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Tuesday, October 30th 2012

Canning Soon: Six New Breweries with Plans to Can their Beers

The craft brewing industry continues to move full speed ahead while steadily chomping at the big boy's market share. With that growth comes a number of new breweries opening with plans for cans. Here's a six-pack to keep an eye on in the coming months...


Big Wood Brewery | Vadnais Heights, Minnesota

Big Wood Brewery caught us a bit by surprise. We hadn't heard anything about them and suddenly we found out about their plans to can three of their beers. Located just outside of the Twin Cities, Big Wood will be packaging their beers in pint cans. Look for these three cans in the coming months. 

Bark Bite IPA - It pours pale amber and delivers a classic IPA punch. The citrus hop aroma and soft body of our Bark Bite IPA is so solid, you can swing large from it all night long. And the semi-sweet finish will always coax you back for another enjoyable tussle under the foam.

Forest Ale - The crisp pine aroma and clean copper color lets you know that our Forest Ale is something special. It has a tart bite that signals it’s ready for fun, while the caramel and citrus notes provide a cushion for your taste buds. After you work hard get ready to play, hard, with Forest Ale.

Morning Wood - The blast of coffee flavor in this beer will send you right back to this morning when you woke up, stretched, and thought “Hey, this is gonna be a great day!” Morning Wood adds hints of oatmeal and malt to make every coffee-lover’s secret beer dreams come true.

High Jinx Brewing Company | Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Rhode Island is quickly becoming home to quite a few different breweries that are canning their beers. Joining breweries such as Newport Storm, Grey Sail, and Narragansett comes High Jinx Brewing Company. Each of their beers "serves as a tribute to a sacred beer drinking experience—whether you’re watching a baseball game, relaxing at home on a rainy day, or just catching up with friends at the local pub, High Jinx’s goal is to create a unique and fulfilling beer experience for you." Look for these three brews in cans soon.

Backyahd - The ultimate suburban brew, Backyahd is an aggressively hopped American IPA with a tantalizing hop aroma. The beer’s bitterness pairs perfectly with spicy foods coming straight off the grill. Enjoy it with friends, family, or whomever you choose. After all, it’s your Backyahd.

Barstool - Not too malty, not too hoppy, Barstool is designed for a night out with your friends. Our flagship beer is handcrafted with the freshest ingredients, including two-row barley and specialty malts. A blend of English and Czech hops top off this delicious golden ale, which can be enjoyed for hours on end.

Downpour - Downpour is the perfect “stay at home” brew. Dark, smooth, mysterious—this rich and flavorful porter is brewed with chocolate and crystal malts and a subtle blend of European hops. Downpour will warm you to the core and is the ideal accompaniment for a lazy day of movie watching or reading.

Bale Breaker Brewing Company | Yakima, Washington

Could there be a better place for a craft brewery? Bale Breaker is being started on a family hop farm that has been growing hops for 80 years! "Bale Breaker Brewing Company will focus on handcrafted ales that showcase the world-class hops grown in the Yakima Valley and will celebrate our status as one of the leading hop growing regions in the world." We can't wait to taste how fresh the hops are with their brews. Look for these two hoppy brews in cans soon!

Topcutter IPA - Our flagship IPA is a well-balanced yet aggressive West Coast IPA that showcases Yakima Valley hops at their finest. Late additions of Simcoe®, Citra®, Ahtanum™, and Mosaic® give this beer its complex citrus, fruity, and floral aroma and flavor. Named for a unique piece of farm equipment that removes hop vines from the trellis during the annual hop harvest, Topcutter IPA delivers loads of hoppiness all year long.

Field 41 Pale Ale - Don’t be fooled by the powerful hop aroma of Field 41 Pale Ale. This perfectly sessionable, but generously dry-hopped, Pale Ale drinks easy with a smooth bitterness and is named for the hop field that is home to Bale Breaker Brewing Company. Light and refreshing, it’s the perfect beer for a day on the river or afternoon on the slopes.

