Oskar Blues limited release Gubna Imperial IPA makes its return

This March, Oskar Blues’ GUBNA Imperial IPA will celebrate its 3-year anniversary as their hoppiest craft beer in a can. With a mutated overload of hops, GUBNA will be a limited seasonal release March through May 2013. GUBNA was moved from a full time offering to a three month limited-release to complement a seasonal series featuring the cyclopean Ten FIDY Imperial Stout (October through February), and a yet to be announced third seasonal slated for June through September.


GUBNA was inbred from Oskar Blues Brewery’s hankering to confront 100+ IBU’s with a single hop to emphasize that complexity of character can arise from simple elements.  This time around GUBNA (10% ABV, 100+ IBUs) cranks up the complexity of hops by piling Cascade hops on top of copious amounts of Summit hops and the backbone of German Dark Munich Malt and Rye Malt. North American 2-row barley combines with the other grains to lay the foundation for the hop onslaught to come. Post-fermentation dry hopping allows this monstrosity to gently coax the citrus rind and grapefruit aroma while providing a rye malt-induced spicy yet round middle and finishing with a brisk, clean bitterness.

“We get off on challenging ourselves and our beer drinkers with hops.  This year’s GUBNA comes from that fire in the belly to up the ante of GUBNA’s motley hop character,” says head brewer Dave Chichura.  For additional details check out Oskar Blues Brewery’s GUBNA VIDEO HERE.

Oskar Blues continues to build on its 52% growth in 2012 and will launch new distribution in Michigan beginning March 4th.  Last year, Oskar Blues expanded distribution to new markets for the first time in four years.  The markets: Chicago, Ohio, Northern Kentucky and founder Dale Katechis’ home state of Alabama each established the largest craft beer launch in territory history topped by 14,000+ case equivalents during the first week in Ohio.

GUBNA Imperial IPA is available in limited-seasonal quantities (March to May) and sold in 12oz. four-packs priced at $14.99. Oskar Blues Brewery’s GUBNA Imperial IPA is just one of an impressive line-up of boundary-busting canned beer getable in 31 states.   To find out where to purchase Oskar Blues beer visit http://www.oskarblues.com/about-us/beer-locator

“Cascade Cup” Awarded to Hop Grower Van Horn Farms

The Hop Quality Group, a non-profit organization pursuing the mission of promoting open communication between Craft Brewers and hop growers, today announced Van Horn Farms as the winner of the Cascade Cup. The Cascade Cup is awarded each year to the hop grower whose sample of Cascade hops demonstrates excellence in quality to a panel of judges representing the 14 craft brewers involved in the Hop Quality Group.

Cascade Cup

Judging of 14 cuts of dried whole flower Cascade samples was carried out in the research and development department of Sierra Nevada Brewery, who were playing host to the 57th Annual American Hop Convention and Hop Research Council Winter Meeting. The judges, who between them represented nearly two centuries of hop evaluation experience, probed, pressed, rubbed and sniffed the hops for an hour before declaring a winner. Van Horn Farms emerged victorious, with Golden Gate Farms (S.S. Steiner) as 1st Runner-up and Sodbuster Farms as 2nd Runner-up.

The first US-bred hop to be released by the United States Department of Agriculture’s hop breeding program, Cascade was made commercially available in 1971. Within 15 years it became popular within the nascent American craft brewing industry, eventually coming to nearly define the flavor American “microbrewed” beer in the 1990s. The Cascade hop remains a backbone of American craft beer hop character. The aromatics of the Cascade hop can be described as bright, floral and citrusy, with notes of grapefruit and pine needles.

“Van Horn’s Cascades didn’t necessarily have the biggest, boldest aromatics on the table, but instead showed great intensity, finesse and a wonderful balance of the best elements we look for in Cascades. They were really beautiful,” said judge Val Peacock, a renowned hop researcher working with the Hop Quality Group.

Van Horn Farms was started in 1904 by a French Canadian family in Moxee, WA, and remains a family affair that still works some of its original acreage (and much more), growing Palisade®, Chinook, Cascade and Columbus hops.

The Cascade Cup trophy, a giant 14-inch hop cone hand-fashioned in glowing green glass and acrylic, was a delightful surprise to the assembled hop merchants and brewers in the Big Room at Sierra Nevada. “It looks like the top of a building”, said one.

