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The Best Amero-Anglo-Kiwi Beers You'll Ever Taste
Written by Mike Reis   
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 23:49

The Best Amero-Anglo-Kiwi Beers You'll Ever Taste

Renaissance Brewing Company is what you get when you take two San Diego brewers and put 'em in New Zealand wine country with some British coworkers and a glorious bounty of local beer ingredients.

They make beers that reflect all of those influences, and somehow manage to do so in a manner that is cohesive, novel, and exciting. When the label says "Renaissance," you can expect balanced riffs on existing styles, with a little taste of New Zealand reflected in every sip, from their use of distinctive NZ-grown malts and hops.

You'll not find beers like these anywhere else, yet they taste familiar and satisfying. Check 'em out.

Now available in 500ml bottles:

Wirecutter
A style-bending hybridization of Renaissance's Stonecutter Scotch ale and fellow NZ brewer 8 Wired's Hop Wired. A hoppy Scotch ale packed with flavors akin to orange marmalade, burnt caramel, and red berries.

Voyager IPA
A delightful British-ish IPA brewed with NZ-grown Fuggle and Riwaka hops. Toasty, floral and earthy, with nicely tropical aromatics to boot.

Great Punkin
A rich and heavily spicy beer brewed with a sweet NZ squash, star anise, and other spices. Everything you'd want from a pumpkin beer.

Elemental Porter
A beautifully balanced robust porter that is perked up with bright and fruity New Zealand hops. A satisfying and sessionable food-friendly force with blackberry, licorice and gentle pear flavors all over it.
99 on RateBeer!
 
"A New Concept of What a Baltic Porter Can Bee"
Written by Mike Reis   
Thursday, 05 February 2015 01:12

"A New Concept of What a Baltic Porter Can Bee"

Entry #26 in Gigantic Brewing Company's "Artist and Artisan" series is Saboteur, an incredible Baltic porter adorned with the art of San Francisco artist Robert Bowen.

At 8% ABV, it's got strength to it. You wouldn't really know that drinking it. This stuff goes down very easily, thanks to a smooth texture and impeccable balance. It's somewhat rich and malty, but with a bitter, roasted edge that keeps that richness in check as the beer slides into a dry, dusty finish.

Expect flavors of licorice, black currant, and burnt toast with a nice slathering of Nutella. Also expect a mean looking bee on the label.

Now available in 22oz bottles.
 
Cutting Edge Ciders from Finnriver
Written by Mike Reis   
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 21:13

The Cutting Edge Ciders of Finnriver

Finnriver Farm & Cidery never set out to be innovators in the cider world...it just sorta happened. One year, they had a glut of rosehips on their Washington farm, so they made a cider out of 'em. Their neighbors grew excellent lavender and saffron, so they decided to try those out in their fermenters. When a wacky experiment involving habaneros proved to be incredibly popular with the locals, they decided to keep making it.

Their process, like their produce, is organic, and the natural development of their wares has resulted in some new, exciting, and occasionally surprising flavors for the cider world. Across the board, the beverages Finnriver produces are beautifully balanced--perfect executions of ideas and flavor combinations that could easily veer toward the ham-handed or over-the-top.

We love these ciders, and find them to be some of the most drinkable and food-friendly products in our portfolio. Check 'em out.

Now available:

Sparkling Black Currant
A perfectly balanced cider celebrating the best parts of the apple and the black currant. It's snappy-tart, grippingly tannic, and ridiculously drinkable.
Hot off a win at the 2015 Good Food Awards!
Now available in 500ml bottles and 1/6 barrel kegs.

Sparkling Pear Cider
An apple cider that is backsweetened with pear juice, creating a lush and unified one-two punch of tree fruit tastiness.
92 on RateBeer!
Now available in 500ml bottles and 1/6 barrel kegs.

Cranberry Rosehip
Cranberries lend this cider a pinkish hue, gentle acidity, and soft tannin, while rosehips offer a citrusy, floral complexity to its finish. An unexpected and masterfully-crafted combination.
Now available in 500ml bottles.

Please inquire about other Finnriver product availability, including that of their excellent apple brandy-fortified cordials!
 
