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Monday, May 31st 2010

The New CraftCans.com Website

Revolution!After only a few brief months of existence it became obvious that a redesign of the site was in order. The new larger layout and non-dedicated blog format allows for new features and sections about craft beer in cans - not just news and reviews!

Probably the biggest difference in the new site is the addition of the "canned beer database". Here you'll find an ongoing project cataloging craft beers available in cans. Thus far we have covered the majority of the United States and plan to continue with Canada and then the rest of the world as time goes on. Any, and all, help would be greatly appreciated from those out there who know of beers we missed, have images they would like to donate, or just know the IBU count for a beer listed.

In the database you can search for beers and breweries as well as see lists by state, brewery and style. In addition each beer listed has its own entry page with a detailed listing. Here you can post your comments about a beer and add your favorites to Facebook.

It's our hope to continue to make CraftCans.com a social and highly interactive place for people who share a common interest. Help spread the word!

A big thanks to everyone for your support and interest in the site so far! Cheers - and long live the revolution!

Kelly and Russ Phillips
CraftCans.com


Posted by Kelly


Labels:


Thursday, May 27th 2010

Pint-size Milwaukee Brewing Company releases Beer in Cans

Milwaukee Brewing Company has just recently announced the release of two of their brews in pint-sized cans. They've just finished canning their Flaming Damsel Lager (a 4.8% Vienna Lager) and their Louie's Demise Ale (a 5.1% Amber Ale). These should be two great brews in some awesome looking cans. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Milwaukee’s smallest packaging Craft Brewer, Milwaukee Brewing Company began canning their fresh craft beer this week. Canning craft beer is Milwaukee Brewing Company’s latest step in sustainable business initiatives. 

Like the original American craft beer movement, Micro-canning began in Colorodo and the Northwest. Canned craft beer is recognized as a more responsible and more convenient package for the beer lover. Canning also has an advantage for the craft brewer for shelf life and overall quality. Specific to sustainable issues canning has the following advantages:

  • The average aluminum can is made from 44% recycled aluminum can.
  • It is the most recycled package in the world.
  • It uses a fraction of the energy to produce, to ship, and to recycle than glass.
  • Less energy to cool down for the consumer.

“Canning is a step we have been planning for over two years,” says owner Jim McCabe. “From Bio-diesel to responsible packaging, we will continue to do everything we can to reduce the environmental footprint as we brew.  Our pint-size cans are also an awesome way to get craft beer to places glass is no good.  Camping, boating, golf courses, even tailgating are better served by cans.”

To emphasize both local brewing and can convenience, the first case rolling off the new line is headed to the Milwaukee County golf courses. The Park System a very valuable, local partner and an important part of our lives in Milwaukee. The leadership recognizes opportunities to give residents the latest, freshest, local, and responsible product. 

Milwaukee Brewing Company began brewing legacy in 1997 as the Milwaukee Ale House.  In 2008, Milwaukee Brewing Company commissioned a new brewery to begin filling demand for the beer outside the Ale House. After over a year of startup and growth, the brewery crew is ready to show off the facility.

The brewery will be open for tours on a first-come basis, with reservations for groups. Regular tour hours are Friday, 5 and 6pm, and Saturday at 3, 4, and 5pm.  Sundays, and weekdays by appointment. Visitors should call 414-226-2337 for tour appointments. 

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Mr. McCabe, please call Bliss Lemmon at 414-226-2336x114, or email bliss@milwaukeebrewing.com

 

 


Posted by Russ



Thursday, May 27th 2010

Big Sky Brewing Company
(Missoula, Montana)

Big Sky Brewing is located in the great state of Montana (hence the name). These guys love beer and have done a great job with making a name for themselves. For a relatively small brewery in Missoula they ranked #37 on the 2010 Brewer's Association's Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies in the US (based on sales volume). Nice job! Its a competitive market to say the least!

Big Sky began canning Moose Drool and Montana Trout Slayer last year and just recently they doubled the number of their canned releases by adding Summer Honey and Scape Goat Pale Ale to that crew. If you live in a place like Montana, chances are you love the outdoors and what better way to enjoy it than with some cans of great beer!

Here is more information about Big Sky and their canned offerings:

Brewery Name - Big Sky Brewing Company

Location - Missoula, Montana, USA

Year Brewing Began - 1995

Annual Beer Output - @38,000 (2008)

History - Big Sky has a great write up about the history of their brewery available on their site. Check it out!

Distribution - Big Sky beers are available in every state west of the Mississippi except Arkansas and Louisiana. They are also available in Alaska, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Number of Beers Canned - 4

From left to right:

Moose Drool Brown Ale - That first taste, the best part of a beer after a long day. We want to make that better than ever. So we made Moose Drool. The name sounds a little iffy, but it's really the best Brown Ale you'll ever taste. That's why Moose Drool is far and away the best-selling beer brewed in Montana.

Montana Trout Slayer Ale - They say the best way to shrink a fish is with with a ruler, but the best way to grow a fish is with a beer. Montana Trout Slayer is the beer to drink when you're knockin' back a couple cold ones and tellin' fish stories. Who knows the next one might be the best yet! "A bigger tale with every ale." Trout Slayer is a filtered wheat ale, fermented at cool temperatures, making it a smooth drinkable session beer.

Summer Honey Ale - When the days get longer and the air gets warmer, we get outside quite a bit. And we build a big thirst. Summer Honey helps us shake off the winter and slakes our thirst for a refreshing brew. Summer Honey is a full-flavored summer seasonal ale. Brewed with a unique, balanced blend of spices, Northwest Hops, and Montana honey. Summer Honey is brewed during the early days of spring and released around the first of May each year.

Scape Goat Pale Ale - Scape Goat is our award-winning Pale Ale. It is a very smooth brew, refreshing and well-balanced. Scape Goat took home the Gold Medal from the North American Brewers' Association competitions as the best English-style pale ale brewed west of the Mississippi, but only because it is the best.

Big Sky Brewing Company Media Resources


  


Posted by Russ



Wednesday, May 26th 2010

Route 113 IPA
(Sly Fox Brewing Company)

Its pretty amazing that Sly Fox was able to get their Route 113 IPA recipe tweaked just right to get this hop-stravaganza in a can to come in at exactly 113 IBUs! I am impressed. 

From the Sly Fox site:

"A big, flavorful IPA for all the hopheads out there, brewed with British Pale and Crystal malts, and hopped with Centennial, Cascade, German Northern Brewer, & UK East Kent Goldings. Bold and spicy."

Here we go...

 

Pour - a lot darker than I expected. Very dark amber, almost like a brown ale in appearance at first glance. I guess you do need some malt to balance out all those hops! Nice, thick, fluffy head on top. This is looking good so far.

 

Aroma - sweet lemon and/or orange peel, a bit of pineapple, some grassy notes, toasted bread and some floral aromas. No overly west coast in aroma but this definitely is hop assertive.

 

Taste - brash but not harsh. This IPA has some legs but its not one-sided and the hop profile is well done. Its an interesting mix of Pacific Northwest, Northern European and British hops so they must have dialed this up precisely. The cascade definitely gives off a lot of the familiar IPA flavors with the others adding a nice bitterness or sharpness to this brew. Plenty of malt backs this up but your tongue knows the hops were in charge. 

