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Tag Archives: Alcohol by volume

Cigar City & New Belgium to collaborate on new Lips of Faith brew

New Belgium Brewery Tour

New Belgium Brewery Tour (Photo credit: betsyweber)

Not long ago, and after long last, New Belgium brought their delicious brews to the sunshine state. Now, the Colorado brewing behemoth is announcing a collaboration with our own Cigar City Brewing Company. Get all the details in the press release below.

Press Release:

Ft. Collins, Colo. – October 30, 2013 – Attention, Lips Lovers! New Belgium Brewing’s two newest quarterly Lips of Faith offerings, Cigar City + New Belgium Collaboration Ale and Wild2 Dubbel are now out for all to enjoy. Collaborations have become a favorite in the Lips of Faith line and this meeting of the minds with Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing continues that tradition. Wild2 Dubbel will reintroduce the soon-to-be-famous Schisandra fruit to beer lovers everywhere.

The Cigar City + New Belgium Collaboration Ale beer starts with a fruity, citrus nose, followed by an abundance of Cascade, Pacific Jade and Wakatu hops. Anaheim and Marash chilies usher in a flavor that starts sweet, gets tangy and finishes spicy and tannic. Spanish Cedar spirals were added for some subtle woody and tobacco tones and a Bier de Garde yeast brings zesty phenols for topping. ABV 8.5%.

“This playful,  full-bodied beer will be a delight in Florida, Colorado and everywhere in between,” said New Belgium Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull. “Meanwhile, Wild2 Dubbel is in a class of its own, offering a traditional, Belgian-style dubbel with a wild side.”

Wild2 Dubbel is full of dark and robust malts creating deep chestnut tones and a tawny haze. Along with brettanomyces, this beer is spiced with the mysterious and splendid Schisandra, known as the five flavored fruit, bringing a complex peppery and pineapple push to top the banana and bubblegum notes of the Trappist yeast. The beer opens sweet and creamy, mingles with the tropic tones of the conditioning bretta, and finishes with a dry, warm spice. ABV 8%.

Over in the Hop Kitchen Series, this season’s Fresh Hop is a medium-full bodied IPA made with certified salmon-safe Oregon hops that are picked fresh off the vine and trucked directly to our brew kettle. It starts out malty sweet, builds in some bitterness with a long bitter linger. Learn more about certified salmon-safe hops at www.salmonsafe.org. Fresh Hop is 7% ABV and 75 IBUs.

“Fresh Hop is made with salmon-safe Crystal and Sterling hops that are grown using practices that ensure healthy watersheds that allow native salmon to spawn and thrive,” added Hull. “We are proud to support the efforts of farmers who work hard for that salmon-safe designation. It makes the beer taste that much more satisfying.”

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Posted by on October 31, 2013 in Craft Beer Brewery

 

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The Price is Wrong is oh so right

The-Price-is-WrongAdam Sandler, in his 1996 sports comedy, “Happy Gilmore,” coined the phrase, “The Price is Wrong…” followed by a mild expletive. Well, in honor of that infamous phrase, and with its own backstory, SweetWater Brewing Co. has released its new Dank Tank offering. The brew, named The Price is Wrong of course, is a bronze Belgian-style monster that holes out at 79 IBUs and 9% ABV.

The Price is Wrong is a classic Belgian with a SweetWater twist,” said SweetWater’s head brewer Nick Nock in a company press release. We’ve enhanced it with some of our favorite hops to bridge two styles together for a big refreshing beer.”

The beer boasts a malt bill that includes Maris Otter, Pilsner, 2-row and wheat that is balanced out with Nugget, Centennial and Simcoe hops that provide herbal and pine notes. The brew is then dry-hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo hops for a citrus nose. Belgian yeast adds to the character of the beer and takes it to a whole new level of complexity.

As is the case with all Dank tank brews, the fun-loving guys and gals over at the brewery have created a backstory for The Price is Wrong. In this episode Danky, the hapless mascot of SweetWater’s Dank Tank brews, is fresh off tour as caddy to Boob Barker with whom he gets into a golf course scuffle. The predicament leads to a rigged appearance on The Price is Wrong game show, shenanigans ensue. Get the whole, hilarious story at http://sweetwaterbrew.com/brews/dank-tank/.

