Ommegang releases Double Barrel Dubbel

Double Barrel Dubbel, photo courtesy Brewery Ommegang.

Cooperstown, NY-based Brewery Ommegang announced on April 11 its release of “Double Barrel Dubbel” a bourbon barrel aged Belgian Dubbel.  Here’s the press release:

Bourbon and brandy flavors shine in Ommegang’s new Double Barrel Dubbel blend 

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) Brewery Ommegang is pleased to announce the release of a new beer this month: Double Barrel Dubbel, a beautiful blend of traditional Belgian-style dubbel aged in bourbon and brandy casks.

A nod to Ommegang’s first beer, a beloved dubbel called Ommegang Abbey Ale, Double Barrel Dubbel is a glorious new take on the style. This luxurious brew begins with Abbey Ale, which then gracefully ages for six months in a mix of bourbon and brandy casks in the brewery’s cellar. This blend of barrels adds an additional layer of complexity to an already flavorful beer.

“As we’ve expanded our barrel-aging program, we’ve experimented with some of our favorite core beers, trying different barrels, and combinations of barrels, to create something new with beers we already enjoy,” said Phil Leinhart, Ommegang’s brewmaster. “We thought the combination of bourbon and brandy for Abbey Ale was a great one and we’re pleased to share Double Barrel Dubbelwith fans.”

Brewed with pils, amber, Munich, and aroma malts and hopped with Syrian Golding and Spalter Select, Double Barrel Dubbel enjoys a similar spicing to Abbey Ale with orange peel, coriander, cumin, star anise, and licorice root. It pours a deep burgundy color with a creamy tan head. Robust aromas of coconut, vanilla, molasses, burnt sugar, and dark stone fruit greet the drinker up front, with more subtle hints of vanilla and bourbon following in their wake. Flavor of caramel, raisin, and plums mix nicely with underlying flavors of oak, bourbon, and subtle hints of dried fruit and vanilla. A wonderfully full mouthfeel pairs with a lingering sweetness on the finish resulting in a decadent drinking experience.

This big, rich beer with an ABV of 9.9% pairs well with bold flavors like beef carbonade over mashed potatoes, robust cheeses like sharp cheddar and bleu cheese, and for dessert, a brandy-soaked fruitcake. Double Barrel Dubbel will be available for a limited time in 12 oz four-packs and on draft beginning in late April.

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

The Brewholder News: Digging out!

Time to dig out and drink up!  PS – on a recommendation from a trusted source, I tried the 10 Barrel Pub Ale.  I wasn’t impressed, but it’s drinkable.  

Hey everyone!   It’s been a some time since I’ve posted here, but between celebrating a Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl win and digging out from multiple snow storms, let’s just say I’ve been drinking more beer than writing about it!  (See my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Untappd activity as proof!)

There’s been some really cool stuff that’s come across my barrel recently – so let’s dig out:

The Bruery – or more specifically – Bruery Terreux – is releasing a foeder aged beer that sounds amazing – Saison Ardennes.  I’m expecting to try it soon – here’s the description I received:

A new, authentic, oak foeder-aged, Belgian-style farmhouse ale that just got released from Bruery Terreux – a brand from The Bruery in Orange County, CA that exclusively focuses on and explores the sour and wild side of beer.

At Bruery Terreux, we channel nature for inspiration and participation in crafting both traditional and new takes on farmhouse-style ales, including Belgian-style saisons, tart wheat beers and oak-aged fruited sours.

This new release, Saison Ardennes, is no exception. Saison Ardennes is a tart saison, hand-crafted to embody the dependable, spirited nature of a classic Belgian-style farmhouse ale. This includes a crisp malt profile, rustic floral and spice notes, and lively carbonation. Our rendition expresses further depth and character from a six-month fermentation and maturation in one of our newest 103BBL large oak foeders previously used for wine in Santa Rosa, California. It’s a bottle of beer that will pleasantly evolve over time, thanks to the presence of wild yeast added for bottle conditioning.