Tin Man Brewing Company | Evansville, Indiana

We love the theme that Tin Man has going as well as the designs for the first four canned releases! Tin Man is a brand new brewery that is both committed to the environment as well as the community in which they are located. They are, "focused on building and cultivating a knowledgeable, responsible, and thriving craft brew culture in Evansville, IN." Look for four of their beers in cans in the coming months. 

Circuit- Circuit tips a can to Czech pilsners with its light and crisp metallic finish. Its thirst-quenching flavor is mostly derived from heavy use of Saaz hops and it boasts amazing head retention for such a light beer. Whether on a hot day or with a plate of scampi, you’ll enjoy a cold circuit.

Rivet - Rivet whets your sensors with Caramel malts and Willamette hops to produce a more colorful and flavorful version of its English relatives – the bitter clan. Its toffee sweetness and mild bitterness make rivet the perfect complement to backyard barbecues and burgers.

Alloy - Upon sampling alloy, citrus notes turn to outright grapefruit with a malty sweetness just behind. Copper in color and well-balanced, its hoppy bitter finish dissipates quickly and leaves only one desire – more! Activate your hop sensors for a well-deserved glass of Alloy.

3 Gear - Our manufacturing went into maximum overdrive with kilos of dark malts, northern brewer and cascade hops. Though its flood of dark fruit flavor and hop aroma are big, this beer remains amazingly balanced and easy to drink. After a hard day of work, unwind with 3 Gear.


Confluence Brewing Company | Des Moines, Iowa

Confluence held their grand opening just this past week. "Confluence brews the hand-crafted beer that Des Moines, Iowa, can call its own. If you savor beer as both a bold taste adventure in the present and a connection with generations past, Confluence Brewery was founded for you. We’re devoted to creating a confluence of great beer, good friends and wonderful times — and look forward to bringing you together with a pint very soon." Look for three of their beers in cans soon!

Capital Gold - Glowing like the Iowa Capitol dome in Iowa’s capital city, Des Moines, this golden lager is brewed with time-honored German brewing methods. Its slightly sweet, bready, malty flavor is balanced perfectly by traditional German noble hops with medium-low hop bitterness.

Farmer John's Multi-Grain Ale - When most people think of Iowa, they picture flowing fields of grain for miles and miles. Created by a third-generation farm boy, Farmer John’s Multi-Grain Ale is amber waves of grain in a glass. A refreshing, blonde ale, it features a base of two row American barley malt along with a large portion of wheat malt, a small dose of rye malt and un-malted oats, corn and wheat.

Des Moines IPA - Iowa’s steady, well balanced nature is reflected in this IPA with its mix of medium body, lighter color and plenty of malt flavor to balance the massive hop impact. Citrusy and piney hops from the Pacific Northwest offset the robust malt flavor of the two-row barley and medium crystal malts. Des Moines IPA proudly represents the Hawkeye State in the category of American IPA, a favorite of beer connoisseurs all across the country.

Newburyport Brewing Company | Newburyport, Mass.

These guys just recently announced that they had "raised $1 million in private capital that will be used to expand operations to an 8,330 square foot facility." They will be first brewery in the state to just can and keg their beers. Look for three of their beers in cans in early 2013. 

Plum Island Belgian White 

Newburyport Pale Ale 

Green Head IPA 


Cheers and best of luck to all of you from us here at CraftCans.Com!



Posted by Russ


Tuesday, October 30th 2012

Blueberry Ale
(Wachusett Brewing Company)

America’s first ever canned blueberry ale hit the shelves in mid-2012 and is now one of three Wachusett beers now on the market in our favorite containers (the others are Green Monsta IPA and Pumpkan). Early word is the folks at Wachusett hope to help other brewers in the area can their beers using their new multi-head high speed line.  We’ve said it before and we’ll continue to say it:  we love the collaborative spirit of today’s craft brewing community.  

From the Wachusett site: 

"First brewed in 2001 and named the #9 Best Beer in America by Stuff Magazine in 2005. Nice aroma of blueberry is balanced by a subtle flavor that gets fermented into this delicious brew. Available year round."

