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Thursday, April 28th 2011

Hop Ottin' IPA
(Anderson Valley Brewing Company)

Hop Ottin' IPA is the newest member of the Anderson Valley canned family. The brewery decided to replace their Poleeko Gold Pale Ale with their IPA and we think it was a great decision (since we love hops). The can sports the new design being used  by AVBC so look for it on cans of their Boont Amber and Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema as well. 

From the Anderson Valley site:

"Hop Ottin’ IPA is as hoppy as they come. The name means “hard working hops,” in Boontling, and that tells it all. Generous additions of high-alpha Pacific Northwest hops added during a vigorous boil, plus traditional dry hopping, with whole hop cones, give this ale a delicious citrus aroma, and an intense hoppy bite. This IPA is a hop lover’s dream.

Here we go...

Pour - bright golden in color with a nice clean look with a decent sized stark white head. Things are looking good in this glass. I'm ready to dive in, both figuratively and literally...who wouldn't want to swim in a big glass of IPA!

 

Aroma - a little grassy, some nice citrus aromas, a bit of sweet caramel and maltiness as well. Not a huge amount of fresh hops in the nose, it's a lot more subtle.

 

Taste - a big swig from the glass and my mouth is flooded with both maltiness and hoppiness in equal parts. I think my palate is a little confused as its trying hard to focus on whether this is super hoppy or if its super balanced. In the end it finds a happy medium. It's sort of both. There are a lot of nice citrusy, resiny hoppy notes that are well paired with the sweetness that a significant grain bill offers. Their is a slight bit of butteriness that I catch, not sure if that's the yeast or not. Finishes sweet but dry with a lasting bitterness that stays on the tongue. 

 

Overall - very well rounded IPA. Love this on tap and love it from the can. Plenty of hoppy bitterness but well balanced and extremely refreshing. At 7% this one will sneak up on you!

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. This would be perfect for camping or a round or two of disc golf. I love that they've started canning their IPA! 

 

Note - Did you know that Anderson Valley has a disc golf course at their brewery? I hope to get a post up about their sustainability projects and their disc golf course and how canning their beers ties in. Also, major thanks goes out to Anderson Valley for sending samples of each of their canned offerings. Cheers!

 



Hops Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Hop Ottin' IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
City: 
Boonville, California  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 7.0%
IBUs: 80
Date: April 28th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Tuesday, April 26th 2011

The Art of Packaging: Sly Fox
Q & A with Todd Palmer
(Virtual Farm Creative)

One could argue that to be successful in today's craft beer market requires good marketing. Actually, in today's craft beer market it's more likely to require great marketing. Take a quick walk down any beer aisle and it's very clear to see that it takes a lot for a brand to stand out. When you see a beer on the shelf with a great label or a unique tap handle at the bar you're often faced with the "don't judge a book by it's cover" dilemma. However, many times the creative minds behind a craft brewery's branding, marketing and packaging are just as equally skilled as the brewers who make the beers they help to sell.

With this in mind we reached out to Todd Palmer of Virtual Farm Creative. They've been working with Pennsylvania's Sly Fox Brewing Company for almost ten years and are the creative talents behind the Sly Fox branding we've come to know and love. Todd was nice enough to share his answers to our questions about what goes into conceptual design, and of course can art, as well as working with the craft beer industry. Cheers Todd!

 

(CC) Can you provide us some background about yourself, Virtual Farm and your connection to Sly Fox Brewing Company?

(TP) I am creative director at VFC (Virtual Farm Creative), a small agency that has been providing creative solutions to clients in a diverse mix of categories since 1999. We're based in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and have business to business and consumer clients throughout the Delaware Valley.

We were fans of Sly Fox long before we were partners eating lunch at the Phoenixville pub — just down the road from our studio. We started working with them shortly after brewmaster Brian O'Reilly came aboard and right before they started distributing. Since 2002, we have worked closely with O'Reilly and Sly Fox ownership, the Giannopolous family, to support the brewery, the pubs and the products with creative branding, packaging, events and out-of-the-ordinary marketing.

I've been in advertising for more than twenty years now and VFC is twelve years old. The majority of our clients have been with us for most of that time and we're a unique agency in that we do not employ any account executives. Everyone at VFC is a creative contributing to the success of accounts like Sly Fox Brewing.

 

(CC) We love the artwork used by Sly Fox in all aspects of their branding, especially the cans. What can you tell us about your involvement in that?

(TP) Thank you! Sly Fox Brewing's fist foray into packaging was with big bottles featuring 22oz bombers with crowns and 750ml with a cork and cage. Because they had several beers they were going to bottle at once in that first round, VFC was able to present a really unified look for all of the varieties. The label shapes and sizes were all the same and VFC developed a standard that could apply to any new bottle that the brewery would decide to do in the future. They were all unique and original but still had a familial quality. VFC is a big fan of developing corporate design standards for our small business clients. There is no reason that small companies can't be as strategic and prepared as their larger competitors.

