Stone Coasters–Just Because

30 April 2012



Weyerbacher Reveals Hops Infusion Replacement– “Last Chance IPA”

Weyerbacher has been working toward a replacement for their long standing Hops Infusion IPA.  In their quest for the new IPA, Weyerbacher launched Project IPA last year, and we’ve been sampling along with each test batch.  I’ve been waiting to make the reveal of the new name for their NEW IPA and at long last it is official.  Weyerbacher will be replacing Hops Infusion with Last Chance IPA.  Last Chance will be a 5.9% ABV 62IBU brew and a portion of the proceeds will benefit animal rescue, thus the name.  Stay tuned for more details, and of course the new label.

More info from Weyerbacher:

As the last kegs and cases of Hops Infusion ship out, we’re excited to reveal the name of the replacement for our beloved IPA! But first, the back story.

The IPA project was a series of six new hoppy beer recipes released over the summer of 2011. The beer was available draft-only at selected restaurants and bars and a the release of each included a public voting component. The test-batch beers had unrelated and meaningless names: Batch #3743, Marcia, North, Steel, Crimson and Diamond. We decided that west coast-style IPA Crimson was the best of the new brews as it delighted even the most faithful of Hops Infusion fans.

Weyerbacher “Last Chance IPA” is a full-flavored hop assault delightfully lacking in balance. A combination of Centennial, Cascade, Simcoe and Columbus hops are used to produce pungent aromas of grapefruit, pine and citrus. Last Chance weighs-in at 5.9% ABV and 62 IBUs. Nice!

Now… for the name. Why “Last Chance?” Is this the last chance the brewers were given to make an IPA? INCORRECT. Is this the last chance for Dan Weirback to have any influence over any of our label artwork? (while that’s a GREAT idea…) NOPE!

The name “Last Chance” is a nod to something held very close to the hearts of many of the employees at Weyerbacher Brewing Company: Animal Rescue. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle or keg of Last Chance will be donated to an animal rescue organization. Individual employees of Weyerbacher Brewing Company will select a rescue organization close to their hearts for each month.

We’ll announce the debut festivities post an image of the label shortly.



Anchor Steam & San Francisco (Video)


Beer Taxes Closing 12-Pubs a Week in UK (CAMRA)

imageThe Campaign For Real Ales (CAMRA) is reporting over 300 pubs closing since Sept 2011 because of crippling beer taxes.  This works out to roughly 12 per week, so CAMRA is petitioning Parliament to debate these taxes, but it needs 100,000 signatures and still only has roughly 33,000.  From The Telegraph:

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said 300 independent pubs called last orders for the final time between September and March, denying many rural and suburban communities of their community watering hole.

Although the double-dip recession has hit most consumer-facing businesses hard, CAMRA argues that pubs have been saddled with the extra burden of an inflation-busting 42pc jump in beer duty since 2008.

The West Midlands and Lancashire are among the counties hardest hit by the demise of the community pub, the research suggests. High streets, which are heavily populated by chain pubs, have fared better.

CAMRA is hoping to force a debate in Parliament over the plight of one of Britain's oldest and best loved institutions.

It has aiming to attract 100,000 signatures to an e-petition, which would trigger a Parliamentary debate.

The campaign so far has the backing of 33,000 drinkers.  Full details here.


Victory – Find Your Summer Love (UPDATE)

imageJust a quick peek at the ad-campaign marker you’ll be seeing soon @ retailers and everywhere you find Victory Summer Love.


New Belgium - Shift Gear Into Shift Beer


Redhook Longhammer IPA Now in Cans

From Redhook:

Yup, 77 years after canned beer first went on sale in America, Redhook is introducing its first brew in a can. We just wanted to be sure this whole “can thing” wasn’t a fad. Plus, we wanted to make sure our IPA tasted as perfectly hoppy and delicious in cans as it does on tap and in the bottle. It does.  More details here.


Beer Emergency? Call the Red Brick BeerBulance


How many time have you run out of beer after the distributor & bottle shops close?  How many times have you are your friends run out of beer, but shouldn’t drive?  Well NOW you can call the Red Brick BeerBulance for a frosty delivery.  This from Automotto:

Chilling with pals at the end of a long week is one of the best ways to relax and catch up on what’s happening. Factor in some chilled beer and there’s nothing else you could ask for. But what do you do when you run out of your favorite ale? Run to the store, of course. But if you live in a town where the beer stores close early, you know how annoying it can get when someone calls out that you’re down to your last can. Enter the ‘Beerbulance’, a van that caters to your beer needs when you run out. Part of a marketing gimmick by Atlanta-based Red Brick Brewing, the van, complete with a siren on top and the words ‘Beerbulance’ written on the sides, is here to help folks with a penchant for beer stock up.  Full article here.


