Against the Grain Brewery Introduces ‘A Beer’ Lager

ATGABeerCanAgainst the Grain Brewery (Louisville, Kentucky) has officially announced that A Beer, a “new Super American Premium Lager”, will be joining its lineup of Session offerings in May 2019.

Developed to be just as “American [as] summer, beer and hot dogs”, A Beer is a “crisp, dry and refreshing” American Lager brewed with four kinds of malts and six hop varieties.  Coming in at just 4.5% ABV, A Beer promises to be an “easy summer sipper . . . with gentle citrus aromatics.”

“This is a beer for the people, by the people, to enjoy with the people you want to hang out with,” said co-founder Sam Cruz. “We wanted to brew a beer for everyone to enjoy and to show big beer what an American lager can be — what it should be.” Against the Grain continues to grow even as craft beer sales slow nationally. A Beer is a response to consumer demands. “If we want to succeed, we have to adapt,” Cruz said, “but we can’t not be who we are.”

A Beer is rolling out now and will be available exclusively in Kentucky.  You can expect to find this new brew available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans (suggested retail price of $10) and on draft at “restaurants, brew pubs, bars and liquor stores in many Kentucky cities including Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green and more.”  Prost!

Vital Information for A Beer from Against the Grain Brewery

Release – Session Series, launching May 2019
Style – American Lager
ABV – 4.5%
Malts – Pilsner, Caramel Pilsner & Munich
Hops – Calypso, Hallertau Blanc, Mandarina Bavaria & Centennial
Fun Fact – On the label artwork: “Known for their irreverent humor and bold packaging, A Beer cans feature one of Against the Grain’s signature cartoon personas — a stylized American version of their Session character, with artwork by Robby Davis. Against the Grain groups beers into six categories: Session, Hop, Whim, Malt, Dark, and Smoke. Session represents light-bodied, delicious, balanced, easy-drinking brews.”
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Kentucky only



Hi-Wire Brewing to Release 2018 Collaboration Mixed 12-Pack

Hi-Wire-BrewingHi-Wire Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) has announced that it will officially release its 2018 Collaboration Mixed 12-Pack with Against The Grain Brewery (Louisville, Kentucky), Blackberry Farm Brewery (Walland, Tennessee) and Trophy Brewing Co. (Raleigh, North Carolina) in mid-February.

In the spirit of sharing their “craft with respected peers in the Southeast”, the folks at Hi-Wire Brewing recently brought in “longtime [friends] and connections” from Against the Grain, Blackberry Farm and Trophy Brewing Co. so that they could develop some creative offerings to be featured in the 2018 version of their annually released Collaboration Mixed 12-pack.  This year’s featured collaboration beers are as follows (descriptions provided by Hi-Wire Brewing):

  • Against the Grain Brewery Dark Coffee Lager: “We took special care to let the beautiful fruit notes from naturally processed Ethiopian coffee via Dynamite Roasting sing in this collaboration with our buddies from Against The Grain Brewery in Louisville, Kentucky. Aromatic notes of fresh ground coffee beans, hazelnut, cherry, and new leather meld perfectly with a soothing dark malt sweetness and hints of fresh baked bread with a clean, crisp finish.” (5.5% ABV)
  • Blackberry Farm Brewery – A Wee Bit More Hops Tropical Saison: “In our collaboration with Blackberry Farm Brewery we decided to celebrate Blackberry Farm’s world class house Saison yeast strain by pairing it with a plethora of tropically aggressive American hops, including a mid fermentation hop addition for added depth. Azacca, El Dorado, and Mosaic shine with magnificent aromas of mango, papaya, juicy fruit, and white grape while a slight bitterness and dry finish preps the palette for another sip.” (6.2% ABV)
  • Trophy Brewing Co. – Double Dry-Hopped IPA: “It’s no secret Trophy Brewing makes some of the best IPAs in the country. So after very little deliberation, we decided to brew the hoppiest beer Hi-Wire has ever created at 3.5 lbs per barrel. Starting with Simcoe and Centennial in the whirlpool before mid-fermentation and dry-hop additions of El Dorado and Simcoe, this hazy gold monstrosity screams of green mango, huge citrus, and piney resin with a slight sweetness on the finish. This one is for the truest of hop fiends.”  (7% ABV)

To complete this mixed 12-pack, Hi-Wire has also included three of its flagship brews: Hi-Pitch Mosaic IPA, Lo-Pitch Juicy IPA, and Hi-Wire Gose.  Each Mixed 12-pack will contain two 12 oz. bottles/cans of each of the six beers mentioned above.

