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Cross-Continental Wild Beer Infused with Whole Black Currants from Poland

(Buellton, CA) – From the fields of Poland to the coast of California comes UnderCurrants — an inaugural cross-continental wild beer from Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks.

“We have been toying around with the idea of a currant-infused beer for several years now,” said Barrelworks’ Master Blender Jim Crooks. “We finally decided to strike when we were able to score beautiful whole black currants from a farmer in Poland, which is renowned as one of the world’s finest currant-growing regions.”

The result is a wildly flavorful beer that is bursting with rich currant goodness.

This inaugural release of UnderCurrants will begin rolling out next week to all Firestone Walker markets in limited draft and 375-ml bottle formats. It is the second of five bottled Barrelworks wild ale releases slated for 2018.

The Making of UnderCurrants

After hand harvesting in Poland, the whole black currants were treated with IQF (individually quick frozen) technology to perfectly preserve their fresh aromas and flavors, then shipped to California and delivered to Barrelworks last summer.

“We knew that fresh fruit flavors were critical to the success of this beer, and this amazing IQF technology made it possible,” Crooks said.

Crooks and his team blended the currants with 150 barrels of Agrestic Ale (Barrelworks’ wild iteration of Firestone Walker’s signature DBA pale ale) that had been aging for 12 to 48 months. The currant-infused Agrestic blend was then inoculated with Barrelworks’ proprietary Brettanomyces yeast and aged for an additional four months in oak foeders.

Lastly, more Agrestic Ale was added back into the blend to achieve an optimal balance of currant flavor and texture. “The intensity of the currant flavors was out of this world,” Crooks said. “By cutting more Agrestic into the final blend, we were able to dial everything into perfect balance.”

An Homage to A Classic

UnderCurrants also pays homage to the iconic Consecration ale made by Russian River Brewing Company, with whom Firestone Walker has collaborated many times over the years. In fact, Barrelworks beers are bottled with a bottling line inherited from Russian River.

“Consecration sets the standard for currant-infused beers, and UnderCurrants now becomes our own contribution to the style,” said Jeffers Richardson, director of Barrelworks. “We think it will blow some minds.”

Firestone Walker Brewing Company is a pioneering regional craft brewery founded in 1996 and located on the coast of California. Firestone Walker’s main brewery in Paso Robles produces a diverse portfolio ranging from iconic pale ales to vintage barrel-aged beers. The Barrelworks facility in Buellton makes eccentric wild ales, while the Propagator pilot brewhouse in Venice specializes in R&D beers and limited local offerings. For more information: FirestoneBeer.com.

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(Hood River, OR) – Summertime along the Columbia River Gorge in Hood River has a no-shirt, no-shoes, no-problem kind of vibe, and Full Sail Brewing Co.’s latest Pub Series offering brings that on-the-beach attitude to you wherever your summer finds you.

“I’m super happy with how this beer turned out,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Greg Doss. “We designed Summa’ Time Lime around the idea of adding a slice of lime to my favorite summer lager and the result is a light, refreshing, crushable lager with a hint of lime for enjoying at the beach or on the river.”

Celeia and Northern Brewer hops, pilsner malt and flaked yellow corn, and a hint of lime work seamlessly together in this thirst-quenching, fresh and zesty, easy-drinking lager. Full Sail Summa’ Time Lime Lager is available May to August in 6-packs, on draft and in the Full Sail Trophy Case variety pack. 4.5% ABV, 15 IBUs.

About Full Sail Brewing Company
Perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the mighty Columbia River’s epic wind and kite surfing and the snow-capped volcanic peak of Mt. Hood, Full Sail is a true craft-brewing pioneer. Since 1987, Full Sail has been pouring pure Mt. Hood water, local ingredients and responsible processes into each and every pint. Full Sail’s brews and sustainable practices have garnered more than 300 national and international awards, including more than 200 gold medals and Beverage World’s “Craft Brewer of the Year” distinction. From Full Sail Amber and IPA to Session Lager and bourbon barrel-aged beers, Full Sail consistently strives to brew complex, balanced and ridiculously tasty beers. Learn more at www.fullsailbrewing.com.

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Baileys Harbor, WI – Door County Brewing Co. is excited to announce the return of Pastoral Saison as a seasonal release. Last brewed in the summer of 2016, Pastoral is a Belgian style saison featuring a simplistic malt bill fermented with our house Belgian yeast strain. Pastoral is tributed to the hard seasonal workers that forged our heritage in Door County. This seasonal saison is refreshing and dry with hints of pepper, citrus, and green grass—this recipe is not just about the beauty in simplicity but also the pride in tradition. Pastoral will see distribution across Wisconsin starting in mid May.

“Pastoral is a favorite of ours due to the fact that it’s one of those beers that achieves complexity through the use of simple ingredients yet still remains extremely drinkable,” explains Door County Brewing Co.’s Founder and Head Brewer Danny McMahon. “We all feel a deep connection to saison brewing and the Belgian heritage that exists in Door County, so we couldn’t be more excited to bring back Pastoral for the summertime.”

Pastoral will be available in four packs of 16 oz. cans and in half and sixth barrels from Wisconsin Distributors Inc., Flanigan Distributors, all Badger Beverage Alliance distributors, and La Crosse Beverage. Four packs of Pastoral will be available for to-go sales at Door County Brewing Co. Taproom & Music Hall starting in mid May.

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(Nashville, TN) – The Brewers Association announced its individual recognition awards this week at the Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Below are the winners of the four awards as announced by the BA (original post here).

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Since 1987, the Brewers Association has recognized individuals who inspire, defend and innovate within the craft brewing industry to an exceptional degree. These individuals, nominated by their peers, are presented with awards during the general session of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America.

