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New Belgium adds watermelon beer to summer lineup

new-belgium-brewery-logoWhat is summer without watermelon? I mean really, you remember those childhood days when you eagerly awaited the slicing of the melon and burying your face in the sweet, red flesh, right? Well, the brewers at New Belgium sure do and they have whipped up a refreshing summer brew that embraces the summertime tradition while adding their own unique twist. Heavy Melon, the brewery’s newest entry in the fruit beer category, is a sweet melon infused brew with a touch of tartness.

The brewery’s second summer offering, Juicy Mandarina, takes advantage of citrusy Mandarina Bavaria hops and a hibrid yeast that imparts fruity flavors and accentuates the hoppy flavors of the brew.

Read the official press release below to learn more abut these two summer releases from New Belgium Brewing Co.:

Ft. Collins, Colo., April 27, 2016 – The heat of summer will be here in no time and New Belgium is ready for refreshment with its latest seasonal Heavy Melon. This super crisp and refreshing American-Style Fruit beer is brewed with juicy watermelon and zesty lime peel. Ripened fruit aromas of melon, papaya and citrus offer an invigorating wash of fruity sweetness, grassy bitterness and the slightest touch of tartness.

“Since our first days back in 1991, New Belgium has been crafting fruit beer and Heavy Melon continues our tradition of pushing boundaries, while making creative and innovative beers,” said Andrew Emerton, New Belgium Brewing specialty brand manager. “Heavy Melon uses only real ingredients and even though it’s a watermelon beer, it’s actually born from the same place as other New Belgium favorites like Citradelic, Ranger, and Fat Tire. The pressed watermelon juice we sourced comes from Yakima Valley, the same region that grows almost all our hops.”

Heavy Melon has a juicy, mouthwatering start with a spritzy crisp finish and pours a bright golden color. This medium-light body beer comes in at 5 percent ABV, with 14 IBUs.

Heavy Melon
Style: American-Style Fruit Beer
Malts: Pale and Caramel 80
Hops: Nugget
ABV: 5%
IBU: 14
Food Pairing Ideas: Bruschetta with fresh mozzarella, basil, balsamic and watermelon; vanilla ice cream.
Availability: now in 12 oz. bottles and draft, starting May 30 in folly packs in 12 oz. cans

To learn more about Heavy Melon, check out New Belgium’s blog “Get Ready to Crush Some Heavy Melon Ale”.

Juicy Mandarina IPA
Also available this summer is Juicy Mandarina IPA. This Hop Kitchen release offers a wave of exotic hop flavors. Juicy Mandarina IPA sports a full array of island hop vibes courtesy of citrusy Mandarina Bavaria, vibrant Calypso, tropical Galaxy, and a bonus experimental hop #522 that rounds out the ensemble with bright, breezy floral notes. Fruity hybrid yeast accentuates the burst of hops, while soft wheat mats float each sip across the tongue with ease.

Juicy Mandarina IPA is 6.5 percent ABV and 65 IBUs. It’s available on draft only.

Juicy Mandarina IPA
Malts: Wheat
Hops: Mandarina Bavaria, Calypso, Galaxy and experimental hop #522
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 65
Availability: Draft only

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Dogfish Head introduces new saison for summer

PrintSam Calgione of Dogfish Head Brewing Company has always been a rebel in the craft beer industry. His brews are creative, intriguing and often confounding. Beers brewed at the brewery often contain exotic ingredients like rooibos tea from Africa, grape juice infected with noble rot and doum-palm fruit. Not your everyday beer ingredients.

For the summer season, the brewery has introduced a new beer with even more unusual ingredients. Biere De Provence, is a saison brewed with lavender, bay leaf, marjoram and chervil as a nod to the aromatic herbs used in Southern French cuisine.

To learn more abut the brewery’s summer offerings, read the full press release below:

MILTON, DE (April 27, 2016) — Dogfish Head is proudly celebrating 21-years of boycotting the Reinheitsgebot. Highlighting a commitment to creating off-centered ales with creative and unexpected ingredient and flavor combinations, Dogfish Head has curated an ‘Off-centered Summer’ releasing three beers that pair perfectly with the sweaty months.

