Malt Varieties: 2-row malted barley, malted wheat
Hop Varieties: Hallertau Hallertau
Special Ingredients: Real pumpkin
Alcohol: 4.4% ABV
Driven by an obsessive love of high jinks, the Jack-O Traveler spent his days cooking up mischief for everyone who crossed his path. One of his favorite pranks involved tricking unsuspecting bar patrons into buying him beers and then skipping out just when it was his turn to buy a round.
So clever was Jack, he even scammed the devil himself into granting him a reprieve from hell. Unfortunately for our Traveler, when his shenanigans finally caught up with him and he died, the man upstairs wanted nothing to do with Jack either.
It’s said that after Jack was barred from heaven, the devil gave him a burning coal, which he promptly put into a carved pumpkin to light his way. Legend has it that he wanders the earth to this day, searching for innocent bystanders to hoodwink into buying him his favorite beer, a pumpkin Shandy.
From points distant and beyond we all converged on Petaluma in 1993 and ’94 with an unenunciated desire to be more than we were before. The core of Lagunitas came from Chicago, St Louis, Memphis, Walker Creek, and the highlands of Quincy.
The Chicago contingent initiated the brewing and the gravitational effect of its suchness did the rest. We all loved the beer but the mission was larger than the ordinary joy of a hoppy-sweet quaff. It was driven unseen by an urge to communicate with people, to find our diasporidic tribe, and to connect with other souls adrift on a culture that had lost its center and spun its inhabitants to the four winds to wander lost and bereft with a longing to re-enter the light. Beer, we have learned, has always been a good lubricant for social intercourse!
The Lagunitas Brewing Co. was not so much an act of ordinary ‘foundling’ as it was willed into being by the unspoken desire of supportive beer-lovers in Northern California after which they continued to nurture their creation and urged us forward to fulfill the unifying needs of that same beer-loving diaspora from coast to coast and beyond. It is good to have friends!
Here’s a sampling of the delicious beers Lagunitas makes:
Coney Island Hard Root Beer is a new twist on an old favorite. With hints of vanilla, licorice and birch, this root beer will bring you back to the boardwalk.
Thrilling roller coaster rides and games on the pier. Sand under your feet and waves crashing on the shore. Cotton candy, french fries and popcorn galore. And don’t forget, the joy of an ice cold, frothy root beer on a warm summer day.
The gypsy should have predicted this. The most dignified beverage of days past, reimagined for your future self. The wooden planks under your feet and a hot dog in your hand; the only difference is that now you’re tall enough to ride the ride.
The concept of hard root beer isn’t a new one. It was hugely popular in the 18th century and as trends tend to be cyclical, it was just a matter of time before someone tried to bring it back. That someone was Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer. With a spiced vanilla taste that perfectly mimics traditional root beer and a 5.9 % alcohol content that’s nearly undetectable, it’s easy to understand it’s quick cult following. Some even speculate, because if it’s popularity, it will generate yet another category in adult beverages much like teas and ciders that have steadily gained ground since their reintroduction to retail. Boston Beer, a pioneer in “malternatives”such as Angry Orchard and Twisted Tea, is gearing up to launch it’s own version of hard root beer.
This stuff is so popular, no one can keep it on the shelves. And now it’s coming to Martinsburg. Who’s ready to test the hype? I know I am.
Redd’s Green Apple Ale is a brilliant, light-golden beer that serves up a dose of green apple flavor with an exceptional balance of crisp and tart. At five percent alcohol by volume, the beer boasts a clean, slightly dry, yet smooth finish that complements the fun and unexpected personality of the Redd’s Apple Ale brand.
Two Styles. One Work of Art.
Blue Moon® Farmhouse Red Ale, much like our Blue Moon® Belgian White Belgian-Style Wheat Ale, was inspired by our brewmaster’s travels across Belgium.