The beer will be available in 375-ml. bottles and on tap in nearly 30 states throughout the country, starting this month – here’s how to find bottles where our beer is distributed. Bottles are also available on TheBrueryStore.com (shipping within CA only) and will soon be on the shelves at The Bruery Store at Union Market in Washington, D.C.

 

The Bruery’s Saison Ardennes, photo courtesy The Bruery

Did you know Forest & Main in Ambler opened their new space?  Swing in and check it out!

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant announced that they will be opening a new location in Hershey, Pennsylvania in late 2018/early 2019.  A press release explained that the 9,000 sf facility “will house an on-site brewing facility and seating for up to 290 including a bar area and additional outdoor space.”  The release also suggested that Iron Hill Hershey “will join in the amusements, world-class golf courses, museums, and outlet shopping at one of Pennsylvania’s most popular tourist destinations.”  For those of us who love beer tourism, Iron Hill Hershey will be a great addition to a the list of outstanding breweries in the area, including Troegs and Boneshire Brew Works.  And of course, those of us in the Philly area are anxiously awaiting the opening of Iron Hill’s Center City Philadelphia location, which, we were last told, should happen this Spring!

Magic Hat’s “Barroom Hero” is a strong recommendation for St. Patty’s Day.

Did you hear that Vermont-based Magic Hat Brewing released a collaboration pub style ale with The Dropkick Murphys?  Unlike many craft nerds, I truly enjoy a traditional pub ale – and when listening to the Dropkick Murphys, Magic Hat’s “Barroom Hero” is outstanding. The Brewholder’s recommendation:  If you can find it, I’d strongly recommend holding some for St. Patty’s Day!

Magic Hat is also re-releasing their “Elder Betty,” an elderberry enhanced Weissbeer.  Keep an eye on my social media channels for my thoughts on it soon!

Summer Love is back, with a new look. Photo courtesy Victory Brewing Company

To help us get through our most recent snow storm, Victory Brewing Company is counting down the days to summer!   And today they announced the return of Summer Love Ale, with a new look.  It won’t be long until you start getting bombarded with pictures of cans from The Brewholder Pool!

Prima Pils by the Pool, 2016!

Cooperstown, NY-based Ommegang Brewery recently released two beers of note:  Candi Stout “fuses rich roasted malts with Belgian candi sugar, bittersweet cocoa nibs, and a special strain of Belgian ale yeast. The result is a delightfully drinkable blend of a Belgian-style dark ale and a traditional stout.”  If you didn’t try this on Valentine’s Day, maybe replace a few chocolate eggs with it on Easter!

Their newest Game of Thrones inspired beer, in a new series – The Royal Reserve Collection – The Hand of the Queen, is a barleywine ale that will be available in the beginning of April.  If you happen to live in the Cooperstown area, or are able to make the trek to the brewery, it will be for sale at the brewery store on Saturday, March 17, 2018.  But remember – the brewery is currently closed for tours due to renovations.

Ommegang’s “Hand of the Queen” Barleywine, coming soon. Photo courtesy of Brewery Ommegang.

Tons of stuff happening in the craft beer world – if you are looking at it from the business sense, it makes one wonder if the we’re turning a corner.  One announcement that really struck me was the fact that New Hampshire-based Smuttynose Brewing is up for auction!  Believe it or not, there was a time when The Brewholder could/would not drink anything hoppier than a Yuengling Lord Chesterfield Ale.  But one day in the early 2000’s, standing in warm sunlight at an outdoor picnic in the month of May, someone handed me a Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA, and it was an awakening.  I’ll never forget that moment of confusion, delight, and sudden understanding that a doorway to a whole new style of beer had just been opened to me. I believe it is that rush of excitement that has been the power behind the craft beer movement (or at least it is for me).  So when I heard that Smuttynose might undergo some significant changes, I felt a little something, right there in the chest.

But no need to cry!  There are still many new beers being created every day, and there are tons of cities/states/countries that are modernizing their beer laws (think you had it bad in Pennsylvania?  Indiana just passed a law allowing for Sunday beer sales!)  So keep on trying new brews, especially local brews!

