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A ‘pumpkin beer like no other’

Once in a very rare while a press release shows up that simply must be run in it’s entirety. Witness:

He Said let’s brew a dark beer with pumpkin and spices and put it in a light colored can. He Said let’s brew a light beer with pumpkin and spices and put it in a dark colored can. So they did both and produced a pumpkin beer collaboration like no other: two black pumpkin beers and two white pumpkin beers, together in one box.

Brewing up a pumpkin collaboration beer should be a piece of cake for Dick Cantwell, the pumpkin king at Elysian Brewing and a slam dunk for Shaun O’Sullivan, the 21st Amendment Brewery brewmaster who brought the world Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer. In truth, brewing up He Said wasn’t that hard. What proved to be more difficult was getting their story about its inception straight.

Here, straight from the mouths of the pumpkin king and one of the watermelon guys, is exactly what He Said:

Shaun: “I met Dick in 2010. He walked into our San Francisco pub, came over to Nico and me and said he’d always wanted to meet the watermelon guys.”

Dick: “I met Shaun in 1999. He walked into my Seattle pub, came over to me and said he’d always wanted to meet the pumpkin king.”

Shaun: “Later on, while I was knocking his block off at Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Dick mentioned his little pumpkin fest and suggested we attend.”

Dick: “Later on, while hatching a plan to colonize a planet entirely devoted to watermelons and pumpkins I invited him to my massive pumpkin fest.”

Shaun: “One year later, Dick asked me again. Then he kicked me in the shins until I said yes.”

Dick: “Ten years later, Shaun asked me if the invitation still stood. I punched him in the ribs and said yes.”

Shaun: “After drinking the pumpkin elixirs, I told Dick we should do a pumpkin collaboration sometime.”

Dick: “After some cajolery, Shaun and Nico begged me to do a pumpkin collaboration as soon as possible. I said we should brew a pumpkin beer like no other. A Baltic Porter with caraway and cinnamon in a light colored can. Courage!”

Shaun: “I said we should brew a pumpkin beer like no other. A Belgian Tripel with spices in a dark colored can. That’s as big time as it gets.”

He Said is a white Belgian-Style Tripel ale brewed with pumpkin, tarragon and galangal. He Said is also a black Baltic-Style Porter lager brewed with pumpkin, Vietnamese cinnamon and ground caraway. Both beers have an ABV of 8.2%.

Try them both. Two 12oz cans of each version of He Said will be packaged together in a pumpkin-colored carrier that features the likenesses of the two brewers, each telling his side of the He Said story.

Shaun O’Sullivan, Brewmaster and Co-Founder of 21st Amendment Brewery, said, “Last year I attended Elysian’s Great Pumpkin Beer Fest – and this is the truth as it happened – I lobbied Nico hard for us to brew a pumpkin ale and release it in a can.”

Nico Freccia, Co-Founder of 21st Amendment Brewery, said, “I agreed to the endeavor, but only if we could collaborate with the pumpkin king, himself: Dick Cantwell of Elysian.”

Dick Cantwell, Founder of Elysian Brewing and the Elysian Great Pumpkin Beer Fest, said, “Well, it went something like that. In the end, we decided that it would be fun to brew two unusual types of pumpkin beers – a dark and a light – and package them together. And that’s how it happened.”

He Said, part of 21st Amendment Brewery’s Insurrection Series of once-in-awhile four packs, will be available in four-packs and on draft starting in late September.

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Great American Beer Bars honored

CraftBeer.com — the Brewers Association website for beer lovers — has announced the winners in voting for “Great American Beer Bar.” Readers selected their favorite bars in each of five U.S. geographical regions as well as picking overall winners.

Great American Beer Bars

Overall Winners
First Place: Mekong Restaurant, Richmond, VA
Second Place: HopCat, Grand Rapids, MI
Third Place: Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell, NJ

Regional Winners
South
First Place: Mekong Restaurant, Richmond, VA
Second Place: The Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC
Third Place: Oak St. Drafthouse, Denton, TX

Mountain West
First Place: Falling Rock Tap House, Denver, CO
Second Place: Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids, Longmont, CO
Third Place: Tap & Bottle, Tucson, AZ

Pacific
First Place: The Bier Stein, Eugene, OR
Second Place: Toronado, San Francisco, CA
Third Place: Prospectors Historic Pizzeria & Alehouse, Denali National Park, AK

North Central
First Place: HopCat, Grand Rapids, MI
Second Place: The Bavarian Lodge, Lisle, IL
Third Place: Ashley’s, Ann Arbor, MI

Northeast
First Place: Cloverleaf Tavern, Caldwell, NJ
Second Place: ChurchKey, Washington, DC
Third Place: The Farmhouse Tap & Grill, Burlington, VT

This is how the winners were chosen: CraftBeer.com asked readers to nominate their favorite craft beer bars in the country, and received over 5,000 nominations. Site visitors than coast their votes (more than 37,000) for the 10 most nominated bars in each of the five regions.

