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Category Archives: Beer Releases

Funky Buddha announces barrel-aged Living Barrel series

FB_Barrel-AgedFunky Buddha, the evil geniuses behind popular brews like Last Snow and Last Buffalo in the Park, has announced a new series of barrel-aged beers. The Living Barrel Series will feature beers aged in bourbon, rum, tequila, Chardonnay and Cabernet barrels among others.

“Like the spiraling growth of a tree’s branches,” says an unnamed source in the Funky Buddha press release. “So too are these beers transformed over time thanks to the maturation exclusively in oak wine and spirits casks. Unlike the ageless timber, these bottles are only available for a limited time.”

Over the years, the brewery has amassed an impressive 500 casks that previously held spirits and wine of many types. Currently, there are hundreds of barrels holding everything from stouts to saisons quietly aging to perfection. Samples of the beers are regularly drawn and tested to assess its progress and maturity.

The Living Barrel series will be released in 22 ounce bottles through Funky Buddha’s tap room with some of the beers will gong to distribution throughout Florida. The first bottles will release the end of July and beginning of August. Included in these releases are a Rum Barrel-Aged Pina Colada beer consisting of an imperial cream ale made with real pineapple and coconut and aged in Jamaican rum casks for months; and Vanilla Bourbon Barrel-aged Nikolai Vorlauf, an Imperial Russian Stout aged for nearly two years in Bourbon barrels with whole vanilla beans added to the barrel. A third release, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dread Pirate Roberts (imperial stout with raspberries, chocolate, and coconut), will be released exclusively to Funky Buddha’s Imperial Club members in August If any bottles remain, a release to the public will be scheduled.

Future releases will include this year’s versions of Morning Wood and Last Buffalo in the Park along with others yet to be announced.

Funky Buddha plans to continue releasing special, barrel-aged brews into 2018 and beyond.

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Posted by on July 14, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Bourbon County Brand Stout variants announced

01-goose-island-bcbs-barleywineBlack Friday is getting a little bit blacker this year with Goose Island’s announcement that this year’s Bourbon County Brand Stout (BCBS) release will include seven variants of the highly-coveted brew. The glut of variants come courtesy of some lost barrels that were recently found and an abundance of great brewing ideas.

As is expected, the anchor of the BCBS line is its original stout aged in fresh Heaven Hill bourbon barrels. The brewery’s website promises that this year’s edition will be good as ever and possibly a touch heavier in alcohol content.

Like the original, this year’s barleywine has been moved to fresh bourbon barrels. Because of this move, imbibers can expect higher alcohol content as well.

Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Espresso was used in the coffee variant this year marking a hearkening back to the first year BCBS was offered with a coffee variant.

Brewmaster Jared Jankoski says on Goose Island’s website that this year’s national variant, “Is from a concept that has bouncing around in my head for a couple years, combining some of my favorite flavors – blueberry and almond.”

Jankoski goes on to say that the almonds add a marzapan-like character that compliments the blueberry notes beautifully.

One of the most sought-after variants of Bourbon County Brand is the Proprietors. This year’s version is a blend of flavors that features bananas, cassia bark and roasted almonds.

The two new variants that will surely be the hottest bottles on Black Friday include what Goose Island is calling Bourbon County Brand Reserve Stout. This special edition consists of the BCBS base aged in freshly emptied 11 year old Knob Creek barrels.

The second extra variant comes courtesy of some long-lost barleywine barrels. Once found it was discovered that the barrels had been lost for two years and had aged superbly. Wanting to make the beer even more special, it was transferred to 35 year-old Heaven Hill barrels where it remained for an astounding 20 months.

With variants like this year’s the annual BCBS release on Black Friday is sure to be even more popular than in the past. My suggestion, if you want all to variants, start saving your pennies now and plan to line up very early in the morning on the day after Thanksgiving.

