to experimental new styles. They will only be available for carryout in 6-pack bottles at [all Founders Brewing Co.] taproom locations.”
  • Finally . . . a bit of bad news: Founders will say “goodbye to some favorites, like Imperial Stout, Curmudgeon and reDANKulous” in 2018.  Since the brewery is known to regularly bring back old favorites (see Double Trouble & Red’s Rye IPA above), it assures that this is more of an “until we meet again” scenario.

Alright, that’s a wrap on all that we wanted to cover.  Be sure to check out the full calendar below so that you can properly prepare for an amazing 2018 with Founders Brewing Co. Prost!




New Realm Brewing Appoints Executive Chef and Restaurant General Manager

NewrealmlogoNew Realm Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that General Manager, Don Mioton and Executive Chef, Julio Delgado have been hired on to lead operations at the brewery’s highly anticipated, in-house restaurant.

Confident that their talents are a perfect pairing for the beers and vibe soon to be produced at the brewery, the folks at New Realm Brewing Company have named Don Mioton and Julio Delgado as the leadership team for their restaurant.  Taking the title of General Manager, Mioton previously held position at American Cut & Regent Cocktail Club in Atlanta’s Buckhead area.  After previously working as Executive Chef at JP, a restaurant in downtown Atlanta’s Hotel Indigo, Delgado will slide into the same role at New Realm.

Having hit the ground running, this impressive duo is currently “putting the final touches” on New Realm’s menu.  Executive Chef Delgado plans to build his dishes with “inspiration from Brewmaster Mitch Steele’s craft beers as well as the area’s local farms in order to create an approachable menu, which is rooted in tradition.”  Showcasing a “blend of global flavors and southern techniques”, the menu will include dishes such as “a house ground prime beef burger on a brioche bun, a beer can Springer Mountain Farms half chicken, as well as four hickory wood-fired pizzas cooked to perfection in a dedicated pizza kitchen which guests will see on display on their way to the brewery’s main entrance.”

When it comes to the restaurant space itself, guests will have the option to enjoy their meals “in a variety of seated locations within New Realm Brewing including a main dining room, an interior bar, a lower level patio, an outdoor beltline beer garden or the rooftop patio where the view is spectacular. New Realm Brewing will also have a private dining room on the lower level and a second level tasting room/tour center, both of which will house special events like weddings, private parties and corporate meetings.”

Although an official date has not yet been set, New Realm Brewing Company is hoping to open in the very near future so that it can begin sharing some beers and the culinary talents of Mioton and Delgado with Atlanta’s craft beer faithful.  Once an official opening date is made public, we will be sure to update you with that information here.  Stay tuned.  Prost!


Koko Buni Makes Seasonal Return for Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

CCKokoBuni_editedCreature Comforts Brewing Co. (Athens, Georgia) recently announced that Koko Buni, the brewery’s seasonally released Milk Porter, will begin hitting shelves and taps again in mid to late December.

Released each year as Creature Comforts Brewing Co.’s fan-favorite Winter Seasonal, Koko Buni is a Milk Porter brewed with toasted coconut, Ecuadorian cocoa nibs sourced from Condor Chocolates, and an Ethiopian coffee blend from 1000 Faces Coffee. Although this combination results in “rich and velvety” flavors, the 6.5% ABV Koko Buni achieves a beautiful balance where “none of the flavors are overpowering or fatiguing on the palate.”

“We decided not to be traditional with the beer and add some ingredients that play well with the existing roasty and chocolatey flavors of dark beer,” said Co-founder and Head Brewer David Stein. “The result is a decadent porter, yet balanced and not over the top. Each flavor has room to individually interact with your palate, which is always a challenge as a brewer when using so many ingredients.”

Koko Buni is scheduled to officially release on December 19 with availability in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft.  You can expect to find this Seasonal offering onsite at the brewery as well at select craft beer establishments in the Athens and Atlanta, Georgia markets.  Prost!

Vital Information for Koko Buni Milk Porter from Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Release – Winter Seasonal, release date set for December 19, 2017
Style – American Porter
ABV – 6.5%
Added Ingredients – Toasted coconut, cocoa nibs & coffee
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Athens & Atlanta, Georgia
Fun Fact – “The coconut and Ethiopian coffee used in making the beer inspired its name. ‘Koko’ translates to coconut in Papmiento, a language commonly used in the Caribbean. ‘Buni’ is derived from the word for coffee in Amharic, the primary language found in Ethiopia.”

Inoculum Ale Works Signs with J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida

inoculumpour_editedInoculum Ale Works (Spring Hill, Florida) recently announced that it has partnered with J.J. Taylor Distributing Florida so that it can officially begin distribution throughout Tampa Bay and its surrounding counties.