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West Yorkshire porter champion at GBBF

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, announced that Elland 1872 Porter has been crowned the “Best Beer” in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival in London. And for the second year in a row the Champion Winter Beer winner also won Champion Beer of Britain at the GBBF.

Competition chair Colin Valentine said: “It was a really tough decision but Elland 1872 Porter is a fantastic beer and a well deserved winner.”

Elland head brewer Michael Wynnyczuk said: “I’m utterly shocked. It’s a great beer but after we won the Winter Ales competition you wonder about it in the summer GBBF competition, as people may prefer different styles of beer in warmer weather. But we know it’s a great beer and we’re really proud to be crowned Champion Beer of Britain.”

Overall winners
Gold – Elland – 1872 Porter (West Yorkshire)
Silver – Buntingford – Twitchell (Hertfordshire)
Bronze – Fyne Ales – Jarl (Argyll)

Mild category
Gold – Great Orme – Welsh Black (Conwy)
Silver – Cotswold Spring – Old Sodbury Mild (Gloucestershire)
Bronze – Fernandes – Malt Shovel Mild (West Yorkshire)

Bitters category
Gold – Buntingford – Twitchell (Hertfordshire)
Silver – Moor – Revival (Somerset)
Bronze – Surrey Hills – Ranmore Ale (Surrey) and Butcombe Bitter (Somerset)

Best Bitters
Gold – Mordue – Workie Ticket (North Shields)
Silver – Surrey Hills – Shere Drop (Surrey)
Bronze – Purple Moose – Glaslyn (Gwynedd) and Woodfordes – Nelsons Revenge (Norfolk)

Golden Ales
Gold – Fyne Ales – Jarl (Argyll)
Silver – Buntingford – Polar Star (Hertfordshire)
Bronze – St Austell – Proper Job (Cornwall)

Strong Bitters
Gold – Beeston – On the huh (Norfolk)
Silver –Marble – Dobber (Greater Manchester)
Bronze – Castle Rock – Screech Owl (Nottingham)

Speciality Beers
Gold – Growler Brewery, Nethergate – Umbel Magna (Suffolk)
Silver – Saltaire – Triple Chocolate (West Yorkshire)
Bronze – Conwy – Honey Fayre (Conwy)

Champion Winter Beer of Britain
Elland – 1872 Porter (West Yorkshire)
Bartram’s – Comrade Bill Bartram’s EAIS Stout (Suffolk)
Kelburn – Dark Moor (Old Ale/Strong Mild) (Glasgow)
Hog’s Back – A over T (Barley Wine/Strong Old Ale) (Surrey)

Champion Bottled Beer of Britain
Gold – Molson Coor’s – Worthington White Shield (Burton on Trent)
Silver – St Austell – Proper Job (Cornwall)
Bronze – Harvey’s – Imperial Extra Double Stout (East Sussex)

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Post office would like to deliver beer

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says the U.S. postal service would like to get into the business of shipping beer.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Donahoe said Thursday delivery of alcoholic beverages is on his wish list as the agency considers ways to raise revenue and save money after losing $16 billion last year.

Donahoe said delivering alcohol has the potential to raise as much as $50 million a year. Donahoe said his agency has looked at the possibility of using special boxes that would hold two, four or six bottles and ship for a flat-rate anywhere in the country.

“There’s a lot of money to be made in shipping beer, wine and spirits,” Donahoe said. “We’d like to be in that business.”

Mailing alcoholic beverages is currently restricted by law, but the Senate passed a postal reform bill last year that included a provision allowing the agency to deliver alcohol. The bill required that such shipments would have to comply with any state laws from where the shipment was originated and delivered. The measure also said the recipient had to be at least 21 years old and would need to provide a valid government-issued photo identification upon delivery.

