Every year since 2009, Foothills Brewery in Winston-Salem, N.C. has released a barrel-aged variant of its extremely popular Sexual Chocolate imperial stout at an event taking place at the brewery in September.
Dogfish Head is probably one of the more recognizable names in the craft brew industry, not to mention one that is constantly coming up with innovative and fun new beers regularly. Likewise, Miles Davis is not only one of the most recognizable names in jazz music, but music in general. One of Davis’ most influential and innovative albums was Bitches Brew, not only changing the Jazz scene, but influencing other genres of music outside of Jazz as well. In 2010 when Sony released the 40th Anniversary edition of Bitches Brew, they collaborated with Dogfish Head to brew a special edition beer to coincide with the release of the album.
Since its inaugural bottling run in December 2009, Bourbon Barrel Quad has been one of the more popular releases in the Smokestack Series of beers produced by Boulevard Brewing Company. Intended as an annual release, it has appeared on shelves every year except 2012, when the brewery announced that the beer had not developed fully and therefore would not be out again until the end of 2013.
Snörkel is not a bad beer by any means, it’s extremely refreshing and has some great characteristics of what a gose should be. The addition of the citrus pairs really well with the flavor profile of this beer, which helps it balance a bit. The salt and tartness from the beer are also really great, but the compared to a few top competitors on this style, such as Westbrook’s and Boulevard’s Hibiscus Gose, this beer just doesn’t live up. The body of the beer is too thin to sustain the flavors or keep you interested in it for a prolonged period of time. The price does not help either—$12 can get you a single 750ml of Snörkel or a six-pack of 12-ounce cans of the Westbrook version.
Oskar Blues Brewery has an interesting past with some interesting accomplishments, culminating in our review today of a crowler of Four Roses Barrel-Aged GUBNA, but before we get to that lets rewind the clock just a little bit. Founded in 1997 by Dick Dale Katechis, Oskar Blues Brewery was originally Oskar Blues Grill & Brew Restaurant located in Lyons, Colo. After doing the restaurant thing for a year, they started brewing their own beer in the basement and took home a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their beer The Reverend Sandi’s Sinful Stout.
Beer brewed with wild yeast strains are exploding in popularity with American craft beer lovers with more and more breweries are adventuring into this subset of beers every day.
One of the foremost experts in the field of wild yeast fermentation is Chad Jacobson of Crooked Stave. Jacobson spent his formative years studying wine until he came to the realization that beer is better than wine. Jacobson went on to open a brewery that brews only brettanomyces beers but not before writing his masters dissertation on brettanomyces fermentation. He has spent his entire professional career studying brett and how to unlock the true potential of this once feared yeast.
In August, Prairie Artisan Ales announced a new variant of its extremely popular Bomb! blend, which is an imperial stout blended with espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans and ancho chili peppers. Named Brimstone Bomb!, the new collaboration beer was aged in brimstone whiskey barrels from Balcones Distillery in Waco, Texas, is sold in 12-ounce bottles and comes in at 13 percent ABV.
Produced in a brewery set up on land his family has owned for generations, the Ancestral Series from the Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont is made up of beers named after founder and brewmaster Shaun Hill's forefathers. Nearly 20 different names identify styles ranging anywhere from those not often brewed, like a grisette and a bière de miel, to those more well-known like a pale ale and an imperial IPA.
Founders Brewing Co. is no stranger to making great beers - the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based brewery was founded in 1997 by Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers. They are well-known for Breakfast Stout and Kentucky Breakfast Stout, the latter of which only comes out once a year. Sweet Repute is part of the company's Backstage Series, which is a group of beers that are sporadically brewed throughout the year and generally start out solely as tap room and experimental beers. Sweet Repute’s only release was in December 2013.
In October of 2011, Victory Brewing Co. released Otto, a beer that was conceived after a trip to Bamburg, Germany by the Downingtown, Pa.-based brewery's founders, Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet. They envisioned a beer that combined flavors of smoked malty sweetness with spicy Belgian yeast to form a very different flavor profile than what was on the market at the time.