The Price is Wrong hit shelves and taps on Monday, August 12, 2013, so head on out and grab a few bombers while you can.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2013 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery

 

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Beer gimmicks: the good, the bad, the bizarre

aprihopIn the world of beer, there are many whacky ideas. Just recently the Internet was all atwitter with news that some enterprising soul (pun intended) had decided to start brewing Star Trek themed beers. But, there have been many other odd, misguided and downright bad beer ideas. Some are almost to unbelievable too be true, but be assured, they are.

Not surprisingly the majority of beer gimmicks are brought to you by the mega brewers such as Anhueser-Busch, Miller and Coors. The big dogs always seem to be chasing each other’s tails, each trying to out gimmick the other. Who could forget the Bud Light bottle with a label that features a blank spot for you to write your name with a finger nail or key? As if the beer would last long enough to require a name tag. Or what about the Vortex bottle from Miller Lite? The advertising for this bottle claimed it “lets the great pilsner taste flow right out.” But, does that mean that it flows more quickly than it did before or that it merely comes out of the bottle? The jury is out. And then there is the gimmick that seems to draw the most attention – both positive and negative – the Coors Light Cold-Activated can. This beauty has graphics of mountains that turn blue when the beer is cold. The geniuses in marketing seem to have forgotten that most folks keep their brew in an ice chest or refrigerator meaning that the mountains are blue most of the time.

But, the domestic mega brewer have not cornered the market on beer gimmicks, There are plenty of other breweries that have marketed their brews with gimmicks. Scottish brewing mad scientists Brew Dog have been pushing the envelope of alcohol content in beer for years with soaring ABVs, But oddly, that is not the biggest gimmick. The brewery actually took bottles of their 55% ABV beer called The End of History and stuffed them inside a real squirrel or stoat. PETA members were appalled.

Other breweries are slightly less ambitious with their gimmicks than using stuffed animals as decanters and, to a degree some might call them trends rather than gimmicks. That is for you to decide. But, a gimmick that seems to have gained quite a bit of traction is the notion of barrel-aging beer. At first brewers gravitated mostly towards whisky and scotch barrels to age their beer. This process imparts complex flavors from residual liquors in the barrels and the wood of the barrels themselves. But, of late, brewers have begun taking the barrel-aging craze a step further by employing everything from gin to tequila barrels – not that there is anything wrong with that. Brews that have become legendary because of the barrel-aging include 3 Floyds Dark Lord and Cigar City Hunahphu.

An emerging gimmick – or trend if it makes you feel better – is that of fruit flavored IPAs. Seminal Delaware brewer Dogfish Head has had an apricot flavored IPA on the market for a few years with its Aprihop. Word has it that there is another fruit-flavored IPA coming from Sam Calgione’s off-centered brewery soon. Another brewer that has infused fruit into its IPA is Burnt Hickory Brewing of Kennesaw, Ga. The brewery’s Didjits is brewed with blood oranges and is said to not surprisingly have a bitter citrus flavor.

Gimmicks and beer seem to go hand-in-hand, so we may as well get used to it. That is not to say they are all bad. Who could argue with the genius of ageing beer in liquor barrels or infusing fresh new flavors? But, some truly are outlandish. Then again, if vented, wide-mouth cans help you to enjoy your beer more, who are we to judge?

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in Beer

 

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In the spirit of Tap ‘n’ Run; running and chugging

beer mileWith the Jacksonville Tap ‘n’ Run coming up this weekend (article at:http://tinyurl.com/cnlppfu), I thought that this article from January 2102 might be of interest to local Tap ‘n’ Runners. Or, at least it might give them something to aspire to. By the way, if you still have not purchased your tickets to the Tap ‘n’ Run taking place Saturday, April 13, you can get them at a discount by using the code “FRIENDOFBEER” when you check out at: http://www.tapnrun.com/Jacksonville/Register.php.