Brand new for 2016 is  an ode to Dogfish Head’s celebrated tradition of creating culinary-focused brews. Inspired by the aromatic and flavorful Herbs de Provence of Southern France, this complex and refreshing Saison was brewed with lavender, bay leaf, marjoram and chervil. Fermented using a Belgian yeast strain, the golden amber beer clocks in at 8.3% ABV and 30 IBUs, and will be available on taps and retail shelves beginning late May.

Back by popular demand and also available beginning late May is Festina Peche, Dogfish Head’s tart summer session sour brewed with peach juice. This neo-Berliner Weisse is unique in that the fruit complexity is woven into the aroma and taste through the natural fermentation of the peach sugars. No need to doctor this beer with fruit wedges – just open and enjoy! The pale straw-colored brew clocks in at 4.5% ABV and 8 IBUs, making for a unique and highly sessionable summer beer.

Continuing Dogfish’s commitment to the art community, Festina Peche’s label features original custom illustrations by Drew Millward. Millward’s art has been featured on iconic labels, posters and apparel for clients such as Nike, Foo Fighters and Phish. He also created the labels of three other Dogfish seasonal beers this year, interpreting the flavors of each beer into eye-catching and intricate works of art.

“We are proud to release these two culinary ingredient-infused beers on the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot,” says Dogfish Head founder and president Sam Calagione. “We have always believed this law is nothing more than a relatively modern form of art censorship.”

Rounding out the Off-centered Summer releases is Namaste, the summer brew bursting with good karma. The Belgian-style Witbier quenches thirst with every sip, filling the palate with notes of dried organic orange slices, fresh-cut lemongrass and coriander. Clocking in at 4.8% ABV and 20 IBUs, this beer is an ideal session beer for hot days in the sun. Dogfish Head fans have also been known to mix Namaste with orange juice to create a “beermosa,” perfect for summertime brunches. Namaste is available on taps and retail shelves year-round.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Devil’s Backbone acquired by A-B

Devil’s Backbone BrewinDevils-Backbone_Logog Company, a two-location company that is a perennial favorite of the judges at the Great American Beer Festival, has made an agreement to be acquired by Anheuser-Busch. The Virginia-based brewery joins companies like Goose Island and Elysian in A-B’s The High End business unit.

Read more about the acquisition
in the full press release below:

New York and Lexington & Nelson County, VA. April 12, 2016 – Today, Anheuser-Busch announced an agreement to acquire Devils Backbone Brewing Company, the leading and fastest-growing craft brewery in the state of Virginia. Devils Backbone will be the latest partner to join the diverse portfolio of craft breweries within The High End, the company’s business unit comprising unique craft and import brands.

“I am extremely pleased to announce the partnership of Devils Backbone Brewing Company with Anheuser-Busch. While we are joining a creative group of craft breweries in the division, Devils Backbone will retain a high level of autonomy and continue its own authentic DNA within The High End framework,” said Steve Crandall, co-founder and CEO of Devils Backbone Brewing Company. “The existing management team plans to stay on board for many years, while continuing to innovate and bring locally crafted Virginia beer to the nation.”

In 2008, founders Steve and Heidi Crandall opened the doors to Devils Backbone Brewing Company in the Virginia Heartland, after being inspired by a ski trip to northern Italy in 1991 where they had their first taste of Germanic style beer. After success with the first brewpub, Basecamp, the decision was made to break ground on the Outpost facility, in Lexington, Virginia. Originally projected to produce 10,000 barrels of beer in its first ten years, the Outpost produced almost 45,000 barrels in its first three. Steve credits much of this early success to the excellent network of distributors within his system, which is weighted heavily towards Anheuser-Busch.

Today, the Outpost Brewery & Taproom in Lexington serves as the primary production brewery while the Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows in Roseland, serves as a visitor destination. Devils Backbone takes full advantage of the scenic 100-acre Basecamp property surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering a variety of opportunities for guests to enjoy the outdoors. In 2015, the two locations hosted more than 500,000 guests.