For those who may be unfamiliar with this brewery, Inoculum Ale Works is making a name for itself by being “Florida’s first full production sour only brewery.”  Working out of a 4,000-square foot production space in Spring Hill, the Inoculum team brews their “truly unique, local” Sours with 100% proprietary yeast and bacteria, and local cultures that have been cultivated “from flowers, citrus fruits, trees, etc.”  Confident that “their attention to science, nature, innovation and quality” is fully dialed in, the folks at Inoculum Ale Works are now taking the next natural step by sending their beers out for distribution.

“We built Inoculum from the very beginning to be about the fermentation sciences and progression of sour beer. We are beyond excited to partner with J.J. Taylor, a group of people we are certain share the same passion for driving and developing new segments of Craft.”


– Nick Moench, Owner Inoculum Ale Works

Inoculum Ale Works will launch distribution with limited, draft-only availability of the following core beers:

  • Drex – A light and crisp Sour Weisse beer. 100% lactobacillus pitch followed by an American ale yeast fermentation produces a 3.2pH, 3.2% ABV, 10 IBU beer.
  • Kuebiko – A soured ale with strawberries, lemons, and limes. Strawberry nose, sour bite, floral finish.  ABV – 3.3%
  • Dreamcatcher – An absinthe inspired sour ale. All of the ingredients of absinthe portioned for a nice hyssop herbal front end, mild wormwood bitterness, and mild smooth star anise licorice flavor. ABV – 3.3%
  • Spectrally Macabre – A gose brewed with watermelons, basil, sea salt (from Maldon, England), and a special bitterless black malt. Don’t knock a salty melon til you’ve tried it.  ABV – 4.5% 

With J.J. Taylor Distributing handling all distribution responsibilities, the beers above will begin hitting taps at select Tampa area establishments during the first week of December.  As time goes on, the brewery hopes to expand its reach into the rest of J.J. Taylor’s 17 county footprint.

Inoculum and J.J. Taylor are actively making plans for Official Launch Parties to debut on both sides of Tampa Bay in early January 2018, and we will update you here with that information just as soon as we have it. Stay tuned.  Prost!

Starr Hill Brewery Provides a Look at its 2018 Lineup

StarrHillpourStarr Hill Brewery (Charlottesville, Virginia) sent out a press release today to officially announce its 2018 Product Calendar.

Just as we do with all brewery release calendars, we have posted Starr Hill Brewery’s full 2018 Product Calendar below so that you can go over it at your own leisure.  That said, this calendar is absolutely loaded with interesting content and we would be remiss if we did not go over a few of the highlights:

  • Starr Hill will launch Front Row Golden Ale in early 2018 as the brewery’s newest Year-Round offering.  At 4.9% ABV, “this light and refreshing beer is the perfect balance of Honey malt and Cascade hops for a smooth body and clean finish.” Front Row will initially launch on draft, “followed by six-pack [of 12 oz.] bottles, this spring with a Golden Ticket Giveaway contest” – a promotion that gives fans a chance to “enter to win concert tickets and an exclusive Front Row Tour Pack of prizes.”
  • In March 2018, the brewery will introduce its new BoomBox 8-pack of 16 oz. cans.  This mixed pack will feature Front Row Golden Ale and Northern Lights IPA (four 16 oz. cans of each), “a link to free music content, and will be available year-round.”
  • Looking Glass IPA will arrive in February as the brewery’s new Spring Seasonal.  “Loaded with notes of juicy pineapple, mango and passion fruit, this IPA packs big hop aroma and flavor with minimal bitterness.”  Looking Glass IPA will replace Reviver Red IPA in the seasonal lineup, but The Hook Grapefruit Session IPA (summer), Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale (fall) and Snow Blind Doppelbock (winter) will all return in 2018.
  • The Heavy Rotation Series, “an ongoing playlist of new beer and music”, returns in 2018 “with something fresh available in 6-packs and on draft every three months.” Next year’s lineup will include 2-Tone Vanilla Porter (January), Amber Ale (March), Hibiscus Lager (June), Festie Oktoberfest Lager (September) and Dark Starr Dry Irish Stout (December).
  • Starr Hill’s All Access Series will go draft-only in 2018.  This series will feature “old favorites and new recipes developed at the Pilot Brewery & Side Stage in Roanoke.”  Releases include Denali Double IPA (January), Berliner Weisse (March), NE-Style IPA (May), a non-IPA style Roanoke Pilot Brew (July), an IPA style Roanoke Pilot Brew (September) and Little Red Roostarr (November).

Alright, that should be everything that we wanted to cover, but there is still plenty of goodness left for you to discover on the calendar below.  Give it a good look so that you are properly prepared for another great year of beer with Starr Hill in 2018.  Prost!




