Loyal CBB reader,
I hope this message reaches you in time and please excuse any typos as this post is being written under duress. It is your bumbling beer scribe Chris. You undoubtedly notice we did not relay Five Beers To Know last week, and we deeply regret this. For one, we left you directionless and alone in figuring out what beers to know, which is impossible to do. Do you realize how many beers are released in a week? Think of all the grains of sand on earth. Now, imagine they all had mass copulation and each had a litter of a dozen more grains of sand (yes, both grains of sand get pregnant after each singular sex act in this scenario). It looks a lot like this. Got it?
Now imagine this happening over and over, and that’s getting close to the number of beers released in one week. It’s a lot, which is why we sift through them all and pick out five to tell you about. Everyone is cool with this totally random recognition system — unless you miss a week. You see, it’s not just you who noticed. The beers noticed too. They are pissed and standing outside my door with torches (except one jokester holding a boombox over its head. LOL.). As a last ditch effort to appease them, I am sharing six beers to know about this week.
21st Amendment re-releases Watermelon Funk Sour Ale
Like the soulful melody of a song that you can’t stop singing, 21st Amendment Brewery is bringing back its mind-blowing summertime sour, Watermelon Funk. This limited-edition Insurrection Series beer is brewed with 100 percent fresh watermelon puree, kettle soured with lactobacillus for bright, tart and citrus notes, and it entices your palate with the spicy farmhouse aroma of its French Saison yeast strain. A transformation of the brewery’s summertime favorite, Hell or High Watermelon Wheat, this beer turns up the dial at 6.7 percent ABV and a Funk Factor of 11.
“I first made this beer in 2004 when Vinnie Cilurzo, co-founder of Russian River Brewing, and I decided to funkify Hell or High Watermelon Wheat in a chardonnay barrel. The entire process took about two years but the result was something right out of a James Brown song,” said Shaun O’Sullivan, cofounder and brewmaster of 21st Amendment Brewery. “We’ve evolved the process since then by kettle souring the beer and fermenting it with a saison yeast strain, which has only enhanced its soulful street cred.”
With a tart, slightly sour mouthfeel, syncopated sweet notes and downbeat aromas, Watermelon Funk will keep your taste buds grooving. “This is a beer that will get the party started,” added Nico Freccia, cofounder of 21st Amendment. “The packaging is vibrant and colorful, the beer itself is thirst-quenching and, like Lady Liberty on roller skates, this beer will keep you on your toes.”
Sibling Revelery’s Coffee Red ale to be released in cans
Sibling Revelry is releasing fan-favorite Coffee Red ale in six-pack cans. The beer will see distribution throughout Ohio and will retail for $11.99 per six-pack. Pouring a dark copper color, Coffee Red was brewed with coffee sourced from Cleveland’s duck-rabbit Coffee Roasters. The beer opens with an aroma of iced coffee and caramel that follows with a lightly roasted body and a sweetened coffee finish. It recently won a bronze medal at the San Diego International Beer Competition and has been one of Sibling Revelry’s fastest-selling beers to date.
“We’ve wanted to bring Coffee Red to distribution for some time, and we finally have the capacity to do so,” said Head Brewmaster Pete Velez. “We kept selling out of it in the taproom. We would take it to special events, and it would be a major hit. I think it’s the unique, distinctive coffee-forward profile that grabs people. We’re very proud of it.”
Coffee Red is the first release in Sibling Revelry’s new Descendant Series, which will see the canning of previous taproom exclusives. Identifiable by the matte silver labels, the limited brews will be distinguishable from Sibling Revelry’s traditional can lineup while retaining its existing brand image.
Hi-Wire Brewering zests a shit ton of lemons for new sour blonde
Among Hi-Wire Brewing‘s May 2018 seasonal and specialty releases was a new release from its Sour & Wild Ale program, a Sour Blonde with Lemon & Rosemary (7.5 percent ABV). This is Hi-Wire’s distinct barrel-aged Sour Blonde, complemented by a lemon peel citrus twang and fresh rosemary. Aromas of pine, lemon zest and spring garden freshness give way to flavors of lactic sourness, lemonade and freshly processed Virginian rosemary.
