News and Brews

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Meet Brewery Ommegang’s “Fruition”


Have you seen an Ommegang beer with a tropically pink label on the shelves lately? That’s Fruition, a brand new, year-round offering that’s been moving out from the brewery as the warm weather has been moving in. And on this very first day of summer, we’re excited to share all the details with you and tell you where to find it.

Fruition is a refreshing 5.3% ABV dry-hopped wheat ale that begins with our award-winning Witte as the base beer and is then given a tropical twist with the addition of mango, kiwi, and passion fruit juices. The result is a slightly tart and fruity, hop-forward beer that’s exceptionally drinkable. It’s the perfect beer to pair with summer.

Brewmaster Phil Leinhart says: “As with every beer we brew, we strive to make all the elements blend together, and we think we’re succeeded in that quest with Fruition. This beer is our first foray into the tropical fruit flavors that consumers find so appealing with New World hop varieties, and we look forward to feedback from fans.”

Brewed with malted and unmalted wheat and oat flakes, and spiced with sweet orange peel and coriander, Fruition is fermented with mango, kiwi, and passion fruit juices then dry-hopped with Citra and Cascade hops.

Fruition pours a pale straw color with moderate haziness and a fluffy white head. Tropical fruit and citrus aromas dominate the nose and the flavor follows suit with tart tropical fruit and citrus up front, followed by a smooth mouthfeel with a medium body. The finish is resoundingly dry with nice effervescence. The dryness and acidity of Fruition make it a perfect beer to pair with all manner of cheeses, particularly cheeses with some funk. The effervescence also makes this beer a great pairing with saltier foods – try Fruition with Belgian frites or chicken & waffles.

Fruition is available now in 12 oz. six-packs and on draft in the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, CO, DE, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, and Washington D.C. You can use our beer finder to search for retailers near your zip code.

Great Lakes Brewing Cans Are Now Available!


The wait is overGreat Lakes Brewing Company cans are now available for purchase. The brewery made an announcement in March that it would begin packaging some of its products differently. GLBC has been creating a solid product for 29 years, and what better way to continue this legacy than by promoting some of their newer offerings just in time for the summer season?

In the craft brewing industry, cans have now become a more frequent method to store and ship the hallowed beverage we know and love. Therefore, some of the brewery’s more recently popular brews have arrived for the canning party. With the help of Boston’s Harpoon Brewery to begin producing and canning,

GLBC will offer three phenomenal beers, in cans, starting May 19 in the gift shop, followed by a full release on May 22.

All three beers—Rally Drum Red Ale, Turntable Pils, and Lightkeeper Blonde Ale—are available for purchase in 12-packs. Rally Drum Red Ale comes in 16 oz. cans, whereas the other two are currently available in 12 oz. cans. Rally Drum will lead off during the heart of the regular season and into the postseason: May 2017 to November 2017. Turntable Pils will be around all year, with 16 oz. cans coming in August. Lightkeeper Blonde Ale will be clearly visible up until year’s end.

Without further ado, let’s have a closer look at each of these freshly canned beers.

Rally Drum Red Ale (ABV: 5.8%, IBU: 45)

Great Lakes Brewing Rally Drum Red Cans

I chose this spectacular ale last fall as one of the six Cleveland Indians beers during the team’s unfortunate World Series fall to the Chicago Cubs. Thankfully, the beer has made a major comeback. I’m still waiting for my baseball team to kick it back into high gear, but it’s still early. What better way to watch a baseball game than holding a 16 oz. can in one hand and a hot dog in the other?

This pungently piney, hoppy ale is named after long-standing Indians fan and drummer, John J. Adams. There is no better sound at Progressive Field than Adams’ drum as the home team gets something brewing on the field, and there is no better brew to brandish at the ballpark this summer—at least in Cleveland. Go Tribe!


Turntable Pils (ABV: 5.4%, IBU: 35)

I showcased this year-round offering last February. When I found out that Turntable was to be canned along with the other two beers in this lineup, I cried tears of joy. Even better, come August, GLBC will release this classic pilsner in 16 oz. cans. The toasty, muggy summer evenings will be much more bearable with this sudsy staple spinning in the cooler.

