Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co., the renowned brewery and distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, gave a sneak peek to their newest seasonal beer earlier this month at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Well, peek no more: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Cocoa Porter is now available nationwide.
Innovation is key for seasonal beer releases, but barrel-aging beer takes trial & error along with patience, the same as does aging whiskey. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Cocoa Porter is the second in a lineage of seasonal barrel-aged porters to be released around the holidays by Lexington. Whereas last year’s release of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Peppermint Porter focused on the nostalgia of the holidays via candy canes and peppermint schnapps, this year’s Cocoa variant aims to satisfy your sweet tooth – delivering with rich chocolate and of course, hot cocoa.
“Cocoa Porter is brewed with cocoa nibs and 100% barrel-aged to build out a rich full body Porter with notes of bittersweet chocolate, roasted malts and hints of oak, vanilla, rounded out with a sweet toffee finish.” says Brandon Martin, Master Brewer at Lexington Brewing & Distilling Co. “…a perfect beer for the cooler weather, a little sweet treat of the evening.”
Looking to the future, Martin believes the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Cocoa Porter makes an excellent canvas to paint on, exploring the world of different chocolates, malts, aging/cellaring techniques and any other variables that would allow for continued experimentation at the brewery in pursuit of capturing the world of chocolate in a bottle.
Bruz Beers with a tribute to CBB fav: Hellraiser
Bruz Beers is an artisanal brewery based in Denver, dedicated to brewing traditional Belgian-style beers and innovative Belgian-inspired brews. Releasing the week before Halloween, Hellraiser is a powerhouse of a beer. This Belgian-style Golden Strong Ale, at 10% ABV, is amped up in strength and vibrant aromatics. The tradition of naming golden strong beers after the devil dates back to the end of WWI when the first beer was named for this symbol in Belgium. Its aroma and flavors deliver bready malts, spicy hops, a touch of bitter orange peel and coriander. Hellraiser is a beer that truly lives up to its name.
Heavy Seas showcases hidden gem Maryland hop
Heavy Seas Beer‘s newest taproom-only release, Altimore, is an Altbier brewed with the Monocacy hop. Discovered in the late 1960s by Dr. Ray Edigar, the Monocacy hop remained a hidden gem until recently. Unaware of its rarity and Maryland origin, Dr. Edigar grew the hop in his garden for years. He recently partnered with researchers at the University of Maryland Extension to test the plant’s DNA-sequence, and when the results came back, they learned that the hop was completely genetically unique and native to Maryland.
On September 21, Heavy Seas Beer visited the Western Maryland Research & Education Center, where the Maryland-native hop is currently growing, to witness the harvesting of the Monocacy hop and collect hand-picked wet hops directly from the vine. Immediately post-harvest, the Heavy Seas team returned to their Halethorpe-based brewery to brew a batch of beer using this hop.
The Monocacy hop is distinguished by its distinct chemical profile & adaptability to Maryland’s hot, humid climate.
“The Monocacy hop offers spicy, herbaceous, floral aromatics. For our inaugural brew, we chose to craft an Altbier, a traditional German beer style, using whole-flower Monocacy hops for bittering and finishing, which should provide a really nice aroma to this beer,” says Chris Leonard, Heavy Seas Brewmaster and Director of Operations.
Karl Strauss caps off 2023 collab series with Brisky Business Cold IPA
Karl Strauss Brewing Co. unveiled the grand finale of its much-anticipated 2023 Collaboration Series. In a creative partnership that celebrates the best of San Diego’s craft beer scene, Karl Strauss has teamed up with Harland Brewing Co. to release Brisky Business Cold IPA.
Karl Strauss and Harland dedicated months of meticulous craftsmanship to create a Cold IPA infused with pineapple, citrus, and floral notes, all thanks to the ingenious use of puffed jasmine rice. It boasts a blend of Chinook, Strata, and experimental HBC-586 and HBC-638 hops, that result in tropical and floral aromas accentuated by hints of orange and honey. Pouring a rich, deep gold hue, this 6.5% ABV, 60 IBU brew culminates with a dry finish and a lingering citrus hop aftertaste.
“We’ve been longtime fans of Harland’s Japanese Rice Lager, so we knew we wanted to draw inspiration from that beer during this collaboration,” said Karl Strauss Brewmaster Paul Segura. “Our teams got together and created a Cold IPA with layers of flavor, an experience owed to the inventive blend of hops and puffed jasmine rice.”
The previous three beers in Karl Strauss’ 2023 Collaboration Series were Nectaron of the Gods IPA with Pizza Port Brewing Company (San Diego), Squawk Box IPA with Green Cheek Beer Company (Orange, Calif.), and Be Bold Start Cold IPA with Topa Topa Brewing Company (Santa Barbara).
Montauk Brewing debuts Major Wave Chaser Double IPA
Montauk Brewing Co., a subsidiary of Tilray Brands based in New York, launched Major Wave Chaser Double India Pale Ale (IPA), a high-octane version of Montauk’s best-selling Wave Chaser IPA.
“Craft beer drinkers continue to seek out high-alcohol and single-serve beers, and we’re excited to break into these white-hot categories with a hopped-up version of our most popular beer. Major Wave Chaser captures the flavors and aromas that made Wave Chaser such a hit, and it’s the perfect ‘step-up’ for when the occasion calls for bigger flavors and higher ABV,” said Ty Gilmore, President of U.S. Beers for Tilray Brands.
An approachable beer with endless tropical and pine flavors, Major Wave Chaser [9.2% (ABV)] maintains the popular characteristics of Wave Chaser, with a bigger punch. It is available in single 19.2-ounce cans and 15-packs of 19.2-ounce cans.
The release of Montauk’s new flagship beer comes as the New York based brewery begins a highly anticipated expansion beyond the Northeast. Montauk Brewing arrived in Georgia this month and will announce new distribution deals in other major markets later this fall.