Hi-Wire Brewing Releases 2019 Collaboration 12-Pack

Hi-Wire-BrewingHi-Wire Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) has officially announced that it will release the 2019 edition of its always popular Collaboration Mixed 12-Pack in mid-January.

Back for its third straight year, the Collaboration Mixed 12-Pack is a project that attempts to “connect the dots between some of [Hi-Wire’s] favorite breweries and their fans while creating beers that blend the different styles and philosophies of each brewery.”  The packaging for each collaboration beer features “a vintage ‘spray paint’ can inspired design which represents the kaleidoscope of ideas and recipes created within the collaborations.”

This year’s collaborations are as follows (official descriptions sourced from Hi-Wire Brewing’s press release):

  • Hoppy Pilsner | Collaboration with Rhinegeist Brewery – A common thread among our collaboration 12-pack for 2019 is the ‘beer first’ philosophy of the participating breweries. Rhinegeist Brewery out of Cincinnati, Ohio stays true to this sentiment by creating solid, drinkable beers and brewing a lot of them. For this classic Hoppy Pilsner we used triticale malt from Epiphany Craft Malt here in North Carolina. The hybrid of wheat and rye in this malt varietal imparts a pleasant mouthfeel and grainy backbone to let the tropical citrus, passionfruit and pine notes from Vic Secret, Montueka, and Ella hops shine.  (5.5% ABV)
  • Blonde Brunch Stout | Collaboration with Revelry Brewing Co. – Revelry Brewing likes to play with creative ingredients and recipes at their brewery in Charleston, South Carolina. With this collab our objective was simple: create a brunch-worthy stout without utilizing darker stout malts with an ABV low enough to take you from breakfast well into the late afternoon. Cacao nibs lends notes of roasty chocolate, fresh vanilla creates a creamy mouthfeel, while naturally processed Monte Crisol Costa Rican coffee from Asheville’s High Noon Coffee Roasters adds a soothing and distinct coffee character with notes of blueberry and lemon. (4.8% ABV)
  • No Coast IPA | Collaboration with Monday Night Brewing – Our collaboration with Monday Night Brewing out of Atlanta, Georgia represents the melding of two IPA worlds and we think that’s a good thing, probably. No Coast IPA is brimming with stone fruit, tangerine zest, and juicy tropical hop character balanced by a creamy mouthfeel. All the while, this hazy straw colored ale pays homage to the piney wheat and bitter character of a classic west coast IPA. It’s not east coast. It’s not west coast. It’s no coast. (6.7% ABV)

The beers above will enter full distribution in mid-January with limited availability in the Collaboration Mixed 12-pack of 12 oz. cans and on draft.  You can expect to find these brews at select craft beer-focused establishments located within Hi-Wire Brewing’s distribution footprint in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. Prost!


Creature Comforts & Russian River Brewing Company Get Comfortable in 2019

ccbcwrrbcCreature Comforts Brewing Co. (Athens, Georgia) has officially announced that it has partnered with Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, California) to brew Get Comfortable IPA, a special collaboration beer that will raise funds and awareness for the brewery’s 2019 Get Comfortable campaign.

Established by Creature Comforts in 2015 as a means “of being a good neighbor to those in need”, Get Comfortable is a Year-Round program with a mission “to unify the business community to resource the agencies meeting the community’s most pressing needs.” After conducting “a rigorous vetting process” and seeking direction from “an advisory committee of community stakeholders”, Creature Comforts has “selected nine organizations to highlight throughout the season and receive funding when the program wraps in November 2019.”  The nine nonprofits that will benefit from the 2019 Get Comfortable campaign are as follows: Action Ministries, Advantage Behavioral Health, The Ark, Athens Community Council on Aging, Bigger Vision, Chess & Community, College Factory, Family Connection-Communities in Schools, and Mercy Health Center.

“Get Comfortable aims to align as many partners as possible to make the largest impact that we collectively can. Beyond the more than 40 local businesses participating in this year’s campaign, we are profoundly honored to welcome a new partner this year in Russian River Brewing Company. Headquartered across the country in Sonoma County, they obviously operate beyond the borders of Athens-Clarke, but they are absolutely a part of our craft beer community,” said Director of Community & Culture, Matt Stevens.


“Given our desire to transition the Get Comfortable release into an annual collaboration, and specifically our aim to leverage this program to intersect with other craft breweries famous for their philanthropic work, Russian River was an obvious choice to inaugurate this new direction. Whether it’s their annual Framboise for a Cure release, past participation in Ales for ALS, or most recently, their rallying the craft beer world around the Sonoma Pride project in the wake of last year’s California wildfires, they remain an industry leader both in the quality of their product and the reputation of their charity.”

