News and Brews

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Red, White & Beer: the ultimate beer-filled 4th of July spread

Whether you’re planning an Independence Day bash or hosting a laid-back rooftop gathering with friends, we know the main ingredient to make your 4th of July menu shine is beer, of course!

We’ve gathered some of our favorite recipes to help you plan the ultimate beer-filled spread in celebration of stars and stripes.

Beer Can Chicken

Yeah, you read that right. In this classic recipe, you get to shove a can of your favorite brew up the wrong side of a well-seasoned chicken. The steam from the brew flavors the meat and keeps it moist. The can props the chicken up, so it roasts evenly—no scorching, no flipping, no stressing. And you get to drink some beer. We’re believers.

Beer: Bud Light

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite dry spice rub
  • 1 can beer

Directions:

Remove neck and giblets from chicken and discard. Rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Rub chicken lightly with oil then rub inside and out with salt, pepper and dry rub. Set aside.

Open beer can and take several gulps (make them big gulps so that the can is half full). Place beer can on a solid surface. Grabbing a chicken leg in each hand, plunk the bird cavity over the beer can. Transfer the bird-on-a-can to your grill and place in the center of the grate, balancing the bird on its 2 legs and the can like a tripod.

Cook the chicken over medium-high, indirect heat (i.e. no coals or burners on directly under the bird), with the grill cover on, for approximately 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F in the breast area and 180 degrees F in the thigh, or until the thigh juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife. Remove from grill and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Recipe courtesy of Bob Blumer; read more at Food Network.

 

Sriracha Beer Butter Grilled Corn

Keep your sides simple this summer, some grilled produce, seasonal ingredients, real butter and great beer.

Beer: Gaffel Kölsch

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
  • 3 tbs IPA beer
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 6 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter until light and fluffy.

Add the beer, sriracha, garlic and salt. Beat until well combined.

Add the butter to a piece of plastic wrap, roll tightly into a log. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Preheat the grill.

Brush the corn with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill on all sides until lightly charred and tender, 8-10 minutes.

Add the corn to pieces of aluminum foil, top with several slices of butter, sprinkle with cilantro.

Recipe courtesy of Jackie Dodd; read more at The Beeroness.

 

Ranch Beer Cheese Dip

No party is complete without this famous Beer Dip.

Beer: Any bottle of your favorite beer

Ingredients:

  • ½ to ¾ cup beer
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese softened

Directions:

Combine Cheddar cheese, cream cheese and Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Dips Mix in a medium bowl. Gradually stir in beer until mixture reaches desired consistency. Garnish with green onion and additional Cheddar cheese. Serve with pretzels or vegetable pieces.

Recipe courtesy of Hidden Valley; read more at Hidden Valley.

 

Orange-and-Ale Vinaigrette

orange-ale-vinaigrette

The beer takes a standard vinaigrette and adds a certain indefinable complexity. Food & Wine suggests serving this dressing with a salad of chicory, radicchio, arugula, pecans and orange segments.

Beer: Point Whole Hog Six Hop IPA

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces Indian Pale Ale
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk the beer with the shallot, orange zest, honey and mustard. Gradually add the oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper and serve.

Contributed by Sean Paxton; read more at Food & Wine.

 

Hard Cider Sangria

Crisp, tart hard cider is delicious on its own—but it’s also fantastic in cocktails. Instead of wine, this juicy sangria is made with hard cider spiked with lemon juice and apple brandy.

Beer: Michelob Ultra Light Cider

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quartered and thinly sliced unpeeled green, yellow and red apples
  • 1 navel orange—quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup apple juice, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup apple brandy
  • One 22-ounce bottle hard apple cider, chilled
  • Ice

Directions:

In a pitcher, combine the apples with the orange, apple juice, lemon juice and brandy. Just before serving, add the hard cider. Serve in tall glasses over ice.

Contributed By Grace Parisi; read more at Food & Wine.

Beer of The Week – Abita Seersucker Summer Pils

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Looking for a summer beer to carry you through September? Try Abita Brewery Company’s traditional pilsner, Seersucker Summer Pils. It has a full-bodied malt flavor, hop bitterness and a light golden color. Best of all, this Pils pairs well with many of your summer favorites including grilled chicken, salmon or garden salads. Even pair it with cheeses like mild white Vermont cheddar, Havarti or Monterey Jack. Fire up your grills and pick up a few six packs and you’ve got yourself a cook out! 