Two New Gems from De La Senne
Written by Mike Reis   
Monday, 29 December 2014 21:43

Two new gems from De La Senne

Brasserie De La Senne is one of our favorite breweries. With every new beer they release, they expand the bounds of what we think of as "Belgian beer" with their masterful use of hops and a deep understanding of balance.

Across the board, their beers are drinkable, inventive, and satisfying, and they've just added two new products to their already-stellar lineup. We're excited to have newcomers Crushable de Table and Saison du Meyboom among what may be our largest selection of De La Senne beers ever.

Now available in 330ml bottles:

Crushable de Table
In 2013, De La Senne teamed up with Pennsylvania's cult brewery, Tired Hands, to produce a totally crushable saison called, appropriately, Crushable Saison. This year, they've teamed up again to make this beer even more crushable. This time around, they've dropped the ABV from 5% to just 3.2%. It's a beautiful and dry saison with a long, bitter finish. Gloriously crushable.
Also available in 20L kegs in some markets.
99 on RateBeer!

Saison du Meyboom
A brand new, super pale, hazy, and floral saison. Notably bitter and wildly drinkable at 4% ABV.
95 on RateBeer!

Also available:

Brusseleir Zwët IPA
A rich and assertively malty dark beer with a firm balancing bitterness. Roasty and thick, but incredibly drinkable.
94 on RateBeer!

Kuro Oni
One of the finest black IPAs we've ever tasted, brewed in collaboration with Luc Lafontaine, mastermind behind many of your favorite Dieu du Ciel! beers. An especially rich example of the style, with loads of hop character.
97 on RateBeer!

Stouterik
A lovely low-alcohol stout at just 4.5% ABV. Full-bodied and smooth in texture--the perfect burger beer.

Taras Boulba
4.5% ABV and absolutely jammin' with hoppy goodness. The measuring stick by which we judge the new wave of session IPAs.
97 on RateBeer!

Wadesda #4
An experimental hoppy golden ale. Citrusy and softly tart with a generous helping of hoppy bitterness.
95 on RateBeer!

Xmas Zinnebir
A woodsy and earthy dark ale with a warming spiciness that's quite satisfying in the winter cold.
96 on RateBeer!
Also available in 20L KeyKegs!

Zwarte Piet
Another lovely strong dark ale from our Brussels buddies. Roasty and pine-like in flavor, with a rich body and a refreshing snap of finishing bitterness.
94 on RateBeer!

Brussels Calling
A beautiful and bright Belgian blonde ale redolent of ripe tropical fruits and citrus.
99 on RateBeer!
Limited availability.

Zinnebir
A drinkable, pale and peppery refresher with a delightfully fluffy texture and spicy aromatics.
97 on RateBeer!
Limited availability.

Schieve Tabarnak
De La Senne partnered with our Québécois friends Trou du Diable to create this perky, estery, hoppy blonde ale.
96 on RateBeer!
Limited availability.
 
Not Your Average Christmas Beer.
Written by Mike Reis   
Monday, 15 December 2014 19:41


Not your average Christmas beer.

Hoppy Lovin' Christmas is far from what many of us think of as "Christmas beer." It's spiced, sure, and fairly malty too, but there's more complexity here than in your average winter warmer.

It's a hoppy drink--an IPA spiked with ginger and pine needles--assertively bitter and dry on the finish. When it's fresh from the fermenter, it's absolutely incredible, hinting at your favorite aromas of the season without beating you over the head with nutmeg.

But Mikkeller, never satisfied, didn't stop there. The mad brewers from Denmark took their hoppy masterpiece and aged it in two different types of used wine barrel. Some went into red wine barrels and some more found a home in barrels that once held Sauternes.

The resulting two beers offer novel and endlessly interesting (but still festive!) alternatives to your average Christmas beer.

Now available:

Hoppy Lovin' Christmas - Red Wine Barrel Aged
Oaky and elegant, with a touch of red wine fruitiness.

Hoppy Lovin' Christmas - Sauternes Barrel Aged
The Sauternes barrels lend this variant a notable sweet fruitiness that takes the edge off the original intense bitterness, completely transforming the base into a softer, gentler beer.
 
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