His journey started in the southern region of Wallonia. If you ask him today, he’ll tell you stories about walking through the small town of Pipaix, discovering local Farmhouse Ales. The spicy yet refreshing character of these handcrafted ales piqued his curiosity. From there, he headed north to Flanders, a region well-known for its sour Belgian Red Ales. These refreshingly tart, deep red ales have an unmistakable taste that you have to experience for yourself.
Over the next 20 years, whenever he returned to Belgium, our brewmaster found himself drawn to these two styles. After sharing a couple of ales with old friends, he got the idea to blend the spice character of a Farmhouse Ale with the tartness of a Belgian Red Ale to create our Farmhouse Red Ale. His interpretation blends grains and specialty malts for a pleasantly tart finish.
Limited availability in 12-oz. bottles, 6-pack, 12-pack, Draft
Presenting Smith & Forge Hard Cider: A Sturdy Drink for the Hardy Gent
Launching nationally this month, Smith & Forge is a hard cider fermented in the tradition of days gone by. With a rich amber color, 6% alcohol by volume (ABV), a distinct, not-too-sweet taste and a fantastically crisp finish, Smith & Forge is built to refresh.
“There was a time when more hard cider was consumed in America than beer. Now hard cider is exploding again, but the sweetness of many current ciders can be a turn off to beer drinkers, and some of them are looking instead to spirits and crafts for variety,” said David Kroll, MillerCoors vice president of insights and innovation. “Smith & Forge is a strong, just-sweet-enough hard cider that encourages guys to discover — or rediscover — the world of hard cider.”
The Smith & Forge packaging features a black, bold orange, and antique white design and a distinctive blacksmith’s hammer icon that delivers a timeless message of a past era – an homage to simpler times when toughness and hard work were celebrated values.
“Once upon a time, barrel-chested men proudly drank tankards of hard cider,” continued Kroll. “Smith & Forge is honoring those times by bringing back the sturdy side of hard cider.”
MillerCoors will support Smith & Forge with a national marketing campaign kicking off in March and includes multi-channel activations with media partners such as ESPN, Discovery Channel, Comedy Central, Thrillist and SB Nation.
Smith & Forge Hard Cider is available in 16-ounce single-serve and 4-pack cans as well as 12-pack 12-ounce cans.
For more information about this hard cider, visit www.SmithandForgeHardCider.com or Facebook.com/SmithandForgeHardCider and follow @SmithandForge on Twitter.
Cider fans rejoice! Cinnful Apple is Angry Orchard’s answer for your winter cider cravings. This new recipe is tart and sweet just like you’d expect but offers notes of coco and cinnamon to keep you saying “Nom Nom Nom…yummy!”. It’s the first Angry Orchard variety that’s made with apples from the good ol’ US of A, which will keep you feeling all warm and fuzzy and patriotic. It’s seasonal, which means you’ll be sad when winter is over. But don’t worry. I’m sure they’ll come out with something new and wondrous for spring.
It might look like a bunch of random letters thrown together but it isn’t. It’s actually the name of a harvest wine that is released the 3rd Thursday of each November. Beaujolais Nouveau is not just a name but a type of red wine that is under-aged, meaning the fermentation is typically only around 6-8 weeks after harvest. Most fascinating to me is the fact that this rushed fermentation leads to drastically reduced tannin. Happy news if the tannin in red wines gives you a nasty headache like it does me. It’s made from gamay grapes grown in the Beaujolais area of France, hence the name. The French have a huge harvest wine festival to celebrate. The more I research about it, the more intriguing it is to me. Each year is a bit different. Here’s what the winery has to say about the 2013 variety.
We are grateful for a lovely “Indian Summer,” which amongst other things, helped to produce a harvest that is wonderfully mature and rich in sugar, reaching the same standards as the 2011 and 2012 vintages. The quality of the vintage is promising and the colors are gorgeous with lovely purple reds and violet hued glints. The aromas are sublime with wild strawberries, redcurrants and, in particular, exquisite scents of raspberries. Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 will be a joy to drink!
Indeed, it sounds like it would be. I look forward to trying it.