Bud Light Platinum Expands Production To Meet Demand

imageFrom Anheuser-Busch:

ST. LOUIS – Demand for Bud Light Platinum, the newest addition to the Bud Light megabrand, is outpacing expectations. In response, Anheuser-Busch is expanding production of Bud Light Platinum to three breweries. Brewing has already begun in A-B’s St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio, breweries, with its Ft. Collins, Colo., brewery set to follow suit in June.

“We’re optimistic we have a winner on our hands with Bud Light Platinum,” said Luiz Edmond, zone president, North America, Anheuser-Busch. “Trial and repeat purchases have been tremendous since the first ads aired during the Super Bowl, and while supplies were tight in the first few months, having to double the number breweries producing Bud Light Platinum is a great problem to have.”

Bud Light Platinum will continue to be brewed at Anheuser-Busch’s Baldwinsville, N.Y., Cartersville, Ga., and Los Angeles breweries in addition to the three new locations, placing Bud Light Platinum production in half of Anheuser-Busch’s 12 U.S. breweries.

Based on IRI Symphony data, Bud Light Platinum has proven to be the most successful brand launch in the U.S. alcohol industry since 2005. Within two weeks of launch, Bud Light Platinum reached more than 90 percent distribution and through April 1, 2012, claimed a 1.4 percent market share.

Bud Light Platinum is available nationwide in cobalt blue 12-ounce glass bottles in six- and 12-packs.


2012 World Beer Cup Stats–Record Setting


As the Craft brewers Conference (CBC 2012) starts this week, we also see the start of the semi-annual World Beer Cup competition.  Sponsored by the Brewers Association, and unlike the GABF the WBC is open to entries worldwide and is held every other year.  This year is record setting in just about every category (see above) so it should be interesting to see the results as they come out Saturday night….stay tuned.


Sixpoint Launches Apollo

It’s that time of year when our pal Shane Welch launches Apollo, Sixpoint’s summer seasonal can.  Details from Shane:

The last time we launched a new beer, we dissected and glorified the hop cone.  As many have noticed over the years, Sixpoint has a fascination - bordering on obsession - with hops.  Today we are happy to announce a complete change of pace.  We are offering you an entirely new canned creation brewed with finesse and subtlety.  The secret and story in this beer is not within the hops, but instead within the yeast.

Apollo is the first-ever summer installment in our seasonal can rotation, and a new style for the brewery as well. In a white can to reflect the sun as well as nod to one of its main ingredients, white wheat, this ale is a clear, bronze-hued elixir to cool down those oncoming scorching days and sweltering evenings.


Can Asheville, NC Retain “Beer City USA” Title? On-line Voting Starts Tomorrow

The voting for Beer City USA starts today, and the question most people are asking is not who will win…BUT how can current champ and 3-time winner Asheville, NC NOT win?  With Sierra Nevada & New Belgium brewing both heading into Asheville in a big way, it seems obvious where Beer City USA will be, but with neither facility anything but a drawing at this point, who knows.  From the Citizen-Times:

Online voting starts Tuesday for the national Beer City USA Poll, and three-time winner Asheville — one tie and two solo wins — has to be considered a strong candidate for a fourth consecutive victory.  Full details hereVoting will take place HERE.


National Homebrew Day & Big Brew 5/5

imageWe talked about this quite a bit last week on the WILK Friday BeerBuzz but I wanted to fill in a few details.  Locally you can check and here are the national event details from the AHA:

Enthusiasts will brew thousands of gallons of beer, Saturday, May 5, to celebrate National Homebrew Day

Boulder, CO • April 30, 2012—More than 1 million Americans participate in the homebrewing hobby, and on May 5, many of them will gather to brew two special beer recipes to recognize National Homebrew Day with Big Brew. In 1988, May 7th was announced before Congress as National Homebrew Day. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) created AHA Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day around the world. AHA Big Brew is held each year on the first Saturday in May. 

Read the complete press release.


