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Brewery Ommegang announces Three-Eyed Raven, fifth installment in Game of Thrones series

On the HBO series Game of Thrones, things are often not what they seem. There may be no better example than the three-eyed raven – which in Bran Stark’s dreams and visions is a bird. But as Bran discovers in the season four finale, the raven is actually a mysterious old man whose body is fused with the roots of a weirwood tree beyond the wall. Just like the mythical creature, the next beer in the Game of Thrones series from Brewery Ommegang is not exactly what it appears to be. Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison Ale is a saison, but it’s also a dark ale. And it will be available spring 2015 when Game of Thrones returns for its fifth season.

Three-Eyed Raven is the fifth beer in the partnership between HBO and Brewery Ommegang. Like its predecessors, the beer is inspired by themes and plot points from the award-winning HBO series. As season four wound down, the storyline of Bran and the three-eyed raven reached a shocking climax that portends dark and momentous events in store for the people of Westeros. A dark take on the classic saison style seemed most appropriate for the latest beer.

“A dark saison is a style that we’ve been intrigued with for a while now and one that’s open to a broader stylistic interpretation,” said Mike McManus, Brewery Ommegang’s Innovation Manager. “When we zeroed in on Bran’s storyline with HBO, we knew this was the perfect opportunity to brew something with many different characteristics and attributes – a beer that’s not truly one thing or another. It is definitely the most unique beer in the series to date, which is very exciting.”

“Going into season five, Game of Thrones is bigger than ever, and we’ve learned very quickly over the past four beer releases that fans of this show are thirsty for Ommegang’s innovative and carefully conceived brews,” said Josh Goodstadt, Vice President of Global Licensing at HBO. “We’re certain those fans will be just as surprised by the complexity of Three-Eyed Raven as they were by Bran’s discovery at the end of season four.”

Three-Eyed Raven is brewed with a carefully crafted mixture of specialty malts, including malted rye, midnight wheat (provides depth of color but not the roasty flavor of a dark beer), and dark candi sugar. It’s hopped with Hallertau Spalt Select, Tettnang, and Bravo hops, which give the beer a spicy, fruity character. A fair amount of late-addition hops are added for character. Three-Eyed Raven is fermented and bottle-conditioned with Ommegang’s signature house yeast.

Saison qualities dominate Three-Eyed Raven with fruity esters, clean floral hops aromas, a light malt character with just a hint of roast and a pleasant yeastiness in the taste, and a crisp finish with lingering herbal hops and dry rye notes. The label art, which features the three-eyed raven, was created using an actual concept design illustration from the series.

Previous beers in the highly successful collaboration include: Valar Morghulis Dubbel Ale (available now), Fire and Blood Red Ale (spring 2014), Take the Black Stout (fall 2013), and Iron Throne Blonde Ale (spring 2013.) The first three beers in the series completely sold out and Valar Morghulis is well on its way, despite being brewed at nearly 4x the volume of Iron Throne.

Three-Eyed Raven will be available nationally this spring (exact launch date still TBC) in time for the season five premiere of Game of Thrones. The 7.2% ABV ale will be available on draft (sixth-barrels) and in corked bottles (25.4 ounces). The recommended retail price is $9.50 per bottle.

Game of Thrones® fans select Valar Morghulis next in Brewery Ommegang and HBO® partnership

In the world of Westeros, Valar Morghulis means “all men must die.” Fans of the hit HBO show decided that “all men must drink” as well when they voted the foreboding phrase as the name of the newest beer in the Game of Thrones collaboration between HBO and Brewery Ommegang as part of a late December Facebook poll.

The voting also determined the style of the new beer – an Abbey Dubbel – which is perfectly represented by the “two-headed” coin which will adorn the labels.

Valar Morghulis will be available at retail in fall of this year.

Valar Morghulis is a central thematic element in the critically acclaimed show’s fourth season, which recently debuted to record ratings. As Arya Stark continues her journey to track down what family she has left and to avenge those who have fallen, she adopts the High Valyrian phrase as a mantra against the people she wants dead.

As the name for the new beer, the phrase won out during the December poll over Seven Kingdoms (Tripel), Hand of the King (Quad) and Khal (Quad). Thousands of fans cast their votes during the contest, and Valar Morghulis was the clear favorite with almost half of the votes.

“The fan response to the beers has been so incredibly positive that we thought it would be a fun reward to ask them to play an active role in selecting the fourth beer,” said Bill Wetmore, Director of Marketing for Brewery Ommegang. “It’s not uncommon to hear “valar brewghulis” spoken in the halls of the brewhouse, so we were secretly hoping that Valar Morghulis would be the winner. Our brewers are also excited to brew a Dubbel, a classic Belgian beer style, and have some great ideas to make this release extra special.

Valar Morghulis follows Iron Throne Blonde Ale (spring 2013), Take the Black Stout (fall 2013), and Fire and Blood Red Ale (available now) in the hugely popular partnership between HBO and Brewery Ommegang. The limited runs of Iron Throne and Take the Black sold out in a few short weeks, and Fire and Blood Red Ale is also selling out quickly, despite being brewed at nearly double the volume of the first two beers.

“The fan base for Game of Thrones keeps growing larger as each new season debuts, and the popularity of the beers is growing right along with the show,” said Josh Goodstadt, Vice President of HBO Global Licensing. “For this fourth beer, we found the perfect opportunity to give those diehard fans the power to choose what beer they wanted to drink, and we can’t wait to share this special brew with them this fall.”

