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Monday, October 31st 2011

Tallgrass Velvet Rooster Video
The First Tripel in a Can Cometh!


(watch this)

Tallgrass Brewing Company is releasing the industry's first canned Belgian-style Tripel under the auspicious name of "Velvet Rooster." Velvet Rooster began shipping this week in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans and in kegs. Tallgrass released the video above to help promote this canned release. If there was a canned craft beer hall of fame we'd certainly include a can of Velvet Rooster! Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by Russ


Labels:


Friday, October 28th 2011

Amber Road Amber Ale
(Baxter Brewing Company)

Amber Road is Baxter's third, and newest, canned release to date. This one is set to hit shelves in it's homestate of Maine next week and will be in Massachusetts in early 2012. The beer was named after "the ancient Roman trade route that ran for centuries from the modern-day Baltics to Northern Africa for the transport of then semi-precious amber, the Amber Road is meant to connote cosmopolitan adventure, in keeping with the emphasis of Baxter’s commitment to the portability of great beer in cans, along with the special characteristics of this newest style."

From the Baxter Brewing site:

"Amber Road, a malt-accented amber ale featuring a rich toastines and balanced hop flavor that lingers through to an exceptionally smooth finish, joins Baxter’s flagship styles Pamola Xtra Pale Ale and Stowaway IPA...The new amber ale is a careful blend of ten different malts and three different hop varietals. The profile of this beer fits nicely next Baxter’s two previous releases while appealing to the more malt-minded beer drinker, nicely rounding out the company’s profile of year-around releases."


Here we go...

 

Pour - fills the glass with a nice, deep mahogany color. Has some of the same colors as a nice bourbon. A thin white head splashes on top. Clean and clear with solid carbonation.


Aroma - first whiff and I get lots of caramel malt. This is followed by some toffee and hints of cider. Definitely some malt complexities in this one. Ten different malts in one brew is impressive.


Taste - smooth, sweet and crisp. Lots of that caramel maltiness coming out on the tongue as well as raw sugar and candied orange peel. Loving the way this isn't too sweet, it isn't too light and it isn't just another run-of-the-mill amber ale. This one has some character and a very solid flavor. Also, the IBUs may be low at 35 but this has an edge to it, perhaps not a citrusy hoppiness but some bite in the finish.

 

Overall - definitely a well made amber ale. A great addition to the growing Baxter can family. Amber Road is a very drinkable beer with actual character and not the type of amber ale you hardly notice while you're drinking it. This should appeal to the masses and to the beer geeks alike. Well done Baxter!

 

Note - Below are the "Technical Specifications" of this beer as provided by Baxter Brewing Company.

  • A proprietary blend of North American 2 row malted barley including barley grown in Northern Maine’s Aroostook County
  • 8 different domestic and imported “Character” malts provide complexity, color and body
  • 3 different hops varieties grown in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon
  • Cold conditioned for a smooth, crisp and clean flavor
  • Clean, well attenuating, top-fermenting American ale yeast
  • Pure, soft water from Lake Auburn, Maine

 

           


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Amber Road Amber Ale
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brewery: Baxter Brewing Company
City: 
Lewiston, Maine  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 35
Date: October 28th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Friday, October 28th 2011

Craft Beer's First Belgian-Style Tripel in a Can: Velvet Rooster


Craft Beer's First Belgian-Style Tripel in a Can: Velvet Rooster

Manhattan, Kansas -  Tallgrass Brewing Company is releasing the industry's first canned Belgian-style Tripel under the auspicious name of "Velvet Rooster." Velvet Rooster began shipping this week in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans and in kegs.

"Andrew Hood, our head brewer, put together this amazing brew as his first test batch when he came to Tallgrass. I tasted it and wanted to can it that day," said Tallgrass founder Jeff Gill. "Traditionally, Belgian-style Tripels take themselves very seriously, but we just couldn't do that. We had to give it our Tallgrass-twist, and Velvet Rooster was born."


Velvet Rooster being canned

Velvet Rooster is in the Trappist tradition of Belgian Tripels with sweet tones gently hiding its strong alcohol bite (8.5% ABV). The beer pours a golden straw color and is topped with a lofty pure white head that unveils the beer's strong floral and fruit aromas.

"Velvet Rooster is in the Trappist tradition of Belgian Tripels with sweet tones gently hiding its strong alcohol bite (8.5% ABV). The beer pours a golden straw color and is topped with a lofty pure white head that unveils the beer's strong floral and fruit aromas."