Available in 6-pack bottle or 6-pack cans and enjoy the taste of summer.

ABV: 4.8% | IBU: 35

All the Ways Beer Is Actually Good for You

This piece originally appeared on Thrillist.

Drinking beer because it might be healthy is like taking a flight because you might see some killer clouds. Suffice it to say, both the health benefits and the clouds are not why you do either of those things. You probably drink beer because it’s delicious and makes you feel like an honest-to-goodness champion, but there are some potential positive health effects you might want to be aware of. Here’s a bunch of benefits to drinking your favorite alcoholic beverage, according to science.

It fights weight gain and high cholesterol

Good news: OregonLive reports that a study conducted at Oregon State showed that mice given a high-fat diet and xanthohumol (“a natural flavor found in hops and beer”) had their insulin and cholesterol levels cut significantly. Bad news: you’d have to drink 3,500 pints a day to take in that level of xanthohumol. Interesting news: that’s only ~3,496 more beers than you drink in a given day.

It’ll help you after you have a heart attack

Considering heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, odds are you might have a heart attack in your lifetime. Yeah, it sucks. On the upside, just because you have one doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking beer. To the contrary — Harvard researchers found that men who drank two drinks a day (aka a bottle/can of beer) were “42% less likely to die from heart disease.”

It could help prevent Alzheimer’s

A university in Madrid found that drinking two beers a day “limited the ability of aluminum to damage the brain,” which is good, because aluminum is thought to be a factor in causing Alzheimer’s. Does that mean if you drink four beers, you might double the effects of beer against aluminum? There’s only one way to find out! (Also, probably not.)

It improves your sleep

This study by Spanish researchers has a big asterisk next to it because the study was about the effects of non-alcoholic beer. But it’s still beer, and it’s still good for you! The study, which featured 17 nurses as participants, found that the volunteers fell asleep 12 minutes faster and tossed and turned less when they drank an NA beer before bed. O’Doul’s should rebrand as the Perfect Bedtime Beer.

It helps bones stay healthy and strong

Dr. Kaplan of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas says that beer “may help increase bone density,” which is helpful for people who don’t want their bones to fracture. The Wall Street Journal also quoted the good doctor as citing a separate study where male beer drinkers had a “lower risk of coronary-artery disease” than guys who drank wine or spirits. I want this guy to be my primary care physician.

It’s a great hydration source after a workout

Spanish researchers say that beer hydrates “slightly better” than water, which is great news for amateur athletes who can’t wait until they go to the bar after the game to drink. One of the researchers claimed that the carbs in beer “replace lost calories,” proving that if you work out to lose weight, perhaps subbing beer for water isn’t the best idea.

It could help prevent cancer

Might as well enjoy another fresh-hop IPA, because researchers at the University of Idaho are working to extract compounds from hops that they think might fight cancer and other inflammatory diseases. It could also be a ploy for those researchers to buy hops for the lab and then secretly use them to homebrew, but that’s a wild guess.

It gives you a sick dopamine rush

You probably already know this because you have a subscription to Neuropsychopharmacology, but the journal published the work of an Indiana U professor who showed that a few minutes after 49 adult men tasted beer, their brains released that sweet, sweet dopamine rush you might recognize from that one time you had sex. Finally, beer and sex are now inextricably linked!

It reduces the risk of kidney stones

If you drink soda, pay attention. The Washington Post reported on a study from the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (yes, THAT Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology!) that found that people who drank sugary beverages developed kidney stones more than ones who didn’t. The good news is that the people in the study who drank beer once a day had a 41% lowered risk of developing kidney stones.

Pour One Forward with Samuel Adams

PourOneForward2Cheers to our military friends! From May 16th to July 5th, Samuel Adams is partnering with local bars and restaurants to salute all those who protect our freedom and independence every day! Join Samuel Adams and #PourOneForward to honor active and retired military heroes and help raise money for American Dream U

At  participating locations, you can purchase two Samuel Adams Boston Lagers and leave one behind to be enjoyed by an active duty soldier or vet. You simply tell your server you’d like to “Pour One Forward” and he or she will give you a paper pint glass to write a note of thanks or special shout out to your favorite soldier or our military at large. Your server will hang it on the wall and when a soldier or vet comes in to that bar or restaurant, they can pull it down and exchange it for a cold pint of Boston Lager.

