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Putt N’ Crawl returns for 13th year at Jacksonville Beach

logoSince 2004 Putt N’ Crawl has been a Jacksonville Beach tradition. The premise is simple, dress in your most outrageous costume and crawl from bar to bar where mini golf holes are set up. Putt at each hole and try to beat your friends’ scores. Get a hole-in-one and win a prize. Its that easy.

In addition, prizes will be awarded for best costume — both individual and group.

But, the day is really about getting out to Jacksonville Beach with your friends, enjoying great drinks specials and having fun. Checking out the parade of costumes is a lot of fun, too. This year 11 Jacksonville Beach bars and restaurants are opening their doors to the event.

At the end of the day, an after party will be held at Lynch’s with presentation of costume prizes and drink specials.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, May 6. Sign-ins begin at 1:00 p.m. at Lynch’s Irish Pub, Zeta Brewing Company or Ocean Grille. Ticket holders will receive a wristband that provides access to the course, drink discounts and prizes. Participants must be 21 years old or older to take part in the event and I.D.s will be checked upon check in.

Tickets for the event are $25 dollars, but if you use the code “BEERGUY” at checkout, you will get an exclusive discount for Jax Beer Guy readers only — you will get your ticket for $1 (plus a $1.05 processing fee)! That’s right, because you are a loyal reader, you get a 96% discount!

Order your tickets today at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/putt-n-crawl-2017-tickets-29510911932.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Beer, Events

 

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Florida brewery to release beer barrel-aged under water

marker48Barrel-aging has become a common treatment of beer at many breweries across the country. But, most breweries put the filled barrel in a cool, dark place to age, Not the folks at Marker 48 Brewing Company in Weeki Wachee, Fla. For the second time, the folks at Marker 48 have filled a Four Roses Bourbon barrel with their Double IPA and submerged it 48 feet below the surface of a freshwater spring.

Get all the details in the official press release below:

WEEKI WACHEE, Florida (April 25, 2017) — Myriad wonders exist in Florida’s freshwater springs that bubble to the surface along the state’s Nature Coast.

Shark’s teeth and other fossils from eons ago, when the state was mostly submerged under a saltwater sea. The slow, gentle and endangered West Indian manatees, who seek the warmth of the consistently 72-degree waters in the spring during the colder winter months.

And live mermaids, of course, who perform every day in the underwater theater at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in the tiny town of the same name, about an hour north of the Tampa Bay area.

Add one more wonder to that list: Beer.

For the second year in a row, Weeki Wachee’s own Marker 48 Brewing will sell to the public bottles of its Spring Release Double IPA that was transferred to Four Roses bourbon barrels and aged for about three weeks 48 feet deep in one of those freshwater springs, located on private property not far from the brewery.

In 2016, after a similar process, the Marker 48 staff transferred the inaugural Spring Release into bomber bottles for sale to the public. The bottles sold out quickly and were well-received by the craft beer community.

This year, about 400 bottles of the 10.9% ABV (alcohol by volume) 2017 Spring Release will go on sale at the brewery, 12147 Cortez Blvd., Weeki Wachee,  on Thursday, April 27, at noon.

There is a limit of two of the 750ml bottles per person, per day, while supplies last, and the cost is $20 per bottle. In addition, one sixtel keg of the beer will be tapped that day at noon for those who want to try the brew while it’s as fresh as possible.

For more information on the release, check the Marker 48 Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram or call (352) 606-2509.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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New Belgium to release two new brews

New_Belgium_Sign_March_2017Two new flavors will be available from New Belgium in the next few weeks. The first, Voodoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA, follows the current trend of juicy hops-forward IPAs.

The second is a  sour farmhouse ale aged in oak barrels named fittingly, French Oak Saison. Interestingly, this saison is a blend of a Wallonia-style saison with a soured golden ale.

Get more information about each beer below in the official press release.

