There are a lot of beers released every week. It’s impossible to keep up with them all, but here are some of the most notable that were sent our way this week. Brewers, if you are annoyed your latest creation wasn’t included, you can only blame yourself. Send your beer and brewery news to [email protected] for possible inclusion. If it’s still not on the site, then OK, you can blame us.
Moving on without Curt Plants, GoodLife Brewing eyes 15 percent growth with new lineup
A new year, brings new goals and new beers. 2017 was definitely the hardest year yet for GoodLife Brewing with the loss of Curt Plants, but we know he’ll be proud of what’s coming out in 2018.
“2018 looks to be a breakout year for us here at GoodLife Brewing,” says GoodLife Brewing’s Owner Ty Barnett. “After a hard year with the loss of Co-Owner and Brew Master Curt Plants, we have been working hard to build a great team, along with some restructuring in the company. We have a plan to grow 15%-20% this year. We have begun opening up additional distribution in California and Chicago with other markets in planning for this year. We also are launching our newest six pack can, the long anticipated Comatose Imperial IPA will be available in 6 packs starting in March. Our loyal fans have been asking for years when we are going to can Comatose. Well the wait is finally over. Look for Comatose to hit shelves Oregon wide this spring.”
One of the new additions for 2018 is the introduction of the HighCamp Bottle Series, which will feature both year-round and seasonal offerings in 500 ml bottles. Comatose Imperial IPA will continue to be bottled, along with adding Pass Stout and Evil Sister Double IPA to the year-round bottling lineup starting in April.
“Evil Sister Double IPA has been a long time favorite of our employees but we’ve only been able to brew it once a year for the last 4 years due to tank space and needing more ingredients for it,” Barnett said. “We made sure to procure enough ingredients so that we’ll be able to share it all year with you.”
The seasonal HighCamp Bottle’s will be: RedSide India Red Ale available April-July, 29’er Brown Ale available August-November, and Puffy Coat Porter available December-March.
Montavilla Brew Works bottles first beer, tribute for late brewer
Nearly three years since being the first craft brewery to open its doors in the burgeoning Montavilla neighborhood, Montavilla Brew Works is bottling its first beer: Ben’s Barleywine Ale, a barrel-aged and blended barleywine style ale that honors the late Portland brewer, Ben Flerchinger. Montavilla Brew Works is holding a bottle release party on Feb. 6 at 5pm at the brewery, with 16.9 oz bottles and cases available for purchase.
Flerchinger passed away in March 2017, on the same day that Montavilla’s brewers filled four Eastside Distilling bourbon barrels with barleywine ale. Flerchinger was a longtime brewer at Lucky Lab Brewing Co., and responsible for the current inception of the Lucky Lab Barleywine Festival.
“We’re following the model outlined in my original business plan to bottle very special one-off beers initially, to showcase the flexibility of our brewhouse and the creativity of our brewing imagination,” explained Michael Kora, Montavilla Brew Works founder and brewer. “With great support from the Flerchinger family, we’re really excited to be able to honor a friend and monster brewer with our very first bottling. It’s pretty awesome to see it all come together at last.”
Ben’s Barleywine Ale is a blend of two barleywines that were specifically brewed for this bottling. The first barleywine was aged in Eastside Distilling Burnside Bourbon barrels for 10 months and blended with a fresh barleywine in a conditioning tank. Both beers were blended together, epitomizing Montavilla’s modus operandi of brewing very balanced and drinkable beers, even at an ABV of 10 percent. The woodiness and vanilla notes from the bourbon barrel brew pair beautifully with the rich, complex malt profile of the fresh brewed barleywine.
The image on the label, a rendering of Flerchinger’s iconic leather outback hat, was designed by Chuck Lukacs, a Portland-based designer who has been illustrating for the science fiction and fantasy gaming markets for over 20 years. Lukacs’s paintings and prints have won awards and appeared in conventions, galleries and museums internationally.
Trappist Monks approve of this Peach Saison
St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Mass., is home to the first certified Trappist Brewery outside of Europe. The monks and brewmaster at Spencer Brewery have developed and received approval to produce and sell eight different beers, ranging from classic Trappist ales to traditional German-style lagers from the International Trappist Association. The Peach Saison is the latest beer to receive approval and is the first in the brewery’s new Fruit Series.
Spencer’s Peach Saison is a light, refreshing, sessionable ale. Naturally carbonated through bottle-conditioning, its delicate peach flavor is highlighted through sparkling carbonation producing a fresh, clean taste (4.3% ABV). The introduction of a Fruit Series at The Spencer Brewery seemed natural to the monks as their monastery has been home to Trappist Preserves for the past sixty-three years. Having produced thirty different varieties of jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves and conserves this new brewery offering taps into decades of knowledge from working with fruit.
Meet the new UFO beer
UFO Beers from Harpoon is debuting a brand-new flavor adventure for spring: UFO Apricadabra. An unfiltered wheat beer brewed with fresh apricot puree, UFO Apricadabra is now available in 12 oz. cans and bottles, in the UFO “Jet Pack” spring mix pack, and on draft at select locations.
“Spring is a magical season,” said UFO Brand Manager Victoria Kidder. “Everything becomes more vibrant, more alive. We wanted to brew a flavorful beer that matched the best parts of spring. UFO Apricadabra is bright and refreshing with a perfect balance of apricot flavor, just right for this invigorating season.”
“Apricots deliver on an earthy sweetness that blends well with wheat ale,” said Al Marzi, Chief Brewing Officer for UFO Beers. “Apricot is increasing in popularity in the craft beer and food scene, infusing a sweet aromatic flavor to many savory dishes like salsas, sauces and marinades. UFO fans can expect forthcoming recipes using UFO Apricadabra that include homemade apricot muffins and a delicious apricot sauce ice cream topper.”
I’m sure your calendar was already marked, but Pliny the Younger releases next week
Pliny the Younger will make his 14th Annual return to Russian River Brewing Company Feb. 2 through Feb. 15. It will be available on draft each day at the Russian River brewpub until that daat day’s allocation runs out. Younger is neither bottled nor available in growlers so more people will have the opportunity to enjoy it right from the source, or at a handful of select draft accounts.
For those unfamiliar, Pliny the Younger is considered a triple IPA. The alcohol should finish at about 10.25%, although it is remarkably dry for the amount of malt used in the recipe. It is loaded with hop flavors, bitterness, and aromatics. The hops used in this year’s recipe are of excellent quality: Simcoe, Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Amarillo, CTZ, Comet and Azacca.