We are pleased to present our 2018 award recipients:

F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award
This award is named for the late F.X. Matt, president of the F.X. Matt Brewing Co., Utica, New York, and a tireless and outspoken champion for the small brewing industry.

2018 honoree: Nancy Palmer, Georgia Craft Brewers Guild.
This year’s winner is the first woman to win the F.X. Matt Defense of the Industry Award. She coordinated the brewers of Georgia in an effort that came to an agreement with Georgia wholesalers to allow for pint, packaging and food sales at breweries in her state, which has helped grow the craft brewing business in Georgia and removed a major obstacle to entrepreneurs wishing to start breweries. Additionally she is one of the recognized leaders of the state guilds executive director network.

Brewers Association Recognition Award
The Brewers Association Recognition Award is presented each year to an individual or company whose inspiration, enthusiasm and support have contributed to the craft brewing movement.

2018 honoree: Charles Bamforth, UC Davis
Charles Bamforth trained a generation of brewers as an author, mentor, leader, teacher, professor, beer enthusiast. Among the institutions our recipient has worked with or been honored by are the School of Biosciences at University of Nottingham, Heriot-Watt University, the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, the American Society of Brewing Chemists and the University of California at Davis. His books include Standards of Brewing and Scientific Principles of Malting and Brewing.

Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing
The Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Brewing was established in memory of the late Russell Schehrer, a founding partner, and the original brewmaster, of the Wynkoop Brewery in Denver, Colo. Russell was one of the pioneers in the craft brewing industry and as such, was one of the industry’s early innovators.

2018 honoree: Tomme Arthur, Port Brewing Co./The Lost Abbey
Tomme Arthur began his brewing career in 1996, and quickly developed a reputation for making a variety of excellent ales. He has won the Great American Beer Festival Small Brewery Brewer of the Year on multiple occasions. For years our winner has been innovating on the barrel beer front both with wine and bourbon barrels. In fact, he was one of the early adoptors of both in our industry. Aside from the beautiful beers he makes, he has given all the knowledge he had to anyone that would listen on the topic of barrels and aging beer in wood. When you think about Brettanomcyes he was one of the early adapters in the industry. His collaboration with Peter Bouckaert in 2004, Mo Betta Bretta, a 100 percent Brett beer, was the first of its kind in the U.S. He has matured into a humble brewer showing great creativity and restraint with all the beers he brews.

Craft Beer Wholesaler of the Year
This award recognizes an American beer distributor who goes above and beyond in their efforts to actively market, sell and promote beer from small and independent brewers.

2018 honoree: Tryon Distributing, Charlotte, NC.
Tryon Distributing started as a small wine distributor in 1985 serving three counties in North Carolina. They now carry dozens of craft brewers’ beers on a statewide basis. They are independent of having a major, dominant supplier allowing this multi-generational family business to make independent decisions to benefit their partners and 200-plus employees. The company added a second temperature-controlled warehouse recently to help serve retailer customers. One out-of-state craft brewer noted that “their deep roots of brand building have not only remained intact during this period of industry explosion, but have been addressed to keep up with the changing times, avoiding unnecessary SKU rationalization.”

We raise our glasses to these exceptional individuals and toast to their contributions to American craft brewing.

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The Saint Louis Brewery introduces the first new beer in the premium From The Ibex Cellar series for 2018

Schlafly’s From the Ibex Cellar: Sour Blonde Ale

(St. Louis, MO) — Schlafly Beer announces the upcoming release of the next beer in the brewery’s From the Ibex Cellar series: Sour Blonde Ale (5%). The premium collection features six bold, hand-crafted beers, and the Sour Blonde Ale is a citrus sour through the lens of an American Blonde Ale. The four-pack will be available across Schlafly’s distribution in limited quantities beginning on Monday, May 7.

The Sour Blonde Ale is kettle soured with lactobacillus and aged on oak chips before the final blending. The American ale yeast adds a clean finish for the beer. “This is a sour that you’ll want to write home about,” Founding Brewer Stephen Hale says. “With low bitterness and the mixed fermentation, the Sour Blonde Ale is fruity, tart and complex. It’s understated, but also unexpected.”

The From the Ibex Cellar series showcases the brewing ingenuity that began in the Schlafly Tap Room’s Ibex Cellar many years ago and continues today. Previous releases this year included: Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Imperial Coffee Stout and Local Oak with plans for two more barrel-aged offerings throughout the rest of the year.

Schlafly’s From The Ibex Cellar: Sour Blonde Ale will be available for a limited release beginning on Monday, May 7 across Schlafly’s distribution footprint for a suggested retail price $17.99. For more on Schlafly Beer’s distribution, visit http://www.schlafly.com/beer-finder/.

About Schlafly Beer:
Schlafly Beer, Missouri’s largest locally-owned, independent craft brewery, proudly offers over 60 unique styles of beer. Each is handmade at the Tap Room in Midtown St. Louis or Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. Utilizing 102 hop varietals, 77 malts and grains, 59 different spices and fruits and 10 separate yeast strains from around the globe, Schlafly also works with local suppliers for everything from farm-fresh food to packaging and labeling. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Schlafly donates spent grain to local farmers to feed their livestock and utilizes 100% renewable energy throughout its operations. The largest Missouri-owned-and-operated beer maker offers free tours of the Tap Room (2100 Locust Street) every Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the hour and Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue) from noon to 5 p.m. every half hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The brand continues to define craft across 12 states and throughout countless fine establishments, backyards and basement bars. Join us at either of our locations and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For a full listing of seasonal and year-round beers and for information on distribution, visit Schlafly.com.

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