To draw more attention to the campaign in 2019 and in years moving forward, the Get Comfortable program “will begin partnering with another brewery each year to release a collaborative beer to generate funds for the campaign.”  Russian River Brewing Company has partnered with Creature Comforts for the 2019 campaign, and the two breweries collaborated to brew Get Comfortable IPA – an India Pale Ale featuring Strata, Amarillo, Comet, and Pahto hops.

“When Russian River put a call out to our friends in the craft beer industry last year to raise money for the victims of the 2017 Sonoma County fires, Creature Comforts came forward to help support the cause. It was pretty early on in our recruiting, so naturally I was blown away that a brewery all the way from Athens, Georgia would help out,” said Russian River Owner & Brewer Vinnie Cilurzo.
“Fast forward to the 2018 Firestone Walker Invitational, Adam and I were having a beer and discussing beer and business and he told me about the Get Comfortable campaign Creature Comforts was doing. When Adam asked if we’d like to brew a beer together to help raise money for local charities in Athens, it was an easy yes. At Russian River, we look at giving back to our community as a part of our business model, so it is great to connect with others in the beer industry like Creature Comforts who have the same values.”

The 2019 Get Comfortable campaign and Get Comfortable IPA – available throughout the campaign on draft and in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans – will both launch on Wednesday, February 6 in the Tasting Room at Creature Comforts.  This event will kick off “a pronounced season of emphasis taking place February 6 through April 10, during which the brewery will donate 100-percent of its Wednesday ‘community day’ profits towards the Get Comfortable fund.”  Get Comfortable merchandise, another means of raising funds for the campaign, will also be available during the launch event.  Prost!


Get Comfortable IPA brew day with members of Creature Comforts Brewing Co. and Russian River Brewing Company. 


New Collaboration from Oskar Blues & Cigar City Brewing: Bamburana Double Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout

oskarbluesccbOskar Blues Brewery (Longmont, Colorado) and Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida) have officially announced plans to make Bamburana, an innovative new collaboration beer, available for national distribution in mid-January.

When Wayne Wambles, Brewmaster at Cigar City Brewing, and Tim Matthews, Head of Brewing Operations at Oskar Blues Brewery, put their heads together to develop the recipe for Bamburana, their overall intent was to “craft a brew that would marry the flavors of double-barrel aged imperial stout and Amburana wood, . . . an indigenous South American wood that imparts unique warm and savory flavors and aroma.”  To pull this off, these “two giant craft beer personalities” brewed an Imperial Stout with figs and dates, and then double barrel-aged it in whiskey and brandy barrels.  After a lengthy maturation period in those barrels, the beer was then “aged once more in tanks with Amburana wood spirals.”  Now that its treatment has been deemed complete, Bamburana (12.2% ABV) has risen from its rest boasting “forward-facing roasted malt flavors that branch out against a dark fruit backdrop of figs and dates” while “brandy and whiskey accents make themselves known with complex boozy-and-sweet flavors, complementing the warmth and spice of Amburana wood.”

“We were excited to see the results of infusing Amburana wood into a big, barrel-aged imperial stout,” said Wayne Wambles, Brewmaster at Cigar City Brewing. “We were pleasantly surprised with the vanilla and gingerbread spice nuances this South American wood contributed into the finished beer and look forward to putting this delicious beer in front of folks!”


“We’re both known for barrel-aging big, malty, dark beers,” added Tim Matthews, Head of Brewing Operations at Oskar Blues Brewery. “The culinary goal of this project was to match the flavors of a rich candy cookie with fig filling and gingerbread spice. We spent a bunch of time selecting the right figs and dates to hit exactly the right flavor notes, lend a slight stickiness and cut into the rowdiness of the Amburana wood.”

Bamburana is slated to hit shelves in mid-January 2019 and will hang around as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas and throughout the rest of Oskar Blues Brewery’s/CANarchy’s nationwide distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for Bamburana from Oskar Blues Brewery & Cigar City Brewing

Release – Limited, mid-January 2019
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 12.2%
Added Ingredients – Figs & dates
Treatment – Double barrel-aged – in both whiskey and brandy barrels – and aged once more in tanks with Amburana wood spirals
Fun Fact – Bamburana is the first nationally distributed collaboration between Oskar Blues Brewery & Cigar City Brewing

Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. cans

Maui Brewing and Smog City Brewing Collaborate on Star Maps Kolsch

MauiSmogMaui Brewing Company (Kihei, Hawaii) has officially announced that it will release Star Maps Kolsch, a Limited Release collaboration with Smog City Brewing Co. (Torrance, California), during the month of December 2018.