The Hop Quality Group is a non-profit organization formed in 2010. The HQG’s work emphasizes research and development and best practices for hop cultivation and processing. Current members of the Hop Quality group are: Bell’s, Boulevard, Brooklyn, Deschutes, Firestone Walker, Full Sail, New Belgium, New Glarus, Odell, Russian River, Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, Schlafly and Stone Brewing Co.

Dig Returns as New Belgium’s Spring Seasonal

Digbottle-1 2For New Belgium Brewing, the unearthing of Dig Pale Ale signifies that warmer weather is just around the corner. New Belgium’s spring seasonal, Dig, offers a hearty list of hops, measured crispness and unpretentious appeal.

Dig begins with Sorachi Ace hops, which provides a zingy lemon aroma, followed by Nelson Sauvin hops with bursts of passion fruit, mango and peach. Also present in this pale ale are Cascade and Centennial hops. Dig is available in most New Belgium markets through April and ABV is 5.6 percent.

“Dig brings together flavors that awaken the senses as we prepare for all things spring,” said New Belgium Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull. “In addition, Dig is a nod to our farming friends who work hard to deliver the ingredients we use and appreciate every day.”

To watch a video on this new seasonal, check out – http://bit.ly/15hdQQj. You can find Dig and other New Belgium beers in your area, by using New Belgium’s Libation Location tool: http://www.newbelgium.com/beer.aspx.

New Belgium Brewing Reveals “Hop Kitchen” Series

New Belgium Brewing, the third-largest craft brewer in the U.S., is launching a new series of beers called Hop Kitchen. In 2013, four hoppy brews will be released under the new line in 22-ounce bottles and on draft in select markets.

“Hop Kitchen allows us to continue exploring hop varieties from around the world,” said New Belgium Brewer Grady Hull. “We will rotate hop-inspired selections to complement the Belgian and wood-inspired beers in our Lips of Faith series.”

The first release under the Hop Kitchen banner will be Hoppy Bock Lager, which will come out in late February. This beer is a medium-bodied German-style lager brewed with rye and Hallertauer, Perle and Fuggle hops. Offering a slightly sweet malt character, Hoppy Bock is 6.9 percent ABV.

Later in the year, watch for French Aramis IPA, Fresh Hop IPA using salmon-safe certified hops farmed in Oregon, and Rewind IPA featuring hops that were popular in the 1980′s and 1990′s. More specific details will be available on the series as the selections become available.

To find New Belgium beers in your area, you can use the New Belgium Libation Location tool: http://www.newbelgium.com/beer.aspx. Pricing varies by location. You can also follow New Belgium on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/newbelgium and Twitter @NewBelgium.

New Belgium’s “The Glass That Gives” Program Raises More than $7,500 for Nonprofits

New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a wide variety of award-winning beers, has wrapped up another joyous season of “The Glass That Gives”. The program, which ran from December 1, 2012 – January 31, 2013, gave people a chance to support nonprofit organizations by purchasing nucleated Belgian globes or sending free online cards. The campaign raised more than $7,500 and delivered 6,407 glassware sets to the doors of ecstatic recipients.

For every two-pack of glassware purchased during “The Glass That Gives”, New Belgium donated $1.00 to one of four beneficiaries, which each purchaser selected. The nonprofit partners who received donations from our generous friends include:

In addition to the flurry of glass giving, more than 1,100 free, custom-made “give cheer + drink beer” cards went out to friends and family. New Belgium also donated $1.00 for each card sent to the nonprofit designated by the card creator.

Although “The Glass that Gives” program has ended, New Belgium glassware, shirts, belt buckles, bike bells and other goods are available year-round at the New Belgium store; visit www.newbelgium.com.

Beer News – Ash Wednesday edition

If you’re a good Catholic, you did all of your drinking yesterday for Fat Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch up on some beer news….

Woodchuck® Private Reserve Pink

Woodchuck® Cider recently released their Private Reserve Pink.

Vermont is part of what makes up Woodchuck® Hard Cider’s soul. With that in mind, they  launched their latest Private Reserve Cider.  Woodchuck® Pink is cider with its sights set on improving their local community.