Introducing KegDroid–An Android-Tablet Controlled Tap System (NFC Tags)

‘Aint technology great!?  Very cool device that would probably be even more fun at the end of the evening.  Too bad it can’t control the foam.
Winking smile


Craft Brewers Conference CBC 2012 This Week’s Schedule

imageI thought it the beer world seemed pretty quiet today…looks like brewers from around the world are on their way to San Diego for the Brewers Association Craft Brewers Conference this week.  We’ll be following along with the news this week, but I thought everyone might want an update on this week’s CBC schedule of events from the Brewers Association:

Monday, April 30
  • World Beer Cup Judge Orientation (5:00 pm- 6:00 pm)
  • World Beer Cup Judge Reception (6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Tuesday, May 1
  • World Beer Cup Judging (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
  • Registration and Badge Pick Up Open (12:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
  • Pre Conference Event – Craft Beer Wholesalers Conference (1:30 pm – 5:00 pm)
  • Pre Conference Event – Evening Hospitality for Early Arrivals (Tentative – 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm)
Wednesday, May 2
  • Registration and Badge Pick Up Open (7:30 am – 6:30 pm) Hint – Pick up your badge and registration materials today and beat the rush!
  • World Beer Cup Judging (9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
  • Brewery tours all day (various departure times between 8:00 am – 9:00 am)
  • Pre Conference Event – Craft Beer Wholesalers Conference (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Pre Conference Seminar – Micro Matic Draft Dispense Institute Course (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Exhibitor Move-In (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
  • Afternoon Hospitality (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm)
  • Welcome Reception (6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, buses depart Town & Country Resort @ 5:30 pm)
Thursday, May 3
  • Registration and Badge Pick Up Open (8:15 am – 5:00 pm)
  • Continental Breakfast (8:15 am – 9:45 am)
  • Official Conference Opening Keynote Address/General Session (9:15 am – 11:00 am)
  • BrewExpo Trade Show Open (11:00 am – 5:00 pm) One hour longer than in 2011, per your requests! Exhibit booths are located in the Grand Hall and the Big Tent. Visit the Big Tent for food, seating and more beer stations AND for your chance to win complimentary registration to the 2013 CBC!
  • Lunch available in the Big Tent (11:30 am – 1:30 pm)
  • State Guild Meetings and Mentoring Roundtable Discussions (2:00 – 3:00 pm)
  • Export Development Seminars (2:00 pm – 5:40 pm)
  • Breakout Seminars (3:30 pm – 4:30 pm and 4:50 – 5:50 pm)
  • Afternoon Hospitalities (3:30 pm – 6:30 pm)
  • Late Night Hospitality at the Tiki Pavilion (10:00 pm – 1:00 am)
Friday, May 4
  • Registration and Badge Pick Up Open (7:45 am – 5:00 pm)
  • Continental Breakfast and Coffee (7:45 am – 8:45 am)
  • Morning Seminars (8:30 am – 9:30 am)
  • BrewExpo Trade Show (9:30 am – 4:00 pm) Additional 1.5 hours over 2011, per your requests! Visit exhibit booths in the Grand Hall and the Big Tent. Visit the Big Tent for food, seating and more beer stations AND for your chance to win complimentary registration to the 2013 CBC!
  • Lunch available in the Big Tent (11:00 am – 1:00 pm)
  • Brewers Association Voting Brewery Members’ Meeting (9:45 am – 11:00 am) (Voting Brewery Members Only)
  • EDP Awards Ceremony (1:45 pm – 2:30 pm)
  • Breakout Seminars (2:40 pm – 3:40 pm and 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
  • Afternoon Hospitalities (3:30 pm – 6:30 pm)
  • Exhibitor Move Out (4:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
  • Late Night Hospitality (10:00 pm – 1:00 am)
Saturday, May 5
  • Registration and Badge Pick Up Open (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Continental Breakfast and Coffee (9:00 am – 10:50 am)
  • Morning Breakout Seminars (9:30 am – 10:30 am and 10:50 am – 11:50 am)
  • Light Lunch and Socializing in the Big Tent (11:50 am – 1:30 pm)
  • Afternoon Breakout Seminars (1:10 pm – 2:10 pm and 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm)
  • World Beer Cup Pre-Dinner Reception (6:30 pm)
  • World Beer Cup Gala Awards Dinner (7:30 pm)
  • Late Night Hospitality and Farewell at the Tiki Pavilion (10:00 pm – 1:00 am)


Athens Terrapin Twilight 2012 (Video)

Looks like our pal Spike Buckowski and Terrapin did a nice job with the annual Athens Terrapin Twilight races.