Lastly, we have a beer I hadn’t yet tried until this canning expedition took place.

Lightkeeper Blonde Ale (ABV: 6.6%, IBU: 30)

Great Lakes Brewing Lightkeeper Blonde Cans

With Marblehead Lighthouse along the shores of Lake Erie in mind, GLBC has crafted a delightful alternative to the basic mainstays in the brewery’s collection of bottles. Crack open a can, and you’ll catch strong hoppy aromas right away. This blonde ale is just as refreshing as the other two in this triad of beers. I was a lost soul until I took a took a sip of this golden-hued beverage. Two or three of these cans will ward off the mosquitoes nicely as the late summer nights start getting a little bit shorter, but that may be the tiki torches and the citronella candles talking.

No matter which beer you choose this summer and wherever you decide to relax, drink responsibly and enjoy those backyard barbecues, those trips to the ballpark, and those forays to the beach. Here’s to summer! Cheers!

All images courtesy of Great Lakes Brewing Company.



Bud Light & Drusky Entertainment Present SOJA & Dirty Heads at Highmark Stadium June 28

Grab your buds and a Bud and get down to Highmark Stadium for a night of music with Dirty Heads & SOJA with The Green & RDGLDGRN on June 28th! 

About Dirty Heads:

“After two decades spent chiseling their unique, multi-genre infused sound, Dirty Heads have finally come into their own. Since the release of their 2008 debut Any Port in a Storm, the five-piece band—Jared Watson (vocals), Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell (vocals/guitar), Jon Olazabal (percussion), Matt Ochoa (drums) and David Foral (bass)—has consistently experimented with their sunny style, leaning heavily on reggae fused with hip-hop cornerstones and scaling back for more acoustic fare, darting between extremes. But it’s with their fifth and self-titled album that the group has felt fully confident in a body of work, ready to bring their unique style to the masses.”


Wed, June 28, 2017

Doors: 5:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Highmark Stadium

Grab your tickets here

Puma Pilsner Pops Up In Pittsburgh

Fear not Rhinegeist fans, you can add a new brew to your cooler. Puma Pilsner, a hoppy pilsner with a balance of bready malts and striking noble hops work in tandem to provide elegant and subtle sip after sip. Perfect for a sunny summery day relaxing in the sun. A strong name like Puma is aptly named as this brew shines with a golden brilliance as you enjoy the floral aromatic punctuating through.

ABV: 5.02% | IBU: 40

Don’t forget to crack open an ice cold Streaker as you await the next round of releases from Rhinegeist: 

  • Spike Belgian Wit (ABV: 4.5% | IBU: 15) 
  • Press Tart (ABV: 4.4% | IBU: 8) 



Magic Hat Brewing Company’s Award-Winning “Belgo Sutra” To Return In September!

Magic Hat is at it again! The brewery has a lot of boast about as their brew Belgo Sutra earned a silver medal at the Beer Fest America as well as a bronze medal at the San Diego International Fest. Can we get three cheers for Belgo?! Despite the exciting win, beer fans will have to sit tight over the summer, as Belgo Sutra will be making it’s long awaited return in September. 

For those of you who are new to Belgo Sutra, it is a strong, dark ale specially brewed with figs, dates and dark candi syrup to give it a little something extra. This brew was inspired the Trappist brewers of Belgium and is intended to warm the soul to let loose and throw away your inhibitions. 

ABV: 8.2% | IBU: 20 | SRM: 38

Four Cans, Four Lands


In a three-way collision between Rogue Ales, Pendleton Woolen Mills and America’s treasures, Rogue announces the release of four Pendleton Pale Ale cans, each dedicated to a National Park. Brewed with hops and malts grown on Rogue Farms in Oregon, Pendleton Pale Ale is a refreshing ode to Crater Lake, Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Mt. Rainier. Each park is honored with limited-edition cans inspired by Pendleton Woolen Mills’ National Parks Collection.

