Tasting Notes: Hessian Session S-IPA from Iron Fist Brewing Company

HessianSessionPourFor this edition of Tasting Notes, we close out the week by crushing a few cans of Hessian Session S-IPA from Iron Fist Brewing Company (Vista, California).

Released at the tail-end of October to pay homage to 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.”

Hessian Session S-IPA hit Iron Fist Brewing Company’s Vista and Barrio Logan taprooms in late October 2019.  This Limited Release offering is available in limited-edition 12 oz. cans and on draft as long as supplies last. Like all Small Batch Experiments, Hessian Session S-IPA is a taproom exclusive release.

Now that we are all caught up on the process behind the beer, let’s get into these Tasting Notes and see how it turned out!

Tasting Notes for Hessian Session S-IPA from Iron Fist Brewing Company

Appearance:  A somewhat rushed pour produced a slightly orange-hued, golden yellow brew capped with nearly two fingers of airy, bright white foam.  When held to direct light, the color lightens to more of a straw yellow.  The beer is mostly clear and displays steady streams of carbonation coursing within.  Head retention is decent, falling somewhat quickly to a thin but lasting ring that coats the glass with broad sheets of wispy lace patterns.

Aroma:  The aroma is quite citrus driven, boasting notes lime juice and zest, orange and tangerine. There is a pleasant floral note that complements and carries all those citrus notes beautifully.  A muted malt sweetness lies in wait underneath all the bright aromatics provided by the hops and kaffir lime leaf.

Taste:  Just like in the nose, the flavor opens with big citrus notes dominated by pure lime character (sans any tartness) and sweet orange.  This is accompanied by a citrusy floral tone from the kaffir lime leaf, an herbal Noble-like hop presence, and just a grace of tropical fruit and melon.  The malts are reserved, only here to provide a touch of balancing sweetness.

Mouthfeel:  Light in body with a crisp carbonation level, this Session IPA is appropriately light, thirst quenching and clean.  It offers just the right amount of hop bite in the finish, but it is otherwise nicely balanced.  Although the 5% ABV is a bit elevated for the style, the alcohol content is well hidden and the beer drinks just as easily as any other Session IPA out there.  The aftertaste is just a light, lingering presence of floral and citrus notes.

Final Thoughts:  Hessian Session is a fantastic take on the Session IPA style.  It has plenty of West Coast-style hop flavor and bite – although reduced a bit for the sake of elevating its level of drinkability – tucked away into an incredibly light brew.

With that said, it sets itself apart from the field of other Session IPAs with how Iron Fist incorporated the kaffir lime leaf.  By “dry-hopping” the beer with the lime leaf, it translates as almost hop-like in character by lending pure lime flavor and aroma without any tartness or sharpness.  It accentuates and complements the hop bill, and just splendidly rounds out the entire experience.

Although the process for creating Hessian Session may have been inventive and imaginative, the beer still translates easily and simply . . . just like a Session IPA should.  Yeah, this one makes you think a bit about that kaffir lime leaf, but that moment of thought does not keep you from crushing a can in record time.  Hessian Session succeeds at everything it set out to do, and it needs to be on the radar of any hophead out in Southern California and beyond.  Prost!

Schlafly Beer Launches Low-Calorie Line of Boomerang Mead Spritzers

SchlaflylogoSchlafly Beer (St. Louis, Missouri) has officially announced that it will introduce Boomerang, a new line of mead spritzers in 12-ounce cans, on December 6 with the release of Boomerang Lemon Lime Mead Spritzer.

Developed to be an “all-natural alternative to the current growing hard seltzer market,” Boomerang is a twist on a Mead – a traditional style made from fermented honey and water – that “utilizes more water than the ancient recipe yet still allows for natural fermentation.”  This approach results in an “effervescent drink with a crisp finish that’s . . . gluten-free with only 4% ABV, three grams of carbs, and no artificial flavors in addition to being only 90 calories with zero added sugar.”  The Boomerang lineup will launch with Boomerang Lemon Lime and other flavors are expected to turn up later in 2020.