 

Overall - this almost came across as a strong, extra-hopped English-style IPA to me. It had the strength of an American IPA and the assertiveness with the hopping but the flavors were a lot more consistent with some English style IPAs that I've had. I liked this a lot and am glad I have some more in the fridge. This is however not a similar brew to say...Ska's Modus Hoperandi or Central City's Red Racer IPA

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely, I'd love to have a cooler full of these and just chill in my yard and play some horseshoes with some hophead friends.

 

Note - Sly Fox just recently announced that they'll be canning their Oktoberfest this year which will bring their canned total to six great beers. Nice!

 

Also, in case you're wondering, Route 113 runs straight through Phoenixville, Pennsylvania - which is of course home to Sly Fox.

 



Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Route 113 IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Sly Fox Brewing Company
City: 
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: British Pale and Crystal
Hops: Centennial, Cascade, German Northern Brewer, & UK East Kent Goldings
ABV: 7.0%
IBUs: 113
Date: May 26th, 2010

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Wednesday, May 26th 2010

Red Jacket Amber Ale
(Keweenaw Brewing Company)

My first brew from the folks canning their beers way up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have a soft spot for these guys as I went to college up in the U.P. and loved every minute of it. Cheers to all the Yoopers out there!

From the Keweenaw Brewing site:

"Medium bodied and lightly hopped, this classic Oktoberfest-style ale is brewed in tribute to the Red Jacket Mine of what is now Calumet and to the glory days of the copper industry in the Keweenaw Peninsula."

Here we go...

 

Pour - a bright auburn with some orange and yellow hues. An inch-thick, white wispy head adorns this pour.

 

Aroma - malty goodness. Brown sugar, honey, caramel and toasted raisin bread. 

 

Taste - a big gulp of this malty brew leads down the flavor road to brown bread, some fruity esters, caramel, apple skins and tad bit of peppery spice. More than anything this is a light yet malt dominate brew.

 

Overall - solid stuff. I think of amber ales as the go-to beer for the masses. They tend to be fairly straightforward, or neutral, without being too crazy. This one was spot on with the malt profile and the sweetness but not too sweet and only a faint glimpse of hops in the finish. It was a bit seltzery on the tongue which worked as it made it provided a nice crisp end to each sip.

 

Would I buy more of it? - sure, why not. I'd actually love to go to the brewery they operate and try some other brews on tap. 

 

Note - Keweenaw Brewing is canning four of their beers. Along with Red Jacket Amber Ale you'll also find Lift Bridge Brown Ale, Pick Axe Blonde Ale and now Widowmaker Black Ale all in cans. 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Red Jacket Amber Ale
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brewery: Keweenaw Brewing Company
City: 
Houghton, Michigan  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: ???
IBUs: ???
Date: May 26th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Tuesday, May 25th 2010

Canned Craft Beer Advocates

This month's BeerAdvocate Magazine had a nice little piece by the Brothers Alström (founders of all things BeerAdvocate as well as some pretty amazing Beer Festivals in Boston) praising the idea of craft beer in cans.

They ended the article, seen above, by stating,"the benefits of canning clearly outweigh those of bottling. Canning is something worthy of our collective support."

If these two guys are behind the "canned beer revolution" I'd have to say that quite a few other beer advocates will be following in their footsteps. Viva la can!

If you are interested in subscribing to BeerAdvocate magazine you can go HERE for details.

Disclaimer: I am in no way being compensated for giving out that information, I happen to subscribe and enjoy reading the magazine so I thought I'd just provide the information as a goodwill gesture. 


Posted by Russ



Monday, May 24th 2010

Stevens Point Brewery
(Stevens Point, WI)

The folks at Stevens Point Brewery were kind enough to send me a sampling of their current canned lineup, including their summer seasonal release, Nude Beach, which has just hit shelves.

Stevens Point Brewery not only cans some of their own beers but they've also allowed breweries such as O'Fallon and Schlafly in St. Louis to use their canning lines to release their own seasonal brews in cans. That's very nice of them.

Here is a little more information about this brewery and their canned offerings:

Brewery Name - Stevens Point Brewery

Location - Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA

Year Brewing Began - 1857

Annual Beer Output - @40,000 bbls (2007)

History - "The Stevens Point Brewery is steeped in a history that has transcended the trials of the Civil War, the Great Depression and Prohibition.

More than 150 years later, the Stevens Point Brewery continues to successfully brew quality beer, just as the brewery's founders, Frank Wahle and George Ruder, did in 1857. This undeniable endurance is a testament of why the Stevens Point Brewery, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is the 5th oldest continuously operating brewery remaining in the United States. Today, the Stevens Point Brewery is proud to be Wisconsin-owned and independently operated."

Distribution -  AL, GA, IA, IL, KS, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NY, OK, PA, TN, WI, 

Number of Beers Canned - 4

From left to right:

Point Amber Classic - Point Amber Classic is a multi-award winning amber-style lager. It boasts a recipe of the highest quality natural ingredients. Roasted caramel malts gives the beer its subtle caramel character and reddish-amber hue. American Tettnanger hops provide a soft sweetness and gentle hop aroma. The result is a distinctive flavorful beer that is remarkably smooth and clean.

Point Nude Beach - Point Nude Beach is the perfect summer pleasure.  Available only during the warm months of summer, this lively and unfiltered wheat ale is well balanced using “au naturel” raw and red wheat, then delicately finished with Yakima hops.  With a refreshing light flavor, Point Nude Beach is perfect while enjoying summer activities or just hanging out with friends.  Clothing optional.

Point Special Lager - The brewery’s flagship brew since 1857, Point Special is a well-balanced, full-bodied classic American-Style lager. This award-winning pilsner is highly praised for its pleasant hop aroma and smooth, hearty flavor.

Cascade Pale Ale - Point Cascade Pale Ale is handcrafted combining special top-fermenting yeast and a dry hopping process to create this truly classic American Pale Ale. The intriguing character is derived from generous quantities of the choicest Yakima Valley Cascade hops and the finest crystal, 2-row pale, and Munich malts. The result is a delicious American Pale Ale with a signature fragrant hop bouquet and soft malt palate.

Stevens Point Brewing Company Media Resources


  

 


Posted by Russ



Monday, May 24th 2010

Big Sky Summer Honey in cans

After just recently announcing that they'd canned their Scape Goat Pale Ale, Big Sky Brewing has now announced that they've also canned Summer Honey, their summer seasonal ale. 

Unlike their other canned releases, this one will be for Missoula locals. Its a limited release that will only be available for a short time and only in Missoula. Big Sky is currently selling Summer Honey and Scape Goat Pale Ale at their brewery. 

From the Big Sky site:

"When the days get longer and the air gets warmer, we get outside quite a bit. And we build a big thirst. Summer Honey helps us shake off the winter and slakes our thirst for a refreshing brew.


Summer Honey is a full-flavored summer seasonal ale. Brewed with a unique, balanced blend of spices, Northwest Hops, and Montana honey. Summer Honey is brewed during the early days of spring and released around the first of May each year. Light colored, light bodied, and very drinkable, Summer Honey sacrifices nothing to create a flavorful beer that can be enjoyed during the height of the Summer. Summer Honey has 3.8% alcohol by weight, and 4.7% alcohol by volume."

 


Posted by Russ



Monday, May 24th 2010

Sly Fox Oktoberfest in cans!

