Somebody asked me recently if there has ever been a week without any new beer. It happened all the time in the old-old days.
Before say, 1997, the beer department was only a handful of brands and in perusing the warm shelves you were far more likely to find a jar of mayonaise or Yoo-Hoo than anything resembling a "selection" of craft beer. I won't count that though. Siciliano's was a completely different store back then. (Gallon of milk, anyone?)
It's hard to believe, but since I started writing New Beer Friday last June—45 weeks ago—we've never had a week without at least one new beer*. To be honest, I don't know what I'd do if it were to happen. It's likely I'd kick off early and head to Founders. Sometimes I do that anyway.
I'm sure I'm jinxing myself and next Friday will arrive without a single new item. Let's say that does happen—I think the run we're on is still remarkable, a testament to the variety and vigor of the current craft beer scene.
*Note: We include in the definition of "new beer" products which are returning to the shelves after an extended absence, six months or longer. Seasonal beers are a good example of this.
New (and Returning) Beer
- Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, $2.49/12oz - "Resinous 'new-school' and exclusive hop varieties carry the bold and aromatic nose. The flavor follows the aroma with layers of aggressive hoppiness, featuring notes of grapefruit rind, rose, lilac, cedar, and tropical fruit—all culminating in a dry and lasting finish" (source).
- Sierra Nevada Summer Fest $1.59/12oz - "A refreshing, pilsner-style lager. Its incredible smoothness comes from an extra-long lagering period. Lighter in body than our ales but just as complex in character, Summerfest® quenches your thirst with big aroma and a tangy hop bite" (source).
- Troubadour Magma Belgian Triple IPA, $8.39/750ml - "After the succes of Troubadour Blond en Troubadour Obscura, a third Troubadour beer was developed. Inspired by the flavors of IPA (Indian Pale Ale) the new Troubadour was created by combining the bitterness of an IPA, Hoppy flavors from dry-hopping and the body of a Belgian Triple. The first Triple IPA was born" (source).
- Petrus Oud Bruin, $8.39/12oz - "Top-fermented dark beer brewed with the finest hops and malt varieties. Matured on oaken barrels during 20 months" (source).
- Goose Island Lolita, $17.89/22oz - "Lolita is a pink rose colored Belgian style pale ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on raspberries in wine barrels. Aromas of fresh raspberries, bright jammy fruit flavors and crisp, refreshing body make Lolita ideal for beer drinkers fond of Belgian Framboise" (source).
- Goose Island Summertime, $1.59/12oz - "The color of sunshine, with a light fruity aroma and a hint of fruity acidity, Goose Island Summertime is the perfect summer session ale. A Kölsch beer brewed in the traditional German fashion, you’ll find yourself enjoying and savoring each sip of summertime as much as you do those hot summer days and cool summer nights" (source).
- JW Less Harvest Ale, $11.39/275ml - "Released in limited quantities in December, Harvest Ale gives a rich, strong flavour,beloved by beer connoisseurs. It can be laid down like a vintage wine for enjoying in later years" (source).
- Weihenstephaner Festbier, $2.09/12oz - "A full rich bodied, hoppy, seasonal lager. Especially brewed for the Festbier season. This beer truly represents the Bavarian way of celebrating. Deep gold color, great mouthfeel and lots of flavor" (source).
- St. Feuillien Saison, $10.79/750ml - "St-Feuillien’Saison is what the Belgians call a beer of the terroir, a traditional farmhouse ale with all the rich savour of the fertile land of southern Belgium. Saison, a warm golden blonde ale, is a top-fermented classique. Thanks to secondary fermentation in the bottle, Saison has an unmistakable flavour full of rich nuances and a slight tang" (source).
- Victory Whirlwind, $2.19/12oz - "A swirling dynamo of flavor, with a steady calm of satisfaction at its heart, that’s Whirlwind Witbier. Offering a tamed tempest of flavors both spicy and sublime, this softly fermented ale greets the nose and tingles the tongue. Imported Belgian yeast charges Whirlwind with an energy all its own. It is a refreshing interpretation of the classic, Belgian ‘white beer’ style" (source).
- New Planet Brewing Company, Boulder, Colorado - "We named our beer company New Planet Beer Company as a way to express our desire for a new and invigorated planet. It’s our core mission to make great tasting gluten-free beers that everyone can enjoy, while donating a portion of our proceeds to environmental efforts" (source). All varieties $2.39/12oz.
- Tread Lightly Ale - "Tread Lightly Ale is a well-balanced gluten-free ale beer made from sorghum, corn extract, orange peel, hops, and yeast. It’s a bright and light bodied craft beer with a refreshing taste and doesn’t have the after taste of other sorghum-based beers."
- 3R Raspberry Ale - "An award winning ale with the right balance of fruit flavor and aroma. Made from sorghum, corn extract, natural raspberry puree, orange peel, hops, and yeast. Not overly sweet, the Oregon grown fruit puree creates a beautiful body color with a natural raspberry flavor."
- Off Grid Pale Ale - "A wonderful interpretation of the classic pale ale style. It has a distinctly deep amber color and great character and body. Three varieties of hops provide a wonderful aroma and a citrus and spicy hop flavor. This smooth gluten-free ale is made from sorghum and brown rice extract, molasses, tapioca maltodextrin, caramel color, hops, and yeast."
- Short's Freedom of '76 Pure Guava IPA, $2.19/12oz - "A medium bodied IPA with bright clarity and a pleasing bronze hue. The aroma is a unique fusion of citrus fruit combined with subtle pine qualities. The distinct characteristics of the guava nectar are impossible to miss as the sweetness and slightly tart flavors snap across the palate. Comparable attributes of tangerine, nectarine, and even some faint honey flavors are detectable. The finish provides a pleasing bitterness that resonates and turns dry" (source).
- Mythos Lager, $2.09/12oz - "Excellent Hellenic lager beer tradition" (source).
- Detroit Brew Co. Radler, $1.69/12oz - "The Radler is a Bavarian style Helles Lager blended with natural lemon and lime extracts. Basically a shandy, but with natural flavors and a bit more body and "beeriness" than other commercial examples. It turned out just as we hoped it would, and I hope our friends in Grand Rapids enjoy it this summer!" (source: see comments section below).
- MacTarnahan Spine Tingler, $7.69/22oz - "A surprisingly sublime Belgian-style triple offering an electrifying blend of spicy aromatics balanced with a lively malt palate that is so good it's scary" (source).
- Olympia Lager, $10.09/12-pack - "Olympia lager blends nature's finest raw materials from the fields of the Great Northwest into an icon as stunning as the land itself. Pure mountain water and golden barley tan this smooth sculpted beer like Mount Olympia itself. Crowned with a garland of fresh herbal hops, Olympia beer stands shoulders above other beers" (source).
Picture of the Week
|Ron Snider of Hudsonville Winery.|
Next week on The Buzz we'll have more from our first trip
to this great little winery, including a look at their new brewing operation,
Pike 51, scheduled to be up-and-running sometime very soon.