Woodchuck® Pink will be hitting store shelves in the weeks ahead check our locator for where to find it in your area! The Woodchuck Locator.

21st Amendment Brewery Lowers “De Boom”

21st-amendment-lower-de-boom-barleywineHonoring tradition, but adding its signature creative twist, 21st Amendment Brewery today announced the release of Lower De Boom Barleywine, a powerfully balanced American-Style barleywine packed with citrusy hops. Co-founders Shaun O’Sullivan and Nico Freccia said they believe this is the first American craft beer ever to be packaged in an 8.4 ounce can, the perfect size for the traditional barleywine “nip.”

Notes Brewmaster O’Sullivan, “Historically, barleywines, with their high alcohol, were brewed for their winter warmer quality. The huge grain bill, intense hops and long conditioning time make this beer perfect for savoring from a snifter next to a roaring fire. Enjoy one now and lay another can down as this beer will age quite nicely as the hops pull back and the malt and complex flavors meld together.”

New Belgium goes Rampant with new Imperial IPA


New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a wide variety of award-winningbeers, continues its imaginative exploration of IPAs with its latest release – Rampant Imperial IPA. Rampant brings a happily bitter beer to New Belgium’s year-round portfolio, which also includes Ranger IPA and Shift.

A burly Imperial IPA, Rampant pours a pure copper and carries the sheen of a rightly hopped beer. The Mosiac and Calypso hops bring stonefruit, while the addition of Centennial hops nod towards citrus for a well-rounded aroma. The beer presents heavy peach tones with a profoundly bitter bite.

“Imperial IPAs take hoppy beers to the next level,” said New Belgium Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull. “Rampant packs a powerful wallop but it’s got the malt bill to back it up.”

Rampant is 8.5 percent ABV and 85 IBU. It’s available in 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles and on draft in most New Belgium markets.

New Belgium’s Scavenger Hunt Series Adds a Midwest Stop

skisFt. Collins, Colo. – February 8, 2013 – New Belgium Brewing, maker of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a wide variety of award-winning beers, is bringing back its Scavenger Hunt Series with a Midwest location joining the party. Devil’s Head in Wisconsin is now part of this costume-wearing, chicken-chasing, riddle-reading series. Each scavenger hunt provides a day of downhill like no other, while raising money for local nonprofit organizations at every turn.

“A day on the slopes is always a good day, but add in a costume, some scavenging and a post-hunt party, and it quickly becomes a day you’d be foolish to miss,” says Shawn Hines with New Belgium Brewing.

Groups of one to four people can participate in the hunt. Participants are tasked with searching the mountain for moving and stationary clues that focus on New Belgium beer and culture, sustainability, the host ski resort and the benefiting nonprofit. The answers vary from easy to difficult and the team to answer all the clues first is crowned that mountain’s 2013 winner. It costs $10 per person to enter the scavenger hunt, plus the cost of your lift ticket.

After each scavenger hunt, a post-party celebration will be held with prizes and top honors given out. The celebration will also include the chance to win a pair of Rocky Mountain Underground custom-made Fat Tire skis.

New Belgium created the Scavenger Hunt Series seven years ago. For more information, check out http://www.newbelgium.com/events/scavenger-hunt.aspx.

2013 Scavenger Hunt Series Schedule: 

Devil’s Head Scavenger Hunt – February 9, 2013
Benefitting The Dane County Humane Society

Taos Scavenger Hunt  March 16, 2013
Benefitting The Field Institute of Taos

Eldora Scavenger Hunt – February 23, 2013
Benefitting Leave No Trace

Telluride Scavenger Hunt – March 23, 2013
Nonprofit partner – TBD

Loveland Scavenger Hunt – March 30, 2013
Benefitting The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado

Snoqualmie Scavenger Hunt – March 16, 2013
Benefitting Seattle Surfrider Foundation

Squaw Valley Scavenger Hunt – April 6, 2013
Benefitting The Shane McConkey Foundation

New Belgium Coming to Alaska and Louisiana

(FORT COLLINS, CO – February 8, 2013) New Belgium Brewing has inked deals with seven distributors to open the state of Louisiana on April 1st, 2013 and will distribute exclusively with the Odom Corporation in Alaska starting March 18th. Louisiana will be New Belgium’s 31st state of distribution along with the District of Columbia. In Louisiana, New Belgium signed deals with Eagle Distributing of Shreveport, Marsala Beverage, Southwest Beverage, Schilling Distributing, Champagne Distributing, Crescent Crown Distributing and Mockler Distributing.