Named in reference to the fact that “the independent breweries [Maui Brewing and Smog City Brewing] are connected by the stars and the Pacific Ocean, as well as . . . the tourist maps of the stars in the City of Angels”, Star Maps is a Kolsch-style Ale that adds a tropical burst of starfruit from Ono Organic Farms to a base recipe that already has Huell Melon, Motueka, and Calypso hops [offering] notes of citrus, apple, and melon, while the Pilsner, Wheat, and Vienna malts provide light malt character with citrus and fruit esters.”  Star Maps comes in at a light and refreshing 6.1% ABV and 35 IBUs.

“Los Angeles will always have a special place in my heart. It is where I became a brewer, learning from some of the most passionate and talented people in our industry. The craft beer landscape in LA has grown dramatically since I moved away, so I was super stoked to be able to collaborate with my dear friends from one of the city’s first breweries, Smog City Brewing. It has been heartbreaking to see the fires in Malibu and surrounding areas devastate some of my old stomping grounds. Team MBC sends all of our Aloha to everyone affected from this massive disaster, and our gratitude to the heroes on the ground. Cheers to them – they deserve some beers!”


– Matt Ponichtera, Brewer at Maui Brewing Company

Star Maps Kolsch is rolling out now at all Maui Brewing locations – Kihei, Lahaina, and Waikiki – and is scheduled to hit distribution any day now.  You can expect to find this Specialty Release available as long as supplies last in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Hawaii, California and a “few” other markets found within Maui Brewing’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Star Maps Kolsch from Maui Brewing Company & Smog City Brewing Co.

Release – Specialty/Limited, December 2018
Style – Kolsch 
ABV – 6.1%
IBUs – 35
Hops – Huell Melon, Motueka & Calypso
Malts – Pilsner, Wheat & Vienna
Added Ingredients – Starfruit from Ono Organic Farms
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – https://mauibrewingco.com/find-our-beer/


Dogfish Head Craft Brewery & the Grateful Dead Reunite for 2019 American Beauty

american-beauty-press-photos-11Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, Delaware) has once again teamed up with the iconic Grateful Dead band to revive American Beauty, a fan-favorite collaboration beer, for the entirety of 2019.

First released back in 2013, American Beauty is an American Pale Ale brewed with “granola and succulent wildflower honey which adds toasty, sweet notes to this hoppy ale.”  The decision to use granola came after Dogfish Head and the Grateful Dead “jointly reached out to their fan base with a call out for ingredient suggestions to incorporate into the recipe of the beer. Loyal dead heads and off-centered ale enthusiasts submitted more than 1500 ingredient suggestions, and after careful thought (and chuckles at some of the entries,) it was granola for the win.”  American Beauty clocks in at 6.5% ABV “to commemorate the year the Grateful Dead was formed (1965).”

“After more than 50 years of performing in front of fans all over the world, folks remain fiercely loyal to the Grateful Dead due to the organically imaginative, creative and accessible culture they nurture across all artistic platforms,” said Sam Calagione, CEO and founder of Dogfish Head. “We, at Dogfish, are inspired by their music, along with their unprecedented ability to bridge long-lasting, meaningful connections with fans for decades on end. We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Dead for a second iteration of American Beauty and hope fans of free-spirited music and independent beer will join in welcoming back this classic pale ale.”

American Beauty is rolling out this month and has plans to hang around through 2019.  You can expect to find this “Occasional” Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Delaware and throughout the rest of Dogfish Head’s distribution area.  Prost!

Vital Information for American Beauty (2019) from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Release – Limited/Occasional, December 2018 – December 2019
Style – American Pale Ale
ABV – 6.5%
Added Ingredients – Granola & wildflower honey
Fun Fact #1 – “In addition to the beer release, Dogfish Head will be working with the official Grateful Dead archivist, David Lemieux, who curates and produces a series of rare and highly sought-after live Grateful Dead shows, known as “Dave’s Picks.” Dogfish Head will partner with Lemieux on a number of projects, including an immersive storytelling experience at their Rehoboth and Milton properties in early February.”
Fun Fact #2 – On the name of the beer: “This synergetic union brings fans a pale ale that shares a name with the popular 1970 Grateful Dead album, American Beauty, featuring hits like ‘Friend of the Devil,’ ‘Sugar Magnolia,’ and ‘Truckin.’” 

Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles
Beer Finder – https://www.dogfish.com/brewery/fishfinder


Proof Brewing & First Magnitude Brewing Collaborate on Win Win Double New England Style IPA

ProofFirstMagProof Brewing Co. (Tallahassee, Florida) has announced that it will properly recognize the upcoming rivalry game between the University of Florida and Florida State University with the release of Win Win Double New England-style IPA, a special collaboration with their friends at First Magnitude Brewing Company (Gainesville, Florida), on Saturday, November 17 at noon.