Wait… there’s more!

If you post a picture of your thank you note and tag it #PourOneForward, Sam Adams will donate $1 to the nonprofit American Dream U to help soldiers find jobs they are really passionate about or start their own business as they transition from active duty to civilian life.

Every day, countless men and women put their early career aspirations aside to defend the values that define our country. Salute and thank them in the best of ways! Click here to find participating restaurants and bars and get involved!

Expert Beer and Food Pairings for Summer

Expert Beer and Food Pairings for Summer From The Food Network Kitchen

Is there a better match than hot days and cold beers? Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite summer foods along with what beer best suits the moment.

Eating a fish taco at the beach: Mexican lager in a tallboy, doctored up with a squeeze of lime and a drop of hot sauce. Try Corona and Rachael Ray’s grilled fish tacos.

Sitting on the porch with a hot dog on a hot day: Light, crisp German kolsch — super-refreshing, easy-to-drink and low-alcohol. Try Beck’s Pilsner or Gaffel Kölsch with any of these 35 top hot dog recipes.

Hamburgers from the grill in your best friend’s backyard: Full-bodied lager if it’s a hot day, brown ale if it’sa cool night. Try Rolling Rock, Bud Light or Michelob with any of these 50 favorite burger recipes.

Cherry pie from a roadside stand: Stout. The darker the better. Trust us on this one. Try Yards Love Stout with Sandra Lee’s homemade cherry pie.

Cheese and crackers at a movie in the park: Something indulgent and Belgian, like a fruity saison or a lush blonde ale. Try Hoegaarden or Stella with Bobby Flay’s blue cheese crostini.

Grilled sausage mid-afternoon at a beer garden: Something malty and Germanic, served in a mug large enough to make your wrist hurt. Try Löwenbräu or Duquesne Pilsener with Bobby Flay’s grilled sweet and hot sausages.

Household Beer Hacks: Getting The Most Out of Your Beer

 

BEER HACKS

Believe it or not, beer can be beneficial for more than taking a load off after a long day or celebrating a special occasion with friends—it can help around the house as well. Whether you have an extra bottle that you or are looking for ways to make use what you already have to make your dollar go further in a convenient way, beer is here to help.

 

1. Use it as a tenderizer for your cook out.

Cooking with beer is often done to add flavor, but when cooking a piece of steak it can do a lot more. Everyone likes a nice, juicy steak—but how do you get it? Beer acts as a natural marinade/tenderizer, helping to reduce the level of potential toxins found form grilling with coal, oil and gasoline. So basically, beer will make it delicious and safer to eat!

2. Keep your lawn looking perfect.

Share some love with your lawn with a long-kept secret from a golf course groundskeeper. This recipe for success can help stimulate growth of plants as well as killing harmful fungi. Enough talkin, check out the recipe.

  • You will need:
    • One full can of regular pop (any kind-no diet soda)
    • One full can of beer (no light beer) 12oz
    • 1/2 Cup of Liquid dishwashing soap (do NOT use anti-bacterial dishwashing liquid)
    • 1/2 Cup of household ammonia
    • 1/2 Cup of mouthwash (any brand)
  • Directions:

3. Sooth your tired feet.

Pamper yourself or your partner with this special treat. After a long summer day of working on your feet, your might want nothing but a beer to wash the day away. Why not sooth your feet AND drink a few. Pour two beers into a washbasin and soak your feet. Ice-cold brews with high carbonation are ideal as they will be the most soothing for your feet.

4. Turn a bad situation into a way to polish your wooden table.

We’ve all been there—someone has spilled a flat beer on your table. You let it sit and it might leave a ring or get sticky—don’t worry, it doesn’t have to! Flat beer works well to create a nice shine on wood surfaces, just softly rub it onto the wood with a soft cloth and let the magic happen.

5. Have an at home spa experience with homemade beer beauty products.

Beer works great for facial masks and helps to liven up dull hair. To make the facemask just mix together: 1 tablespoon of beer, tablespoon of plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 1 egg white and 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Leave your carbonated concoction on for 15 as it helps to help maintain balanced pH levels.

Is your hair looking dull and lacking luster? Dip your hair in flat beer and rinse the remaining with the leftovers and work it into your scalp. Leave it in for 1 minute and then rinse with water. In the end your hair will be revitalized and looking fabulous.

