Summer Helles the newest seasonal release from New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing has released Summer Helles, the brewery’s summer seasonal. It was originally created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of both Telluride’s famed Bluegrass Festival and Rockygrass Festival. Due to its popularity at those events, New Belgium decided to give more people a chance to enjoy Summer Helles and made it the latest seasonal.

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The beer style, Helles, was born in the 1890’s in a Munich brewery and means “light” or “bright” in German. Summer Helles, a traditional German-style lager, is definitely light but has a substantial body with delicate malty flavors, perfect for summer.

The aroma is full of fresh grains, spicy hops and sweet corn and honey reminiscent of Honey Comb cereal. New Belgium added some lager yeast to the brewing process to create a crisp finish with slightly fruity, apple-like esters that don’t mask the spicy, herbal hops and toasty malts. Summer Helles pours a bright gold color with a slight sheen and nice white foam.

“Helles is a style we’ve always enjoyed playing around with,” said Grady Hull, New Belgium’s Assistant Brewmaster. “People really loved it in the festival setting because the drinkability is hard to beat. It pairs well with spicy and savory foods but you could also chase down a butter rum ice cream cone with equally great results.”

For additional food pairings, you can match Summer Helles with a dish like pork chops and peaches served with couscous. The bright, bold and sweet flavors in this dish are the perfect fit for the malty sweetness of the beer. Grilled trout and potato salad pair nicely as well, along with a squeeze of lemon to accentuate the flavors of the fish and counterpart the beer.

Summer Helles carries the pleasant sweetness of pale and German Pils malts, and levels off with the light and noble bitterness of Hallertau and Tettnang hops. It is 5 percent ABV and 21 IBUs, finishing crisp and dry. Summer Helles is available in 12-oz. bottles and on draft now through July, or while supplies last.

To find locations where New Belgium is sold, visit the libation locator at www.newbelgium.com/beer/locator.aspx and to learn more about New Belgium visit www.newbelgium.com.

Harpoon Brewery releases UFO Big Squeeze Shandy for Summer 2014

UFO-Big-Squeeze-ModalThe Harpoon Brewery is pleased to introduce UFO Big Squeeze Shandy, an unfiltered wheat beer blended with all natural grapefruit juice. This seasonal offering from the brewer’s UFO series, a line of unfiltered beers, has hit the shelves just in time for summer in bottles, cans, and on draft. Sweet with a hint of tartness, Big Squeeze Shandy is a New England summer treat.

“Our UFO beers are about adventure and fun,” says Harpoon CEO and co-founder Rich Doyle.  “UFO Big Squeeze Shandy is  a refreshing to complement this great season in New England. The combination of the grapefruit juice with the unfiltered wheat beer is a fantastic blend. It will be a staple in my fridge for the next few months.”

UFO Big Squeeze Specs and Tasting Notes:

Style:                  Shandy (beer with grapefruit juice added)

ABV:                   4.5%

Appearance:  Hazy, slightly orange, fine foamy head

Aroma:              Clean citrus, some cracker notes from the wheat malt

Mouth feel:    Light bodied

Taste:                 Sweet malt, sweet / tart grapefruit

Finish:               Quenching, refreshing

UFO Big Squeeze Shandy is available in 6-pack bottles, 12-pack bottles and cans, and draft.

New Belgium’s RyePA Looks to the Future, while Gruit Goes Back in Time

With the groundbreaking of the Asheville, N.C. facility just a few short months away, New Belgium Brewing is celebrating the second Mothership coming to life by teaming up with Asheville’s own artisan maltster, Riverbend Malt House. The two collaborated on New Belgium’s latest Hop Kitchen release, RyePA. The India Pale Ale, which is brewed with Carolina RyeTM and malted by Riverbend, boasts a bold blend of Simcoe, Galaxy, Cascade, and Mosaic hops, giving it some spicy notes and aromas.

“Some may wonder about basing a Hop Kitchen beer on a malt, but this malt plays up hop flavors and aromas so well, it’s like a mash made in heaven…or Asheville, which isn’t too shabby,” said Matty “Smooth” Gilliland, brewing process analyst with New Belgium Brewing. “The team at Riverbend is an inspiring group and they rallied together to ramp up their production to help make this collaboration possible.”

RyePA comes in at 75 IBUs and 7.5% ABV. To read more about the backstory behind RyePA visit – www.newbelgium.com/Community/Blog/14-02-24/Matty-Smooth-on-RyePA.aspx.

Gruit Ale is the latest Lips of Faith release and uses an ancient brewing style of incorporating herb mixtures into beer. This ale is brewed with pale and Munich malts, along with wheat and oats. Other ingredients include Bog Myrtle, Horehound, Yarrow, Wormwood and Elderflower, making for an herbal, almost mint-like and floral bouquet with a bittered root taste. The flavor is bold, with the botanicals playing a big role. Gruit is 6.6% ABV.

Both RyePA and Gruit are available in 22-ounce bombers and on draft, now through late May, or while supplies last.

To find locations where New Belgium is sold, visit the libation locator at www.newbelgium.com/beer/locator.aspx and to learn more about New Belgium visit www.newbelgium.com.

