Writing Five Beers to Know is a special time that ends each work week. I slip on my writing robe, put on a Weird Al mix tape, grab my quill pen (I poke the keys with a quill pen) and take the time to get creative in this limited space. This week, when I went to the post where I save all my beer news, I noticed another mysterious untitled post saved from last week with my name on it. Hmm. What was this forgotten gem of an article? Something earth-shattering, like this in-depth feature on Canadian beer trade laws? Curious, I clicked and found simply this:
Idle time used to be valued
That was all I wrote! Wonder where I was going with that? My current theory is it’s a John Connors-style message from the future telling me to quit working — a message I will abide by, just in case. But I’m keeping on my robe. Here are five beers to complement your idle time this weekend. Value them.
Great Lakes Brewing’s tribute to Joe Thomas
We Clevelanders get sappy about our sports teams, so big ups to Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s latest limited edition Kolsch-Style Ale brewed in collaboration with Cleveland football hero Joe Thomas. The light, crisp, tailgate worthy beer is named 73 for the left tackle’s uniform number will be available in cans and on draft throughout the Cleveland area beginning in September 2018.
The project developed organically when Thomas bonded over beer with his next door neighbor, GLBC CEO Bill Boor. “Joe and I talked about the idea of doing a beer together for a while. He embodies so many things we admire at Great Lakes, and in Cleveland,” said Boor. “Reliability, hard work, loyalty, community involvement. The list goes on. After he retired, we agreed to make it happen. It seems so right for Joe Thomas and Great Lakes to work together on a special beer.”
Alaskan Brewing beefs up Imperial Pumpkin Porter
The latest beer from Alaskan Brewing Company’s Pilot Series is Imperial Pumpkin Porter, just in time for the onset of fall in Southeast Alaska. Inspired by the harvest season and the huge vegetables produced by Alaska’s long summer days, Imperial Pumpkin Porter is big, bold, and full of rich pumpkin flavor to match the gigantic pumpkins that grow in Alaska’s long daylight hours.
“While we’ve had a beautiful stretch of summer weather here in Juneau, there’s no denying that fall is right around the corner,” said Alaskan Head Brewer Rob Day. “This year, we took inspiration from some pumpkin beers we’ve brewed in the past, but bigger. We were kind of keeping the huge pumpkins grown up in the Mat-Su Valley in mind when we added over 11 pounds of pumpkin to every barrel of this imperial porter. We went a little pumpkin crazy, to be honest.”
Hi-Wire’s Apricot Blonde proceeds to protect local river watershed
For the third year in a row, North Carolina’s Hi-Wire Brewing has partnered with the French Broad Riverkeeper Beer Series, presented by MountainTrue and Blue Ridge Orthodontics, to create a limited-release beer where a portion of the proceeds from the sales supports the work of the French Broad Riverkeeper, protecting the French Broad River watershed. This year Hi-Wire Brewing will be releasing an Apricot Blonde (4.6% ABV). This crispy golden blonde river beer sports big stone fruit aroma from apricot complemented by floral and citrus notes from a late addition of Loral hops.
To celebrate, on August 25, Hi-Wire Brewing will be co-hosting a French Broad River & Hominy Creek cleanup, with a beer release party, Hi-Wire Brewing tap takeover, and live music. The special release beer will be available in 6-packs of 12-oz cans beginning that day and will see limited distribution throughout Western North Carolina.
Seedstock Brewery’s taps its can’t miss seasonal altbier
Altbier, alt meaning old, is reminiscent of old world brews that can take on new life on American soil. Denver’s Seedstock Brewery is tapping an altbier this week, the Dusseldorf Alt, that’s only available seasonally even though it’s one of its staples. Seedstock’s altbier is brewed in the ‘Dusseldorf’ tradition/style, meaning it’s less sweet and more bitter than Northern German style alt, as you probably know. It clocks in at 5 percent ABV with a clean, malty aroma and a slight hint of fruitiness. It is assertive in its hop bitterness and balanced by a clean, bready malt character. The long-lasting, dry finish makes it a very sessionable beer.
North Peak Brewing’s first canned beers are perfect for Big Ten tailgate parties
North Peak Brewing Co. is ready to release its first canned beers, fresh off its newly installed Palmer 100 cpm canning line. Like many breweries making that switch, North Peak CEO Tony Grant says he was looking for a more portable, environmentally friendly packaging that better represents the outdoor way of life represented in the North Peak brand. North Peak is also part of Northern United Brewing Co., which focuses on conservation and locally sustainable practices.
“With our Up North motto and lifestyle, canning our beer was inevitable and the time has finally come,” Grant says. “Cans pair with a more active lifestyle of dynamic activity and leisure, whether you are biking, kayaking, fishing, golfing, or simply relaxing watching the sunset from a hammock.”
And this is no coincidence: the first canned beers being released, just in time for football tailgate season will be 6-packs of Hail Pale Ale and Sparta IPA, rival beers representing the state’s major college football rivals because the brewery itself is divided with University of Michigan and Michigan State University alum. Too bad they both stink. Go Bucks!