Always happy to jump at the opportunity to support their hometown teams and talk a little (friendly) trash to the opposition, the crews at Proof Brewing Co. and First Magnitude Brewing Company have come together once again to brew a Win Win collaboration beer.  For this year’s release, the two breweries decided to whip up a Double New England-style India Pale Ale brewed with Galaxy, Zythos, and Grungesist hops.  Absolutely “exploding with hazy, juicy, tropical fruity character”, Win Win 2018 is definitely “something fans of both teams can get behind!”

Win Win Double New England-style IPA will officially release in Proof Brewing Co.’s tasting room on Saturday, November 17 at noon.  This Limited Edition release will be available in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft.  Supplies are incredibly limited, and limits will be set at the door at the time of release.  Prost!



Hi-Wire & Highland Brewing Brew Up Plum Nectar Berliner Weisse Collaboration

HighlandBrewingLogoHighland Brewing (Asheville North Carolina) and Hi-Wire Brewing (Asheville, North Carolina) have officially announced that they will release their new collaboration beer Plum Nectar in their respective taprooms on Wednesday, October 17.

Developed from an idea that brewers Sarah Gulotta of Hi-Wire Brewing and Katie Smith of Highland Brewing concocted while interacting together in the Pink Boots Society, Plum Nectar is a Berliner Weisse that has been dry-hopped with Azacca hops and introduced to “17 pounds of plums per barrel.”  This results in a 4.6% ABV Plum Nectar that “blends aromatic citrus and tropical fruit notes from [the] hops with the juicy and sweet character” of the plums.

“It’s awesome to work with Highland – the beer culture in this town started with them, and they’ve been so supportive of Hi-Wire. I love when local breweries work together – it’s all about celebrating our community here in Asheville. Also, Highland has been very supportive of women in the beer industry, so it was fantastic to work with another female brewer.”  – Sarah Gulotta of Hi-Wire Brewing


 “I had a blast collaborating with Hi-Wire on this beer! Starting with recipe development alongside Sarah all the way to spending the day brewing at their Big Top location. Our goal was (is) to create a deliciously tart Berliner Weisse with a slight spicy rye note to pair with the deep rich flavor of the plums.”  – Katie Smith of Highland Brewing

Plum Nectar will officially debut at release parties that will take place at Hi-Wire’s and Highland’s taprooms on October 17.  The breweries “will donate one dollar from each draft pour of Plum Nectar sold at the release parties” to the Pink Boots SocietyPlum Nectar will also enter distribution in mid-October, and you can expect to find this Limited Release available in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer establishments located throughout North Carolina.  Prost!

Vital Information for Plum Nectar from Hi-Wire Brewing & Highland Brewing

Release – Limited, mid-October 2018
Style – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 4.6%
Featured Hops – Azacca
Added Ingredients – 17 pounds of plums per barrel
Fun Fact – On the label artwork: The 16 oz. cans feature “Highland’s signature mountain-scape with Hi-Wire’s ‘clean color-blocked’ specialty branding.”
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – North Carolina only

21st Amendment & Fieldwork Brewing Co. Collaborate, Come Up With A Terrible Idea

21aATerribleIdeaCan21st Amendment Brewery (San Leandro, California) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of A Terrible Idea Hazy IPA, a new collaboration with their friends at Fieldwork Brewing Co. (Berkeley, California), on August 18.

Dedicated to the idea that “with every bad decision there is a risk and sometimes an incredible reward”, A Terrible Idea is a joint effort by 21st Amendment and Fieldwork Brewing Co. to create what they call a “California New England Style Hazy IPA”.  Brewed with a massive amount of Citra, Mosaic, Ekuanot and Calypso hops and fermented with an ale yeast from Vermont, A Terrible Idea (6.8% ABV) ultimately comes together to supply its drinker with “a floral, dank and piney hop aroma . . . delicate malt clouds, . . . a juicy mouthfeel and notes of peach, orange, mango and pineapple.”

“We used four pounds of hops per barrel in the dry hop alone, which is twice our typical rate for most of our 21A beers,” said Shaun O’Sullivan, Co-Founder and Brewmaster of 21st Amendment. “At one point I remember asking Barry and Alex if adding this many hops was a terrible idea and they just shrugged their shoulders and added more.”


“The Citra, Mosaic, Ekuanot and Calypso hops in this beer were all I heard about for days and days. They couldn’t get enough,” said Nico Freccia, Co-Founder of 21st Amendment. “But we also used a Vermont ale yeast, so that makes A Terrible Idea a ‘California New England Style Hazy IPA’ (new category?) that is in a league of its own.”

