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Tuesday, December 30th 2014

10 Canned Craft Beers to Look Forward to in 2015!

2014 has come and gone and hopefully it’s been a good one for you. A load of new brewers joined the canning game and plenty of awesome brews hit shelves this year. So, what does 2015 hold in store for the canned craft beer world? Plenty! Here are 10 beers coming to cans in the coming year that we're excited about and we're certain there will be plenty of others as well. Cheers!

Tröegs Brewing Company (Hershey, Pennsylvania) 

Not that long ago Nugget Nectar held something of a cult status in the hoppy beer world. Increased production and distribution have diminished that somewhat, but this “Imperial Amber” remains one of those hop-centric beers that is big and balanced and certainly worthy of your fridge. Look for 16 oz. cans to ship next month! Oh yeah, another one of our list of beers we'd like to see canned way back in 2010 has now been canned...


Jack’s Abby Brewing Company (Framingham, Massachusetts) 

When it comes to lagers, Jack’s Abby is the king (in our humble opinion). That’s all they do…and they do it extremely well. From an outstanding Oktoberfest to an incredible Baltic Porter and even a few Imperial India Pale Lagers, this Boston area brewery has yet to brew a beer that has been met with anything but praise. In 2015, Jack’s Abby will be moving into a new home and expects to become the second largest craft brewer in Massachusetts. They also have plans to can four of their year-round offerings including Smoke & Dagger, a delicious dark brew that straddles the boundaries of a Swarzbier and a Smoked Porter. 


Terrapin Beer Company (Athens, Georgia) 

 Back in 2013 this was Terrapin’s Side Project #19. This is a poetic ode to the almighty Mosaic hop variety. A big enough hit to command larger distribution, Mosaic Red Rye IPA will be Terrapin’s third canned offering when it hits shelves in 12 oz. cans early next year. If you’re a fan of can art/design, Chris Pinkerton (who has done a number of other great labels for Terrapin, created a masterpiece with this design and it transferred perfectly to cans.  


Modern Times Beer (San Diego, California)

One of four seasonal brews that Modern Times will be canning in 2015, Booming Rollers is a summer release that is chock full of Citra hops. If you like you’re a fan of thirst-quenching, juicy, tropical IPAs then this is for you. Also, if you’ve got a trip to San Diego lined up for next year be sure to visit the Modern Times taproom!


Baxter Brewing Company (Lewiston, Maine)

This little, but quickly growing, Maine brewery had a big year in 2014. In the first quarter of 2015 they’ll be releasing Window Seat, a coconut almond porter, which will be their permanent spring release. Perfect for mud season!


Surly Brewing Company (Minneapolis, Minnesota) 

It goes without saying that anytime Surly releases a new can that it’s going to make a list like this. All Hands, No Kings, is a collab with the band DoomTree and is described as a “dark gold, toasty, aromatic, subtly spicy, bitter enough, dry-hopped” beer. Oh yeah, Surly’s new taproom in Minneapolis is finally open so add that to your list of things to see and do in the Twin Cities next year!

Victory Brewing Company (Downingtown, Pennsylvania) 

Victory is taking ownership a canning line of their own in 2015 and one of their first releases will be the supper sessionable Headwaters Ale. While it's really not this particular beer that we’re crazy excited about, it’s the other brands they’ll be canning. Which ones might that be? I guess we’ll all have to wait and see. Dirt Wolf Double IPA in a 16 oz. can anyone?


Pipeworks Brewing Company (Chicago, Illinois)

Pipeworks recently signed a lease on a facility and along with building a new brewery, they will also begin canning next year. The plan is for them to can five year-round beers and one of those that we’re most excited to see in a can is their ridiculously hoppy, and ridiculously named, Ninja Vs.Unicorn. We could tell you about it OR we could let you read the kick ass description from the brewery… Ninja vs. Unicorn celebrates the epic battle between two of the biggest hop-heads of lore. Brewed with over five pounds of hops per barrel, this unfiltered double IPA is sure to please the most discerning hop lover. Whether you’re rooting for the mythical horned horse or the deadly assassin of the east, we hope you’ll enjoy Ninja vs. Unicorn.”


Tree House Brewing Company (Monson, Massachusetts)

You’ve likely never heard of this brewery if you don’t live in New England. Not to worry, they’re still pretty small. The good news is that that will all be changing in the coming year. Tree House has big plans for 2015 and that includes canning some of their amazing offerings. One that just might achieve the status of a certain brew in a silver can from Vermont is Julius. Described by the brewery as, “Bursting with 1.6 oz per gallon of American hops, Julius is loaded with notes of passionfruit, mango, and citrus.  At 6.5% alcohol, it is refreshing and freakishly drinkable.” We can’t wait.


Ballast Point Brewing Company (San Diego, California)

Ballast Point has steadily been adding to their canning output since they first put out cans a couple years ago. One of the first cans they dropped was Sculpin, a big IPA that has quite the fan following. In 2015 the brewery plans to can their Grapefruit Sculpin – a version of Sculpin brewed with grapefruit that is ridiculously good and crushable. Perhaps their Habanero Sculpin will be sent down their canning line next...

Posted by Russ

Tuesday, December 16th 2014

Modern Times Beer to Release Four Hoppy Seasonal Cans in 2015

Modern Times Releasing 4 Hoppy Seasonal Cans!