Anyway, when discussions about purchasing a canning line started we got excited. Cans offer an entire canvas for displaying the corporate and product brand in creative ways. To maintain the familial look we kept the label shape as a defining element and created unique presentations for the 12oz aluminum. If you look at the color on a Sly Fox beer can, you can actually see the bottle label shape.

"...when discussions about purchasing a canning line started we got excited. Cans offer an entire canvas for displaying the corporate and product brand in creative ways."

VFC actually had Pikeland Pils and Phoenix Pale Ale cans designed and approved before the canning line was installed. The annual seasonals, Royal Weisse and Dunkel Lager, followed closely behind. Last year, Route 113 IPA received a new design treatment to distinguish it from the popular 22oz version and Oktoberfest, another seasonal, cans were rolled out this past fall.

In each case, VFC presents design concepts to Sly Fox and there is some back and forth until VFC can prepare a final mechanical for the production vendor. Just about everyone at VFC and at Sly Fox Brewing has some input into each product design.

 

(CC) From concept to store shelf, what's the time period  that is usually needed?

(TP) That's a tricky one… because of the subjective nature of presenting conceptual designs to a committee, some designs go through more iterations than others. After a design is finally approved by Sly Fox it then needs to be sent to the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for content approval. Different TTB agents find different issues and you might have to deal with several different agents on each design. As you're probably aware, there are rules for the proper language and size for all of the components on a can and the entire process can become frustrating and unnecessarily drawn out. We have gone from concept to completion in under two weeks on some cans while others have taken two months.

 

(CC) What is the hardest part about designing labels for cans as opposed to bottles?

(TP) Bottles use labels which are generally printed on a four-color offset press– a process with which most designers are intimately familiar. Can printing, for which there are only a handful of vendors in the U.S., uses spot color on special presses. Registration has been an issue. If you look closely at even a big brand can you'll spot imperfections. We did a lot of R&D prior to designing the first cans and some of the features in a Sly Fox can are there simply to disguise registration issues. We tried to turn the problem into a feature.

(CC) Which of Sly Fox's can designs was the most intricate and complex to design? Any favorites?

(TP) I suppose, Oktoberfest is the most complex with unique flourishes representative of the style's Bavarian heritage. 113 went through the most iterations for a few reasons. First off, everyone wanted it to be totally different than the bottle and secondly, Route 113 India Pale Ale (IPA) was unlike the other varieties in the number of important words that needed to be properly weighted in a relatively small region. 113 is definitely dangerously close to being out of standard but it's still attractive and we love what comes inside it!

 

(CC) We just saw the design for the "Cantacular Trio" variety pack that Sly Fox released. What can you tell us about that?

(TP) As the agency of record for Sly Fox Brewing we handle a lot more than their packaging. We develop and host a dynamic Internet presence and promote the brewery as creatively as possible. One of those creative endeavors was to embrace the positivity of cans completely and promote canning craft beer separately from the promotion of Sly Fox product. When the cans first launched we launched a marketing effort with the domain, cantacular.com.

It was kind of a riff off a Seinfeld episode, you know– "They're real and they're spectacular." We wanted to create a new way for people to think about beer in cans which are spectacularly innovative. The new word became a logical choice to brand the mixed twelve packs entering new markets… so, instead of the tired old 'variety pack,' Sly Fox now offers the Cantacular Trio!

 

(CC) What's been the best part about doing design work within the craft beer industry?

(TP) Almost every brewery is doing something noteworthy design-wise and, unlike some other industries, competition is extremely friendly. They're all watching one another– in the breweries, in the marketplace, at events– and the bars keep getting raised but they also have a unique united front as small breweries competing with some huge international brands for shelf space and market share. The David versus Goliath angle is appealing to VFC's own corporate mission. Sometimes you have to get as creative with budgets as you do with designs but we love the challenge.

 

 

(CC) Shifting gears a bit, what can you tell us about the "Respect the Cans" video project that you guys are working on?

(TP) Similar to the Cantacular effort, VFC developed a viral campaign based upon the unknown virtues of cans. Perhaps deservedly, cans had gotten a pretty bad reputation over the years and we wanted to develop a vehicle to help educate the consumer whose opinions were based largely on what was now misinformation. Cans have changed and they are really the perfect package… not only for design but for freshness, convenience and coolness. This campaign is still being developed and never overtly references Sly Fox but the brewery is the muse for Respect the Cans.

 

Respect the Cans 

 

(CC) Anything exciting new projects on the horizon for Virtual Farm?