“What makes this beer unique is how I added the ingredients,” said Lead Specialty Brewer Peter Batinski. “I zested an entire 35-lb box of fresh lemons, and hand processed 60 lbs of very fresh rosemary … It was like pulling every needle off a Christmas tree individually. This took well over 24 hours and had to be done fast, as all these ingredients were fresh and needed to be added to the beer as such. This beer is unique and bold. Neither the lemon peel or the rosemary are subtle, nor overwhelming. Everything you see on the label is there as a forward note in the beer.”
This beer will see limited distribution the first week of June.
Two Brothers’ commemorative pilsner, Twenty-Plus
Twenty-plus years ago, when the craft beer industry was just beginning, Two Brothers Brewing Co. got its start in suburban Chicagoland with the goal of creating signature craft beers inspired by many of the great breweries the Ebel brothers experienced while traveling Europe. In honor of that momentous milestone, Two Brothers came up with Twenty-Plus, a hop forward pilsner lager that is clean and refreshing, with a pale straw color and dense white head that emerges every year since around this time.
Brewed with Saaz and Hallertau hops, Twenty-Plus is a light-bodied pilsner lager that gives off herbal and floral flavors with a nice spicy black pepper character. Those flavors are balanced by a light and refreshing malt character that showcases an heirloom barley variety grown on a very small scale. The beer is then aged for 28 days, resulting in a complex, dry and crisp finish. Two Brothers Twenty-Plus Pils pairs perfectly with fish, sharp cheddar cheese, paninis and Dijon mustards — the things that plus-up any day, at any time of the year.
Some award-winning beers from Breakside Brewery
Breakside Brewery opened in 2010 in Northeast Portland as a restaurant and pub brewery. The brewery is known for its innovative, experimental and diverse beers. In 2013, Breakside expanded operations to Milwaukie, Ore., with a 30-bbl production brewery filled with 30-, 60- and 120-bbl tanks, barrel rooms for wild and non-wild/sour fermentations, a high-speed bottling line and a 24-tap tasting room. At the 2018 World Beer Cup, the brewery claimed several awards: gold for its Lunch Break ISA, with Wanderlust IPA and Old World IPA taking home silver in their respective categories.
Lunch Break ISA took home the gold for international-style pale ale. It is a hop-forward session beer, built for enjoying any time of day. Some of the brewers’ favorite hops — Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade and Centennial — were used in this beer, which gives the aroma a heady mix of lemongrass, orange marmalade, grapefruit, pine and resin.
Epic Brewing leans toward orchard in latest Oak & Orchard release
The sun is out, birds are singing, bees are buzzing, flowers are blooming and Epic Brewing has just harvested a ripe, plump batch of its new Oak & Orchard Strawberry Rhubarb sour ale. It will be out just in time to welcome the time of year when the days are getting longer, the nights are getting later and if you aren’t barefoot then you are overdressed.
“This is definitely the most orchard of the Oak & Orchard series beers. We packed this blend with nearly two tons of strawberry and rhubarb,” said Epic Barrel Overlord Anthony Biaz. “The beer is light and super refreshing and perfect for a garden party or picnic.”
The base beer is a Lambic-inspired, 6.9 percent ABV, light sour ale that is aged in an oak foeder for eight months. The fruit is added toward the end of the aging process allowing most of the sugars from the fruit to be fermented, while leaving huge amounts of flavor and aroma. Like the other beers in the Oak & Orchard Series this beer will be released in single 375-mL bottles. The Oak & Orchard labels have been redesigned to feature the name and description of each beer within the series on the label itself instead of a hang tag. The initial launch will be during the last week of May with full national distribution rolling out through the beginning of June.
We apologize to all beers not selected. If you’d like to submit your beer for consideration next week, email this jerk.