Social injustice, racist leadership and authoritarian rule. Wildfires, hurricanes and power shutoffs. A pandemic and an economy on the brink. Fuck, man. At least we still have beer. Here’s some of the new releases that caught our eyes in the moments we weren’t covering them. Please grab one or 12, and be kind to people this weekend. Or get more pissed. Black Lives Matter.
Proceeds from Last Wave Brewing, Bouncing Souls NEIPA go to social justice charities
When the opportunity came to do a beer with the legendary NJ punk band, the Bouncing Souls, the crew at Last Wave Brewing Co. found there was a shared passion for music, surfing, and social justice—hence the name How I Spent My Summer Vacation IPA.
$2 of every 4-pack and $1 of every pint sold will go to the Asbury Park Music Foundation, Best Day Foundation, and Black Lives Matter in order to help these organizations keep doing important work in the local community. The band also provided some merchandise to be raffled off to help raise additional funds for charity.
How I Spent My Summer Vacation is a juicy New England-style IPA that features Citra, Medusa, and Cashmere hops, which provide bright citrus notes and aromas of ripe melon with lime undertones. Bouncing Souls bass player, Bryan Kienlen, did the can artwork and the Last Wave crew had a blast getting to meet legends and talk beer and life with them.
City Built Brewing’s Crown Series is an homage to Run the Jewels
During quarantine, Run the Jewels, rap’s marquee MC/producer duo, dropped “RTJ4,” an incendiary album of front to back bangers that could rile the staunchest couch potato to riot. For Ed Collazo, CEO at City Built Brewing Company, their music fueled his work and inspired The Crown Series, a set of IPAs and a sour sure to impress hip-hop fans and hopheads alike.
Rob Qualls, head brewer at City Built, never listened to Run the Jewels before brewing these beers, but he happened to match the duo’s tendency for lavishness and excess with high-budget hop bills for each IPA.
“I wanted to spend all the money on all the fancy hops we could,” Qualls said. “The way I look at it, the malt bill might be the car but it means nothing if there’s not an engine behind there driving.”
Into the Fray is packed with Galaxy, Into the Murk with Nelson Sauvin and a dash of Idaho 7 and Into the Haze with all the boutique hops—Citra, Cryo Simcoe and Amarillo. To the New England detractors who knock hazies for their supposed sameness, trying these IPAs side-by-side reveals the spectrum of flavors possible for the style. The oddball in the series is Childish Obsession, a fruited sour with tangerine puree, vanilla and lactose. The flavor evokes such childhood indulgences as push-pops and Sunny D.
For the cans, Collazo tapped Grand Rapids locals Kyle DeGroff and Elliot Chaltry to create the most eye-popping art imaginable. Each can pays respect to a different Run the Jewels album, creating characters inspired by the iconic hands on each cover.
Ferment Brewing’s Black is Beautiful now out
The Black is Beautiful initiative that now includes more than 1,000 breweries across 20 countries. Oregon’s Ferment Brewing Co. brewed an Imperial Coffee Stout that is a rich and complex beer loaded with caramel notes and deep roasted malt with the added zing and brightness of a cold steep with Nossa Familia Coffee Mathilde’s French Roast (10% ABV).
“In this important time in history, it is our responsibility to stand up for equality, be actively anti-racist and help to continue this movement until true change is made,” said Dan Peterson, Ferment Brewing Brewmaster. “We are grateful to be able to express our love and support for the Black Lives Matter cause through this beer.”
Ferment Brewing has committed to donating 100% of the proceeds of Black is Beautiful to the Urban League of Portland to support its efforts empowering African Americans and others to achieve equality in education, employment, health, economic security and quality of life.
Tröegs teams with Harris Family Brewing on different Black is Beautiful recipe
Tröegs Independent Brewing’s Black is Beautiful has a different spin, brewed in collaboration with Harris Family Brewery, Pennsylvania’s first black-owned brewery. The beer, an American Brown Lager, was inspired by a well-guarded cornbread recipe from the family of Harris Family Brewery’s Shaun Harris.
Corn notes come from Pennsylvania blue corn grown at Dancing Star Farms and malted locally by Deer Creek Malthouse. Roasty notes reminiscent of the brown char near the edge of the skillet are derived from chocolate and caramel malts, while Lemondrop hops add a hint of citrusy lemon.
“I love the part of cornbread that’s between the burnt side of the skillet and the yellow center,” says Tröegs brewmaster John Trogner. “That crust with those graham cracker flavors… that’s the best part of the whole thing.”
Black is Beautiful is a worldwide collaborative effort started by Weathered Souls brewery in Texas. Its purpose is to bring awareness to the injustices that many people of color face daily. Its mission is to show that the brewing community is an inclusive place for everyone of any color.