The taste is clean but complex, starting with hints of fruit and sweet malt, with just a touch of candy sweetness at the end. The beer's Champagne-like effervescence provides a crisp offset to its sweet finish.

According to www.craftcans.com, a website dedicated to promoting craft beer in cans, Velvet Rooster is the first of its kind. "As far as I know, Tallgrass's Velvet Rooster is the first canned Tripel in the world," said Craftcans.com co-founder Russ Phillips. "Tripels are usually in serious looking bottles with stuffy names. I wonder what the Trappist Monks would think of their heritage in a 16-ounce can with a psychedelic rooster on it?"


The first cans of Velvet Rooster were shipped this week

The Tallgrass website playfully says of their latest creation,"It is smooth and carefully crafted, like a fine velvet painting."

In association with National Craft Beer Week in May, Tallgrass gave the public a limited preview of the brew. Velvet Rooster was a featured craft beer at select Old Chicago Restaurants in the Midwest. This small sampling left many people asking when they could take home a can of this amazing brew. The answer is now.

Tallgrass Brewing Company was started in Manhattan, Kansas, in 2007, by homebrewer/ex-geologist Jeff Gill and his wife Tricia. Tallgrass’s products include Velvet Rooster, Ale, IPA, Buffalo Sweat Stout, Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat, and Oasis. Tallgrass declared its "Canifesto" in May of 2010 and began exclusively using cans for its non-draft product. Tallgrass is now distributed in 15 states.

 


Posted by Russ



Thursday, October 27th 2011

Great River Oktoberfest
(Great River Brewery)

 

Sly Fox Brewing Company released the first canned Oktoberfest beer last year. Since then there have been 7 other Oktoberfest beers released in cans with Great River's being one of 4 to be released for the first time in 2011. Great River Brewery is truly one of those breweries that focuses on producing great beer for local consumers. If you can get your hands on some of their stuff you won't be disappointed. 

 

From the Great River Brewery site:

 

"Great River Brewery’s Oktoberfest is a Marzen style beer brewed with Hallertau hops and pale and crystal malts. The result is a full bodied,malty brew with a beautiful amber color and a clean dry finish."

 

The CAN reads:

 

"Today, many areas celebrate Oktoberfest, but the original is in the Bavarian city of Munich and the name has become synonymous with beers that are only produced during that special time of the year.


Great River Brewery's Oktoberfest is a Marzen style beer brewed with Hallertau hops and pale and crystal malts. The result is a full bodied, malty brew with a beautiful amber color and a clean dry finish."


Here we go...

POUR: dark amber in color with some ruby red hues along with a thin white head made up of soda-like bubbles. Clean in appearance with lots of little orbs streaming upwards. Great looking pour for the style.

AROMA: faint hints of cereal grains and caramel. Some very subtle hints of brown sugar and corn syrup. The aroma of this beer is very muted. 

TASTE: one sip and this is definitely going to please the malt lovers. I get toasted brown bread, brown sugar, molasses, soggy bran flakes and an overal very generous grain bill packed into each mouthful. The finish is clean and crisp which really rounds things out nicely. 

OVERALL: once it hits the tongue this beer takes off. With little aroma and a nice appearance you're sort of left wondering what is going to make this beer special. The malt forward flavor profile of this well crafted lager and that smooth, crisp finish really make this a winner. Well done, wish we had more of it! Another fine beer from Great River.

NOTES: Great River Brewery has just released their sixth canned offering. Big Cock IPA, seriously - no joke - clck on the link, is a limited release IPA that clocks in at 7% with 70 IBUs. 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Great River Oktoberfest
Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest
Brewery: Great River Brewery
City: 
Davenport, Iowa  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Pale and Crystal
Hops: Hallertau
ABV: 5.9%
IBUs: 25
Date: October 27th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Saturday, October 21st 2011

The PeliCAN State:
Louisiana Brewers Going with Cans

Google the words "Louisiana" and "Beer" and your first result will be Abita Brewing Company. Abita opened it's doors in 1986 making it the oldest craft brewery in the state and last year they brewed over 100,000 barrels of beer which also makes it the largest. Their beers can be found in 42 states and up until now they've only been available on draught or in a bottle.


Three of Abita's major brands will be canned in 2012

This summer the Abita Springs brewer made a ripple in the craft beer world when it announced that they would begin canning three of their major brands in 2012. In the meantime the beer store shelves in Louisiana are being stocked with a number of other in-state cans.


