1. Bell’s Brewery celebrates diversity with Sparkleberry
Celebrating diversity has always been an integral part of Bell’s culture. This summer, 16-ounce cans of Sparkleberry will join that celebration. Bell’s Brewery is proud to share a first look at the packaging of one the newest additions to its 2018 release calendar — Sparkleberry Ale.
Sparkleberry was originally brewed to celebrate Bell’s presenting sponsorship of Kalamazoo Pride in 2013, the same year it won a Bronze Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Bell’s partnership with Kalamazoo Pride, the largest fundraiser of the year for OutFront Kalamazoo, will continue through at least 2019.
“Our celebration of diversity is no secret, but this can says it front and center. No matter who you are or who you love, all are welcome at Bell’s,” said Laura Bell, CEO of Bell’s Brewery.
A raspberry Belgian-style Tripel Ale, Sparkleberry will debut in 4-packs, for the first time in June. Slightly tart and effervescent, Sparkleberry has a ruby red hue, an ABV of 9 percent and is brewed with raspberries. Cans and kegs will ship to all states Bell’s distributes to, but will be very limited.
Look for more information about Sparkleberry online at bellsbeer.com.
2. New green tea ale added to Lakefront Brewery’s year-round lineup
The latest offering from Lakefront Brewery will be a year ‘round, low calorie ale known as Eazy Teazy. This craft beer brand is part of a large movement in the industry to offer lighter, low calorie beers. Eazy Teazy will take its place as one of the lightest beers on the market — at just 99 calories — making it one of the lowest calorie craft beers in the world. The release date is March 1.
“Just a few years ago, most craft drinkers looked down on lighter beers,” said Russ Klisch, owner and president of Lakefront Brewery. “The market’s been focused on hopped up IPAs and higher ABV beers, such as our barrel-aged stouts. But there’s a shift happening toward easier-drinking, session craft beers. Eazy Teazy is clean, crisp and light with citrus notes from the Lemondrop hops and a subtle green tea finish.”
“It’s fairly difficult to craft a great tasting, full-bodied beer that’s this light,” said Michael Stodola, Lakefront Brewery brand manager. “Our head brewer, Luther Paul, and his team have nailed the liquid, the calories and a beautiful green tea flavor. We’re using a great, citrus-forward yeast called Juicy, Lemondrop hops and a lot of, not-so-cheap, green and oolong tea. It’s a high-quality, light craft.”
Milwaukee marketing and design firm, Traction Factory, designed the Eazy Teazy packaging and advertising campaign.
3. Game Informer celebrates 300th issue with its own beer
The April 2018 edition of Game Informer marks the magazine’s 300th issue. What began as a small publication created in a Minneapolis suburb is now the fourth-largest consumer magazine in the United States, with an average circulation of over 7.5 million monthly paid subscribers.
To honor the achievement of reaching 300 issues, Game Informer has partnered with North Loop neighbors Fulton Brewing for a special release of the brewery’s award-winning 300 Mosaic India Pale Ale. Limited edition six-packs of the 300 IPA featuring art inspired by one of the magazine’s five collectible covers will start appearing in stores beginning the week of February 26.
To further celebrate the collaboration, Fulton is throwing a party at its North Loop taproom on March 3. During the event, Game Informer will reveal five unique covers for the issue and discuss the Top 300 Games of All Time featured in the magazine. The digital edition of Game Informer’s April issue will be on sale and available to subscribers March 3; distribution of the print edition will begin March 9th.
“We originally released this beer as a celebration of our 300th batch at our original downtown brewery,” said Fulton Director of Marketing Tucker Gerrick. “Now, we’re celebrating 300 in a whole new light as we commemorate the 300th issue from our friends, and North Loop neighbors, Game Informer.”
Saint Arnold releasing highest ABV beer in its history
Saint Arnold Brewing Co. is starting off the year in a big way with Divine Reserve No. 18, an Imperial Stout, with the highest alcohol by volume percentage in its brewery history (13.4 percent!). This beer will be available in six-packs of 12- and 22-ounce bottles in Texas and Louisiana next week.
The Saint Arnold Divine Reserve series consists of single batch beers, each brewed with a completely different recipe. There is no particular theme to the beers, although it can be assumed that most all of them will be big. This year, the brewers went really, really big. After many test brews, the brewers settled on a brewing process that pushes the Saint Arnold yeast to its limit, includes three times the amount of grain bill as the Fancy Lawnmower, also includes two additions of Belgian candi syrup during fermentation to provide an adrenaline shot to the yeast and then lets the beer rest for three months before adding a small amount of Madagascar Vanilla beans.
The beer pours a rich darkness that doesn’t allow light to pass through and has a mocha colored head. The aroma is filled with molasses, vanilla, baker’s chocolate and rich dark fruit from our house yeast and the amount of malt used is four times the amount of Fancy Lawnmower. The flavor profile starts with rich chocolate and raspberries that are dipped in honey, then builds on dried dark cherry notes and finishes like a vanilla marshmallow kiss.
Purpose Brewing releasing beer aged in well-traveled “ph1” barrel
The legendary “ph1” barrel is celebrating 20 years in the beer world this month. This former wine barrel played an important role in the creation of the sour beer program at New Belgium Brewing Co. by their former Brewmaster Peter Bouckaert, now co-owner of Purpose Brewing and Cellars.
ph1 started as a wine barrel, then moved to New Belgium Brewing as one of the seven barrels used to start playing with wild cultures for their sour beer program. It then moved to Russian River, returned to New Belgium, then on to The Rare Barrel, and most recently was gifted back to Peter Bouckaert at his new venture in Purpose Brewing and Cellars.
Purpose Brewing and Cellars has refilled the barrel and will be releasing the beer on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. Wait? THAT’S TODAY! In celebration of this special barrel, they will be serving locally made sour beer ice cream by The Welsh Rabbit Bistro. This day also marks the first day that Purpose is now going to be expanding their hours to be open on Thursdays. Very cool.