6. Loosen up those pesky rusty bolts.

Save yourself the stress and sweat of trying to twist and turn with no success, pour a little beer on rusty screws or bolts and they should start to loosen them up—the carbonation of beers help to get the magic working.

How to Make Beer Pancakes

Beer Pancakes

The beer will provide the rising action needed to make the pancakes work.

    Assemble the following ingredients:

  •         2 cups all-purpose/ plain flour
  •         2 cups beer
  •         2 eggs, slightly beaten
  •         2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  •         Some butter.
  1.     Pour the beer, eggs and syrup or honey into a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  2.     Sift the flour into the wet ingredients. Mix well with a whisk. Aim for a thin and lumpy mix.
  3.     Heat a little butter in a frying pan. Spoon in the batter and cook the pancake. Use medium heat.
  4.     Flip the pancake over when the bubbles appear on the surface and the pancake edge is firm. Serve.
  •     For fluffier, thicker pancakes, use a pancake ring.
  •     Add things such as chocolate chips, berries or chopped bananas as wished.
  •     A half cup of wholemeal flour can be substituted for a half cup of plain flour if desired.

 

For the full article, 10+ Ways to Cook with Beerclick here 

Beer and Food Pairing Trends to Try this Summer

– Reblog:  10 Beer & Food Pairing Trends We Love this Summer, CraftBeer.com 

10-Beer-and-Food-Pairing-Trends-We-Love-for-Summer_future-600x450Whether dining out, attending a pairing event or simply cooking dinner at home, look for these pairs to breathe new life into your pairing palate this summer.

 

Gose


If you enjoy fresh chèvre or yogurt, you’re ready to try a gose. The surge of this almost-extinct beer style back into our glasses is the perfect answer to light, refreshing, slightly sour beers. More accessible than its barrel aged counterparts, gose is making a statement on beer lists and in pairings. Look for it to start off a meal as an aperitif, or pair with fresh cheeses, asparagus, and light desserts like a coconut or ricotta cake.

 

Heavier to lighter


Traditional pairing practice of lower alcohol beers to higher alcohol beers is no more. Look for lighter courses throughout the finish and dishes and pairings that leave the palate awake, alert and relaxed after finishing a meal.

 

Hops


Hops have always been on the top of so many other lists, and now it’s food’s turn to take them on and prove that hops can pair with light fish, raw fish, gentle dishes and, yes, even dessert and chocolate. Yes. Chocolate! Don’t just go out there and grab a Snickers and an IPA. That won’t work. It has to be done right, like a milk chocolate and toasted almond mousse with an IPA that has a dominant cascade profile.

 

Blind style


So often we hear the line, “I had a bad IPA once, I don’t want an IPA.” Well, trained staff are finding a new tactic to get beer on the table. The language servers use when welcoming you has changed from, “Can I get you a beverage?” to “What are you looking for? Something crisp, clean and minerally for this hot day? Let me bring you something to try.” By going this new route, you have no idea if a cocktail, wine or beer was just described. Many restaurants are using this to get new palates to beer by talking about flavor profiles rather than style names.

 

For the full article, 10 Beer and Food Pairing Trends We Love for Summer By Adam Dulye, click here

Sharp Edge’s 20th Annual Great European Beerfest

Its back and we’re ready to celebrate one of the best beer events of the year. We’ve had our handcrafted craft beer from all across America, but what about a little taste of Europe? Tour Europe at the 20th Annual Great European Beerfest – Pittsburgh’s first beer tasting event. Designed for any beer enthusiast, sample more than 100 premium beers from Belgium, Germany, the U.S. and more! Get access to rare and specialty beers hand-selected by the staff at the Sharp Edge.

Reserve your spot at one of three 3-hour sessions:

  • Saturday, June 25, 3-6:00P
  • Saturday, June 25, 7-10:00P
  • Sunday, June 26, 2-5:00P
  • $65 – General Admission Ticket includes a Sharp Edge tasting glass and the chance to sample over 100 beers.  There will be live music and raffles.  Food is available for purchase
  • $75 – VIP Ticket includes a Sharp Edge tasting glass and the chance to sample over 100 beers.  There will be live music and raffles.  VIP admission includes food and exclusive beers not available to GA ticket holders.

Connoisseur Night – Friday, June 24, 7-10:00P

A beer lover’s perfect Friday night.  A selection of hard to find beers, many from the Sharp Edge cellar.  This year we will be pouring Sam Adams Triple Bock 1995, Gulden Draak Vintage 2008, Ommegang Three Philosophers vertical 2011/2012/2013 among others.  Hors d’oeuvres included.

