Sweetwater Brewing Adds Mango Kush Wheat Ale to 420 Strain Series

sw-brew-product-vignette-420strain-mkwSweetWater Brewing Company (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that 420 Strain Mango Kush Wheat Ale will join the brewery’s Year-Round lineup in March 2019.

Arriving as the “second sticky hit from 420 Strain” (preceded by the release of 420 Strain G13 IPA), Mango Kush is a cannabis-inspired American Wheat Ale “packed with herbal, juicy mango notes and a distinctive dank nose.” Thanks to “strain specific terpenes and natural hemp-type flavors”, Mango Kush Wheat Ale (5% ABV) delivers a “euphoric” experience “that’ll remind you of the crowd pleasing kush strain.”

Mango Kush is available now on draft, and 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles are expected to drop any day now.  You can find this new Year-Round offering at craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and throughout the rest of SweetWater Brewing’s distribution territory.  Prost!

Vital Information for 420 Strain Mango Kush from SweetWater Brewing Company

Release – Year-Round, launching March 2019
Style – American Wheat Ale
ABV – 5%
IBUs – 30
Malts – Pilsner, White Wheat & Flaked Wheat
Hops – Nuggetzilla & El Dorado
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://sweetwaterbrew.com/find-sweetwater/

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Terrapin Beer Co. Delivers Krunkles IPA Travel Trunk Mixed 12-pack

unnamed (38)Terrapin Beer Co. (Athens, Georgia) has officially announced that it will introduce Krunkles IPA Travel Trunk, a new variety 12-pack of Krunkles-inspired India Pale Ales, at the end of March 2019.

After nine years of traversing the world and brewing innovative India Pale Ales to serve as Side Project/Limited Release offerings for Terrapin Beer Co., the legendary and mysterious Krunkles has returned from his travels with a Travel Trunk full of goodies. The Krunkles IPA Travel Trunk is a mixed 12-pack of 12 oz. cans that contains two well-known and beloved Krunkles brews and one of his newest concoctions, the aptly and simply named Mr. Krunkles.  The full descriptions for all three beers featured in the Krunkles IPA Travel Trunk are as follows (descriptions sourced directly from Terrapin’s website):

  • Luau Krunkles | Passion Fruit Orange Guava IPA – Tropical aromas of Passion fruit, Orange and Guava dominate the nose while a big juicy hop flavor and smooth bitterness complement the balance of the beer.  ABV – 6.5%  IBUs – 72
  • Panama Krunkles | Pineapple Papaya IPA – Continuing his world brewing tour, Krunkles is back with another fruit-forward IPA. “Panama Krunkles” blends the tropical juiciness of pineapple and papaya for this Central American-inspired beer.  ABV – 6.5%  IBUs – 77
  • Mr. Krunkles | India Pale Ale – The newest IPA from our man of mystery. Perfectly balanced by a tropical fruit forward hop bill, this delicious IPA highlights his craftsmanship and favorite beer ingredient…hops.  ABV – 6.5%  IBUs – 50 

The Krunkles IPA Travel Trunk will officially release in late March and will hang around through the summer months.  You can expect to find this new variety 12-pack at craft beer-friendly retailers located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and throughout the rest of Terrapin’s distribution area. Prost!


Tasting Notes: Schöfferhofer Pomegranate from Schöfferhofer

SchofferhoferPomPour2_editedFor this edition of Tasting Notes, we close the office down early and slip into the weekend with a little help from a bottle or two of Schöfferhofer Pomegranate Hefeweizen from Schöfferhofer and the Radeberger Gruppe, the leading German brewing group.

Created to be the latest line extension from Schöfferhofer and the sister brew to the incredibly popular Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, Schöfferhofer Pomegranate is “made of 50% authentic unfiltered German Hefeweizen and 50% pomegranate juice.” Coming in at an astonishingly low 2.5% ABV, Schöfferhofer Pomegranate promises to supply its drinker with “a refreshingly tart and tangy taste experience.”

After a successful limited launch in the Pacific Northwest and parts of Florida, Montana and Northern California in 2018, Schöfferhofer Pomegranate will now be more widely available throughout 2019 in areas that include Tampa, Orlando and Miami (Florida), Boston (Massachusetts), Southern California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Las Vegas and Reno (Nevada), New Mexico, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, Ohio and Wisconsin.  You can expect to find this new offering available in 6-packs of 11.2 oz bottles at craft beer-friendly establishments located in the previously mentioned areas.