“Devils Backbone has captivated beer drinkers in Virginia since opening its doors eight years ago,” said Felipe Szpigel, President, The High End. “From the beginning, they have shown creativity and talent with the great beers they brew, and they’ve been able to use the authentic offerings at Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows to cultivate a fun, outdoor lifestyle that resonates with everyone. Pair these qualities with dynamic leadership and a dream to do something bigger, and you have the recipe for an even more promising future.”

While best known for its flagship Vienna Lager, which accounted for nearly 60% of Devils Backbone volume in 2015, the portfolio also includes other award-winning year-round favorites like Eight Point IPA and Schwartz Bier. Developing beers with personality and individual integrity of flavor has helped enable Devils Backbone to win four National titles: 2014 Great American Beer Festival Mid-Size Brewery & Brew Team, 2013 Small Brewing Company & Small Brewing Company Brew Team, 2012 Small Brewpub & Small Brewpub Brewer, 2010 World Beer Cup Champion Brewery, and the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest Best of Show medals in 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.

First Beverage Group acted as financial advisor to Devils Backbone Brewing Company. Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with Devils Backbone is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About Devils Backbone Brewing Company

Devils Backbone beers are inspired by the great brewing traditions of Europe and the ingenuity of modern craft brewing. Devils Backbone has earned numerous accolades for its beers, exceling in the art of lager brewing in an ale-dominated industry. The brewing team has received awards from the World Beer Cup, Australian International Beer Awards, medals from the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, and the Great American Beer Festival, including national titles for GABF 2014 Mid-Sized Brewing Company and Brew Team of the Year, 2013 Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brew Team of the Year, and 2012 Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year.

Devils Backbone operates two breweries in central Virginia. Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in scenic Nelson County, and the Outpost Brewery & Tap Room, a state-of-the-art production brewery.

About Anheuser-Busch

For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch and its world-class brewmasters have carried on a legacy of brewing America’s most-popular beers. Starting with the finest ingredients sourced from Anheuser-Busch’s family of growers, every batch is crafted using the same exacting standards and time-honored traditions passed down through generations of proud Anheuser-Busch brewmasters and employees. Best known for its fine American-style lagers, Budweiser and Bud Light, the company’s beers lead numerous beer segments. Budweiser and Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita were named Brands of the Year for the Beer and the Spirits, Malt Beverages and Wine categories, respectively, by Ace Metrix® in 2014. Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev and operates 17 local breweries, 21 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities across the United States. Its flagship brewery remains in St. Louis, Mo., and is among the global company’s largest and most technologically capable breweries. Visitor and special beermaster tours are available at its St. Louis and five other Anheuser-Busch breweries. For more information, visit http://www.anheuser-busch.com.

About The High End

The High End is a business unit of Anheuser-Busch, created to provide its unique craft and European import brands with autonomy and support for growth, while fostering a collaborative environment for the brightest brewers in the beer community. The High End brings dedicated resources to support the growth of its brands, create successful partnerships and deliver more variety to consumers. Established now, The High End includes brands such as Stella Artois and Shock Top, along with craft breweries Goose Island, Blue Point, 10 Barrel, Elysian, Golden Road, Virtue Cider, Four Peaks and Breckenridge Brewery.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2016 in Beer

 

Kitchen on San Marco celebrates first anniversary with local beer, spirits

kitchen_on_san_marco_exterior

While not exactly a beer restaurant, Kitchen on San Marco has built a reputation of being a fine-dining destination that has a healthy respect for beer. The eatery proves this point by prominently displaying its beer offerings on a dining room-wide chalkboard wall that lists each beer and suggested flights. On Saturday, April 2, 2016, the restaurant will celebrate its first year of operation with a pig and oyster roast that will surely be the talk of the town.

“We are thrilled to have been a part of Jacksonville’s vibrant dining scene this past year,” says Eve Markowicz, general manager of Kitchen on San Marco. “The community and customer response keeps us passionate about what we do and how we do it. We are looking forward to serving the Jacksonville community for years to come!”