Running and Chugging

Frequently I search the Internet for interesting beer news to relay here on the Springfield Brew Crew Blog. Today, as I searched and aimlessly followed a labyrinth of links into the bowels of the web I came across something that caught my eye. And then, in conjunction with that item, I found another. I’ll detail my second discovery later, but today I am going to tell you about an odd alliance between running and beer.

It has long been known that beer is an excellent source of carbohydrates and many athletes will drink a pint after their event to replenish lost energy. Some will even drink before to carbo-load their muscles with energy. But, until today, I had never heard of drinking beer while running a mile. Not only is this an established sport, there are a surprising number of events known as Beer Miles going on all over the country and the world.

The origination of the beer mile is shrouded in mystery, but it is generally accepted that the sport began right here in Florida on a college campus. Which college campus is not mentioned, but I think we can all figure that one out on our own. The first set of rules emerged from a group of milers in Kingston, Canada. In the U.K, Australia, and New Zealand, the event is called the Chunder Mile. The rules vary slightly in that an Imperial pint – or 20 ounces – of beer must be consumed from any drinking vessel the runner desires. But, in North America, the Kinston Rules have gone on to be adopted by most beer-milers with few modifications.

Website beermile.com publishes an extensive FAQ on the sport along with the more-or-less accepted rules for North America. The idea of the sport is to run a mile while consuming four beers in a specific order – beer, run a quarter-mile, beer, run again, beer, run some more, beer, stumble to the finish line. A runner must drink the first beer before he or she begins to run and must complete each subsequent beer before continuing the run. Should a runner not be able to hold their beer down, they must complete a fifth penalty lap. Beer must be consumed from a standard 12 ounce beer can with no alterations or “Easy Pour” mouths – meaning that “shot-gunning” a beer is strictly prohibited. Beer must be no less than 5% ABV to qualify as a suitable beer for completion. The entire competition is timed and the winner is lauded at the end.

To date, the fastest officially-recorded beer mile was completed in 5:09.0; a seemingly miraculous feat that may never be beaten.

 

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Beer, Events

 

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Healthy beer? You bet!

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Generally speaking, beer and health aren’t necessarily equated with one another in most people’s minds; even though there’s lots of recent scientific and medical research that show beer drinking (responsibly) is good for you. Most beer lovers don’t pause to read the nutrition label before cracking the top on a fresh brew. However, there are some beers out there that are better for you than others. Which brews make the top of the list in terms of “healthiness” and why should you care? Let’s take a closer look at your options.

What Makes a Healthy Beer?

Before we delve into which beers are not bad for you and which ones are actually good for your body, it would be a good idea to go over just what makes one beer “healthier” than another. It basically boils down to two things really – calories and alcohol content. Choosing a beer with lower calories is a no brainer for those watching their waistlines of course, but choosing a lower alcohol brew flies in the face of some emerging craft brew trends, specifically the trend of stronger and stronger “novelty” beers.

Then there is the question of special ingredients included in the brew. A wide range of different ingredients can be added to the basic four that make up the average brew, many of which can offer some distinct health advantages. Let’s cover a few of those before we move on:

Wheat: Wheat beers have been shown to provide significant benefits, particularly for runners and other endurance athletes. The benefit here is that wheat seems to offer relief from inflammation in muscle tissues and joints, and can also help to combat problems with the respiratory system. Of course, for those with gluten intolerance problems, wheat beers are off the table.

Fruit: Fruit has been used to flavor beer since time immemorial. Today, a wide range of fruit types can be found in beer, from oranges to strawberries, lemons to raspberries and even more exotic options. However, craft beer brewed with fresh fruit (or high-quality fruit extract) can offer some health benefits, particularly when that fruit is high in vitamin C. For instance, raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system.

Another important fruit here is pomegranate. Called a “superfood,” pomegranate offers some very impressive health benefits, from boosting your immune system to helping with blood pressure problems and more.

