As the snow falls outside my window, I am of course reminded of beer. Each flake its own crisp, refreshing take on the same basic formula. Hmm. Yup, instead of the driveway, I will shovel this pile of beer news into the internet.
Here’s a tortilla chip beer
California chip company Taco Works and Tio Rodrigo Craft Beer Micheladas have their sights set on THE BIG GAME with this novelty tortilla chip beer. Yes, the two small businesses are cracking into a new homegating tradition by combining the greatest party staples in history.
“Everyone’s been going a bit stir-crazy lately so we wanted to have some fun and shake things up,” said head brewer Steve Courier. “Why not have your chips and drink them too?”
Brewers shoveled over 400lbs of streaming tortilla chips fresh from the oven to craft a light, refreshing beer with hints of lime zest, perfect for any football fan’s day on the field…or couch. The limited-edition Tortilla Chip Lager will be available in select California retailers and online for California home delivery – complete with a complimentary bag of chips.
Urban South’s Drip series is a new spin on coffee and sour beer
New Orlean’s largest craft brewery recently released Drip au Lait, a coffee sour heavily fruited with boysenberry and raspberry. Ethiopian coffee from New Orleans’ HEY Coffee Co. is paired with fruit and rounded out with the addition of lactose for this deliciously tart, fruited coffee sour. All beers in Urban South’s “Drip” series are fruited coffee sours featuring a different coffee blend from the local coffee roaster.
“While this beer may seem intimidating upfront, the end result is a harmonious balance of unique ingredients,” says Alex Flores, Head Brewer at Urban South. “Drip au Lait showcases the roaster’s ability to bring out unique flavors from the coffee bean. The addition of fruit and a balanced touch of acidity helps to elevate the flavor.”
Summit Twenty-One IPA is here to stay
Summit Twenty-One IPA made its debut in January 2020 as Summit’s new spring seasonal. The West Coast IPA replaced Summit Maibock, which had held the seat for nearly 30 years. Created through meticulous collaboration of Summit’s seven brewers, each contributing one hop and one malt variety, Twenty-One boasts huge aromas of citrus and pine. Spicy and bitter flavors combine with an effervescent mouthfeel to create a dry and clean finish. Despite potential trepidation from longtime fans, the vibrant new IPA was a huge success.
“From a previous run of Twenty-One we knew fans were looking for more of this beer and we knew there would always be opportunities for Maibock in the future,” Director of Sales Brandon Bland said. “The spring window was the perfect length to discover if we had something big in Twenty-One. And, we did. Twenty-One outsold Maibock 3 – 1 in most markets.”
In addition to being in its own packaging, the popular new brew will once again be one of the four IPAs included in the Summit Mixed Pack IPA Edition
AleSmith is canning its Speedway Variants this year
AleSmith Brewing Company released the first 2021 Speedway Stout Variant, to be followed by three more quarterly variant releases later this year. This will be the first time the brewery distributes their canned Speedway variants on a national scale.
For those unfamiliar with AleSmith’s original Speedway Stout, it is best characterized by dominant chocolate and roasted malts supported by notes of dark fruit, toffee and caramel. A healthy dose of locally roasted coffee added to each batch brings out the beer’s dark chocolate flavors and enhances its drinkability. Despite its intensity, Speedway Stout’s fine carbonation and creamy mouthfeel make it very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink, yielding the perfect canvas for Head Brewer Ryan Crisp and his team of creatives to produce unique blends and variants that exemplify what makes their imperial stout so beloved, while incorporating complexities that rev up the tasting experience.
Behold the first of their 2021 Speedway lineup, Speedway Stout Special Variant #1: Speedway Stout Espresso and Madagascar Vanilla – a signature edition of their imperial stout infused with tons of Madagascar vanilla and a bold espresso blend, bestowing intense notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and dark fruit.
Yardley Brothers explore CBD-infused beer
Yardley Brothers have partnered with Open Book Extracts (OBX) Asia to release its first CBD infused beer. Lo/Hi Mango Cheesecake CBD Sour is the first instalment in a range of CBD beers planned by Hong Kong’s most creative craft brewery.
In partnering with OBX, Yardley Brothers can utilize OBX ingredients produced from organically grown hemp from family-owned, U.S.-based farms by farmers with generations of experience. The OBX network of hand-selected farmers have pioneered hemp cultivation, production, and agricultural technology with environmentally friendly, Good Agricultural Practices-compliant growing methods.
Lo/Hi Mango Cheesecake CBD Sour is brewed with 66mg of CBD per litre using Hydrobond, OBX’s proprietary Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-free, water-soluble CBD developed in partnership with global ingredient supplier Prinova.
Urban Artifact Astronaut Food
We’re excited about Urban Artifact’s Astronaut Food, a new line of beer releasing in early March. Over the past year the brew team at Urban Artifact began experimenting with ways to saturate their beer with as much fruit as humanly possible. Their solution was to look to the stars (or maybe more like the International Space Station).
During the Space Race of the 1960s, NASA and scientists were trying to figure out how to get enough food on board for a long mission. Their solution was to freeze-dry all food that would be taken on a mission, this allowed them to not only store the food for long periods of time, but also reduced the weight of the food by almost 90%. Freeze-drying food allows the water to be removed completely, through a process called sublimation, while the nutrients and taste remain.
“We knew that freeze-drying food was a great way to retain taste and keep it around for a very long time, but we weren’t sure how the process would work with brewing beer,” the Urban Artifact team says. “After a year of testing different freeze-dried fruits and brewing processes, we finally settled on a product we’re extremely proud of.”
The end result is an intense fruit taste that is impossible to achieve with normal fruit puree. And due to there being almost zero water in the fruit, the alcohol content is at 15%. The first release in this new line of beers is brewed with 600 lbs of freeze-dried red raspberries and 400 lbs of freeze-dried blackberries per 1,000 gallon batch, the equivalent of 11,000 lbs of fruit when fresh! The concentrated flavors of raspberry and blackberry hit you immediately on first taste, with an almost candy-like intensity. To balance out the over-the-top fruit flavors, a pronounced tartness and gentle warming alcohol are present.