(TP) It depends upon your perspective… we get excited by helping everyday small business clients solve problems as creatively as possible. People start companies without realizing how important naming, branding, messaging, marketing and communications really are to their success. We are currently branding a very large and rapidly growing charter school and managing brands for several online retailers, some entertainment related enterprises and a lot of business to business clients. Oh, we're also preparing for Sly Fox Brewing's biggest event, the Bock Fest and Goat Races on May 1, 2011.

 

(CC) What was the last great can of craft beer you enjoyed and where did you enjoy it?

(TP) I just had a Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale for lunch and that was pretty great but I never pass up the opportunity to taste craft beer in a can!

 

     
CraftCans.Com reviews of all six Sly Fox canned offerings (click-a-card)


Posted by Russ


Labels:


Monday, April 25th 2011

Narragansett Bock
(Narragansett Brewing Company)

 

First brewed back in the '30s, Narragansett's Bock is an ode to spring and their newest canned seasonal. This is a helles bock or maibock style beer so you can expect it to be a little easier on the palate yet pack plenty of flavor. These big, green cans certainly stand out on the shelf and at $7.99 for a six-pack its certainly hard to resist!

 

From the Narragansett site:

"Gansett Bock is a deeply flavorful beer with a rich golden color and a full body.  It is drier, hoppier, and slightly more bitter than a traditional bock, but still with a relatively low hop flavor.  It offers an extremely approachable craft experience not to be confused with the double and triple bocks out on the market.  The beer pours well, producing a large creamy, persistent white head, and moderate carbonation.  Despite its full body, the flavor is not overly malty and delivers an elegant spicy character from the hops that produces a balanced, smooth finish."

Here we go...

 

Pour - clear, dark golden to amber in appearance with a thick, biscuit batter-like head on top. 

 

Aroma - caramel, raw sugar, a bit of sweet orange and plenty of maltiness. 


Taste - first sip brings on malty sweetness and a sharp, firm bite. Some nice caramel and brown sugar flavors combine with slight hints of citrus and bread dough and all come together and face a nicely put together and altogether sharp lager finish. This is not a half-assed amber lager by any means. This is a very well brewed helles bock and needs to be experienced in order to truly be appreciated. 

 

Overall - This is certainly a well put together lager with a very nice and very defined finish. Crisp and refreshing. Well done Narragansett, well done. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - I would. A six-pack of 16 oz. cans is going for about $8 here in New England. Very affordable for a quality brew. Narragansett has done very well with all of their seasonal canned releases thus far. 

Note - Narragansett has released a fall seasonal (Fest) as well as a winter seasonal (Porter) and now a spring seasonal (Bock) and will in fact also be releasing a summer seasonal in 16 oz. tall boy cans this year for the very first time. Cheers!

 

 

       


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Narragansett Bock
Style: Maibock/Helles Bock
Brewery: Narragansett Brewing Company
City: 
Providence, Rhode Island  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Light and Dark Munich malts, Pilsner Malt, and Malted Wheat
Hops: Northern Brewer and Hallertau
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 32
Date: April 25th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Monday, April 25th 2011

Midnight Sun Brewing to begin canning Sockeye Red IPA!

We've just confirmed with Barb Miller, VP of Sales, Marketing and Business/Brand Development at Midnight Sun Brewing Company (Anchorage, Alaska), that they're planning on putting their Sockeye Red IPA in cans in the near future. They've got a canning line set up and are adding additional tanks to allow for the additional production. Label approval for Sockeye Red IPA has been sent off to the TTB. We're following up with Barb with a few more questions but it looks like it won't be too long before beer lovers on the West Coast could enjoy some cans of this IPA. 

This is pretty exciting stuff as Midnight Sun is arguably one of the nation's most beloved small craft breweries and yet another Alaskan brewery that has chosen to put some of their beers in cans (joining Kenai River Brewing and Sleeping Lady Brewing). Based on the art used on the bottle labels I'd have to say that this will be one great looking can of equally great beer! The can below is something we at CraftCans put together and should NOT be taken too seriously. Cheers! More to come...

From the Midnight Sun site:

Sockeye Red IPA

5.7 % Alcohol By Volume
70 International Bittering Units (IBUs)

"Brewed in the bold spirit of Alaska, Sockeye Red IPA is a finely crafted Pacific Northwest-style India Pale Ale with a real bite. Ample pale two-row malt creates a fresh, firm body while specialty malts impart a spawning red hue. The predominant character of this fiesty catch comes from outlandish portions of Centennial, Cascade and Simcoe hops, giving this beer tremendous citrus and floral aroma and flavor.

Determined and bitter but amazingly balanced, Sockeye Red IPA is gnarly enough to take you hook, line and sinker. Forget about a bigger rig; grab a bigger glass."

 


this is the can "label"


Posted by Russ



Friday, April 21st 2011

Happy Earth Day! Here are
10 Ways to Drink Responsibly




Posted by Russ


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Thursday, April 21 2011

Springtime is bock time.

