Too many new beers and other adult craft beverages are released every week for a mere mortal to comprehend. It is our duty to sift through them all and report back on what stood out most. This week we enjoyed a bunch of interesting collaborations, product innovations and event commemorations.
Cool Collab Config in Expedition Pack with New Trail Brewing and partners
New Trail Brewing Co. is collaborating with four different breweries each month to provide a 12 pack of four different beers, a variety pack titled The Expedition Pack. This will be four separate traditional collaboration beers, each between two breweries, one of which is always New Trail, just all packaged together in a larger 12 pack. A very cool idea. This pack will be available within New Trail’s wholesale footprint covering the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. New Trail has partnered with four breweries across PA in the first Expedition Pack: Dancing Gnome of Pittsburgh, East Branch Brewing of Downingtown, Human Robot of Philadelphia and Pizza Boy Brewing of Enola.
“We are very excited about the breweries we are working with on the Expedition Pack. Our goal has been to highlight what we at New Trail love about each of the participating breweries when collaborating on each of these beers. Each beer in the pack is either a combination of two of our more commonly used recipes or a combination of processes. A ton of creativity and experience will be needed to meld our unique ways of making beer, and a lot of hard work will be done to bring you these beautiful hybrids,” said Mike LaRosa, Director of Brewing Operations.
Terra Firma will be a Hazy Double IPA with Dancing Gnome. Confluence will be an American IPA with East Branch. Horizon will be a Dry Hopped Pilsner with Human Robot. Morning Necessities will be an Imperial Stout with coffee & vanilla with Pizza Boy.
WhistlePig Rye Whiskey lends barrels to Harpoon for latest Doppelbock
In pursuit of perfecting the Doppelbock, Harpoon Brewery announced a second collaboration with WhistlePig Rye Whiskey – the premier aged rye whiskey – with an elevated beer for sophisticated palates, The Bock Hog. Fans of both brands will immediately recognize the play on words, as Harpoon’s Doppelbock – a strong, flavorful, malty lager – is conditioned in Spanish Oak and South American Teakwood barrels that previously housed WhistlePig’s The Boss Hog VII: Magellan’s Atlantic, which was inspired by the first recorded circumnavigation of the globe.
“We share more than just roots in the New England community with WhistlePig: we also share a sense of innovation, exploration and a dedication to our craft,” said Dan Kenary, CEO and co-founder of Harpoon Brewery. “During a time where we are limited in how far we can travel, I’m proud of our brewers and the distillers that created The Bock Hog and allowed the flavor profile of this beer to go the distance for us.”
With the base notes of the Doppelbock including toasted rye, toffee, rum raisin, and cacao, the Spanish Oak and South American Teakwood barrels add complexity with top notes like holiday spice, roasted nuts, vanilla, and char. Brewed at 9.0% ABV, this lager will warm you on cold winter nights at home and whisk you away for an exploration of flavors.
Ska Street Brewstillery readies its first packaged products
Ska Street Brewstillery, the first Colorado business of its kind, begins limited distribution today with the release of their first packaged products— Chasing Gremlins Barrel Aged Imperious Stout and Third Wave White Rum crafted by Brewstiller Damon Scott.
In the truest fashion of the Legion of Ska, Ska Street, a joint project of sister companies Ska Brewing and Peach Street Distillers, will hit the market in a big way— with a bold, 18.5% ABV beer and an inspired spirit that showcase Scott’s robust brewing and distilling background.
“This is the guy we put in place to execute everything we’ve learned in 40 collective years of experience in brewing and distilling,” says Ska Brewing CEO and Co-Founder Dave Thibodeau. “We’re proud to showcase his unique skill set and the facility we’ve built around him with the release of a new product from both sides of Ska Street.”
Chasing Gremlins Imperious Stout was aged at Ska Street in a Peach Street Colorado Straight Bourbon 5 Year Single Barrel, with added maraschino cherries and vanilla to “layer in flavors like you would a cocktail,” Scott explains. Chasing Gremlins connects the dots between the brewing and distilling side of what Ska Street does, Scott says. “At 37 proof, it’s almost a spirit in itself!”
