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Intuition’s Underdark release day coming with two new variants

underdark2017-600x226Each year around this time something dark, thick and delicious appears at Intuition Ale Works. Now in its fifth year, Underdark Saturday will be held February 4 from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the Bay Street brewery. Underdark Imperial Stout is Intuition’s coveted annual release and Underdark Day draws beer lovers from throughout the city, state and even country.

Underdark is an Imperial Stout aged in oak barrels – this year from Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey. In years past, the beer pours inky-black into a brandy snifter with a pleasing light brown head. Previous releases of the heady brew have been described: The aroma is laced with bourbon, coffee, and anise, while the flavor fully develops the bourbon notes and reveals a strong hop kick and lingering toffee and vanilla notes.

This year there are two variants available along with the base brew. In one variant, Bold Bean Coffee beans were added to bring a wallop of big coffee flavor. The other includes additions of cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa nibsunderdark2017-600x226.

Bottles will sell for $20 each and cash is the only form of payment that will be accepted.

In addition to the bottle release, Intuition will feature a number of special beers on tap. If past release days are any indication, you can expect to find vintage releases of Underdark, special one-off Intuition brews and possibly a few notable guest taps.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Cold weather means big beer releases

Coco_Jones_LgDuring this time of year it is not uncommon for breweries to release their heavier beers. For instance, last month Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter was release to great fanfare at the brewer’s South Florida brewery. Closer to home, this weekend Jacksonville brewery Intuition Ale Works is releasing its annual Underdark Imperial Stout and next month Tampa brewery Cigar City will host a beer festival where they will release their Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout.

All three of these release events draw heavy beer fans from all over the state and region. Fans stand in line for hours to get their hands on their allotment of these highly-coveted and extremely-limited bottles. Often, the hearty souls share bottles of other high-end brews among themselves as they wait.

Scoring a bottle of these brews is akin to catching a home run baseball at Camden Yards, it is something beer aficionados treat as a badge of honor. Many collectors have multiple vintages of the beers aging in their beer cellars and bring them out only on special occasions.

But, what happens if you cannot make one of these bottle release extravaganzas? Well, there is always the beer trading circuit. If a collector has a bottle that is desired by another collector a trade may be negotiated. Or, if a taste of the beer is enough to satiate craving, bottle shares are common within the craft beer community.

Another way to score a taste of these rare beers is to watch for tasting events at local bars and bottle shops sponsored by the breweries. For instance, if you were unable to make the pilgrimage to South Florida for the Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter release event last month, your chances of tasting the brew are not lost. In a recent post on its website, the brewery has announced that the beer is going on tour throughout Florida.

Over the next few months you will likely see several tastings of Underdark pop up around Jacksonville and other markets where Intuition beers are sold. Hunahpu’s though is a rare find on tap. It may show up in one or two places after the bottle release, but traditionally it is pretty hard to find.

So, if you are after these big beers, it is best to try to make it to a bottle release. But, if that is not possible, ask around at local beer pubs about bottle shares and watch for special tappings. For lovers of big beers, the brews discussed in this article are more than worth the effort to find them.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Beer, Beer Releases

 

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Recall Notice: Intuition Ale Works recalls entire 2015 Underdark release

UNDERDARK_2_poster-460x710For the past few years, Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville, Fla. has hosted an annual release party for their highly popular Underdark Imperial Stout. But, this year’s release, the third in the series has met with a snag. In a surprising email released Monday, May 18, 2015, Intuition owner Ben Davis has issued a recall for the entire release of 2015 Underdark.

In the email, Davis sites that testing results indicate that the batch is infected with lactobacillus, a harmless but destructive type of bacteria that causes sour flavors to develop and is used in beers that are meant to have sour characteristics. Lacto, as it is known in beer circles, is a highly aggressive yeast that can easily run rampant in a brewing environment. The infection, Davis says, was traced back to one of the older bourbon barrels used to age the 2015 batch of Underdark.

The brewery has expressed a concern that, because of the lacto infection, the beer in bottles may continue to ferment causing significant internal pressure on the glass and increasing the chance of the bottle exploding. Davis, recommends that unopened bottles of the beer should be stored in a cool place to minimize the rate of fermentation and that unopened bottles should be transported in a box for safety. It is also recommended that bottle should not be left in a car if it will be left alone in the heat for any length of time.

Unopened bottles should be returned to the Intuition tap room at 720 King Street during its regular business hours of 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays. A cash refund of $15  or $25 tap room credit will be issued per unopened bottle.

Read the entire email from Intuition owner Ben Davis below.

Intuition Ale Works is announcing a total recall of our 2015 Underdark barrel-aged stout. We have found through testing that the 2015 batch contains lactobacillus that is causing unwanted sour flavors to develop in the beer.

Lactobacillus is commonly used to deliberately sour beers like lambics, Flanders reds and other Belgian styles, and our staff has enjoyed tasting the way this year’s Underdark has developed. We traced it back to one of the older bourbon barrels that we used for the 2015 batch of Underdark.

However, we realize that a sour stout was not the intended style of this year’s Underdark, and it is not what you purchased. We are therefore offering a full refund to anyone who chooses to return their unopened 2015 bottles.