Bock. One of few beer styles that can be associated with the season in with which many of us have a love/hate relationship. The word "bock" actually has a bit of an interesting history. The style was born in Einbeck, Germany. Like many styles of the day the town gave birth to the style and hence the name of the beer when ordered. So, one would ask for an "Einbeck" (which is still a rather famous brewery by the way). When the dark, malty lager was adopted by the master brewers in Munich the local Bavarian populous came to saying "ein bock" which means "a billy goat" and it stuck. Hence the goats that tend to adorn many bock labels. 

Bock is sort of a generic style name as there are actually a number of different versions within that beer grouping. The traditional Bock is a sweet, malty lager that tends to be a little darker in color. Maibock or Helles Bock is lighter in color but still sweet and malty with a similar ABV %. Next we move to the heavy hitters. The Dopplebock (or double bock) tends to be very dark, very sweet with baked apple flavors and weighs in close to double digits or even higher. Finally you've got the Eisbock (ice bock). This is a style that tends to be very high in alcohol as the beer is frozen and the water removed for a more concentrated brew. This style has an interesting history as well but until someone puts one in a can I'll leave that for some other sites to tell.

So far we've only seen cans of traditional Bock and the Maibock/Helles Bock. Below is a quick guideline of those bocks that have been canned thus far. Prosit!


Spoetzl Brewery's Shiner Bock

One of the more popular bocks in America. Spoetzl Brewery has been producing their ubiquitous Shiner Bock for almost 100 years. The Texas brewery has seen a resurgence in its popularity over the past decade.

Name: Shiner Bock

Brewery: Spoetzl Brewery (Shiner, Texas)

Style: Traditional Bock

Strength: 4.4%

Availability: Year-Round Release

 

 


Narragansett Brewing's Bock

The newest of the seasonal canned tallboys from Narragansett. Cans of their Bock, first brewed in the '30's, hit shelves last month. Much like their other seasonals its solid and the price for six is quite nice. Following this spring release will be cans of Summer Ale, the brewery's first ever summer release.

Name: Narragansett Bock

Brewery: Narragansett Brewing Company (Providence, Rhode Island)

Style: Maibock/Helles Bock

Strength: 6.5%

Availability: Spring Release

 


Lancaster Brewing's Rumspringa Golden Bock

Brand new from Lancaster County Brewing Company are cans of their "Rumspringa Golden Bock". Rumpsringa means "running around" in the Pennsylvania Dutch communities and refers to a period in which Amish youth tend to "sow their wild oats" so to speak.

Name: Rumspringa Golden Bock

Brewery: Lancaster Brewing Company (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)

Style: Maibock/Helles Bock

Strength: 6.6%

Availability: Spring Release

 

Bohemian Brewery's Cherny Bock

Cherny Bock from Utah's Bohemian Brewery is actually a schwarzbier, although Ratebeer considers it a "dunkler bock". The word Cherny is Czech for black. That being said, the can also features a goat and the dark, yet light-bodied, lager inside is certainly worth your while.

Name: Cherny Bock

Brewery: Bohemian Brewery (Midvale, Utah)

Style: Schwarzbier

Strength: 4.0%

Availability: Year-Round Release

 


Genesee's Special Edition Bock Beer

Okay, I know. Genesee Bock is not "craft beer". This "Special Edition" spring release has been produced by Genny since 1951. It's a solid enough traditional bock and the price point is pretty much impossible to pass up, even if you're buying them simply because the cans are so easy on the eyes.

Name: Genesee Bock Beer

Brewery: Genesee Brewing Company (Rochester, New York)

Style: Traditional Bock

Strength: 5.2%

Availability: Spring Release

 


could you imagine if this was real?



Posted by Russ



Wednesday, April 13th 2011

Cornerstone IPA
(Rochester Mills Beer Company)

Rochester Mills' second canned release after Lazy Daze Lager. Cornerstone IPA is brewed and canned in Royal Oak, Michigan by Millking It Productions. Looking forward to cracking open 16 oz. of IPA goodness...

From the Rochester Mills site:

 

"This unfiltered amber ale is packed full of hop bitterness, flavor and aroma. IPA is the most bitter beer style and it is enjoyed by people we refer to as “hopheads.” We dry hop this beer with a combination of English and American hop varieties for a wonderfully aromatic finish."


Here we go...

 

Pour - dark honey, amber in color. Clean, clear appearance with a decent sized bubbly white head on top. 


Aroma - caramel and orange juice in the aroma as well as some grassiness and lemon. A bit of vanilla and only a slight bit of pine. Not a whole lot of hoppiness in the nose.

