An IPA walks into a bar and says to the bartender, “make me a double,” so the bartender nods and slides it a bag of grain. But then the IPA says, “um, is this a joke?” The bartender says, “I guess? Check out the byline.” The IPA glances up, sees my name and starts laughing. “What a hack,” the beer says. “Anyway, pour me a real shot.” “You got it, pal,” the bartender says. When he turns back around with the shot though, the IPA is just an empty glass. “Dang. I never even got to know its name.” No, you didn’t. No one will. *Belch* Let that be a lesson to all you beers out there. Call me a hack and see what happens. Here are some other craft beers to know this week.
Karl Strauss, AleSmith mess with kveik yeast for the first time in Blink of an IPA
Karl Strauss Brewing Co.’s Blink of an IPA is a new experimental India Pale Ale brewed with AleSmith Brewing Co. as part of its collaboration series. Blink of an IPA will be one of Karl Strauss’ featured collaborations at Collabapalooza, their celebration of independent beer coming up on Saturday, October 19th.
This limited release is fermented with Norwegian kveik yeast. Long-time friends and first-time collaborators, Karl Strauss and AleSmith are both known for experimenting with their small batch releases, but neither brewery had previously brewed with kveik yeast, which meant that Ryan Crisp, AleSmith’s Director of Brewery Operations & Head Brewer, and Matt Johnson, Brewmaster of Brewery Operations at Karl Strauss, were eager to jump in and experiment.
“Both Ryan and I wanted to brew a Kveik IPA. Hops are usually the star in an India Pale Ale, so it was a lot of fun to primarily focus on the yeast for this particular IPA. Kveik is really such a unique strain. We were amazed how well it fermented at higher temperatures– from 78°F to 98° F,” Johnson.
Not only does kveik ferment incredibly quickly – within days, instead of weeks like typical ale yeast – but it is known for producing bright, citrusy esters. This makes is a natural fit for an India Pale Ale. Blink of an IPA weighs in at 6.5% ABV with aromas of stone fruit and pineapple. It is brewed with Simcoe, Citra, Ekuanot, El Dorado, and BRU-1 experimental hops. The beer is light in body, intense with orange and fresh fruit flavors, and finishes with a pleasant, lingering bitterness.
Heavy Seas Siren Noire is our favorite label of the week
The Uncharted Waters series by Heavy Seas Beer will soon welcome the 2019 edition of Siren Noire, an imperial chocolate stout aged in bourbon barrels, available in both 4 packs of 12oz bottles and on draft. The brewery will also be introducing an extremely limited, draft only variant of the beer brewed with both fresh and toasted coconut.
Heavy Seas used almost three pounds of Belgian coco nibs per barrel and aged it for five weeks in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans added. A mix of dark malts gives Siren Noire a well-rounded body that is decidedly chocolatey – but without being extraordinarily sweet. Brewers Gold hops contribute an earthy spiciness, with notes of black current. For Coconut Siren Noire, they forgo the vanilla bean addition that the regular Siren Noire has and add a healthy addition of fresh coconut as well as toasted coconut. Then they add dark chocolate to accentuate the flavors further.
Empourium hosts Fresh-tober to showcase fresh hop beers, like its Now & Forever
The Empourium hosted Fresh-tober Fest last weekend, their rendition of Oktoberfest only with fresh hop beers made by their neighbors in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood. The Empourium’s fresh hop beer for the day (still on tap) is Now & Forever, a 6.2% ABV IPA with seven pounds per barrel of fresh hops sourced from Crystal hops grown at Hop Heads Farm in Michigan. It’s extra fresh and not so bitter.
“The name is actually a reference from The Nightmare Before Christmas, one of Greg and my favorite movies. On our wedding day (September 12) we actually did a hop planting as opposed to a rose planting or candle lighting during our ceremony,” says co-owner Sara Fetzer. “That plant then has been growing in our backyard for the last 4yrs. It was always our intention to brew a fresh hop around our anniversary each year with a portion of the fresh hops coming from our own plant. Now and Forever is a movie reference but also a tribute to our marriage!”
North Peak Brewing Co. releases a Spruce Tip IPA.
North Peak Brewing Co. launched Piney, an aromatic, earthy, and bold Spruce Tip IPA. It is amber-hued and bright with aromas of pine and citrus from Chinook, MI Cascade, Cascade, Simcoe and spruce tips. The hops and spruce tips combined with sweet and bitter orange peel create bold citrus, resinous flavors. The mellow malt character and towering hop profile of Piney create an effervescent IPA as stately as a spruce. Piney has an ABV of 7.5% with 55 IBU. It will be available in 12 oz cans, 6 packs, and draft the last week of October.
Two Minnesota breweries collaborate on a tribute to their state
Cold Spring Brewing Co. (CSBC) and Third Street Brewhouse are celebrating Minnesota in a new collab beer: Lake State Brown Ale. Brewed to highlight maltiness, Third Street Brewhouse blended 2-Row, Cara Gold and Chocolate malts with roasted barley for a subtly sweet flavor. Magnum, Golding and Tettnager hops hover faintly in the background, adding to the brew’s complexity. Lake State Brown Ale has an ABV of 5.5%.
“There’s nothing better than a rich American Brown Ale, especially at the start of the fall season,” said Karl Schmitz, Brewhouse Manager. “We’re really proud of our Lake State Brown Ale – it’s a complex brew with hints of chocolate and caramel. The perfect addition to our year-round craft beer lineup.”
Ferment grabs a medal in its first GABF with Ferment Pale Ale
Ferment Brewing Co. debuted at this past Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition in a big way. The brewery, which just completed its first year in business in August, was recognized in the English-Style or International-Style Pale Ale beer-style category for its Ferment Pale Ale, an ale inspired by the brewing traditions of Burton-on-Trent at the turn of the 19th century. Heirloom malted barley and hop varieties come together to produce a result that is crisp and refreshing, featuring a complex depth of character with notes of tea, marmalade, and a hint of rose.
“Winning GABF gold for our Pale Ale has been a great honor and thrill for me,” said Dan Peterson, Brewmaster at Ferment Brewing Co. “This beer, in particular, has been at the heart of the Ferment brewing philosophy from the start. It was the first recipe of 35––so far––that we developed and was central to our concept of brewing beer to style, yet giving it a unique personality, all while making it approachable for all.”