People often ask me, “Chris, how many craft beers come out every week?” I always respond with, “Guess.” And then they say something stupid like, “100?” And then I say, “Nope, guess again.” And then they try and think harder this time and say, “1,000.” And then I say, “Nope, guess again.” And then they look kind of exhausted by this exercise and blurt out “Uh. really? We’re doing this? I don’t know, 1 million.” And then I say “Nope, guess again.” And then they usually quit talking to me. Point is, no one is intellectually ready to figure out the true number of craft beers produced each week by the 6,000+ craft breweries across the country, which is why, each week, we bravely sift through each new beer press release sent into the cosmos and pare them down to a quantity that is more palatable for our puny human brains to comprehend.
Here are your five beers to know for the week. As always, if you’d like to submit your beer news for possible inclusion, send it on over to [email protected]. Oh, and here’s last week’s list if you missed it and my shout out to flat earthers.
Monday Night Brewing’s tribute to International Women’s Day
In honor of International Women’s Day (today!), the women of Monday Night Brewing brewed a special beer: Lady Marmalade, a grisette-style hazy wheat beer with some Belgian yeast characteristics, balanced by a big orange marmalade aroma and flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Led by brewer Sarah Green, all of the women from Monday Night Brewing had a hand in making it.
“This is the second year the female employees of Monday Night Brewing came together to brew a beer,” said taproom director Carlen Funk. “Craft beer is an industry typically dominated by men, so it’s important for us to come together and support each other.”
A grisette (or “little grey”) was originally brewed to quench the thirst of Belgian miners. Its low alcohol content, light body and dry finish is meant to be refreshing, and that’s what Lady Marmalade does. It’s a perfect compliment to the warm spring days that are coming soon. Lady Marmalade makes its debut at Monday Night Brewing’s West Midtown location Wednesday, March 8, from 4 until 9 p.m. In addition, Lean In Atlanta will have resources available for those who want to improve their resume, including a LinkedIn expert.
Indeed Brewing highlighting barrels in new aging program
Indeed Brewing shared a few details about its innovative and experimental barrel-aging program in conjunction with the release of Whiskey Queen, an imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels for 10 months. Indeed has worked extensively with barrel-aged beers for the last few years in order to produce its Wooden Soul series of sour and wild beers, as well as the annual aging of its two barrel-aged imperial stouts. The new barrel-aging program will start by seeking to age some of Indeed’s existing beers for an extended period, but the direction will develop over time.
“This program will look to make the barrel just as important as the beer’s initial yeast and malt choices,” said Brewer Chris Silber, who is leading the project. “We are sourcing only the freshest local and regional spirit and wine barrels that will complement our existing beer lines. Eventually, we’re hoping to make new recipes that keep the barrel’s flavor in mind when choosing the malt and hop bill.”
Silber, a former distiller, brings an extensive knowledge of spirits and barrel-aging to the fledgling program. Not wanting to spill too many details, he said the public will hear more in the late summer and early fall of 2018. To whet everyone’s appetite, Indeed rolled out a more well-known barrel-aged release this week, Whiskey Queen Imperial Stout, a limited draft-only offering.
Braxton Brewing sources New Zealand hops in this double IPA
The latest creation out of Newport, Ky., is Braxton Labs’s New Zealand Imperial IPA featuring, you guessed it, New Zealand hop varieties of Green Bullett, Kohatu and Wakatu. This Imperial IPA has notes of fresh citrus, stone fruit and light black pepper. The 500-ml bottles will be released on Saturday, March 10.
“Finding a way to brew a very drinkable and approachable Imperial IPA was a fun project to tackle,” said Zac Boehnke, lead innovation brewer at Braxton Brewing Co. “Drawing inspiration from New Zealand, we combined some of our favorite hops, as well as some new ones to create a uniquely tropical and refreshing hop profile.”
This is the first packaged Imperial IPA that Braxton Brewing has released since Tropic Flare in early 2017. This 10.1 percent bold, Imperial IPA also features a light, yet complex malt bill that provides balance without allowing caramel or malt sweetness to get in the way.
3 Daughters Brewing with a 120-calorie IPA
3 Daughters Brewing in St Petersburg, Fla., sent word on its newest canned beer, Floating Dock Light. It is an IPA that is brewed like any other IPA, but what sets it apart is the calorie count clocking in at under 120 calories. It is the first and only true light craft beer in distribution in Florida. Ingredients in this low-cal beer beer include light 2 row grain and rice. The brew then went under lab testing and fermentation analysis to reach a goal of under 120 calories (using Alex 500 from Anton Paar apparatus).
“The demand is there and we’re unlocking new craft drinkers while piquing the interest of many craft beer veterans,” said Jonathan Truong, marketing coordinator. “We’re hoping that this forward thinking will open up more possibilities of light craft beer.
Light gold in color with a foamy white head, the aroma is slightly spicy with notes of citrus fruits like grapefruit, orange and tangerine. The spice and citrus flavors from the American hops dominate but are backed up by the slight malt flavor of the grains. It has moderate carbonation and a dry, hoppy finish. It is light in calories and carbs but still big on flavor.
New Belgium brews a tribute to Mexico City
New Belgium Brewing and Mexico City’s Primus Microcerveceria have teamed up to capture the spirit and flavor of Mexican street culture and art with their newest collaborative release, Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza. Inspired by the refreshing, fruit-infused drink popular throughout Mexico, Agua Fresca, this super crisp beer is brewed with hibiscus, agave, watermelon juice and whole lime puree.
“Last year I went to Tijuana on this exploratory trip where I was looking for ingredients to bring back to New Belgium,” recalled New Belgium Brewer Cody Reif. “I kept coming across this one drink [agua fresca] that was in all the food stalls. I was so inspired by the flavors, I thought this would make a great beer.”
Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza defies traditional beer categories; instead it’s an innovative new style, creating a sweet flash with a touch of tart that evokes Mexican tastes and flavors. Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza pours a bright amber and a light pinkish white head drifts atop. Watermelon, lime, lemon and fresh green apple aromas complement a sweet, slightly tart taste with a light mouthfeel and crisp finish.