I was doing a bit of searching on the interwebs this morning and I came across this gem of information that was posted on Jack Curtin's Liquid Diet. It seems that by the end of summer you should be seeing Sly Fox's Oktoberfest Lager in cans!

From the Sly Fox site:

"This traditional Oktoberfest beer celebrates the arrival of Fall. It is a medium-bodied, smooth and malty brew made with German Vienna malts and German hops. 25 IBUs. 5.8% ABV"



Posted by Russ



Saturday, May 21st 2010

Caldera Pale Ale
(Caldera Brewing Company)

Another great looking can from Caldera. Is anyone else on board when I say that cans offer a lot more graphic appeal than bottles (labeled bottles I mean, screen printed bottles are a different story)? 

From the Caldera site:

"A West-Coast style pale ale balancing plenty of hops with a malty backbone. "

 

Here we go...

 

Pour - dark golden, not a light-colored pale by any means. Orange with splashes of yellow and a frothy half inch of bubbly white goodness on top.

 

Aroma - citrus-y and cascade-y. Plenty of fresh floral hop aroma combined with a solid amount of sweetness. It has a light piney smell along with that of cake frosting (perhaps?). Hmm...works for me.

 

Taste - damn good. I'd leave it at that but I suppose a person wants to know a little more. A big sip delivers a bitter hoppy bite that is subdued calmly and respectably by a dose of malty medicine. Things are balanced and smooth with just a hint of sharpness in the finish. Love those cascade hops and the fact that this is a close 50/50 when it comes to the malt to hops flavor ratio. Great pale ale from the folks in Shakespeare land.

 

Overall - I really enjoyed this pale ale. This is a very drinkable brew and I mean that in every way possible. Its simple yet flavorful, hoppy but also balanced. Its simply a very good beer. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I wish I could get some more of these, actually I wish I could get more of all the Caldera cans as I really enjoyed each of them very much. Cheers!

 

Note - Caldera currently cans three of their beers. Along with this pale ale you'll find their Caldera IPA and Ashland Amber Ale also rockin' aluminum outfits.

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Caldera Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Caldera Brewing Company
City: 
Ashland, Oregon  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Premium two-row, Light Munich and Crystal
Hops: Cascade
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 55
Date: May 22nd, 2010

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Labels: Pale Ales


Friday, May 21 2010

Oskar Blues' Burning Can 2010!


Live within driving distance of Lyons, Colorado? Love beer? Check this sh*t out!!! - the dude at craftcans.com

Who & What: Lovers of Craft Beer in a Can, Music, Food & Rocky Mountain Revelry

When & Where: Oskar Blues Brewery @ Sandstone Park, Lyons, CO – June 26th, 2010 1pm to 4pm

Why: To Celebrate Craft Beer in a Can & benefit The Colorado Brewers Guild

BUY FESTIVAL TICKETS HERE via the Oskar Blues Online Store.  Must be 21 Years of Age.  Photo ID Required.

Lyons, coloRADo – Oskar Blues invites you to join the EVOLUTION of craft beer with the initial all Canned Beer Ragbag at its roots, Lyons, CO.  Under the backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park, Burning Can offers up the future prospect of craft beer civilization by pulling all the plugs on beer traditions. Craft Beer from (15ish) Canning Pioneers, Live Music by Nashville’s Bonepony , Can Art, Beer Can Chicken & other beer-infused dishes collide to create an inaugural event sure to shake the status quo the way canned beer was meant to. 

This free spirited poke has its soul in the right spot….All proceeds from this event will go directly to the Colorado Brewers Guild & its continued fight to keep Colorado beer culture alive!  

Eco-Cycle is in the house to ensure the environmental advantages of the can keep Ma Nature happy as cans take care of keeping the beer fresher, longer than bottles & making it portable to keep up with your next movement, regardless where or what it is.

Walk away from this celebration with a rattled hominid cranium full of how far craft beer in a can has come, a soul full of roots music & full belly of beer can chicken.  You also walk with Inaugural BURNING CAN collectors swag knowing the entire shindig helps keep Colorado beer culture kicking.  Wait…did I mention the mechanical bull????

The party continues beyond the BURNING CAN Ragbag as Lyons celebrates the 34th annual Good Old Days Celebration all weekend. 

Check www.townoflyons.com for Good Old Days details of Live Music, Food, Beer Garden, Games, Rides, Street Dance and activities for all ages.  Oskar Blues & Bonepony will continue the evolution of Good Old Days by playing a smoking live set of roots music in the downstairs Oskar Blues venue from 9pm to 12:00am.


Posted by Russ



Friday, May 21 2010

Lawnmower Beers for the new Millenia


7 refreshing brews to help with your yard work

Got some yardwork to do this weekend? Need a little help? How about something a little more exciting than a beer that is sold in packs of 30? These beers are light and refreshing and are sure to keep you motivated as you make your yard look nice or just spend time enjoying it. Cheers!

From left to right:

High Country Pilsner (Mammoth Brewing) - A nice golden lager with some biscuity and grassy notes. Goes down super smooth and quite quickly as well.

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat (21st Amendment) - Think what you will, this may just surprise you. A solid, yet light, wheat with just enough watermelon flavor to make the combination almost perfect. Definitely a great option for a midday break. 

Pikeland Pils (Sly Fox Brewing) - A true Pils in a can. Plenty of noble hops and a touch of sweet malt flavor give this sparkling ale a refreshing flavor and a nice clean finish.

Montana Trout Slayer Ale (Big Sky Brewing) - Crisp and lightly sweet with some sour malty tastes that are almost like lemon or orange in flavor. A little dry in the finish which has you lapping your lips and diving back in. Great for more than just trout slaying!

Mama's Little Yella Pils (Oskar Bues) - The first step away from ales for OB. Mama's Little Yella Pils is nice, crisp, clean alternative to some of those other brews that claim to have "true pilsner taste".  

Bikini Blonde Lager (Maui Brewing) - A little sweet, a little tangy and a little citrusy sum up this all-malt beauty. I could fill a cooler with these and be all set for a weekend in the sun. 

CynicAle (Surly) - The only saison in a can! Nothing beats this style for keeping you cool on a hot day. Some nice spicy notes along with some peppery and floral flavors. Don't miss out on this tallboy! 


Posted by Russ



Thursday, May 20th 2010

Big Sky Scape Goat Pale Ale in cans

For those of you lucky enough to be within the distribution range of Missoula, Montana's Big Sky Brewing you may be seeing something shiny and new on your beer store shelves soon!

Big Sky filled cans of their Scape Goat Pale Ale this week so if you see them you know they're fresh! 

From the Big Sky site:

"Don't blame yourself, you can blame us. Scape Goat is about to become your favorite beer. Or it will be when you taste it.

Scape Goat is our award-winning Pale Ale. It is a very smooth brew, refreshing and well-balanced. Scape Goat took home the Gold Medal from the North American Brewers' Association competitions as the best English-style pale ale brewed west of the Mississippi, but only because it is the best. Scape Goat is brewed with pale, crystal malts, and Kent Goldings and Crystal Hops. Scape Goat is 3.8% alcohol by weight and 4.7% by volume."

Scape Goat Pale Ale joins Big Sky's popular Moose Drool Brown Ale and Montana Trout Slayer Ale to round out a pretty nice trio of canned offerings.

