|Doughnut beer: Never out of season|
I was in Siciliano's the other day and even though it's March, the spring and even summer beers are out in full force. What gives?
Lem in Cedar Springs
You often hear it said that professional brewers and brewery owners march to the beat of their own drum. The out-of-season-seasonal-beer-release is scientific proof that this and similar statements are absolutely true.
We should not attribute the phenomenon solely to the quirkiness of idiosyncratic beer folk, however. What's happening is far more complicated than that, and to pin it all on mere personality traits is shortsighted.
I'll spare you the physics lesson (mostly because I don't know physics), but the appearance of seasonal beers before they're "due" has everything to do with regular (aka seasonal) distortions in the space-time continuum, particularly the way light bends around conical fermenters in the brewhouse. Such bending will often cause brewers and the beer they make to literally catapult back and forth through time, more so in certain "transitional" months of the year. In the simplest terms, the beer we're drinking now doesn't actually exist. It will at some point, but not yet. Follow me?
To date, there is no way for the individual brewer to anticipate or compensate for time travel, neither in his brewing schedule nor his shaving ritual (another reason why professional brewers tend to have such epic beards).
On a grander scale, the relative intensity of time travel is subject to evolving patterns within a 28-year cycle—we've figured that out at least. In other words, the lag between beer and season will grow more and more extreme at a generally predictable rate until summer beers are released in the dead of winter and vice versa. The phenomenon will then reverse itself, wrap back around the calendar and eventually settle for a short time—just a week or two—in a sweet spot, a space where season and beer are paired in perfect harmony.
According to our best calculations, the next projected balance in the seasonal beer release schedule will occur in November 2030, at which time enthusiasts will enjoy harvest and pumpkin beers at their most logical point in years.
Some in the industry have named this event The Great Equilibrium of 2030 and a number of breweries are planning to release special beers to commemorate the occasion. Expect to see them begin to hit shelves in early 2028.
New and Returning Beer
- Dogfish Head American Beauty, $14.39/750ml (limit 1 per) - "More than 1,500 loyal fans of the brewery and band suggested an ingredient idea and the Dead-inspired story behind it. Our favorite was granola, from California Dead Head and craft beer lover Thomas Butler. “The components of granola – honey, toasted grains, oats and fruit – offer a lot from a beer perspective,” says Thomas, a chemist by day, homebrewer by night. “The idea is to have a bold pale ale that highlights the oats and honey with a nice ‘dank’ hop selection.” American Beauty is brewed with all-American malts and hops, granola and little bit of soul. It’s malty with a big hop kick, and notes of toasted almond and honey round out the flavor profile and balance out the hop bitterness" (source).
- Dogfish Head Peircing Pils, $2.59/12oz - "A Czech-Style Pilsner brewed with pear juice, pear tea and Saaz hops" (source).
- Victory Winter Cheers, $1.79/12oz - "A wheat ale, combining German wheat and barley malts, oats, torrified wheat and whole flower Tettnang and Citra hops, this fruity and warming holiday brew delivers a refreshing finish, with spicy hints of banana, clove and citrus" (source).
- Big Sky Powder Hound, $1.69/12oz - "Powder Hound is our Winter Ale, and since it is our own creation we call it a Northern Rockies Strong Ale. Powder Hound satisfies, with the fine hand selected British hops fully complimenting the smooth malt notes. After a day on the ice or in the snow, enjoy a Powder Hound Winter Ale. Available November through March" (source).
- Fort Collins Double Chocolate, $3.09/12oz - "The most decadent creation ever to be crafted in FCB’s brewhouse. Deep roasty flavors, rich chocolate nose, coffee undertones and impeccable balance are the result of imperializing an already flawless brew" (source).
- Lagunitas Imperial Red, $4.79/22oz - "This special ale is in reality, the exhumation of the very first ale we ever brewed way, way back in 1993. Brewed with a big head, a muscular malty thorax, a silky texture and all strung together with a hoppy sweet nerve sack…Ick. A dank and roasty treat. Back again in bombers" (source).
- Lagunitas Sucks, $7.59/32oz - "Originally brewed in 2011 as a Brown Shugga’ substitute, due to construction-induced capacity issues. But we liked it so much it had to make a return trip" (source).
- Greenbush Jadis, $1.99/12oz - "A Winter White Ale because what else is Winter? The cold sets in and hangs for months it seems. Everything slows down. Time warps… and you’re covered with a wash of white. Thought I meant winter, didn’t you? Jadis will take you away from winter, even if temporarily" (source).
- Atwater Winterbock, $1.79/12oz - "This malty, sweet, dark amber colored German-style bock beer is brewed with imported malt and hops. Its uncommon smoothness and impeccable taste make it the perfect companion for a cold night" (source).
- He'brew Rejewvenator, $8.99/22oz - "Born in California now Reborn in New York - it's a Rejewvenator 2014 - with grape! Concord & Merlot, East Coast West Coast mashup - everyone is a winner" (source).
- He'brew Reunion, $7.19/22oz - "Shmaltz teams up for the fourth year-in-a-row with Terrapin Beer Company and Alan Shapiro (founder of SBS Imports) to create Reunion Ale ’14, a Dark Imperial Brown Ale Brewed with Toasted Coconut, Cocoa Nibs, Vanilla, Cinnamon and Coffee" (source).
- Oddside Hop Gobbler, $1.99/12oz - "The hop fairies have taken charge on this extra pale ale. A well balanced ale with loads of flavorful hops" (source).
- Oddside Beautiful Disaster, $4.89/12oz - "Pale ale aged in red wine barrels" (source).
- Oddside Red Eye IPA, $2.29/12oz - "A ridiculous rampage of ruthless rowdy hops in a rebellious rusty red ale" (source).
- Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, $1.99/12oz can - "Each year, when people are starting to unpack their winter clothes and replenish their firewood, our tiny brewery in the coastal redwoods of Northern California makes seasonal preparations of a different kind. As the cold arrives, we release a unique beverage created to add warmth to even the coldest and darkest of winter's days. Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale begins with a very high original gravity to create a hearty and spicy brew with a deep amber hue and a smooth finish. Anderson Valley Brewing Company wishes you the very best for the holiday season and the New Year" (source).
- Shorts Good Humans, $1.99/12oz - "Good Humans was created to showcase one of Briess Malting Company’s new malt varieties. Originally planned as a one-time thing, it quickly became one of our big successes. Good Humans is a Double Brown Ale made with Carabrown Malt, and then dry hopped with Simcoe hops. The brew has sweet malty esters that are met by huge toasted caramel and toffee flavors. The finish is dry with a bouquet of hops" (source).
- Southern Tier 2xPresso, $1.99/12oz - "Our 2xStout is considered by many to be a perfect milk stout. We started with that in mind, and added espresso beans and lemon peels for a true Italian style pick-me-up. The result is a stout so black, so rich, so creamy, it’d be at home in a café along a cobblestone street in some neighborhood in Rome. Yet, it’s beer" (source).
- Shorts Aphasia, $2.19/12oz (limit 2 per) - "A medium bodied dark brown Old Ale with a sizable nose of molasses and alcohol. Predominantly sweet, with unique flavors of plum, figs, and brown sugar. Further compliments of toasted malt and an increased ABV, aid in a pleasant warming finish" (source).
- Rouge VooDoo Lemon Chiffon, $14.39/750ml - "Rogue Ales has again collided with Voodoo Doughnut to create Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale! This unique artisan creation contains a baker's dozen ingredients including lemon juice, vanilla bean, and marshmallows to match Voodoo's Lemon Chiffon Crueller doughnut" (source).
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