Happy 4/20! … *checks calendar again* … Whoops! How do I do this every year …
Anyway, we shall kick off the Beers to Know this week with beer that’s a worthy tribute to weed culture: Hop Valley’s Bubble Stash. Weed culture has always been intertwined with Hop Valley’s vibe. A large part of this is due to its location and quirky, laid-back personality, but also because hops and cannabis are very close cousins in terms of their material and make-up.
And while weed-inspired beers have become an increasingly popular thing over the last few years, they aren’t always that tasty. Hop Valley set out to change that with Bubble Stash – which does not contain cannabis, but is inspired in a different way. Like, use your imagination, man.
When hops are processed in beer production, there is a sticky resin that gets produced, similar to the cannabis concentrate from THC production (known as Bubble Hash, made popular in the 80s). The folks at Hop Valley took this knowledge of THC and translated it into beer, using the resin from the hops to provide all the wonderfully unique flavors for extreme drinkability without the bitterness.
“The lupulin pollen is the purest essence of the hop that imparts all the delicious flavors and aromas without the residual bitterness that comes from leveraging the whole hop/leafy materials,” says Megan McKenna, Hop Valley Marketing Director.” Hash (Bubble Hash specifically) is created in a similar process where the purest oils are separated from the cannabis plant in an ice water bath.”
McKenna gives a shout out to Yakima’s Cryo Hops for making Bubble Stash and the subsequent Stash series of beers possible.
“In terms of why our brewers thought to try this process used in cannabis production with beer, honestly, they didn’t 100% know it would work,” she says. “Hop Valley is full of trend-setters who are never satisfied with the status quo. They’re curious, adventuresome and always inventing. In knowing the genetic makeup of a hop, the team knew that the leftover ‘resin’ or ‘pollen’ was where all the essential oils and best flavors from the hop originated. Therefore, they wanted to see if all of that delicious flavor would translate if they simply cut out the larger hop cone from the brewing process (which is what imparts all the bitterness and can generally be the most polarizing part of an IPA).”
Bubble Stash has an ABV of 6.2% and IBU of 45.
DC Brau also wants to Legalize It
DC Brau, the District’s OG craft brewery, released three of its annual beers, The Citizen, Brau Radler, and Smells Like Freedom, as well two limited edition beers, Legalize It Lager and the specially-branded Loud Brau in honor of the brewery’s upcoming 11 year anniversary.
DC Brau’s Smells Like Freedom is a big, hop bomb of an IPA provides a medium body that is slightly dried out thanks to the addition of sugar in the brewing kettle. The hop profile is made up of Columbus, Eureka! & Strata hops with notes of resin, pine, earth, sticky cannabis, and white pepper. This super drinkable IPA offers a subtle punch of bitterness upfront that fades into a pleasant, palate-coating bitterness that attracitley lingers in the nasal cavity.
Smells Like Freedom as well as Legalize It Lager, a thirst-quenching American Style Lager which was created in collaboration with the National Cannabis Festival, will be available exclusively at this year’s event, taking place in Washington, DC on April 23, 2022.
Allagash upgrades these pilot beers to summer seasonals
Allagash Brewing Co. is launching two new limited seasonal beers to its portfolio, freshly inspired from its pilot brewery. Seconds to Summer, a crisp and hoppy lager, and Floating Holiday, a dry and balanced blonde ale with lemon peel and sea salt. The duo of beers will be heading widely across the Allagash 19-state plus D.C. distribution footprint starting in May.
Brewed with traditional hops from the Czech Republic and fermented with Belgian yeast, Seconds to Summer boasts a refreshingly hoppy flavor that you’ll be sipping all summer long. Floating Holiday is bright and crisp blonde ale brewed with lemon peel and a pinch of sea salt. Both beers stemmed from the brewery’s pilot innovation system.
“Seconds to Summer was one of our most popular pilot beers in recent memory.” said Jason Perkins, Brewmaster at Allagash. “Our team unanimously loved this easy-drinking lager, and are really excited to be able to enjoy it during the summer. The pilot beer idea for Floating Holiday was to make a blonde ale with lemon peel and sea salt that was ‘crushable, crisp, and bright.’ And we definitely found that those ingredient additions of lemon and sea salt took an already dry and balanced style of beer and made it that much more refreshing.”
Lindemans readies limited edition bicentennial lambic
Lindemans, one of the oldest Belgian lambic beer brewers in the world, is celebrating its bicentennial with a limited edition lambic (only 25,000 bottles worldwide), Cuvée Francisca. Founded in 1822 by Francisca Josina Vandersmissen and Joos Frans Lindemans, the brewery produces one of the world’s oldest beer styles with the greatest care and immense passion.
Inspired by and named after Lindemans first lady, Francisca Josina Vandersmissen, it is a unique blend of a four-year-old lambic from the oak casks T1001 (20%), T1006 (35%), T1017 (35%) and 10% young lambic from foeder (oak cask) T1014; it’s dry yet complex, making it a nicely balanced old gueuze for beer enthusiasts as well as those new to the style. First fermented in wooden casks and then refermented in a bottle for 12 months, it carries a distinct taste of oak, citrus and notes of vanilla with a sherry aroma. The jubilee blend has a refreshingly sour yet crisp finish, and pours a golden blonde color.
“It’s an honour to carry on my family’s liquid heritage as the sixth generation of Lindemans brewers.” said Dirk Lindemans, co-owner and managing director of Lindemans Brewery. “What started out as a small family business has grown into an international renowned lambic brewery bringing new flavor profiles and experiences to fans all over the world. We wouldn’t be where we are today without Francisca Josina Vandersmissen and Joos Frans Lindemans, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating our 200th anniversary with a namesake beer in her honor.” added Geert Lindemans co-owner and managing director.
Empyrean Brewing’s Zookeeper is its first canned beer
Empyrean Brewing Co.’s seasonal “Zookeeper” beer not only has a new taste, but a new package too. Zookeeper Lemon Kolsch is the brewery’s first beer to ever be released in cans in its 32-year history. The Kolsch-style ale packs refreshing flavor with real lemon puree in a cool, sleek can.
Zookeeper Lemon Kolsch is brewed in support of the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, a partnership that began in 2018. The beer’s art highlights the zoo’s giraffes, coinciding with the birth of two new baby giraffes earlier this year. The limited-edition brew is set to be available from now until mid-summer wherever Empyrean Brewing Co. is sold.
Just like previous years, Super Saver and Russ’s Market are generously donating $1 for every Zookeeper Lemon Kolsch case sold. The support will help the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, which is home to 400 animals and requires roughly $13,000 a day to operate.