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Homebrewers honor Pliny the Elder, Stone

American Homebrewers Association members have voted Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder the “Best Commercial Beer in America” for the fifth year running. The poll is conducted annually by Zymurgy magazine.

This is the 11th year that AHA members voted for up to 20 of their favorite beers in an online poll. Members were able to choose any commercial beer available for purchase in the United States.

The top-ranked beers include:
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
3. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
4. Bell’s Hopslam Ale
5. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
6. Founders Breakfast Stout
7. Arrogant Bastard Ale
8. Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA
T9. Lagunitas Sucks
T9. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
T9. Stone Brewing Co. Ruination IPA

More than 1,100 breweries were represented in this year’s poll, and the top-ranked brewery is Stone Brewing Co., with five beers in the top 50. Russian River Brewing Company (Santa Rosa, Calif.) took second with five beers as well, followed by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., in third with four beers making the list.

Additionally, the Best Portfolio of Beers was awarded to the Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams), which had 40 beers receive votes in the poll. The top contenders in the category include:
1. The Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
2. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3. Avery Brewing Co.
4. Cigar City Brewing
5. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

The complete list of Zymurgy’s “Best Beers in America.”

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New beer Friday

Old Dominion Monk CzechDominion Brewing in Delaware and Dawson’s Liquors in Maryland have collaborated on a beer they call Monk Czech, a Czech Pilsner inspired Belgian-style Ale. A press release states there’s a legend that a beer like this was first brewed in 1840 using black market malt smuggled out of Plzeň by monks. This brewer/retailer collaboration utilizes Saaz, Tradition, Motueka and Nelson Sauvin hops and pilsner malt for a 5.2% ABV beer with 45 IBUs. The beer is fermented with a Belgian yeast, imparting fruity aromas and flavors, as well as a restrained spiciness.

– Kona Brewing in Hawaii has renamed Wailua Wheat, simply calling it Wailua Ale and making it available in all 36 states where Kona beers are sold. First brewed in Hawiia as Kiliko’i Wheat, the beer is made with real passion fruit. It contains 5.4% ABV and 15 IBUs.

– Full Sail Brewing made Pacific Northwest Wit using the hops it received as a partner in Ales for ALS. The Hood River brewery is one of 38 participaing in the campaign that supports of the ALS Therapy Development Institute’s mission to discover and develop effective treatments for ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Participating brewers receive a special blend of experimental hops donated by both B.T. Loftus Ranches and Hopunion. From these hops each participating brewery brewed a unique beer, donating a portion of the sales to ALS TDI. “Our brewers got creative for a great cause and brewed a Pacific Northwest Wit. It’s a mash up of different influences resulting in a delicious, complex, refreshing pint that blurs traditional style categories,” said Barney Brennan, the company’s brewery supervistor. The 6%, 65 IBU beer will be available exclusively on tap at Full Sail’s Tasting Room and Pub in Hood River, Oregon.

– Having learned a lesson in 2012, Alaskan Brewing produced plenty more of its seasona; Alaskan Raspberry Wheat Ale this year. It took the brewery’s gift shop only an hour last year to sell out of the entire initial bottling. Brewers use more than 3,000 pounds of real raspberries in making the Raspberry Wheat, which in 2010 was the inaugural release in Alaskan’s Pilot Series. “There are almost fifty types of wild berries in the state,” said Alaskan brewer Jessie Perry, “so they’ve long been a staple in the diet of both Alaskans and the many bears that live here. Brewing a beer that features some of our favorite berries is a natural fit.” With additional beer on hand, the brewery planned to celebrate the release with a pancake feed, featuring raspberry syrup and special flapjacks prepared by its Brew Crew.

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New beer Friday

Shmalz Brewing has introduced the Hops In HE’BREW Hoppy Variety Pack, made up of Genesis Dry-Hopped Session Ale, Hop Manna IPA, Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. and HE’BREW’s first seasonal lager — David’s Slingshot Hoppy Summer Lager.

“It’s fascinating how craft beer is surging while big beer companies are trying to catch up by marketing look-alike ‘craft’ beers,” said Shmaltz founder Jeremy Cowan. “Our first HE’BREW lager, David’s Slingshot, is our way of stepping into the action in mainstream settings — with an obvious signature Shmaltz style — our chosen shtick!”