 

Taste - definitely a malt forward IPA with a nice hoppiness that seems to appear at the back of the tongue as you get that first sip down. It's almost like a "hop ghost" appearing when you least expect it. Cornerstone has a good deal of caramel sweetness combining with orange and lemon citrus flavors as well as a bit of pineapple juice. 

 

Overall -  at first I wasn't sure what to think but then the hoppiness kicked in and the balanced nature of this IPA came out. Sure, it's not a crazy hop bomb but every beer has it's own unique signature so to speak. Give this one a shot, have an open mind and we're sure you'll enjoy it. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - when it comes to cans of craft beer in Michigan we've got a lot to get through. With the recent announcement that Bell's will be canning in 2012 and a number of other Great Lakes State breweries about to release cans we might need to work our way back to this one, which should be a fun quest!

 

Note - You can try a variety Rochester Mills Beer Company beers by going to their brewpub in Rochester, Michigan. They've got about a dozen brews on tap including their upcoming canned release, Milkshake Stout



Cornerstone IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Rochester Mills Brewing Company
City: 
Rochester, Michigan  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 6.6%
IBUs: ???
Date: April 13th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Tuesday, April 12th 2011

Q & A with Bill Manly
(Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)

Not that long ago the world of canned craft beer received a nice surprise when one of the major players in the industry, Chico, California's legendary Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, announced that they too would soon be canning. Lovers of their iconic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale would soon be able to rejoice with cans in hand. We wanted to know more about Sierra's decision to move forward with canning so we wrote to the brewery. Bill Manly, the company's Communications Coordinator, was kind enough to respond with some great answers to our questions. Cheers Bill!

 

(CC) What was it that made Sierra Nevada go forward with the idea of canning?

(BM) We decided to move forward with cans for several reasons. Chiefly we want people to be able to enjoy our beer in places where bottles just aren’t practical…camping, kayaking, hiking…etc. Sierra Nevada has long has a relationship with the outdoors (we’re named after a mountain range after all) and it is been a conundrum for years how to bring beer when we’re out there in the world. Cans are the obvious solution. Lighter to carry, pack flat, cool quickly and are just damn convenient.

 

(CC) Besides your iconic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which of your other brands do you see being canned?

(BM) Right now, we’re going to start with Pale Ale in 12-pack 12 oz cans, and Torpedo in 16 oz 4-packs. As the can program ramps up, we’ll examine other brand extensions from there.

 

..."and Torpedo in 16 oz 4-packs."

 

(CC) Will cans of Sierra Nevada be available in the same markets as bottles?

(BM) We haven’t solidified our sales strategy yet, but we imagine cans will be sold alongside of bottles in most markets.

 

(CC) What type of canning line will the brewery be using?

(BM) Our canning line is a KHS 84 head line.

 


Coming Late 2011!


(CC) What does SNBC see as the major benefits to cans?

(BM) The reasons I mention previously, of course…cans going where bottles can’t. Also cans recycle more easily, weigh less, cut down on shipping costs, and are a great container for beer. (light-tight, less oxygen ingress…etc.)

 

(CC) How does fit in with the brewery's sustainability commitment?

(BM) Cans are a very sustainable option. As I mentioned before, they recycle very easily, cut down on shipping costs because of the reduced weight, which in turn, uses less energy.

 


Sierra Nevada's brewery in Chico, Calfornia (photo courtesy SNBC)

(CC) Is canning here to stay?

(BM) I love cans, I think they are here to stay. There is still some stigma to the idea of canned beer…people not involved with the current craft movement still regard cans as for “junk beer” but the more brands that adopt canning, and the better the message around cans as a viable option…the more accepted they will be for a mass audience.

 

(CC) If you could crack open a can of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale anywhere in the world where would it be?

(BM) If I could open a can of Pale Ale anywhere in the world… I would pick a campsite in the redwoods along the Mendocino coast here in Northern California. I’m a recent transplant to California and that is one of the most interesting spots I have ever visited.

 

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Media Resources


 


Posted by Russ



Monday, April 11th 2011

Stowaway IPA
(Baxter Brewing Company)

It's barely been three months since the kettles were fired up at Lewiston, Maine's Baxter Brewing Company and already they've planned to double capacity to keep up with demand. Stowaway IPA is one of their two canned offerings thus far (the other being Pamola Xtra Pale Ale) with more on the way as well as some draft only beers to come. I've had precious little experience with this not-so-faraway brewery and hope to change all that this summer. 

From the Baxter Brewing site:

 

"Deep amber-to-orangish in color; pours with a nice, creamy head; huge hop aroma of citrus, pine and grapefruit rind notes with a big, complex, and intense hop flavor that lingers for a very long time. The malt flavor up-front turns dry and crisp; full bodied and a dry finish with a pleasant, long lasting, hop aftertaste and beautiful lace left in the glass. Stowaway leaves you wanting more."