To learn more about Big Sky Brewing Company visit their website - Big Sky Brewing Company

Thanks Mike for sharing this picture with me!

 


Posted by Russ



Thursday, May 20th 2010

Harpoon IPA and Summer Beer in Cans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Introducing Harpoon IPA and Harpoon Summer Beer – in Cans

For the first time in the brewery’s 24-year history, Harpoon beer will be available in cans for the summer

BOSTON, MA (May 20, 2010) – The Harpoon Brewery is pleased to announce that your backpack will be a little easier to carry on hiking trips this summer; introducing Harpoon IPA and Harpoon Summer Beer in cans. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, the Harpoon Brewery will offer its flagship India Pale Ale and seasonal Summer Beer in 12-ounce aluminum cans. The beer, which was brewed at Harpoon’s Windsor, VT brewery, is being canned at FX Matt in Utica, NY today. The new cans will enable New England craft beer lovers to enjoy Harpoon beers during summer activities and at locales where glass bottles are not convenient.

Harpoon IPA was originally released as a seasonal beer in the summer of 1993 and became a year-round offering soon after due to its overwhelming popularity. Harpoon IPA has a floral aroma, medium body, and clean hop finish. This beer pairs well with roasted hot dogs, toasted marshmallows, and campfire songs.

Introduced in 1999, Harpoon Summer Beer is a German Kölsch-style ale. This summer seasonal beer is light and refreshing with a crisp, dry finish; perfect for post-hike refreshment, and a terrific gardening companion.

Harpoon IPA and Harpoon Summer Beer cans are 100% recyclable - pack them in, pack them out. The brewery will produce a limited number of 12-pack cases that will be available for the 2010 summer or as long as supplies last.

For additional information about the Harpoon Brewery and the new Harpoon cans, please contact Liz Melby at lmelby@harpoonbrewery.com.

About the Harpoon Brewery:

The Harpoon Brewery was founded by beers lovers, Rich Doyle and Dan Kenary. In 1986 Harpoon was issued Brewing Permit #001 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, since it was the first brewery to brew commercially in the state after a dormant period of about 25 years. Harpoon’s line of craft beer features its award-winning IPA and UFO Hefeweizen beers, along with four special seasonal selections. In 2000 Harpoon purchased a second brewery in Windsor, VT, making Harpoon the 10th largest craft brewer in the US. Harpoon has since introduced two lines of limited edition beers, the 100 Barrel Series and the Leviathan Series, as well as the all-natural Harpoon Cider made from freshly pressed, local apples. For more information about Harpoon beers and visiting the breweries, visit www.harpoonbrewery.com.

 

 


Posted by Russ



Wednesday, May 19th 2010

Mapping the Canned Beer Revolution


Posted by Russ


Labels: Beer Maps


Wednesday, May 19th 2010

It's AmeriCAN Craft Beer Week!

As you may or may not already know, this week is American Craft Beer Week. ACBW is a nationwide celebration of all things craft beer with breweries, brewpubs, bars and other venues doing things to promote all of the great beer we produce here in the US of A. Get out and enjoy some craft beer!

For a list of events going on around the country check out these sites:

 

   

 

 

 


Posted by Russ



Tuesday, May 18th 2010

Atlantic Amber Ale
(New England Brewing Company)

Recently retired by NEBC but still on the shelves all over the area this is one of the first canned craft beers ever sold in New England. Atlantic Amber, as you'll read below, is brewed like a steam beer (or California common) and yet its categorized as an amber ale but won the 1993 GABF gold medal in the "altbier" category. Say huh? 

From the New England Brewing site:

"This is our flagship beer. The Atlantic is a medium bodied beer made in the uniquely American, steam styling of brewing. In “brew-guy speak” that means it’s brewed with lager yeasts at ale temperatures. Brewing a slightly sweeter, richer, caramel malt and two varieties of hops in this style makes for a truly unique flavor. Unique enough to make it an award winner at the 1993 Great American Beer Festival. You need this!"

Here we go...

 

Pour - sort of hazy amber/orange/red due to the cold temperature coming out of the can. As it warms it clears up. Big foamy head on top with some sediment swirling about. Can-conditioned goodness!

 

Aroma - sweet malt, orange rind, pineapple, stewed apples and a little lemony. Mostly the malt stands out as to be expected.

 

Taste - one big sip and there is plenty of proof that this is a very easy drinking session-able brew. The maltiness is not too dominating and there is a nice crisp bite to this beer. This is the type of beer that a lot of people can agree on as its non-offensive in almost every way. It would please the lager and non-lager drinkers alike as well as the craft geeks and the macro-lovers as well. 

 

Overall - A very solid and well produced amber ale. Nothing too fancy but its the little things with this style. It all comes together nicely with no faults and just a lot of great tastes. I am sure many people will miss this one, although I hear it may make a come back in the future.

 

Would I buy more of it? - n/a

 

Note - Now that Atlantic Amber is gone one would expect the New England Brewing lineup to go through some changes. I've heard rumors of new labels for their current two-can lineup (Elm City Lager and Sea Hag IPA) and they've bought a ton of blank 16 oz. pint cans which they are filling with special release such as their recent Gandhi-Bot Double IPA and the soon to be release 668 Neighbor of the Beast. 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Atlantic Amber Ale
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brewery: New England Brewing Company
City: 
Woodbridge, Connecticut  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: May 18th, 2010

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Tuesday, May 18th 2010

Brew Free! or Die IPA
(21st Amendment Brewery)

Cans of this beer are now available on Virgin America flights which makes Virgin America even cooler than it was previously (which was pretty cool). If only more airlines would serve good beer! 

From the 21st Amendment site:

"BREW FREE! OR DIE IPA is brewed with some serious west coast attitude. This aromatic golden IPA starts with a sucker punch of six different hops to the nose, quickly balanced by a solid malt backbone. Our top selling beer at the pub, this IPA starts big and finishes clean leaving you wanting more."

Here we go...

 

Pour - peachy or tangerine to orange in color with some nice auburn highlights when held to the light. Clean and clear with a thin wispy head.

 

Aroma - lots of lemon and orange peel, actually this reminds me a bit of Froot Loops. It has a certain sugary citrus aroma that brings me back to Saturday morning cartoons and my brother and I watching Smurfs and/or Snorks. I digress. Some sweet malt is apparent as well but that sharp hop profile is quite distinct. 

 

Taste - one sip and I'd say this beer is full-flavored and then some. Sweetness coats the tongue but then the hops set in a big way. Lots of pine and citrus but its not over the top. After the barrage of hops the maltiness takes over and leaves you with a sweet yet tongue numbing feeling in your mouth. The hop profile in this IPA is rather unique and its definitely a lot more complex than other American IPAs. Check out the "hop bill" at the bottom. They use six different hops in this brew!

 

Overall - hey, I like it a lot! Its a very solid IPA and has a flavor that reminds me of Berkshire Brewing Company's Lost Sailor IPA. Lots and lots of flavors both of the malt and hop variety. Also, at 7% this is an IPA that packs a punch!

 

Would I buy more of it? - possibly, although there are a lot of great canned IPAs nowadays.

 

Note - 21st Amendment is a brewpub right near the San Francisco Giants' AT&T Park. If you ever get the chance to make the trek its definitely worth it as they have great food and a lot of beers on tap that aren't available in cans. 

