WeldWerks Brewing released Phantasm Advanced Fluid Dynamics last month, a beer featuring Phantasm — a thiol derived from Marlborough Sauvignon grapes from New Zealand. Created by a company with the same name, the Phantasm powder is used during active fermentation that complements the regular dry hop addition with this beer to create an even bigger, brighter tropical nose. It definitely accentuates the hop profile in this double IPA with Sabro, Lotus + Citra hops.
This product has a super long waitlist and is extremely hard to get, so we asked Skip Schwartz, Innovation and Wood Cellar Lead at WeldWerks Brewing Co., more about what it was like brewing with Phantasm, to make you all jealous.
Why was the team excited about this?
We have a brew team full of brewing nerds. I mean we still have plenty of staff who spend their whole work week brewing beer and then go home and brew in their garage for fun on the weekends. So, this group kind of loves anything new and exciting in the IPA space. The biggest thing is we always want to try something new that will load us up with hop aromas. I think there is nothing better than smelling a really well made IPA with tons of hop notes popping out of the glass.
Phantasm is a thiol derived from Marlborough Sauv Blanc grapes from New Zealand. A thiol is a sulfur compound which makes most people think of rotten eggs, garlic or bad breath. However, there are actually a lot of good smelling thiols. The creatures of Phantasm tell us that the thiols they have derived from the grapes create; 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH), which create citrus smells, 3-mercaptohexyl acetate (3MHA), which can come across as guava or passion fruit and 4-mercapto-4-methylpentant-2-one (4MMP), which the nose recognizes as black current or wood aromas.
Naturally, we chose to test this product with our newer brewer favorite IPA, Advanced Fluid Dynamics, because it is already bursting with tropical hop aroma. When we were told that Phantasm would bring out those aromas, we knew right away that this would be the perfect match for our Advanced Fluid Dynamics, which has a nose of passion fruit, coconut, guava, oranges, cedar wood, mango and sandalwood. It was like this product was made with this beer in mind.
How did it match your expectations in the end?
I think at the end of the day it met our expectations to a T. They told us it would make for bigger and brighter tropical aromas, and it did just that. Think of it more as an enhancer than anything else. This product doesn’t create new flavors, it just takes the ones produced by the hops and makes them pop more. When you dive into a Phantasm AFD—it’s not a totally different beer; it’s just a more fervent version of itself.
Did Phantasm save costs by perhaps requiring less hops than usual to attain an even bigger flavor?
Since this is our first time using this product, there is still a lot for us to learn and how best to use it. We are planning on trying at least a few more beers using Phantasm before we fully make any decisions. The bigger thing is that it does not change the flavor, just the aroma. Since Phantasm is a thiol, it works more on your orthonasal than it does on your taste buds, but you do notice more defined hop characteristics on your retronasal as well.
Montclair Brewery dedicates Jubilee to Juneteenth
In honor of the Juneteenth holiday Montclair Brewery has collaborated with Harlem Hops craft beer bar to release its first ever Juneteenth dedicated beer, Jubilee. Jubilee is available on draft now in Montclair Brewery’s taproom and will be available in cans on June 9th. Harlem Hops and other select bars, restaurants and retailers in New Jersey and New York will also have Jubilee on draft and in cans. Montclair Brewery’s Juneteenth Celebration includes performances on June 19th on the brewery’s outdoor stage from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Juneteenth holiday commemorates the freeing of the last set of enslaved people in Texas on June 19, 1865. This took place two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation which freed all enslaved people.
Jubilee is a red wheat ale brewed with hibiscus flowers. Hibiscus flowers were selected for its symbolic significance. Hibiscus is native to West Africa and was brought to the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade.
“As I learned more about this holiday I wanted to add a piece of Africa to the recipe to remind everyone about the origin of the people who finally got their freedom. That’s why I chose to use hibiscus, also known as bissap throughout many parts of Africa, including Burkina Faso where I was born and raised,” explains Leo Sawadogo, Lead Brewer and Co-owner of Montclair Brewery. The hibiscus’ natural tartness is balanced out with the light addition of lactose (milk sugar) which results in a crisp red summer ale with 6% alcohol by volume.
“With the increased awareness of racial injustices including the exclusion of many positive facets of Black lives in American history I knew that there was a need to do something larger to celebrate. Like our Black History Month beer series, the launch of Jubilee and our all day event allow us to raise awareness and educate others about our culture and history,” states Denise Ford Sawadogo, General Manager and Co-Owner of Montclair Brewery.