Ice Block Cooler - The Cooler Cooler

It’s holds a 6-pack, looks like a block of ice AND has blue LED lights.  What more could you want?


3 Floyds Dark Lord Day - 6000 Attend & $60 for 4 Bottles


Red Stripe Jamaican Style Lager

Here’s an interesting new label coming out of Red Stripe that is actually brewed at our very own CBC Latrobe facility.  It’s a new package for Red Stripe Jamaican Style Lager…11.2oz bottles.


Odell Muddy Pig X Ale

It’s a keg label with NO markings.  It is Odell Muddy Pig X ale and it is 9% ABV.  What more do you need?


Newcastle No Bollocks - Schooner Money

29 April 2012


Half Acre Brewing (Chicago) Opening Tap Room This Sumer

imageGreat news from upstart Half Acre Brewing in Chicago. This from the Chicago Times:

In August, the five-year-old North Center brewery plans to open a taproom that will accommodate close to 100 people on the south end of its building at 4257 N. Lincoln Ave.

Half Acre owner and founder Gabriel Magliaro said the bar will have 10 taps serving Half Acre beer, including brews unavailable anywhere else. He envisions one hop-forward taproom mainstay (it won't be the brewery's biggest seller, the hop-forward Daisy Cutter) and a rotating cask pour. He also plans to invite guest brewers (professionals only; sorry homebrewers) to make one-off beers on Half Acre equipment that will be served exclusively in the taproom.  Full details here.


Independence Brewing –Partnering w/Stone’s Greg Koch To Bring Craft-Beer to India


Exciting news coming out of Independence Brewing Co & Stone Brewer’s Greg Koch today:

Independence Brewing Company partners with Greg Koch, Stone Brewing Co. CEO and Cofounder, to bring Independence from Boring Beers!

April 29th, 2012. Independence Brewing Company (IBC) is a new brewing venture founded by Shailly Bist and Avanish Vellanki to bring genuine craft brewing to India. With an aim to offer Indians something other than the yellow, fizzy, industrial lagers that have become a fixture in India, IBC hopes to offer a unique array of craft brews across a variety of styles not previously offered in the nation. IBC brings Independence from Boring Beers!

IBC is also proud to announce the addition of Greg Koch, CEO and Cofounder of Stone Brewing Co., to the team. Greg will serve as a partner and Chief Advisor to IBC. "I have had a chance to visit India and witness first-hand why Avanish and Shailly are so excited, and I have to say I agree with them! There is tremendous opportunity in India for craft beer. I also have to say that I am really excited about these two guys and look forward to helping them bring Independence from boring beers to India", said Greg Koch.

"We are really excited to work with Greg!" said Avanish Vellanki, Cofounder of IBC. "We are tremendously honored and moved by his excitement about India; Greg clearly sees the tremendous opportunity in the country, and we look forward to introducing truly exceptional brews together!"

IBC will set up its first craft pub brewery in the city of Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, India, one of India's fastest growing technology centers. With a national landscape in which only a handful of beers exist in the nation, and a regulatory environment that has only recently awoken to the microbrewery concept, IBC hopes to bring the extensive and passionate craft brewing culture in the US to India.

IBC will be the only craft brewery in India owned and operated by a craft brewer. "We are tremendously excited about the opportunity to bring to India something we truly love, and we think Indians will love too - truly exceptional craft beers" said Shailly Bist, Cofounder & Head Brewer of IBC. "India has such a rich artisanal culture, and we think it's about time that IPA had a homecoming!"


Will Larry Bell Be Selling Bell’s Brewery Inc?


The future of Bell’s Brewery Inc. ownership may be up in the air.  The brewery may be sold, but the story isn’t exactly what you think.  In an attempt to guarantee that the brewery is passed down to future generations of the Bell family, Larry has been negotiating with stock holders to buy back the shares he needs to ensure his children will own the brewery in the future.  Unfortunately, those negotiations are not going well, and  should the negotiations fail, Larry will potentially resort to selling the brewery out now rather than risk his family losing the brewery should anything happen to him.  This from MLive:

As early as fall, the decision to sell the nation's 13th largest brewery could be made depending on the outcome of ongoing negotiations with several minority shareholders, company president Larry Bell said.