Valar Morghulis is brewed with pilsner and other specialty malts and hopped with Apollo and Hallertau Spalt Select hops. The hue is deep amber-brown with a persistent, creamy, off-white head. Aromas include caramel, toffee, ripe fruit, banana and slightly burnt sugar. The taste is well-balanced with rich malty sweetness, caramel and sugar, and just a touch of bitterness to balance. The finish is surprisingly dry and light on the tongue, belying the aroma and initial taste.

“The Dubbel is one of the most recognized beer styles in Belgium and this is a very tasty version of that style,” said Mike McManus, Ommegang Innovation Manager. “Valar Morghulis is a complex beer, much like the stories surrounding the phrase.”

The label art will feature the two-headed coin, given to Arya Stark by Jaqen H’ghar, one of the “Faceless Men of Braavos” – legendary assassins with the ability to change their appearance at will. Each cork will be fire-branded with “Valar Dohaeris,” which is the traditional response phrase to “Valar Morghulis” meaning “all men must serve.”

Valar Morghulis image_small

Valar Morghulis will be available nationally this fall (exact launch date still TBC) on draft (sixth-barrels) and in corked bottles (25.4 ounces). The recommended retail price is $8.50 per bottle.

Oskar Blues to release Old Chub Nitro Scotch Ale cans at Brewer’s Conference

After years of experimenting with putting fresh draft beers on nitro, Oskar Blues Brewery decided to take the next step and insert the robustly complex OLD CHUB into a nitro’d can, thus generating an uber-silky smooth oral experience for drinkers of this rich Scotch Ale.  OLD CHUB NITRO will be released in the Denver market for the upcoming Craft Brewers Conference on April 8-11.  National distribution will be determined following the Craft Brewers Conference.

Oskar Blues Brewery expanded their nitro program in 2009 under the leadership of brewer Juice Drapeau. After developing a high quality and consistent draft option, focusing on OLD CHUB, we also have nitro’d Dale’s Pale Ale, Deviant IPA & G’Knight Imperial Red IPA, along with numerous small batch specialties.   Quality control guy Michael Kohn has been instrumental in refining the entire process with Juice.  Currently, more than 200 OLD CHUB NITRO draft handles are out there in the 34 states of Oskar Blues distribution.

The self-dubbed “CHUB TRUST” pushed the innovation of a quality nitro experience in a can with the help of The Ball Corporation http://www.ball.com/ . OLD CHUB NITRO utilizes an existing widget technology developed by Ball. The Nitro widget is attached to the bottom of the can and is charged with liquid nitrogen during the filling process. The widget releases the nitrogen when the can is opened, liberating the cascading creamy smooth nitro pour.

“OLD CHUB Scotch Ale is a great beer that many folks haven’t found yet.  The nitro style is the perfect mate for the brobdingnagian OLD CHUB SCOTCH ALE and the best way to get more CHUB in more places.” Says beer traffic control freak Jeremy Rudolf.

The nitro style allows beer lovers to go deeper into the smoky smooth mouth-feel and rich malty flavors of the Old Chub Scotch Ale. Both OLD CHUB Nitro & original OLD CHUB will remain in the market and are on tap at both Tasty Weasel Taprooms in Longmont and Brevard.

OLD CHUB NITRO will be available in 16-ounce 4-pack cans priced in line with Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils & Old Chub 12-ounce 6-packs.  Find limited quantities of OLD CHUB NITRO cans during the CBC Friday, April 11th at select liquor stores & bars including:  The Hyatt, Fresh Craft , Star Bar, Lucky Pie, Argonaut Wine & Liquor, Applejack Wine & Spirit, Superior Liquor, Hazel’s Beverage World, Davidson Liquor, Lucas Liquors, Bubbles and more.

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 Reveals Latest Hop Kitchen and Spring Seasonal

new-belgium-spring-blondeNew Belgium Brewing reveals two new beers that both take a look back in time. In the Hop Kitchen Series, Rewind pays homage to the brewery’s Belgian roots and the craft-brewing heyday of the early 90’s. The India Pale Ale is brewed with Maris Otter and Special B malts, which give a big sweet background to a palate of Horizon, Willamette and Galena hop varieties. Rewind is 7% ABV.

For the spring seasonal, New Belgium created Spring Blonde. This Belgian-style ale gets its inspiration from the spring trip to Belgium that all employee-owners can experience in honor of their five-year work anniversary. The adventure is a tribute to the bike trip New Belgium’s co-founder Jeff Lebesch took in the late 80’s that inspired him to brew Belgian beers.

Spring Blonde is a golden ale brewed with pale malts. It pours bright copper and holds a strong, white head aloft. Opening with a nose of lemon peel, pepper and a kiss of honey, this ale drinks malty, sweet and wonderful. Nugget hopping pedals towards a dry, lightly bitter finish, perfect for spring or any time. 6% ABV.

“The Spring Blonde is a tribute, an honor to traditional Belgian ales,” said New Belgium Assistant Brewmaster Grady Hull. “Blondes are also a favorite style among New Belgium employee-owners so this beer definitely has special meaning for us.”

For a look at New Belgium’s year-round portfolio, visit – http://www.newbelgium.com/Beer/year-round.aspx, which will soon include the brewery’s latest year-round offering Snapshot Wheat, an unfiltered wheat beer. To find New Belgium beers near you, use the New Belgium Libation Location tool:http://www.newbelgium.com/beer/locator.aspx. Pricing varies by location.