“As we watched this latest trend in consumer tastes quickly grow in the industry, we asked ourselves is this something we wanted to pursue, and if so, how can we craft a spritzer that feels authentic to our Schlafly brewing team. We believe that we’ve achieved that with the Boomerang mead spritzer.  

 

We’ve experimented in various traditional meads in the past, but this is a whole new take on what a mead can be, taking one of the oldest fermented beverages in human history and using that as a lower ABV base for this very modern spritzer. We hear guests requesting gluten-free options and asking about the calorie count on beers, and we have to listen to that. Boomerang is our way to answer those consumers’ questions, and also offer them a product that they can feel good about – a local, all-natural crafted spritzer that tastes delicious.”

– Jared Williamson, Lead Brewer at Schlafly Beer

Boomerang Lemon Lime will debut in the St. Louis area on December 6 and is expected to hit full distribution shortly after that date.  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 Missouri, Tennessee and throughout the rest of Schlafly’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Boomerang Lemon Lime from Schlafly Beer

Release – Year-Round/Boomerang Series; launching December 6, 2019
Style – Hybrid (Mead/Spritzer)
ABV – 4%
Ingredients – Water, honey and natural citrus flavor
Calories – 90
Carbs – 3 grams
Fun Fact – “Boomerang will be the first new release from Schlafly Beer in 2020, and it is the first new year-round product to be packaged only in cans by the brewery.”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – http://www.schlafly.com/beer-finder/

 

Founders Brewing Co. to Introduce Más Agave Grapefruit Alongside Re-release of Más Agave in 2020

mas_agave_grapefruit_12oz_bottleFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) has officially announced that it will release Más Agave Barrel-aged Imperial Lime Gose in tandem with its first variant, Más Agave Grapefruit, in May 2020.

First introduced in 2019 and back to reclaim the summertime slot in Founders Brewing Co.’s Barrel-Aged Series, Más Agave is a margarita-inspired Imperial Gose “brewed with agave, lime and sea salt and then aged . . . in tequila barrels for just the right amount of kick.” Ridiculously smooth and easy drinking for 10% ABV, Más Agave is “a party in a bottle.”

New for 2020, Más Agave Grapefruit takes Más Agave to a new level after it is removed from the barrels by getting “a dose of fresh grapefruit juice to ramp up the tanginess and to pay homage to [Founders Brewing Co.’s] other favorite tequila-based cocktail, the Paloma.”  Also coming in at around 10% ABV, Más Agave Grapefruit is “sweet, salty, and mouth-puckeringly delicious.”

Más Agave and Más Agave Grapefruit will both release in May and are scheduled to hang around into July 2020.  You can expect to find both of these Limited Release offerings available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Más Agave from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series; May – July 2020
Style – Imperial Gose
ABV – 10%
IBUs – 20
Added Ingredients – Agave, lime & sea salt
Treatment – Aged in Tequila barrels
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

Vital Information for Más Agave Grapefruit from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series; May – July 2020
Style – Imperial Gose
ABV – 10% (+/-)
IBUs – ???
Added Ingredients – Agave, lime, sea salt & grapefruit juice
Treatment – Aged in Tequila barrels
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

 

 

 

Stone Brewing Releases Stone Enjoy By 01.01.20 Unfiltered IPA

2020_EJB0101_22ozBottle_MockupStone Brewing (Escondido, California) has officially announced that it will be putting a bow on 2019 with the Limited Release of Stone Enjoy By 01.01.20 Unfiltered IPA.

Designed “specifically to be enjoyed BEFORE the clock hits zero at midnight of New Year’s Eve,” Stone Enjoy By 01.01.20 is a “festively fresh”, unfiltered Double India Pale Ale featuring a massive hop bill that includes Nugget, Super Galena, Simcoe, Delta, Target, Amarillo, Cascade, Galaxy, Citra, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka and Helga hops.  By remaining unfiltered, this “golden-hued” offering “takes on a hazy appearance and its peach and tropical fruit hop aroma are intensified.” Coming in at 9.4% ABV and 90 IBUs, Stone Enjoy By 01.01.20 Unfiltered IPA can be enjoyed at any point until the end of the year but “there is no better time to savor this incredibly fresh . . . Double IPA than RIGHT NOW!”