Now that we have gotten all of that official background data out of the way, let’s pop a few bottles and get into these Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Schöfferhofer Pomegranate from Schöfferhofer 

Appearance:  A lively pour yields an orange-tinged pink brew that is capped with a solid finger of bubbly white foam.  When held to direct light, the color brightens to take on the appearance of a pithy pour of ruby red grapefruit juice. The beer is quite cloudy and nearly opaque (not at all surprising since the base is an unfiltered Hefeweizen), but steady streams of carbonation can be seen coursing within.  Head retention is quite good, slowly falling to a 1/4 finger of tight foam that lays wide, sticky tracks of lace down on the glass throughout the experience.

Aroma:  First impression – this smells like a super tropical mixed drink or fruit juice cocktail.  Pomegranate is incredibly pronounced and brings with it notes of dragonfruit, banana, orange and raspberry.  Clean wheat and a sprinkle of white sugar turns up at times to support, but the fruitiness completely dominates the aromatics . . . and I cannot get my nose out of this glass.  Smells. So. Good.

Taste:  The pomegranate juice is quick to rush the taste buds and is accompanied by a burst of raspberry and cranberry juice.  Not to be outdone, the Hefeweizen then asserts itself with notes of banana, bubble gum, apple and vanilla, bolstering the fruitiness with a healthy amount of added sweetness.  The juice does dominate the wheat a bit, but you do occasionally get a wisp of earthy grain. All tropical juiciness here as well.

Mouthfeel:  Light in body with a bright carbonation, this juicy brew is so wonderfully crisp that it practically dares you to gulp down the entire glass in one pull.  Although it is tart and tangy, the balance does tilt to the sweet side.  This is a good thing though because it forces you to slow down, sip, and enjoy each pour as a tropical treat.  At 2.5% ABV, the experience is remarkably light and easy-drinking.  The aftertaste is all tropical fruit punch.

Final Thoughts:  If you have been on the hunt for an infinitely crushable beer option that is full of tropical flavor but still low in ABV, look no further than Schöfferhofer Pomegranate.  The aromatics are heavenly, the tropical flavors are over-the-top tasty, and the overall experience is just extremely refreshing.  Sure . . . it does lean to the sweet side a bit, and I imagine that could make this a “love it or hate it” scenario for some folks . . . but, if you look at this as more of a Radler than Hefeweizen, expectations can be dialed in appropriately and that scenario can be trimmed to just “love it” (Pro Tip: If you are at all a fan of beer cocktails, a little added gin or vodka can probably work wonders here to cut that sweetness a bit).

All in all, Schöfferhofer Pomegranate is just a fun, easy-drinking option that is sure to come in handy now that the temperatures are beginning to rise here in Florida and around the country.  Be sure to check out Schöfferhofer Pomegranate whenever it hits your area.  Prost!


Wild Leap Brew Co. Begins Limited Release of Alpha Abstraction DIPA – Vol. 6

WL_IndividPage_AlphaVol6-400x520Wild Leap Brew Co. (LaGrange, Georgia) has officially announced that it will release the sixth offering from its wildly successful Alpha Abstraction Series during the third week of March 2019.

Boasting “the same juicy haze we have all come to love” from Wild Leap’s experimental Double IPA series, Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 6 is a Hazy Double India Pale Ale that explores the newly developed Lotus hop.  Previously known as Experimental Hop #06297, these fruity Lotus hops supply Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 6 (8% ABV) with “a warm, tropical combination of orange, vanilla and berry.”

“This hop is incredibly unique and fresh,” explained Head Brewer Chris Elliott. “When we first received the shipment, the bag still had #06297 as the name!”


“We first discovered these when we were looking for a perfect addition to Truck Chaser, but decided to save them for the Alpha 6 series,” said Elliott. “It turned out to be exactly what they said it would be – carrying strong notes of vanilla with an almost tropical punch flavor.”

Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 6 is scheduled to release during the third week of March and will only stick around as long as supplies last. You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located within Wild Leap’s distribution footprint in Georgia. Prost!

Vital Information for Alpha Abstraction – Vol. 6 from Wild Leap Brew Co.