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

Brewholder News: Starting off 2018 Right!

    Sly Fox Mudlust Coffee Porter, with Coffee from Herman’s Coffee. Photo courtesy Sly Fox Brewing Company

Happy New Year! Here’s some news and upcoming events to start off 2018:

Iron Hill will roll out their “winter 2018 lineup with the release of cult favorite, Rising Sun: a single-hopped IPA with the intensely tropical Sorachi Ace. For the first time in the brewery’s 21-year history, ‪Iron Hill‬ will place year-round emphasis on their canning program by releasing at least one canned beer every month. Rising Sun will be the first canned offering in 2018, followed by Bedotter (‪February 8‬) and Ore House IPA (‪February 22‬), with more fresh beer coming out throughout the year.

Rising Sun is an American IPA that is single-hopped with Japanese Sorachi Ace for unexpected notes of lemon and coconut in a light, well-balanced beer with a nimble hop kick
Bedotter is a traditional Belgian-style golden ale with complex aroma and notes of plum, spice and banana balanced by refreshing bitterness
Ore House IPA is a Golden IPA with a balanced hop bitterness and wonderful citrus and pine aroma and flavor, weighing in at 6.5% ABV

All three cans will feature fun new designs from Pittsburgh, PA’s Smith Brothers Agency, the latest in an ongoing series of collaborations between the brewery and the firm, including other favorites such as Crusher, Mahalo, Apollo!, Vienna Red Lager, ‪Pig Iron Porter‬, Pumpkin Ale and Oktoberfest.”

Keystone Homebrew Supply began accepting submissions for the 23rd Annual War of the Worts on January 13, 2018. The judging and competition will be held on February 17, 2018 at The Montgomeryville store. Submissions can be made here:  http://www.keystonehops.com/waroftheworts2018/

Sly Fox has been busy in early 2018.

Check out their new release Mudlust Coffee Porter, brewed with coffee roasted by our friends at Herman’s Coffee! Mudlust is available at both Sly Fox locations now! http://www.slyfoxbeer.com/beer/mudlust-coffee-porter

On January 20, they will host their annual Robert Burns party at the Phoenixville Pub, with the release of their Gang Aft Agley Scotch Ale.

Also, your favorite Sly Fox beers may look a little different in 2018. According to a press release, “With an eye to the future once again, the Pottstown-based brewery will unveil new branding for their entire lineup of core brands and seasonal beers, including a modern update on their playful “Sly Fox” logo. This bold new look accurately represents what Sly Fox does best: telling the outdoor enthusiast’s tale through the lens of fresh beer. The stylish “Y” in the word “Sly” depicts a bushy fox tail, emblematic of the red and gray foxes indigenous to the wild backwoods of Pennsylvania, and the words “Brewing Company” reinforce their reputation as one of the pioneering leaders of the craft beer movement.”

Dogfish Head Names New President and CEO –

Dogfish Head Names New President and COO

The Brewers of Pennsylvania announced their winter beer selections for 2018 – which is your favorite?

Southern Tier announced new DIPA project – Southern Tier announced new DIPAs in a press release this week – “Southern Tier Brewing Company introduces a new 16oz can Double India Pale Ale collection. The brand new “Science is the Art” Collection showcases their brewers’ scientific exactitude through distinctive commissioned artistry. Featuring vibrant and energetic graphic novel-like labels, the collection will feature six expertly crafted, flavorful episodes that depict a short story throughout 2018. The first episode titled ‘All is Well at the Station’, is set to release early-January.
The six releases feature new flavor profiles, and each label is an episode in a six-part story, as interpreted by sci-fi artist, Christopher Balaskas. These unconventionally named beers each serve as a snapshot of an unfolding science fiction tale. ‘All is Well at the Station’ is an 8.5% ABV, double IPA featuring Amarillo, Chinook, CTZ, and Simcoe hops, giving this brew a big citrusy and earthy character with a dank edge. It is a remarkably drinkable double IPA as the malt bill leaves just enough residual sweetness to perfectly balance its hoppiness. As for the artwork, we see an astronaut flying above a tranquil moon outpost. Surely all is well…or is it?”

