Legendary pro wrestler Big Van Vader died this week. While not at the Hulk Hogan, Rock, Ric Flair level of fame in the industry, I bet you’ve seen him. Feels like he was always the generic, big mean wrestler making cameos in shows like Boy Meets World in the ’90s. For the wrestling fan, the legacy of Big Van Vader is his wild, unmatched combination of size and agility. The guy was large, over 400 lbs, but could move around like a cruiserweight. He could do a freaking moonsault. He was meant to be feared, and he was. One of his monickers was “the Mastadon,” which is fitting as its the only other prehistoric beast that defies true classification. Vader was also great at branding. He had that V hand signal. Finishing move? Vader Bomb. That moosault he did? Vadersault. Even time was known as “Vader Time” when he was around. Dude was CODO Design before those guys were even born. Today’s Five Beers to Know are dedicated to the memory of Big Van Vader — beers that are innovative, genre-defying and to be feared.
Buy Jekyll Brewing’s IPA-shandy and win a unicorn pool float
Jekyll Brewing in Alpharetta, Ga., sent word of its newest summer beer Pool Daze. It’s a super hazy IPA that’s brewed with 5 lbs of hops per barrel, then blended with the brewery’s house-made strawberry lemonade to make a unique IPA-shandy. The bonus of this beer is that for each six-pack that someone buys, they have an opportunity to roll giant inflatable dice for a chance to win a giant inflatable unicorn pool float.
Two Roots Brewing’s non-alcoholic, THC-, CBD-infused beer
We posted this earlier in the week, but it was so intriguing it had to make the list. Two Roots is built on the manufacture and design technology of Cannabiniers and will be the only line of craft beer in the United States using this state of the art technology for de-alcoholizing beer. Once the beer is brewed, it gets sent to the De-Alcoholization plant, located in San Diego, which removes the alcohol from the product while maintaining all the top notes of flavor, smell and appearance of the craft beer. This is a European technique, and Cannabiniers says this plant is one of the only places in the country doing it.
Schlafly adds Hibiscus & Lemongrass Blonde to Cellar series
Perfect for warmer weather, this citrus-forward, blonde ale sips like a summer cocktail and is the latest addition to Schlafly’s The Cellar Selections. It will be available across Schlafly’s distribution in limited quantities, beginning Friday, June 29.
“Don’t be fooled by its airy approach,” said Founding Brewer Stephen Hale. “It’s a versatile brew with assertive hops and a serious depth of flavor. You get a punch of citrus without any actual citrus at all. The tropical, fragrant lemongrass gives aromatics of lemon while the hibiscus lends complex berry-rich and tart lemon flavors.”
Hibiscus & Lemongrass Blonde Ale is the fourth beer in Schlafly’s 2018 Cellar Selections, following Paloma Gose, Raspberry Chipotle Brown Ale and Kentucky Mule Ale. This year’s selections are a creative collection of beers utilizing unconventional ingredients, many inspired by cocktails. Schlafly’s Kentucky Mule Ale was even recently named one of VinePair’s Best Cocktail-Inspired Beers here. Schlafly’s Hibiscus & Lemongrass Blonde Ale will be available at the brewpubs as well as limited markets across Schlafly’s distribution for a suggested retail value of $13.99.
Black Shirt Brewing brings back recklessly hopped double IPA
Brewed in the New England or Vermont style, Black Shirt Brewing Co.’s double IPA, Frontmaniac, clocks in at 7.5 percent ABV, and sits right in the middle of the bitterness scale at 50 IBUs. Frontmaniac is brewed with a trifecta of expressive hops — Citra, Galaxy and Mosaic — and is double dry-hopped with a profusion of Citra and Galaxy. The result is an intensely aromatic beer redolent of freshly sliced pineapple, ripe mango and peeled mandarin orange, with subtle undertones of early-season strawberries, pine sap and field grass. On the palate, Frontmaniac reveals a tropical, fruit-forward character and a soft, restrained bitterness. Black Shirt will have Frontmaniac on tap and in 16-oz four-packs to go starting at 11 a.m. sharp on June 23. Drafts are $7 and four-packs run $15. No limits. Kegs of this beer will see very limited distribution to select Denver Metro-area accounts; cans will only be available in Black Shirt’s tap room. In addition to the beer release, the Delta Sonics Blues Band will play a free show on the brewery’s one-of-a-kind pallet stage on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m.
Rogue features marionberry in new sour
Marionberry Sour is the newest beer made with ingredients grown at Rogue Farms. Originally developed by Oregon State University researchers in 1956, just miles from Rogue Farms in Independence, Ore., marionberries are a bigger, juicier and more flavorful variety of blackberry. Marionberry Sour is made with a prickless variety grown on Rogue Farms that is easier to hand-pick for brewing. It is a vibrant violet-hued sour ale made with prickless marionberries that bring a taste of the Willamette Valley with every sip.
“We made Marionberry Sour this year because it celebrates the delicious berry we love so much,” said Rogue Brewmaster John Maier. “I’m constantly inspired to brew new beers based on the crops we grow at the farm. They come to the brewery at peak ripeness, and I always know exactly how the crops were treated when I get them. That quality matters.”
Marionberry Sour is available on draft now at all Rogue pubs and will be available in six-pack 12-oz bottles in July.