  • $75 per person.  Space is limited, get your ticket today!

TICKETS CAN BE BOUGHT HERE 

25% of ticket sales benefit Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia

2016 marks our 20th year celebrating the best of beers in this event. We hope you will join us.

 

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Father’s Day feast: BBQ & Beer

There is nothing better than a rack of ribs. Except a rack of ribs and a cold beer. No matter what kind of ribs you like, you’ll probably want a beer to go with all that slow-cooked meat. When pairing ribs with beer, you want to reach for malt-forward beers that offer sweetness or roast. Crisp lagers are nice for their palate cleansing power, but super-bitter beers may harshly overpower the delicate flavors of the meat

This Father’s Day, show Dad you care by presenting him with slabs of ribs you’ve marinated, rubbed with spices, smoked, and slathered with homemade barbecue sauce. These recipes are loaded with bold flavors, and you can do most of the prep work the day before. And if grilling outdoors isn’t an option we even have a recipe for roasting ribs in the oven. With a little planning, you can master any one of these recipes like a barbecue pro. Dads just love that.

Get the full beer pairing guide here.

Country-Style Pork Ribs with Mustard-Beer Sauce (Fine Cooking)

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Mo’s Sticky Ribs (Food & Wine)

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Sweet-and-Sour Balsamic-Glazed Spareribs (Epicurious)

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Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs (Bon Appétit)

best-ever ribs

 

Oven Barbecued St. Louis Ribs (Food.com)

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Sweet-and-Spicy Ribs (Bon Appétit)

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The Perfect Father’s Day Gift | Beer of The Week | Atwater Summer Party Variety Pack

In honor of Father’s Day, we couldn’t decide on just one beer of the week. Every dad is different and has his own tastes and preferences, so he needs a beer or two that match. Yeah, you could get your dad some tools, but that is predictable. Give your dad something he can get excited about—Atwater Brewery’s Summer Party Variety Pack. This 12 pack features 12 summer favorites

 

Purple Gang Pilsner

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A German-style pilsner it is a bit lighter and brighter than their Bohemian counterparts. It delivers a light malty sweetness yields to the fine flavor and aroma of the noble Tettnang hops.

ABV | 5.0%

IBU | 31

Summer Time Ale

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An American Wheat beer that stands out and brings a distinct crispness. The Vienna malts help to create this distinct snap to the finish with dark wheat sprinkled throughout. A lemony, citrus finish comes through the ground lemon peel and grains of paradise.

ABV | 5.0%

Traverse City Cherry Wheat

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We’re lucky to be close to the cherry capital of the world and now these Montmorency Cherries to help make this wheat beer. It tastes like totally cherry.

Dirty Blonde Ale

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The name of this beer comes from the look of the pale straw used and golden hues. This ale offers a certain sweet maltiness with light fruity notes. The wheat helps to create a crispness on the back of the palate and the crushed orange peel and coriander are subtly added to provide a nice heady aroma. 

ABV | 4.2%

IBU | 10

Coronarita: The best of both world

Can’t decide between a nice cold brew and a freshly squeezed margarita? Why choose when you can have them both in one deliciously refreshing drink dubbed the Coronarita! It’s the perfect combination of a margarita and a Corona that pairs perfectly with a hot summer day.

Grab your friends and get your limes ready because it’s five o’clock somewhere! 

CoronaRita

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ oz. Tequila 
  • ½ oz. Triple Sec
  • 3 oz. Margarita Mix
  • 1 Corona 7 oz. beer
  • 1 lime wedge

 

Directions:

Margarita Rocks

½ Salt rim

Combine ingredients 1-3 in shaker with ice

Shake vigorously

Strain into glass with 2/3 ice

Invert Corona in clip on glass, garnish with lime wedge and serve

 

Margarita Frozen

½ Salt rim

Combine ingredients 1-3 in blender with 1 cup ice

Blend until smooth

Pour into glass

Invert Corona in clip on glass, garnish with lime wedge and serve

 

Tasting Through Sierra Nevada’s 2016 Beer Camp Sampler Pack

Tasting Through Sierra Nevada’s 2016 Beer Camp Sampler Pack

Following last year’s 12-Pack brewstravaganza, Sierra Nevada is back again with a sampling of beers brewed with a number of other folks from around the country. Instead of making 12 different collaborative beers this time, the brewery grouped different outfits from six different regions in the US to create a half-dozen beverages. Yes, that means there’s two of each in the box. Some of the hottest names in craft beer were along for the ride this time around, including Trillium, Creature Comforts, Wicked Weed and Smog City — just to name a few. And, of course, Sierra Nevada had a hand in making each one, too.

