If you find yourself mostly buying cans these days, there is a good reason. Sure, there is the recyclability, the preservation of flavor and the portability, but they might actually be good for us psychologically. Been reading the book Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, in which author Ingrid Fetell Lee makes a convincing case for the psychological benefits of design. How adding color literally infuses a space and us with energy. Why the circle pleases our brain and sparks more creativity. The value of symmetry (but also the importance of abundance). All of it says to me that cans are simply the ultimate vessel for selling craft beer. The colors, the shape, the symmetry, the potential for abundance — these aren’t merely parlor tricks that draw the eye at the shelf, they are visual elements that psychologically please us. A colorful, fun can makes us actually feel joy. Plus, they are filled with beer. This holiday season, bring some joy to the world and put your craft beer in cans.
Here are your five beers to know this week. If you have a beer you’d like to submit for a future edition, let us know at [email protected].
Oskar Blues Brewery selling Santa’s Beer Breath inspired by local candy shop
With peppermint and cocoa flavors combined with whiskey notes from the barrel-aging process, this 12.8 percent ABV holiday treat will jingle your bells and stuff your stocking. Santa’s Beer Breath is available in 19.2-oz cans and on draft in the Oskar Blues Boulder and Longmont, Colo., taprooms. The beer was inspired by Santa’s Breath ice cream made by Scrumptious Ice Cream and Candy Shop, located just a few miles from Oskar Blues Brewery’s Longmont brewing facility.
Funkwerks takes third in 2018 Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer for Sauvin Reserve
Funkwerks, a specializer of saison, sour, and Belgian-style craft beers, was recognized at the 2018 Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer for their Sauvin Reserve — a barrel-aged variant of their single hopped saison, Nelson Sauvin. More than 200 craft breweries from across the United States showcased their rarest, most innovative wood and barrel-aged brews, competing for top honors in The National Barrel Aged Beer Competition in 11 categories of varying styles. The brewery earned third place for their Wild Beer Brett (Non-Acidic) category.
“We aged our single hopped saison, Nelson Sauvin, in white wine barrels to build upon the bright flavors developed by the New Zealand hop varietal used,” explained Funkwerks’ head brewer and cofounder, Gordon Schuck. Sparkling carbonation along with the addition of muscat grape juice support the crisp and clean white wine characteristics complementing the subtle notes of oak and slight spice with aromas of tart gooseberries and honeydew melon. This delicate, award-winning beer is sure to delight both wine and beer drinkers alike.
Hi-Wire Brewing to kick off new year-round gose series
Hi-Wire Brewing is adding a new twist to their popular Hi-Wire Gose year-round offering by moving the brand into a rotating year-round Gose Series. The new format will allow the Asheville, N.C., brewery to experiment with different flavor combinations to better reflect each season of this typically summery style. The series kicks off with Citra Gose (4.2 percent ABV). This is a tart, balanced and refreshing blend of the citrus and tropical fruit notes of Citra hops, creating an extremely aromatic and floral sour wheat beer with no bitterness. Citra Gose is out in six-packs of 12-oz cans and draft starting Dec. 6 throughout Hi-Wire Brewing’s entire distribution footprint.
New Belgium’s Brut IPA is up next
New Belgium Brewing’s brand new Up Next Series taps into the brewery’s tradition of innovation by offering easy-drinking, unique and flavor-bending beers that reflect evolving trends in food and drink. It will feature new flavors rotating quarterly throughout 2019 and push the boundaries of traditional beer style definitions while giving micro and often regionalized beer trends national exposure. First up is Brut IPA, a bubbly and effervescent brew perfect to ring in the New Year.
Inspired by sparkling wine and partner Dick Cantwell’s foray into brewing Brut IPAs at sister brewery Magnolia Brewing in San Francisco, New Belgium’s Brut IPA pours a bright and bubbly platinum blonde with white grape and tropical aromas that give way to a refreshingly dry finish. The beer offers a crisp alternative to hazy fruit-forward IPAs.
“The IPA drinker is constantly on the lookout for fresh new flavors and that’s really inspiring for a brewer,” said Ross Koenigs, New Belgium research and development brewer. “San Francisco has been ground zero for development of Brut beers, so it’s been a lot of fun bouncing ideas off the team out there. Our Brut IPA mashes wine notes with a beer backbone that delivers the best of both traditions. This beer will take you through the holidays and beyond — it makes a great beer-mosa as well. ”
Great Notion Brewing selling exclusive Bourbon Barrel Double Stack
Portland, Ore.’s Great Notion Brewing and Barrel House (GNB), best known for its hazy, fruit-forward IPAs and “culinary-inspired” sours and stouts, sent word about its new Bourbon Barrel Double Stack (BBDS) going on sale this Saturday, Dec. 15. Double Stack is an Imperial Stout fermented with substantial amounts of maple syrup and aged on whole bean Sumatra from local Portland roastery, Clutch Coffee. This decadent stout recently won a Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup 2018 Awards and a Silver Medal at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival.
BBDS is a blend of Double Stack transferred into freshly-emptied bourbon barrels. A large portion of the barrels are from local friends, Bull Run Distillery, along with barrels from Woodford Reserve and Heaven Hill Distillery. After more than two years, GNB brewers selected their favorite barrels and BBDS was blended and bottled.
But there is more! BBDS will be sold in a collector’s edition holiday gift box and will include the following:
- A custom-built wooden box screen printed on a walnut lid with the Double Stack Sasquatch on one side a double stack of pancakes on the other
- Two x 500 ML wax-dipped bottles of Bourbon Barrel Double Stack
- A limited edition BBDS Stemless Sahm Sensorik glass imprinted with pancakes, the release year, and a gold-dipped rim
- A pancake pom-pom Double Stack beanie
- A Double Stack wood and stainless steel double-sided paddle bottle
There will be only 500 holiday gift boxes for sale on the morning of Dec. 15 for $125.