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

 

 

 

The Brewholder’s New Year’s Resolution 2018

As 2017 comes to an end, I am reflecting on the beers I experienced this year. In fact, I made a “trailer” of many of the beers I enjoyed and breweries I visited in 2017. You can view it on my Facebook page.   Thanks to everyone that shared those beers and experiences with me!

The highlights? Finally making my way out to Brew Gentlemen in Braddock, PA; two trips to Seattle and amazing beers at Populuxe Brewing and Urban Family; toasting at the last Real Ale Fest at the old Yards Brewing location; and celebrating Oktoberfest with traditional German style brews and cuisine at Weeping Radish on the Outer Banks.  Of course, my list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t add my interviews with the most influential brew writers in Philly beer history – Lew Bryson, Don “Joe Six Pack” Russell, and George Hummel; and I can now say that I interviewed “The Most Interesting Man in the World”!

I am ready to celebrate the beginning of 2018. After all, I’m looking forward to checking out the brew scenes in St. Augustine, Tucson, Washington DC, Bar Harbor, and Nashville this year!

But closer to home, I’m truly curious what 2018 will bring. Locally, I saw a few things that gave me pause for concern his year – Prism Brewing closed after moving to its long awaited new location; Beergeeknation stopped reviewing beers this fall; and Philly Beer Scene has reduced its activity on social media and in publication, as well as the cancellation of the Band of Brewers final competition in November.

Could this be the prophesied “bursting of the bubble of the craft beer scene” in the Philly area?

I don’t think so – we all know there were plenty of new breweries that opened this year, tons of new beers introduced, and lots of new places to drink them. Could it simply be a changing of the guard in the Philly beer scene? Or maybe a decrease in the excitement surrounding new beers? Is A-B InBev silently winning the market share war by continuing to purchase breweries like Wicked Weed and releasing catchy “Dilly dilly” commercials? Who knows.

All I know is that every time I hear about a new local beer or brewery, I still get that thrill of excitement and adventure – especially when I can share those beers with friends and other like-minded beergeeks!

I for one will not give up on my beer quest. It is my New Year’s resolution to continue to celebrate this golden age of American brewing! I will continue to check in on Untappd, post on Instagram and Facebook, and upload posts right here on theBrewholder.com. I hope you will continue to join me in 2018!

Cheers to 2018; cheers to the small local breweries living their dreams, and cheers to craft beer! See you out there in 2018!

Happy New Year!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

 

Brewholder News: Mad Elf Grand Cru is released; Keystone Homebrew Supply Celebrates 25 Years

Troegs Brewing Company has released its Anthology Winter Variety pack – which includes Troeganator Bock, Blizzard of Hops IPA, Scratch 307 – Cherry Chocolate Stout, and Perpetual IPA. Troegs’ holiday favorite Mad Elf is also out in abundance, and a new, exciting release of Mad Elf Grand Cru can be found! It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year!

Keystone Homebrew Supply will celebrate its 25th anniversary this Saturday, November 18, from 2 – 9pm. They’ll be pouring wine, cider and brews, and some local breweries will be there too! Live music by The Counterparts, food from The Pizza Wagon, games and giveaways will round out the day. Details can be found on their Facebook page.

Skadoosh IPA by The Alchemist – thanks!

Special thanks to a secret source who shared two amazing brews with me from The Alchemist Brewery in Vermont – Skadoosh IPA and The Crusher IPA. Oh – and a Super Session #8 IPA from Lawson’s Finest Liquids! What a great IPA week!

Cheers!
The Brewholder
Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

Over 100 College Town Pints Perfect for Saturday Kickoff

We Are…Penn State pints from Uncommon Green

 

As college football bowl season swings into high gear, Uncommon Green has launched its College Town Maps line of glassware, a collection of pint glasses that are painted with a detailed map of your favorite college town.