In just one year Kitchen on San Marco has garnered numerous awards such as “Best Farm to Table Restaurant” as voted on by Jacksonville.com and Florida Times-Union readers in its “Bold City Best” contest, as well as being named “Best New Restaurant” by Folio Weekly in its annual “Best of Jax” awards. Additionally, Kitchen on San Marco was named one of Jacksonville’s Top 20 best restaurants by Jacksonville’s Fine Dining Examiner for its fresh seasonal cuisine. Most recently, Kitchen on San Marco was named a Judge’s Choice Award winner for its GastroFest 2016 participation and offering.

Kitchen on San Marco supports Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Jacksonville, Fla., where its staff of professional chefs provide a teaching kitchen for culinary and pastry arts students. Alongside Executive Chef Ryan Randolph, students gain real world experience, complete externships and may become permanently employed at the restaurant. The partnership between Culinard and Kitchen on San Marco offers very unique opportunities for these future chefs.

For the pig and oyster roast, the restaurant will feature specials on local beer and spirits. On tap for the celebration will be Intuition Ale Works Underdark and First Coast Kolsch. Locally produced Carve Craft Vodka will also be featured.

Music for the evening will be supplied by Hadley Pauline Parrish Cotton and Junco Royals.

The event begins at 5:00 p.m. Saturday evening. Tickets are $40 per person and can be reserved by calling 904-396-2344.

Kitchen on San Marco is located at: 1402 San Marco Boulevard.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Beer

 

Bold City to release Vernon’s Pilsner in honor of deceased Jolly Mon

Vernon-Dean-Poster-Apr-2016-2Just a few years ago, if you pulled up to Bold City Brewing Company for a few pints you were met by the mingling aromas of boiling wort and meaty Jamaican-style wings. The smell of wort of course came from the hard-working brewers of Bold City, but the wings – oh, the wings! – that enticing aroma came from the Jolly Mon himself, Vernon Dean.

Dean was a Bold City fixture with his cooking station just inside the warehouse door of the brewery. Sadly, he passed away suddenly in January 2015. But, for those who had the opportunity to meet him, his rascally personality can never be forgotten.

To honor the man behind the legend, Bold City has created Vernon’s Pilsner. This, the first pilsner ever brewed by Bold City, is a golden in color and mildly bitter brew that matches the loveably offbeat temperament of Dean himself.

The beer will be released at a party in Dean’s honor on Saturday, April 2 beginning at 6:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. the brewery staff will share a toast to the Jolly Mon with all who come to join in the festivities. In addition, Kustom Deluxe will entertain with its particular brand of music and La Bodega Original will serve paella during the event.

Bold City will also donate $1 from every pint sold to St. Johns  Riverkeeper, an organization that was close to Dean’s heart.

In addition, the JTA Night Trolly will make stops at Bold City.

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Cruise line to launch first North American brewery at sea

concretebeach-50-1024x796Craft beer has been slowly and quietly stowing away on cruise ships for the past few years. With Cigar City of Tampa, obtaining a foothold on Carnival Cruise Lines last year and several other brands finding their way to sea-going bars, there is no reason for any self-respecting beer-lover to drink anything but craft beers while sailing.

But, leave it to the fun-brokers at Carnival to raise the stakes a bit higher for the rest of the industry. When the line’s newest ship, the Carnival Vista, begins sailing it will include an on-board microbrewery created by Miami-based Concrete Beach Brewery.

The Red Frog Pub & Brewery will be the first brewery at see in North America and will feature three beers whose recipes were formulated specifically for the ship and will not be available anywhere else. Thirsty cruisers will be able to choose from ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA, ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat and FriskyFrog Java Stout.

Read more about the new brewery at sea in the full press release below:

MIAMI, March 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — When guests on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Vista, raise a pint in the Red Frog Pub & Brewery, they will have a choice of three distinctly flavored hand-crafted beers brewed right on board in the first brewery at sea in North America.

Carnival Vista’s RedFrog Pub & Brewery is the result of a unique collaboration between Carnival and Miami-based Concrete Beach Brewery.