“The National Parks revolutionized the outdoors,” said Rogue President, Brett Joyce. “Rogue and our friends at Pendleton Woolen Mills collided to create Pendleton Pale Ale in a package that begs to be taken into the wild and shared with friends.”

“Pendleton joins Rogue Ales in a celebration of our National Parks. Pendleton Pale Ale in four stunning stripe graphics take their cue from Pendleton’s National Park Stripe blankets. Rogue’s tribute to the national parks adds a special splash to sharing good times while remembering our American treasures,” commented Mort Bishop, Pendleton President.

Six packs of Pendleton Pale Ale National Parks 12oz. cans are available now at select retail locations in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, and Arizona. They can also be found at select Pendleton stores and Rogue pubs. Find cans near you using Rogue’s Beer Finder. For more information visit and

#BeerOfTheWeek | Atwater Brewery’s “Life’s Better Choices IPA”

Ah, the change of seasons. A time of transition where decisions are made, plans are executed and the air of full of endless possibilities. After coming out of a season of hibernation, the best days are spent relaxing next to a body of water or spending time outside with friends. That is what this beer of the week embodies. Atwater Brewery’s year-round “Life’s Better Choices IPA” offers a beautifully burnt orange colored American IPA which tastes like a job well-done or a decision well-made. There is absolutely no guilt in enjoying this combination of well-balanced malts and resin radiating hop characteristics. 

Need help making a big decision? Sit back with this delightful brew and let the wind tell you the way.

ABV: 6.5% | IBU: 85

New Rhinegeist Beers Heading to the Burgh!

It is no surprise that many Pittsburghers have fallen head over heels for Rhinegeist, since making it’s way to the ‘Burgh only a few months ago. As Rhinegeist has made its way to draft houses, bars, taprooms and shelves alike, beer drinkers have been able to enjoy the year-round classics that Rhinegeist holds as their staple beers. Fortunately for us, there are a few more brews to be had. Streaker and Puma are Rhinehgeist’s latests offerings, gives craft beer lovers a taste of summer with this IPA and pilsner. 

Streaker, an IPA is the newest offering in Rhinegeist’s Power Pale series which is available starting June 1 in cans. This crowd soured IPA is dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic hops that wake up the pallette with a lively, yet intimate and wildly exposed jaunt – flaunting tropical fruit, dank, pineapple and mango acrobatics. 

Puma, an elegant and subtle pilsner has a hoppy feel that helps to balance the bready malts. Like any true pilsner, the golden brilliance has floral aromatics that punctuate every last sip.

Be on the look out for “Druncle,” an imperial mild and “Peach Dodo” in the coming months! 

Learn to string and train hops with Rogue beer farmer Cher Gillson


Rogue Farms holds a special place in our collective beer-filled hearts. We’ve made multiple tripsout to the Independence, Oregon, farmstead to learn about the science and culture of growing hops at Rogue’s 52-acre yard; the farm also cultivates everything from marionberries and pumpkins to hazelnuts and honey, all of which is used in the craft brewing and distilling of Rogue Ales and Spirits. Rogue Beer Farmer Cher Gillson has become a special envoy for the CBB Nation (which is not unlike the Rogue Nation), providing this trade website with not only vast amounts of beer farming knowledge every time we see her (or e-mail her), but also food, shelter and copious amounts of craft delicacies every time we visit. Watch Gillson both above and below teach us about the hop farming process.

#BeerOfTheWeek: Anchor Brewing’s Blood Orange Blonde™

Summer is right around the corner and seasonal summer beers are beginning to pop up all over the place. But, why get attached to a seasonal ale when you can enjoy the taste of summer with a year-round rarity? Introducing Anchor Brewery’s “Blood Orange Blonde,” a distinctively refreshing craft-brew inspired by the blood orange. Like the fruit, the ale is rich in aroma and deep crimson in color–all the while, enjoy the tangy-sweet juiciness that one expect when biting into a blood orange. 

The citrus aroma comes courtesy of the brewing process which includes California orange peels added to the brewkettle. Don’t worry, it doesn’t stop there! During secondary fermentation, blood oranges are added to give a succulent complexity to the mild hop bitterness. In the end, you can enjoy a long, dry finish.