New Belgium is the Exclusive Beer Vendor for Kick-Off Night Party at the North American Bicycle Week

New Belgium Brewing will be the exclusive beer vendor for the first ever North American Bicycle Week’s kick-off night party, which will be held in Detroit, Michigan. The bicycle celebration for all ages, styles and experience levels starts March 27 and runs through March 30. The kick-off night party will serve Fat Tire, Snapshot Wheat and Ranger IPA, and will include performances by The Suicide Kings, Guilty Simpson and Stuck Lucky. It all starts at “The Aftermarket” at Eastern Market shed 3: 2934 Russell Street in Detroit.

North American Bicycle Week is an opportunity for bike enthusiasts and casual riders to all come together to celebrate cycling. The four-day event will include numerous day and night rides and will kick off the 2014 slow roll bike ride season, which is a slow roll through the city with a thousand of your new best friends. Several top bike manufacturers will also showcase their latest bikes and gadgets for all to experience.

“Biking is part of our culture at New Belgium, from our logo to giving bikes to all employees on their one-year anniversary, so being a part of this event is not only a ton of fun for us, but also a great honor. Detroit Bike City is doing great things and I’m looking forward to helping benefit Detroit with them,” said Asher Attick, New Belgium’s Michigan field brander.

For more information and to buy tickets for North American Bicycle Week visit www.northamericanbicycleweek.com. To learn more about New Belgium Brewing check out http://www.newbelgium.com.

KEEN and Widmer Brothers launch a limited edition Brew for a Cause

Last week, KEEN Footwear teamed up with Portland-based Widmer Brothers Brewing to launch a limited-edition, small-batch beer to raise awareness and membership for the Portland Bicycle Transportation Alliance.

The Full Fender Brown Ale debuted Tuesday, March 4, at a business-to-business event hosted by KEEN at its Pearl District headquarters. Since 1990, the non-profit BTA has worked to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon.

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To raise awareness and thank businesses who signed up for corporate BTA membership, 300 bottles of Full Fender Brown Ale were distributed at the event. Each bottle includes a special label designed by artist Bill Cass.

“At Widmer Brothers, we’ve built a workplace that supports and celebrates employees who ride to work,” said Rob Widmer, co-founder. “As an avid cyclist, we’re proud to support the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s efforts to raise awareness and encourage businesses to further embrace Portland’s bike culture with this special beer.”

The event raised more than $6000 and garnered eight new business memberships including:
• Brink Communications
• Columbia Sportswear
• Daniel Fleischer Bike Realtor
• FMYI
• KEEN Footwear
• Pedal PT
• Sugar Wheel Works
• Widmer Brothers

“This simply wouldn’t have been the event it was without the collaborative and community-centered efforts of KEEN and Widmer Brothers,” says BTA Business and Sponsorship Manager Megan Van de Mark. “The idea started with a good beer and turned into a great event!”

Jeff Dill, KEEN’s outdoor business unit director, said, “It’s activities like these that make being part of KEEN and the larger Portland community so much fun and so rewarding. Collaborating with longtime contributors like Widmer Brothers to provide some support to a cause we both care deeply about as companies, Portlanders and cyclists, feels really good.”

Sierra Nevada becomes official beer of USA Pro Challenge

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of America’s premier craft breweries, is returning to the USA Pro Challenge as a founding partner for the 2014 professional cycling race. In a three-year agreement, Sierra Nevada will be the official beer partner of the world-class cycling race and will have a sizeable on-site presence in the finish festival beer gardens. Additionally, the coveted King of the Mountains jersey, worn previously by fan-favorite Jens Voigt, will be entitled by the craft brewer.

“Sierra Nevada was such an important partner during the inaugural edition of the USA Pro Challenge in 2011, and we’re looking forward to having them back for many years,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the USA Pro Challenge. “With roots in the sport of cycling, Sierra Nevada will bring the company’s signature brews to our huge crowds of cycling enthusiasts.

With three decades of innovation and experimentation in the brewhouse, Sierra Nevada brings to the race a unique cycling history. A cyclist from an early age, Sierra Nevada Founder Ken Grossman skipped his high school graduation ceremony in 1972, opting instead for a bicycle tour along the Northern California coast. It led him to visit and fall in love with Chico, Calif., where he soon moved and combined long days working in bike shops with long nights building the first Sierra Nevada brewhouse.

Grossman instilled in the brewery a bike culture that’s unavoidable today: repurposed kegs as bike racks, public bike tools and maintenance stand, and even hand-built beer bikes that take people on tours of the grounds. Voted the most cycle-friendly place to work in Chico by the city and awarded as a silver level bicycle-friendly business by the League of American Bicyclists, Sierra Nevada will bring the beer that helped launch the American craft beer movement to professional cycling.

“What I loved and learned about bikes growing up translated pretty well to the crazy idea of building a brewery,” said Grossman. “Whether it’s riding a bike or maintaining one, cycling does a lot to shape you. It’s a sport and ethos that’s been great to see thrive at our brewery, and we’re fortunate and excited to again support the USA Pro Challenge—such a premier event and group of athletes.”

Dubbed “America’s Race,” the fourth annual USA Pro Challenge’s seven stages will take riders throughout the state of Colorado from Aug. 18-24. Beginning in Aspen, the race winds its way through the towering Rocky Mountains, through the cycling towns of Colorado Springs and Boulder, to the finish in Denver. The race challenges the sport’s toughest professional cyclists to compete on the epic course consisting of lung-busting climbs, winding mountain passes and heart-pounding sprints.