Boulevard Beer Bulletin: Last Splash (Video)

25 November 2014

From Boulevard:

Boulevard Brewmaster Steven Pauwels introduces Last Splash, our latest Backroads beer. Last Splash is a pale ale that features dry-hopping with freshly harvested, wet Nugget hops.

Our final Backroads beer for 2014 is Last Splash, a wet hopped pale ale featuring freshly harvested Nugget hops that were delivered to the brewery within hours of being harvested.

Most beers we brew are hopped using
pelletized hops. The pellets are formed from hop cones that have been picked, kilned and cooled. The kilning process typically reduces the moisture content of the hop cone from 70% to 10-12%. Hops that have not undergone this kilning or drying process that are shipped straight to breweries for use (typically) within 36 hours are referred to as wet hops. We receive these wet hops and immediately incorporate them into finished beer by stuffing them into giant bags before hanging them in fermentation vessels. Once the bags are in position, we transfer beer onto the hops to extract the beautiful flavor and aroma oils present in the wet hops.

Wet nugget hops are overnighted to us large containers.

Wet nugget hops are overnighted to us large containers.

Nugget Hop Cone

Nugget Hop Cone

Hops are stuffed into bags before being placed in fermentation tanks.

Hops are stuffed into bags before being placed in fermentation tanks.

Each bag contains approximately 10 pounds of wet hops.

Each bag contains approximately 10 pounds of wet hops.

Last Splash is available in 6 packs of 12 ounce bottles.

Last Splash is available in 6 packs of 12 ounce bottles.

Stylistically speaking, Last Splash would best be described as a wet hopped pale ale. We don’t feel that the bitterness level of 43 IBUs places this beer in the IPA category. The use of caramel and Munich malts creates a strong caramel toffee presence that serves to ground the slightly peachy, green, grassy notes from the wet Nugget hops. Last Splash is late hopped on the brewhouse with Cascade and Styrian Golding hops to provide a fruit/spicy aroma that serves to catapult the aromas and flavors derived from the oil content of the wet cones.

In the past, we’ve also employed a similar process with
Nutcracker Ale, our winter warmer, but this year, we wanted to brew a new wet hop beer that we felt did more to showcase the aromas and flavors you can achieve by using wet hops. For this reason, we adjusted the recipe and process of Nutcracker Ale to no longer be wet hopped. Nutcracker Ale has always been dry-hopped with a combination of wet and pelletizedChinook hops. The change results in a slight loss of grassy/green character from the wet hops, but we feel that Nutcracker Ale is actually improved due to the change. The pelletized hop flavors and aromas won’t degrade nearly as fast as the wet hop character will so we’ve been able to produce a beer that will taste fresher for a longer period of time.

As with previous Backroads beers,
Entwined Ale and Hibiscus Gose, Last Splash is a one-time drop and will only be available for a limited time. Nutcracker Ale will be on shelves through the holiday season.

“The road must eventually lead to the whole world.” – Jack Kerouac
Jeremy Danner, Ambassador Brewer


Behind Every Ranger is a Ranger (New Belgium Ranger IPA-Video)

From New Belgium:

New Belgium's Beer Rangers pour, protect and partake in every state you can find New Belgium beer. Their commitment to employee ownership ensures you'll always get the best of Ranger IPA.

Watch more Ranger videos, meet the Rangers behind the Ranger, and win a trip to New Belgium Brewing to brew a beer with us:


SweetWater Debuts New Winter Seasonal - Spinnerbait 12/1

imageWe brought you news of this beer, and now the release details from SweetWater:

ATLANTA (November 25, 2014) – SweetWater Brewing Co. wants folks to dodge catching a cold this

winter and instead cast lines to catch an all-new coldie – Spinnerbait. The new seasonal sipper makes its

debut in the winter slot of the brewery’s Catch & Release lineup from December to February.

Brewers lured in a few first-ever SweetWater ingredients for the creation of this true Belgian red ale.