 

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

 

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Rare Fernetic to make a First Coast appearance

Fernetbottle-4Forbidden Root Brewing Company beers have been available in Jacksonville for a while now, but the brewery’s unique Fernet-Branca inspired beer, Fernetic, has not made it south from Chicago – until now. In a press release, the brewery has announced that a limited amount – three kegs total – of the collaborative brew will hit Florida in three separate special tapings.

Fernet-Branca is an Italian digestif that is made from 27 herbs and spices such as rhubarb root, saffron, and wormwood among others. Forbidden Root deconstructed the beloved herbal bitter herbal spirit – also known as an amaro — and then reconstructed it into a limited-edition beer that hints of coffee and peppermint on the nose, offers complex flavors and a soft roastiness in its dark-colored finish.

First created in 1845 using a secret blend of 27 flowers, herbs, roots, and plants thought to have beneficial properties, Fernet-Branca is widely considered to be the quintessential digestif from Italy. Supporters of the 39% ABV potent potable swear that is has the ability to alleviate fatigue, relieve food bloat and cure hangovers.

Inspiration for the beer brewed by Forbidden Root came when the Count Eduardo Branca – a sixth generation member of the digestif’s founding family – visited the Forbidden Roots brewery and struck up a conversation with head brewer and operations manager, BJ Pichman. After a number of samples, the idea of a collaboration was floated out and Branca jumped at it.

For details on how you can get a taste of this unique and extremely rare collaboration, read the official press release below.

Chicago, IL—(June 8, 2017)—Fernetic, a collaboration between Chicago’s Forbidden Root Brewery and Fernet-Branca, will see limited distribution throughout the state of Florida. This highly sought after craft beer is Fernet-Branca’s first foray into craft beer. With help from the Branca family, the Forbidden Root team deconstructed the beloved Italian digestif and reconstructed the legendary family recipe into an unforgettable craft beer for Amaro and beer lovers alike.

At 8.4%, Fernetic is an exotic, spicy and complex beer from quality ingredients such as rhubarb root, saffron, and wormwood, among the selected botanics of the 27 herbs and spices found in Fernet-Branca. With hints of coffee and peppermint on the nose, Fernetic offers complex flavors and a soft roastiness in its dark-colored finish. Bitter notes build to a spicy, creamy middle and dry woody finish.

“I am extremely proud of Fernetic, a craft beer inspired by my family’s Fernet-Branca recipe that dates back to 1845,” says Edoardo Branca, the sixth generation Branca family member now managing the Fratelli Branca business in the U.S. “Our goal was to find a way to translate the Fernet-Branca experience into beer and Forbidden Root was the natural partner to make this happen. Amaro and craft beer fans alike will now get to experience something that has never been done before – the first collaboration of this kind for both Fernet-Branca and Forbidden Root.”

“Collaborations are always an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and build off someone else’s creative energy,” says Forbidden Root head brewer BJ Pichman. “With Fernet-Branca, we were working with a nearly 175 year-old recipe, a body of very distinct flavors and a bitterness factor that is not usually present in beers. Our team really enjoyed the creative challenge of working to make a delicious, uncommon beer while keeping true to the flavors and history of the Fernet-Branca recipe.”

Fernetic will be launched at the Ice Plant Bar in St. Augustine, FL on June 21. A cocktail competition will run from 3-5 p.m. preceding the 5 p.m. Fernetic tapping. The event will give attendees an opportunity to taste the unique collaboration brew, meet Fernet-Branca and Forbidden Root representatives, and enjoy Fernet-inspired cocktails.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Red Cypress Brewery coming to Jacksonville

Orlando’s Red Cypress Brewery is making the trek from the land of the mouse to the First Coast. The brewery is known for brewing with locally-sourced ingredients, such as local honey and Florida orange peel and branding their beers as homages to the eccentricities of the Sunshine state, like Devil’s Chair IPA. In addition, the brewery has two oak foeders and is looking to grow their sour and barrel-aged program.