Ft. Collins, Colo. – April 17, 2017 – New Belgium Brewing’s Voodoo Ranger line is adding a special release series to the mix. First up is Voodoo Ranger Juicy Mandarina IPA, an unfiltered wheat IPA. It bursts with citrus and juicy tropical flavors and features German Mandarina Bavaria and Australian Galaxy hops.

Juicy Mandarina IPA pours a hazy orange and comes in at 6.5% ABV. It’s available this spring in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.

French Oak Saison

Another special release addition to the New Belgium lineup, although not part of the Voodoo Ranger family, is French Oak Saison. This barrel aged sour farmhouse ale is a limited release. French Oak Saison brings together a dry, hop-forward Wallonia-style saison with a golden ale, which is soured in French oak foeders for 15-18 months. Rye and spelt grains give the beer a medium body, while Huell Melon and Tettnang hops provide a honeydew and white pepper aroma.

This saison has a mouthwatering sourness with a clean, dry finish. It comes in at 7.5% ABV and is now available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft.

 

To find Juicy Mandarina and French Oak Saison near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool: or download New Belgium’s Beer Mode app.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Brewers Association standing up to breweries, beers with offensive names, labels

BA_logoThe Brewers Association, a trade group that serves the craft beer industry, has taken a rather harsh stance on beer names and labels that straddle or cross the line of good taste.

At a press briefing held during the Craft Brewers Conference on Wednesday, the BA it would ban breweries that use offensive or sexist names and labels from using BA intellectual property such as World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Fest awards and medals in advertising.

“We want our members to be responsible corporate citizens,” said Bob Pease, Brewers Association president and CEO. “We want to err on the side of tolerance.”

The policy comes at a time when the United States is at a heightened sense of political correctness. Gender-shaming, racist remarks and innuendo are no longer acceptable in this country.

Pease does allow that there is a vast “grey area” that the move will have to navigate.

“It’s not going to be black and white,” he explained. “There’s a subjective element to that. And the Association… we’re going to find ways to be inclusive. But at the same time, we do think this step is the right thing to do and shows the leadership that is needed. But it’s gonna be sticky. It’s going to be hard.”

Breweries with names or labels that could be found lewd, offensive or demeaning will undergo a review conducted by an independent panel. The alleged name or label will be examined and a decision will be issued in a report that will be published to the BA website.

If a name or label falls outside of the BA’s acceptable policy, the brewer will be banned from using BA intellectual property in advertising of any sort. In addition, should the brewery win a medal at a BA sanctioned event such as the World Beer Cup or Great American Beer Festival, the name of the beer or brewery will not be announced publicly.

 

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2017 in Beer, Beer News

 

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Founders to re-release Doom IPA in Barrel-Aged Series

Founders-Doom-2017-750ml-and-Four-Packs-of-12-Ounce-Bottles-FeatureFounders Brewing Company is best known for its Kentucky Breakfast Stout and the fanatical following it garners. But, the brewery’s Barrel-Aged Series has been grabbing attention lately, too. Along with Frootwood, a cherry ale, and KBS, Founders has released Backwoods Bastard, a Scotch ale. Now the brewery has announced that it has revived its 2013 IPA, Doom and has had it hidden away in Bourbon barrels.

The barrel-aged version of Doom will be available in distribution by the end of May.

See the official press release below for more details.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 12, 2017 – Founders announced today that they will release Doom, an imperial IPA aged in bourbon barrels, as the next release in the Barrel-Aged Series.Founders last released Doom in 2013 as part of the Backstage Series of beers, and its return is highly anticipated.

Doom is the third release of 2017 in the brewery’s esteemed Barrel-Aged Series, preceded by Frootwood and KBS. In addition to Backwoods Bastard, there are two remaining beers yet to be announced in the series this year.

Doom will be available in the taproom beginning on May 12 with remaining states seeing it shortly thereafter. Doom will have a suggested retail price of $14.99/4-pack 12oz bottles and $11.99/750mL bottle.