Mixing it up with fresh Aromatic malt (new to SweetWater’s stash), Spinnerbait also swirls in a blend of

2-row, Pilsner, wheat and black wheat malts; Columbus, Willamette and US Golding hops; Ardennes

yeast; and tops it all off with Belgian rock candy in the whirlpool. This catch weighs in at 6-percent

alcohol by volume and 25 IBUs. 

Spinnerbait’s sweet malty currents and deep red hues set out to tingle the taste buds. Belgian Ardennes

yeast brings out fruity esters and spicy notes giving this brew a complex character and making it a classic

selection for the season. Belgian rock candy sugar sets the stage for the earthy hops to bring in a

balanced, spicy yet sweet finish.

Beginning the week of Dec. 1, Spinnerbait will make its seasonal run on draft taps and shelves, in 6-

packs and SweetWater’s winter Tackle Box variety packs throughout SweetWater’s entire footprint. Fans

should reel ‘em in while the fishing is good, ‘cause this seasonal brew is only ripping lips through winter

coat season.


Should We Really Celebrate Craft Beer Passing Budweiser?

This graphic has been all over the beer-web lately.  It’s from the Wall Street Journal and it depicts the number of barrels shipped by craft beer versus Budweiser.  Yes of course it’s an interesting milestone (our sales up, their sales down), but it won’t be one I plan to celebrate.

First off, I don’t consider Budweiser to be a measuring stick that craft beer should seek to compare itself too.  In my mind we’re comparing apples and oranges, or more accurately mopeds to Formula 1 cars.  I don’t expect craft beer to outsell big beer any more than I expect our lunch room to outsell Burger King.  They’re simply two different things with one word in common…..”beer.”

Secondly, for those of us that take pride in this industry, saying that close to 3000 craft breweries COMBINED, only now have reached the number of total barrels shipped by Budweiser is disappointing at best.  And keep in mind that “craft” does include the tall craft-beer-pygmies like Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada and Yuengling in these totals.

As if that’s not enough to temper your enthusiasm, keep in mind that Bud Light not only easily outsells it’s heavier Budweiser brother but ALL of craft beer by more than two times…and this after it’s consumption has dropped for five consecutive years.

So take the time to look at the graphic and say, “yay us!” but keep in mind, if big beer is how we intend to measure ourselves, we have a long way to go.


Stone Cali-Belgique IPA Coming To 12oz Bottles

Here’s your first look at a new package for an existing beer coming from Stone Brewing.  This is Stone Cali-Belgique IPA and it will now be packaged in 12oz bottles.  Previously only available in 22oz bottles, this California IPA with a Belgian twist will remain at 6.9% ABV.


Smuttynose NEW Kindest Find Imperial Red Ale

I’m excited to bring you your very first look at a new brew coming to the Big Beer Series from Smuttynose.  This is Kindest Find and it is an Imperial Red Ale.  Look for this beer to be packaged in 22oz bottles and yes that’s a chainsaw.


DuClaw - Bourbon Barrel Brimstone Ryewine Coming 11/26

From DuCLaw:

Our full-bodied, 9.5% abv Ryewine, Brimstone, is mahogany in color and built on equal measures of smoky roasted malt and sizzling hop bitterness, accentuated by glowing embers of warm bread, dark fruit esters, and a dry, spicy rye character that smolders from your first sip to its long, lingering finish. A small portion of the 2014 batch was aged in Belle Meade Tennessee bourbon barrels to add sophisticated notes of charred wood, caramelized sugar, and vanilla to the flavor profile, creating a whole new way to get stoned.

Available on draft beginning at 11am, Wednesday, November 26th, while supplies last, only at DuClaw Brewing Company!


Innis & Gunn - Highland Ale

Here’s another new oak-aged beer coming from Innis & Gunn.  This is Highland Ale and this Limited Edition beers spends 30 days on oak chips prior to release.  Look for this beer to be packaged in 22.3oz bottles and the beer comes in at 7.4% ABV.