The selection of colleges is wider than expected – not only are large schools like Penn State and USC available, but also smaller institutions like the Patriot League’s Bucknell University and Lehigh University. Simply search the alphabetical list of over 100 college towns on the website to find your favorite. If your college town doesn’t appear on the list, follow the instructions on Uncommon Green’s website and they will create it for you.

The pint glasses come in a set of two, painted in two official school colors. The maps are detailed enough that you can find your old local pubs and fraternity / sorority houses, and maybe even retrace a walk of shame.

The colors included in the Penn State set (white and blue) and the Bucknell set (orange and dark blue) are vivid and accurately depict the colors of those schools. They are advertised as dishwasher safe; attempts to scrape portions of the roads away from the State College glass with a fingernail proved fruitless.

The Bucknell pints are ready for another run to the NCAA tournament!

At $28 per set, these pints will remind you of your time at college and are the perfect gift for the thirsty alum. The College Town Map designs are also available on rocks glasses and stemless wine glasses – but etched into the glass rather than painted. The rocks and stemless wine glasses are sold at $14 per glass.

Cheers!
The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

 

Breaking News: Flying Fish Announces Leadership Change

Gene Muller and Lou Romano of Flying Fish Brewing Co. Photo courtesy of Flying Fish Brewing Co.

New Jersey based Flying Fish Brewing Company, opened in 1995, announced this morning that Gene Muller, founder and brewer, would be changing his role to “Founder.”   Here is the announcement:

Industry Veteran Introduced as President; Gene Muller Transitions to Founder Role

 

November 9, 2017 – SOMERDALE, NJ –New Jersey’s largest and most award-winning craft brewery, Flying Fish Brewing Co., which just celebrated its 21st anniversary, announces the appointment of Lou Romano as President, effective November 20, 2017. Gene Muller, long the face and voice of Flying Fish, will assume the official full-time role of Founder, remaining heavily involved in all areas of managing the Flying Fish brand, focusing on special projects and lending expertise in an advisory capacity. Flying Fish currently produces approximately 25,000 barrels per year and primarily distributes within a four-state area.

“As a lifelong resident of the Northeast, I’ve admired Flying Fish Brewing for years, because Gene and the team have been industry pioneers in so many ways. This is not only evident in the well balanced and diverse portfolio of high quality beer being crafted, but also by the way they’ve placed values like “community” and “sustainability” at the forefront of the company for decades. Having a chance to join this already successful team is an exciting opportunity for me personally, and I look forward to extending Gene’s vision for Flying Fish for years to come.”

Romano, who began working in the beer business at age 16, comes most recently from Oskar Blues Brewery, where he served as National Sales Manager since 2013. Before that, Romano served in a variety of capacities, including Director of Marketing & Wholesaler Development, for D. G. Yuengling & Son. Other relevant experience includes Resort Beverage Company, West End Distributors and Nittany Beverage.

I’m excited to be working with someone of Lou’s background to help Flying Fish continue to expand and thrive. We built a state-of-the-art facility and his experience is just what we need to move to the next level.” says Gene Muller, Founder. “It’s great to begin the next chapter of the Flying Fish story. The role of Founder will allow me to concentrate on high-level initiatives while staying deeply connected with the brand I’ve built.”

Romano’s hiring is the culmination of a three-month search, during which several candidates from top-tier craft breweries were interviewed.

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

The Brewholder News: Yards Brewing Company New Facility Grand Opening, Riverhorse Stoutfest

 

Here’s what’s hot this week:

Yards Brewing Company will hold a Grand Opening Celebration for its new facility at 500 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia on November 16. Read the press release below…

Philly Beer Scene’s Band of Brewers final competition planned for November 5 was postponed. Keep your eyes open for the new date!

Riverhorse Brewing Company will hold their Stoutfest on Saturday, November 11. There are still tickets available online – follow this link to order tickets and more information!

Philly Beer Week has launched their annual Brew with a View Raffle! If your ticket gets selected at the drawing on November 15, you’ll be heading to Brouweij De Brabandere in Belgium to brew a collaboration beer with the local brewery of your choice. One ticket costs $5, but you can buy 5 for $20. Purchase your tickets online here – quickly!