While the number of different beers may be less this year, the quality certainly is not. There were a few of last year’s brews I didn’t really care for, and others I really liked. For the 2016 pack, I can honestly say I enjoyed them all. There wasn’t a miss in the whole box for me. Sure, there were some I felt more strongly about than others, but switching up the approach to the sampler pack did wonders for the overall quality as far as I’m concerned.

If you’re looking to try them yourself, you can still find the Beer Camp pack on shelves where Sierra Nevada is sold, but you’ll want to act quickly. If you’re into rankings, the beers are listed from least favorite to the one I liked the most. Half the fun of this was tasting through them all though, so I invite you to do the same, and in one sitting (with some friends) if you can. So, without further delay, let’s head to Beer Camp.


West Latitude (NorCal)

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Style: Session Rye
ABV: 5.5%
Notes: Fruit hops and hibiscus flowers.
Breweries: Bear Republic Brewing Company, Faction Brewing Company, Mad River Brewing Company, Magnolia Brewing Company, Maui Brewing Company

If you’re a fan of rye beers, or even rye whiskey, you’ll want to start here. There’s a solid dose of spicy rye in a brew that’s not too heavy thanks to the lower ABV and fairly subtle maltiness. The beer even kind of looks like a whiskey, though it definitely drinks much easier.


Stout of the Union (Southwest)

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Style: Robust Stout
ABV: 7.3%
Notes: Straightforward roasty stout.
Breweries: Bagby Beer Company, Beachwood Brewing, The Lost Abbey, Smog City Brewing Company, Societe Brewing Company

Robust is certainly an accurate description of this beer. It drinks like a higher ABV stout to me, mostly due to its silky smooth creamy body. There’s plenty of roast and maltiness here, with a good amount of bitter chocolate flavor as well. No special additions in terms of ingredients, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a solid member of the group. I’d save this one for after dinner, though.


Moxee-Moron (Pacific Northwest & Rockies)

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Style: Imperial Session IPA
ABV: 7.5%
Notes: A tribute to the Pacific Northwest’s “hop bomb heritage.”
Breweries: Bale Breaker Brewing Company, Barley Brown’s Beer, Black Raven Brewing Company, Melvin Brewing, Odell Brewing Company

A heavy dose of hops is what you’ll get with this entry in the pack, but I found it to be a little smoother than a typical West Coast-style IPA. It’s not overly bitter or malty, the latter of which has plagued more than a few recent IPA releases I’ve come across. I found this to be rather standard compared to other beers in the group, but the quality overall is great across the board. Standard here still means it’s a damn good beverage.


Family Values (Midwest)

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Style: Imperial Brown Ale
ABV: 8.5%
Notes: Minnesota wild rice, Indiana honey, Missouri oats, Michigan hops, Illinois cocoa nibs and Sierra Nevada’s own estate-grown malt.
Breweries: August Schell Brewing Company, Dark Horse Brewing Company, Half Acre Brewing Company, Perennial Artisan Ales, Sun King Brewing

This Imperial Brown is another dessert option, in my opinion. Honey and chocolate sweetness dominate the nose, but the beer itself isn’t overly sweet. There’s a creaminess to the body like I noticed with the Robust Stout that makes this a very enjoyable brew. It’s a smidge higher in the ABV department than your standard brown, which also lends itself to a nice after dinner option.


Pat-Rye-Ot (Northeast & Mid-Atlantic)

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Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 5.6%
Notes: Uses rye and apple cider for the “revolutionary” bit (Pat-Rye-Ot = Patriot, by the way), honoring some of the first ingredients used by American breweries in colonial times.
Breweries: Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Stoudts Brewing Company, Trillium Brewing Company

Here’s my runner-up. Rye is back in this Pale Ale alongside Delaware and Vermont apple cider. The combination of fruity sweetness and rye spice really struck a chord with me, as this beer is an interesting take on the Pale Ale style. If Sierra Nevada brings any of these back, this is one that would certainly get my vote.