A few months back I was out in San Diego for a conference and managed to find a few hours to swing by and visit the Modern Times brewery. To say the taproom kicked ass would be an understatement. The place is awesome and the people there are awesome too. I can't say enough great things about Phil (who provided an awesome tour) and Nate (a.k.a. @toronadoislander) for all the great pours. If you EVER get a chance to visit Modern Times do not pass it up! My only complaint is that I could only take a few cans back with me! Well, the good news for anyone that lives in SoCal, or has friends/family/trading buddies there, Modern Times will be releasing four new cans - all of them hoppy - in the coming year. Hells yes. 

Here is the run down...

Oneida - March through May - Oneida is Hallertau Blanc-centric. The bright tropical fruit and lemongrass notes give it an uber-pungent aroma, with the grapefruity citrus of Cascade providing a touch of balance. We've also added experimental hop variety 05256 to the mix, adding a nice hop complexity while keeping it a drinkable pale ale. While more aggressively bitter than Fortunate Islands, Oneida still has a light body and moderate ABV. We're considering making Oneida our spring seasonal, but that's all kind of up in the air.

Booming Rollers - June through August - Booming Rollers is a 6.8% ABV, 75 IBU IPA brewed and dry-hopped with Citra, Motueka, and Centennial. Although it finished bone dry (1.5P), the juiciness of the hops is the main story here. Citra is definitely the dominant flavor and aroma contributor, but Motueka makes its presence felt with some darker fruit notes and that strong tropical juiciness. The malt offers enough backbone to balance the bitterness and provide a light, crackery underpinning. The finish is characterized by a briefly lingering bitterness and loads more tropical fruit.

Aurora - September through November - Aurora is a 6.8% ABV red rye IPA loaded with Equinox, Centennial, Motueka, and Experimental Hop 07270. This pungent, complex IPA marries the spicy malt character of rye with the fruity dankness of new wave American & New Zealand hops. Aurora pours a gorgeous ruby red, making it the perfect IPA for Fall (if it ever comes to San Diego).

City of the Sun - December through February - City of the Sun is a big, fruity, pungent, sticky, delicious IPA. Mosaic & Motueka give it a very fruity hop character, with Simcoe providing enough of a piney backbone to prevent it from going off the deep end. The complex but unobtrusive malt character gives it a medium body and a platform for the saturated hop flavor.

For more you can read all about this over at the Modern Times website...below is a summary:

Seasonal cans are coming! My goal has always been for a rotating cadre of seasonals to occupy a 5th can slot for us, and now that plan is coming to fruition. Along with an ambitious 22oz release program and a slew of barrel-aged releases (both of which I will write about soon), in 2015 we will put all of the pieces of my original beer plan for Modern Times into place. That's super exciting.

So, the seasonals. All of these are beers we've brewed before, and Oneida & Aurora both hit 22oz bottles this year. With these four beers, the seasonal program essentially becomes our rotating IPA slot, making our line-up hoppier & more aggressive than it currently stands. All of these beers go heavy on new wave hops from the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, and that's the point. We want to profile some of the fascinating new stars of the hop world, and these beers do it, big time. 

Oneida is loaded with Hallertau Blanc, Aurora brings the Equinox, Booming Rollers is all about Citra, and City of the Sun leans on Motueka/Mosaic. These hops are the result of hop breeders and growers taking bold steps into previously uncharted territory, and the results are spectacular. All of these beers will be super fragrant, completely saturated with hop flavor, and distinctively original. 

Like our year round cans, the seasonals will all be in four packs of 16oz cans. They'll be widely available throughout our current distribution area, and they'll be available on draft as well. Should be a rad year!

A few shots from my visit to Modern Times

Posted by Russ

Friday, December 5th 2014

Delta To Offer More Craft Cans (and Bottles) on Select Routes

Years ago we put together a post lamenting the fact that very few airlines offer anything decent when it comes to beer. A few years later it seems that one of the few airlines that still exists has taken notice and decided to begin offering some solid regional craft beers, most of them in cans, on select flights. Good on ya Delta. See below for the offical press release:

(how much extra does it cost for one of those seats?)

ATLANTADec. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) this week began stocking its beverage carts with a selection of regional craft beers to bring local options to customers. The move continues the airline's focus on bringing regional food, wine and now beer to the in-flight experience.

Beer from Ballast Point Brewing Company (San Diego), Blue Point Brewing Company (Long Island, NY), Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn, NY), Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma, Calif.), Newburyport Brewing Company (Newburyport, Mass.), Samuel Adams (Boston), and Stone Brewing Company (Escondido, Calif.) join SweetWater Brewery (Atlanta) to give all customers on routes within the U.S. a craft beer option.

The selection of regional craft beers are available on Delta's West Coast Shuttle between Los Angeles and San Francisco; between New York-LaGuardia and Boston, Washington-Regan National and Chicago-O'Hare; on Delta's transcontinental routes between New York-JFK and Los AngelesSan Francisco and Seattle; and on flights between Atlanta and New York-LaGuardia, Washington-Reagan National and Dulles, OrlandoFt. LauderdaleMiamiTampa and New Orleans. Samuel Adams is available on all other domestic routes in the U.S.

Here is more on those routes:

East Coast Shuttle (LGA to/from BOS, DCA, ORD) Blue Point and Newburyport – offered complimentary

Transcontinental (JFK to/from LAX, SEA, SFO) Brooklyn Brewery and Ballast Point – $7, and in the southeast  Sweetwater 420 – $7

West Coast Shuttle (LAX to/from SFO – operated by Delta Connection) Lagunitas and Stone – offered complimentary 

Posted by Russ