Wednesday, October 24th! We’ll be tapping this year’s winning entry, Chocolate Chipotle Stout, brewed by Vincent and Suzanne Powers of Nottingham, MD. This full-bodied stout perfectly balances a spicy, chipotle pepper bite with smooth, silky chocolate and a strong 7.5% abv for one unique, very drinkable beer.
Vincent and Suzanne’s winning entry will also be distributed by our brewery in kegs and a limited run of 22oz bottles, available everywhere that our beer is sold. And, just like last year, we are donating EVERY SINGLE PENNY from the sale of H.E.R.O. Chocolate Chipotle Stout directly to…
The Alysha Miller Harris Baby Fund, benefitting the wife and (as of this entry) unborn child of Ben Harris. Ben, a very popular employee of the Redhook Brewery in New Hampshire, died tragically when a plastic keg that he was cleaning exploded. While this charity is not local to us here in Maryland, it was set up to help a member of the brewing community, and at the end of the day we all face the same hurdles and dangers in this business, so drink up, help out, be a H.E.R.O.
Those of you who would like to support this very worthy cause beyond the H.E.R.O. campaign can do so by donating here:
The Alysha Miller Harris Baby Fund
c/o TD Bank
20 Portsmouth International Drive
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Mysterium, our Belgian Spiced Ale (spiced with Cardamom, Grains of Paradise and Chamomile), is hitting retailer shelves as I type this. Check the link out for a little more detail here . It will be in Maryland this week, and should be in Northern Virginia and DC by the end of May.
Mysterium makes a damn good summer drinking beer. It has a strong spiced nose, but finishes surprisingly refreshing considering the flavor pop from the spices. And, I am happy to announce that this beer will be available all year round. So, find some and enjoy!
ps – Today will be end of the 1st round of tasting for our H.E.R.O. contest. It has been a pretty cool time, and we have had fun tasting so many good beers. Our goal is to narrow it down to 10 beers going into the 2nd round, which has been surprisingly tough. Every brewer who entered should be proud, there were some tasty beers!
1) This is our 2nd batch of Colossus. The first batch brewed in 2006, was initially released in litre bottles. Then last year we released the remaining beer from that batch in 22oz bottles. So those bombers last year, were already aged 4+ years.
2) The alcohol is not higher this year than before. It is the same as the previous batch, 21%.
3) The beer was brewed in early November of 2010, and sat in the fermenters for 4+ months. It’s primary fermentation was almost 4 weeks long. Just to give you a reference, most beers have a primary fermentation of a week and have a total time in the tanks of 30 days +/- .
4) Due to the long time in the tanks, and higher production requirements we are seeing, we won’t be able to brew Colossus again until we get a new, bigger facility. We are working on that as I type..
5) 22oz bottles will be shipping to retailers next week. The price is set by the retailers, but expect it to be a few dollars higher this year per bottle.
6) Starting Wednesday the 22nd, we are launching the Colossus World Tour. If you want to know details, stay tuned to this blog. Better yet, subscribe!
Finally, we came across this blog post about Colossus and high gravity beers from Keith at A History of Drinking. I believe he does an excellent job, not only of describing Colossus, but high alcohol beers in general.
And remember..Drink Colossus slowly, it doesn’t want to carry you home.
ps – If you missed the release video catch it here
Our H.E.R.O. home brewing competition has come to an end. An overwhelming number of entries were received, a winner was chosen (the top three finishers will be announced Monday May 30th) and his/her beer will be produced by our brewery as a limited run of 22oz bottles. The winner will first be announced here on my blog, then we will send an email out. So, pay attention folks.
While this project is a great platform for aspiring brewers to earn recognition for their craftsmanship, it’s also an incredible opportunity for us to give back. And that’s why we are donating not a portion, not half, but EVERY SINGLE PENNY from the sale of H.E.R.O. 22oz bombers to charity. Sales are expected to reach $25,000 or higher, and we’re giving it all away. That is right, every last penny.
But to who? That’s where all of you come in. You get to help choose the beneficiary. We ask that you email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) the story of an organization or individual that you believe is in need of a hero. This does not have to be a charitable organization, it can be an individual or a family. We have some ideas of our own, but we want your suggestions for where we can make the most impact. We brewed this beer so that we could give back by helping where help was needed the most. Now it’s your turn. And all you have to do is point us in the right direction. All the details will be in the post and email on Monday.
“To be a hero is to live your life in a small cell whose bars are the principles and rules that define what you will and won’t accept. The misfortune, suffering, or hopelessness of those you call friends, neighbors, or your community. If I am privileged enough to live in that cell, to serve in that box with the word HERO written on it…then I say to you, from somewhere deep inside that box, what are you doing out there?”
Hello All! This Wednesday we will release a brand new beer for us. This beer ushers in a new style for us called an American Black Ale, or ABA for short (we will get to what an ABA is shortly). And our imagineers have affectionately named the beer….
What is an American Black Ale? It’s sort of like a cross between Venom (our American Pale Ale) and Bad Moon (or Robust Porter)…only not at all. ABA is black as night with a distinctly American flavor profile that aims to strike a perfect balance between roasted malt and aggressive hop character. In short, American Black Ale is far more than a hybrid of other styles, it is a unique beer drinking experience unto itself.