 

 



Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Brew Free! or Die IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
City: 
San Francisco, California  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Two-Row & Imported Munich
Hops: Warrior (bittering), Columbus (finishing), Cascade (finishing), Amarillo (dry hopping), Ahtanum (dry hopping) and Simcoe (dry hopping)
ABV: 7.0%
IBUs: 70
Date: May 18th, 2010

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Monday, May 17th 2010

Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer
(21st Amendment Brewery)

I hate reading reviews where the person dismisses the beer before they try it. I really do. However, I must admit that I am not a fan of watermelon and the idea of a wheat ale brewed with watermelon does not get me as excited as say...a ridiculous amount of hops or some sort of barrel-aging. However, for the sake of diplomacy, I am keeping an open mind.

From the 21st Amendment site:

"We start by brewing a classic American wheat beer, which undergoes a traditional secondary fermentation using fresh watermelon. A straw-colored, refreshing beer with a kiss of watermelon aroma and flavor."

Here we go...

 

Pour - well, its not pink. Its a tannish-golden color with some suspended (and not so suspended) yeast sediment. Head is a rather thin and this is all a bit cloudy.

 

Aroma - what I smell most is a sour malt aroma along with some sweetness that sort of reminds me of watermelon as well as honey and powdered sugar. So, not a lot of watermelon-y stuff going on in either the pour or the aroma. Let's move on...

 

Taste - when I really get my face in the glass and take the first sip I finally get some watermelon flavor and aroma. Its faint and it won't overwhelm you even if you hate watermelon. Its a slightly sour fruity flavor that isn't at all off-putting and it actually kind of works well, in a refreshing sort of way. Nice wheat beer with just enough watermelon flavor to give this a very subtle sour bit. 

 

Overall - The more I drink of this, the more I am enjoying it. I'll admit, its a lot better than I thought. The watermelon flavor is subtle and like I previously mentioned, this is very refreshing. If you are like me and figure you'd probably not like this beer you might be surprised. Pop open a can and remember to be open-minded.

 

Would I buy more of it? - I wouldn't totally dismiss this beer as it is exactly what it is supposed to be. However, its not a beer that I'd find myself drinking a lot of the time. It does sort of scream to be bought the night before a day of yard work.

 

Note - 21st Amendment is one of the better known, and more widely distributed, breweries that only can their beers. They also can their Brew Free! or Die IPA and recently had a limited release brew called Monk's Blood that was also canned. Look for another limited release canned offering in the near future.

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Hell Or High Watermelon Wheat Beer
Style: Fruit/Vegetable Ale
Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
City: 
San Francisco, California  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Two Row Pale and American Wheat
Hops: Magnum
ABV: 4.9%
IBUs: 17
Date: May 17th, 2010

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Monday, May 17th 2010

Golden Frau Honey Wheat
(Thunderhead Brewing Company)

Several firsts with this can of beer from Thunderhead Brewing. Its my first ever beer from the state of Nebraska and its also the first braggot-style beer that I've had in a can. At least that is the style in which this beer is categorized on BeerAdvocate (on Rate Beer its just called a wheat ale). A braggot is a "beer" fermented with both malt and honey. Not to be confused with mead - which is just honey. Technically half of the fermentable sugars need to come from honey to be a braggot since Golden Frau is brewed with a decent amount of honey and weighs in at 7.5%, I'd say that could be possible. 

From the Thunderhead site:

"A wholesome wheat beer brewed with sweet Nebraska Sand Hills honey...Some breweries use honey in their wheat beer to allow them to use less malt and therefore create a much lighter beer. We think that’s a waste of good ingredients. We start with a standard American Style Wheat Beer (wheat malt flavor, low bitterness) and then add 1.2 gallons of honey per barrel to the kettle at the end of the boil. The result is a full malty flavor accompanied by cinnamon notes from the honey and the complex flavors that come from fermenting that much honey. This is far and away our best selling beer.

Here we go...

 

Pour - almost milky or cloudy yellowish orange with a seltzer like fizz as the thin white head forms and then quickly fades away.

 

Aroma - apple cider, wheat germ, lemons and a little sourness. Not a whole to speak of when it comes to the smell. Sweet pretty much sums it up.

 

Taste - this really reminds me of a sweet cider or a dessert wine. Its smooth going down but has a sweetness that never leaves the tongue and no real hop flavor balancing things out, although I didn't really expect that. The honey really comes out in this brew as the wheat doesn't do much to mask it. If you like a nice sweet dessert-type of beer this would be perfect. Its not the sort of beer that I'd be having more then one of, but that is just me.

 

Overall - not a bad brew by any means. Its a solid strong wheat beer with a nice sweet honey flavor that drives the alcohol levels up quite a bit compared to a normal pale American wheat ale. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - I'd go for their dark wheat over this one. Its just a tad too sweet for my tastes.

 

Note - Thunderhead Brewing has just released their second canned offering which is called Cornstalker Dark Wheat. The website says it is available at the brewery in six-packs. 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Golden Frau Honey Wheat
Style: Braggot
Brewery: Thunderhead Brewing Company
City: 
Kearney, Nebraska  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Wheat
Hops: ???
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: ???
Date: May 17th, 2010

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Sunday, May 16th 2010

Canned Craft Beer Database is in Beta

We are still putting in high quality pics of the cans and working on a way to make this more interactive (besides searching and sorting). Very soon it should be up and live with over 150 cans of craft beer from over 70 American craft breweries.

Check it out and give us your input! Cheers! Viva la Can!

 

CRAFT CANS DATABASE - BETA


Posted by Russ



Friday, May 14th 2010

Pine Belt Pale Ale
(Southern Star Brewing Company)

Pine Belt Pale Ale is one of three beers that Southern Star is currently releasing in cans. The others being their Bombshell Blonde and Buried Hatchet Stout. Pine Belt Pale was first released in cans in March of 2008 and is the only one of the three that is available in 16 oz. pint cans.

From the Southern Star site:

"A deep copper colored ale with a substantial malt backbone accented with British crystal malts with aggressive hop bitterness and substantial American hop flavor and aroma. The yeast profile is neutral."

Here we go...


Pour - pretty dark golden to auburn in color. I guess you could call it copper or even rusty in color. A big bubbly off-white head tops this one quite nicely.

 

Aroma - what is it about hoppy beers in cans? The hop aroma is so much more intense. Pine Belt Pale Ale has a great fresh skunky, dank sort of piney/skunky hop smell that just sucks you in like you just stuck your head in a bucket of hops. Behind all that hop goodness is a bit of caramel or brown sugar sweetness that just makes you feel good about this beer.

 

Taste - one big sip and I've been seduced. There is a lot of hop potency up front followed by a very sweet syrupy back. I'd say things are pretty balanced and even though all of the super fresh hop aroma that was present earlier doesn't quite come through in the taste, this is still a winner. Pine Belt Pale leans more toward the malty side of the spectrum with some citrusy notes and a bit of an astringent quality on the tongue but its not enough to make any hophead worth their weight in hops turn a head. But hey, its a pale ale! This is very drinkable and the quality is very high. Seek it out and enjoy.

 

Overall - a maltier Pale Ale that is for sure, Pine Belt satisfies my thirst and delivers a lot of flavor and sticking my nose in that glass is pretty nice too! If you find some of this but it as you won't be disappointed.

