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 (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!


The Brewholder

Copyright 2018 – all rights reserved

Ommegang Announces Next Game of Thrones Beer: Three Eyed Raven

Yesterday, Ommegang announced the next beer in its HBO / Game of Thrones Series, to be released next Spring for the beginning of the fifth season of the show:  Three Eyed Raven.

Three Eyed Raven

Three Eyed Raven

Mysterious Three-Eyed Raven inspires next Game of Thrones® beer from Brewery Ommegang and HBO®

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) On the HBO series Game of Thrones, things are often not what they seem. There may be no better example than the three-eyed raven – which in Bran Stark’s dreams and visions is a bird. But as Bran discovers in the season four finale, the raven is actually a mysterious old man whose body is fused with the roots of a weirwood tree beyond the wall. Just like the mythical creature, the next beer in the Game of Thrones series from Brewery Ommegang is not exactly what it appears to be. Three-Eyed Raven Dark Saison Ale is a saison, but it’s also a dark ale. And it will be available spring 2015 when the hit show returns for its fifth season.

Three-Eyed Raven is the fifth beer in the partnership between HBO and Brewery Ommegang. Like its predecessors, the beer is inspired by themes and plot points from the award-winning HBO series. As season four wound down, the storyline of Bran and the three-eyed raven reached a shocking climax that portends dark and momentous events in store for the people of Westeros. A dark take on the classic saison style seemed most appropriate for the latest beer.

“A dark saison is a style that we’ve been intrigued with for a while now and one that’s open to a broader stylistic interpretation,” said Mike McManus, Brewery Ommegang’s Innovation Manager. “When we zeroed in on Bran’s storyline with HBO, we knew this was the perfect opportunity to brew something with many different characteristics and attributes – a beer that’s not truly one thing or another. It is definitely the most unique beer in the series to date, which is very exciting.”

“Going into season five, Game of Thrones is bigger than ever, and we’ve learned very quickly over the past four beer releases that fans of this show are thirsty for Ommegang’s innovative and carefully conceived brews,” said Josh Goodstadt, Vice President of Global Licensing at HBO. “We’re certain those fans will be just as surprised by the complexity of Three-Eyed Raven as they were by Bran’s discovery at the end of season four.”

Three-Eyed Raven is brewed with a carefully crafted mixture of specialty malts, including malted rye, midnight wheat (provides depth of color but not the roasty flavor of a dark beer), and dark candi sugar. It’s hopped with Hallertau Spalt Select, Tettnang, and Bravo hops, which give the beer a spicy, fruity character. A fair amount of late-addition hops are added for character. Three-Eyed Raven is fermented and bottle-conditioned with Ommegang’s signature house yeast.

Saison qualities dominate Three-Eyed Raven with fruity esters, clean floral hops aromas, a light malt character with just a hint of roast and a pleasant yeastiness in the taste, and a crisp finish with lingering herbal hops and dry rye notes. The label art, which features the three-eyed raven, was created using an actual concept design illustration from the series.

Previous beers in the highly successful collaboration include: Valar Morghulis Dubbel Ale (available now), Fire and Blood Red Ale (spring 2014), Take the Black Stout (fall 2013), and Iron Throne Blonde Ale (spring 2013.) The first three beers in the series completely sold out and Valar Morghulis is well on its way, despite being brewed at nearly 4x the volume of Iron Throne.

Three-Eyed Raven will be available nationally this spring (exact launch date still TBC) in time for the season five premiere of Game of Thrones. The 7.2% ABV ale will be available on draft (sixth-barrels) and in corked bottles (25.4 ounces). The recommended retail price is $9.50 per bottle.


The Brewholder