“Imperial IPA and barrel-aging – two of our greatest strengths coming together to create the masterpiece we call Doom,” said Co-Founder and President, Dave Engbers. “This is a huge beer with a big attitude. We are so happy to bring this beer back for those who have been vocal in asking for its return and we look forward to introduce it to those who haven’t yet had the opportunity to try it.”

 Founders will announce the remaining two releases in the Barrel-Aged Series later in the year.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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New Belgium’s Ft. Collins brewery: beautiful, awe-inspiring

new-belgium-brewery-logoThe drive from Denver to Ft. Collins is about an hour long, but is a necessary journey for any true beer lover. Originally called Camp Collins, the outpost was established in 1862 to protect travelers and settlers along the Colorado branch of the Overland Trail. Just two year later, in 1864, a flood destroyed the camp and the U.S. Army decided to reposition the settlement and call it Ft. Collins. Today, the city is known for its beer culture and as the home of several of Colorado’s most noted breweries.

While at the Riverside Craft Beer Festival, I mentioned to the local New Belgium representative that I was considering a visit to my daughter in Denver. He offered to set up a tour of the brewery in Ft. Collins if I made it out there. So, when the plans were set, I took him up on his offer. And, am I glad I did.

New_Belgium_Sign_March_2017When you come up the street and the brewery comes in to view the first thing that comes to mind is that it is a very popular place. The huge front lawn of the brewery is always full of visitors playing corn hole, lounging on blankets and playing Frisbee all while sipping New Belgium brews.

The building itself is at once modern and traditional with a three-story high roof over the entrance, plenty of glass and lots of warm reddish brown wood paneling. It evokes a feeling of a mountain cabin while also displaying a modern design sensibility. The mix of old and new is thoroughly pleasing to the eye and immensely inviting.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a tour check-in desk in front of a buzzing hive of activity that is the brewery’s taproom. The design esthetic carries from the outside in to the taproom with more warm wood and a huge glass wall that shows off part of the brewery in the back. The bar stretches from one end of the main room to the other and a chalkboard behind it announces the beers currently available for tasting. On the left is another smaller tasting room with another bar and tables for sitting and enjoying pints.

At the check-in desk, we told the hostess our names, she checked our IDs and told us – my wife and daughter were along for the tour — she would let our tour guide know we had arrived. Within moments, Penelope Gilland, a long-time employee owner at New Belgium, appeared and ushered us to the bar for beers to drink while on the tour. I chose a raspberry treatment of their sour base beer Oscar – it was delicious, by the way – and we were on our way.

Our first stop was just around the corner from the bar, but it was a very important first step and set the tone for the tour. In a small hallway, mounted to the wall is a display case that holds the relic upon which the brewery was built, the actual beer journal used by Jeff Lebesch on his beer vision quest through Belgium in 1988. In that notebook, Lebesch jotted down the original recipe for Fat Tire the company’s flagship amber ale.

As Penelope explained the origins of the company and how, after just a few years of homebrewing, Lebesch decided to sell his beers to local Ft. Collins bars it became apparent the pride she, and every other New Belgium employee I have ever met, have in their work. The idea that a brewery that began in a basement with self-distribution by his wife in the family station wagon could flourish to become the company that is now the nation’s fourth largest craft brewery in the United States is astounding and wonderful at the same time.

NB_Cathedral_March_2017Next, we walked over to the brewing area in what has been called the cathedral. It is called that because of the vaulted ceilings that look every inch of 40 feet tall with exposed wooden beams, high windows allowing for abundant natural light and the length of the room. It looks like a church with huge, 100-barrel kettles rising majestically from the floor and running down the middle. Each kettle ringed by a story that is related through mosaic tiles on the floor around them. The room is breath-taking, immaculately spotless and a real show-place for New Belgium. Indeed, several weddings have been held in the room lending even more weight to the cathedral nickname.

But, impressive as the cathedral was, the fouder (pronounced food-er) room was my favorite. Fouders are large wooden fermentation tanks used to age sour beers. New Belgium’s fouder room, known as “The Woods,” holds 64 wooden vessels of many shapes and sizes. Each contains a different living beer in varying stages of completion.