Concrete Beach is an Alchemy & Science brand, an independently operating subsidiary of The Boston Beer Company. Alchemy & Science is home to other such popular breweries around the country, including Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles and Coney Island Brewing Co. in Brooklyn, N.Y.  Each of these breweries produce beers specifically inspired by and brewed to be representative of their respective locales. The resulting examples include such beers as Tropic of Passion, a passion fruit wheat beer from Miami, Angel City IPA from L.A., and Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner from New York.

Similarly, Concrete Beach is working closely with Carnival to create original recipes and source and select the finest ingredients to produce three distinctive craft beers that will be brewed and served on board Carnival Vista.  Those beers will include ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA, ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat and FriskyFrog Java Stout.

“We’ve been working for months with these talented partners who have helped us create three exciting and unique craft beers for Carnival Vista and we anticipate our guests are going to absolutely love them,” said Eddie Allen, Carnival’s vice president of beverage operations.

Allen noted that the brews were specifically designed with Carnival Vista guests in mind.  ThirstyFrog Port Hoppin’ IPA offers aromatic, floral and hoppy notes with passion fruit and citrus overtones while ThirstyFrog Caribbean Wheat is an unfiltered lager with aromas of bananas and spices.  The third beer, FriskyFrog Java Stout, is a take on a traditional stout, rich and creamy with hints of coffee.

“It was an honor to be a part of this one-of-a-kind project, and we feel like we created a great variety that is sure to please guests,” said Jon Carpenter, Concrete Beach Brewery Brewmaster. “It’s common for vacationers to want to test out the local beer and Carnival Vista has taken the concept of local, and applied it to the decks of their ship.”

The beers to be featured on Carnival Vista further build upon a greatly expanded selection of craft beers across the entire Carnival fleet. U.S.-based Carnival ships already serve Concrete Beach Brewery’s Rica Wheat IPA, Angel City Brewery’s Pilsner, Coney Island’s Hard Root Beer and 1609 Amber. On a regional basis, Carnival ships sailing from Miami feature Concrete Beach Stiltsville Miami-style Pilsner, while Long Beach, California–based ships offer Angel City Brewery IPA and cruises departing from New York City are stocked with Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner.

The line also offers beers brewed either locally in homeports or within the homeport state on ships sailing fromNew Orleans, Galveston, Baltimore and Tampa, as well as ships that sail to Alaska and Hawaii.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2016 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Jax Beer Society launches “Half Mash” scavenger hunt at Gastrofest

Jax Beer Society logoAs a kid, I loved scavenger hunts. There was something adventurous about getting a list of odd items to find and then headed of on the trail to find them. This spring, the Jax Beer Society has taken that idea and given it a beer-centric twist. Beginning at Gastrofest Saturday, March 19, 2016, hunters can seek out great beer in Jacksonville and, if they are crafty enough to tick off everything on their “to-find” list, score a couple of tickets to the Beer Society’s Jax Beer Week soiree Mash In.

Dubbed the “Half Mash,” the scavenger hunt has beer-lovers visiting each of the eight local craft breweries and three Associate Business Members to complete their list. At each stop hunters are to snap a photo with their smartphone in front of the Jax Beer Society poster. Then they are to post the image to social media and tag it with the hashtags: #jaxbeersociety #jaxaletrail #drinkitinjax.

Intrepid scavengers who complete the hunt by Thursday, March 31, 2016 will be rewarded for their skills with a pair of tickets to the Jax Beer Society Mash In on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

Look for the Jax Beer Society tent at Gastrofest to get a “wild card” photo that can stand in for any one scavenger hunt photo. Enthusiasts can also pick up a pair of free bright red sunglasses that are sure to be all the rage at the event.

Hunters are encouraged to have fun – within the bounds of good taste – with their photos and, of course, enjoy a pint of good beer at each stop. The eight local breweries participating in the Half Mash include:

A list of Associate Business Members can be found on the Jax Beer Society website at: http://jaxbeersociety.com/members/.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2016 in Beer, Events

 

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