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Maggies-3D-Can_TransparentBeer is a many splendor thing, whether it is in the form of an IPA, stout, kolsch or pale ale, there is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of flavors to choose from. And craft beer lovers like it that way. All one has to do is pay attention to the weekly offerings at many of the local breweries to see that mid-week most offer a variation to one of their current brews. Be it an herb-infused saison or an IPA aged on fruit, variety is the name of the game.

One of the hottest emerging trends in the world of craft beer is fruit-infused brew. Sure, the Belgians have had fruit in their beer for more than a century. Breweries such as Brasserie Cantillon in Brussels created Framboise (raspberry) and Kriek (cherry) lambics more than 100 years ago. Lambics are a style of ale that is not inoculated with yeast; instead it is allowed to spontaneously ferment from yeast present in the air that gets to the beer via open air cooling vessels often located on the roof or the top floor of the brewery that is open to the outside.

As a modern phenomenon, fruit beers come in several iterations; fruit additions to typical styles like IPAs and stouts, styles that have traditionally included fruit or fruit syrup additions like Berliner Weisse and hybrid styles that are created specifically to highlight fruit flavors like apple ales.

A trip to your local beer monger will reveal an ever-increasing shift towards fruit-flavors in familiar styles. The highly-rated IPA Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewing Company of San Diego, Calif. now comes in a wide array of fruit flavors like grapefruit, pineapple and even habanero (yes, peppers are technically fruits). Another style that has had the fruit-infusion treatment is farmhouse ale. This style, akin to saison, has been refreshingly imbued with peach by Terrapin Beer Company of Athens, Ga. in their Maggie’s Peach Farmhouse. Wheat beers are also frequently amped up with fruit flavors. Traditional Belgian wheat beers often include orange peel in the brewing process, but American brewers like 21st Amendment have upped the ante by adding watermelon in their Hell or high Watermelon.

Berliner Weisse, a German sour wheat beer, was traditionally served with raspberry (Himbeersirup) syrup to balance the tartness. Today brewers create their own riffs of the style by adding fruit directly in the beer during fermentation. Locally in Jacksonville, Aardwolf Brewing Company has created several variations of their Lactic Zeppelin Berliner Weisse with guava and passionfruit.

Samuel Smith’s The Old Brewery in Tadcaster, England produces several fruit beers that defy any other style categorization. One of their best is Samuel Smith Organic Strawberry a spontaneously fermented brew with tart and sour flavors similar to a Belgian lambic. The addition of strawberry juice adds some sweetness to balance the flavors. But, perhaps the fastest growing flavor among fruit beers is apple. With the growing popularity of hard cider, companies like Redd’s (part of the Miller Brewing Company) are capitalizing on the fruit beer trend. Available in several flavors, Redd’s is an apple-flavored beverage that is brewed like a beer rather than simply fermented like a cider.

Whether you are a purist and think beer should taste like, well, beer or a progressive and accept the current flood of fruit beers hitting the market, one fact is certain; brewers are going to keep experimenting with new fruits and flavors. You may as well relax, fill a cooler with ice and add some refreshing fruit-infused brews for enjoying on the back porch on the coming hot summer nights.

 

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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Beer, Beer Styles

 

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Rogue distributes award-winning 6 Hop IPA

6hopipaRogue Ales has always been an innovator in sustainable brewing practices. For years they have grown their own hops reducing the need to truck them in from commercial growers. Now, the brewing geniuses who brought us Beard Beer have canned an IPA that contains six different, brewery-grown hops. Learn more about Rogue 6 Hops IPA in the official press release below.

INDEPENDENCE, Ore. (Feb. 21, 2017) — In a dedication to Mother Nature, Rogue Ales has canned 6 Hop IPA to take this farm-grown beer back outside.

The six proprietary hop varietials chosen by Brewmaster John Maier to craft 6 Hop IPA were grown on Rogue’s 52-acre hopyard in the heart of the Willamette Valley. Field-guide-style illustrations on the bright green can depict the hops inside. From ground to glass to gold, 6 Hop IPA was awarded a gold medal at the 2016 World Beer Championships.

“It’s like having a piece of the farm in your hand,” said Rogue President Brett Joyce. “The aroma reminds us of the farm during hop harvest and the new cans are perfect for getting outside and wandering among the bines of the hopyard.”

