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Friday, March 1, 2019

New Beer Friday, Great Equilibrium Edition (March 1)

With Steve in transit back from Florida, we thought this week, rather than trouble him for a preamble, we'd repost something the from the extensive Buzz archives. Our pick: A post from March 29, 2012, in which former Buzz advice columnist Hey Kevin explains the phenomenon of out-of-season seasonal beer releases. Please enjoy.

Bring on the spring/summer beers!
Hey Kevin,

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

Hey Lem,

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.

Hope this helps.

Kevin

New and Returning Beer

  • Alaskan White, $1.79/12oz - "Alaskan White Ale is based on a Belgian-style witbier, literally translated to “white beer.” White beers, or “witbieren,” are named for the suspended wheat proteins creating a cloudy appearance in this unfiltered beer" (source).
  • Arcadia Whitsun, $1.99/12oz - "Brewed in the style of a mid-19th century English Festival Ale, this unfiltered wheat beer displays a translucent orange color topped with a creamy, white head. Wheat enhances the mouthfeel of the beer and produces pleasant bread-like notes while Michigan honey provides a caramelized sweetness in the flavor profile. This beer is spiced with orange peel and coriander and small amounts of three hop varieties pleasantly counterbalances the sweetness" (source).
  • Big Lake Dinosaur Death, $3.99/16oz - "A New England Style IPA with bitter orange peel" (source).
  • Big Lake Midnight Rider, $3.19/16oz - "This is our Black IPA brewed with Columbus, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops. The mix of citrus, pine, lemony hops, and debittered roasted malts help create a beer to not be forgotten" (source).
  • Brewdog Juggernaut, $2.29/12oz - "Imperial IPA" (source).
  • Central State DDH New Money, $4.09/16oz - "Double Dry-Hopped Hazy India Pale Ale — New Money vs. Old Money. A Rivalry that spans the ages. The Old guard holding onto tradition. The new kids trying to break down walls and redefine norms. This beer is firmly planted in the new. Brewed with malted Indiana oats and aggressively double dry-hopped with Mosaic, Hull Melon, and Simcoe hops this beer is anything but old school" (source).
  • Dark Horse Toonila, $2.19/12oz - "Cream stout brewed with coffee from Dark Street Roasting Company and vanilla beans" (source).
  • Decadent Mango Coconut Smoothie, $6.29/16oz - "DIPA brewed with Mango & Coconut" (source).
  • Deschutes Da Shootz, $1.79/12oz - "Clean, lightly toasted, light citrus, bubbly, and refreshing. A simple style with low ABV and low IBU so you can keep on keeping on" (source).
  • Evil Twin 90 Day Dry Aged Stout, $4.09/16oz - "Milk stout brewed with dry-aged malt" (source).
  • Fat Orange Cat/Decadent Baker's Dozen, $6.49/16oz - "Collaboration with Decadent Ales. Cinnamon Chocolate Fudge Imperial Stout brewed with ancho peppers and a hint of vanilla, creating a unique, smooth blended flavor" (source).
  • Foundation Brewing Afterglow, $4.89/16oz - "Afterglow is an American IPA, rich in West Coast and South Pacific hop flavors and aroma. The juicy malt base enhances the notes of tangerine, pine, and berries from the hops. It finishes with a pleasingly dank and firm bitterness" (source).
  • Foundation Brewing Epiphany, $5.19/16oz - "We indulged in our desire to create an IPA that personifies the vivid flavors that can be coaxed from the hop cone, painted on a canvas of soft malt that allows the flavors to shine through. Extensively hopped in the kettle and in the fermentor, we spared nothing in making this beer" (source).
  • Foundation Brewing Venture, $5.19/16oz - "Venture is a Maine IPA created to revel in the breadth of flavors and aromas that can be coaxed from hops. The blend of hops in this beer provide rich flavors of berries, tropical fruit, citrus and pine without lingering bitterness" (source).
  • Golden Road Agua Fresca Mix Pack, $14.39/12pk - "Aguas Frescas are classic Mexican fruit drinks made with fresh fruit and pure water. Enjoy this refreshing, subtly sweet Agua Fresca mix pack with cucumber lime, mango and strawberry pineapple flavors" (source).
  • Golden Road Melon Cart, $1.99/12oz - "Second in a series inspired by the iconic fruit cart vendors of Los Angeles.Tastes like freshly cut Melons and the California sun right in your hand. This light, crisp Wheat Ale is bursting with Watermelon, Honeydew, and Cantaloupe flavors, finishing bright and refreshing" (source).
  • Great Divide Hop Disciples, $2.59/12oz - "Rotating Hop Project takes a bright, clean IPA and puts a different hop variety at the forefront of the sensory experience every year. The 2019 release features Callista, which showcases floral and tropical notes with hints of citrus and pine. Hop Disciples may look tough on the outside, but with its golden blonde hue and approachable ABV, we promise it’s a lover not a fighter" (source).