Green Tea: Fusing beer with other types of beverages has become more popular recently in the craft brew world. Some brewers are going the route of combining their brews with tea (particularly green tea). This offers a world of health benefits due to the high antioxidant content in green tea. Antioxidants can help fight a wide range of issues, from cancer to the aging process.

Ginger: Ginger has been used as a cure-all for thousands of years. The Chinese, Romans, Greeks and numerous other ancient cultures extolled the virtues of this root. You’ll find ginger included in quite a few new beers on the market. While the FDA might be silent on the health benefits of ginger, it’s hard to argue with a tradition that dates back thousands of years.

Hemp: No, you won’t find beer laced with THC on the market (at least not openly, at any rate). Hemp seeds are used to add flavor to different brews. You’ll also find that they offer some important heart health benefits, too. Studies have shown that hemp seeds can also help to lower high blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension.

Spruce: Spruce is a species of evergreen tree and most people don’t really equate spruce needles with food or drink. However, spruce needles can impart some interesting flavors, but they also offer help for those with joint pain, poor blood circulation in the body and can even help lower stress (or that might just be the alcohol).

Oysters: Eating oysters while drinking a cold beer is nothing new. However, you’ll now find the oysters added directly to the brew. While that might sound like a rather odd combination, it does have its benefits. Most importantly, at least as far as health is concerned, oysters are high in protein and a variety of essential minerals.

Now, that’s a pretty long list of healthy additives, even though some of them might sound a little farfetched. The truth of the matter is that you’ll find craft beers available from breweries around the world that include these healthy ingredients and many others too.

The Healthiest Beers on Offer

So, what are the healthiest beers that you’ll find on offer? Interestingly, Sam Adams Light comes in pretty high on the list (at the top of the list, according to some). The beer doesn’t have any special ingredients, but it is very low in calories, has a modest alcohol content and doesn’t stint on flavor, body or mouth feel.

Surprisingly, Guinness is also among the healthiest beers out there. Again, there is no special ingredient that helps push it ahead of other beers. However, it is very low in calories, and the alcohol content is well below the 5.0 ABV average cited by authorities (the CDC, for example) as the typical alcohol content for beer.

If you’d like to break out of the box and go for some healthier beers that you won’t find sitting on the shelves of most grocery stores (appealing to the hunter in you), then you might consider some of these brews:

  • He’Brew Rejewvenator ’10 (Schmaltz Brewing Co.)
  • Gumballhead (Three Floyds)
  • Good Juju (Left Hand)
  • Black Hemp Black Ale (O’Fallon)
  • Major Tom’s Pomegranate Wheat (Fort Collins Brewery)

Of course, there are numerous other options out there and chances are good that you’ll find a craft brewery or two in your local area serving up healthful, refreshing brews with unique ingredients. Keep an eye out for fresh fruit and all-natural ingredients, but also bear in mind the calorie count and ABV rating for any beer you choose if you’re concerned about the health benefits (or adverse effects).

Poto Cervesia, Dustin Canestorp

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Beer, Beer Education

 

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Terrapin releases collaboration with Swiss BFM

Sitting around a table at Kickback’s in the King Street Beer District talking about beer is not an unusual occurrence for me. I can often be found prowling the establishments along that storied street from Lola’s to Bold City Brewing, looking for good beer and great conversation. But, last Friday, Oct. 26, it was the guests at the table and the reason for the gathering that made all the difference.

Surrounded by several beer bloggers, John Cochran and Brian “Spike” Buckowski, owners of Terrapin Beer Co., spoke about their newest release; Jérôme and Spike’s 2011 Barley Ryne. The brew, a collaboration with Swiss brewery BFM, is a hearty barleywine made with about 20% rye malt. The gathering was put together by Team Hopheads to introduce the new brew to the Jacksonville market.

John and Spike met as brewers at an Atlanta microbrewery and quickly began to piece together a plan for a new brewery in Athens, Ga. Terrapin had humble beginnings as a contract brewer, but in 2002 released the first beer of their own. That beer, Terrapin Rye Pale Ale went on to win a gold medal at that year’s Great American Beer Festival in Colo. Since then the brewery has won many medals at beer competitions world-wide. Along with the accolades, the brewery has grown from producing just 162 barrels of beer in 2002 to an expected 24,000 in 2012.

