What can I say about Beer Fest this year? I was invited to judge the best gluten free beers and ciders at the festival, meet up with all the awesome agents, brewers, and fellow members of the scene that I love chatting with, and taste all the beers we don’t have in the store yet and see which ones we should bring in!
As always, there are a number of awesome new things to introduce you to, but first I have some unfortunate news. The Cantillon shipment we have been expecting for about 2-3 months now has been pushed back (again…*groan*) a wee bit longer until early June. Your patience is appreciated and I assure you MY lack of patience will make up for all of yours combined because… Hell, I want our Cantillon!
Aside from the delay of our precious, precious sours, I still have these awesome offerings this week for you and I assure you they are the best of all that has come into the province this week!
Bourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard by Stone Brewing.
Escondido’s brewing magicians bring you yet another variant on their iconic Arrogant Bastard American strong ale. This time, they entomb the beer in ex-bourbon barrels for “months”, imbuing it with sweet oaky spice and vanilla. The barrel also gives the beer a note of whiskey on the nose and enhances the caramelized malts. $4.49 for a 350mL bottle.
Mut Brown Ale by Stone Brewing.
The stone spotlight series is a result of a brewing competition between Stone’s very own brewing employees. They are pit against each other in direct competition, and the winning beer is produced as a special release! This year’s winner is the “Imperial Mut Brown Ale” by Drew Neldon and Steve Via. This English style brown ale has a modern twist with the addition of a raw sugar called Turbinado Sugar (think “sugar in the raw”). Beautiful nutty, chocolaty malt with a pronounced booziness, likely as a result of the added sugar. $12.29 for a 650mL bottle.
Rye IPA From Black Market Brewing.
An old-school American IPA with a generous spicy rye profile. This Temecula brewery gives a lovely refreshing change from this wine country’s signature fermented beverage (not that I don’t like my wine…) with this 35 IBU RYEPA with its citrusy, tropical, and spicy hop notes that are very much balanced by bready malt and spicy rye. $8.69 for a 650mL
Liberation IIPA from Black Market Brewing.
One more from Temecula’s gluten-filled wine alternative, this time with huge IBUs (100) combined with American hops, Pale, crystal and wheat malt make for a big in-your-face IIPA. Grapefruit, orange, and pine on the nose along with floral notes. Caramely and malty but balanced like most other beers these guys do! $9.79 for a 650mL bottle.
Along with all of the beers I also want to mention a couple of excellent ciders we’ve added this week.
Fruit Salad Cider by Rogue Brewing. This limited edition cider is made with plums, apples, pears, marionberries, peaches, and apricots. Fermented with Rogue’s own Pacman yeast. It is sour and sweet, with huge berry and fleshy fruit notes. $16.59 for a 650mL bottle.
Lone Tree Ginger Apple. Crisp and dry apple cider with just a hint of sweetness, but cut superbly with spicy and refreshing ginger heat nearly going right up the nose. An incredible alternative to your average ginger beer as it has nearly the perfect amount of sweetness while still maintaining that crisp summery edge. I’m going to have to go ahead and recommend each and every one of you ginger fans to give this one a try. $2.99 for a 355mL can.
Things sure are ramping up for the summer! On top of all of this, I have to mention… no maybe brag is the right word(?) that the hugely popular and near cult favorite Jerkface 9000 by Parallel 49 is back in stock in 6-packs ($14.39) for so far (as we know) a limited time. I would absolutely love to say it will be around for the summer, but darn it I just don’t know yet! Come grab it this weekend because even our Â staff isnâ€™t allowed to buy any before next Wednesday, so it’s all yours!
I’m officially a broken record here, but you can see all the beer news from the store along with other awesome stuff we’re doing, along with other neat things I’m doing by following my twitter @ShawnsBrewsCGY and registering for the brews news on this very site!