6 Hop IPA’s big, beautiful bite is now available in 12-ounce can six-packs, 22-ounce bottles and on draft worldwide

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Magic Hat introduces year-round IPA

unnamed (1)Magic Hat Brewing Company of South Burlington, Vt. has long been known as a company with a sense of humor. One only has to take a look at the company’s website to verify this fact. They have also been known for the phenomenal success of their mysterious, not-quite pale ale brew #9. Along with #9, Magic Hat boasts three other year-round brews: Dream Machine, Circus Boy and Single Chair. And now, joining these core brands is Electric Peel Grapefruit IPA.

The new addition to the line up is described on the brewery’s website as, ” An electric shock. A sweet scent in the air. A tantalizing tingle. Fresh directions are explored and big ideas are formed. Revealed is a creation peeled from formulas of hops and tang-touched fruit. Electric Peel arrives as a new way to IPA. Strip away the notions, find another motion and plug in to reveal the power of the peel.”

Learn more about the new brew in the official press release below:

South Burlington, VT – Magic Hat Brewing Company recently released Electric Peel – a new, year-round grapefruit IPA bursting with bold citrus hop flavors. This new IPA is designed to send shocks of citrus hop flavors through a medium malt body amplified by grapefruit peel. The result is a delightfully hoppy ale with a bittersweet finish, boasting an ABV of 6.0% and 65 IBUs.

“At Magic Hat, our goal is to brew the best tasting beer on the planet. This means experimenting with different variations of hops and flavors,” said Chris Rockwood, Head Brewer, Magic Hat. “When developing Electric Peel, we wanted to enhance the wonderful grapefruit-like aroma and character that some hops already have, so we tried adding grapefruit peel to the boil. The end result is a refreshing grapefruit aroma, balanced by strong hop bitterness underneath.”

To learn more about the brewing process, check out this Electric Peel video, featuring an exclusive interview with Magic Hat Head Brewer Chris Rockwood.

About Electric Peel

  • Style: Grapefruit IPA
  • Malts: Pale, Carapils
  • Hops: Apollo, Centennial, Chinook
  • Yeast: English Ale
  • Additions: Grapefruit Peel, Pink Grapefruit Flavor
  • Alcohol Content: 6.0% by volume
  • Original Gravity: 13.5° Plato
  • IBUs: 65
  • SRM: 5

Electric Peel’s fresh grapefruit flavor makes it a great summer beer – perfect for backyard gatherings, beach bumming and after-parties. It pairs well with jerk or dry-rub barbeque dishes and coconut shrimp. Electric Peel also complements creamy, soft cheeses and sweet desserts, like Crème Brûlée.

Electric Peel will be available year round. It can be found on draft at some of the best beer bars across the country, as well as in 6-packs and 12-packs at various grocery and convenience stores nationwide.

To reveal the Power of the Peel in a big way, Magic Hat is hosting Electric Peel launch parties in different cities across the country. Check out photos from the Burlington, VT party at the Magic Hat Launch Party album and details about each event at www.magichat.net.

Experience a Performance in Every Bottle with the Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center, creators of #9â, Electric Peel, Dream Machine®, Circus Boyâ, and a revolving roster of seasonal selections.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2015 in Beer Releases

 

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Bell’s Brewery to release Hopslam over next few weeks

hopslamHop heads seeking the bitter bite of a highly-hopped beer are all atwitter this time of year. Why, you ask? Because this is the time of year that Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo, Mich. Releases its massively-hopped, well-reviewed and highly-sought-after beer Hopslam.

Hopslam is brewed with an astounding six hop varietals and is dry-hopped with an additional dose of Simcoe hops. The hops used in brewing are a selection of Pacific Northwest varieties that impart flavors such as grapefruit, stone fruit and floral notes. Combined with a generous malt bill and a solid honey addition, the hops shine without overpowering in this highly drinkable Double India Pale Ale.

Indeed, both RateBeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com – two of craft beer’s largest and most popular rating sites — have bestowed stratospheric ratings on the beer. Rate Beer gives Hopslam 100 out of 100 and Beer Advocate conferred a rating of 99 out of 100.

On Beer Advocate, reviewer BrbnBarlAgdBil says this of the beer, “One of my favorite beers. The thing that has always stood out to me about this beer is the hints of honey. It is such an easy drinking beer, but the taste and layers of flavor are so complex that by the time you start to put it together, you take another sip and realize that there are even more layers. One of my top beers!”