“Louisiana’s got a great beer and food scene and Alaska has a deep beer culture,” said New Belgium Brewing sales director, Joe Menetre. “So we’re getting to see some beautiful country and we’re eating really well, but most importantly both states have a deep appreciation for craft beer and we’re looking forward to becoming part of those communities.”

Brewers Association formally announces reintroduction of Small BREW Act

Reblogged from Beerpulse.com:

(Boulder, CO) – With the 113th Congress underway, the Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies—announced the reintroduction of H.R. 494, the Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act (Small BREW Act) in the House of Representatives. The bipartisan legislation, which was reintroduced by Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.) and Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.), seeks to recalibrate the federal beer excise tax that small brewers pay on every barrel of beer they produce.

Under current federal law, brewers making less than 2 million barrels annually pay $7 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels they brew, and $18 per barrel on every barrel thereafter. The Small BREW Act would create a new rate structure that reflects the evolution of the craft brewing industry. The rate for the smallest brewers and brewpubs would be $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels. For production between 60,001 and 2 million barrels the rate would be $16.00 per barrel. Any brewer that exceeds 2 million barrels (about 1 percent of the U.S. beer market) would begin paying the full $18 rate. Breweries with an annual production of 6 million barrels or less would qualify for these tax rates.
“Small brewers are small business owners and this bipartisan legislation would allow them to remain competitive, protect existing jobs and create new employment opportunities in communities throughout Pennsylvania and the country,” said Congressman Jim Gerlach, co-chairman of the House Small Brewers Caucus. “More than 100 small and craft brewers in Pennsylvania provide jobs, produce world-class products and are active community partners. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House on passing this legislation and providing a boost to all small brewers.”

“I have been a consistent and enthusiastic supporter of America’s craft brewers for many years. These innovative small businesses employ thousands of people across the country. They are independent entrepreneurs who are passionate about the product they make. In western Massachusetts alone, there are scores of proprietors creating great brews with locally produced ingredients,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “As a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation that will help the growing small brewing industry.”

“There are few industries with more size disparity than the American beer business. There are 2,500 small breweries who together account for only six percent of the U.S. beer business,” said Rob Martin, president, Ipswich Ale Brewery and Massachusetts Brewers Guild. “Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal understands the struggles craft brewers face because of this, and he has championed our effort to help level the playing field a little by supporting an equitable federal excise tax bill. He is keenly aware that craft brewers are looking to grow their small businesses and will create thousands of good jobs across the country if this legislation passes. As president of the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, I know I speak for all small brewers when I applaud Congressman Neal’s effort.”

Nationally, small and independent brewers employ over 100,000 full- and part-time employees and generate more than $3 billion in wages and benefits and pay more than $2.3 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes.

“Craft brewing has revitalized a once proud American industry with compelling products and, more importantly, stable, fulfilling jobs,” said Bill Covaleski, brewmaster and president, Victory Brewing Company and president, Brewers of Pennsylvania. “This legislative initiative recognizes the investments already made by America’s new brewing entrepreneurs, and promises to help further innovation and product diversity.”

Consumer demand for the bold and innovative beers brewed by America’s small brewers has grown significantly in recent years. However, because of differences in economies of scale, small brewers have higher costs for production, raw materials, packaging and market entry compared to larger, well-established multi-national competitors. Furthermore, efforts to increase state taxes for all brewers continue to threaten jobs and their economic stability.

Adjusting the tax rate would provide small brewers with an additional $60 million per year that would be used to support significant long-term investments in tanks and other equipment and create jobs by growing their businesses on a regional or national scale. Congress has not recalibrated the excise tax on small brewers since 1976. At that time, there were about 30 small brewers. Today, there are over 2,000.

“America’s small brewers are part of a vibrant, growing industry, and really are Main Street manufacturers,” added Bob Pease, chief operating officer, Brewers Association. “The Small BREW Act will help America’s small brewers invest in and grow their businesses—an important part of economic reinvigoration. We look forward to working with the new Congress on the passage of this legislation, which will have a positive impact on agricultural, manufacturing, hospitality and distribution jobs for the future.”