ABV: 4.5%



Brewery Ommegang’s Latest Game Of Thrones Inspired Beer, “Bend The Knee Golden Ale”


“Hi, friends!

We’ve finished brewing and packaging our latest Game of Thrones-inspired beer, Bend the Knee Golden Ale, and the beer is now working its way from distributors to your favorite stores and bars. The official release date for Bend the Knee is today, May 22. The beer is now available in many locations across the country and it will be available in many more locations by Memorial Day Weekend. If you are in the Cooperstown area, Bend the Knee will be available at the brewery this Saturday, May 27, from 11 am to 9 pm. We’ll also have a replica Iron Throne from the show on site at the brewery that day. All guests are welcome to take a seat (and a photo) on the most powerful seat in Westeros. Photos on the Iron Thrones are available from 12-8 pm on Saturday. 

Game of Thrones Life Size Iron Throne Replica

Ommegang is currently not distributed in Mississippi, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming so unfortunately Seven Kingdoms will not be for sale in these states. Outside of the United States, Seven Kingdoms may only be available in Ontario, Canada. There is not currently a release date set for Canada. We’re working with our distributor there and we’ll update this post when/if we have one.

We have a beer finder that will show the locations that the beer has been sold to. The beer finder works by aggregating sales data from the distributor and it is uploaded often a few days after the sale into the account. With the great demand it might even be sold out by the time it is listed on our beer finder, so we strongly encourage you to call your local retailers in advance to ask about availability. When you find Bend the Knee, you can tag a photo of the beer with #GoTxOmmegang on social media to let friends know where you found it.

It is illegal for us to sell online or directly to customers who are not at the brewery, so we cannot do any online orders. There are a few websites that are allowed to sell beer directly to fans and we will post those here as they come in. For starters, keep an eye out on which typically carries our limited release beers.

Happy hunting.


Have a Beer; Help a College Student


When Daniel Sharp earned one of three inaugural $10,000 Jack Joyce Scholarships in 2014 for his Fermentation Science studies at Oregon State University, he paid all of his school expenses and had a little left over.

So he did the most Rogue thing he could think of and bought a hot tub.

In the spirit of Daniel’s purchase — and the scholarship’s namesake, a hot tub fan himself, Rogue crafted Hot Tub Scholarship Lager, a refreshing German-style helles lager, perfect for pairing with hot tub soaks. And 10% of the lager’s sales go to funding that same Jack Joyce Scholarship, now awarded annually.


The artwork on the can remembers Jack Joyce himself having a beer in a hot tub. Available May through August the lager comes in 12oz. cans which will work out well when you’re relaxing in the hot tub.

Since Rogue created the Jack Joyce Scholarship in 2014, more than $185,000 has been awarded to 15 recipients, each one a student at Oregon State University’s Fermentation Sciences program pay for tuition, books, loans, and even a hot tub.

Six packs of Hot Tub Scholarship Lager will be available at Rogue Ales locations. Find cans by using Rogue’s Beer Finder. For more information visit


Hop Dreams: Lagunitas Looks to Global Future for Craft Beer



Lagunitas Brewing Company became a major presence in the Chicago craft beer scene when it opened its second brewery on the city’s West Side in 2014.

The company grabbed headlines again the following year when it sold a 50-percent stake in its business to the massive Dutch brewer Heineken. And last week, Lagunitas made another splash when founder Tony Magee announced in a blog post the brewer had sold the remaining 50-percent stake to Heineken in order to help the company “go farther more quickly than we could have on our own,” Magee wrote.

Magee joins host Phil Ponce to talk about the future of Lagunitas as a global craft beer presence.

Below, a Q&A with Magee.

Why sell the rest of the company to Heineken now?

Well, in the first place, we called Heineken. Heineken wasn’t shopping. And Heineken was not planning to invest in any craft breweries. They knew that they wouldn’t know what to do with it – it’s not what they do for a living, it’s not how their internal incentives are built, around the values that make craft brands successful until, quite frankly, we called and they saw us as a unicorn.