Here we go...

(In the interest of full disclosure, I admit up front that I’ve grown to like fruit beers. Fresh fruit flavor that complements – not overpowers – a solid base beer is high on my list of favorite warm weather beverages. This brew was sampled on a warmer fall Sunday to set the appropriate mood. - Trent)

Pour - Pale yellow tinted with a little pink to make it look almost tan.  Most importantly, it is not purple, which could suggest a colored concentrate or cooked berries were used.  Moderately-sized white head on top.

Aroma - Big time berries in the nose of this one.  Reminds me of the aroma of true blueberry syrup on my morning pancakes without sticky sweetness.

Taste - Moderately carbonated brew with a lighter (read: not syrupy) blueberry flavor that is especially sharp and tart in the middle just like fresh berries off the bush.  Finishes with an enjoyable fresh fruit flavor and a nice blueberry aroma that floods the sinuses.  Underneath the fruitiness lies a base ale has qualities that seem similar to a blonde, and is reminiscent of a kolsch now and then.      


Overall - A very good blueberry for fruit beer lovers.  There is a delicate balance between the wheat and malt that seems to be necessary to allow the berry flavor to cut through as well as it does in this beer.  The hop bill is very complementary and the Tettnang and wheat likely contribute to the sharp middle.  Nicely crafted, and a good one to represent the first American blueberry ale in a can! 

Note - The CraftCans.com database currently lists 14 canned, or soon-to-be canned, fruit beers made with produce ranging from apricot to raspberry to pomegranate to breadfruit.  Check ‘em out and let us know which ones are your favorites. Cheers!


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Blueberry Ale
Style: Fruit Beer
Brewery: Wachusett Brewing Company
Westminster, Massachusetts  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: American Two Row, White Wheat
Hops: Perle, Tettnang, Liberty
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 10
Date: October 30th, 2012

Posted by Trent

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Labels: Fruit Beers

Thursday, October 11th 2012

Jai Alai IPA
(Cigar City Brewing Company)

It is truly an honor to be able to crack open a can of Jai Alai IPA that was canned less than a week ago. Thanks a ton to Geiger Powell down at Tampa's Cigar City Brewing Company - who also happens to be the talented artist behind the artwork that graces many of Cigar City's bottles and cans. Jai Alai IPA is the first of the brewery's beers to be canned with their Maduro Brown and Hotter than Helles Lager soon to follow. Having had this beer in bottles and on tap - as well as their Cedar-Aged version in their "Humidor Series" - I'm certainly excited to see how well this heavenly hopped brew has held up in its new aluminum packaging. Cheers! 

From the Cigar City site:

"Jai Alai, a game native to the Basque region of Spain, is played on a court called a fronton. Jai Alai players attempt to catch a ball using a curved mitt whilst the ball travels at speeds up to 188mph! Proving they have a sense of humor the Spanish dubbed this game, with its ball traveling at racecar speeds, “the merry game.” Tampa was once home to a bustling Jai Alai fronton but sadly all that remains of Jai Alai in the Tampa Bay area is this India Pale Ale that we brew in tribute to the merry game. The India Pale Ale style of beer has its roots in the ales sent from England to thirsty British troops in India during the 18th century. Pair Jai Alai India Pale Ale with Beef Empanadas, Deviled Crabs and other spicy dishes."

The first batch of Jai Alai IPA cans make their way down the line...

Here we go...


Pour - darker honey color in appearance, clean and clear with nice carbonation leaving a thick, rich, white head.  Some clingy lacing sticks around as things settle.

Aroma - big whiffs of pine needles, freshly cut grass, pineapple, sweet citrus aromas and some other tropical fruit notes. Very aromatic, this screams green and sticky. 

Taste - that first sip brings about a mouthful of big, juicy hop flavors. Loads of tropical fruit notes like pineapples and mangos. This is followed by a bitter hop kick with some citrus flavors. Balanced with a nice malty sweetness that plays well with the hop profile producing a lot of those sweeter tropical flavors. 