The inspiration of Jérôme and Spike’s came from a chance meeting of Jérôme Rebetez, brewer at Swiss brewery Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes (BFM). Jérôme was in Athens visiting and decided to tour the Terrapin brewery. He and Spike quickly became friends and started talking about doing a collaboration brew. A style and recipe was hammered out through email and the result was Jérôme and Spike’s 2011 Barley Ryne.

The brew is unique in that it was brewed at both breweries using the same ingredients except for one; the yeast.  Each brewery used their own strains and the brews came out very different. The U.S. version is a smooth, rich, and warm brew that was aged in American oak bourbon barrels for 11 months. It has enticing notes of dark fruits, oak, and alcohol on the nose that carry through to the flavor with hints of caramel and vanilla. The Swiss version tracks closer to a Flanders sour than a barleywine with aromas of red wine, brown sugar, and rum. The flavor reveals a complex brew that hints of caramel and toffee among tart cherries and grapes.

For those interested in the particulars of the brew, it was made with the following ingredients:

Malt: 2-Row, Rye, Munich, Carapils, CaraAroma, Caramunich III, Melanoidin

Hops: Bravo, Columbus, U.S. Golding, Amarillo

And, of course, each brewery’s yeast.

The finished product weighs in at 10.03% ABV.

Look for Jérôme and Spike’s 2011 Barley Ryne at your local beer seller now. But, hurry as it is in very limited supply.

Keep up to date on all the beer happenings and news going on in town at the ALL NEW www.JaxBeerGuy.com.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Beer, Beer News, Beer Styles

 

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European Street taps new Lagunitas brew

Beer drinking and storytelling are two activities that go hand-in-hand. Barstools are full of storytellers that spin fantastic yarns over cold brews on a daily basis. But, a beer new to the Jacksonville area and now tapped at the Park St., San Marco, and Jacksonville Beach locations of European Street has the story to tell this time. And Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Co. has quite a story to tell.

The label on the bottle of the beer hints that the story is not one that sits well with Tony Magee, the owner and brewmaster at Lagunitas. In tiny type on the edge of the label his diatribe says, “From the first day of the first congress at the moment of the passage of the first law, we became weaker.

The extra-large B. Franklin said it well that you can tell the strength of a society by the paucity of the pages in its book of laws – Tax laws, civil law, criminal law, Statutes and Bills. Laws that make large and small criminals of us all.”

The label refers to the 2005 investigation and subsequent shut-down of the brewery for 20 days the next January that resulted from complaints of parties on breweries premises. The parties were said to include food, beer, loud music, and – perhaps most damning – marijuana usage.  The investigation took place over two-months with investigators going to the weekly parties undercover to see for themselves what was going on.

According to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control public information officer John Carr, officers attended parties over an eight-week period to determine whether partygoers were dealing in drugs. During a St. Patrick’s Day party at the brewery the officers revealed their investigation by showing their badges and arresting one employee and patron.

Punishment came to the brewery in the form of a 20-day shut-down in January of 2006, which Magee used to install a planned new bottling line.

Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is called “especially bitter ale” to commemorate the bust and shut-down of the brewery. Later Magee, not none for his quiet demeanor, said, “This beer, I wanted it to be a knuckle sandwich. It’s big, it’s bitter and it’s angry. It’s unrepentant, and it’s unforgiving.”

And Magee, is right in those characterizations. The brew weighs in with 10.1% ABV and 74 IBUs. Popular beer rating website Beer Advocate gives the brew an 89 out of 100 points. One reviewer on the site left comments referring to the beer as, “Barleywine-like strength with well-kilned grains and citrus hops.” Another said, “Interesting. Both the hops and toasted malt appear upfront, then the bitterness hits on the finish.”

But, drinker beware, a few pints of this brew could lead to a few of your own stories. Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale is available until supplies are exhausted at European Street.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Beer, Pubs, Restaurant

 

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