Firestone Walker Three-Peats at Eurostar Competition

22 November 2014

imageFrom Firestone Walker Brewing:

Paso Robles, CA—Brewmaster Matt “Merlin” Brynildson and his team of brewing magicians at Firestone Walker Brewing Company have done it again, racking up top honors for the third consecutive year at the prestigious European Beer Star Competition.



Indeed, Brynildson was on hand in Germany to accept the competition’s award for “Consumers’ Favourite in Gold” for Firestone Walker’s Stickee Monkee, a barrel-aged “Central Coast Quad.”



Firestone Walker’s Pale 31 and Double Jack claimed the same “Consumers’ Favourite in Gold” honor at the preceding two European Beer Star Competitions.



The “Consumers’ Favourite” is the competition’s top and final prize each year, with Brau Beviale festival attendees blind-tasting all gold medal beers and awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze honors to determine the top three beers out of the entire competition.



The 2014 European Beer Star Competition included 1,613 beers from 42 countries. The judging was conducted by 105 expert tasters—including brewmasters, beer sommeliers, and specialized journalists from 25 countries.



Medals were awarded in 52 beer categories, as determined through blind tastings. Only one gold, silver and bronze medal was awarded per category.



Stickee Monkee earned the gold medal in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category. Firestone Walker’s Pale 31, Union Jack IPA and Feral One earned silver medals in the English-Style Pale Ale, IPA categories and Belgian-Style Sour Ale categories, respectively.



“Matt and his brewing team continue to outdo themselves,” said brewery co-proprietor David Walker. “Numerous U.S. beers medaled at this competition as well. The American craft beer revolution continues to become a global force.”

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Green Flash Release Two NEW Draft-Only IPAs


From Green Flash:

California dreamin' made easy

Inspired by our beachy So Cal roots, we are releasing two crafty suds on draft from coast to coast with Jibe Session IPA and Soul Style IPA. Jibe is named after the sailing term “to change course,” and is our full-flavored interpretation of a session - so hoppy it will satisfy the most discerning IPA devotee. The 2nd new Green Flash brew making its way to your local tap room is a laid back new single IPA, Soul Style. Inspired by the pure and effortless surf style, this hoppy new single washes the palette with waves of tropical hop flavor. Look for these new beers on draft near you.

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Rogue Farms - Fresh Roast Ale

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Here’s your first look at a new brew coming from Rogue.  This is Rogue Farms Fresh Roast Ale and it is an ale brewed with freshly roasted Rogue Farms malts…and yes this beer is roasted and brewed all under one roof.  This beer is dedicated to farmers and fermenters and the roasted barley travels only 100 feet from the roaster to the brew kettle.  In addition to Rogue Farms malts, this beer also uses Rogue Farms Liberty & Rebel hops.  Look for Fresh Roast Ale to be package din 22oz bottles and the beer will come in at 5.7% ABV and 37 IBU.  Stay tuned for release details.

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Mikkeller - Vild & Ahhh Belgian Ales

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Here’s your first look at two new beers coming to the U.S. from Mikkeller.  These are both Belgian Ales that will be packaged in 11.2oz bottles by Mikkeller.  Vild will come in big at 12.3% ABV and Ahhh will hit only 6.8% ABV.  Stay tuned for release details.
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Allagash - Century Ale Brett Saison

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I saw the trademark application for this so I’m excited to be the first to bring you Allagash Century Ale.  This Brett Saison will be packaged in 12.7oz cork & cage bottles and the beer comes in at 8% ABV.  Stay tuned for release details.

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Redhook - ESB Celebrates 30 years

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Here’s the latest packaging for a classic beer….Redhook ESB.  This 100% Barley-malt top-fermented Extra Special Bitter is celebrating 30 years with this special packaging and the beer will remain in 12oz bottles and at 5.8% ABV.
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Laurelwood - Espresso Stout

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Here we have Laurelwood Brewing Espresso Stout.  This beer uses organic Portland Roasting coffee, it will be packaged in 22oz bottles and the beer come sin at 6.3% ABV and 40 IBU.
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Steamworks - Blitzen Belgian Style Tripel

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Here’s a new bottle coming from Steamworks Brewing in Canada.  This is Blitzen and it is a Belgian-style Tripel that will use Fuggels & Sterling hops.  Blitzen will be packaged in 22oz bottles and the beer will come in at 9% ABV and 20 IBU.  Stay tuned for release details in the U.S.
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Samuel Adams White Christmas, Winter Lager (Cans), Old Fezziwig - A First Sampling

imageA big thank you to Samuel Adams for sending along an early sample of White Christmas, Winter Lager (Cans & Bottles), Old Fezziwig and even Boston Lager 2014.  These classic Samuel Adams winter beers were a real treat to sample, and even better when you get to taste them all together.

 

We started with White Christmas, and what a perfect way to kick off the sampling.  This White Ale has a cloudy pour and a spicy nose and you can’t help pulling out nutmeg, clove and lots of cinnamon.  The finish is crisp and clean and a touch dry and I suspect this beer will appeal to a lot of holiday beer palates.



I couldn’t resist sampling Winter Lager 2014 next, and I have to say up front, the new Winter Lager cans looks great.  This dark wheat bock pours a really pretty deep golden color, with a larger than expected head.  The aroma is loaded with earthy/yeasty scents and the taste actually carries some fruity and berry flavors.  There’s plenty of malt on board, but the finish is slightly dry and a little more boozy than you’d expect from 5.6% ABV.  The balance is certainly there and this bock actually has an almost acidic finish, one that actually belies the style.  I should also mention that out of the can, this beer actually seems to have more body and more mouthfeel than the bottle so be sure to try both.