About $22 million has been spent on the brewhouse and renovating the Eccentric Cafe in downtown Kalamazoo, but the rest of the project is on hold as the company tries to save money in an attempt to buy out 11 of the 14 shareholders, Bell said.

Bell, 53, and his two children, Laura and David, own a majority of the company's shares, which total 60,000, according to Michigan's Department Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. He said his goal is to pass Bell’s Brewery Inc. on to the next generation, but he hasn’t ruled out selling their shares if a resolution cannot be reached.

“Unfortunately with the growth and the size the company has gotten to, the alarms are going off to where we have to figure it out or do something else,” Bell said. “I don’t want to sell, but it’s a great time to sell if I had to. There are many willing buyers.

"If it was just a family business, there would be legal maneuvers we could make that would facilitate that kind of transfer across generations. With its current structure, I'm not able to do those sorts of things. It would basically leave us in the position of selling the company upon my death."  More details here.


Lagunitas Fall Release Will Be Double Pils (Not Sour)



Bomb Beer Can 24 Art- 12oz Golden Lager (UPDATE)

Another new and interesting Art-Can from Bomb Beer.  This one is Can 24 and it is a 12oz package brewed in Lacrosse, WI.  UPDATE:  This can design was done by a Brooklyn Street Artist named COL and the beer will be released in NY, GA & CT this summer….by the way the gray area you see on the label is actually the base color of the aluminum can so it should look really cool.


Weyerbacher - Brewers Select Whiskey - Barrel Aged

Here’s an interesting new brew from Chris Wilson  @ Weyerbacher called simply Whiskey Barrel Aged….or more accurately…Brewers Select Whiskey.  No details on this one yet, but I’m betting it’s age din Whiskey barrels and packaged in 12oz bottles.


Stoudts - Tripel Belgian-Style Abbey Ale


Here’s a new one from our pal Brett Kintzer @ Stoudt Brewing Co called Tripel Bottle-Conditioned Belgian-Style Abbey Ale.  This BIG 9.04% ABV Tripel will be packaged in 12oz bottles.


Elysian Ruin Rosemary Agave IPA–12 Beers of the Apocalypse


Here’s the 5th release in the Elysian 12 Beers of the Apocalypse Series.  This one is called Ruin…Rosemary Agave IPA.  Ruin uses Rosemary, Agave nectar & lemon peel and it will be packaged in 22oz bottles and come in at 7.2% ABV.  The label is another great Fantagraphics Books design by Charles Burns from his graphic novel Black Hole.


La Cumbre Elevated IPA Cans (2011 GABF Gold)

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Here’s your first look at the La Cumbre Elevated IPA 16oz cans.  This is the GABF 2011 gold medal winner for America-Style IPA and it is 7.2% ABV & 100 IBU….and yes I’d love to try it.


Flying Dog Single Hop Chinook Imperial IPA & Pearl necklace Oyster Stout

Next up in the Flying Dog Single Hop Imperial IPA series is Chinook.  It’s also 10% ABV and package din 12oz bottles.  Centennial is here and yes you should stay tuned for more.  As a bonus I’ve included the keg label for Pearl necklace Oyster Stout ale brewed with Oysters.


Brasserie de Rochefort - Trappists Rochefort 10, 8 & 6

image image image

It’s not often that you get to see Brasserie de Rochefort Trappists Rochefort 10, 8 % 6 all together…but today they all received label approval so why not show them off.   They don’t look any different to me so I suspect the change is subtle…so enjoy.


Appalachian Brewing Co–Grinnin’ Grizzly & Kipona Fest

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Tow new 22oz bottle labels coming to us today from Artie Tafoya , & everyone at Appalachian Brewing Co.  ABC is getting ready fro fall and winter by kicking out the new labels for their Grinnin’ Grizzly Holiday Spiced Ale (5.6% ABV) and Kipona fest Marzen lager (5.9% ABV.)


Redhook - Golden Ale


A new keg-only specialty ale from Redhook called simply Golden Ale.  That’s it…nothing to see here.


Bad Beer Week Continues-1 Killed in High Winds @ Busch Stadium Beer Tent

28 April 2012

Another bad night for beer lovers as a beer tent @ Busch Stadium is ripped apart by high winds killing 1 & injuring dozens.  This from the NY Daily News:

ST. LOUIS -- One person died Saturday and more than a dozen were taken to a hospital with injuries after high winds blew over a beer tent near Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

At least five others were critically injured and up to 100 people were treated at the scene after straight-line winds whipped through a large tent near Kilroy's Sports Bar, where about 200 people were celebrating after the Cardinals beat Milwaukee 7-3 earlier in the afternoon, officials said.