According to Hi-Wire’s Release Calendar, the 2018 Collaboration Mixed 12-pack is slated for release on February 16 and will be around as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release mixed pack at select craft beer retailers located within Hi-Wire Brewing’s distribution footprint in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Ohio.  Prost!


Tasting Notes: Sho’nuff from Against the Grain Brewery

AtGShoNuff1000This week we look to find out who’s the baddest mofo low down around this town by going toe to toe, glow to glow with Sho’nuff from Against the Grain Brewery (Louisville, Kentucky).

If you have not figured it out by now, Sho’nuff – and this entire post for that matter – has been inspired by the flawless, classic 80’s film known simply as The Last Dragon.  Not only did the brewers at Against the Grain craft Sho’nuff to be “a low down Golden Ale”, but they also wanted this offering to pull double duty as a Belgian Table Bier.  Basically the inspiration behind what we now call Session Beers, the low ABV Table Beer is an easy-drinking but full-flavored brew that “is meant to be consumed with food but also [stand] well on its own.”

At 4.9% ABV, Sho’nuff is “the beer for bad mo-fo’s” that can mercilessly handle anything you throw at it.  Need a beer that can stand up to just about any food coming at you?  Sho’nuff has got you covered.  Need a brew to crush after a long day in the heat?  No problem.  Looking to make a few mistakes and wish to shotgun the Shogun?  Just follow the “Puncture Here” instructions clearly marked on the can and do some work.  Sure, you may have to deal with some attitude and kiss some Converse from time to time, but Sho’nuff is here for you on draft and in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans.  Look for this brew to be available at craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and throughout the rest of Against the Grain’s distribution area.

Alright, no more games.  Let’s face the Shogun and get into these Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Sho’nuff from Against the Grain Brewery

Appearance:  Sho’nuff presents itself as a shimmering bronze-colored brew wearing a finger of bubbly, slightly off-white foam.  When held to the light, the beer gains vibrancy and glows with deep gold and orange hues.  The body is clear and displays a dutiful carbonation presence streaming within.  Head retention is decent, but the foam eventually recedes to a chunky ring that lays down gobs of lace from time to time.  Sho’nuff asks, “Am I the prettiest?”  And we emphatically answer, “Sho’nuff.”

Aroma: With all the bready notes kickin’ around in here, you’d think you just walked into Daddy Green’s Pizza.  This beer is just billowing with fresh-baked, crusty bread goodness.  It has a nice crackery quality to it, but tones of heartier grains push through at times. An underlying spicy rye character closes out the nose by adding a bit of complexity.

Taste:  Those bready aromas translate beautifully into the flavor.  Mostly biscuity, a lovely but restrained rye note surfaces to add just enough depth with added grain character and a touch of spice.  Only here for balance, the hops are light and lend further support to the rye’s spicy character.  The yeast plays a much bigger role here by reinforcing the bready notes and also adding some fruity notes of apple and pear.

Mouthfeel:  Sho’nuff is on the medium side of light in body with a moderate carbonation level.  This allows this brew to come across as much more substantial than it is.  At an easy-drinking 4.9% ABV, the beer hits the palate with a beautiful balance that tips ever so slightly toward the sweet side.  Aftertaste is minimal, but a little biscuity malt lingers.

Final Thoughts: A wise man once said that “those who are bound by desire see only that which can be held in their hands”, and that’s kind of a perfect way of looking at the Table Beer’s place in craft beer these days.  In a world where over-the-top ABVs, dank hoppiness, and extreme flavors reign supreme, the Table Beer has no desire to be more that what it is.  Subtly confident, this low-ABV style is here to supply beer lovers with an easy-drinking experience meant to be enjoyed with food or on its own.  Its seemingly-simplistic and complementary character is meant to bring out the beauty that exists in the meal/world surrounding it.  In doing so, it transcends trends and shows its own beauty by proving that complexity can exist in simplicity.  Having learned this lesson, Sho’Nuff does just that but with a Shogun of Harlem level of personality.  If you get this beer to the designated place at the designated time, it will gladly designate your ass with a proper Table Beer experience.  Playtime is over, kids.  Step up, open your mind, and learn for yourself who’s the master of the Table Beer.  Prost!