Heiner Brau Kolsch was first canned in 2005

Heiner Brau Microbrewery in Covington was the first craft brewery in the state to can one of it's beers - and they still can that one beer and you can crack one open if you're lucky enough to find it. Heiner Brau's Kolsch was first hand-canned in 2005 and sporadically so since then. Last we heard a small batch had been canned and was only being sold at a limited number of stores. Perhaps the newly emerging market for cans will spur Heiner Brau to do more canning? We shall see.

This past year, NOLA Brewing Company (New Orleans Lager and Ale)in New Orleans (of course), and Tin Roof Brewing Company, in Baton Rouge, both began brewing and both made the decision to go with cans. These two new breweries are among a growing number of craft breweries that have foregone bottles in favor of cans and represent the rapidly growing market for good beer in the south.


NOLA Blonde Ale is the first canned release from the new brewery

NOLA Brewing is releasing the first batch of their NOLA Blonde Ale in cans next weekend and will release their NOLA Brown Ale in cans this January. The brewery plans to also release their Hopitoulas IPA, Flambeau Red Ale, Hurricane Saison, Irish Channel Stout and 7th Street Wheat all in cans. Located in New Orleans, the brewery references a number of reasons why they chose cans over bottles and one of those reasons is that its legal to drink beer from a can on the streets in the Big Easy whereas you can't do so from a bottle. They should put that information right on the cans!

 


Tin Roof Brewing Company's Perfect Tin Amber Ale

Tin Roof Brewing, located in the state's capital city, began brewing in November of 2010. In late August of this year they shipped out the first cans of their Perfect Tin Amber Ale. The brewery also has plans to can their Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale as well as, and this made the news quite a bit in the college sports world, their Bandit Blonde Ale. The name comes from the term Chinese Bandits - and is a reference to a nickname given to players on an LSU football team back in the late 50s and now a song that is played by LSU's band at football games when LSU forces a turnover. It will be the "Official Beer of Louisiana State University" and is dressed up nicely in the school's familiar purple and gold along with "a Chinese bandit tiger wearing an eye patch on the back". Look for cans of Bandit Blonde to hit shelves later this year.

By 2012, when those Abita cans finally show up on the beer store shelves in Louisiana they'll have to find some room for them! We wish all these guys nothing but the best and from what we've been hearing the folks down in Louisiana are pretty excited about all the great new locally brewed beers hitting the market. Enjoy and Cheers!


Posted by Russ



Friday, October 21 2011

The Public
(DC Brau)

The Public is currently the one and only beer that is being brewed and canned in Washington, DC. DC Brau began brewing on March 18th of 2011 and the first cans of The Public came off the line in late April. The Public is the first of what will likely be a nice lineup of canned offerings from DC's first commercial brewery to exist in over 50 years. Cheers!

From the DC Brau site:

"The Public is a delicious easy drinking pale ale made from a simple recipe of quality grain and top notch American hops. Tawny hues of caramel and amber are a trademark of the Public ale as well as a delicious spruce crispness resulting from a beautiful abundance of hops!"

Here we go...

POUR: dark auburn in color with some lighter hues when held to the light. Great looking carbonation level leading to almost an inch of off-white head. Some lacing left inside the glass. 

AROMA: cotton candy, lemon peel, grapefruit juice, powdered sugar and lemon-lime Slurpee. Lots of hops coming from this Pale Ale...certainly leaning towards the IPA category it seems. 

TASTE: one sip and I'm left thinking IPA. Lots of bitter, resiny hops hit the tongue and dry my mouth out. The palate is bombarded by citrus fruits and backed by light toffee and caramel flavors. As it warms a bit the floral flavors come out and mesh nicely with the sweetness that accompanies them. A very well rounded pale ale with a ton of great flavor and somehow it comes in at just 6%. Wow.

OVERALL: I'm left wondering one thing...what is DC Brau's IPA like? This is a pretty hop forward American Pale Ale that hits the higher gears when it comes to lupulin goodness. The tongue takes a good lashing but not one that will leave you moving on to something else. Nope, this is a beer you could make a night of that is for sure. Very well done. We look forward to their future canned releases! 