Eddie Roth, a spokesman for the St. Louis Department of Public Safety, said winds of about 50 mph shattered aluminum poles that held up the tent, which was located south of the stadium. The force of the wind blew the tent onto an adjacent railroad bridge.  Full Story Here.


BrewDog Gets a Centrifuge


Not exactly earth-moving news, but I thought you’d want a Saturday peek at the new Centrifuge that arrived this week @ BrewDog.


Brewers By The Bay - The History of Beer in San Francisco Indie Film


Ithaca Beer - $3 Million Expansion


Butternuts - Crazy Eights RyePA


I always love posting beers from Butternuts because I always love the names.  Today we have Crazy Eights RyePA…and yes it’s likely to be a Rye IPA.


Minhas - Red Tag Lager

Coming to us from Monroe, WI we have a new package from Minhas Craft Brewery called Red Tag Lager.  While this may look like a can label, it is a 12oz bottle and it is only 5% ABV.


Susquehanna Brewing Co 12oz Bottles–Pils Noir & 6th Generation Stock Ale

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I brought you the plain keg labels for these Susquehanna Brewing Co’s new beers.  Then we brought you news of the bottling line…so guess what?  Today we have two of the first three bottle labels in Pils Noir & 6th generation Stock Ale.  Pils Noir is a classic pilsner using SBC’s husk-free milling process.  This is a dark interpretation of a Czech Pilsner using a triple decoction mash.  6th Generation Stock Ale celebrates the 6 generations of Stegmaier family brewing.  It uses Muntons malts and Oregon hops and a final hopjack injection, to deliver their “signature hop flavor.”  These are both 12oz bottle packages and it’s nice to see SBC start with a Lager and an Ale.


Anheuser-Busch Brewmaster’s Small Batch No 537

We brought you No 538 so we’re a little out of sequence, but now we have Anheuser-Busch Brewmaster’s Small Batch series No 537 (12oz & 6% ABV).

  This one is listed as a Lager whereas 538 was listed as a “beer.”


Harpoon Leviathan Baltic Porter & Red Squared (Octoberfest too)

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The Big Beers are rolling out of Harpoon tonight….first up is Leviathan Baltic Porter, 12oz bottle, 9.5% ABV and it uses Lager yeast & de-husked malts.  Red Squared, 12oz bottle, 10% ABV and it uses Galaxy & Citra yeast…and rather than calling it an “Imperial” they called it Red Squared.  As a bonus I’ve included the 2012 Harpoon Octoberfest label…


Widmer Brothers - Okto Festival Ale Autumn Seasonal

After showing off Harpoon Oktoberfest earlier, I feel compelled to show you the Widmer Brothers Okto Festival Ale Autumn Seasonal.  This Oktoberfest-style brew will be packaged in 12oz bottles.


Michelob Amberbock Dark Lager Joins the Draftmark Packaging Lineup


Here’s the original news of Draftmark packaging, so it’s exciting to see Budweiser, Bass & Shock Top joined by Michelob Amberbock Dark Lager in this unique 1-gallon home-draft system.


AleSmith Yule Smith Winter Holiday Ale 2012


Merry Christmas 2012 from AleSmith Brewing …today, in April 2012 we have the YuleSmith 2012 Winter Holiday Ale label.  It will once again be 22oz bottled Imperial Red Ale, and for 2012 i t will be 8.5% ABV.


21st Amendment Spring Saison Ale


Not much to see here, but it looks like our friend  Shaun O’Sullivan has a new brew on his hands.  21st Amendment Spring Saison Ale.  It’s keg-only so far and 6.2% ABV but stay tuned.