Dominion Brewing Pinup Variety PackDominion Brewing has released a Pinup Pack, a variety 12-pack containing three of its popular Bomber Girls. The Pinup Pack contains Double D IPA, Morning Glory Espresso Stout and GiGi’s Farmhouse Ale. Originally bottled in 22-ounce bombers last year, Double D and Morning Glory made the switch to 12-ounce bottles earlier in the year. GiGi joins them in the 12-ounce format exclusively for the Pinup Pack. She will be replaced by Candi, a Belgian Tripel, in September. “Our goal with the Pinup Pack is to introduce more people to Double D, Glory and GiGi,” Jim Lutz, president of Forham and Dominion Brewing, said. The variety pack gives us a great platform to showcase each beer’s unique personality.”

Terrapin Beer Co. has packaged its first beer in cans, RecreationAle, a hopped-up session-strength beer. To emphasize how well cans go with outdoor activities, Terrapin is partnering with Osprey Packs. An online raffle (details here) offering consumers the chance to win an Osprey backpack will open in early June, coinciding with the beer’s release. Each month, four winners will take home an Osprey pack. RecreationalAle is a 4.7% ABV beer with 42 bitterness units, and made with all “new world” hops — Bravo, Centennial, Zythos, Amarillo, and Galaxy.

F.X. Matt Brewing has added two new beers to the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer package. They are Wild Hop Pils 5.2% ABV, 28 IBU), which is made with Belma hops, found growing wild on a hop farm in Washington, and Session Ale (4.5% ABV, 30 IBU).

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Short hops, Alaskan Brewing drops Alaskan Pale

Alaskan Brewing announced that it will no longer offer its Alaskan Pale as a year-round release. The brewery decided to cut production because it cannot get the hops that make the golden ale unique.

“The U.S. Tettnanger hops availability, consistency and quality had started to become an ongoing issue for the past several years,” David Wilson, Quality Assurance Manager at Alaskan Brewing, said in a company press release. “With most hop varieties we are able to order based on the characteristics we are looking for in the taste and aroma, but because so few farmers are growing this hop, we have had a hard time coming up with the consistency we need to brew Alaskan Pale year-round.”

Hop geneticists have determined U.S. Tettnanger is an offspring of the English Fuggle hop, and it produces distinctly different odors than hops of American origin — such as Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo — that are currently very popular and more widely available.

Alaskan Pale is what’s generally known as a golden ale, but in 1987 was called Pale to offer a contrast to the only other year-round brew Alaskan was producing at the time, Alaskan Amber. The Alaskan Pale a loyal following, particularly in Alaska.

“We are always experimenting with different recipes, and we would love to find a similar flavor profile to the Alaskan Pale as many of us will miss this beer tremendously,” said co-founder Marcy Larson. “But we wanted to be honest in that without those specific hops, it will not be the same beer.”

Alaskan’s latest year-round release, the Freeride APA is quite different beer from Pale, with a citrusy hop-forward flavor profile.

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New beer Friday

Imperial Smoked Porter is the second in Deschutes Brewery’s Class of ’88 collaboration series, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of craft breweries around the country that were founded in 1988. Deschutes and Great Lakes Brewing developed the recipe together, then made versions at their respective breweries. Their year-round porters, Deschutes Black Butte and Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, are among the most highly regarded in the country.

The imperial collaboration is 9.5% ABV, with 50 bitterness units (IBU). The two breweries both distribute in Minnesota and Illinois, so those are the places to go for side-by-side tastings. Meanwhile the best way learn about the beer is this video.

Firestone Walker Brewing used traditional German ingredients and West Coast dry-hopping technique to create Pivo Pils (5.3% ABV, 40 IBU). “Lighter beer styles like pilsner have been hijacked by industrial lager beer in the United States, and it’s time for craft brewers to take it back,” brewmaster Matt Brynildson said.

“A lot of pilsners have the malt element down, as well as the dryness and drinkability, and even the bitterness — but they lack hop aroma,” Brynildson said. Pivo Pils is brimming with aroma. He said he took inspiration from Birrificio Italiano’s Tipo Pils. “Ever since I first tasted it, I’ve been dreaming about making a dry-hopped pilsner.”

O’Fallon Brewery in Missouri has launched a rotating series of 4-pack 12-ounce beers this week called the Brewer’s Stash. The first beer in the series, Sticke It To The Man, is a darker, hoppier, 7.5% ABV version of the traditional Dusseldorf Alt style, according to the St. Charles County-based brewery. “The beer has a medium to full body, notes of caramel and toasted, nutty malt complemented with floral German Noble hops,” O’Fallon brewmaster Brian Owens said.