 

Would I buy more of it? - Definitely, this is a very solid APA and you've got to love the pint cans! 

 

Note - The name "Pine Belt" refers to "a vast forested area taking in 43 counties along the Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma borders. It remains the source of almost all the timber in Texas.

  

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Pine Belt Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Southern Star Brewing Company
City: 
Conroe, Texas  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Rahr special pale, Simpsons 30-37, Crisp 45
Hops: Galena, CTZ, Nugget
ABV: 6.3%
IBUs: 45
Date: May 14th, 2010

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Friday, May 14th 2010

Osiris Pale Ale
(Sun King Brewing Company)

Sun King has just recently released this beer as well as their Sunlight Cream Ale. These are the first two canned brews to roll off the lines at the Indianapolis brewery. Hopefully we'll see more in the near future. Love these pint cans!

From the Sun King site:

"Osiris Pale Ale is an assertive American Pale and is not meant for the timid. Crafted by our Brewers for our Brewers, Osiris blends three choice varieties of American hops to create a spicy, citrus hop punch that is sure to satisfy any hop head. Every batch of Osiris is dry-hopped towards the end of fermentation for maximum hop flavor, aroma and character."

Here we go...

 

Pour - super bright golden with some reddish hues and a very tight foamy head. This is liquid sunshine and its calling my name.

 

Aroma - talk about a super fresh hop aroma. Rarely do you find this much hop intensity from a so-called pale ale and I can definitely say that the can is really what keeps that aroma intense. So much piney and citrusy goodness flowing from the top of this glass. A touch of sweet malt accompanies the waves of green goodness all the way to my nose. 

 

Taste - a little puckering right off the bat, this drinks more like an IPA than a pale ale. Great caramel sweet maltiness balances things out very nicely, but man are those hops assertive. This finishes super crisp and a bit dry. I am really impressed by this brew as its my first from Sun King and a very recent canned release. 

 

Overall - I've had less hoppy IPAs! Osiris is a bold and hopped up pale ale that will keep any hophead happy and since its got a drinkable ABV this is a hoppy brew you can enjoy quite a bit of without getting burned out or tired. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - I'd love to be able to get more of these. Thankfully I've still got to work my way through the rest of this four-pack, but after that I'll be jonesing. Don't miss this one if you can get it!

 

Note - Osiris, one of many names in which this deity is known, was considered to be the Egyptian god of the dead or ruler of the afterlife. 

 

 




Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Osiris Pale Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Sun King Brewing Company
City: 
Indianapolis, Indiana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 50
Date: May 14th, 2010

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Friday, May 14th 2010

The Year of the Craft Can is Upon Us!

Back in 2002 when the folks at Oskar Blues laughed heartily to themselves as they "hand-canned" a relatively unknown pale ale named after Dale Katechis, the owner, I'm sure the farthest thing from their mind was the current trend taking place. 2010, a mere 8 years later, has seen an explosion of canned craft beer offerings in both the US and Canada. Sure, canned craft beer has been steadily entering the market for years, even before Oskar Blues was doing it, but the beer store shelves are certainly getting heavy with aluminum nowadays!

As craft beer consumers come around to the notion of beer in cans being okay, not only as far as taste goes but also as far as their own reputations go, the craft brewers have duly taken notice. Not to mention the trend towards sustainability and more environmentally friendly business practices giving way to the old school aluminum can as the, oft debated, "better" vessel. 

So, here we are in mid-May and 2010 has seen a LOT of new canned beers released along with many more to come. Below is an attempt to summarize just how many canned craft beers are being made available just this year alone - and these are only the ones that I am currently aware of! 

NEW HOPPY BREWS FROM OLD FAVORITES

New England Brewing (Gandhi-Bot), Oskar Blues (GUBNA), Sly Fox (113 IPA) and Surly (Abrasive Ale) all went the hoppy route in 2010! 

 

COLORADO BECOMES "CAN"ORADO

Already boasting the most craft breweries canning their brews, Colorado has added a few more in 2010 for a grand total of 10! Look for new releases from Boulder Beer Co. (Hazed & Infused), Avery (IPA, Ellie's Brown, White Rascal & the brand new Joe's Premium American Pilsner) and Wynkoop (Rail Yard Ale)!

Wynkoop has also just announced that they will be releasing their Silverback Pale Ale in cans this summer as well.

 

(C)ANDERSON VALLEY

    

Anderson Valley has recently released their Poleeko Gold Pale Ale as well as their Boont Amber Ale in cans. They join AVBC's Summer Solstice, the first canned release from the brewery.

 

ARIZONA MORE THAN DOUBLES ITS CANS!

Arizona will have five breweries canning craft beer before the year is up. A newcomer and several others will join Prescott Brewing and Mudshark in the canned craft arena.

 

Newly opened Lumberyard Brewing will be canning their Red Ale.

 

 

Grand Canyon Brewing Company in Williams recently released their Sunset Amber and their Black Iron IPA in cans

 

 

SanTan in Chandler has announced that they'll be canning their Hop Shock IPA and Epicenter Amber Ale. 

 

WASHINGTON'S FIRST CANNED BREWS 

 

7 Seas Brewing in Sag Harbor became the first microbrewery canning their brews this year when they recently released their Ballz Deep Double IPA and British Pale Ale.

Not long after these were released came the announcement that Fremont Brewing Company in Seattle would also be releasing some of their brews in cans.

Regional brewer Pyramid has also announced that they'll be releasing their Haywire Hefeweizen in some West Coast markets this summer.

 

NEW TO NEW ENGLAND & NEW YORK

      

Its been hard to confirm but it does indeed appear that Harpoon will be canning their IPA and Summer Ale over at FX Matt in Utica, NY with cans hitting the shelves soon. Meanwhile Cisco Brewers on Nantucket released their Whale's Tail Pale Ale recently becoming the second brewery to can their beers in New England (after New England Brewing Company). 

Speaking of FX Matt, they're canning their Saranac Pale Ale in 16 oz. pint cans for release this summer. The first such canned release from their Saranac line.


MIDWESTERN CANS

 

Sun King in Indianapolis has released their Osiris Pale Ale and Sunlight Cream Ale. Those hit shelves just recently. I hope to have some reviews up soon!

SUMMER FUN

Point Brewing in Stevens Point, Wisconsin has released their Nude Beach Summer Wheat in cans. They now can four different brews.

 

The folks at Schlafly, of St. Louis, Missouri, paid a visit to Steven Point in order to can their Summer Lager, their first canned release.

 

O'Fallon Brewing, of O'Fallon, Missouri, has also just recently released their first canned offering. "Wheach", a peach-flavored whear beer, is on the shelves now.


BIG NEWS IN "CAN"-SAS!

Tallgrass Brewing in Manhattan has made the shift to tall-boy cans for all their brews. These are just mock-ups but hopefully the new cans look just as great! They should be out sometime soon. 

 

THE SOUTH IS GETTING CANNED!

Triangle Brewing Company in Durham, North Carolina has made plans to release their Belgian-Style Golden Ale as well as their Belgian White in cans. 

Out of Virgina comes word that Starr Hill Brewing will soon be releasing their Amber Ale in cans, with a little help from some "off-site" canning. 