Stone Enjoy By 01.01.20 Unfiltered IPA is rolling out now and will be available until the end of 2019.  You can expect to find this Limited 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 area. Prost!

Vital Information for Stone Enjoy By 01.01.20 Unfiltered IPA from Stone Brewing

Release – Limited; late November 2019 – January 1, 2020 
Style – Double India Pale Ale
ABV – 9.4%
IBUs – 90
Featured Hops – Nugget, Super Galena, Simcoe, Delta, Target, Amarillo, Cascade, Galaxy, Citra, Nelson Sauvin, Motueka & Helga
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans, 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://find.stonebrewing.com/#ready

EJB0101_6packWrap

TrimTab Brewing Set for Can Release of Cake Therapy Imperial Stout

TrimTablogoTrimTab Brewing (Birmingham, Alabama) has officially announced that it will hold a Limited Can Release for Cake Therapy Imperial Stout at the brewery on Friday, December 6.

Arriving as the newest slice of happiness to come out of TrimTab Brewing’s Cellar Reserve Series, Cake Therapy is an Imperial Stout “crafted with double chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla icing.”  Coming in at 10% ABV, the decadently sweet Cake Therapy is sure to delight “16 sinfully delicious ounces” at a time.

Cake Therapy will officially release in the Tasting Gallery at TrimTab Brewing on December 6. This Limited Release offering will be available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans.  There is no word at this time as to whether Cake Therapy will see distribution, but past Cellar Reserve Series offerings have turned up at select craft beer-focused establishments located within TrimTab Brewing’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Cake Therapy from TrimTab Brewing

Release – Limited/Cellar Reserve Series; December 6, 2019
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 10%
Added Ingredients – Double chocolate, cinnamon & vanilla icing
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Brewery Release; limited distribution is possible if supply allows for it

Hidden Springs Ale Works & 3 Sons Brewing Co. Collaborate on Moby Thiccc

HiddenSprings3SonsHidden Springs Ale Works (Tampa, Florida) has officially announced that it will hold a Limited Bottle Release for Moby Thicc, a Barrel-aged Imperial Stout brewed in collaboration with 3 Sons Brewing Company (Dania Beach, Florida), in its tasting room on Saturday, December 7.

Specifically created for the most seasoned white whale hunters out there in the craft beer community, Moby Thicc is a Barrel-aged Imperial Stout featuring toasted coconut, chocolate and almonds.  Weighing in at a massive 13% ABV, Moby Thicc promises to offer an experience similar to an Almond Joy.

The bottle release for Moby Thicc will take place at Hidden Springs Ale Works (1631 N. Franklin St. | Tampa, Florida) at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 7. 22 oz. bottles of Moby Thiccc will cost $30 each and the brewery will announce the bottle limit 15 minutes prior to opening. Cash is preferred, but cards will be accepted.

A few things to keep in mind if you plan to attend this bottle release:

  • Parking is available up and down Franklin St., on Henderson just west of Tampa, and on 7th Ave. There are also paid lots located across the street from the brewery and under the I-275 overpass
  • Once you are in line, make sure that you hug the wall near the door on Henderson so that foot traffic will not be affected on the sidewalks
  • Above all, please be respectful of the brewery’s neighbors and be sure that you pick up after yourself

Moby Thiccc is a brewery exclusive release and will not see distribution.  Like all white whales worth hunting, Moby Thiccc will be elusive and disappear just as quickly as it appears.  If you wish to get your hands on a bottle of this beast, just make sure that you are in line by the final head count on Saturday morning. Prost!

