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Smithwick’s to introduce limited release blonde ale to NYC beer lovers

six-pack-angleTwo of the sporting world’s most iconic figures, Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, hosts of the Boomer & Carton show on WFAN-NY sports radio and CBS Sports [TV] Network, are teaming up with Ireland’s Smithwick’s brewery to release Smithwick’s Blonde Ale and make a contribution in support of the Veteran’s Education Challenge, a charitable organization that helps veterans attend college by providing scholarships not covered by the GI Bill.

“Last year, I had the chance to travel to Ireland to meet with the Smithwick’s team at the brewing site and help the brewers create a batch of Smithwick’s Blonde Ale,” said Esiason. “From the first time I sampled Smithwick’s Blonde Ale, I knew Craig and I had to be a part of it. Smithwick’s has an amazing track record with creating quality beers, and we couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with such a longstanding brewer and a great foundation. It’s a win-win.”

“Smithwick’s Blonde Ale lets people have the chance to enjoy a quality beer, responsibly of course, while also giving back to a great cause like the Veterans Education Challenge,” said Dan Buttling, SVP, Marketing, Diageo Beer Company. “We wanted to collaborate with our longtime friends Boomer and Craig on a project benefitting this charity – anyone who knows them can see that giving back is at the core of who they are.”

As longstanding supporters of the military and first responders, Boomer and Carton chose the Veterans Education Challenge as the beneficiary of their partnership with Smithwick’s. Supporting veterans’ rights to earn an opportunity for higher education has always been at the heart of the organization, and the contribution from Smithwick’s, as well as the awareness generated by the new beer’s limited time release, will go toward making this a reality.

“These service men and women loyally defend our country and often go on to serve in both the public and private sectors,” said Avis Richards, Founder of the Veterans Education Challenge. “It is our duty to help them achieve their educational goals. We are very excited to pair with such a supportive partner, Diageo, and to receive support from the likes of Boomer and Carton to help spread the word about the Veterans Education Challenge.”

In addition to charitable work, Boomer and Carton have teamed up with multiple Diageo brands in the past for responsible drinking initiatives, hosted various events and even visited St. James’s Gate, where Smithwick’s Blonde Ale is brewed alongside the iconic Guinness Draught.

With more than 300 years of brewing experience and a focus on delivering premium beer to be enjoyed responsibly, Smithwick’s created Blonde Ale with Polaris hops for a delicate, refreshing-tasting ale with a smooth finish. The golden, crisp session ale gives off a citrus and floral aroma with hints of grapefruit and provides subtle malty biscuit flavors, with an ABV of 4.1% and 18 IBUs.

“Over the years, Boomer and I have worked with different charities to help give back to causes important in their lives as well as our own,” said Carton “We’ve always enjoyed working with Diageo in the past, and we thought this Smithwick’s collaboration was the perfect fit for us.”

Smithwick’s brewery was founded in 1710 in Kilkenny, Ireland, and Smithwick’s remains the country’s oldest and best-selling ale. Almost 300 years into its history, Smithwick’s first came to the U.S. in 2004 and has become an iconic Irish brand in America.

Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, Smithwick’s Blonde Ale is being released to provide consumers in the New York City metro area only another Irish brew to enjoy. Smithwick’s Blonde Ale has a manufacturer’s suggested six-pack retail price of $9.99 only while supplies last. Whether it’s Smithwick’s Blonde Ale with Boomer and Carton this winter, or Smithwick’s Red Ale come March 17, remember to enjoy your beer responsibly.

 

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

 

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Irish Brew 101

Without a doubt the most famous brew to come out of Ireland is Guinness Draught. In fact, the brew is almost synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day in the United States and at some watering holes it is responsible for 50% of the beer sales on the St. Paddy’s Day. Guinness is also one of the most misunderstood beers on the market with many misconceptions surrounding it. Today I am going to try to dispel some of those myths and present you with a bit of history about this favored brew and a few other Irish delights.

Guinness began life as a porter beer that originated in London in the early 18th century not as a stout. Porters were a precursor beer to stouts and were brewed to try and replicate a blended beer drink known as “Entire.” Porters were relatively low in alcohol and mild in flavor. The designation stout generally meant that the beer was stronger than a regular porter therefore it was a “stout porter.” Eventually, as the beer grew in popularity, stout came to describe brew’s color and body, the word porter was dropped from the name and stouts became a recognized style of their own.

Arthur Guinness began brewing beers in 1759 when he signed a 9,000 year lease at the St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. But, it took Guinness nearly 20 years before it started selling porters in 1778 and another 60 before the brewery produced the first Single and Double Stouts in the 1840s. The Guinness beer that we enjoy today came into being in the 1970s after a decision was made by the company to make the Guinness Extra Stout recipe “more drinkable” by reducing the gravity of the brew. It is estimated that this brew, also known as “the black stuff”, is poured into 1.8 billion pint glasses a year.

Another of Ireland’s famed stouts is Murphy’s. Brewing began on this light, sweet stout in 1856 in County Cork, Ireland. Brewery construction began in 1854 with the building situated next to a famous “Holy Well.” Eventually, the brewery became known as the Lady’s Well Brewery. Murphy’s Irish Stout’s flavor can be described as chocolate milk-like with a double shot of espresso and a thick caramel scented head.

No discussion of Irish beers would be complete without taking a look at Irish red Ales. These brews are generally amber to a deep reddish copper color in appearance with a malty aroma that carries hints of caramel or toffee. The flavors of reds carry the aroma through with sweet caramel malt and, in some, buttery notes. There should be little or no hops flavor present although, more American reds will have pronounced hop character.

A prime example of the Irish red style of beer is Smithwick’s (pronounced smit-iks). Originally brewed in a part of the medieval St. Francis Abbey Brewery in Kilkenny, the brewery is still situated on the site of a Franciscan abbey where monks had brewed ale since the 14th century, and has ruins of the original abbey on its grounds. The Smithwick’s Brewery is Ireland’s oldest operating brewery, founded by John Smithwick and Richard Cole in 1710 on land owned by the Duke of Ormonde. Selling ales, porters and stouts, Smithwick’s was the third largest Irish brewery Smithwick’s is the major ale producer in Ireland. It was purchased from Walter Smithwick in 1965 by Guinness and is now, along with Guinness, part of Diageo. Smithwick’s, as most people know it today, was originally created as a special brew for the first Kilkenny Beer Festival. It was later renamed Smithwicks No. 1 and today is known as Smithwick’s.

Whether you quaff a pint of the hearty, black Irish stouts with their thick creamy heads and rich coffee and chocolate flavors or a sweet, flavorful Irish red that is full of caramel and fruity flavors, be sure to hoist a pint in remembrance of our Irish friends across the pond. The hard-working Irish helped build our great nation. Without them the westward expansion would have been much more difficult than it already was.

I close with a traditional Irish toast, “May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.”

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Beer, Beer Education, Beer Styles, Holidays

 

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