New Belgium Brewing’s newest Lips of Faith beers are now available: Paardebloem, the latest collaboration with Red Rock Brewing in Salt Lake City, and Pluot. Paardebloem brings together a diverse set of ingredients ranging from peach juice to dandelion greens. It blends Brettanomyces with New Belgium’s house Belgian ale yeast, and includes a touch of wood-aged sour beer and Grains of Paradise. Paardebloem pours a light, hazy gold and is 9% ABV. Pluot is a subtly sweet ale made from pluot juice, which is a hybrid of a plum and an apricot. Pluot is light golden and 10% ABV, delivering fruity aromas and distinct esters. It is also created with house Belgian ale yeast and Brettanomyces, bringing a hint of spice and a malty backbone.

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Deschutes, Sierra Nevada win two International Awards each

Deschutes Brewery and Sierra Nevada both won two overall champions awards at the International Brewing Awards 2013. The overall winners were honored in London’s Guildhall, the best of medalists previously announced immediately after the judging in February.

The bi-annual competition attracted more than 1,000 entries from 45 countries. Forty judges, all professional brewers, assessed the beers over the course of three days. The medal winners in each category were announced at the National Brewery Center in Burton upon Trent, where the judging was held.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale won Champion Keg Ale and Narwhal Imperial Stout won Champion Strong Ale. Deschutes Mirror Pond was Champion Smallpack Ale and Obsidian Stout the Champion Dark Beer. Samuel Adams Black & Brew captured Champion Specialty. Samuel Adams beers won nine medals overall.

Ruth Evans, director of competition organisers Brewing Technology Services, said, “We are delighted with the response to The International Brewing Awards 2013. The competition attracted more entries than in 2011, from 50 countries and from a broad spectrum of producers from regional micro-brewers to multi-national companies. This diversity is important to our Awards and is key to their appeal to the international brewing community.

Champion Smallpack Lager
Bryggmästarens Premium Gold
AB Abro Bryggeri, Sweden

Champion Smallpack Ale
Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Deschutes Brewery, USA

Champion Keg Ale
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, USA

Champion Keg Lager
Hells Lager
Camden Town Brewery, UK

Champion Non and Low Alcohol Beer
Northern Light
Daniel Thwaites, UK

Champion Dark Beer
Obsidian Stout
Deschutes Brewery, USA

Champion Strong Beer
Narwhal Imperial Stout
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, USA

Champion Speciality Beer
Samuel Adams Black & Brew
The Boston Beer Company, USA

Champion Cask Ale
Green Devil IPA
Oakham Ales, UK

Champion Cider
Thatchers Vintage Cider
Thatchers Cider Ltd, UK

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Samuel Adams, Deschutes shine in UK judging

Samuel Adams beers captured nine medals at the International Brewing Awards 2013 in England.

The bi-annual competition attracted more than 1,000 entries from 45 countries. Forty judges, all professional brewers, assessed the beers over the course of three days. The medals winners in each category were announced at the National Brewery Center in Burton upon Trent, where the judging was held. The 11 overall championship winners will be unveiled April 24 in an awards luncheon at London Guildhall.

Beers are judged in several categories and sub-categories, so may be classified on how they are packaged, their color, their alcohol content, and by other means.

Thus Samuel Adams Cream Stout won silver in one category and gold in another. The other Samuel Adams gold medal beers were Cinder Block, White Lantern, Black & Brew Coffee Stout, and Latitude 48 IPA. Double Agent IPL and Third Voyage both won silvers, while Utopias 2012 took a bronze.

Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery won four medals, Sierra Nevada Brewing took three, BridgePort Brewing two, and Alaskan Brewing one for its highly decorated Alaskan Smoked Porter.

Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Inversion IPA and Obsidian Stout all won gold, and Red Chair NWPA took a bronze.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale won a gold and a bronze, while Narwhal Imperial Stout took a gold. BridgePort IPA and Ebenezer both won silver.

The complete list of the winners can be downloaded as a pdf.

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Bud Black Crown to get Super treatment

Anheuser-Busch InBev will feature its new Budweiser Black Crown in advertising during Super Bowl. The new beer is scheduled to be on sale nationwide by Jan. 21. Last year, A-B introduced Bud Light Platinum during the Super Bowl.