NOTES: DC Brau plans on canning at least a couple other beers. Those that are in the works already are The Citizen (a Belgian Pale Ale) and The Corruption (an India Pale Ale)

     



Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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The Public
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: DC Brau Brewing Company
City: 
Washington, District of Columbia  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 6.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: October 21st, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Pale Ales


Thursday, October 20th 2011

Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale
(Coastal Extreme Brewing Company)

Coastal Extreme Brewing Company's Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale, that's a long name for a beer, was the first beer that Newport Storm ever brewed commercially. It's also the only beer being canned by the Rhode Island brewer and the only craft beer currently being canned in the nation's smallest state.

From the Coastal Extreme site:

"This first beer from Newport Storm continues to be one of its most popular. The goal was to create a flavorful ale where delicate malt and hop flavor were in perfect balance. To meet this goal, the brewing crew uses North American crystal malt for color and sweetness, and Munich Malt for body and mouthfeel. The perfect amount of spicy Tettenang hops are added for flavor and aroma which compliment the bittering properties of the Magnum hops to round out this session brew."
Here we go...

POUR: dark amber to auburn in color with a great looking inch of offwhite head. Clean and clear. Great looking beer coming out of the can.

AROMA: a big whiff and you get some nice caramal and molasses malty notes. Plenty of sweetness with some hints of creaminess and vanilla.

TASTE: malty, caramel-y, nutty and sweet. Again, there are some hints of cream and vanilla along with some bold malt flavors and very subtle hints of hops. The finish is rather dry, sweet with some slight hints at cherry and again creaminess.

OVERALL: something about this amber ale makes it a bit atypical of the style. Lots of great malt flavors but that creaminess and vanilla/cherry flavor(s) that come out make it a bit unique. Great flagship brew from Rhode Island's only production brewery.

NOTES: Distribution of Hurricane Amber Ale cans tends to be limited to relatively close to the brewery with canning being done primarily for the boating season along the New England coastline. Cans of this beer eluded CraftCans for quite some time until we recently paid a visit to the Newport area. 

Rhode Islanders who enjoy their craft beers in cans will have something to rejoice about in the near future when Grey Sail Brewing Company, a soon to open brewery in Westerley, begins offering their beers in cans.

         
the old can and the new can...


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Brewery: Coastal Extreme Brewing Company
City: 
Newport, Rhode Island  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pale, Crystal, Munich
Hops: Magnum, Tettenang
ABV: 5.2%
IBUs: 23
Date: October 20th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Saturday, October 15th 2011

Grapefruit Jungle IPA
(Sun King Brewing Company)

Grapefruit Jungle IPA is the third special release beer from Sun King that is packaged in their very versatile multi-style can. The first IPA released from the brewery, this was made available just recently and only for sale at the Sun King Brewery. Big thanks to our can-loving hero Woody Chandler for sharing. 

From the Sun King site:

"With two pound of hops in each barrel Grapefruit Jungle is a hop lover's dream. It's named for the rich grapefruit characteristics of the three hops used to create it."


 
The story behind the beer...

 

 

Here we go...

 

Pour - streaming out of the can GFJ fills the glass with a brilliant orangish golden color topped with a good inch of fluffy white foam. Nice carbonation, clean and clear. Great looking beer!

 

Aroma - tons of citrus, resiny, piney goodness. Lots of great hop aroma bursting forth from this IPA. Smells like a fresh halved pink grapefruits, oranges and lemons. Some slight sweetness in the aroma as well. 

 

Taste - wow! My tongue has been awoken by an onslaught of big hop flavors and plenty of bitterness. Lots of tropical fruits like passionfruit and mango combine with pink grapefruit and sweet blood oranges. The piney, bitterness that comes into play at the end of each sip is masochistically delicious. So many great flavors in this beer and its well-balanced too! 

 

Overall - excellent IPA! I can't possibly say enough good things about this beer. The hop profile and the flavors it imparts are just outstanding. Lots of big tropical fruit and citrus flavors with a solid malt backbone (yet, certainly hop forward) make this a real joy to drink. I only wish I had more of them! I feel lucky to have had the chance to give this one a try. I would encourage the folks at Sun King to order 100,000 Grapefruit Jungle IPA cans and put this one into year round production.

 

Note - Grapefruit Jungle IPA was until recently only available on draught. Sun King released these special cans at the brewery on Friday, September 30th at a price of $17.50 per four pack. 

