Category Archives: IPAs

Release Dates for Russian River Pliny the Younger 2014, Beatification

Russian River Pliny the Younger and Beatification

I just got the latest Russian River newsletter in my inbox, and it brings tidings of good beer. The brewery announced the releases dates for two of its most sought-after brews: this year’s version of Pliny the Younger, its double IPA, and Beatification, a spontaneously-fermented ale that’s produced in small batches and is inspired by one of my favorite Belgium lambic makers, Cantillon.

Pliny the Younger 2014 will be released on Friday, February 14. Here are some more details from Russian River:

“Pliny the Younger’s 10th Annual Return to our pub in Santa Rosa will occur on Friday, February 7th, 2014! It will be available everyday (until we run out each day) for 14 days. Distribution begins the following week for local and no-so-local bar and restaurant accounts.   Younger has not even been brewed yet so allocations will not be set until the final yield is determined in LATE JANUARY. If you are planning a trip to Santa Rosa for the release, I will have a Younger page up on the website SOON with more information regarding hotels, what to expect, etc. So far one local hotel has expressed interest in extending a special rate to our Younger fans! Hopefully more will follow their lead. Horizon Airlines flies directly into Santa Rosa from Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and San Diego if you want to book your air travel now! Stay tuned…”

And here’s some new information on Beatification:

“We are finally releasing the next batch of Beatification on draft and in 375ml bottles on Saturday, December 14th, 2013!  This is a brewpub ONLY release.  Beatification is our spontaneously fermented beer, meaning that we add no yeast and allow the beer to naturally collect any wild yeast and bacteria in the air and barrels.  We call this style of beer “Sonambic”- a nod to the traditionally spontaneous beers brewed in the Lambic region of Belgium.  The pub will open at 9AM on the 14th for bottle sales as well as draft beer at the bar.  Customers wishing to purchase just bottles (and be on their way) will have a separate “queue”, while anyone wanting to enjoy a morning beer will be seated on a first come, first served basis.  The kitchen will open at 11AM as usual.  Bottles are $18/each, limit one case per person (subject to change). “

I’ve never tried either of these beers, and while I’m sure the Pliny the Younger is fantastic, I’d trade 12 growlers o’ Younger for a bottle of that Beatification. So, if anyone reading this is able to grab some bottles and wants to trade, please drop a comment. You know I have something else you’ll be interested in.

UBN

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One More Reason to Dig Dogfish Head

Dogfish Head for Life beer coaster

I’ve been drinking beer from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery for nearly a decade. I remember the first bottle of Dogfish 90 Minute IPA I drank at an Irish pub called the Squealing Pig in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood. It blew me away and sparked a love affair with hops and IPA.

I support Dogfish first and foremost because it brews great beer. But I also support the brewery because it’s a cool, socially responsible company with a sense of humor that genuinely cares about and values its customers. (Read, “5 Funky Facts I Learned About Dogfish from Founder Sam Calagione’s Book,” for more on Dogfish.)

Case in point: I purchased Dogfish’s new Spiegelau IPA glass the day it was released via Dogfish’s online store. Less than a month later, my glass cracked while I was hand washing it under very hot water. I didn’t drop the glass. I didn’t bump it. It didn’t shatter. It just cracked straight down its side, from the rim of the glass to close to the bottom of its “bowl.”

I tweeted about the incident, and Dogfish quickly responded, asking me to send details to its customer support account. I did so, received an email response within 24 hours and a new Dogfish IPA glass in just a few days.

Dogfish didn’t have to send a new glass; I honestly didn’t expect to get another one for free. Glasses break, right? Especially when people are drinking alcohol out of them.

That said, I also probably would not have purchased another Spiegelau IPA glass. I collect beer glasses. I own other Spiegelau glasses. I have other Dogfish glasses, and I have never had one break while simply washing it, without bumping it or anything. This makes me question the viability of the design of the IPA glass. Its features work just as Dogfish, its partner in design Sierra Nevada and Spiegelau intended them to. It provides an quality IPA drinking experience. But the glass is so thin along its rim that I bet I won’t be the only person to see their IPA glass break for no good reason.