Here we go...

 

Pour - tangerine-orange in color, clean and clear with a very rich, very thick and creamy head. Very impressive pour, be it from a can, bottle or on tap. 


Aroma - citrus, fresh pine and evergreen needles, orange peel, grapefruit and 


Taste - lemony-orange citrus flavors hit the tongue first followed by some malty sweetness and some notes of passionfruit and other tropical fruits. Nice carbonation levels with tiny little bubbles bringing refreshment to your taste buds. A bit dry in the finish which has you dipping your face back in the glass for more. Somehow this beer weighs in at 6.9% ABV, but I don't taste it. I could get into some trouble with a case of these...

 

Overall - a nice debut IPA from the canning folks in the great state of Maine. As this brewery ages I expect to see this beer mastered and certainly become one of the top IPAs in a very crowded New England brewing scene. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I'll definitely be picking up some more cans of this IPA next time I'm up in Maine. 

 

Note - Baxter Brewing is the only brewery in the state of Maine that cans their beers. They are also the only brewery in New England that has chosen to can their entire lineup of beers. Why yes, the flying moose in the label has a story behind it...the below is from the Baxter Brewing site:

 

 

What’s with the flying moose? 


The creature in our logo is Pamola, an Abenaki and Penobscot legend of a spirit which is said to be the god of Thunder, the cause of cold weather and protector of Mt Katahdin, the tallest peak in the state of Maine. The Indians described him as having the head of a moose, the body of a man and the wings and talons of an eagle. Pamola was both feared and respected by the tribes who believed in him.

 



Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Stowaway IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Baxter Brewing Company
City: 
Lewiston, Maine  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: 2-row malted barley
Hops: 5 different hops from the Pacific Northwest
ABV: 6.9%
IBUs: 69
Date: April 11th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Sunday, April 10th 2011

Brooklyn's Sixpoint Craft Ales
to release 4 canned offerings

The Red Hook section of Brooklyn may now be the home to an IKEA but before that big ugly blue and yellow box landed there it was, and still is, home to an amazing little brewery called Sixpoint. Until just recently this small, fiercely independent and altogether sensational outfit was only producing kegs or very scarce bottled offerings. It was just recently announced that Sixpoint will be offering four of their brands in 16 oz. pint cans. Awesome.

The offerings set to be released in the near future will be Sweet Action (a Cream Ale), Righteous Ale (a Rye Beer), Bengali Tiger (an American IPA) and The Crisp (a German Pilsener). Having had all of them from the source, and on tap numerous times since, I can say that all are beyond solid and extremely worthy of any beer lovers fridge/cooler/mountain stream.

Below are the "labels" for the four beers. They'll certainly all look artistic and appealing when pressed and printed on aluminum and then formed nicely into perfect pint cans. 

 

 

We're hoping to get some more information from Shane Welch about when and where you'll be able to find these cans so stay tuned. In the meantime check out the Sixpoint site. Cheers!

Sixpoint Craft Ales Media Resources


 


Posted by Russ



Monday, April 4th 2011

Black Star Golden Lager
(Great Northern Brewing Company)

   

 

The nice folks from Great Northern Brewing Company were kind enough to send me some cans of their Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager, their one and only canned offering. They've now released this brew in both 12 and 24 oz. cans and I have to say I like the weight of a 24 oz. can! I owe them a big thank you and an apology for it taking me so long to get this post up! Cheers and thank you Charlotte!

From the Great Northern Brewing site:

 

"A "double hopped" (dry hopped) unique American lager based on traditional European Pilsners with a crisp refreshing body and lots of taste. We add hops in the kettle and then again before finishing for aromatic quality."


Here we go...

 

Pour - very clean, very clear light golden or straw color. Almost an inch or stark white foam on top. The head on this looks quite nice and leaves some lacing as it fades away. Nice little bubbles streaming upwards.


Aroma - the aroma is subtle, a bit of mashed grain, some grassy notes, some straw/hay as well as slight citrus. 

 

Taste - very crisp, clean flavors. This lager has a nice malty, almost toasty, taste upfront and a nice bite in the finish. The carbonation levels are spot on and make this beer quite refreshing. No real hop presence, more honey and caramel sweetness and almost no aftertaste. 

 

Overall - No, the double hopping doesn't provide this beer much in the way of hoppiness but this is a nice example of a lager that is well brewed with a nice malt profile and a clean, crisp finish. Well done. I'd like to go to Whitefish, Montana and try some of their other brews some time.

 

Would I buy more of it? - perhaps I would. I'd imagine this has a nice price point and in the summer a few cold cans of these would be a nice way to start the evening next to a campfire. 