I knew that they didn’t want to take over Lagunitas because they didn’t want us to leave, they wanted us to enjoy the company and go on doing the thing we do they knew they didn’t know how to do. Internally, we have an awful lot to offer Heineken. I have joked with them that my job is to take over Heineken, but I mean that in an apocryphal sense. We could infect them and have a big influence on how they approach this new world of beer that is as undeniable as a tsunami. Most people don’t know this but in San Francisco, craft is 70 percent of the dollars in high-end beer. So that means Budweiser, Miller, they fish through this banquet of crumbs for the last 30 percent.

In the U.S. we don’t work with their Heineken operating company at all, we operate shoulder to shoulder with them and that’s where we are within their corporate structure. But abroad, we work directly with their operating companies as a brand. And abroad, in the larger world, this is the moment to move, to become involved in craft in places like the U.K., Brazil, Vietnam, France, Spain, Portugal, and the rest of the developed world, this is the moment to get going. Because when you set up a 50-50 relationship you effectively build a wall between the two of you, and you build that wall for good reasons, to prevent the big company from interfering with the little one, and ensuring that the little one can operate autonomously.

But that wall started to become an obstacle and stopped us from doing things together that we wanted to because we had developed a lot of faith and trust in each other. It was just time to take that wall down so that we could really operate hand in glove.

There’s a woman named Charlene Heineken, their oldest son is on the Lagunitas Board of Directors because they wanted him close to us to come to learn about how this new world of beer worked. In many more ways than that, we’re marrying into the family more than it is an acquisition.

The world of business has shorthand terms like “acquisition,” “sold-out,” “remaining stock,” that don’t apply in our case because what we’re doing is far more organic than Machiavellian in nature. That’s because we’re dealing with a family, not a bunch of steward-managers appointed by the board of directors and the founders are long gone, where it is just blood and guts. When you say something like that, people are like, “nice spin,” so it’s hard to get past the prejudice and politics. We have to do that over time.

Stephen Colbert did a commencement address at some small private college, and in the course of this talk he gets to the “yes, and” which is the heart of improv. That’s something you have to hold in your mind all through your life. If I can keep people’s minds open to Lagunitas, they’re going to find over time that the things that I’ve said, that we’re going to live these principles, and it’s going to be exciting. The truth is, Heineken does hold the paper, so they could shut me down, but I’ve made my bet with humans.

One of the things about being an entrepreneur is making bets – when you don’t have enough information to know for certain the outcome, so you’re betting on your own ability to deliver the goods. This is not the first time for me and it won’t be the last.

What has the reception been like thus far?

I found some incredibly thoughtful optimism, and some bitter vitriol, and some people who said I’ll wait and see, if the beer continues to taste good I’ll continue to support them.

How about within the company?

I have a good track record of making bets and delivering on my promises. I’ve asked the people in the company to trust me and I believe they trust me. I can’t say that everyone’s totally as certain of the outcome as I am, but that is what time is for. Everyone’s like, ok, we’ll see what happens. Game on. “Yes, and.”

I think in the world that we’re in, it’s no longer an either-or world, like “I’m a Bud man, I’m a Miller man.” It’s a “both-and” generation. The cynicism is mixed in there deeply, but they want everything, they want every opportunity.

Craft brewing is as fundamentally human a thing as you could ever imagine. Beer goes back 25,000 years, they called ‘em public houses, and it just became pubs, it’s where people went to share news, births, deaths, take on debts and settle debts, start and finish arguments. It sounds like social media, doesn’t it? And beer was the medium. So the public house became the first social media and certainly around Chicago, there were pubs on every second or third corner in the city and they were gathering places for sharing news for a community of densely packed housing.

I think social media is an electronic form of the public house, so beer and social media in my mind are intimately wedded. It’s interesting that craft brewing really exploded in the early 2000s just as social media became completely ubiquitous. Insomuch as that’s true, people have friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and this is tribe formation. People live and act within tribes. It’s as if we’re the new primitives now. Everything from facial hair, and tattoos, and body piercing, they’re all ways to self-identify as parts of this or that tribe. These are sort of primitive ways of communicating self. Deer would grow into the brush and drag up a bunch of weeds in their antlers as a way to decorate themselves and become that, it’s primal.