Cincinnati’s Angry Orchard releases America’s first elderflower cider

Angry-Orchard-Elderflower-Hard-Cider-6packAngry Orchard, the number one selling hard cider in the U.S.*, is releasing a new cider style from its collection – Angry Orchard Elderflower Hard Cider, the first cider of its kind. Inspired by the European tradition of elderflower cordials which dates back to ancient Roman times, the cider makers at Angry Orchard have crafted a unique hard cider that balances elderflower’s subtle floral notes and tropical fruitiness with Angry Orchard’s crisp apple sweetness.

“For centuries, elderflower has been used as an ingredient because of its delicate floral notes. It also has a great fruity flavor reminiscent of tropical fruits like lychee, pear and citrus, which makes it a great match for the rich, fruity flavors found in the culinary and bittersweet apples we use in our cider,” said David Sipes, Cider Maker for Angry Orchard. “This combination of flavors produces a complex yet balanced, slightly sparkling cider we think is unlike anything our drinkers have experienced.”

Launched nationally in 2012, Angry Orchard has quickly become a favorite among drinkers for its unique, quality ingredients and distinctly crisp and refreshing taste. Angry Orchard hard ciders, including the new elderflower style, are crafted with a unique blend of Italian culinary apples and French bittersweet apples. Angry Orchard in part gets its name because, unlike ordinary apples, bittersweet apples are described as “angry” because of the tart and tannic characteristics they impart to cider creating real apple flavors, and also because of the way they look, small and unattractive.

These bittersweet apples are unique to cider making, just like wine grapes are to wine making. Also similar to wine, Angry Orchardciders go through a lengthy fermentation process and are aged on oak, resulting in an exceptional blend that contributes to the complex flavor profile of each Angry Orchard cider style, including the new Angry Orchard Elderflower Hard Cider.

Hayley Jensen, a mixologist and beer sommelier at Taproom No. 307 in New York City and engaged by Angry Orchard for her expertise, has seen firsthand how elderflower has also recently become a go-to flavor for mixologists and a drinker favorite.

“Elderflower burst onto the cocktail scene recently and the flavor became a runaway hit – it’s refreshing and light, with a touch of sweetness that pairs perfectly with more dominant flavors.  Today, I see a trend of more drinkers asking for cider. So, a cider with a delicate elderflower taste is truly an innovative combination and also a great mixology ingredient, pairing well with light spirits like gin, vodka, white tequila and also jenever, an up-and-coming liquor in the U.S.,” says Jensen. “I think cocktail, wine and craft beer lovers will all enjoy this new cider.”

Hard cider has exploded in popularity recently, growing 65 percent in 2012 vs. 2011, especially remarkable when compared to the growth of beverages like wine and craft beer, which grew 5.6% and 13% respectively.**

All Angry Orchard styles offer remarkably crisp, refreshing and distinct flavors for any palate and are naturally gluten free:

  • Crisp Apple (5.0% ABV) is a fruit-forward cider that balances natural apple sweetness with a subtle dryness for a hard to resist crisp and refreshing taste
  • Traditional Dry (5.5% ABV) is crafted in the style of English draft ciders and imparts bittersweet and slightly spicy flavors with a bright apple aroma. Its dryness makes mouths pucker and look forward to another sip
  • Apple Ginger (5.0% ABV) combines fresh Nigerian ginger and apples for a sweet, yet slightly tart taste, with a distinct ginger aroma and warm finish
  • New – Elderflower (5.0% ABV) showcases tropical fruitiness reminiscent of lychee, pear and citrus to compliment the rich, crisp apple background

Angry Orchard Elderflower Hard Cider is available nationwide from February through summer in 6-packs for a suggested retail price of $7.99 – $9.99 (price varies by market), and in variety 12-packs with three other Angry Orchard styles for a suggested retail price of $14.99 – $17.99 (price varies by market).  To find where Angry Orchard is served near you, visit their “cider finder” at www.angryorchard.com/find-angry-orchard/.

Cider lovers can explore the orchard online at www.AngryOrchard.com, like them at www.Facebook.com/AngryOrchard, and follow them at www.twitter.com/AngryOrchard.