Against the Grain Brewery Now Brewing in Europe

AtGEuropePlus1_editedAgainst the Grain Brewery (Louisville, Kentucky) recently announced that it has officially expanded operations overseas with the establishment of Against the Grain Europe at Germany’s Brauhaus Binkert.

After five years of brewing in the United States and introducing the craft beer world to their unique sense of “unabashed, crude humor”, the folks at Against the Grain Brewery are no longer satisfied with just distributing their beers across the globe.  No, they want to get up close and personal with their European fans by forming Against the Grain Europe as a brand that is “made in and for European countries.”  With production taking place at Brauhaus Binkert, this new brand will be representative of the same “American styles and quality standards” used by Against the Grain’s Louisville operation.

To properly introduce this new brand to their friends in Europe, Against the Grain has also created a new character.  Touri is an international tour guide that will be taking “European versions” of the brewery’s beloved characters –  Session, Hop, Whim, Dark, Malt, and Smoke – “on a journey across America visiting landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.”

Against the Grain Europe will launch with two new offerings: Neoanderthal American IPA (6.5% ABV) and Plus One American Pale Ale (4.8% ABV).   These beers are currently being brewed and bottled in Germany, and will soon see distribution throughout Europe “where a host of [Against the Grain] core brands are already present.” Prost!

Tasting Notes: Bloody Show from Against the Grain Brewery

bloodyshowbwr1000The lager love returns to Tasting Notes this week as we take a look at Bloody Show Lager with Blood Orange from Against the Grain Brewery (Louisville, Kentucky).

Bloody Show – read into that name as much as you wish – was originally brewed in 2012 as a draft-only collaboration beer between Mikkeller (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Against the Grain. Still going strong, this lager is “brewed with German Pilsner and Munich malts, hopped with American Citra, Columbus, Amarillo and Czech Saaz and fermented with Danish lager yeast.”  This Bohemian Pilsner is then finished off with “the zest and juice from a shit-ton of blood oranges” to result in “a nice easy drinking lager that exhibits a tart and citrusy aroma and flavor.” Bloody Show recently hit packaging in 2016, and is currently available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans at craft beer establishments found throughout Against the Grain’s distribution area.

Now that we all know the background information on Bloody Show, let’s crack open this can and get to some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Bloody Show Lager with Blood Orange from Against the Grain Brewery

Appearance: Bloody Show pours a bright bronze in color with a good two fingers of white foam.  When held to direct light, the body brightens dramatically to display golden yellow and vibrant orange hues.  The body is clear and shows off a very active carbonation presence.  The head has good retention when you consider the large amount of chunky lacing left on the glass after each sip.

Aroma: The aromatics may be subtle, but there is still plenty to find kicking around in here.  Tones of orange zest and juicy, tropical hops are easily recognizable and comprise the majority of the profile.  There is also an undercurrent of earthy and floral hop notes.  Bready malts do come through at times to lend support with a clean grain presence and a touch of sweetness.

Taste: Ah, here we go.  Things really open up and develop in the flavor department.  Blood orange juice and zest step forward first to provide a punch of citrus and an incredibly refreshing tart character.  This easily transitions into a dynamic hop profile pumping out notes of grapefruit, lemon, apricot, dank herbal tones, earthy grassiness, and just a dash of black pepper.  These notes clear out to leave behind just a fantastic, lightly sweet grain character.

Mouthfeel: Light, bordering on medium in body with a crisp carbonation level.  This beer skips across the palate to touch the bases of bitter, sweet and tart.  The ABV (5.5%) is light and only hints at evidence of its existence.  Aftertaste is minimal, but there is a slight amount of blood orange zest and grassy hops left to linger.

Final Thoughts:  Bloody Show proves that it is indeed possible to pay respect to a traditional style while still putting your own twist on it.  Sure, this lager strays from tradition by being loaded with tart blood orange and juicy American hops, but that does not mean that the experience is devoid of notes characteristic of the Bohemian Pilsner.  Once the bright and shiny new ingredients subside, the tried-and-true notes of beautifully clean grain and earthy/spicy noble hops are there to provide a solid, time-tested backbone. All the ingredients play off of each other nicely to raise the established easy-drinking nature expected in a lager with that slight tinge of tartness supplied by the blood orange.  This takes the refreshment level to crazy new heights, proving it to be a damn good choice to enjoy after a long day in the Tampa sun.  Well done.  Nicely executed.  Stupid good.  Prost!