“Out of the bottle this is great,” said Bluegoosed, a reviewer on Rate Beer.”But, from a tap absolutely tremendous in my opinion. One of my favorite beers. Really nice blend of hops, malt, pine flavors, and citrus/grapefruit. I’m amazed by the alcohol level because it doesn’t show until after consumption.”

The brewery’s release schedule has the beer leaving the brewery for Florida on January 26. Hop-fiends should look for the beer at their favorite stores a week or two later.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Craft Beer Releases

 

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Pliney the Younger coming in February

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Photo: Russian River Brewing Co.

Beer aficionados the world over await this time of year anticipating the release of one of the rarest – and lauded – beers available. But, if they want to get their hands on it they will have to travel to Santa Rosa, Ca. That is where the Russian River Brew Pub is located and where Pliney the Younger will be released on February 6, 2015.

Called a “tripleIPA” by the brewery, Pliney the Younger is named for the nephew and adopted son of Pliney the Elder a botanist that lived over 2,000 years ago in the Roman Empire. Pliney is often credited with the discovery of the hop plant and thus is somewhat of a hero to beer lovers everywhere.

Because the beer is so expensive to make – it requires more than three times the hops of a regular IPA – the brewery limits the amount of Pliney the Younger it produces and makes it available for only two weeks beginning the first Friday of February each year. Never packaged in cans, bottles or growlers, the beer is only available at a few select accounts and the brewery’s brew pub.

According the Russian River website and blog, the 2014 release saw more than 15,000 guests stream through the doors of the brew pub. The adoring masses showed up even though Northern California was gripped by storms the first weekend of the release that dumped more than eight inches of rain.

“We needed the rain so bad,” said co-owner and president Natalie Cilurzo in the brewery’s blog. “That we did not hear one person complain, not even after waiting up to 12 hours in line!”

For those planning on making the pilgrimage to Santa Rosa for the release, the brewery has arranged a special Russian River Brewing rate at The Flamingo Hotel. Call 800-848-8300, 707-545-8530 or contact by email at: reservations@flamingoresort.com.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2015 in Beer News

 

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Goose Island hops things up in new seasonal IPA

Goose Island Rambler IPA. Image courtesy of Goose Island Brewing Company.

Goose Island Rambler IPA. Image courtesy of Goose Island Brewing Company.

The folks at Goose Island have an interesting new seasonal release on the shelves now dubbed Rambler IPA. Available now through December, the brew celebrates the aroma and taste of hops through usage of Mt. Hood and Amarillo hops. But, perhaps the most interesting feature of this brew is that it is a red IPA.

The hops used in this Seasonal Release trace their story to the town of Bonners Ferry, Idaho and Elk Mountain Farms. For the past two years, Elk Mountain Farms has been planting, growing and harvesting hops of exceptional quality for Goose Island beers. Bonners Ferry sits on the 48th parallel—the same parallel on which Europe’s best hop growing regions are found—and is situated in the ideal climate and soil condition for hop cultivation.

Look for medium body and carbonation in this unique and tasty IPA. Flavors range from hops spiciness to a rich malty backbone.

The Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “JaxBeerGuy” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Beer

 

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Jax Beer Week 2014: Saturday, May 31

Jax Beer Week comes to a close today with a wrap party at Grape & Grain Exchange featuring special brews from many of Jacksonville’s best breweries.

Enjoy tastings of 12 local brews for just $10 at the event over three seperate tasting stations. Samples include Green Room Brewing Tequila Barrel Aged Quetzacoatl, Engine 15 Brewing Nut Sack, Intuition Ale Works Jon Boat, Bold City, as well as selections from Tampa’s Brew Bus Last such asStop IPA, Rollin’ Dirty Red, Are Wheat There, Double Decker Porter and My Boy Blue.

In addition to the tastings, 6-ounce pours of special release beers from the local brewers will be available for $3 to $4. These special brews include:

  • Engine 15 Jax Beer Week Dry-hopped Session IPA
  • Intuition Ale Works Barrel-aged Dark Star Milk Stout
  • Aardwolf Sesqui Saison
  • Pinglehead Brewing Banana Pancakes Ale
  • Bold City Abby’s Ale
  • Green Room Brewing Katherine

For those who live at the beaches and would rather let someone else drive to San Marco, the Jax Brew Bus is offering freeshuttle rides from Engine 15 Brewing Company to Grape & Grain Exchange. Pick up times are at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Rides back to Engine 15 at 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Rides are first come, first served.

The Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “JaxBeerGuy” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Beer

 

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