Vital Information for Moby Thiccc from Hidden Springs Ale Works & 3 Sons Brewing Company

Release – Limited; December 7, 2019
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 13%
IBUs – 20
Added Ingredients – Toasted coconut, chocolate & almonds
Treatment – Barrel-aged
Availability – 22 oz. bottles
Distribution – None. Brewery exclusive release

3 Sons Brewing Co. Schedules Bottle Release for Vanilla Big Sxxxy

3SonsLogo3 Sons Brewing Company (Dania Beach, Florida) has officially announced that it will hold a Limited Bottle Release for Vanilla Big Sxxxy at the brewery on Sunday, December 8.

Arriving as the latest variant of 3 Sons Brewing Co.’s Big Sxxxy Barrel-aged Barleywine, Vanilla Big Sxxxy is an English-style Barleywine that has aged in vanilla bourbon barrels for 22 months.  This treatment results in a “creamy, thic and rich” Vanilla Big Sxxxy that supplies an experience that the brewery describes as “liquid caramel bourbon, crème brûlée,”

Vanilla Big Sxxxy will officially release in the taproom at 3 Sons Brewing Company (236 N Federal Hwy Suite 104 | Dania Beach, Florida) at noon on Sunday, December 8.  This Limited Release offering will be available in 375ml bottles for the cost $24 each (limit of two bottles per person).  3 Sons Brewing Company will also have a limited amount of Big Sxxxy branded glassware available during the release for $10 each (limit of one glass per person).  Vanilla Big Sxxxy is a brewery exclusive release that will not see distribution.  Prost!

Vital Information for Vanilla Big Sxxxy from 3 Sons Brewing Company

Release – Limited; December 8, 2019
Style – English-style Barleywine
ABV – ???
Treatment – Aged for 22 months in vanilla bourbon barrels
Availability – 375ml bottles ($24 each, limit of two bottles per person)
Distribution – None. Brewery exclusive release

DuClaw Brewing Co. Expands Distribution to Tennessee

DuclawLogoDuClaw Brewing Co. (Baltimore, Maryland) has officially announced that it has partnered with Advintage Distributing so that it can immediately begin distribution throughout the state of Tennessee.

Established in 1996, DuClaw Brewing Co. has since made a name for itself by “fearlessly innovating” and pushing the limits of what beer lovers expect from the craft beer industry.  This clever approach has led the brewery to create a mind-blowing portfolio “including ‘Sweet Baby Jesus’ Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, and its ‘Sour Me’ series including ‘Sour Me Unicorn Farts.”  With the addition of Tennessee, DuClaw’s beers are now in 19 states across the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest U.S.

DuClaw Brewing Co. will enter the Tennessee market with offerings such as ‘Sweet Baby Jesus’ Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, ‘Dirty Little Freak’ Coconut Caramel Chocolate Brown Ale, ‘Regular Beer’ Lager, ‘Haze Of Glory’ New England IPA, ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ Strawberry Tart IPA, ‘Apri-Caught Stealing’ Apricot Tart IPA, and ‘Sweet Baby Java’ Espresso Bean infused Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter.  

“We’ve wanted to get our brews into the hands of Tennesseans for a while, so we’re very happy to announce our arrival,” said DuClaw Founder Dave Benfield. “It’s been a strong start, and we’re looking forward to building on that momentum.”

With the assistance of Advintage Distributing, DuClaw Brewing Co. is rolling out in Tennessee now.  You can expect to find DuClaw offerings at craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located throughout the state.  Prost!

 

New Belgium Brewing & TRVE Brewing Co. Collaborate on Where I Live Dark Sour Ale

NBTRVEWhereILive2New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, Colorado) has officially announced that Where I Live, a Limited Release Mixed Culture Sour Ale brewed in collaboration with TRVE Brewing Company (Denver, Colorado), is hitting select markets now.

Inspired by the “ancient Belgian tradition” of blending wood-aged Sour Ales, Lauren Limbach, New Belgium Wood Cellar Director and Blender, and Nick Nunns, Founder of TRVE Brewing, have “long dreamt of blending their sour beers” but such a project was not legally possible until December 2017 when the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform “legalized brewery-to-brewery tax-free transfers of beer.”

“When we first started talking about this collaboration at GABF 2016, it wasn’t even legal,” says Limbach. “U.S. brewers couldn’t send beer to each other for this kind of project. That changed in late 2017, paving the way for what we think is the first beer of its kind in the U.S. — legally, at least.”