Get more details in the press release below along with launch week events:

Winter Springs, Florida – Red Cypress Brewery has announced expanded distribution plans, partnering with Cavalier Distributing as their distributor for Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and St. John’s counties.

Beginning the week of June 12, Cavalier will distribute draught and package versions of Red Cypress’ flagship beers including Deep Roots Amber Ale, Devil’s Chair IPA, and Spook Hill Pale Ale, as well as Death Roll Milk Stout Nitro, in draught only, and seasonal and limited releases as they are available.

Launch Events:

Wednesday, June 14 –Jacksonville Beach

Engine 15 Brewing Co.
1500 Beach Blvd. #217
4:00 p.m.

Zeta Brewing
131 1st Avenue N.
7:00 p.m.

 Thursday, June 15 – Jacksonville

Alewife Bottleshop and Tasting Room
1035 Park Street
5:00 p.m.

Dahlia’s Pour House
2695 Post Street
7:00 p.m.

 Friday, June 16 – St. Augustine

Broudy’s Liquors Cobblestone
516 West Geoffrey Street
4:30 p.m.

Brewz |n| Dawgz
1974 US-1
7:00 p.m.

Hornski’s Vinyl Lounge
106 Anastasia Blvd.
9:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 17 – Jacksonville

Bottlenose Brewing
9700 Deer Lake Ct. #1
2:00 p.m.

 

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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3 new Bold City brews you must try at downtown tap room

bold_City_DTWhen I talked to Brian Miller, co-owner of Jacksonville’s first craft brewery, Bold City Brewing Company a few months ago about the just-opened downtown brewery and tap room, he told me that his vision was to rotate his brewers through the smaller brewery and let them exercise their creativity. This weekend we will get to reap the fruits of Jeremy Baker’s, one of the Bold City brewers, labors.

Beginning at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 26, Baker’s first brew — The George and the Dragon Oatmeal Stout — will be on tap. Then at 2:00 p.m., The Jam ESB will become available and finally, at 5:00 p.m., The Pryed of Frank and Stein Rye IPA will flow.

Inspiration for the new brews lean heavily towards Baker’s British roots. The name for his stout is drawn from visits to family in England as he grew up.

“The legal drinking age is lower there,”  Baker said in an email from Bold City. “So the first time I could legitimately drink a beer at a bar was just down the hill from my Grandparent’s house. The pub was named The George and the Dragon and George.

The combination of that early drinking experience and the fact that his grandfather’s name is George provided the inspiration for his rich, chocolate forward oatmeal stout. IN keeping with the U.K. theme of the beer, Baker utilized British Phoenix hops in this 5% ABV work of art.

For his 5.5% ABV The Jam ESB, Baker again turned to his British heritage by trying to create a traditional Engish-style pale ale. In this brew he balanced English two-row, mild malts and a touch of crystal/caramel malts with a variety English of hops.

“My goal with this one was to emulate what you would get if you were in an English pub and asked for a pint of bitter,” Baker explained. “This is one of the first styles of beer I fell in love with as a young man.”

The Pryed of Frank and Stein, Baker’s third beer to be released is an English-style IPA brewed with rye that clocks in at 7% ABV and has an American twist — he aggressively hopped the brew with a combination of spicy and earthy hops from the U.S. and Europe. Perhaps most interesting is the highlighted use of experimental hop, HBC 682 said to have a mild and pleasant aroma with herbal, floral and spicy characteristics. In addition, both English and American pale malts were sourced along with distinctive rye malt.

“The ingredients came from all over,” Baker said. “To create a Frankenstein of a beer.”

With Jazz Fest and the opening of Daily’s Place downtown this weekend, you may want to get to Bold City early to stake out a place and try all three of these new additions to the Bold City line up.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Danish brewer goes from the pisser to the pint glass

mannekenpisBrewers like to make unique, memorable beers. In the past there have been beers made with yeast from a brewer’s beard, a pizza beer and a beer made from purified waste water. But, a brewer in Denmark may have gone too far by making a beer from human urine.