Flying Dog adds a low-cal, low-carb blonde ale
Flying Dog Brewery released a low calorie, low carbohydrate hopped blonde ale, Zen Blaster Active Ale. The light-bodied brew will be available in stores by mid-June in 6-packs of 12 oz bottles. Brewed by the brewery’s in-house yoga master and made with lotus hops, this low calorie/low carb ale will have mind and body at peace. At only 90 calories and 1.5g carbs, Zen Blaster is perfect for active lifestyles. The beer’s aroma gives notes of tropical fruits and vanilla while its light flavor profile finishes dry. This refreshingly light ale carries a 4.5% ABV and 10 IBUs.
“For consumers focused on wellness, or those who simply want a lighter beer to sip on in the summertime, Zen Blaster is a more health-conscious alternative without compromising on taste and quality,” said James Maravetz, VP of Marketing at Flying Dog Brewery.
Ninkasi debuts Hazematic in G.O.A.T. Pack
The G.O.A.T. Pack has a fresh new look because Ninkasi has added a fresh new beer! Introducing Hazematic Hazy IPA: it’s hitting shelves now exclusively in The G.O.A.T. Pack. Hazematic replaces Juicy Domination in The G.O.A.T. Pack lineup, which is now available in its own 6-pack.
Hazematic is another success from Ninkasi Brewing’s new 5-barrel pilot system. This beer was originally brewed on their innovative small-batch system in February 2020. Well-received locally, Hazematic was then scaled up to production levels for this release.
“There are certain beers you just immediately know are special,” said Chief Experience Officer Sarah Johnson. “Hazematic was one we knew pretty early we wanted to share with Ninkasi fans more widely, and we’re so excited to release it just in time for summer and alongside other Ninkasi favorites.”
21st Amendment debuts new Double IPA
An ode to inventiveness and the genius inside us all, the 21st Amendment Brewery brews a new Double IPA in its hop-forward Tasty lineup for the nationwide release of Tasty Double Hazy IPA (8.5% ABV) in June 2021. The creative packaging artwork for Tasty Double Hazy IPA features Founding Father and polymath Ben Franklin lying in a field of hops following one of his famed kite experiments.
Shaun O’Sullivan, Co-Founder and Brewmaster of 21st Amendment Brewery, cranks up the hop profile on Tasty Double Hazy IPA to 11 with its sheer abundance of Calypso, El Dorado, Mosaic, Amarillo, Idaho 7, and Cashmere hops in the kettle and dry hopping process. A creamsicle orange hazy appearance compliments tropical stone fruit flavors and aromas, juicy guava notes, and a rich creamy malt texture. Soft bitterness and a layer of tartness smooth out Tasty Double Hazy IPA to be a deceptively balanced Imperial Hazy IPA that packs a punch at 8.5% ABV.
O’Sullivan comments, “Our Tasty IPA series showcases how we like to have fun integrating hops whether it’s a Juicy Pale Ale, West Coast IPA, Hazy IPA, or Double Hazy IPA. Beer drinkers love all types of IPAs, especially hazys. Using the right hops in the right beers allows our brewers to be creative and showcase the diverse flavors and aromas that these bold hops have to offer. Tasty Double Hazy IPA has big brash hop layers wrapped around a sweet malt base with its elegant and rich texture. It’s complex much like Ben Franklin’s imaginative ideas, but served in a 12 oz. can or pint glass, of course.”
Crux Fermentation Project is (rightfully) bragging about the flavors of its non-alcoholic beer
Crux Fermentation Project released its first non-alcoholic IPA, currently available at its Bend, Ore., tasting room and throughout Crux’s Oregon distribution footprint. NØ MØ is a refreshingly hoppy alternative IPA sitting at just 30 calories and coming in at under 0.5% ABV. Created with traditional brewing methods so craft beer fanatics will find a familiar flavor and mouthfeel, NØ MØ features Flaked Oats, Honey and Crystal Malts, and Pacific Northwest grown Citra and Mosaic hops.
“Crafting a non-alcoholic beer is no easy task, and to produce something that feels similar to drinking the real thing is even more of a challenge,” said Larry Sidor, Founder and Master Brewer at Crux Fermentation Project. “Most non-alcoholic beer on the market has simply had the alcohol removed, but this was not the approach we wanted to take. NØ MØ was developed from the ground up, with a formulation built specifically for this “near beer”. Our goal was to produce a non-alcoholic IPA that fans would truly want to drink – and so far, we’ve found that to be the case with NØ MØ.”
Sidor worked closely with Cam O’Connor, Head Brewer for Crux Fermentation Project, and the rest of Crux’s brewing team on the development of NØ MØ. After extensive testing and experimentation, the team collectively settled on an IPA that is full of flavor and has a medium body. The NØ MØ name pays tribute to Crux’s fan-favorite Gimme Mo IPA, also brewed with Mosaic and Citra hops.