“The Super Bowl really is the ideal venue to launch something new,” Budweiser Vice President Rob McCarthy was quoted in USA Today.

Black Crown’s recipe was picked from among six limited-edition beers that were created by Budweiser brewmasters earlier this year. It was called 91406 in a Project 12 variety pack released in October. It is stronger than Budweiser, with 6% alcohol by volume compared to 5%, and slightly more bitter. McCarthy described it as “a little bit darker and a little bit more flavorful” than the traditional Budweiser lager.

A-B hopes to cater to variety-seeking Millennials with the new beer. “This brand will appeal to a broad range of beer drinkers, but especially to 21-to-34-year-old, trend-setting-type consumers,” McCarthy said.

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Stone plans a ‘Vertical’ party for 12.12.12

So who’s up for a 11-beer vertical tasting?

You bring the Stone 02.02.02. We seem to be out.

Stone Brewing Co. released the final beer in its Vertical Epic Ale series Monday, Stone 12.12.12. For those unaware, each year since Feb. 2, 2002 (02.02.02), Stone has released a Stone Vertical Epic Ale beer exactly one year, one month and one day apart. The idea was that each year a beer in the series would be brewed with its own unique recipe, one that would allow the beer to mature over time enhancing the flavors and aromas. The intention was that drinkers would cellar the bottles from each year and open all 11 vintages together for a vertical tasting on Dec. 12, 2012, the date of the last Stone Vertical Epic Ale.

Like everybody lets beer sit around for 11 years.

Fortunately, Stone has an alternative for those of us who kept opening bottles. The brewery will hold a festival at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens: Stone Epic Festival: The Final Chapter. It will take place on December 12 and commence at exactly 12:12 p.m. PST. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to experience all 11 Stone Vertical Epic Ales, in addition to special barrel-aged variations, with food pairing stations featuring dishes specifically created to marry with each of the vintages.

For the record, Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale was brewed with a Belgian yeast strain and features cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, rosehips, sweet orange peel, and a dash of clove.

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Lost Abbey adds 13th beer to Ultimate Box Set

Lost Abbey Box Set

Turns out that Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey has decided to make its Ultimate Box Set a baker’s dozen. The brewery announced that the suprise 13th beer, inspired by “Message in a Bottle” by the Police, will be available Dec. 1, along with a select number of Ultimate Box Set Collector’s Editions for purchase by the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Lost Abbey "Message in a Bottle"“When we began the Box Set releases last January our plan was to release a bonus track and make a number of complete sets available to the general public at the end of the year,” director of brewery operations Tomme Arthur said for a press release. “But as the months progressed we began to worry that the demand was beyond our production levels and we weren’t going to be able to deliver complete sets to both those who reserved them during the year and have some left for the public in December. As a result we opted to make the sets available only to those who reserved them.”

To reserve a complete box set, patrons had to purchase one of the 350 bottles in each monthly Track release. The purchaser’s names were placed in a lottery, 45 were drawn and received the option to purchase a complete box sets at the end of the year.

The Collector’s Edition Box Sets include all 13 beers released throughout the year, a hand-built and individually numbered Lost Abbey road case, and an album-style book created by Grammy award-winning designer Matt Taylor of Varnish Studio. The book includes detailed descriptions of each Track, album cover art for each beer’s label, “liner notes” from Arthur, and a faux The Lost Abbey vinyl record.

Individual bottles of Track 13 and the complete Box Set Collector’s editions will go on sale in The Lost Abbey tasting room at 10 a.m. Saturday. A total of 350 bottles of Track 13 will be available for purchase and must be consumed in the tasting room.

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Rogue’s latest includes pages from ‘Moby Dick’

JohnMaier with Emily Michael PowellPowell’s Books and Rogue Ales & Spirits have collaborated to create Rogue’s latest beer – White Whale Ale.

White Whale Ale is infused, literally, with the spirit of the book “Moby Dick.” Michael and Emily Powell took pages from a copy of the book and, along with Rogue brewmaster, John Maier, added them to the brewing kettle at Rogue. “Moby Dick” has special meaning to Michael Powell, who was inspired to become a bookseller when he found a first edition of the novel in a box of books he’d purchased.

White Whale Ale was brewed in honor of Powell’s Books 41st Anniversary. Powell’s is the one of the world’s best known independent bookstores. Its flagship store in downtown Portland, Oregon, covers an entire city block and contains more than one million new and used books.