 

 




Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Grapefruit Jungle IPA
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Sun King Brewing Company
City: 
Indianapolis, Indiana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 77
Date: October 15th, 2011

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Thursday, October 13th 2011

Grand Circus IPA
(Atwater Brewery)

Released in cans the same time as their Atwater's Lager, Grand Circus is another entry in the growing list of lower ABV ales marketed as an IPA. Let’s see how this one stacks up with no definitive style guidelines to light the way. 

From the Atwater site:

"Detroit’s Grand Circus Park is at the center of the city.  It has always been a meeting place where businessmen and visitors alike can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling streets.  Every city has a place just like Grand Circus Park.  Nice and easy.  After two years of research and sampling, we’ve found the IPA that craft fans have been waiting for.  The one that epitomizes Grand Circus Park.  A nice and easy, deliciously hoppy IPA that is only 5% ABV and works perfect with a day in the park.  Plus, it too is available in cans."

Here we go...

POUR: A bright, vibrant copper color in the glass with a very dense and creamy white head.

AROMA: Dry crackers and some malt sweetness.  The hops make their presence known as it warms and after the head recedes.

TASTE: A malt-forward ale when cold, the hop flavor becomes more noticeable when it warms up a little bit.  There’s some light sweet tea flavor at the start and middle with a twinge of hop bitterness at the finish that cleanses the palate and gets you ready for the next sip.  Just a little bit of pleasant malt sweetness hangs around for an aftertaste.

OVERALL: A nice and light but flavorful pale ale that would pair well with many outdoor activities where higher ABV beers are not a good idea.  The malt-forward flavor profile with some moderate hop bitterness is what I imagine a lighter version of Breckenridge’s Lucky U IPA might taste like.  The easy, smooth drinking might also make this one a good candidate to use to introduce friends into the world of craft beer (and craft beer in cans!). 

NOTES: Understandably, craft brewers have been using the term “session” instead of “light” to describe ales like Grand Circus, probably because the latter term has been used in the brand name of some watery, thin-bodied, and flavorless beers.  No craft brewer wants a customer to associate their creations with something bland.

We’re OK with the term “session” as a craft beer description for “light.”  If you call it a “session IPA,” like Two Beers’ did with their Trailhead India Style Session Ale then the consumer knows what they’re buying. And here’s where Atwater may run into some trouble with Grand Circus: the packaging and label don’t provide a clue that this is a “light” or “session” IPA.  Even the ABV is noticeably absent from the can, which would give semi-informed beer drinkers a good indication that this is not a typical IPA. 

Good surprises are great, while bad surprises can be really bad.  Had we not known this was a “session IPA” before our tasting then Grand Circus may have been one of those bad surprises.  We think the folks at Two Beers did it right by including “session” in the brand name of their lighter IPA and hope that Atwater finds a way to sneak an extra word on the label before the next canning run.  

 

         

 



Hops Scale:
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Grand Circus India Pale Ale
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Atwater Brewery
City: 
Detroit, Michigan  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: Centennial and ?
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: October 13th, 2011

Posted by Trent


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Thursday, October 13th 2011

Canned Pumpkin! The Rather Short History of Pumpkin Ales in Cans

Beers have been brewed with pumpkin in North America since the first Europeans decided to get off their boats and stick around for a bit. It was an easy source of fermentable sugar and was frequently accompanied in the boil by spruce tips instead of hops. Today's pumpkin ales may not exactly resemble those from our brewing past, we've got plenty of malted barley and hops now, but they're still a very important part of American and Canadian beer culture. 

The first brewery to commercially brew a pumpkin ale was Buffalo Bill's Brewery in Hayward, California. Their Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale, still available today, was released back in 1985. Since then the market has been inundated by Pumpkin Ales, Pumpkin Porters, Pumpkin Stouts, Imperial Pumpkin Ales, Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ales, Pumpkin Ciders and everything in between. However, it wasn't until almost twenty-five years later that the first pumpkin ale appeared in a can!


Central City's Red Racer Pumpkin Ale (2009)

In the fall of 2009, the world's first canned pumpkin ale came off the canning lines at Central City Brewing Company in Surrey, British Columbia. Red Racer Pumpkin Ale, with it's familiar "girl on a bicycle" branding on the can, is a 5% subtly spiced amber ale. The award winning Canadian craft brewery describes their pumpkin ale as:

"Crafted with pumpkin and choice spices, this ale is rich, creamy and contains a subtle pumpkin pie flavour. Enjoy this as a great pairing with any holiday feast."