Time will tell, but I’m still dubious. Either way, I appreciate the new glass. And even more, I appreciate the gesture of good faith. Thanks Dogfish. (Shout out to Janelle at Dogfish who responded to my email and quickly sent along a new glass.)

UBN

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Hoppiness is…

image

Happiness may be a warm gun, but hoppiness is a warm brew kettle anxiously awaiting a healthy dose of dank hops. I spent yesterday afternoon at a local craft brew shop called Barleycorn’s brewing up my own special batch of Belgian-style double IPA. My favorite part of the process was smelling and liberally applying a variety of hops through the boil. Love me some hops.

UBN

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Dogfish, Sierra IPA Glass Looks a Hell of a Lot Like Riedel’s Red + White Wine Tumbler

Dogfish Sierra Spiegelau IPA Glass and Riedel Wine Tumbler

UPDATE: Dogfish commented on the similarities between its new IPA glass and Riedel’s Red + White wine glass on a related post on A Good Beer Blog. Here’s what it had to say:

“Hi, all. Wanted to share some background on the development of the new IPA glass.

“At the earliest design and tasting workshops, Sam and Mariah from Dogfish, Ken and Brian from Sierra, and Georg Riedel sampled from dozens and dozens of glasses from Spiegelau/Riedel’s huge library. (You wine lovers out there know that Spiegelau has been around for more than four centuries, so there were a lot to choose from.)

“Traits of various glasses that boosted the hop aromas and flavors of IPAs helped inform the direction of our glass, but the final design came from carefully refining eight original hand-blown glasses. This wasn’t plucked from a shelf.

“The Red and White glass did stand out in workshops — but for all the wrong reasons initially. Our whole panel chuckled at the odd-looking base. However, after much testing it became obvious the function of the rolling base outweighed its fashion. The friction and surface area of those ridges aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass. Each member of our panel, voting without knowledge of anyone else’s opinion, favored the base.

“In later workshops we learned that the upper bowl of the Red and White glass was not best-suited to IPAs, so several one-off molds were made featuring different bowl geometries and dimensions on the rippled base. We labored over the right bowl diameter and flare angle to best direct and contain aroma for the drinker and finally came to agree on an ideal design. At that point, Spiegelau literally broke the mold. They no longer make any glass with the rippled base other than the IPA glass.

“We all agreed that the IPA glass also had to hold a larger volume, too. At 19 ounces, it not only accommodates a 12-ounce pour at home, but also a 16-ounce bar pour with plenty of head. The bigger volume dictated a thicker base, which also houses laser-etched nucleation. The CO2 rising from Dogfish’s tiny shark and Sierra’s hop boosts the aromas of IPAs and helps sustain head.

“We took our 50 collective years in craft beer, heeded the experience of a premier glass manufacturer, and created what we feel is an exceptional glass to enjoy IPA. We don’t expect everyone to love it, but wanted you to know that it’s not ‘off the shelf.’

“Cheers to those inspired to give it a try!”

This is a solid response from Dogfish. It was open and honest about using the Red + White glass design as inspiration, and it explained the subtle differences between it and the IPA glass. Again, the brewer initially represented this glass as something entirely new and different, and it clearly is not. I wouldn’t necessarily expect Dogfish or Sierra to explain that they got the design from an existing wine glass in their promotional blog post but some background information on the design process, like the information they shared above, would have been helpful and could have been posted on their online stores.

As I wrote in my post, this glass really does enhance the IPA-drinking experience, if for no other reason than it’s a high-quality glass that makes drinking an IPA feel more special. I like mine a lot. So it’s a good thing for beer drinkers willing to spend $9, plus shipping, on experimental glassware, even if Dogfish, Sierra and Spiegelau were a bit misleading when they introduced it.

Last week Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and specialty glass-maker Spiegelau released a fancy new glass, which Dogfish called “a new standard for IPA glassware.”

Well, the glass may be a new standard for IPA glasses, but its design apparently isn’t original at all. In fact, it looks remarkably similar to Riedel’s O Wine Tumbler Red + White wine glass.