Release – Limited/Alpha Abstraction Series, late March 2019
Style – Hazy Double India Pale Ale
ABV – 8%
IBUs – 46
Featured Hops – Lotus
Fun Fact #1 – On Lotus hops: “Lotus hops are experimental in nature. They have been crossbred across several different hop varieties and until recently went under the name Experimental Hop #06297. This past February this experimental strand was dubbed ‘Lotus,’ symbolizing the rebirth and celebration of a hops harvest.”
Fun Fact #2 – On the Alpha Abstraction Series: “The Alpha Abstraction Double IPA series began as an idea to explore experimental hops and a chance to think creatively about new flavor profiles.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – http://www.wildleap.com/beer-finder/

Tasting Notes: Dark Swan from Lagunitas Brewing Company

LagunitasDarkSwanPour_edited_editedFor this installment of Tasting Notes, we enjoy an enchanted moment with the ever-elusive Dark Swan Sour Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, California).

Developed to be Lagunitas’ take on the beer-wine hybrid, Dark Swan is a “uniquely deep and rich purple [hued]” American Sour Ale that has been “dry-hopped with some experimental Pekko hops from the Yakima Valley, then fermented with . . . house yeast on some of Sonoma County’s-own Petite Syrah grape juice from . . . Adobe Road Winery.” Swooping in at 7.9% ABV and 25 IBUs, Dark Swan promises to be “smooth, slightly sour, and superbly strange.”

Dark Swan officially released in mid-February, but there is still a good amount of it hanging around out there on shelves and taps.  You can look for this Limited Release offering to be available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois and throughout the rest of Lagunitas Brewing Company’s distribution area.

Now that we are all a bit more familiar with Dark Swan’s background information, it appears that it is finally time to crack open a bottle and plunge into some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Dark Swan Sour Ale (2019) from Lagunitas Brewing Company

Appearance:  A somewhat vigorous pour produces a beer that is a beautiful deep purple in color and wearing nearly two fingers of rose-pink foam.  When held to direct light, red tones push through and blend with the purple to create a color that is similar to pure cranberry juice.  Although dark in color, it still reveals an incredible degree of clarity and a mellow amount of carbonation activity.  Head retention is decent, reducing slowly to a lasting, chunky ring that leaves spotty lacing on the glass at times.

Aroma:  A clean grape presence opens the aromatics with both sweet, fresh grape juice and a complex dark red wine/Shiraz-like character.  The complexity builds as the hops shuffle in to add floral notes, a pop of black currant, and a tinge of spicy herb.  Underneath all of this lies a faint sweetness similar to a hard fruit candy (think grape Jolly Rancher).

Taste:  The vinous qualities lead here as well, playfully weaving in notes of Concord grape juice, lightly tannic red wine, and just straight fresh dark-skinned grapes.  The hops add supporting notes of black currant, assorted berries, a twist of citrus, and soft floral tones.  The profile closes with a gentle dose of sour funk and nondescript malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel:  On the lighter side of medium in body with a medium carbonation, Dark Swan is wonderfully crisp and easy-drinking.  On the palate, it playfully bounces between sour, fruity and sweet. The 7.9% ABV is completely hidden, allowing this beer to drink much lighter than it is.  Aftertaste is all red wine and berries.

Final Thoughts: Dark Swan is a whimsical take on the beer/wine hybrid that somehow boasts both the approachability of the grape juice box and the complexity of a fine red wine.  The hops seem to be dialed back a bit for a Lagunitas offering, sacrificing in-your-face dankness for just the right amount of complementary fruity and floral notes.  This approach allows the grape/wine character to shine, but the beer is still able to assert itself as . . . you know . . . a beer by casually reminding you of the hop qualities and malt sweetness that would clearly be out of place in a wine.  This results in a ridiculously refreshing beer that basically drinks like a slightly less carbonated wine spritzer.  Overall, Dark Swan is wildly unique, a little weird, and extraordinarily tasty.  If you are at all a fan of red wines (or pilfering juice boxes from the children’s stash), be sure to grab some of this year’s batch of Dark Swan before it disappears from shelves.  Prost!

Cascade Brewing and Beachwood Blendery Collaborate on Tropical Embers

cascadelogoCascade Brewing (Portland, Oregon) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Tropical Embers, a new collaboration with Beachwood Blendery (Long Beach, California), on March 15.

