Heavy Seas Beer and MadTree Brewing Collaborate on Partner Ships Wee Heavy

37446856332_09db49a873_kHeavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) announced this week that it will be closing out the 2017 edition of its Partner Ships Series with a Wee Heavy brewed in collaboration with MadTree Brewing Company (Cincinnati, Ohio).

Heavy Seas Beer recently hosted the folks from MadTree Brewing Company so that they could brew up the year’s final release in The Partner Ships Series, a lineup of limited releases from Heavy Seas that “features beers produced in collaboration with other regionally and nationally recognized brewers in the spirit of friendship, creativity, and adventure.”  After a little brainstorming, the two brew crews decided to take on the classic Wee Heavy style and liven it up with some local twists.  The recipe for their Wee Heavy begins with a malt bill comprised of “Golden Promise . . . a touch of Roasted Barley, . . . Simpson’s Double Roast Crystal and Weyermann Chocolate Rye to add a unique touch.”  After a subtle addition of East Kent Golding hops, tradition is eventually abandoned as the beer receives local flavors of “Burundi Mpanga coffee from Deeper Roots in Cincinnati, Ethiopian Harrar coffee from Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. in Baltimore, and cocoa nibs from Maverick Chocolate in Cincinnati.”  This all results in a robust, 8.25% ABV Wee Heavy that is “deep mahogany in color with layers of malt, chocolate, and roasted complexity.”

Partner Ships Wee Heavy officially releases in November and will be available as long as supplies last.  You can expect to find this Limited Release available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select, craft beer-focused retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, Maryland and throughout the rest of Heavy Seas Beer’s distribution network. Prost!

Vital Information for Partner Ships Wee Heavy from Heavy Seas Beer and MadTree Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Partner Ships Series, November 2017
Style – Wee Heavy
ABV – 8.25%
IBUs – 25
Malts – Golden Promise, Roasted Barley, Double Roast Crystal & Chocolate Rye
Hops –  UK Goldings
Added Ingredients – Ethiopian Harrar coffee, Burundi Mpanga coffee & cocoa nibs
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Beer Finder – http://hsbeer.com/beerfinder

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Tasting Notes: Partner Ships IPL from Heavy Seas Beer and Cigar City Brewing

CCBHSIPLPour_edited1000This week’s installment of Tasting Notes gets a double dose of styles and breweries as we have a look at Partner Ships IPL from Heavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) and Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida).

This very special IPL (India Pale Lager) comes to us as the latest installment in Heavy Seas Beer’s Partner Ships Series, a lineup of limited releases that “features beers produced in collaboration with other regionally and nationally recognized brewers in the spirit of friendship, creativity, and adventure.”  Heavy Seas teamed up with Cigar City Brewing this time around to brew a golden lager that combines “bready malt aromatics” with a sizable hop bill (Cascade, Centennial, Mosaic, Simcoe & Mandarina Bavaria) that one might associate with an American India Pale Ale.  Thanks to “late addition kettle hops followed by extensive dry-hopping”, the 7.8% ABV Partner Ships IPL comes together to provide “full citrus and tropical fruit flavors and aromas balancing a soft bitterness.”  Partner Ships IPL is available now in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer-friendly establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Maryland and throughout the rest of Heavy Sea Beer’s distribution area.

Now that we have worked our way through the details behind Partner Ships IPL, let’s dig a little deeper by pouring a glass and getting into some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Partner Ships IPL from Heavy Seas Beer & Cigar City Brewing

Appearance:  Partner Ships IPL pours a yellow-tinged copper in color and is wearing a solid two fingers of creamy white foam.  When held to direct light, the color brightens intensely to reveal a beautiful, deep golden.  Pristine in clarity, the beer displays an abundant carbonation presence plugging away within.  Head has good retention, but it does eventually reduce down to a lasting and lush half finger that leaves behind wide sheets of lace on the glass.

Aroma: The first note to hit the nose is a solid, spot-on lager maltiness that has a nice and comforting bready quality to it.  Starting with an earthy, floral character predominately comprised of piney and grassy notes, the hops creep forward, slowly build, and finish with a citrus flourish of lemon, grapefruit and tangerine.

Taste:  In this arena, the hops strike first with a bright pop of grapefruit, orange and lemon zest.  That initial citrus hop bite softens to expose floral, grassy and piney tones just before a second fruity wave rises to engulf the palate with notes of tangerine and tropical fruit.  The beer closes with a slightly sweet, pilsner malt breadiness and just a bit of booziness.