And that is why the original names floated for the style, India Black Ale, Black Pale Ale and Cascadian Dark Ale, didn’t stick. Without getting into an IPA history lesson, ABA has little in common with IPA outside of hop character, so India Black Ale didn’t make sense. As for Cascadian Dark Ale, while the official American Brewers Association style guidelines for American Black Ale call for American hops, they definitely don’t narrow the requirement to Cascade, meaning the crazy secessionist hippies in Oregon weren’t getting anywhere with the CDA moniker, either. And Black Pale Ale? Really? That’s just lazy.
So, why did we jump into this new style when the ink was barely dry on the style guidelines and brew Black Lightning? Simple, ABAs are freaking awesome! A blend of hops and roasted malt flavor, above average alcohol content – what’s not to love? We sampled some very good versions of the style, but thought that we might be able to do it better. We wanted the challenge of balancing the disparate flavors of roasted malt and hops without losing either in the mix. We wanted to help define a style that we believed in strongly. We wanted a new beer to drink. And, well, we already printed the t-shirts :).
Thanks for reading. Now log-off, mark your calendars and come join us on Wednesday (I will be at Bel Air); cause…
Today (Thursday) only, all DuClaw beers on are $1. That is right, Venom, Serum and the boys (and girl) are all $1, all day long. And for you wine drinkers out there, all of our bottles are $10 all day too (that is basically the same price you pay at your favorite liquor store my friends)!
And if that is enough to get you moving, we are also previewing our NEW ARTISANAL PRETZEL STICKS. They are handmade, each day, at all of our stores and baked fresh. They will be offered on most salads and as a pretzel stick appetizer. These babies will be on our new menu rolling out this September, but today only you get a sneak preview of these utterly delicious, scrumptious, addictive little sticks.
All the details are here. Hope to see you at the stores, cause this is a deal you will not want to miss!
Before I get to announcing the final three firkins, Flying Dog Brewery is running a contest for you to select their firkins they are bringing this year to our Real Ale Fest. To vote, follow the link here.
Ok, now down to business. The final three firkins will be:
4) Double Spiced 31 (yep, 2x the cinnamon and nutmeg)
5) Dark Cherry & Vanilla Infused Black Jack Stout
6) Diablo Noir (an extremely devilish blend of Devils Milk (2009) and Black Jack (2008))
As a little bit of insight, in the firkins where we are adding either more spice or some type of fruit (which is 5 out of 6) we will not be able to taste them until the day of the fest. But, the Diablo Noir blend I have been able to taste. It was good. So good, you might be seeing more of these blends from us.
I hope to see you there. And if you need tickets you can get them here.
Tomorrow at the MD Brewer’s Springfest in Frederick we will be unveiling our second release in our eXile series. eXile Batch #2 is a…..Imperial Belgian Wit (yep Sawtooth’s big brother, hence the big bad wolf hints. I know, very sly of me). It is just above 7% abv, with quite nice spicing, but man is it drinkable. So if you ever find yourself on a hot day and thought “boy, I wish I had a high alcohol beer that was awesome and quenched my thirst”, well we have the beer for you. So come out tomorrow to the Springfest and get the first taste before it goes on tap at the units. Oh, the units tap date, almost forgot. That would be Thursday June 10th, 11am.
And speaking of the Springfest, we have one hell of a lineup of vintage beers. We are bringing 16 beers in all. Here is the list:
1) 2009 Mayhem
2) 2008 13 Degrees
3) 2007 31
4) 2005 Repent
5) 2007 Sawtooth
6) 2006 Devil’s Milk
7) 2008 Naked Fish
8) 2008 Blackout
9) 2006 Blackjack Stout
10) 2009 Pax Nemesis
11) 2008 Twisted Kilt
12) 2007 Mad Bishop
13) 2010 Serum Double IPA
14) 2004 Misery Wheat Wine
15) eXile #1 Imperial Chocolate Rye Porter
16) eXile #2 Imperial Wit
Well a race that was much more exciting that the Kentucky Derby was finished this week. That is right, the Vote for the Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Jack! It was a tough fight, all the way to the end. The lead went back and forth a couple times, and the comments were intense (somehow we even defined a new word ‘Stoutie’. Look it up in the Urban Dictionary). In the end, Arundel Mills just edged Bel Air out for the keg. It was a hard fought fight by all, and all should be proud. But a special congratulations goes to the Mills crowd, enjoy the sweet, sweet taste of victory. Well at least about 125 pints of it!!!
Well gotta go, as my boy just took a good spill and the tears are rolling!
Ok, here is the deal. The festival mistakenly forgot to put our final keg of Bourbon Barrel Aged (BBA) Black Jack on tap. So now we have this extra keg in our way, and we need to get rid of it. So Bo, Jim and I had a meeting on what to do with it. After a few diligent hours of drinking, we decided that we should really make a decision. So, after a couple more beers one of us came up with the great idea to put it on tap at one of our stores for Cinco de Mayo!
At first we were glad that the strenuous act of making a decision was over. But, as Jim was leaving work around 1pm , after a hard day of watching Bo brew, Bo reminded us that we only have one keg…..and we have three stores. It was at this point we realized that we have even a tougher decision to make. It also became quite clear to Jim that he was not going to make it home in enough time for his 1:30 nap. But, we had to decide what restaurant would get our only keg of Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Jack Stout. After an intense debate, a few more beers and a grueling match or rock, paper, sissors; Jim, Bo an I came to a conclusion. And that is…..we are too scared to make any real tough decisions.
So, we are leaving it up to YOU to decide where it will be tapped. There is a poll posted on the right hand side of the home page of my blog. Go there to cast your vote for which store is to receive our only keg. Do it quick, as the polls close on April 30th at noon. Make your voice heard!