 

Note - Started by Minott Wessinger, the great-great grandson of famous brewer Henry Weinhard, the Great Northern brewery was built in 1994 to brew Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager as its flagship beer. Black Star beer quickly became a local and regional favorite. Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager is available in both 12- and 24-oz. cans as well as on draught. You can also try a number of their other beers on draught at their brewery in Whitefish, Montana.       

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager
~ 12 oz.
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Great Northern Brewing Company
City: 
Whitefish, Montana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 and 24 oz. cans
Malts: 2 row malted barley
Hops: 80% Mittelfruh and 20% Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 15
Date: April 4th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Monday, April 4th 2011

The CraftCans.Com Guide to
Drinking Local this Summer


38 out of the 50 states (plus DC) now produce canned craft beer

Let's face it summer is the season in which most of us spend the bulk of our time outdoors. It's the season of camping, boating, hiking, biking, frisbee golfing or whatever other activity you per chance like to do while the sun is shining and the temperature is warm. What goes well with outdoor activities you might ask? How about quality canned beer? It goes places that bottled beer can't and with the recent surge in breweries choosing to can their beers you've got (almost) no excuse not to drink a canned beer that's local.

With all of this in mind we've put together the map above to help guide you towards canned beers brewed in 38 of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Many of these breweries have summer offerings that we've tried our best to highlight above. Below you'll find a breakdown of what those brews are and who makes them as well as links to all of the canned beers produced in each of the states (click on state name). Drink local, be happy and get outdoors! Summer is almost here, cheers!

ALABAMA (1)
Good People IPA (Good People Brewing Company)

ALASKA (2)
Skilak Scottish Ale (Kenai River Brewing Company)

ARIZONA (8)
Hefeweizen (SanTan Brewing Company)

ARKANSAS (0)
No breweries currently canning

CALIFORNIA (8)
Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema (Anderson Valley Brewing Company)

 COLORADO (14)
Mexican Logger
(Ska Brewing Company) 

CONNECTICUT (1)
Alpha Weizen (New England Brewing Company)

 DELAWARE (0)
No breweries currently canning 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (1)
Public Ale
(DC Brau) 

FLORIDA (0)
No breweries currently canning 

GEORGIA (0)
No breweries currently canning 

HAWAII (1)
Bikini Blonde Lager 
(Maui Brewing Company) 

IDAHO (0)
No breweries currently canning 

ILLINOIS (5)
Daisy Cutter Pale Ale
(Half Acre Beer Company) 

INDIANA (2)
Sunlight Cream Ale 
(Sun King Brewing Company)

IOWA (1)
483 Pale Ale (Great River Brewery)

 KANSAS (2)
Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat (Tallgrass Brewing Company) 

KENTUCKY (0)
No breweries currently canning 

LOUISIANA (1)
Heiner Brau Kölsch (Heiner Brau Microbrewery)

 MAINE (1)
Pamola Xtra Pale Ale (Baxter Brewing Company) 

MARYLAND (1)
Resurrection (The Brewer's Art)

MASSACHUSETTS (2)
Harpoon Summer Beer
(Harpoon Brewery) 

MICHIGAN (6)
Whitsun 
(Arcadia Brewing Company) 

MINNESOTA (3)
Hell
(Surly Brewing Company) 

MISSISSIPPI (0)
No breweries currently canning 

MISSOURI (2)
Schlafly Summer Lager
(The Saint Louis Brewery) 

MONTANA (4)
Summer Honey
(Big Sky Brewing Company) 

NEBRASKA (2)
Golden Frau Honey Wheat
(Thunderhead Brewing Company) 

NEVADA (1)
Original Orange Blossom Ale (Buckbean Brewing Company)

 NEW HAMPSHIRE (1)
Iron Mike Pale Ale (Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewing Company) 

NEW JERSEY (0)
No breweries currently canning 

NEW MEXICO (1)
Freestyle Pilsner (Santa Fe Brewing Company)

NEW YORK (4)
Brooklyn Summer Ale
(Brooklyn Brewery) 

NORTH CAROLINA (2)
Sunny Haze
(Mother Earth Brewing Company) 

NORTH DAKOTA (0)
No breweries currently canning 

OHIO (0)
No breweries currently canning 

OKLAHOMA (3)
Horny Toad Cerveza
(COOP Ale Works) 

OREGON (4)
Caldera IPA 
(Caldera Brewing Company) 

PENNSYLVANIA (2)
Lancaster German Style Kölsch (Lancaster Brewing Company) 

RHODE ISLAND (2)
Narragansett Summer Ale
(Narragansett Brewing Company) 

SOUTH CAROLINA (1)
White Ale
(New South Brewing Company) 

SOUTH DAKOTA (1)
11th Hour IPA
(Crow Peak Brewing Company) 

TENNESSEE (0)
No breweries currently canning 

TEXAS (3)
Bombshell Blonde Ale
(Southern Star Brewing Company) 