Mouthfeel:  Medium bodied with a soft carbonation, this IPL has a good amount of weight to it but still remains highly drinkable.  The expected bitterness is there, but it is subdued and nicely balanced by just the right amount of sweet malt character.  That 7.8% ABV brings a little heat, but it does not take away from the experience.  The aftertaste leaves behind some tangerine zest and a touch of alcohol.

Final Thoughts:  The greatest takeaway from our experience with Partner Ships IPL was the remarkable way that Heavy Seas and Cigar City retained the soul of a beautiful lager in a beer that had its hop bill pumped up to true American IPA levels.  In a hybrid style where the malts are often nothing more than an afterthought these days, this IPL’s Pilsen and Vienna malts are distinctly present and play just as much a role as the hops.  Sure, it causes the alcohol to intrude on the flavor a touch, but it does so in a way that does not damage a profile more abundantly filled with delightful floral, bready, earthy, fruity and crackery notes.  Even at that 7.8% ABV, Partner Ships IPL possesses a level of drinkability that allows for one person to easily crush a 22 oz. bomber in a sitting or sip on all day while in a cookout or get-together kind of atmosphere.  This is a beer drinker’s beer, and that’s something we all can get behind, right?  Be sure to check out Partner Ships IPL before its limited run comes to an end.  Prost!

Heavy Seas and Cigar City Brewing Collaborate on Partner Ships IPL

35031085885_4e10682b3e_kHeavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) has announced that IPL, a special collaboration beer with Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida), will release in July as the next installment in the brewery’s Partner Ships Series.

The brewers at Heavy Seas and Cigar City Brewing recently got together to create India Pale Lager (IPL) as the second release of 2017 in the Partner Ships Series, a lineup of limited releases from Heavy Seas Beer that “features beers produced in collaboration with other regionally and nationally recognized brewers in the spirit of friendship, creativity, and adventure.”  IPL is a golden lager that showcases the characteristics of a sizable hop bill –  Cascade, Centennial, Mosaic, Simcoe and Mandarina Bavaria – alongside “bready malt aromatics.”  Thanks to “late addition kettle hops followed by extensive dry-hopping”, the 7.8% IPL provides “full citrus and tropical fruit flavors and aromas balancing a soft bitterness.”

IPL is a limited release that will officially launch in July.  You can expect to find this offering in 22 oz. bottles at select craft beer establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Maryland and throughout the rest of Heavy Seas Beer’s distribution footprint.  Like all releases from the Partner Ships series, the supply of IPL will be incredibly limited.  Keep that in mind when this brew releases next month and get it while you can.  Prost!

Vital Information for Partner Ships Series: IPL from Heavy Seas Beer & Cigar City Brewing

Release – Limited/Partner Ships Series, July 2017
Style – India Pale Lager
ABV – 7.8%
IBUs – 48
Hops – Cascade, Centennial, Mosaic, Simcoe & Mandarina Bavaria
Malts – Pilsen, Vienna & MFB Special Aromatic Malt
Availability – 22 oz. bottles
Beer Finder – http://hsbeer.com/beerfinder

 

 

Heavy Seas Beer and Union Craft Brewing Collaborate on the Partner Ships Olde Ale

unnamed-13_editedHeavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) recently announced that they will kick off the 2017 edition of the Partner Ships Series with an Olde Ale brewed in collaboration with Union Craft Brewing (Baltimore, Maryland).

The Partner Ships Series – a lineup of limited release brews from Heavy Seas Beer produced in collaboration with other regionally and nationally recognized brewers in the spirit of friendship, creativity, and adventure – returns for another round in 2017 and launches with an Olde Ale created by Heavy Seas and fellow Baltimore brewery, Union Craft Brewing.  The goal of this beer was to stay true to the Old Ale style by featuring “flavors of nuts, cocoa, molasses, and dried fruits float[ing] over a chewy, luscious body of English malt goodness.”  To add a bit of their city’s flair to the brew, the beer also utilizes local Domino Brown Sugar to “yield a true, comfort ale that should kindle its own Baltimore nostalgia.”

“We’ve been having a ball with the Partner Ships collaborations,” said Heavy Seas Founder, Hugh Sisson.  “We are particularly happy to be partnering with Union, part of the “new wave” of Baltimore craft beer, and damn good guys to boot.”