Inspired by “Beachwood’s reputation for renowned BBQ”, Tropical Embers (7.3% ABV) is a blended Sour Wheat Ale brewed with smoked malt and “aged in oak barrels for up to 18 months with additions of whole pineapple and mango.” The final blend of this “limited collaboration project offers a unique combination of wood smoke aroma and tropical fruit flavor.”

Tropical Embers will hit Cascade’s two Portland pubs on March 15 and is expected to enter distribution at or around that date as well.  You can find this Tier One offering available in 500ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Oregon and throughout the rest of Cascade Brewing’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Tropical Embers from Cascade Brewing & Beachwood Blendery 

Release – Limited/Tier One; March 15, 2019
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 7.3%
Treatment – A blended Sour Wheat Ale brewed with smoked malt and aged in oak barrels for up to 18 months with additions of whole pineapple & mango
Fun Fact – Tropical Embers is a Tier One offering; “Cascade’s bottles have distinct label styles for each of the three Cascade Brewing pricing tiers, with each label within the tier utilizing distinctive colors to clearly differentiate each beer. The tiers differ by the style of beer used in the product, the type ingredients contained within, the time aged in the barrels and types of barrels used.”
Availability – 500ml bottles & draft

Portland Cider Co.’s Pineapple Rosé Makes Seasonal Debut

portlandciderlogoPortland Cider Company (Clackamas, Oregon) has officially announced that it will release Pineapple Rosé, its brand-new summer seasonal cider, in mid-March 2019.

Created to give cider fans the chance to “rosé all day” this summer, Pineapple Rosé is a Hard Cider “bursting with fresh juicy pineapples” and rocking “a pretty in pink hue from a splash of Northwest-grown blueberries.”  This refreshing combo produces a “fruity, tropical cider [that comes] in at 5.2% ABV and, much like the rosé wine it’s modeled after, is versatile with a variety of foods.”

“We’ve been working on releasing our own rosé cider for a while now, but wanted to wait until we could get the fruit combination just right,” explained Helen Lewis, Marketing Director for Portland Cider Co. “The juicy and delicate pineapple fruit works beautifully with a hint of blueberry juice, creating an elegant cider on par with the rosé wine that so many love.”

Pineapple Rosé will debut on March 15 at a release party at the Portland Cider House and is scheduled to enter distribution in the weeks that follow.  You can expect to find this new Seasonal offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 19.2 oz cans (coming in April 2019), and on draft at cider-friendly establishments located within Portland Cider Company’s distribution footprint in Oregon and Washington. Prost!

Vital Information for Pineapple Rosé from Portland Cider Company

Release – Summer Seasonal, mid-March – August 2019
Style – Hard Cider 
ABV – 5.2%
Featured Ingredients – Pineapples & Northwest-grown blueberries
Suggested Food Pairings – “Spicy Thai peanut sauce, pork quesadillas, chicken salad with pecans and grapes, or a brie and apple panini”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft at launch. 19.2 oz. cans will release in April 2019
Distribution – Oregon & Washington

Proof Brewing Co. Goes Year-Round with La La Land IPA

image005Proof Brewing Company (Tallahassee, Florida) has officially announced that La La Land West Coast-style IPA will join its Year-Round lineup in mid-March 2019.

Developed to be an “East meets West . . . homage to the classic West Coast-style”, La La Land is an American India Pale Ale “featuring bright aromas and flavors of citrus and tropical fruit, with a crisp, resinous bitterness.”  Although it comes in at a sizable 7% ABV and 90 IBUs, La La Land West Coast-style IPA still possesses “a vibrant balance of hops and malts for any landscape!”

“Our new production facility has given us the space to increase our line-up of beers,” said Angela Burroughs, Proof Brewing Company’s founder. “This release of La La Land has been a long time coming and a fan favorite for years. It’s exciting to be able to provide our customers with a beer they’ve been wanting.”

6-packs of La La Land will hit Proof Brewing’s new tasting room on March 15 and distribution will follow shortly after the on-site release.  You can expect to find this Year-Round offering available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-friendly establishments located in Tallahassee and any other area of Florida that regularly sees cans of Proof Brewing Co.’s Eightfive-0 or Mango Wit.  Prost!

