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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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A visit to Capital Brewery and Karben4 Brewing in Wisconsin

Our Northern Correspondent, Bryan Born, has been braving the storms and trying out new beers and breweries. Here is his latest installment in which he tells about some recently released beer from two excellent Wisconsin breweries.

Capital Brewery and Karben4 Brewing

IMG_20140131_203711_834Over the past few weeks, I have not had any fun beer events to attend. But that does not mean that I have not had a great time drinking outstanding craft brews. To fill the time, there were a few new beers from local breweries that I have wanted to try for a while. So, try them, I did.

Before I started writing this blog, the Capital Brewery of Middleton, Wis., got a new brewmaster. The brewery always had an okay portfolio and I would find myself drinking at their brewery on occasion, but their beers never “wowed” me. They did not even have an IPA! That all changed when Brian Destree took over. Now Capital has an IPA, an Imperial IPA, and a new Black IPA that was a new release this winter.

Black IPAs are one of the fastest growing styles of beer among craft brewers and I for one could not be happier. These beers are like a mix of IPA and stout fused together to form one dark and bitter beer. The Dark Voyage from Capital was no different. True to form it is very bitter with a nice medium body. It is extremely drinkable and I look forward to visiting Capital and drinking more of the beer in the future. The new brewmaster has won me over.

IMG_20140201_152957_062The other new brewery that released a new beer this winter was Karben4 Brewing in Madison, Wis. Karben4 is new to the craft brew scene, having just celebrated their one year anniversary this past month. To celebrate this occasion, the brewery released a coffee stout called Deep Winter. The interesting thing about this beer is that it was brewed without hops. The bitter flavor comes from the coffee used during the process. I have always been a fan of Karben4’s beers and the coffee stout did not disappoint. It tastes just like a cup of coffee. Every time I visit this fledgling brewery, it seems like they have something new on tap.

And in case anybody cares, during the Super Bowl I drank some Smutty Nose beers that I have been dying to try along with my new favorite double IPA, Resin from Sixpoint Brewing of Brooklyn, NY.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Beer

 

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Stone Brewing Company’s Enjoy 02.14.14 meant to be consumed fresh

stoneFresh beer is good beer. At least that is true when it comes to certain styles and brands. Several brewers make no bones about the fact that their beer is to be consumed by a specific date. Indeed, Stone Brewing Company put the expiration date right in the name of the beer. Enjoy By 2.14.14 IPA spells it out to beer lovers when the brewery wants the beer to be gone.

According to the breweries website, each batch of Enjoy By is designated to a specific region of the country. Agreements with shippers and distributers in those regions are such that the beer will be available within one week of having been kegged or bottled.

The reason for all this fuss is freshness. As a beer ages the first thing to dissipate from it is the big hop character. Next, the beer’s mat character opens up and often causes the flavor to shift from hoppy bitterness to malty, caramel sweetness. In the case of Enjoy By, the brewers wanted the consumer to get the full effect of the hop character before it begins to fade.

Mitch Steel, brewmaster at Stone, said of Enjoy By, “This beer is nothing but hops… Coming out of the brewhouse it was already massively hopped.” This is done through the use a technique known as ‘hop-bursting’ to infuse the beer with an intense flavor that will fade and disappear in a very short period of time. The process involves reducing the amount of bitterness hops added to the brew kettle and loading the beer up with flavoring hops towards the end of brewing. Enjoy by is also dry-hopped to increase the aroma and intensity of the beer.

On the beer’s website (http://www.stonebrewing.com/enjoyby/#) the brewery displays a countdown clock that tick away the second until the beer is past its prime. When the clock hits zero, the brewery estimates that the beer will begin losing its hop character and is past its prime.

“Freshness is really key to enjoying the beer the way it was meant to be enjoyed,” Steels said.

The site also provides a list of where the beer was shipped and when it is expected to hit the market. Among the cities to receive the beer this release are Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. In addition, beer-lovers in areas that the beer did not ship to can vote for to have the next release come to them on the website.

In Jacksonville, Fla. Enjoy By can be obtained at the following locations:

  • Mellow Mushroom – St. Augustine
  • Copper Tap House
  • Mellow Mushroom – 3rd Street
  • Whole Foods
  • Harris Teeter
  • BP – Jacksonville Beach
  • World of Beer
  • King Food – Jacksonville Beach
  • Golden Ox – Argyle
  • Safeway – North 3rd St.
  • Brewers Pizza
 
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Posted by on January 21, 2014 in Beer Styles, Craft Beer Brewery

 

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A visit to a couple of Hawaiian breweries

Our correspondent from the north recently returned from a visit to the Hawaiian islands of Maui and Kauai. In between sight-seeing and beach-going he managed to visit a couple of breweries and has provided us with the following report.

IMG952013122695191439Breweries in Paradise

Over this past holiday season, I had the opportunity to visit the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Maui. After a little research, I discovered microbreweries on each of the islands. First I drank at the Kauai Island Brewing Company after a long day on the beach.

Kauai Island Brewery & Grill

First Thoughts: The Kauai Brewery is the westernmost brewery in the world. There, you just learned something. It seemed to be a smaller operation but there was an upstairs seating area that I liked. Since they are based on an island, the brewery had a nice nautical/Hawaiian theme.

NO IPAs?!?: Right off the bat, I noticed two beers on the list I wanted to try: Captain Cook’s IPA and Na Pali Pale Ale. Since I am an avowed hop head, those choices seemed to be no brainers. Other beers on their list were just bonuses. Much to my surprise, however, they were out of both! Needless to say I was pretty bummed and even contemplated leaving. I mean, come on, the beers I chose were two of their flagship beers and they were out. To me this is pretty much unacceptable.

The Beer: After I stopped pouting to my wife I made my selections and ordered several ales, they had one IPA on tap called the Fonz IPAaaaaaa (…get it!?!) and a couple lagers. They all seemed a little on the light side, probably for easier drinkability because it is always so hot in Hawaii. Additionally, the IPA could have been a little hoppier but that is just my personal preference.

Final Thoughts: Beside the fact that they were out of two flagship pale ales, I did end up enjoying myself. We had some food, chatted with some locals, and I got a neat shirt. I do suggest you stop by if you are in the neighborhood and have the time.

IMG_20131229_150210_847Maui Brewing Company

First Thoughts: The Maui Brewery has two locations on its namesake island; a bottling plant and a brewpub. The brewpub is located in a strip mall and I was a little unsure about what we would find there. But, after stepping inside, we discovered that the inside of the place was huge. They even had a spot on the upper level for beer tanks. They had a huge selection of beers, both flagship and an even larger assortment of experimental and seasonal brews.

The Beer: I was able to try two different IPAs and some good amber ales as well. We had a coconut porter that my wife loved but was lost on me. I am just not a fan of coconut. Their Big Swell IPA is very floral and aromatic and is great to drink on a warm sunny day on the beach. I also tried the Freight Train IPA which seemed very flat, drinking it seems like drinking odd tasting water. I need carbonation in my beer.

Final Thoughts: Overall I was very impressed, there was good food, and I got another t-shirt. I tried very little of their flagship beers and focused more on the harder to get releases because I found out they are amping up their production. The brewery is building a second brewpub and a larger production facility. This means they will be increasing their distribution as well; I will definitely be on the lookout for Maui beer in a can.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Craft Beer Brewery, Travel

 

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