UTAH (1)
Czech Pilsner
(Bohemian Brewery) 

VERMONT (2)
#9 (Magic Hat Brewing Company)

VIRGINIA (2)
Full Nelson Virginia Pale Ale
(Blue Mountain Brewery) 

WASHINGTON (4)
British Pale Ale
(7 Seas Brewing Company) 

WEST VIRGINIA (0)
No breweries currently canning 

WISCONSIN (6)
Nude Beach Summer Wheat
(Stevens Point Brewery) 

WYOMING (2)
Wind River Blonde Ale
(Wind River Brewing Company)

 


Posted by Russ



Monday, April 4th 2011

Black Star Golden Lager (24 oz.)
(Great Northern Brewing Company)

The nice folks from Great Northern Brewing Company were kind enough to send me some cans of their Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager, their one and only canned offering. They've now released this brew in both 12 and 24 oz. cans and I have to say I like the weight of a 24 oz. can! I owe them a big thank you and an apology for it taking me so long to get this post up! Cheers and thank you Charlotte!

From the Great Northern Brewing site:

 

"A "double hopped" (dry hopped) unique American lager based on traditional European Pilsners with a crisp refreshing body and lots of taste. We add hops in the kettle and then again before finishing for aromatic quality."


Here we go...

 

Pour - very clean, very clear light golden or straw color. Almost an inch or stark white foam on top. The head on this looks quite nice and leaves some lacing as it fades away. Nice little bubbles streaming upwards.


Aroma - the aroma is subtle, a bit of mashed grain, some grassy notes, some straw/hay as well as slight citrus. 

 

Taste - very crisp, clean flavors. This lager has a nice malty, almost toasty, taste upfront and a nice bite in the finish. The carbonation levels are spot on and make this beer quite refreshing. No real hop presence, more honey and caramel sweetness and almost no aftertaste. 

 

Overall - No, the double hopping doesn't provide this beer much in the way of hoppiness but this is a nice example of a lager that is well brewed with a nice malt profile and a clean, crisp finish. Well done. I'd like to go to Whitefish, Montana and try some of their other brews some time.

 

Would I buy more of it? - perhaps I would. I'd imagine this has a nice price point and in the summer a few cold cans of these would be a nice way to start the evening next to a campfire. 

 

Note - Started by Minott Wessinger, the great-great grandson of famous brewer Henry Weinhard, the Great Northern brewery was built in 1994 to brew Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager as its flagship beer. Black Star beer quickly became a local and regional favorite. Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager is available in both 12- and 24-oz. cans as well as on draught. You can also try a number of their other beers on draught at their brewery in Whitefish, Montana. 


Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager
~ 24 oz.
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Great Northern Brewing Company
City: 
Whitefish, Montana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 24 oz. can
Malts: 2 row malted barley
Hops: 80% Mittelfruh and 20% Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 15
Date: April 4th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Friday, April 1st 2011

Oskar Blues to Release World's Strongest Canned Beer (by far)

(Longmont, CO) – Oskar Blues Brewery will soon introduce a beer that will certainly bring about more than just some double-takes in the craft beer aisle. The brewery that has made canned beer cool again is about to unleash something big, very, very big!

When the brewery's newest offering, Twen Teny Triple Imperial Stout, hits shelves it will be far and away the strongest canned beer in the world. Currently the strongest canned beer is Camo Black Extra, a cheap malt liquor, which weighs in at a comparably low 12.2%. Twen Teny will weigh in at 20.10% (hence the name) and shatter the existing ABV record mark by almost 8%! In our humble opinion it's only fitting that the makers of Ten Fidy Imperial Stout, a 10.5% malt bomb and currently the strongest canned "craft" beer, and the folks responsible for the "canned beer apocalypse", should be the holders of this particular title. Good on ya!

Twen Teny is a limited release available only in Colorado and only at the Oskar Blues brewpub in Lyons as well as the the Tasty Weasel Taproom and Home Made Liquids and Solids in Longmont. If you're a beer trader it's time to check out your cellar and see what you have "FT" as it's obvious this will be a beer that many traders are "ISO"!

Here is the brewery’s description:

Twen Teny Triple Imperial Stout is a beer that is not for mere mortals. This is a stout that drinks Russian Imperial Stouts as session brews. We used so much malted barley while brewing this beer that breweries on the other side of the planet were bitching about malt shortages. Twen Teny packs an astounding punch at 20.10% ABV and has 135 IBUs to match. Nothing that went into this beer was measured in pounds, only tons. This is a beer that gives off a contact buzz and pours a color of black that had only previously been seen by the Hubble telescope. Pour this slowly into a small snifter and don't make plans for two days to follow."

      
Twen Teny will soon be the "World's Strongest Canned Beer"


Posted by Russ


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