The only differences between the two that I can see are the capacities—the Spiegelau IPA glass holds 19 ounces, and the Riedel glass holds 17 ¼ ounces. And there’s a “laser-etched logo on the bottom of the bowl to sustain carbonation and head” on the Spiegelau glass that isn’t found on the Riedel version. The Riedel version also costs about twice as much as the Spiegelau glass, at least on Amazon.com. (Dogfish and Sierra are selling single glasses for $9 plus shipping; Amazon.com has a set of two Riedel wine tumblers for $39.99 plus shipping.) And, of course, the Riedel version doesn’t have a Dogfish or Sierra logo on its side.

It’s also worth noting that Riedel owns Spiegelau. In 2004, Spiegelau was purchased by Georg Riedel, the owner of Riedel Glass Works, and it is now part of the Riedel/Nachtmann/Spiegelau Group. So Riedel owns Spiegelau, and it’s feasible that they would share glass designs.

I really like the Dogfish/Sierra glass, because it’s made of high-quality glass, and it’s different than any other beer glass I have. But I admit, I feel kind of misled by Dogfish and Sierra, who seem to have positioned their IPA glass as an original design. They never really came right out and said that, but they certainly implied it.

In the end, none of that really matters; the glass enhances the IPA experience, so it’s good for craft beer and craft beer drinkers. But something about how Dogfish and Sierra presented the new glass rubs me the wrong way.

UBN

A Good Beer Blog via BeerPulse.com

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Markets for Stone Enjoy By 04.01.13 IPA

Stone Brewing Co. Enjoy By IPA Logo

UPDATE: Hours after I published this post, Stone officially announced Enjoy By 04.01.13 IPA. And BeerPulse.com’s report on the markets that will get the latest Enjoy By batch was mostly accurate, with the exception of one market. North Carolina will also be getting Enjoy By 04.01.13, and I added that market to the list below. (In bold.) Hit Stone’s website for the official details. Can’t wait to get me a couple of bottles of Enjoy By 04.01.13.

Yesterday, brew news site BeerPulse.com posted what it claims are the markets for the next version of Stone Brewing Co.’s Enjoy By IPA. I’m a bit hesitant to post this information here, because it hasn’t been confirmed by Stone—in fact, Stone hasn’t even announced the next Enjoy By IPA at all. And there was also a bit of confusion on my blog regarding the last version, Enjoy By IPA 02.15.13. But BeerPulse.com is generally reliable, so I’m listing the following alleged markets for Enjoy By 04.01.13 with the caveat that they are not official at this point. (Note: I love Enjoy By IPA. Read this to find out why.)

Here we go:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan (Detroit & Ann Arbor)
  • New York (NYC & burbs)
  • Northern California (Bay Area)
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • Southern California
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Vermont

If the information turns out to be accurate, Stone is sending Enjoy By back to a number of markets that already got earlier releases of the beer, in some cases because those markets showed the most support on social media channels including Twitter and Facebook. Texas, Massachusetts and Missouri showed the most social support for Stone Enjoy By 12.21.12, and the brewer said at the time that it would be sending more Enjoy By to these areas, so it certainly stands to reason that Enjoy By 04.01.13 is headed to these markets—especially since Enjoy By 02.15.12 was not shipped to Texas, Massachusetts or Missouri.

BeerPulse.com says Stone should start shipping the beer in the coming week or two for late February availability, and if this holds true, Stone should announce the beer in the near future. I’ll confirm—or correct—the details here as soon as I can.

UBN

Via BeerPulse.com

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Hands/Lips On with Dogfish’s New Spiegelau IPA Glass

Dogfish Head Spiegelau IPA Glass and 75 Minute IPA

Guess who just got a visit from Shippy Shipperton.

Last week I posted about Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s fancy-schmancy new IPA glass from German glass-maker Spiegelau, and I promptly ordered one of the glasses. Today, my Spiegelau IPA glass arrived, and I’m currently using it to consume a frosty Dogfish 75 Minute IPA.

Along with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Ken and Brian Grossman, Dogfish founder Sam Calagione and his wife Mariah designed their IPA glass to have the following attributes:

  • Thin, round walls to maintain proper temperature longer.
  • A slender, bowed shape to amplify hop aromas.
  • Wave-like ridges to aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass.
  • A wide mouth, allowing drinkers to comfortably nose the beer.
  • A laser-etched logo on the bottom of the bowl to sustain carbonation and head.