A Terrible Idea Hazy IPA will make its official debut on Saturday, August 18 at 21st Amendment’s AugustFest, and will enter distribution at or around that date.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Florida, Georgia, California and throughout the rest of 21st Amendment’s distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for A Terrible Idea Hazy IPA from 21st Amendment Brewery & Fieldwork Brewing Co.

Release – Limited, mid-August 2018
Style – American India Pale Ale (Hazy/New England-style)
ABV – 6.8%
IBUs – 55
Featured Hops – Citra, Mosaic, Ekuanot & Calypso
Fun Fact – On the packaging artwork: “While we understand that the #HazeCraze will peak your interest, we know the packaging for this beer will surely keep your attention. All four panels of the six-pack carrier tell a hilarious tale of five knuckle draggers who weren’t afraid to ignore popular opinion, follow their hearts and make an extraordinary beer. And in all honestly, we’re glad they did. In a succession of terrible ideas that haunt us all, was making this beer one of them? We stand behind the claim: absolutely not!”
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Beer Finder – http://21st-amendment.com/find-some/

Jolly Pumpkin Collaborates with La Sirène Brewing on Costa dei Villa Saison

Costa+Dei+Villa+Bottle+-+100+dpiJolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales (Dexter, Michigan) has officially announced the Limited Release of Costa dei Villa, a Sour Hoppy Session Saison brewed in collaboration with Australia’s La Sirène Brewing.

When Costa from La Sirène Brewing turned up at the brewery for a little collaboration session, the folks at Jolly Pumpkin put his talents as a self-proclaimed “Farmhouse Free Styler” to work in the creation of Costa dei Villa.  Brewed with four different hop varieties, this Sour Hoppy Session Saison boasts “a light tart body, . . . mild bitterness, . . . aromas of citrus, kumquat and soft wheat” and a flavor profile that offers “notes of grapefruit pith, a touch of Meyer lemon, and Jolly funk.”  With a reduced ABV of 4.6%, the “extremely quaffable” Costa dei Villa promises to be “the perfect beer for gathering the cobbers and sparking up the barbie!”

Costa dei Villa is available now and will hang around as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 750ml bottles at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Jolly Pumpkin’s distribution footprint. Prost!

Vital Information for Costa dei Villa from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales & La Sirène Brewing

Release – Limited, late-June/July 2018
Style – Saison
ABV – 4.6%
IBUs – 25
Malts – Pilsner Malt, Pale Malt, Raw Wheat, Flaked Oats, & Vienna Malt
Hops – MI Cascade, Crystal, Galaxy, Vanguard & MI Chinook
Treatment – Aged in oak for 5 months
Availability – 750ml bottles

Cigar City Brewing & Upland Brewing Collaborate on Galactic Cluster IPA

Logo-3color-Pantone-CMYK-thumbCigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida) has announced that Galactic Cluster, an American IPA with Guava and Peach brewed in collaboration with Upland Brewing Co. (Bloomington, Indiana), is officially available now as a Tasting Room Exclusive release.

Named after a cosmic structure that houses “hundreds or thousands of galaxies . . . congressed together in one thicket of the universe”, Galactic Cluster is a craft beer phenomenon that combines Cigar City and Upland Brewing’s talents to create an American India Pale Ale brewed with guava and peach and dry-hopped with Galaxy hops.  This results in a 6.5% ABV, 46 IBU Galactic Cluster that has “peach, kiwi, guava and clementine aromas meld and meet soft apple-like esters on the nose, while a palate of orange peel, lime leaf and vibrant peach and guava is supported by a cracker-like malt flavor and a smooth, full mouthfeel.”

Galactic Cluster is available now in the Tasting Room at Cigar City Brewing in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans ($15 each) and on draft.  A post on Cigar City’s Instagram page listed this offering as a “Tasting Room Exclusive”, so – at this time – there is no reason to believe that Galactic Cluster will see distribution.  The Bright Side: at least this gives you an excuse – as if you needed one – to go hang out at Cigar City Brewing.  Prost!

Vital Information for Galactic Cluster from Cigar City Brewing & Upland Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Special Release; July 10, 2018
Style – American India Pale Ale
ABV – 6.5%
IBUs – 46
Featured Hops – Galaxy
Added Ingredients – Guava & Peach purée
Recommended Glassware – Spiegelau IPA Glass
Availability – 4-packs of 16 oz. cans & draft

Distribution – None, available exclusively in Cigar City Brewing’s Tasting Room