Brewery Ommegang has released its newest Game of Thrones Beer, “Winter is Here.” It is available now in bottles and on draft. Read my previous article about it here, and look for my first impressions of the brew this weekend on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook when I crack my bottle open!

Southern Tier has expanded its Pittsburgh Taproom with a 7000 sf outdoor patio. I was there last summer before the addition, and now I can’t wait to get back! Read the press release here.

Cheers!
The Brewholder
Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved

From Yards Brewing Company, October 20, 2017:

YARDS IS EXPANDING PHILADELPHIA’S BREWERY:

TAPROOM SET TO OPEN IN NORTHERN LIBERTIES,
WITH CHEF JAMES BURKE LEADING THE KITCHEN
The largest brewery in the city will open 70,000-square-foot facility,
complete with executive chef, private event space and state-of-the-art brewhouse.
This November, Yards Brewing Company will open Yards Brewery and Taproom at 500 Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia’s beer-savvy Northern Liberties neighborhood. The highly-anticipated expansion and move from their cozy tasting room on Delaware Avenue further establishes Yards as “Philadelphia’s Brewery” and provides them with a new 70,000-sqare-foot facility to produce their approachable ales and lagers, with a canning line slated to arrive in early 2018. Located less than six blocks from the famed Liberty Bell in downtown Philadelphia, Yards is the most recognized brewery in the city, and one of only a handful of urban, regional breweries in the entire United States.

“Yards is continuing Philadelphia’s brewing history, carrying on the proud and rich traditions of Philly’s breweries that came before us,” says Founder and Brewmaster Tom Kehoe, a man WHERE magazine called The Mayor of Beertown. “Those early breweries were very much stitched to the fabric of the city, serving as integral parts of the community and helping lead downtown revival efforts. Since opening our doors in 1994, that is something we have always strived to do – and this investment only strengthens that commitment.”

The Taproom
Chef James Burke, a James Beard Award semifinalist and prominent face in the city’s culinary scene, will helm the first kitchen in the brewery’s 23-year history. Chef Burke’s diverse menu will complement and incorporate the choice hops and grains used in Yards’ award-winning beers, with special attention paid to local purveyors, Philly favorites and classic pub fare.

The menu will be divided into Snacks, Sandwiches, Entrees and Desserts; and the kitchen will serve food until one hour before closing time. The bar will feature 20 total taps: including all Yards signature beers and a number of limited releases only available in the taproom.

Chef Burke’s menu will evolve as the taproom evolves, but items may include:
· Yards Patty Melt, Brawler Onions and Swiss
· Crab Toast, with Calabrian Chilies and Chives
· Smoked Cheddar Bratwurst, with Sauerkraut and Housemade Mustard
· Roast Pork, with Fermented Broccoli Rabe and Provolone

· Beer Can Chicken, served with Fried Potatoes
· Bison Chili, served with Maple Cornbread
· Pork Belly Kebab, Tavern Spruce Glaze
· Tavern Porter and Espresso Chocolate Mousse

Chef Burke has been a visionary in the city’s diverse culinary scene for the past 15 years and he has worked alongside nationally acclaimed chefs and forward-thinking restaurateurs, including Daniel Boulud, Marc Vetri and Stephen Starr. Helming the kitchen at Yards Brewery and Taproom will be a homecoming for Chef Burke in Philadelphia, where he was a three-time semifinalist for the James Beard Award as chef-owner at JAMES.

 

‘Ray Bucknell – 3 Cheers to Beer

Bucknell University – which I am proud to call my alma mater – publishes a quarterly magazine called “Bucknell Magazine.”  This summer’s issue had a fantastic article about food production and sustainability, and a side piece about Bucknellians involved in the wine industry.   Sadly, it was devoid of any mention of our craft beer industry, and the Bucknell grads entrenched in it.   So I voiced my opinion about it – check out the Letters section on page 3!

Cheers!

The Brewholder

Copyright 2017 – all rights reserved