In this time of social media and the world’s shrinking down to the head of a pin on your screen, I think the business that we as brewers are in, and maybe all consumer product companies for that matter, is the business of tribe formation. Shared stories, shared values, people can be driven out or invited, recruited into a tribe, members of a lot of different tribes. Some people might be members of the Lagunitas tribe, dig our beer and find a lot of personal identification in it, and also be members of the Off Color tribe.

You can be a member of all sorts of tribes within the world of beer, or for that matter, Nike or Converse. These things all mean something to people. So the business we’re in is tribe building, we do that through events at the brewery, reaching out in the community and doing the nonprofit donations we do because that’s people at their most primal, when they’re loving something with their time. If we do that alongside them, they’ll show their appreciation by loving us back, and we can recruit them into our tribe.

The rest of it, where the money comes from in a business, is noise. Money is a commodity, like water in the beer. People don’t judge the water in the beer, they judge the beer. To me, that’s a richer conversation.

Magic Hat Receives National Arts Award



For the second year in a row, Americans for the Arts has recognized a Burlington-area business as one of its “BCA 10.”  Each year, the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit’s  Business Committee for the Arts highlights 10 businesses across the country for “exceptional involvement in the arts,” according to its website. received the honor last year. This year it’s Magic Hat Brewing Company. Burlington’s South End Arts and Business Association nominated both businesses for the award.

Founded by entrepreneur Alan Newman and brewer Bob Johnson, Magic Hat began concocting its suds on Flynn Ave. in Burlington’s South End in 1994. The company has since moved its production to Bartlett Bay Road in South Burlington, though its offices are presently located on Pine Street in Burlington. North American Breweries bought the company in 2010. In 2012, NAB sold to Cerveceria Costa Rica, a division of Costa Rica’s Florida Ice & Farm Co.

Throughout its history, Magic Hat has made the arts part of its identity and mission. (Fun fact: The brewery’s original name was the Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center.) Recent artistic endeavors have run the gamut from soliciting original artwork for the Labels for Libations project to hosting the annual Wall to Canvas event, a live art competition at the brewery that benefits the Shelburne Craft School.

This is only the second year SEABA has nominated a business for the award. According to SEABA director Adam Brooks, that’s because he hadn’t even heard about the BCA 10 until Americans for the Arts approached him two years ago.

“They came to me after hearing about our little South End Arts District and the South End Art Hop, and thought maybe we should nominate a business,” Brooks writes in an email. “ has been outstanding in supporting the arts community, so they were a logical choice.”

Deciding who to pick this year wasn’t easy, Brooks says. “There are many south end businesses who make it part of their mission to support the arts.  That’s what makes this district tick.”

But Brooks notes a few projects that put Magic Hat on the organization’s radar. He cites Labels for Libations, which began in 2012 during Brooks’ first year as director. The competition solicits artwork from local creators to adorn a limited edition 22-ounce “Art Hop Ale.” Recent winners have included Zelde Grimm and Hillary Glass.

Brooks also mentions the company’s support of nonprofits such as the Shelburne Craft School and Big Heavy World. Magic Hat hosts the HeavyFest music festival, a BHW benefit, next Saturday, May 20, at the brewery.

“They are an extremely creative and artistic-minded business,” Brooks says.

In an email statement to Seven Days, Magic Hat brand manager Lisa Kelly writes, “Since we opened our brewery doors in 1994, [Magic Hat has] embraced our incredible and vibrant arts community and wished to play a big part in that and help nurture and grow it.” Kelly notes that the brewery also hosts art exhibitions in its retail store and tasting room, the Artifactory.

“We are proud to work with and support SEABA and participate in the South End Art Hop year after year,” Kelly continues. “We invite the local Burlington arts community to share this award with us. Because without their inspiration and welcome, we would not have found ourselves in this amazing position.”

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