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Big Ideas from a Little Belgian Brewery
Written by Mike Reis   
Friday, 17 April 2015 19:59

Big Ideas from a Little Belgian Brewery

Over the last 137 years, control over Brouwerij Kerkom's beers has passed through many hands, most of which have belonged to a member of the founding Clerinx family. That's great and all, but long-established brewing dynasties aren't terribly unusual for Belgium.

What sets Kerkom apart from its peers is the fact that, through the years, the brewery has remained amazingly malleable. They seem unusually open to new brewing ideas and techniques, and they create beers that reflect a refreshing identity.

At the moment, we've got a range of Kerkom beers available that accurately represent all the exciting things this brewery does. We suspect you'll love them as we do.


Now available:

Bink Bruin
A malty, gently bitter Belgian brown ale just begging to be served alongside a burger or lamb merguez sausage. Amazingly complex despite its delightfully low ABV (5.5%).
Now available in 330ml bottles & 30L kegs.

Bink Bloesem Kriek
A golden ale blended with an absurd amount of local cherry juice. Impeccable balance of sweet and tart.
Now available in 330ml bottles.

Kerkom Grand Cru
A spectacular beer behemoth weighing in at 13% ABV. Sweet, spicy, ultra-potent, and deeply complex. 98 on RateBeer!
Now available in 750ml bottles.

Kerkom Reuss
An intriguing blend of fresh, pale beer with old, funky lambic. Zesty, sour, and layered. Watch this one unfold as it comes up to room temperature.
Now available in 750ml bottles.

Kerkom Winter King
A delicious and bold strong ale that is big on maltiness and body, with a balancing bitterness on the finish.
Now available in 330ml bottles.
Note: individual product availability may vary from region to region.
 
Traditions Collide: Saison Renaud
Written by Mike Reis   
Thursday, 16 April 2015 22:23

Traditions Collide: Saison Renaud

We've never encountered brewers that are more yeast-obsessed than the folks behind Mystic Brewery. Their beers are drinkable celebrations of all the glorious flavor that can be coaxed from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, especially the characterful strains associated with saison production. Even their "Irish stout meets English porter," Descendant, is fermented with saison yeast.

They're pretty much the last people you'd expect to be screwing around in the realm of lager styles, where the most celebrated beers are decidedly un-yeasty. That didn't discourage them from making Saison Renaud. This beer is what is produced when the folks at Mystic take the ingredients used to make pilsner and ferment them with their house saison yeast strain.

It doesn't taste anything like the pale lagers of Bohemia or Bavaria--this is its own animal, and a tasty one at that. It's built for warm weather--refreshing and earthy like a pilsner, but with a peppery, fruity depth brought on from the yeast used to make it. It's two old beer styles brought together in one tasty package.

Now available in 750ml bottles.
 
Hoppy Gems from Cambridge, Now in Stock
Written by Mike Reis   
Friday, 10 April 2015 18:46

Hoppy gems from Cambridge, back in stock.

Cambridge Brewing Company has been around for eons by American craft beer standards. Founded in 1989, they've been pumping out reliable, delicious beer for more than two and a half decades now.

Somehow, they've managed to consistently stay ahead of the curve in the craft beer game, deftly avoiding becoming one of those crusty old "get off my lawn"-type breweries that can't keep up with the cool kids.

In 1991, "being ahead of the curve" meant developing the country's very first Belgian style beer(!). Today, it means crafting solid, drinkable IPAs that can stand out amidst a sea of other beers with those three letters on the label.

We've just received a load of two of these standout IPAs from Cambridge, each very different and delicious in their own ways. Check 'em out:

Now available:

Flower Child IPA
A bright, crushable IPA in cans made with Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Ahtanum, Chinook, and Amarillo hops. Hugely aromatic with a dry, satisfyingly bitter finish.
96 on RateBeer!
Now available in 12oz cans.

Red God
A bold double IPA/imperial red ale featuring the citrusy, pungent, and pine-like hop aromatics of Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial and Chinook. Assertive bitterness backed up with rich, complex malt character.
95 on RateBeer!
Now available in 22oz bottles.
 
International Champion: Mikkeller Oaked Raspberries & Cream
Written by Mike Reis   
Friday, 13 March 2015 22:31

International Champion: Mikkeller Raspberries & Cream

At some point last year, the folks at Mikkeller decided that it was time for some friendly intra-office competition (note: "office" is used pretty loosely here). They sought to find who among their international staff could brew the finest beer.

The prize: a trip from the brewer's home to any of Mikkeller's bars around the world and the creator's name on the label as the beer sees production and global distribution.

The winner: Lan-Xin Foo, a bartender from the company's Copenhagen bar, Mikkeller & Friends.

The beer: Oaked Raspberries & Cream, a cream ale appropriately brewed with raspberries and oak chips. It's delightful, absolutely crushable stuff that is delicately orange-pink, with a soft and fresh raspberry flavor and an assertive streak of tannic oakiness rounding out the finish. It's lovely stuff. Nice work Lan-Xin!

Now available in kegs!
 
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!
 
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