Great Divide Brewing Co. Introduces 2018 Edition of Hop Disciples IPA

GDBCHopDiscipleslogoGreat Divide Brewing Co. (Denver, Colorado) recently announced that it is getting a jump on the year ahead by releasing the 2018 installment of Hop Disciples India Pale Ale in mid-December 2017.

First introduced in 2017, Hop Disciples is Great Divide’s Rotating Hop Project series that “takes a bright, clean IPA and puts a different hop variety at the forefront of the sensory experience.”  The 2018 version of Hop Disciples IPA showcases Ekuanot hops, “a newer American varietal that features strong tropical fruit flavor with aromas of citrus and herbs.”  These gorgeous hops have been put against a simple malt bill to “[bring] forth notes of papaya, honeydew melon and tangerines, while a subtle earthy undertone lingers.”  The golden-hued Hop Disciples weighs in at an “approachable” 6.2% ABV.

“Hops embody the romantic side of brewing and symbolize both a brewer’s connection to the soil and the spirit of innovation,” said Brandon Jacobs, brewery manager of Great Divide Brewing Company. “Creating a beer that can highlight a single varietal provides an opportunity to showcase the unique character of that hop and expand our consumers’ taste buds.”

The 2018 Hop Disciples India Pale Ale will officially arrive in mid-December of this year and hang around through April of 2018.  You can expect to find this Tank Farm release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Colorado and throughout the rest of Great Divide Brewing’s nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Hop Disciples (2018) from Great Divide Brewing Co.

Release – Tank Farm Series, mid-December 2017 to April 2018
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 6.2%
Featured Hops – Ekuanot 
Suggested Food Pairings – “Chicken curry with basil and cashews, warm Brie on French bread with balsamic reduction, white chocolate chip cookies”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder –


Rogue Ales Spreads Holiday Cheer with Release of Santa’s Private Reserve

santas2017Overcome with holiday spirit, Rogue Ales (Newport, Oregon) has officially announced the limited release of Santa’s Private Reserve (2017).

To give Santa a bit of a break from the dairy this month, the brewers at Rogue Ales are supplying Saint Nick with a more adult option in the newly reformulated Santa’s Private Reserve.  Previously released as a “double-hopped” Amber Ale, this special holiday brew is now a “Belgian Strong Ale made with cherries, raspberries, Belgian Candi sugar and Imperial Gnome Yeast.” This ultimately yields an 7.8% ABV Santa’s Private Reserve that “delivers a delicious sweet and tart flavor.”

“I love what John and I came up with,” said Santa. “The Candi sugar enhances the sweet and tart characteristics of the raspberries and cherries, and the beer takes a little bit from both sides of the list: it will put a little color on your cheeks, but finishes on the sweet side.”

Santa’s Private Reserve (2017) is officially available now and will hang around through the holiday season.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Oregon and throughout the rest of Rogue’s nationwide distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Santa’s Private Reserve from Rogue Ales

Release – Limited, Holiday Season 2017
Style – Belgian Strong Ale
ABV – 7.8% 
IBUs – 23
Malts – Premium 2 Row, Munich, Weyermann Carabelge, Weyermann Caramunich III, Weyermann Special W & Midnight Wheat
Hops – Willamette
Yeast – Imperial Gnome Yeast
Added Ingredients – Belgian Candi Sugar, Red Raspberries & Cherries
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder –

North Coast Brewing’s Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XX Hits Distribution

Barrel-Aged-Old-Rasputin-XX-bottleNorth Coast Brewing Company (Fort Bragg, California) has announced that its annually-released Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout is officially back on shelves for a limited time.

Each year, the folks at North Coast Brewing Company honor their “infamous” Old Rasputin Imperial Stout – a Year-Round offering named after the Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin – by brewing a special batch and aging it in whiskey barrels.  This year’s release, Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XX (11.9% ABV), was aged in Bourbon barrels to add an “an extra kick and flavor profile to an already impressively well-balanced and potent brew.”

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XX is available now in extremely limited quantities of 500ml cork and cage bottles.  You can expect to find this Limited Release at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California and throughout the rest of North Coast Brewing Company’s nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin XX from North Coast Brewing Company

Release – Limited, late-November 2017
Style – Russian Imperial Stout
ABV – 11.9%
IBUs – 38
Treatment – Aged in Bourbon barrels
Availability – 500ml bottles with a cork & wire finish
Beer Finder –
Fun Fact – “Originally destined for limited release out of the brewery’s retail shop and Taproom in Fort Bragg, CA, [Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin] quickly grew in notoriety and beginning in 2010 North Coast put it into broader distribution. It’s still a limited – and coveted – release but can now be found in specialty stores around the country.”

Monday Night Brewing’s Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt Makes Limited Return

MondayNightBBADK4pack_editedMonday Night Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia) recently announced that its award-winning Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt is back for a limited release, and this time around it is available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans.