Protagonist Beer debuts in cans to the sounds of Queen
North Carolina’s Protagonist will package three beers next Friday, December 18, which will be available in four-packs beginning the same day, starting at 5 p.m., at both its Lower South End and NoDa locations. To commemorate the occasion, Protagonist will host a canning celebration next Friday starting at 5 p.m., during which all the beers being canned will be available on draft and ready for purchase to take home. For added fun, Protagonist will also air the classic “Queen: Live from Wembley Stadium” concert throughout the venue. This is in honor of one of the releases, “Mercury” named after Queen’s lead singer, Freddy Mercury. Here’s what on-tap for Protagonist’s inaugural canning:
- Mercury – Hazy IPA – 7% ABV – Tasting Notes: Citrus- Dank-Tropical (16oz 4-Packs – 14.99)
- Cube – West Coast IPA – 7.2% ABV – Tasting Notes: Crisp – Tropical – Citrus (16oz 4-Packs – 14.99)
- Wilder Hirsch – German-Style Lager(Helles)- 4.7% ABV – Tasting Notes: Biscuit – Crisp – Clean (This beer is a collaboration with Town Brewing and Little Brother Brewing) (16oz 4-Packs – 12.99)
2 Towns goes Cosmic with its new year-round imperial cider
2 Towns Ciderhouse has decided to start the new year with a bang by launching a stellar year-round Imperial cider – Cosmic Crisp. While this is the first cider to be produced on a large scale using Cosmic Crisp apples, 2 Towns is also proud to have been the first cidery to produce a cider crafted from this exceptional new apple. Cosmic Crisp is bright, fruit-forward aromatics collide with a high-ABV and high-acid profile for a truly heavenly experience.
“When fermented, the aromatics that are released from the Cosmic Crisp apples are truly unique,” said Dave Takush, Head Cidermaker, “Strong notes of white currant and pineapple blossom off of a platinum colored cider that is as crisp and sparkling as you could imagine. People can make all the interstellar puns they want, but this is truly a unique and beautiful cider.”
Shmaltz is celebrating its anniversary, Hanukkah and #RBG this month
Shmaltz Brewing Co. officially turns 24 this Hanukkah season and is one of the only craft breweries out there with a Jewish holiday celebration beer. A long way from the first 100 cases brewed in 1996 and delivered in a Grandmother’s Volvo – Hanukkah Beer is all new for 2020: 8 malts, 8 hops, 8% abv of course – Shmaltz cooked up a bright shiny gift of its new Golden Jelly Doughnut Pastry Ale brewed with 600 pounds per batch of real purees of Raspberry & Cherry with a generous slathering of pure vanilla.
Shmaltz will launch Hanukkah 2020 along with its newest art installation at their Tasting Room in Downtown Troy: Negative is Positive: Hindsight is 2020, a curated art show by photographer Thom Williams of Troy Arts Center with over a dozen regional and local artists exploring personal, political, and aesthetic themes of the current moment.
But that’s not all: For Shmaltz’s fourth She’brew Beer release, when Lauri from Moustache Brewing mentioned that #RBG was her Beacon of Empowerment – they had the perfect inspiration for the next Shmaltz tribute collaboration. The launch was set for International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day in March 2020 — and then the disastrous case of the current Global Pandemic stormed into reality. Shmaltz brewed this sincere offering to give huge thanks to a guardian and a champion in the way we know best — by upholding the bar for #Notorious IPAs equally balanced for a commemoration of life and just causes everywhere. A portion of the profits from She’brew’s #RBG IPA will go to the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and the Pink Boots Society.
3 Daughters’ Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter is back
3 Daughters Brewing announced the return of its Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter, available in six packs at participating retailers and in the 3 Daughters Brewing Tasting Room. The once-a-year beer is aged in Horse Soldier Bourbon barrels from American Freedom Distillery, lending extra depth and flavor to the porter’s profile. Notes of dark fruit and roasted coffee from the beer’s mash bill are balanced with hints of oak, vanilla and bourbon from the American oak Horse Soldier barrels.
“This is the beer we have people waiting on year-round,” said Brian Horne, VP of Sales at 3 Daughters Brewing. “It’s no secret that it’s a favorite of our brewers, and it’s only available once every year, making it one of our most popular annual releases.”
3 Daughters describe the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Porter as: “A collaboration with American Freedom Distillery, this barrel-aged treat is as dark as a night in the middle of the gulf. Packing a whiskey punch on the nose thanks to the Horse Soldier barrels, chocolate and crystal malts follow up to deliver coffee, caramel and dark fruit on a sweet finish in the mouth. At 9.5% ABV, it’s a strong beer inspired by strong men.”