Nørrebro Bryghus, a Danish microbrewery located in Copenhagen, has gone to the toilet for their new “Pisner” beer.

According to Rueters, the brewery is using 50,000 gallons of urine collected from a music festival to brew the novelty beer. This begs the question, which came first the beer or the piss?

But, in case you just started feeling a bit queasy, the beer is not made from filtered urine. Instead, the urine was used to fertilize the barley used in the brewing process.

“When the news that we had started brewing the Pisner came out,”  said Henrik Vang, Chief Executive of brewer Norrebro Bryghus in the Reuters article. “A lot of people thought we were filtering the urine to put it directly in the beer and we had a good laugh about that.”

About 60,000 bottles of the beer are available to adventurous drinkers.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Spencer Trappist to release Belgian-style quad

smrThe first certified Trappist brewery in the United States, Spencer Trappist Brewery, has announced that they will release a Belgian-style quad ale. This announcement brings the brewery into alignment with many of its brethren breweries in Belgium. This is because quads are most closely identified with Trappist breweries like Sint Sixtus brewers of the coveted Westvleteren XII and Trappistes Rochefort 10.

Learn more from the official press release below.

Spencer Trappist Brewery announced today the forthcoming release of its new Spencer Monk’s Reserve Ale, a classic Trappist Quadrupel in the Belgian tradition.

Belgian brewing tradition developed a system of characterizing bottle-conditioned ales based on the quantity of malt and the ale’s original gravity. The resulting categories include the Single, the Dubbel, the Tripel and the Quadrupel (or Quad). Quads are “big”, strong, dark, ales that typically contain 10%+ alcohol by volume and are considered top-of-the-line products.

Spencer Monks’ Reserve Ale is fragrant, robust and full bodied, mahogany in color and crowned with a dense, tan, frothy head. Its malt-forward profile yields to a warm finish, with an ABV of 10.2%.

The recipe development phase of this Quad stretched over three years and 13 experimental brews. The Spencer monks sought an alternative to the use of spices for flavor enhancement by pushing the boundaries of traditional Trappist Quad malt profiles, even incorporating some local barley grown in nearby Barre, MA, which was craft malted in Hadley, MA. The outcome is a unique product with a distinct flavor profile well situated within the Trappist family of Quadrupel ales. Spencer Monks’ Reserve Ale received the approval of the International Trappist Association in March 2017.

In announcing Spencer Monks’ Reserve Ale, Father Isaac Keeley, Spencer Brewery Director, notes, “It is a major event for a Trappist brewery to introduce a new Quad. We took our time developing this one and we are rather happy with the result.” This beer was well received in Brussels by the Board of the International Trappist Association to whom it was presented for sensory evaluation and a vote of approval. The monks of Spencer look forward to serving this new Quad during their Sunday supper, as well as sharing it with their friends in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Spencer Monks’ Reserve Ale will be available for public tasting in the US at the BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on June 2-3, 2017. Spencer Monks’ Reserve Ale will be available to our distributors on June 12th and at retail shortly thereafter. It will be featured at The Spencer Brewery’s Open House on June 24, 2017.

In 2013 St. Joseph’s Abbey became home to The Spencer Brewery, which is one of eleven certified Trappist breweries in the world and the only one located outside of Europe. The monks of Spencer make bottle-conditioned ales in the centuries-old tradition, as well as various American craft beers – all while living the motto “ora et labora” (pray and work). In accordance with the Trappist way of life, all proceeds from their work are used to support the monastery, with any surplus donated to charity – primarily charities that help the poor. The beers crafted by The Spencer Brewery are available in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Ohio, Michigan, and throughout Europe. Outside our distribution area Spencer products are available at belgianstyleales.com. The Spencer Brewery plans to start exporting to Asia later this year.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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