To create this wildly popular Black Tie Series release, the brewers at Monday Night take their Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale and let it rest for an extended period of time in Kentucky Bourbon barrels.  It is here that the base beer’s “chocolate, caramel, and roasted malts” pick up the barrel’s complementary notes of “charred oak and vanilla.”  That time and attention eventually results in the 8.5% ABV Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt that won a gold medal in the Wood and Barrel-aged Beer category at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival.  Yeah . . . it’s that friggin’ good.

Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt is available now and will hang around while supplies last.  You can find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer establishments located in Georgia and Alabama.  Prost!

Vital Information for Bourbon Barrel Drafty Kilt from Monday Night Brewing

Release – Limited/Black Tie Series, late-November 2017
Style – Scotch Ale
ABV – 8.5%
IBUs – 26
Malts – Roasted Barley, Chocolate Malt, Crystal Malt & Cherrywood-smoked Malt
Hops – Columbus & Willamette
Treatment – Aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels
Suggested Food Pairings – “Grilled meats, chocolate, a big juicy steak, strong cheeses”
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Georgia & Alabama 

Tasting Notes: Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales

rogueRollingThunderPour1000In recognition of a week that is largely dedicated to big ol’, Barrel-aged Imperial Stouts, we do our part by taking down some Tasting Notes on Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout from Rogue Ales (Newport, Oregon).

We first let you know about Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2017) when it was released back in August, and this is certainly not your run-of-the-mill Barrel-aged Stout.  No, sir.  We are talking about an Imperial Stout that was brewed by Rogue Ales with ingredients grown at Rogue Farms, and then aged in barrels that once held Dead Guy Whiskey distilled by Rogue Spirits.  Oh . . . and those handmade Oregon Oak barrels were coopered at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works.  If your math is the same as ours, all of that amounts to nearly every aspect of this beer having been either handled, influenced, grown, or created by a member of the Rogue family.  That’s something truly special and definitely worth a look.

Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2017) officially released in August with availability on draft and in 1-liter swing-top bottles.  Quantities were extremely limited at the time of release, but we have heard reports of a few bottles and kegs still floating around out there.

Now that those details are out of the way, what do you say we activate this swing-top, pour a few glasses and get into some Tasting Notes?

Tasting Notes for Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2017) from Rogue Ales

Appearance:  Rolling Thunder presents itself as a glassy, obsidian black brew wearing a bubbly half finger of caramel-colored foam.  When held to direct light, the beer remains opaque but dark brown tones do push through at the extreme edges of the glass.  The appearance divulges zero hints at what the beer’s carbonation level will be.  As is often the case with higher ABV brews, head retention is weak and falters quickly to a pencil-thin ring.  This Stout is quite slick on the glass and makes it nearly impossible for any lacing to take hold.

Aroma:  The aromatics are surprisingly light in intensity but incredibly delightful.  The nose is first greeted by a waft of booze and sherry before the roasted malts settle in with gentle notes of chocolate, coffee and molasses.  The profile develops further and closes with some earthiness that is accompanied by clean oak and soft vanilla tones.

Taste:  Oh . . . this is nice.  A big pop of dark fruit and distinct wood character hits the tongue first.  This opens to expose notes of sherry and dark cherries that rounds out a robust and lovely dark fruit profile.  That fruit presence is then tempered by tones of coconut, vanilla, honey, dark chocolate and roasted grain.  Sweetness then gives way to earthiness as tobacco and coffee emerges.  The flavor profile finishes with a subtle grace of whiskey.

Mouthfeel:  Rolling Thunder is leaning toward the medium side of full bodied and has a moderate carbonation level.  Although it mostly translates as sweet on the palate, there is a nice balance here and it is not at all cloying.  Just as it should, this Imperial Stout’s 14% ABV brings the heat and constantly reminds you to slow down and sip.  Slick in texture, the beer’s flavors are allowed to linger just long enough.  Aftertaste is a bit of booze, tobacco and vanilla.

Final Thoughts:  With each sip of this beer, it is clear that Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout is more about how the barrel interacts with the beer rather than being just another beer dominated by barrel character.   The fact that this offering was made by “the first brewery-distillery-barrel maker in the country” can be read easily in each pour.  You can distinctly taste and smell the beer’s grain bill and added ingredients, and that oak barrel and the Dead Guy Whiskey ingrained within is here to only support, complement, elevate and contribute to those notes.  Everything here has equal billing.  Everything used has been showcased. This beer’s complexity is deep, and it goes far beyond what one has come to typically expect from a Barrel-aged Stout these days.  Rogue Ales promised that Rolling Thunder would be special, and they absolutely delivered with one hell of an experience.  Prost!