SOUTHERN RUMORS

I've also heard rumors that Full Steam (NC), Catawba Valley (NC) and Good People (AL) will all soon be canning some beers - can anyone verify?

WHAT'S NEXT?

We're not even halfway through 2010 and so much has already been announced. The total number of craft breweries putting beer in cans is over 70 now and their reach is nationwide. From Maui to Nantucket and Alaska to Texas there are great canned beers popping up everywhere! Here are a few more things to keep an eye out for in the second half of this year.

Baxter Brewing is set to open later this year in Auburn, Maine. It will be Maine's first canned craft brewery. 

 

Half Acre will be soon be releasing their Gossamer Golden Ale and Daisy Cutter Pale Ale in 16 oz. pint cans. I can't wait to try a fresh Daisy Cutter out of a tall-boy can!

 

Stay tuned for more to come and watch for the new Canned Craft Beer Database to be up and running on CraftCans.Com soon!

 

If you've got any updates or canned craft beer news please let us know!

 



Posted by Russ



Thursday, May 13th 2010

Bikini Blonde
(Maui Brewing Company)

 

Another great piece of artwork from the folks at Maui Brewing. How could anyone resist a six-pack of this to bring back for their friends and family after a vacation in Hawaii? For that matter, how can anyone living in Hawaii resist grabbing a six-pack of this before heading off to the beach? 

From the Maui Brewing site:

 

"Our filtered Munich Helles Lager brewed with floral hops and Pilsner and Munich malts. This is the closest thing to an American lager from Maui Brewing Co. but not skimpy of flavor. Bold, smooth and refreshing."


Here we go...

 

Pour - light golden straw colored with an inch of stark white fluffiness cropping the top. Its a nice sight to behold when you're thirsty. 

 

Aroma - some citrus (lemon and bitter orange) combined with fresh grass and hay. Some sweet malt aromas as well. Not a lot going on in the nose but that is to be expected from the style.

 

Taste - sweet and slightly lemony as it hits the palate. The sweetness in the finish is sort of surprising as many lagers have a sort of mineral-esque dry finish. This is much smoother and sweeter and I really am enjoying that aspect of this beer, it sort of sets it apart from other similar beers that I've had. I guess when you brew with 100% malt and no adjunct bullshit you get a much better tasting beer. Go figure! Extremely easy to drink and I can imagine that a cold pint of this on a hot day would be just what the doctor ordered. 

 

Overall - pretty solid light bodied lager from the folks at Maui. It delivers what it says its going to and that is something smooth and refreshing. I really enjoy the finish of this beer, it is much more appealing to me than many other lagers. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - I'd probably go for their IPA or their CoCoNut Porter over this one if faced with choosing from their three canned option. That being said, this is a pretty refreshing and light beer that would be great when mowing the lawn.

 

Note - If you're ever in Hawaii you'll need to stop in and see the folks at the Maui Brewpub in Lahaina. They've got a lot of great beers on tap that they don't put in cans. If you can't make it over to Hawaii you should at least try and get your hands on their three canned brews (CoCoNut Porter, Big Swell IPA and of course the Bikini Blonde). Mahalo! 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Bikini Blonde
Style: Munich Style Helles Lager
Brewery: Maui Brewing Company
City: 
Lahaina, Hawaii  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner and Munich malts
Hops: Liberty, Tettanger and Saphire
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 18
Date: May 13th, 2010

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Thursday, May 13th 2010

Whale's Tale Pale Ale
(Cisco Brewers)

Brand new to the world of craft beer in cans. Whale's Tale Pale Ale is Cisco's only canned release to date and its just in time for the summer on Nantucket (or anywhere else for that matter). This was a great choice of style to put in cans! Cheers!

 

From the Cisco site:

 

"An amber English-style ale that has a nice balance between hops and malt. It's the most popular of our beers and the most versatile in terms of pairing with food or people."


Here we go...

 

Pour - dark golden delicious, like sparkling apple juice. A perfect little stream of bubbles forms a rather large fluffy white head. This is what I like to see. My eyes are satisfied.

 

Aroma - toasty, bready, caramel, burnt sugar, cider and a bit yeast. It all comes together nicely in the nose. 

 

Taste - starts of sweet, definitely a caramel flavor on the tongue followed by a nice dose of citrusy bitterness but not too much. The balance meter seems to point a little more towards malty with this one but the hops are definitely there as well. Some toasty flavors round this one out and make for an all around great beer. Plenty of flavor but nothing that is going to weight you down or prevent you from having another one (or two or three...). 

 

Overall - great stuff. This is a tremendously easy drinking brew from the folks at Cisco. It is so nice of them to put it in a can for all of us on the go. Cheers!

 

Would I buy more of it? - you bet. This is a great pale ale in a can and tremendously sessionable so its downright perfect for an afternoon on a boat or in your own backyard.

 

Note - From the Cisco site, "If you're not familiar with Nantucket history, you'll be interested to know that this tiny island was once the Whaling Capital of the World. Knowing a bit of the history of a place can really help put life in perspective, and I like to encourage people to spend part of their time here visiting the Whaling Museum, the Oldest House, and the windmill. Calling our beer "Whale's Tale" is a little tribute to the whaling era and a way to say hey, whales are people too! Let's appreciate their contribution to Nantucket's prosperity."



Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Whale's Tale Pale Ale
Style: English Pale Ale
Brewery: Cisco Brewers
City: 
Nantucket, Massachusetts  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: British and Domestic malts
Hops: East Kent Goldings
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: ???
Date: May 13th, 2010

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Tuesday, May 11th 2010

Dunkel Lager
(Sly Fox Brewing Company)

I love the color motif of this can, its pretty eye-catching as far as can art goes. Sly Fox does a great job with all of their marketing and their labels and cans are certainly a big part of all that. 

 

From the Sly Fox site:

"A traditional Bavarian style Dark Lager, made with Munich, Pils and German Roast malts and a variety of Bavarian hops. This became the third Sly Fox beer to be canned in October 2006."


Here we go...

 

Pour - clean, clear brown to auburn in color. Looks like a lighter brown ale with a nice looking lager-esque head. 

 

Aroma - some sharp sulfuric smells, definitely some brown sugar and warm caramel, a little cocoa and perhaps a bit of vanilla extract.

 

Taste - sweet on the tongue with a crisp finish. Lots of caramel flavor along with some citrusy hops in the finish. Not a ton of complexity here but that makes for a very easy drinking beer. 

 

Overall - A very well crafted dark lager that's clean all the way through and does its job very well. This leaves my tongue a little dry which keeps me reaching for my glass. 

 

Availability - Fall/Winter

 

Would I buy more of it? - sure, as far as dark lagers in can goes this is pretty much the one that I'd go for. 

 

Note - Sly Fox's Dunkel Lager became the third Sly Fox beer to be canned in October 2006. Before that came Phoenix Pale Ale and Pikeland Pils

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Dunkel
Style: Munich Dunkel Lager
Brewery: Sly Fox Brewing Company
City: 
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Munich, Pils and German Roast malts
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.3%
IBUs: 21
Date: May 11th, 2010

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Labels: Lagers


Friday, May 7th 2010

CAN-test Entry - Bombshell Blonde


Photo by David Stover


Another Can-test entry. This time it's a great shot of Southern Star's Bombshell Blonde submitted by David Stover. Cheers!