Rare Beer Club May 2012 Selections–O’Dell Pond Hopper & Brouwerij Van Viven Smoked Porter

27 April 2012

imageJust thought you’d want the very fist peek at the May 2012 selections for the Rare Beer Club.  For May, Kris is featuring O’Dell Pond Hopper DEPA & Brouwerij Van Viven Smoked Porter.  Details from the Rare Beer Club:

Odell Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO) in Collaboration with Thornbridge Brewery (Derbyshire, United Kingdom) — Pond Hopper Double Extra Pale Ale

Calling all hopheads: Do Not Miss This Beer. This month we have an old-world meets new-world brewing collaboration, but this time it’s the American brewery that’s the elder of the pair. The Odell Brewing Company of Colorado was founded back in 1989. Family-founded and owned, the owners Doug Odell, wife Wynne and sister Corkie have their good family name on every product, combining the finest and freshest English and domestic ingredients. The Thornbridge Brewery, in the heart of the United Kingdom, started brewing in early 2005. Creating many session-style cask beers, with more modern interpretations and brewing methods applied, they’ve already pulled in at least 130 brewing awards. Doug Odell and the Thornbridge crew first met up in 2009 when Doug popped into Thornbridge to say hello along with a selection of his beers, and the Thornbridge team fell in love. This led to talk of a collaboration, and has since yielded a very special, one-off reciprocal brew: this month’s massively hopped Pond Hopper.

Pond Hopper Double Extra Pale Ale pours a slightly hazy pale copper color, dressed with a massively frothy, thick off-white head. On the nose look for spicy hops, citrusy hops, tropical fruit hops, piney, resinous hops, and minty hops. Tons of hops, but not out of whack—there is balance provided by a heavy-handed backdrop of British malts. Flavorful and intense, initially there are pungent hop notes that blend with an intense alcohol sharpness, with notes of melon that emerge in the aftermath. Tasting this beer, “English” may not jump to mind—as it drinks like a monumentally epic Pacific Northwest Double IPA—but we admire the boldness in taking a British base for the malts. But don’t misunderstand—the massive hoppiness that we’re describing is largely limited to the aroma and flavor—the finish is only moderately bitter. So covet thine supply thusly, and share it only with the most loyal of subjects. This is a one-and-done collaboration, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Cheers!

Viven Smoked Porter

Brouwerij Van Viven (Sijsele, Belgium) — Viven Smoked Porter

Founder Willy De Lobel’s first two beers, a blonde originally called Chapel of Viven, and a rustic brown named Monastery of Viven, reflected the monastic traditions that helped shape the landscape of Abbey-based Flemish beer. However, Willy did not have a monastery, or even his own brewery, to brew his Viven beers. So, he brought them to scientist brewer Dirk Naudts of De Proefbrouwerij. At De Proef, Dirk and his staff continued to perfect the brewing process of Viven with their creator. In 2003, Willy decided to pass the torch to a young and ambitious entrepreneur Tony Traen. In 2009 Tony and Dirk were inspired to create more and unique Viven beers. The duo took Flemish brewing art and applied it to non-Flemish beer styles, within Flanders. With that slant in mind, the pair developed the recipes of Viven Ale, Viven Porter and Viven Imperial IPA.

Viven Smoked Porter has a deep dark color that allows almost no light to pass through and is draped with a fluffy, dark tan head that clings to the glass and very slowly melts away. The nose offers up notes of plums, anise, wood, smoke and roastiness, espresso, chocolate, black licorice and a bit of orange citrus. Look for a slight waft of tart stone fruits as well. The flavor profile begins with gentle, balancing sweetness, giving way to a much drier, roasty middle, then into a woody, lightly smoky, almost chalky character where notes of espresso and dark chocolate linger before fading out. The 7% ABV is fairly high for your standard porter, but on par for your typical Belgian brew—and it’s wonderfully well-integrated into the flavor profile, showing up less in the flavor and more in the belly as it offers some gentle warming. Enjoy—summer is upon us—so pick up enough of this fine brew to partner with those grilled foods, and to offset all those paler beers likely to dominate the season.

Rare Beer Club members will be receiving this brew in 750 ml bottles 4-6 weeks before it hits store shelves in limited numbers (about 60 cases for the whole U.S., in 11.2 oz bottles). Cheers!


Stevens Point / Chicago Beer Co–Chi Town Pier Pale Ale

Here’s your first look at the Stevens Point / Chicago Beer Co Chi Town Pier Pale Ale American Pale Ale.  It’s 5.6% ABV and a 12oz bottle…what more could you want?


Bud Light Celebrates California

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Just a peek at two new labels from Bud Light…and as much as I thought they were celebrating Bear Republic Brewery…it appears to just be a commemorative California package.  One 12oz, one 16oz…one bottle, one aluminum-bottle…both Bud Light.


WILK Friday BeerBuzz


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