Overall - such a great IPA - and now available in a can! It is sort of scary how easy drinking this is at 7.5%. Where did those 12 ounces go? Jeez. If you've yet to try this world class IPA you'll need to make some friends down in Florida or make a road trip to Tampa - actually just fly into Tampa's airport as they've got a brewpub their too! These guys make amazing beer - seriously.


Note - there used to be a number of Jai Alai "frontons" in the US. Many have closed in recent years. The first "fronton" opened in the US was in St. Louis and operated in the early 1900s. The fasted recorded speed of a Jai Alai ball, known as a pelota, was recorded at Newport Jai Alai in Rhode Island. The speed was clocked at 188 miles per hour. The Jai Alai fonton that operated in Tampa closed in the early 90s. Only seven Jai Alai fontons are still in operation in the US - six of them are in Florida and the other is in Connecticut. You can watch a LIVE feed of the Jai Alai Fonton in Connecticut HERE. Very cool.

Jai Alai 101

Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Jai Alai IPA
Style: American IPA
Brewery: Cigar City Brewing Company
Tampa, Florida  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: 70
Date: October 11th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Thursday, October 11th 2012

Indeed Brewing Company Flagship Beers Now Available in Cans

MINNEAPOLIS, MN  — Indeed Brewing Company announces the start of their in-house canning operations.

The brewery, which opened its taproom and began wholesale keg distribution in August, will increase production to include packaging 12-oz. aluminum cans.

The company will offer six-packs of their two flagship beers, Midnight Ryder American Black Ale and Day Tripper Pale Ale. The cans, which feature illustrations by local artist Chuck U, will debut in select liquor stores beginning Thursday, October 11 with plans to increase distribution metro-wide as the company grows.

“We’re really anxious to be able to get our beer out there in cans. Canning was such a big part of our start-up plan from the beginning, and the opportunity to share our beer with more people is really exciting,” says co-owner Tom Whisenand.

Statewide, Indeed is the only local craft brewery to offer their beer in 12-oz. aluminum cans. “We wanted to package in 12-oz cans for many reasons, one of which is that they fit in really well with the types of things we like to do. It’s great to be able to throw some cans in a backpack and go for a hike or a bike ride, something that is really hard to do with bottles,” says co-owner Nathan Berndt.

The trend in canning craft beer continues to grow as more consumers become aware of the advantages of cans.

“Cans are just better containers for beer,” says Berndt. “They are completely light resistant, which make them the ideal package for our hand-crafted beer.”


For a complete list of locations that offer Indeed beer, visit: www.IndeedBrewing.com.

Posted by Russ

Tuesday, October 9th 2012

Introducing Ska Fabricating
Q & A with Matt Vincent

If you're fan of craft beer, you're likely familiar with Ska Brewing Company. The Durango, Colorado based brewery has been producing great beers since 1995. In 2002, the brewery took a leap of faith and began canning. Becoming one of the earliest believers in the benefits of cans. Since then they've released six different beers in cans including their extremely popular Modus Hoperandi and their newest addition, a stout brewed with three different chile peppers called Molé Autumnal Stout. For over a decade now they've been working with cans and in that time Matt Vincent, one of Ska's co-owners, has learned a lot. Over the year's his ingenuity and creativity have not only resolved problems in the brewhouse but inspired time and labor saving equipment.

This year Matt took all that experience and launched Ska Fabricating, a new business that will focus on machinery made specifically for brewers that can their beer. Before Matt took off for Sweden to represent Ska at the annual Stockhom Whisky and Beer Festival, we threw a bunch of questions at him about his new endeavor. Cheer Matt and best of luck!

(CC) Tell us a little bit about yourself...