Anybody who is familiar with Spiegelau glassware knows it is of exceptional quality, but it’s also extremely thin and delicate. The Dogfish IPA glass is no different, and I bet lots of clumsy and/or inebriated Dogfish drinkers will be breaking these badboys in the not-so-distant future. But if you’re careful with the glass, wash it promptly after use and store it somewhere safe, this fine piece of funky German glassware should serve you well in your adventures with hoppy brews.

Dogfish Head Spiegelau IPA Glass

The Dogfish Head Spiegelau IPA glass is kind of fucking weird looking. But so am I, so I’m okay with that. And I must admit this IPA tastes—and smells—pretty darn good right now. Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Learn more about Dogfish Head’s nine-dollar, 19-ounce Spiegelau IPA glass on the brewer’s website. And you can buy a Sierra Nevada branded Spiegelau IPA glass for the same price on SierraNevadaGiftShop.com.

UBN

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Dogfish Head Releases Fancy New Spiegelau IPA Glass

Dogfish, Sierra Nevada SpiegelauIPA Glass

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about Dogfish Head Craft Brewery’s A Hop Eclipse Now promotion, as part of which it will release two new IPAs and a fancy new beer glass. Today the brewer took the wraps off the glass, which is made by German-glass manufacturer Spiegelau, and it’s calling the glass “a new standard for IPA glassware.”

Dogfish apparently worked along with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. on the glass design.

“I’ve been a longtime believer in the importance of using quality glassware to enhance the enjoyment of quality craft beer,” says Dogfish Head Founder and President Sam Calagione. “The process of collaborating on the design of this hop-centric glass takes this concept to the next level.”

Dogfish, Sierra Nevada and Spiegelau IPA Glass

From Dogfish.com:

“Calagione, his wife, Mariah, and Sierra Nevada’s father-son team of Ken and Brian Grossman worked hand-in-hand with Spiegelau to bring this glass to life. Through a series of design and tasting sessions, the team created a glass with:

  •     Thin, round walls to maintain proper temperature longer.
  •     A slender, bowed shape to amplify hop aromas.
  •     Wave-like ridges to aerate beer on its way in and out of the glass.
  •     A wide mouth, allowing drinkers to comfortably nose the beer.
  •     A laser-etched logo on the bottom of the bowl to sustain carbonation and head.”

The glasses are available now online for $9 each at Dogfish.com and at the brewer’s Delaware brewpub. I’m a huge fan of all three parties involved. I own a set of Spiegelau Beer Connoisseur glasses, and I love them.  And I already ordered a pair of these new glasses.  To be honest, they’re kind of awkward and ugly looking. But I’m a beer-glass nerd on top of being a regular beer nerd, and I these new glasses will be a nice addition to my glassware collection. Can’t wait to fill ’em up with some Rhizing Bines IPA.

UBN

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Dogfish Head Sixty-One is Part IPA, Part Red Wine

Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA label art

I was extremely busy last week with work writing—you know, the kind I actually get paid for—so I missed some significant news from one of my favorite U.S. brewers: Dogfish Head announced a brand new “core” beer called Sixty-One, which will be available in four packs starting in March. And it’s the first new core beer, meaning it will be available year round, from Dogfish since 2007.

Sixty-One is a blend of Dogfish’s most popular beer, its 60 Minute IPA, and syrah grape must from California. Dogfish’s founder Sam Calagione has apparently been mixing red wine and IPA for years, and he enjoyed the product so much that he decided to bottle it.

Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA bottle

From Dogfish:

“The name Sixty-One is a reminder that this beer is Dogfish Head’s best-selling 60 Minute IPA plus one new ingredient: syrah grape must from California.”

Sixty-One is 6.5% ABV, and it will be available in the 27 U.S. states in the Dogfish distribution network.  (Thankfully Massachusetts, which I call home, is one of them.)

Dogfish has certainly been busy in recent days. Last month it announced its A Hop Eclipse Now promotion, as part of which Dogfish will release a new signature beer glass and two new IPAs. It released a brand new Ancient Ale. Dogfish is collaborating with the Grateful Dead to make its American Beauty ale. And its latest Life & Limb collaboration with Sierra Nevada, Rhizing Bines, is expected to release later this month.