To bring this “dream collaboration” to life, New Belgium started Where I Live with a base beer brewed with malts from Troubadour Maltings in Fort Collins and fermented with Norwegian Kveik yeast.  That base beer was then “blended with a foeder-aged dark sour, then further matured with TRVE’s mixed-culture in one of New Belgium’s French oak foeders.”  To finish the beer off, the final blend was “circulated over whole-flower lavender grown on the Western Slope of Colorado by Two Bears Farms.”  Clocking in at 6% ABV, Where I Live comes together to be “a floral-infused, malt-driven, crushable sour full of friendship and intent.”

Where I Live officially debuted on Black Friday, November 29 and will be available as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Virginia, California, Nevada, Missouri, Connecticut, Kentucky and New York.  Prost!

Vital Information for Where I Live from New Belgium Brewing & TRVE Brewing Company

Release – Limited; November 29, 2019
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 6%
Malts – Pevec, Ballad & Encore from Troubadour Maltings in Fort Collins, Colorado
Added Ingredients – Whole flower lavender
Yeast – Kveik
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Limited; Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arizona, Virginia, California, Nevada, Missouri, Connecticut, Kentucky & New York
Beer Finder – https://www.newbelgium.com/beer/finder/

WhereILiveProcess
Lauren Limbach, New Belgium Wood Cellar Director and Blender, illustrates the process for creating Where I Live. Photo Credit: New Belgium Brewing

Founders Brewing Co. Reveals 2020 Availability Calendar

4_giants_fpo_3-4_mockup-1024x1024Brewery release calendar season is back once again and we are kicking of this year’s round with a look at the 2020 Availability Calendar for Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

As is the norm around here when it comes to beer calendars, we have published Founders Brewing Co.’s 2020 Availability Calendar in its entirety below so that you can examine it at your own pace.  With that said, here are a few juicy tidbits that we would like to highlight before we turn you over to the calendar:

  • The Barrel-Aged Series kicks off with the 2019/2020 release of KBS Espresso – the first variant of KBS – which will have availability into February 2020.  The original KBS will return in February as a Year-Round release. Más Agave (May – July) and Underground Mountain Brown (September – October) are both scheduled to return in 2020. Founders plans to add two new yet-to-be-named offerings to the series during the year – one of which will be a Más Agave variant.
  • The brewery’s Year-Round lineup will see the addition of Unraveled IPA in February.  Unraveled IPA is an “incredibly flavorful and aromatic” Juicy India Pale Ale “dry hopped with traditional hop pellets along with lupulin powder, an innovative hop product that separates lupulin from the hop flower.”  ABV – 6.6%  IBUS – 50
  • Centennial IPA will get some new packaging options in 2020.  Look for this Year-Round to have availability in 19.2 oz. cans and 6-packs of 12 oz. cans beginning in February 2020.
  • 4 Giants IPA, “a mashup of [the brewery’s] four favorite imperial IPAs,” will be available April through June 2020 as a part of the Limited Series.
  • Speaking of the Limited Series, Frangelic Mountain Brown (January – March), Green Zebra (May – August), and Harvest Ale (October) are all scheduled to return.  Founders plans to also add two yet-to-be-named offerings to the series in 2020.
  • The Mothership Series, the brewery’s “ultra-limited, brew team favorite beers only found at [Founders] taproom locations,” will kick off with the return of Devil Dancer on January 22.  Founders plans to release five more Mothership Series offerings throughout the year.
  • The brewery will launch the MI-Exclusive Series in 2020 with the March release of Red’s Rye IPA in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans. As you may have already guessed, the MI-Exclusive Series will see exclusive distribution in Founders Brewing Co.’s home state of Michigan.

That should just about cover all the points we wanted to go over, but there is still a good amount of info left for you to discover on the calendar below. Give it a good look and start getting excited about all the tasty brews headed your way from Founders Brewing Co in 2020.  Prost!

2020_Availability_Calendar_printer_friendly-1-1024x877