(MV) I moved to Durango, CO from Tulsa, OK in 1991 to attend Fort Lewis college. I then proceeded to do exactly what my friends and family said I would do: Dropped out of college and became a ski bum. I worked at Purgatory as a lift operator for a couple of seasons and then I discovered good beer and how to make it. Myself and three other buddies decided to go in on a homebrew kit and it took off from there. Of the four of us, I was completely enamored with it. I was only 19 at the time, so creating something from scratch that "the man" wouldn't let me buy was pretty darn cool at that age. I kept on brewing as the other guys interest waned, because it was more work than they were willing to do. Durango Brewing Co. was conveniently right down the street from our house, so I would go down there and purchase grain and hops from them, at the same time telling the owner that I WILL be getting a job there soon. I started washing kegs and doing deliveries there a couple of weeks after my 21st birthday. Within the year, I quickly moved up the ladder, becoming the head brewer. About a year into that position, I was having a homebrew party at my house and these two characters showed up at the party with a keg of their own homebrew. That is how I met my partners at Ska, Dave Thibodeau and Bill Graham. Bill and Dave opened Ska up in 1995 and I quit Durango Brewing Co. to join them in 1996.

(CC) Where did the idea for Ska Fabricating come from?

Over the years, we have had to grow our business significantly to handle the growth we were experiencing. We kept running into problems along the way and the need to operate more efficiently. So, I would build some contraption or figure out a way to make the job easier. I've had a lot of help along the way. We have a machinist, Ron Andrews, that works out of his garage making titanium water bottle cages and can "Rube Goldberg" just about anything around. My partner in Ska Fabricating, Jim Krall is a very accomplished sanitary welder and mechanic. If there is a problem around the brewery, between the three of us, we can generally solve it. A lot of people kept telling me that I should sell that idea/machine. I finally decided to do it and start Ska Fabricating.

The main reason that I started Ska Fabricating is that I have a strong desire to help other breweries out with their problems. This is one of the few industries around in which competing companies still get along so well, sharing business ideas, recipes and collaborating on brews. Other industries don't get it and can't understand why we would even be talking to the competition. I tell them, "Well, I like their beer, that's why...". I want to continue to practice this business model by proving that cooperation, not competition, will make us all grow. f the world did business like the craft brewing industry does business, it would be a better place.

(CC) What is the relationship you have with Ska Brewing?

(MV) I am co-owner and Plant Manager. I have to give a lot of credit to my partners and managers, as they are all doing an excellent job and that is allowing me to devote time to this business. We are still growing like crazy at Ska, but our current goal is to settle down a little bit and watch the industry for the next couple of years to see where it is going with all the new breweries opening up. Over the past 5 years my main job at Ska has been Project Development. I have had a heavy hand in designing and building a beautiful new facility, installing tank farms, designing glycol systems, installing a centrifuge and building equipment to make employees happier and work more efficiently. I am still there on a daily basis solving any problems that arise and using our facility as a testing ground for new products for Ska Fabricating.


Ska Fabricating's "Can-i-Bus Can Depalletizer" in action

(CC) What sorts of products are you making?

(MV) Anything that helps. Our main product currently is the Can-i-Bus Can depalletizer. It seems to be a hot item that a lot of breweries need. Getting the cans to the filling line is often times overlooked and brewers think "Aw, we'll just figure it out..." A couple of pallets later, they are thinking "Crap, we should have done something about this." I also have a six packer out there that uses traditional six pack rings along with a can alignment feature to face your cans on the shelf. I am working on a very simple rinse cage and an inline can scale for knocking lowfills off the line.

(CC) What makes Ska Fabricating unique?

(MV) I think what makes us unique is that we are a brewery that makes equipment that brewers need. I have been working in the industry for almost 19 years now and I have done things wrong many times and I have seen things done wrong many times. I am amazed when I talk to machinery companies about something I need and they start rattling off high dollar ideas and super expensive solutions to seemingly simple problems. It almost becomes a challenge at that point. In a lot of situations, I feel that there is an easier or less expensive way to do it. I am also a firm believer in that I don't want to put a product out there that hasn't been proven. I want to run it onsite at our facility and know that it works before I can put our name on it. I feel there a lot of companies out there making machinery on paper with too many people looking at it which adds up quickly. They aren't in a situation where they can be there on a daily basis to see it run and work the kinks out.