Read more about Dogfish Head’s new Sixty-One IPA syrah-grape concoction on the brewer’s website.

UBN

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MA Isn’t Getting Stone Enjoy By 2.15.13 IPA After All—Neither is TX or MO

Stone Brewing Enjoy By IPA Twitter Conversation

Earlier this month, Stone Brewing Co. announced the markets in which the latest batch of its stellar Enjoy By IPA will be available. The company posted a confusing blog entry to introduce the beer and the markets, and it mentioned the little social media promotion it used when the last batch of Enjoy By was released.

I wrote a blog post listing the markets, and I reached out to Stone via Twitter for some clarification on whether or not the states that “won” the social media contest-deal would get the latest batch, Enjoy By 2.15.13, because I thought that was the point of the whole promotion. Stone sent me a direct messaging saying the winning states, Texas, Massachusetts and Missouri, would indeed be getting more Enjoy By. And since I asked specifically if these states would be getting the 2.15.13 batch, I thought Stone’s response meant that these three states would be on the Enjoy By 2.15.13 distribution list. I then updated my blog post with the new information

But apparently I was wrong. And I’m a bit pissed off. I’m not pissed that I won’t be able to get any Enjoy By 2.15.13 in my home state of Massachusetts. It’s just beer. (Okay, I’m a little pissed about that.) I’m pissed Stone told me that the beer would be coming to the three states I asked about. I reported that on my blog, which makes me look foolish for posting misinformation. I take this blog very seriously, even if it is just a silly beer blog. I value every reader, and I hate posting misinformation.

Looking at Stone’s Twitter response, I see that it could mean Massachusetts will get more Enjoy By IPA at a later date, and not the Enjoy By 2.15.13. But I asked Stone specifically about this batch. (See the Twitter conversation above.) And apparently it was never coming to my area—or Texas or Missouri.

Anyway, I apologize for the confusion. I’m a big fan of Stone, but I’m not pleased. If they didn’t make such damn good beer (read my review of Enjoy By 12.21.12 here) I might be inclined to boycott them…or at least talk shit on this blog and on social network.

UBN

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Dogfish Head ‘A Hop Eclipse Now:’ New IPAs, New Glass and New Randall the Enamel Animal

Dogfish Head A Hop Eclipse Now

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery today announced a new promotion it is calling “A Hop Eclipse Now”—a play on the title of the classic film “Apocalypse Now”—and it will be unveiling two new IPAs, a new beer glass and a “new” Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping device during the next few months.

The idea behind A Hop Eclipse Now is to celebrate the current popularity of IPAs and other hoppy beers in America right now, as well as spotlight Dogfish’s rich history of brewing hoppy ales.

The brewery hasn’t specified which new IPAs will be unveiled, though he did say one of them will be fruit infused, not unlike its Hellhound on My Ale IPA. That beer is expected to be released on March 1, and it could be called A Hop Eclipse Now. And a few months ago Dogfish announced that it is working on another collaboration brew with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., an imperial IPA called Rhizing Bines, so that could be one of the new hoppy brews. Dogfish also didn’t unveil its new glass design yet, but the brewery’s founder Sam Calagione says the glass will be shown off in early February. And the following image, taken from the end of the A Hop Eclipse Now video clip below, gives us an idea of what the new Dogfish glass could look like.

Dogfish Head New Glass Design?

Calagione also says Dogfish will begin selling mini Randall the Enamel Animal fresh-hopping gadgets soon, and the Dogfish website says the $20 Randall Jr.s will begin shipping in February. Dogfish also listed the next-generation, full-size Randall, called Randall 3.0, for sale last month.

Finally, as part of the A Hop Eclipse Now celebration, Dogfish will host a number of related beer dinners across the United States starting on February 7 in Philadelphia and ending March 17 in Cambridge, Maryland. (I’m kind of pissed off that none of them are close to Boston, but I guess that’s my problem. Meh.)

Find more information on Dogfish’s A Hop Eclipse Now and the related new products and beer dinner’s on the brewer’s website or watch the above video.

UBN

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