Heavy Seas Beer will officially release the Partner Ships Ole Ale in February of 2017.  This “extremely limited” offering will be available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at craft beer establishments found in Alabama, Florida and throughout the rest of the Heavy Seas distribution area.  The first year of releases from the Partner Ships Series certainly did not disappoint, so be sure to get your hands on this Olde Ale from Heavy Seas and Union Craft Brewing while you can.  Prost!

Vital Information on the Partner Ships Olde Ale from Heavy Seas Beer and Union Craft Brewing

Release – Limited/the Partner Ships Series, February 2017
Style – Old Ale
ABV – 8.5%
IBUs – 25
Hops – UK Fuggle & UK Goldings
Malts – 2-Row, Crystal Marris Otter & Brown
Added Ingredients – Local Domino Brown Sugar
Availability – 22 oz. bottles
Beer Finder – http://www.hsbeer.com/beerfinder

Tasting Notes: Partner Ships Rye Wit from Heavy Seas Beer & Terrapin Beer Co.

hsbtbcryewitlabelThis segment of Tasting Notes continues the collaboration theme by taking a look at the Partner Ships Rye Wit collaboration from Heavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) and Terrapin Beer Co. (Athens, Georgia).

Not only is Rye Wit the current installment in The Partner Ships Series, a lineup of limited releases from Heavy Seas Beer “produced in collaboration with other regionally and nationally recognized brewers in the spirit of friendship, creativity, and adventure,” but it might also be one of the most stealthily clever beer names of the year. How so?  Well . . . Rye Wit sounds a little like “pirate”, an obvious part of the Heavy Seas schtick; it is a homophone for “wry wit”; and it has been said that pirates can indeed have a wry wit.  Savvy?

Alright, let’s move beyond the word play and get back on track with information on this beer.  For this release, Heavy Seas Beer collaborated with the brewers at Terrapin Beer Co. on a recipe that combines the proficiencies for which each brewery is known: the barrel-aging practices of Heavy Seas and Terrapin’s love/obsession with rye.   They ultimately decided to brew up a Witbier boasting the distinct characteristics of rye malts, and then aged it for sixteen weeks in Chardonnay barrels.  Once completed, the 6% ABV Partner Ships Rye Wit was packaged in 22 oz. bottles and released as a limited offering available within the distribution area of Heavy Seas.  This offering is nearing the end of its availability to make room for the next release within the Partner Ships series (click here to read up on that one), but you still stand a pretty good chance of coming across a bottle or two at your favorite craft beer retailer.  That should just about cover the particulars, so let’s put this sweet Witbier glass to some good use and get to the Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for Partner Ships Rye Wit from Heavy Seas Beer and Terrapin Beer Co.

Appearance: Rye Wit flows into the glass to produce a body that is a sunburst orange in color.  When held to direct light, golds radiate near the top and bottom of the glass while the orange center deepens and intensifies.  The body has a good amount of haze and cloudiness to it, but a lazy carbonation presence can be seen meandering about in the form of bubbles that intermittently surface.  The pour generated 3+ fingers of fluffy, snow-white foam.  Head retention is quite good, eventually falling slowly to a lasting finger of a top cap.  This foam displays an other-worldly level of stick, leaving globs of pillow-like lace all over the glass.  Spot on, textbook example of what a Witbier should look like.

Aroma:  An alluring white wine character greets the nose to start.  A fruity sweetness presents itself in the form of Chardonnay grapes and melon, and the barrel lends a touch of creamy vanilla as well.  While savoring this quality, the spicy rye begins to gently bloom.  Wheat then lends an earthy grain note and a touch of banana that mingles easily with light, citrusy hop tones.  One word comes to mind here: Exquisite.

Taste: Rye is so unmistakable as an ingredient, so it is no surprise that it hits the taste buds first.  With that said, those spicy, black pepper tones are tempered as a gentle grain sweetness builds and the banana-like qualities of the wheat come forward.  Also, a touch of coriander arrives to complement the rye even further.  The hops then slide into the frame to provide balance with notes of orange, lemon and peach.  The Chardonnay barrels then embrace the entire experience by rounding and smoothing it all out with a snappy white grape character, a bit of tropical fruit, some earthiness, and the faintest of vanilla sweetness.  This may seem like a lot to take in – and it is -, but it all coalesces with an impeccable level of balance that allows you to fully enjoy and distinguish every aspect of this beer’s flavor.  Incredibly impressive.