Saint Arnold Icon Red Sorachi Ace Dubbel to Debut in Time for Thanksgiving

imageWe brought you news of this beer back in Sept…and now this from Saint Arnold:

HOUSTON, November 25, 2014 – Saint Arnold Brewing Co. (, the oldest craft brewery in Texas, anticipates some confusion when Sorachi Ace Dubbel, the latest edition of Saint Arnold Icon Red, hits the market this week. The word, "Sorachi" refers to the Sorachi Ace hops used in the recipe. It has nothing to do with "Sriracha" – the ubiquitous hot sauce – Saint Arnold Icon Red is not a chili beer. It is instead a unique international twist on the classic Belgian Dubbel style. Saint Arnold Icon Red will begin showing up next week in 4-packs of 12 ounce bottles and on tap in pubs and restaurants throughout Texas and Louisiana as supplies of Icon Gold are depleted.

As would be expected, Sorachi Ace Dubbel features yeast from a Trappist Monastery and a strong malt backbone thanks to a complex grain bill. But Saint Arnold's brewers broke with tradition by using Sorachi Ace, which originated in Japan, as finishing hops and again to dry hop the beer.

"We wanted to use the classic Dubbel style as a baseline and throw in something interesting and unique to make it more relevant for Texas craft beer fans seeking new and innovative beer," said Brewer Eddie Gutierrez, who cut his teeth as a home brewer before jumping from a career as a mechanical engineer in the oil patch to brewing professionally. "We did a blind taste test comparing the test batch side-by-side against many of the classic Belgian Dubbels that craft beer drinkers love and our batch did really well, so I think people who appreciate the style will really enjoy this fresh take on it."

Icon Red pours a rich copper color. The Sorachi Ace hops, developed for Sapporo Brewers Ltd. in Japan 30 years ago, contributes to the beer's creamy character and adds an aroma of lemongrass and dill. Malts used include Pils, which serves as the base malt, as well as Munich, Honey, Chocolate and Caramunich malts. They combine to create what Gutierrez describes as a "malty melody."


Specifications for Saint Arnold Icon Red:
     Original Gravity: 1.072
     Final Gravity: 1.013
     Alcohol: 8% ABV
     Bitterness: 40 IBU


Rogue To Release Sriracha Hot Stout In Dec

Stay tuned for more on this one as Rogue plans to release a Sriracha Hot Stout beer in December.  The beer will use natural ingredients and according to the label you should NOT shake it.  Stay tuned for more info.


Half Acre Big Hugs 2014 Coming 12/14

From Half Acre:

In 2009, we decided to round out the year by brewing an Imperial Stout laced with coffee. Our friends at Dark Matter brewed up the black intensity and we've been repeating the task annually ever since. 

Big Hugs is a dim kitten with aimless love in his heart and a ferocious will to live. Over the years he's faced dinosaurs, rainbows, winter wonderland, a robotic plagiarism of himself, and more - but none a foe as elusive and mysterious as death itself. This story has the ultimate force taking the living and laying them down. Big Hugs has grappled with natural order and twisted the pillars of existence. While you hang in the balance, steal time to sit steady and spill this black rumble into your center. Big Hugs Imperial Stout is liquid char scraped from the bowels of eternity, soaked with the free spirit of an adolescent feline. Heed him and rejoice. 

You can buy this year's batch of Big Hugs at our brewery on Lincoln - Sunday, December 14th from 11am-7pm. There will be a line for both cash and credit, as well as friends on hand slinging coffee and food products. The Tap Room will be full of reasons to stay a while, and we sure hope you do. 