Sweet Sunny South (Southeast)

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Style: Table Beer
ABV: 4.9%
Notes: Southern flavors of tea, grits, honeysuckle, peaches, papaya, guava and prickly pear.
Breweries: Austin Beerworks, Bayou Teche Brewing, Creature Comforts brewing Company, Funky Buddha Brewery, Wicked Weed Brewing

This North Carolina-based writer might be a bit partial, but I found the Southeast breweries to have the best beer in the pack. Those Southern flavors listed above combine in a Saison-like brew that has a really pleasant, yet subtle sweetness and earthiness that’s a staple of farmhouse styles. A perfect beer for a hot summer day, drinking alongside a meal or just enjoying at home. Let’s just say I’m glad there were two bottles of this in the box.

 

via Billy Steele for Paste Magazine. 

IPA DAYS: A GUIDE TO CRAFT BEER’S MOST POPULAR STYLE

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There is no denying that the India Pale Ale is the reigning king of the craft beer world, but Luke Purcell has been around long enough to know that hasn’t always been the case. “The IPA craze is relatively new,” he explains. “When I first got into craft, going into a bar and finding a hop-forward beer was tough.” He would know. Luke has been a brewer at Great Lakes Brewing Co. for 20 years and knows the love for IPAs for won’t be ending anytime soon. As the popularity of IPAs grows, so do the number of variations and hybrids within the style. I sat down with Luke to talk about the IPAs at GLBC and the differences between them.

What qualities do IPAs typically have?
IPAs are a hop-forward ale that tend to have big pine and citrus flavors. While IPAs tend to be bitter, the balance between the hop and the sweetness of the malt is dependent upon the brewer’s preference. What’s cool about IPAs is that spectrum of flavors can be pretty big depending on the hops and the style they’re going for.

Why is that?
Craft brewers have turned almost every type of style of beer into an IPA-hybrid. Last time I checked, GLBC has brewed over 17 different IPAs. Black IPAs, coffee-infused IPAs, and American Wheat IPAs are all just a few examples of styles we’ve played with. Plus, with so many new hop varieties coming out, IPAs allow us to experiment with hops that don’t even have a real name yet.

What was the first IPA GLBC brewed?
Commodore Perry was our first. It’s definitely our most balanced IPA. Its bitterness from the hops is kept in check by the sweet malt bill, so it’s a real easy drinker. What’s interesting is that Commodore Perry was once considered a big hoppy beer when it first came out but is now considered relatively mild by today’s standards. It’s a great place to start if you aren’t familiar with IPAs.

Along with Commodore Perry, GLBC has two bottled IPAs out this summer: Steady Rollin’ Session IPA and Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA. What differences can I expect between the two of them?
Being an Imperial IPA, Lake Erie Monster is going to have more body backed with big hop flavor and a higher ABV. It drinks smooth, but everything about it is big, so it’s definitely a sipper.

Steady Rollin’ on the other hand, is the opposite. Steady Rollin’ is lighter in body and lower in ABV, but still comes with big tropical fruit flavors from the Mosaic hops we use. It’s a great beer to enjoy during the summer months because of how easy it is to drink. Refreshing is a good way to describe it.

I heard Lake Erie Monster is brewed using a Hopback. What is that?
Our Hopback is a tank that allows us to capture more hop oils later in the brewing process for bigger flavor and aroma. We fill the Hopback with whole-flower hops and send the Lake Erie Monster through it so we can get one more round of hop oil extraction before it hits the fermentation tanks. It’s basically our way of putting Lake Erie Monster on hop steroids.

Should I age my IPA?
Absolutely not. As a beer gets older, the hop flavor and aroma is always the first to go. Drink your hoppy beers as fresh as possible.

 

via Great Lakes Brewing Company

#BeesToBottle | Rogue Ale & Spirits Honey Beers

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Rogue Spirits is known for brewing unique and adventurous creations such as their fan favorite “Sriracha’s Hot Stout Beer.” This curiosity for creating new flavors in ales and spirits continues as the brewery toasts to 7,140,289 honeybees on their Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon. These busy bees are responsible for making “Honey Kolsh” and “Marionberry Braggot” possible. This endeavor is nothing new for the company, but they’re glad to bring the beer back to fans in a bigger, better and “bee-beer-er” way!

Get your taste buds ready for a treat as Rogue’s honeybee ales are soon on their way.

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For more information on the making process, click here.


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