The unopened bottles of 2015 Underdark should be returned to the Intuition Ale Works tap room at 720 King Street. We will issue a $15 cash refund per bottle, or $25 Intuition gift card per bottle that can be used towards purchases in our tap room.

Please bring the Underdark bottles to the tap room in person during opening hours (Tues – Fri 3-11pm; Sat 1-11pm). It is illegal for us to accept shipments of beer and the beer could potentially explode during transit through the postal service. No refunds will be issued for opened bottles of Underdark.

In the meantime, please store bottles of 2015 Underdark in a cool place before returning them. We are concerned that the beer will continue to ferment in the bottle which will cause excessive pressure and the bottles could potentially explode, especially if they are stored in a warm environment. Avoid transporting bottles of 2015 Underdark in your car if it will be left unattended in the heat for an extended period of time. To be extra cautious we recommend storing and transporting bottles in a box.

We have found there to be significant bottle-to-bottle variation in lactobacillus content and your bottle(s) of 2015 Underdark may not have developed sour flavors, especially if they have been stored in a cool environment. Please note, however, that the beer may sour as it ages.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. We have recently hired a Quality Assurance manager to avoid repeat incidents in the future and for us to make the best beer possible going forward.

We understand that many of you traveled to Jacksonville specifically for the release of this year’s Underdark vintage so there is no time limit for returning bottles and receiving a full refund or gift card. We deeply appreciate the trust you put in Intuition Ale Works and we thank you for your support.

Ben Davis
Founder, Intuition Ale Works

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Intuition Ale Works

 

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Underdark release party to include impressive list of guest beers

UNDERDARK-snifter-173x300As if it were not enough to have Underdark Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout available on tap and for sale this Saturday, February 1, Intuition Ale Works has just released a guest beer list that is in and of itself astounding. The list has beers from such luminous breweries as Funky Buddha, Founders, Bell’s and even Rodenbach.

Underdark is Intuition’s annual release beer and, in its short history, it has garnered a rabid following. The beer began as an amped up version of the brewery’s King Street Imperial Stout but, according to brewer Andrew Cattell, has evolved into its own recipe. Once brewed the beer is then aged for a year in a variety of bourbon barrels.

But, the artistry on this beer does not end there. The week before it goes on sale, Cattell and the brewery staff carefully drain each barrel and blends them together creating a single, phenomenal flavor profile. The beer is then bottled for the big release party.

Like the brewery did for its anniversary party in November, they will close King Street for the party that runs from 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m. Bottles of Underdark will be available on a first come, first served basis for $15 each. The brewery is also selling vertical two-packs of the brew containing one 2013 and one 2014 bottle.

The guest beers announced for the party include:

Cigar City Brewing Don Gavino’s Big Guava (guava ale aged in Chardonnay barrels)

Funky Buddha Brewery French Oak Hop Gun (American IPA)

7venth Sun Brewing Highly Suspicious (Belgian strong dark ale)

Founders Brewing Company Backwoods Bastard (Scotch ale aged in bourbon barrels)

Rodenbach Grand Cru (Flemish sour ale)

Stone Brewing Co. Imperial Russian Stout

Dogfish Head Beer Palo Santo Marron (American brown ale)

Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Third Coast Old Ale (American barleywine)

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Local Brewery

 

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Intuition Ale Works’ Underdark is coming, prepare yourself

UNDERDARK-poster-460x710Once per year Intuition Ale Works releases a beer that has become a legend in the craft beer community. This year, on Saturday February 1st, the brewery will release their coveted Underdark Imperials Stout. Last year’s release of the inky black brew garnered rave reviews at RateBeer.com earning 98 out of 100 points. On Beeradvocate.com the brew attained 94 out of 100 and an Outstanding rating.

Underdark is a mixture of several of Inuition’s other, popular beers King Street and Truck Stop Stouts that has been aged in bourbon barrels.

Last year’s release was described by Steve Flores owner of Kickbacks Gastropub on Beer Advocate: “Aroma dominated by coffee, slight vanilla and molasses and just a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous. Very thick. Taste has nice coffee, touch of chocolate and vanilla, lots of roasted malts. Plenty of complexity but I think more layers will be added to the mix with additional aging in the bottle. Alcohol is well hidden. Deep. Dark. Mysterious. Perfect name, spectacular beer.”

The brewery has stated in an email newsletter that they set aside a limited quantity of last year’s release so that beer lovers could compare the beer with some age on it side-by-side with the new release.

As is fitting of such a huge release, the brewery is throwing a party and will shut down King Street like they did for their anniversary in November. In addition to Underdark, there will be a number of guest beers on tap. Hungry party-goers can chow down from two food trucks: Funkadelic and Chew Chew.

The 2014 release of Underdark bomber bottles will go on sale at 12:00 noon for $15 each. Purchasers must show a valid government-issued ID to purchase. A strict limit of two bottles per person will be adhered to. In addition to the beer, Underdark t-shirts ($20) and snifters ($6) will be available.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Beer Festival, Intuition Ale Works

 

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