Central City currently distributes their Red Racer Pale Ale, Red Racer India Pale Ale and Red Racer Lager in the US, but have yet to send any of their Red Racer Pumpkin Ale south of the border. The brewery is however currently expanding so we may see cans of this on American shelves sometime in the not too distant future.

 


Wild Onion's Pumpkin Ale (2010)

Fast forward about a year, and a full twenty-five years after the first pumpkin ale was bottled commercially, and we have the first American canned pumpkin ale. Wild Onion Pub & Brewery in Lake Barrington, Illinois gets that credit with the release of their Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale and it's attention grabbing aluminum packaging - designed by graphic artist Tim Hooker. 

Five hundred cases of this creamy, dark amber, and altogether well-spiced brew hit the shelves in 2010 and it wasn't long before they were all gone. The brewery has made this a seasonal release and is one of five brews they're currently canning.

 


Sixpoint's Autumnation (2011)

Late last month we had the release of another canned American pumpkin ale, this time from Sixpoint Craft Ales out of Brooklyn, New York. Autumnation was not only the brewery's first canned seasonal offering but also something altogether unique in the craft beer world. Sixpoint describes the beer as:

"Autumn ushers in an annual rebirth with a full harvest, longer nights, and in many cases, a new wardrobe. We’re celebrating the bounty of the season with a new beer that’s coming out in cans this week — Autumnation. Brewed with pumpkin, ginger and white pepper, and wet-hopped with just-harvested Citra hops from the oldest continually farmed hop farm in the country, it’s a burst of fresh, seasonal spices trapped in a 16-ounce. can."

Sixpoint's rather bold move to capture both the hop harvesting season as well as that of pumpkins left some beer lovers scratching their heads. One whiff of this reddish-auburn hued ale will have you thinking IPA while that first sip will give you lots of oily, resiny hop flavors along with subtle spice and earthy pumpkin notes. Let it warm a tad and you'll be presented with something aromatic and delicious. Definitely one of a kind and definitely amazing.

So, what will 2012 bring us as far as pumpkin ales are concerned? We'll have to wait and see. Perhaps we'll see a few more canning breweries jump on board with seasonal pumpkin offerings. Cheers!



Pumpkin Scale:
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Posted by Russ


Labels: Pumpkin Ales


Monday, October 10th 2011

Atwater's Lager
(Atwater Brewery)

Another can from the great state of Michigan. Atwater Block Brewery brought two cans to market simultaneously – Atwater’s Lager and Grand Circus IPA. According to sales and promotion rep Matt Cebula, Atwater wanted to release their beer in cans as soon as possible and contracted with Latrobe Brewing for the first run while they work towards securing their own canning line.  They promise “more cans to come,” and we have it on pretty good authority Dirty Blonde will be next up in the spring.  In the meantime, let’s give their lager a test drive.        

From the Atwater site:

 

"Atwater Lager is the first beer we ever produced in our Detroit Rivertown brewery.  Though the process was tedious, the results were tasty.  Now, this refreshing Munich-style Helles Lager – made in the Detroit tradition of German-Style lagers – is available in the can."

 

From the can:

 “We drink all we can and then sell the rest.” 


Here we go...

 

Pour - straw/pale yellow color, with a large and strong white head.  When judging to style this one gets good marks for clarity.

 

Aroma - dry, salty cracker aroma; some mint and some spicy yeast notes emerge as it warms.

 

Taste - Atwater Lager is crisp and clean throughout.  It has a dry malty start, some hoppiness in the middle and the finish, and light malt lingers in the back of the throat between drinks.  It is unlikely there are adjuncts present in this brew, and if there are then they are very well hidden.  

 

Overall - A tasty and well balanced lager, though temperature played a significant role in our overall rating.  We started this one off ice cold and the moderate complexity of this lager didn’t show up until we got it to somewhere around 50 degrees, and then we started to really enjoy it.  Drink it straight from the chiller or the ice bucket and you’ll miss the hoppy middle and the pleasant minty/spicy aromas.  If you let it get above 60 degrees you’re on your own – ours were drinking so well they didn’t last long enough for us to find out. 

 

Note - According to Matt at Atwater, the logo design is part of an overall marketing shift that is consistent with making their brews Detroit’s blue-collared working man’s drink of choice. 

When asked about the similarity between their lager can design and that of another Detroit brewing icon, Matt admitted it is not a coincidence.  After all, the Atwater Brewery is located within a stone’s throw of the old Stroh’s downtown building.  Cheers to Atwater for giving a tip of the hat to their fire-brewed Detroit predecessor! 