Ska Fabricating's MVP-2000 - an automatic can facer

(CC) It sounds like you're directly involved with everything including the actual fabrication. This is pretty hands on affair for you, right?

(MV) Absolutely. My partner in the business, Jim Krall, has years of welding and fabrication experience and we just hired two other guys to help with fabrication, installation and sales. Most of the concepts are mine, and I help with the construction and engineering, but he really knows how to make it come together at his shop. I also have the electronics experience and currently do all the wiring and programming myself.

(CC) Looking at the website I couldn't help but notice that your son, who is only 6, is also quite the innovator. Think he'll follow in your footsteps?

(MV) I would like to think so! He is fascinated with this stuff and is always asking me if we can build something on the weekends. He is learning how to weld and I got him some cool electronics kits he likes playing with.


(CC) Back in 2002, when Ska began canning their beer, it was a pretty stark landscape when it comes to craft beer in cans. How do you explain the recent explosion in the number of breweries choosing to go with cans?

(MV) Thanks to companies like Cask, Wild Goose, Ball, Rexam, and Crown, breweries can afford to get into canning. Before Cask made the deal with Ball, I think everyone scoffed at the idea of small scale canning. I think people are finally getting away from the stigma that bad beer comes in cans. It took a couple of us to prove that to people and now there are other people following suit. Cans are better suited to outdoor activities. They protect the beer well, they are lightweight and easily recyclable. It seems that the craft beer connoisseur tends to take a liking to do things outside and cans fit that bill very well.


Ska Brewing Company in Durango, Colorado

(CC) If a person visits Durango for a long weekend what are some of the things that they shouldn't miss doing, seeing, eating and of course drinking?

(MV) First and foremost, Ska Brewing Co. should always be the first stop! We always have something entertaining going on in our tasting room and seasonally we offer delicious cuisine and live music. In the summer, Mesa Verde, the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge train, mountain biking, rafting, camping and brewery tastings are a fun way to see our area. In the winter, skiing at Durango Mountain resort, snow-kiting, and of course visiting local breweries. For food, I recommend breakfast at Carvers Brewing, lunch at Steamworks Brewing, dinner at Seasons and beers (possibly a shot or two) at the El Rancho...

(CC) Finally, how can folks learn more about Ska Fabricating?

(MV) Go to the website www.skafabricating.com or contact me directly at matt@skafabricating.com and when in doubt, come for a visit!


Posted by Russ

Monday, October 8th 2012

Hipster Ale
(Evil Twin Brewing Company)

Nope, this is not a 16 oz. can of pseudo-industrial lager bearing the name of one of your grandfather's favorite breweries which has long since closed and whose name has since been bought purely as a marketing tool. Nope, Hipster Ale is none of those things. In fact, this 12 oz. can is brewed by a couple of guys from Denmark who originally  had bottled a very similar brew with the name Williamsburg Hipster Ale - a reference to the uber-hipster land of Williamsburg in Brooklyn (ranked as the 3rd most hipster neigborhood in America - see below)  - and exported it to the US. Now, these brewing nomads have brought their beer-making prowess stateside and brewed and canned this at South Carolina's Westbrook Brewing Company. Word is that more Evil Twin beers will be in cans soon. Stay tuned...


Hipster Ale gets canned at Westbrook Brewing Company

From the Evil Twin site:

"Perhaps you heard of a worldwide beer-movement that tributes favorite hipster neighbourhoods across the globe. First came Istedgade, Copenhagen then Södermalm, Stockholm followed by Williamsburg, New York and Shoreditch, London accompanied by Trastevere, Rome & last El Raval, Barcelona. If you feel excluded because you’re hip but your city is not, this cutting-edge, ‘hip without borders’ pale ale is an homage to you – the global hipster. Cheers!"

Here we go...


Pour - orangish-red and almost raw and unfiltered looking. Great looking head on top that slides down into the abyss while leaving some lacing along the inside of the glass. 


Aroma - huge amounts of fresh hops, like having your faced smashed into a big pile of them. No exaggeriaton. This smells heavenly. Plenty of caramel maltiness in there as well. This almost smells like a beer that is twice this strong - perhaps a double IPA or American barleywine. I think we're in for something special here.