  • Great Divide Chocolate Cherry Yeti, $11.69/22oz - "CHOCOLATE CHERRY YETI is the newest version in our revered Yeti Series. We’ve tweaked the hop bitterness for this special release and then added sweet and sour cherries and cacao. The roasty malt backbone of Yeti melds perfectly with the cherries and cacao to make this one smooth sipper. A Yeti in a cherry orchard can be a great thing" (source).
  • Great Divide Orabelle, $2.19/12oz - "ORABELLE is brewed with barley, wheat, oats, and rye.  This Belgian-Style Tripel is a golden beauty.  Its two yeast strains, orange peel and dash of coriander impart surprising complexity and richness to this delicate ale. Don’t let Orabelle’s demure nature fool you; this is one flavorful pour.  Watch out, she’s a charmer – one sip and you’ll be in love" (source).
  • Great Lakes Chillwave, $3.49/12oz - "Inspired by the North Coast’s dedicated (and sometimes chilly) surf community, our Double IPA will melt the ice in your beard and never lose its balance" (source).
  • Hoof Hearted Belloq, $5.49/16oz - "Smooth caramel & chocolate notes get a massive coffee rogering. Competitively intellectual flavor that makes you feel smarter than you look. Pair with a corduroy blazer and look out world" (source).
  • Hoof Hearted Dorks of Hazard, $5.49/16oz - "Double dry-hopped IPA in collaboration with Embassy Boardshop and #dudleyclips" (source).
  • New Belgium Mural, $1.79/12oz - "This agua fresca ale features hibiscus, agave, watermelon and lime for a fresh, vibrant sip. Settling of sediment may occur as Mural is unfiltered in the agua fresca tradition" (source).
  • New Holland Kombucha IPA, $1.99/12oz - "Kombucha IPA blends the bright citrus flavors of an india pale ale with tart kombucha tea and a hint of ginger in perfect harmony" (source).
  • Omnipollo Agamemnon, $5.69/16oz - "Invited to brew in the US I wanted to use local ingredients. Agamemnon is an Imperial Stout brewed with maple syrup. Boiled 7 hours" (source).
  • Omnipollo Pleroma, $4.39/12oz - "Raspberry crème brûlée sour ale brewed with lactose sugar, raspberries and vanilla" (source).
  • Omnipollo Shploing!, $4.59/12oz - "This beer is an IPA brewed with marshmallows, graham crackers, salt and lactose sugar and the beer erupts in at 7%-Abv" (source).
  • Short's Batch 10,000, $2.99/12oz - "Batch 10,000 is a Double Brut IPA with mango and black currant celebrating the 10,000th batch brewed at Short’s. Powerful flavors of mango fruitiness and black currant tartness blend with alcohol notes from the high ABV. A huge amount of hops contributes to a palate coating body that smooths as you enjoy more. The burnt orange color is indicative of the warming finish" (source).
  • Short's ControversiAle, $1.99/12oz - "ControversiALE is an American IPA brewed exclusively with Simcoe hops originally brewed for the City Park Grill in Petoskey, MI. Earthy, citrus and pine laced aromas are instantly delectable. Large amounts of toasted grains and high alpha hops form a perfect union that creates the cool sensation of toasted sourdough covered with zesty grapefruit hop marmalade. ControversiALE has an enchantingly straightforward hop aroma, flavor, and overall intensity through ample additions of Simcoe hops. While this beer is hopped like an IPA, it drinks like a pale ale. The light, refreshing qualities of this beer make it perfect for springtime" (source).
  • Southern Tier Swipe Light, $1.89/12oz - "Swipe Light isn’t like the other basic light beers. This ale provides a complex and refined craft flavor at only 110 calories. With a 4% ABV, it’s a match for those who crave a refreshing, easy drinking experience" (source).
  • Stella Spritzer, $1.79/12oz - "A bubbly and refreshing cider made from crisp apples & hibiscus, it is the perfect complement to your afternoon. Using centuries of French & Belgian tradition, Stella Artois created this naturally gluten-free spritzer specifically for the wine glass. It impeccably pairs with an apple walnut salad, romano cheese, prosciutto and apricot jam" (source).
  • Weyerbacher BA Insanity, $4.89/12oz - "Aging adds a combination of vanilla & oak notes to the intense malt profile" (source).
  • Weyerbacher Sexy Mother Pucker, $2.79/12oz - "Inspired by a classic beverage blending lemonade and iced tea, Sexy MotherPucker is a 7.5% ABV sour ale with bright citrus notes. Amber hued, tangy and dry on the palate, this tart beer nicely balances sour and malt with a late addition of Citra hops to give it a nice citrus kick in both flavor and aroma" (source).

Video of the Week | Alaskan White


Available now at Siciliano's.

Cheers!

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