Vital Information for La La Land West Coast-style IPA from Proof Brewing Company

Release – Year-Round, launching mid-March 2019
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 7%
IBUs – 90
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Florida (limited)

Bell’s Brewery Launches Official Hazy IPA

146A7058Bell’s Brewery (Comstock, Michigan) has officially announced that Bell’s Official Hazy IPA, the newest addition to the brewery’s Year-Round portfolio, is rolling out now across the brewery’s distribution network.

Combining “two of the styles [Bell’s Brewery is] known for best” (think American IPA | Two Hearted Ale and American Wheat Ale | Oberon Ale), Bell’s Official Hazy IPA is a double dry-hopped India Pale Ale that showcases “pungent American hops and delicious wheat malt.”  Thanks in large part to a hop bill boasting Mosaic, Citra, Azacca, Amarillo and El Dorado hops, this Hazy IPA offers “complex peach, stone fruit and tropical notes with a dry finish and balanced bitterness.” Setting itself apart so that it is “not . . . confused with New England IPAs”, Bell’s Official Hazy IPA (6.4% ABV) is “a refined beer for those who love hops AND for those who prefer wheat beers.”

Bell’s Official Hazy IPA is shipping now with availability in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 4-packs of 16 oz. cans, 12-packs of 12 oz. cans (Michigan only), and on draft.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round brew at craft beer-focused retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of the brewery’s expansive distribution territory.  Prost!

Vital Information for Bell’s Official Hazy IPA from Bell’s Brewery

Release – Year-Round, launching March 2019
Style – Hazy/Juicy India Pale Ale
ABV – 6.4%
Featured Hops – Mosaic, Citra, Azacca, Amarillo & El Dorado
Suggested Food Pairings – “Savory: Pizza, garlic bread, roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, pickled fruits, grilled vegetables | Sweet: White chocolate | The Eccentric Way: Fennel, orange, and arugula salad with bleu cheese; miso and citrus pork belly; a ginger mango cake with a cream cheese frosting”
Recommended Glassware – Nonic
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 4-packs of 16 oz. cans, 12-packs of 12 oz. cans (Michigan only) & draft
Beer Finder – https://www.bellsbeer.com/beer-finder


Highland Brewing Adds Slow Crush Tart Spritz Ale to Year-Round Lineup

Slow Crush Small Highland Brewing Carson HillHighland Brewing Company (Asheville, North Carolina) has officially announced that Slow Crush, a Tart Spritz Ale, will launch in May 2019 as the brewery’s newest Year-Round offering.

Developed to be Highland Brewing’s “sessionable fresh take on kettle soured beers”, Slow Crush is a refreshing Tart Spritz Ale “inspired by the incredibly popular cocktail Aperol Spritz.” Showcasing “all-natural . . . botanicals like gentian root, cinchona bark and hibiscus flowers”, the recipe for Slow Crush is rounded out with “flaked rye and citrus-forward American hops like Citra and Amarillo’ to give the experience “a very craft spin.”  Clocking in at an easy-drinking 5% ABV and 20 IBUs, Slow Crush is “effervescent with a refreshing acidity that makes a perfect libation for any occasion.”

“This is a dynamic time in the industry and at Highland. We are exploring what Highland beer can be and creating beers that are different from anything we have ever done before. Slow Crush refers to the tradition of gruits and aperitifs and the way that brewers and distillers tried to achieve balance with different herbs and spices. In blending the past and present, we are creating beers that fit uniquely into this moment and in Highland’s portfolio.”


– Trace Redmond, Highland’s R&D Brewer

Slow Crush Tart Spritz will officially debut at Highland Brewing’s two-day anniversary celebration on May 3 & 4 and is scheduled to enter distribution shortly after the event.  You can expect to find this new Year-Round offering available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and throughout the rest of Highland Brewing’s distribution footprint in the Southeast.  Prost!

Vital Information for Slow Crush Tart Spritz from Highland Brewing Company

Release – Year-Round, launching May 2019
Style – American Sour Ale 
ABV – 5% 
IBUs – 20
Featured Hops – Citra & Amarillo
Added Ingredients – Gentian root, cinchona bark & hibiscus flowers
Fun Fact – Slow Crush will be the first Highland Brewing offering to launch in a 16 oz. can format
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://highlandbrewing.com/beer (located at the bottom of the page)