NB_The_Woods_March_2017Walking through The Woods is sort of like taking a trip in time to an age before brightly polished stainless steel fermentation tanks and high-efficiency brewing. It harkens back to a time when a brewmaster needed to know how to control a beer’s fermentation process is closely as he watched the brewing process. It sort of felt like being in Belgium again, where breweries such as Cantillon still make lambic beers through spontaneous fermentation using the yeast and bacteria in the air and the wood of the fouders to bring their beer to life.

After our walk in The Woods we returned to the taproom for a few more cold beers and to talk about our experiences on the tour. We enlisted the help of another “Mothership” – the name New Belgium insiders have given to the main brewery – visitor for a group picture with our guide, Penelope and mulled our next move.

The consensus was overwhelming that New Belgium would be a staple for future visits to Colorado and that of all the brewery tours we had taken together, the Ft. Collins New Belgium tour was among the best.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2017 in Beer, brewery

 

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3 Types of beer tastings and how you can host them

beer pint - Creative Commons - mfajardoHaving a group of friends over on a Sunday evening is always a wonderful way to spend some time. Now, add in a bit of beer-tasting fun and things get really enjoyable. Hosting a beer tasting doesn’t have to be an extravagant production – unless you want it to be. Follow the guidelines below, you and your friends are sure to have an evening that is remembered for a long time to come.

Know Your Audience

Before you decide on a slate of beers to serve, take a good look at your guest list. Are most of the people you are inviting craft beer fans already? Or, do they drink mostly domestic beers. Are any of your guests wine aficionados or foodies? All of these questions are important to help you determine what to serve.

Pick Your Theme

After you have determined your guest list and gauged the type of group you will be entertaining, it is time to choose a theme. Some themes to think about might include:

Regional Beer Spotlight

This could be a focus on local breweries or beers from areas outside your location. You could choose three or four local breweries and serve two beers from each. Or, you could concentrate on beers from well-known beer areas like Asheville, N.C., Denver, Colo. or San Diego, Calif. Another route could be to serve beers from a specific country like Belgium, Germany or Great Britain.

Beers for Wine Lovers

If the group coming over are mostly wine drinkers, consider a theme that highlights beers with wine-like characteristics. Think sour Lambics, Flemish Red or Brown ales or Berliner Weiss brews. Both Lambic and Berliner Weiss styles come in a number of fruit varietals that should appeal to wine lovers and open their eyes to the complexities that can be found in beer.

Foodie Beer and Food Pairing

Pairing food with wine has been a long-standing tradition. But, paring food with beer is a newer phenomenon. Pick beers that will match up to each of four or five courses. Also, plan on serving appetizer-sized portions of each food. There are a number of excellent resources on the Internet for matching beer and food flavors. One of the best is from CraftBeer.com and can be found in the Educational Tools section of the website.

Class it Up

Serve the beers you will be tasting in wine glasses. The tapered top helps to hold in aromas and guest will feel more elegant holding them. In addition, a small two- to three-ounce pour – something that is highly recommended and customary at beer tastings – looks like a good-sized pour.

Guide the Tasting

Now that you have chosen the type of tasting you want to have and chosen the beers you will serve, do some homework on the styles and specific beers your guests will taste. Use resources like RateBeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com to see what other tasters have said about the beers you have chosen. As you pour each beer provide some details about it. Talk about things like the style, how that style evolved, the brewery the beer came from and where it is located, the alcohol content and aroma and flavors that can be expected.

Encourage Discussion

By providing guests with tasting notes you open the conversation. As your friends taste your beer choices, ask them their thoughts on the offering. Do they agree with what others say about the beer? What flavors do they detect? Would they drink the beer again?

Wait 15 minutes or so between opening each beer to allow guests to talk among themselves about what they just tasted.

Have Fun

The bottom line is to have a good time. Don’t add so much structure to the event that it feels stuffy. Play some great tunes in the background and enjoy spending time with your friends.

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Beer