  • 10% ABV
  • 22 ounce bottle $10.98 (limit 8 per person per day)
  • 32 ounce howler refill $10.98 (limit 2 per person per day)
  • 64 ounce growler refill $20.14 (limit 1 per person per day)
  • 16 ounce draft pour $7


Golden Avalanche Brewing Committed to Going Green

imageFrom Kutztown Tavern & Golden Avalanche Brewing:

Kutztown, PA (November 25, 2014)—The Kutztown Tavern, home of Golden Avalanche Brewing Company, became the first business in Berks County to install an Organic Refuse Conversion Alternative (ORCA) aerobic food digester. The addition of this new waste-handling equipment is just the next step in the Kutztown Tavern’s commitment to responsible business operations.

The ORCA is an aerobic food digester designed to break down and eliminate organic waste that would otherwise be headed to the landfill. Matt Grider, owner of the Kutztown Tavern said, “The ORCA will allow us to break down up to 182,000 pounds of organic waste each year and approximately halve our footprint to the landfill.”

This particular piece of equipment, the ORCA Model OG25, is the first of its kind in the area. Similar models have been installed to eliminate organic waste at large operations including Dallas Cowboys Stadium, the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, and the Aflac Corporate Cafeteria. The ORCA can digest food scraps and waste up to and including chicken bones from Kutztown Tavern’s popular Monday Wing Night and organic waste from the brewing process. More information on the ORCA can be found at .

The Kutztown Tavern has undertaken many “green” improvement projects in recent years, including a solar thermal hot water array providing 100% of the brewery’s hot water needs and 95% of the domestic supply, all-LED lights with motion sensors to cut down on electricity usage, and energy efficient, low water-usage appliances throughout the building.


Cigar City Releases Puppy’s Breath Porter in 22oz Bottles

From Cigar City:

Puppy's Breath Porter is available in 22oz. bombers for the first time in it's delicious and illustrious history. $7/bottle, available in the tasting room now and hitting distribution as well.


Ninkasi Brewing Company Announces New Chief Marketing Officer Jon Rogers

Jon RogersFrom Ninkasi:

EUGENE, Ore.—Ninkasi Brewing Company proudly announces the hire of Jon Rogers to lead the brewery’s marketing department as chief marketing officer. Since 2006, the brewery has committed to hiring experienced professionals to build teams in-house and create a competitive job market in its home-base of Eugene, Ore.

Rogers joins Ninkasi with a wealth of high-level experience in brand management and strategy at well-known entertainment companies like Lucasfilm Ltd. and The Walt Disney Company, where he managed programs in global marketing, strategy, and franchise management. Earning a degree in political science from Hobart College, post-graduate certificates from Stanford University’s Mass Media Institute and the London School of Economics for International Business Management, and an M.I.L.R. from Cornell University, Rogers began his career in politics as a speechwriter and press secretary for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge. Rogers made the transition to brand management as a strategy consultant for Booz | Allen | Hamilton, where he specialized in change management and brand rejuvenation. In 2004, Rogers joined Lucasfilm as manager of global marketing and led global promotional campaigns for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. In 2005, Rogers joined Walt Disney Studios as director of global marketing and, in 2009, was named the vice president of global franchise management. In this role, Rogers led a 12-person team to execute strategies and development plans for Disney’s live-action film brands and Muppet Studios.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to build our company with the help of someone as talented as Jon,” says Nikos Ridge, CEO and co-founder of Ninkasi. “I think it speaks highly to our existing team and culture, as well as the current trends and excitement around craft beer, that we were able to attract and bring his talents here to Eugene and to Ninkasi.”

Starting immediately, Rogers will lead Ninkasi’s marketing department which includes in-house design, public relations, its Beer is Love donations programand a recording studio for its work with partner artists, all based at the brewery. In its eighth year, Ninkasi continues to be privately owned and employs more than 100, offering company-paid insurance for full-time employees, paid cell phones, profit sharing, merchandise credit, and more. The brewery has been named one of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon” two years-in-a-row byOregon Business Magazine.


Sixpoint Resin Coming To 24oz Silo Cans


Here we have yet another Sixpoint Beer coming to a new package.  This is Sixpoint Resin and it will now be packaged in their new 24oz Silo Cans.  Resin remains at 9/1% ABV and 103 IBU.


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