Fresh Batch: Six New Beer Releases
BY: GRAHAM AVERILL
Even though I still have a watermelon beer stuck in the back of my fridge, and the temperatures are still in the mid ‘80s, the calendar says Summer is gone. Fall is here. It must be true, because football is starting and my kids won’t stop asking me what I’m going to be for Halloween. Fall also means breweries are getting heavy into pumpkins, stouts and bourbon barrels, which is going to make watching football and picking out a Halloween costume so much more fun. Here’s a look at six beers being released in the next couple of weeks that we’d really, really like to drink.
Pumpkin Patch Ale
‘Tis the season for pumpkin beers, and if you’re gonna go pumpkin, you may as well look for a beer with fresh pumpkin. Because canned pumpkin is for losers. As you probably know, Rogue Ales grows all kinds of ingredients for their beers, including their own pumpkins. Six acres of pumpkins, actually, most of which made their way into this ale, along with vanilla bean, ginger and some of the more typical fall spices like cinnamon and cardamom. Rogue releases Pumpkin Patch in big bottles on September 15th.
Consider Copper Donkey No-Li’s twist on the Moscow Mule (get it? Copper Donkey?). They use fresh ginger and Equinox hops to bring out notes of lime and lemon, approximating the taste of the popular Moscow Mule cocktail, which blends vodka, lime juice and ginger beer (in a copper cup). Expect the ginger and lime to steal the show in this beer, which makes its release as a winter seasonal a bit surprising. The beer comes in at 8% ABV and will be released on September 22nd.
See the Stars
Cards on the table—I really just like this artwork and I felt like the entire world should see it. Don’t get me wrong, Creature Comforts produces some killer beers, and I’m sure this new maple bourbon barrel-aged stout is delicious. It’s one of the first barrel-aged beers Creature Comforts has produced, and they went the extra mile for this beer. They snagged a bunch of Willett bourbon barrels, which they filled with maple syrup from a farm in New Hampshire and then let the barrels rest for four months. The syrup was then drained, and replaced with Russian Imperial Stout. Now we get to drink that stout, starting September 14 during the brewery’s “bottle release tour.”
Brevard, North Carolina
This might be one of my favorite imperial stouts on the market. It’s definitely the best stout I’ve had out of a can. It’s burly, clocking in at 10.5% ABV—a boozy core that’s hidden under big waves of chocolate and coffee. At one point, I think we called Ten FIDY “the hot chocolate of beers,” which I’m sure will hold true with this latest batch launching this weekend. You might even want to consider making the trip to Oskar Blues’ Brevard, N.C. brewery, where the launch party will feature rare varieties of FIDY, including Pumpkin Pie FIDY and Bourbon Barrel-aged FIDY, which might just be the best damned beer in the world.
Three words for you: “barrel-aged quadruple.” Are you scared? Based on that label, you probably should be. Gigantic put their Belgian quad into bourbon and pinot noir barrels for more than two years. Let’s all take a moment and recognize the attention span it took to let the beer sit for that long.
Gigantic says the result is rich, full of caramel, biscuits, cherry, vanilla and oak. Not to get religious on you, but this is exactly what I imagine heaven tastes like. The only bummer about this beer, is that it’s a super limited, brewery only release. And it’s being released today.
Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale
Alltech Lexington Brewing
If you’re dead set on going pumpkin, this beer has to be a contender. Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale pulled serious hardware at the 2014 World Beer Championships (gold, baby!), and is brewed with local pumpkin and tons of pumpkin pie spices before being aged in bourbon barrels for added notes of caramel and vanilla. And it comes in at a stout 10% ABV. In short, this is not a beer to be trifled with. Kentucky Pumpkin was actually released a couple of weeks ago, so keep an eye out for four-packs of bottles in a discerning bottle shop near you.