We finished up with Old Fezziwig 2014, and while this was not my first sampling, it’s always pleasant to try the 2014 version.  This Winter Warmer beer will get your attention from the first sip.  It’s a little boozy with aromas of sweet malt and maybe even some chocolate.  When you taste, you’ll find a spicy backbone with some orange peel and cinnamon and a slightly sweet finish.  This one comes in at 5.9% ABV and I’ll confess that it pairs nicely with the smoked gouda cheese we decided to sample it with.



Be sure to try all three of these winter classics from Samuel Adams and be sure to let me know what you think.  Better yet, pick up the new Samuel Adams Winter Favorites Variety Pack and taste all three (and Boston Lager) for yourself.

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WILK Friday BeerBuzz - 21 Nov 2014 - Prairie Artisanal Prairie Hop (Video)

21 November 2014

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NEW Anchor Brewing Flying Cloud San Francisco Stout

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I’m excited to bring you the very first look at a new beer coming to bottles from Anchor Brewing.  This appears to be their Zymaster Series Release No 3 so I’m not surprised to see it making the leap to regular production.  Flying Cloud is a Gold Rush-era Dublin-style stout made with English Maris Otter malt as well as Nugget and Goldings hops.  This San Francisco Stout is named for a clipper ship know for making the 1851 New York To San Francisco trip  in 89 days (instead of the normal 125), and it held this record until 1989.  Look for Flying Cloud to be packaged in 12oz bottles (and kegs) and the beer comes in big at 7.4% ABV.
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Victory To Rename “Lager” To Helles Lager

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Here’s your first look at what appears to be a renamed beer coming from Victory Brewing.  This is Helles Lager and this will be the new name for the former Victory Lager.  This is the 12oz bottle package and the beer remains at 4.8% ABV.
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Sanitas Stock Ale Returns 11/21

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From Sanitas:

BOULDER, COLORADO, NOVEMBER 21, 2014 – Along with the hearty meals of winter comes strong, robust seasonal beers. Boulder’s Sanitas Brewing Company is again set to release their popular Stock Ale, a brawny English ale fermented and aged with dried figs.

“Last winter, this became a Tap Room favorite,” says Sanitas’ Chief of Brewing Operations Chris Coyne, “our Stock Ale is based on the strong, malty English ales of the late 19th century. We then ferment and mature the beer with over a pound per barrel of dried figs, a technique once used by brewers to reactivate fermentation in casks.”

Sanitas’ Stock Ale pours a dark red color with notes of dried fruits & caramel in the aroma followed by rich flavors of bread crust and a balancing bitterness. At 7.5% ABV, the English-inspired beer pairs terrifically with a variety of winter meals and desserts. Stock Ale will be available on draft in Sanitas Brewing Co.’s Tap Room starting Friday, November 21. Select Boulder & Denver bars and restaurants will also be featuring the beer on tap throughout the winter months.

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Abita Launches New Wrought Iron IPA

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From Abita:

Beginning this week, Abita Brewing will be releasing their new Wrought Iron IPA.  This beer will become part of the Flagship Series of beers and will also go year-round in it’s first release.

“We wanted to create a beer that honored and reflected the resiliency of Louisiana,” said David Blossman, President of the Abita Brewing Company. “With Wrought Iron IPA, we hoped to capture the indestructible, irrepressible spirit of New Orleans and Louisiana using imagery of New Orleans’ famous wrought iron balconies and gates. Wrought iron is tough. It’s endured for centuries, withstanding major storms, fires, wars and more. But it’s still standing, still strong, just like our region.”

Wrought Iron IPA was released in Louisiana this week and will roll out across the southeast in the following weeks. The brew has an intense hop aroma, forged with Apollo, Equinox and Mosaic hops and brewed with pale ale malt for a deep golden color.

Wrought Iron IPA is a distinctly Louisiana IPA. The Equinox hops bring tropical notes to the brew, and the name, “Wrought Iron,” inspires visions of the wrought iron balconies and gates found prominently throughout New Orleans.

Wrought Iron IPA has an ABV of 6.9%, IBU of 80 and color of 9, deep gold. The brew’s packaging features wrought iron design elements, capturing the ornate and bold ironworks prominently found throughout New Orleans and south Louisiana.

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Rock Art Releasing The Humble Harvester IPA & Mountain Holidays In Vermont

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From Rock Art:

We brewed The Humble Harvester IPA with many of the popular hop varieties (Citra, Simcoe and more).  It is so enjoyable and refreshing.  I will be relaxing and enjoying this one after my Thanksgiving dinner.
Proceeds from this brew will be given to Salvation Farms.  An organization that is doing great things with and for the Vermont food system. 

Link to Salvation Farms
On the label:  By purchasing this bottle you are reducing food waste on farms and feeding your neighbors-not to mention supporting Salvation Farms, a cause Rock art is committed to.  For more than ten years Salvation Farms has been feeding Vermont residents through the act of gleaning, capturing crops that would have gone to waste on farms across our state.  Enjoy our HUMBLE HARVEST!

Mountain Holidays in Vermont

Mt. Holidays IMAGE

Packaged this week in 22 oz bottles and kegs.
A creamy bock lager that we have been offering once a year since 2002?  2004?  Does anyone remember?  I love to pair this beer with the Thanksgiving dinner.
New label this year.  Same great beer!

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