 

Click to enter our CAN-test and for more information!

 


Posted by Russ


Labels: Contests


Wednesday, May 5th 2010

Q: Is there anything hoppy in a can?
A: You better believe it!

7 IPAs that are sure to please your palate this summer!


The hot days and warm nights are finally upon us and who doesn't love a hoppy brew when they're tending the grill, pitching horseshoes, throwing a disc or sitting by the campfire? Gone are the days when only lagers and amber ales came in cans. Now you've got a nice variety of canned IPAs just waiting to satisfy your thirst and that hop fix. So dive in!

 

From left to right:

 

Furious (Surly Brewing Co.) - Furious is a hoppy IPA that comes in a big can. Furious doesn't want to be your friend but unfortunately you really, really want to be friends with Furious, so much so that you're willing to invite him over a lot in the hopes that he'll loosen up and stop being so damn intense. No such luck though, Furious is just that type of guy. One mean, bitter, intense, hop-tastic guy.

 

Modus Hoperandi (Ska Brewing Co.) - BIG intense floral hop aroma. Plenty of that piney and citrusey goodness. Definitely some grapefruit along with a decent amount of sweetness. Loads of bitter hop flavor that's balanced extremely well. You want grapefruit, you got it. Awesome hoppy brew.

 

Caldera IPA (Caldera Brewing Co.) - Very balanced, citrusy and delicious. The hop profile is very pungent and fresh coming from the can and this one lives up to its billing as one of the better canned IPAs on the market

 

Brew Free! or Die IPA (21st Amendment Brewery) - Not just available on Virgin America flights! BFOD is an "aromatic golden IPA that starts with a sucker punch of six different hops to the nose, quickly balanced by a solid malt backbone. Our top selling beer at the pub, this IPA starts big and finishes clean leaving you wanting more."

 

GUBNA Imperial IPA (Oskar Blues Brewery) - I'd be lying if I didn't say that the first smell that hit me full force was that of serious marijuana. Lots of tropical fruit flavors abound, think Cara Cara oranges, mango, pineapple and passionfruit. Big, sweet and boozy. 

 

Red Racer IPA (Central City Brewing Co.) - Quite simply one of the best of the super hoppy canned IPAs. Loads and loads of pineapple and grapefruit flavors and a bite as sharp and please like that of a hop shark!

 

Big Swell IPA (Maui Brewing Co.) - Straight from the islands. Loads of tropical fruit flavors that are very refreshing and yet this beer is not overly hoppy but still assertive enough to make you know its not just a pale ale. Plenty of tongue numbing IBUs to please any hophead but also enough flavor to keep you going back to the cooler for can after can.

 


Posted by Russ



Tuesday, May 4th 2010

Bitter Brewer
(Surly Brewing Company)

When you think Surly you might not think low alcohol. However, you'd be surprised to find that most of their canned options are relatively low in ABV including Bitter Brewer which weighs in at only 4%. 

 

From the Surly site:

 

"First one in, last one out, sweltering in the summer, freezing in the winter. Years of toiling and boiling have turned our brewer Todd into a cynical, surly, bitter brewer...You too can get bitter without all the fuss. Simply crack open a can and fill a glass with our latest - Bitter Brewer. Pale orange in color, this ale gets intense toast and marmalade character from British malt and American hops. Dry-hopping brings the floral citrus aromas. So go ahead, get bitter!"


Here we go...

 

Pour - golden orange with yellowish hues and a big fluffy white head. Looks like a hand-pulled pint coming into the glass as the carbonation seems low and the beer is very clean.

 

Aroma - slight lemon citrus smell along with some hints at toasted bread, honey and caramelized sugars. Not a huge nose on this brew but its inviting nonetheless.


Taste - a citrus bite is the first to hit the tongue followed by a mellow sweetness and then a bitterness that is more sharp then the pungent and tongue numbing type given off by a massive amount of hops. Its hard to explain. Bitter Brewer is very easy to drink and drink quickly at that. It goes down super smooth and has an outstanding "session factor".

 

Overall - This has a great refreshing flavor quality to it that is hard to beat on a hot day. Not a powerful brew but tasty and definitely the type you'd want around when you fire up the grill. 

 

Availability - May-July

&

Would I buy more of it? - yep, one more that I'd love to have on a camping trip or at a Saturday afternoon BBQ.

 

Note - Bitter belongs to the pale ale style and can have a great variety of strength, flavour and appearance from dark amber to a golden summer ale. It can go under 3% abv - known as Boys Bitter - and as high as 7% with premium or strong bitters.




Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Bitter Brewer
Style: English Bitter
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
City: 
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Pale Ale, Optic, Medium Crystal, Oats and Roasted barley
Hops: Columbus, Glacier
ABV: 4.0%
IBUs: 37
Date: May 4th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Monday, May 3rd 2010

Bender
(Surly Brewing Company)

Over the years I've slowly become a fan of super session-able Brown Ales. It took me awhile to ween myself off of all the super hoppy IPAs but now I can honestly say that I can appreciate most any style of beer (except maybe fruity wheat beers) and there is definitely a place in my heart of the American Brown Ale. 

From the Surly site:

"Here's what happens when substance meets smooth. This oatmeal brown ale defies traditional categories. Bender begins crisp and lightly hoppy, complemented by the velvety sleekness oats deliver. Belgian and British malts usher in cascades of cocoa, coffee, caramel and hints of vanilla and cream. An easy-drinking ale with many layers of satisfaction."

Here we go...

Pour - dark, dark brown with a big fluffy batter-like head that leaves a nice amount of lacing inside the glass. When held to the light this has some great reddish-auburn highlights and looks super clean.

 

Aroma - caramel, molasses, vanilla, cocoa with some toasted brown bread and yeasty characteristics. I think this smells great and all those aromas are preserved very well by that pint-sized can!

 

Taste - toasty malty, sweet caramel and brown sugar flavors on the tongue, some vanilla extract and cocoa powder like in the aroma and an overall easy drinking and well-balanced taste. There is some subtle hop flavors in the finish that really make this a beer that will disappear quickly from your cooler or fridge on a nice day (or a not-so-nice day for that matter). Love it.

 

Overall - Personally I find Bender to be a very satisfying and tasty session-able Brown Ale. Its got a great balance of hops and malt and leaves me happy but wanting more. Great job on yet another brew by the folks at Surly. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. This is a beer my wife and I agree on and its perfect for those afternoons in the yard or just about anytime when you just want to relax with a beer. 

 

Note - Surly also brews a "Coffee Bender" which is their Bender brewed with the addition of high-quality coffee brewed using "a cold extraction process that results in intense coffee aromatics and flavor bringing together two of our favorite beverages."




Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Bender
Style: American Brown Ale
Brewery: Surly Brewing Company
City: 
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Pale Ale, Aromatic, Medium Crystal, Dark Crystal, Oats and Chocolate
Hops: Columbus and Willamette
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 45
Date: May 3rd, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Monday, May 3rd 2010

CAN-test Entry - GUBNA by the Sea


photo by Bob Lorber

Our first CAN-test entry is in and its a great shot of Oskar Blues' new GUBNA Imperial IPA chillin' somewhere near the water in Florida. It sure looks nice! Thanks to Bob Lorber for this submission! Cheers!

 

Click to enter our CAN-test and for more information!

 


Posted by Russ


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