Taste - wow, how is this not an IPA and how is it only 5.5%? My tastebuds are completely fooled and confused. This drinks much bigger than its ABV and packs a serious amount hop flavor and bitterness. Loads of fresh, resiny, piney flavors mesh with those awesome notes of pineapple and mango. 


Overall - I still can't get over the ABV and hop presence of this beer. In a blind taste test I'd put this up against plenty of my favorite IPAs for sure. So much fresh hop character, nicely balanced, and still packing a very satisfying bitter finish. Nicely done. Perhaps hipsters are on to something...

Note - perhaps you're not familiar with this whole "hipster" thing, or perhaps you are and want to learn more. Here is a nice write up that will explain all you need to know about hipsters - and how to be one if you're so inclined. How to be a Hipster in 22 Steps (including photos)!


Also, here is a list of the Top 10 Hipster Neigborhoods in the US thanks to Huffington Post. Cheers!


10. Warehouse District, New Orleans, LA

9. The Uptown, Oakland, CA

8. Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

7. East Austin, Austin, TX

6. H Street Corridor, Washington, D.C.

5. Pearl District, Portland, OR

4. Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

3. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

2. Mission District, San Francisco, CA




1. Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA


Hops Scale:
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Can Scale:
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Hipster Ale
Style: American Pale Ale
Brewery: Evil Twin Brewing Company
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: ???
Date: October 8th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Labels: Pale Ales

Saturday, October 6th 2012

Wolf Among Weeds
(Golden Road Brewing)

Finally, our first review of a beer from LA’s newest canning craft brewery and the first release in their "Custom IPA" series. Wolf Among Weeds comes to us under the brewing leadership of a distinguished trio with prior experience at the likes of Oskar Blues, Speakeasy, and Dogfish Head. Only 500 cases of this extra special brew hit the market, so we feel privileged and excited to give this one a try!

From the Golden Road site:

"This beer is a balanced showcase of the majestic hop specie, in Latin, Humulus Lupulus, which translates “Wolf Among Weeds”. It is the first beer to be canned in our Custom IPA series, which celebrates California’s enthusiasm for hop-forward IPAs. At 8%, Wolf will sneak up on you from behind the fresh pine sap and tropical fruit notes mirrored in its aroma and flavor profile."

Here we go...

Pour – enticing deep amber color suggests a bigger malt bill and is reminiscent of some of our favorite DIPAs. Head retention is very good. Promising start!

Aroma – sweet malts, a hint of toffee, piercing pine and smooth tropical fruit notes. Looks good, smells good. Let’s get it tasted already!

Taste – first thought is this is a very well-balanced beer, especially after the appearance and aroma set us up to expect some degree of palate punishment. Medium toffee flavor in the sweet grain start, a mild splash of complex hop bitterness in the middle and just a touch of warming in the back of the throat at the otherwise dangerously clean finish.

Overall – Our sample was canned two months before our tasting, and perhaps as the result of its age we concluded this is a balanced American IPA that registers just tick in favor of the malty end of the scale. After trying (and failing) to figure out the hop varieties by taste alone, we switched from sips to gulps, which released more hop flavors and bitterness, at least on our palates. It still didn’t help us decode the unique and complex hop profile, but it did help them to stand out a little better against the delicious caramel malts. We’d definitely have this one again and share it with friends as a great example of how different hop combinations create completely different tasting ales that fall under the American IPA category.

Notes - Golden Road plans to stick with the IPA style for their upcoming “seasonal" releases.  At last report the next release in their Custom IPA series will be their Burning Bush Smoked IPA - a smoked IPA. We are intrigued to say the least.

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Wolf Among Weeds
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Golden Road Brewing
Los Angeles, California  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: Two Row, Caramel 70 Lovibond
Hops: Cascade, Galena, Simcoe, Warrior, Zythos
ABV: 8.0%
IBUs: 70
Date: October 6th, 2012

Posted by Trent

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