Atwater's Lager's can design pays homage to Detroit's brewing past

 


Can Scale:
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Atwater's Lager
Style: Munich Helles Lager
Brewery: Atwater Brewery
City: 
Detroit, Michigan  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: October 10th, 2011

Posted by Trent


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Labels: Lagers


Friday, October 7th 2011

Not One but Two Florida Craft Brewers Plan to Can in Near Future

It was only a matter of time. Florida is/was one of only 11 states that had no craft breweries canning and soon they'll make the jump to two - and those two are located only about 5 miles from eachother.

The beer world recently got very excited when Cigar City Brewing was featured in Southern Brew News, and it was announced that the Tampa brewer intends to can their highly touted Jai Alai IPA as well as their Florida Cracker White Ale. They're currently working on acquiring a canning line as well as increasing their brewing capacity up to 50,000 barrels. The brewery is also looking to add a few new six-packs to their bottled lineup. 

As soon as this news broke we heard from David Doble, of nearby Tampa Bay Brewing Company. He told us that they had ordered a MC100 canning line from Wild Goose Engineering about a month ago and it was projected to arrive the first week of December. They plan to launch with their Old Elephant Foot IPA and then follow up with one or two other canned offerings at least 6 months out from the start of production.


this isn't real - but it will be soon!



Posted by Russ



Monday, October 3rd 2011

Autumnation
(Sixpoint Craft Ales)

 

Autumnation is Sixpoint's first canned seasonal and their fifth canned release to date. This is a beer that embodies all the things that are wonderful about the autumn when it comes to beer. It's got a hefty dose of malt, its wet-hopped with freshly harvested hops and its brewed with pumpkin. We really love the idea of all of those things. We'll see how it all comes together and if it might just be something uniquely delicious and altogether amazing...or is it simply too much for one beer? You may have to be your own judge in the end. Cheers!

 

From the Sixpoint site:

 

"Autumn ushers in an annual rebirth with a full harvest, longer nights, and in many cases, a new wardrobe. We’re celebrating the bounty of the season with a new beer that’s coming out in cans this week — Autumnation. Brewed with pumpkin, ginger and white pepper, and wet-hopped with just-harvested Citra hops from the oldest continually farmed hop farm in the country, it’s a burst of fresh, seasonal spices trapped in a 16-ounce. can."


Here we go...

 

Pour - reddish amber, the color of the can isn't too far off actually. Lots of brightness shining through this pout with a nice fluffy inch of head that clings to the glass. Looks clean, clear and well polished. 

 

Aroma - wow, this smells like grapefruit and lemonade with some subdued spices and earthiness. Some more sniffing and some sweetness comes out. If I didn't know any better I'd say that first smell sure seemed like that of an IPA!

 

Taste - one of only a few beers where I've been left sort of speachless as to how I should explain the flavors I'm tasting. There is definitely a lot of bitterness, sort of resiny with pineapple and sharp citrus notes. Lots of IPA characteristics are present but there is also some sweetness, like brown sugar or molasses along with some very subtle spiciness. It's not overpowering and it in no way embodies anything close to the flavors I've gotten from some of the more mass produced pumpkin ales. Actually, throw all of those notions out the window. This is much different. It's like someone mixed a Belgian Dubbel and a Belgian IPA together with some slight hints of pumpkin. That is the best way I can describe this beer and I'm really enjoying it. 

 

Overall - conformity is not the name of the game at Sixpoint and Autumnation is proof of that. This is not a pumkin pie flavored amber ale, no, this is something much different. Get rid of your assumption the minute you open the can. This is hoppy, this is spicy and this is altogether something unique. Some advice would be to let this warm a bit and not drink it super cold as you'll miss out on a lot of the subtle aromas and flavors.

 

Note - Autumnation is only the second example of a canned Pumpkin Ale available in the US. The first was Wild Onion Brewing Company's Pumpkin Ale which was first released last fall. This is the first wet-hopped pumpkin ale that we've ever heard of and certainly the first in a can. Surly's WET is also a great exampled of a canned wet-hopped ale, but it doesn't contain any pumpkin - obviously. 

 

   

 



Hops Scale:
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Pumpkin Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Autumnation
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Sixpoint Craft Ales
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: Citra
ABV: 6.7%
IBUs: 68
Date: October 3rd, 2011

Posted by Russ


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