Mouthfeel:  Rye Wit is medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.  This brew is crisp and dry, so much so that it further reminds the drinker of a tannin-like, white wine experience.  Aspects of sweetness, bitterness and spice are all allowed to play on the palate, but all of this cleans up and out with remarkable quickness.  At just 6% ABV, the alcohol presence is incredibly light to non-existent.  Delicate Chardonnay notes linger as the only trace of an aftertaste.

Final Thoughts: Like I mentioned above, we all know that Terrapin Beer Co. is a huge fan of using rye as an ingredient in their beers.  Knowing this and seeing that this beer’s name starts with “Rye”, I was initially a bit worried that Partner Ships Rye Wit might take the gracefully nuanced Witbier style to a level of spice overload that just translates as a brutish rye bomb.  The reality is that I was unfairly pessimistic because the intricate level of balance achieved by Heavy Seas and Terrapin in the creation of this beer is simply stunning.  Sure, that spicy rye is showcased, but it is done in such a way that it is reserved and knows its place.  Notes of citrusy hops, a sweet and earthy wheat presence, and sophisticated fruity and vanilla tones from the Chardonnay barrels interlace with the rye to create an elaborate experience that is completely devoid of any aggression or harshness.  Each corner of this beer is softly rounded, allowing every quality of Rye Wit to glide and dance freely across the palate.  This beer is ridiculously complex, but it has been presented in a manner that is approachable and familiar.  Oh, and if you have been looking for that perfect offering to introduce the white wine drinker in your life to world of craft beer, this is it right here.  Prost!

Heavy Seas Beer and Stone Brewing Co. Collaborate on Final Installment of 2016 Partner Ships Series

partnershipsstoneHeavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) recently announced that they have teamed up with Stone Brewing Co. (Escondido, California) to create Imperial Brown IPA as the next release in the Partner Ships Series.

Created by Heavy Seas Beer earlier this year, Partner Ships is a series of limited release beers “produced in collaboration with other regionally and nationally recognized brewers in the spirit of friendship, creativity, and adventure.”  The fourth and final official release of 2016 in this series will be Partner Ships Imperial Brown IPA created with the assistance of the respected and self-proclaimed arrogant industry giant that is Stone Brewing Co.  Partner Ships Imperial Brown IPA combines Stone Brewing’s trademark “American hop mayhem” with Blackstrap Molasses and a pronounced malt backbone to create “a burly, palate obliterating” brew.

Officially releasing in November of 2016, Partner Ships Imperial Brown IPA will be available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.  Look for this limited release offering at select craft beer retailers in Alabama, Florida and throughout the full distribution area of Heavy Seas Beer.  Prost!

Vital Information on Partner Ships Imperial Brown IPA from Heavy Seas Beer and Stone Brewing Co.

Release – Limited, 2016 Partner Ships Series
Style – Hybrid of American Brown Ale & American India Pale Ale
ABV – 9%
IBUs – 90
Hops – Centennial, Palisade, Citra, Chinook & Simcoe
Malts – 2-Row, UK Amber Malt, Brown Malt & Crystal Malt
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft
Previous Partner Ships Releases – Red IPA with Maine Beer Company, Hoppelbock with Tröegs Independent Brewing, & Rye Wit with Terrapin Beer Co.

Heavy Seas and Terrapin collaborate on Barrel-aged Rye Wit

HSBBARyeWitHeavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) recently teamed up with Terrapin Beer Co. (Athens, Georgia) to create Barrel-aged Rye Wit as the latest offering in the Partner Ships series.

The Partner Ships series was developed by Heavy Seas Beer to create innovative collaboration beers with “other regionally and nationally recognized brewers in the spirit of friendship, creativity, and adventure.” The newest brew in this series has Heavy Seas joining forces with Terrapin Beer Co. to brew up a Rye Witbier that has been aged in white wine barrels for sixteen weeks. The finished Barrel-aged Rye Wit weighs in at 6% ABV and is a complex offering with “aromas of light fruit, spice, and citrus, balanced by a spicy malt backbone.”

Barrel-aged Rye Wit will be available beginning in August of this year.  Look for this one in 22 oz. bottles on craft beer shelves in Alabama, Florida and throughout the full distribution area of Heavy Seas Beer. Prost!

Vital Information on Barrel-aged Rye Wit from Heavy Seas Beer and Terrapin Beer Co.

ABV – 6%
IBUs – 20
Hops – Cascade & Amarillo
Malts – 2-Row, Wheat, Rye & Biscuit