Here at Five Beers to Know headquarters we only have one rule: Don’t bother Chris. This isn’t because I’m some diva (although I do wear a tiara at all times), the task is just too volatile to mess with. There’s the sorting through every beer created in a given week, of course, which necessitates a level of stamina and concentration akin to the Tour de France. But in order to truly KNOW the beers that week and select just five, one must also let the mind wander and feel. What speaks to me? It is a delicate balance that requires solitude and space. And also an insane combination of illicit substances. Uppers, downers, psychotropics, ancient elixirs, big jugs with XXX on the label, whew, you name it. So, yea. It’s just safer to keep me locked in this room. Here are your five beers to know this week.
Abita’s Strawberry Lager now available year-round
This announcement exploded our heads: Louisiana’s first and largest craft brewery, Abita Brewing Company, has listened to the pleas of its loyal patrons and partners across the country and announced that seasonal favorite Abita Strawberry Lager is now available year-round to customers.
“We created Strawberry Lager 15 years ago for a local strawberry festival and it took off immediately, becoming one of our most sought-after seasonal brews,” says David Blossman, President & CEO of Abita Brewing Co.
Stepping up a beer this quality from three months of availability to 12 — in which fresh strawberries are integral to its greatness — is no small feat. Similar to wine with grape harvest, the team at Abita has worked closely with its farmers to ensure enough berries are harvested to last throughout the year, allowing the craft brewery to deliver the fresh taste of strawberries to consumers all year long.
“We harvest the strawberries at the end of the crop year at the point when they are the sweetest, which enables the beer to have such a distinct flavor,” says Abita Brewmaster, Mark Wilson. “We will use about 120,000 pounds of strawberries to be able to deliver Strawberry year-round.”
Kansas Territory goes simple with Bradford Light Domestic Lager
Not all craft beer diehards are on board with craft beer’s embracing of light lagers, but we at CBB dig it. Kansas Territory Brewing Company, makers of Life Coach Lager, is launching the perfectly named Bradford Light Domestic Lager to appeal to the wider beer drinking community (coming in at 91 calories and 2.4 carbs, too).
“This is a style of beer that is often overlooked by most craft breweries but can be enjoyed by anyone,” said Brandon Gunn, head brewer. “On the brewing side it has been a lot of fun because our technical skills need to be at the highest level. Without aggressive flavors to hide behind, the beer drinker can detect every potential flaw, and we love a good challenge.”
“Sometimes a heavy or high octane beer just isn’t the right fit for the moment… sometimes you just want a beer, and that’s what we’ve done with Bradford Light,” said Brad Portenier, owner.
Two veteran Los Angeles breweries collaborate to honor their long tenure
Two of Los Angeles’ oldest independent craft breweries, Eagle Rock Brewery (ERB) and El Segundo Brewing Company (ESBC) collaborated on two beers in honor of their long tenure in the L.A. craft beer world: Old Dog, New Tricks, ERB’s dry-hopped pilsner, and New Tricks, Old Dog, ESBC’s IPA. What’s also cool is these new beers pay homage to the styles that define ERB’s and ESBC’s individual histories as L.A. breweries, while showcasing the breweries’ lasting commitment to innovation and creativity in process and product.
ERB’s Old Dog, New Tricks and ESBC’s New Tricks, Old Dog are brewed with the same malts and hop varietals (Loral, Simcoe, and Centennial), but differ from each other in two respects. Not only are the beers distinct in style (pilsner versus IPA), but also in the part of the hops used in the brewing process: ESBC uses the Cryo version of the three hop varieties, produced by freezing and separating the lupulin glands from the hop flower with liquid nitrogen. This process is a relatively new invention in the world of craft beer, and results in stronger flavor and aroma from the oil-rich lupulin glands without the volume of whole hops.
In turn, ERB’s version utilizes the other product of this process, American Noble hops, which are essentially the subtly-flavored debittered leaf or flower remaining after the hops are frozen and the lupulin glands are removed. The resulting beer is a classic German-style pilsner with mild hop flavors and delicate jasmine aroma.
WeldWerks Brewing’s Invitational event for charity featuring 12 new beers
WeldWerks Brewing Co. is pulling out all the stops for its sold-out 2019 WeldWerks Invitational on June 22, which features 47 of the country’s best breweries from 15 different states, who will be pouring some of their most memorable specialty beers and unique barrel-aged offerings. The majority of the festival’s total economic impact, which includes ticket sales, hotels, food and purchases made at Greeley businesses, is estimated at nearly $500,000 for the weekend. This year the WeldWerks Invitational will welcome 1,300 attendees and more than 200 brewers, staff, volunteers and sponsors.
“Last year, proceeds from our inaugural WeldWerks Invitational totaled $40,000, which we distributed to five different Weld County non-profit organizations through our 501(c)(3) foundation,” said Neil Fisher, Co-Owner and Head Brewer at WeldWerks. “We hope to raise a similar amount for 2019.”
All of these 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations are dedicated to serving people in need in Weld County. They include: Greeley Center for Independence, Immigration & Refugee Center of Northern Colorado, Greeley Transitional House, United Way of Weld County, and A Woman’s Place.
Starting Friday (open to the public) you can find the following nine, new can releases:
- Revenge of the Evil Haze Factory
- Evil Pastry Stout Factory Strikes Back
- Double Orange Creamsicle Milkshake
- Peach Pie Berliner
- Peanut Butter Cup Achromatic
- Guava Lime Gose
- S’more Like A Sour
- Advanced Fluid Dynamics
- You Can’t Do That To IPA (collaboration beer with Cerebral Brewing)
Plus, three brand new, single-barrel variants of Medianoche will be tapped on Friday, created exclusively for the Invitational:
- Bananas Foster
- Coffee Rye
- Coconut Brandy
North Coast Brewing wins summer with this latest entry in Berliner Weisse series
North Coast Brewing Company created its Berliner Weisse series to honor the spring, summer and fall seasons. Brewed with seasonal fruits, all three interpretations are Non-GMO Project Verified and brewed in their own inspired style. For summer, North Coast is releasing Passion Fruit-Peach, brewed in the Berlin white style with an ABV of 4.1 percent and 0 IBUs. A spontaneously soured beer with a honey hue, Passion Fruit-Peach is made with peaches from California and passion fruit from Ecuador.
“We call Passion Fruit-Peach Berliner Weisse our Pan-American take on the German classic,” says North Coast Brewing Co. Brewmaster, Chuck Martins. “Brewing this interpretation with summer fruits, such as passion fruit and peaches, creates a thirst-quenching beer ideal for summer drinking. Passion Fruit-Peach has a unique combination of sweet and sour that is reminiscent of each of our seasonal Berliner Weisse offerings.”