Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Beer Release! - Iron Hill Brewery - Honey Do Wit

Hello everyone,

I know it's been awhile since I've done a beer review and I'll have more coming soon, but I wanted to pass along some more new beer release information! This one is Honey Do Wit from Iron Hill Brewery. I recently had a friend out from Pennsylvania and was lucky enough to try their Kriek and Lambic, both of which were fantastic. This new one is an amped up Double Witbier. More info is below:

In late May, the East Coast’s fastest growing group of brewpubs, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, will release their Honey Do Wit, a Belgian-style double witbier. A perfect warm weather thirst quencher and an ideal gift for Dad on Father’s Day, June 21, it will be available for sale at all seven Iron Hill locations in 750 mL bottles for $18.50.

Honey Do Wit is the newest addition to Iron Hill’s Bottled Reserve, a collection of fine beers crafted in small batches. It will be brewed and bottled in limited release; like other Iron Hill limited releases, including last year’s Ring of Fire and Triple Bock, it is likely to sell out quickly. The beer’s crisp, dry finish, distinct fruit character and 9.5% ABV will make a great gift for Dad on his special day.

Honey Do Wit is brewed naturally with the finest malted barley, hops and yeast, a full-bodied version of a Belgian classic. It is brewed with orange peel, coriander and orange blossom honey for a distinct fruit character with a clean, dry finish.

“Honey Do Wit is a play on words, taken from the phrase dads and husbands are so accustomed to hearing: ‘Honey, do it!’,” says Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson. “It’s our way of giving a gift to those hard-working men – a kind of reward for taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, and getting through all those other chores they called on to do all year long. We hope they will enjoy it on Father’s Day or any day as a delicious warm weather treat.”

The beer’s distinctive, fanciful label design comes from gifted local artist and frequent Iron Hill collaborator Jeff Schaller of PinkCow Studio. Schaller also created the signature wall murals at several Iron Hill locations, as well as the eye-catching 3-D label for last year’s Triple Bock bottled reserve beer.

“Part of the fun of crafting these limited-editions beers is making them collectible,” says Iron Hill Director of Brewing Operations Mark Edelson. “Jeff has created some amazing art for us over the years, and once again he has sketched a memorable label for one of our most special beers.”

Since 1996, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant has consistently been recognized for its outstanding beers and cuisine, accruing over 100 “Best of” awards from regional magazines. Their hand-crafted beers have also won acclaim and in total, they have received 39 medals from the two most prestigious beer events, the GABF and World Beer Cup.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant has seven locations: Wilmington , DE ; Newark , DE ; West Chester , PA ; Lancaster , PA ; Media , PA ; Phoenixville , PA and North Wales , PA. An eighth location is planned for Maple Shade , NJ in July 2009. For more information about Honey Do Wit or Iron Hill, or to make a reservation at any of their locations, please visit www.ironhillbrewery.com.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Flying Fish Brewery launches www.exitseries.com

Here's some cool news I ran across and I think this is a fun way to create a new series of beers based on the highway exits on the New Jersey Turnpike. Flying Fish beers are not currently distributed in Illinois, but I have tried a few during my travels that I have enjoyed. Hopefully I will get a chance to sample and review the new trippel sometime!

New Jersey’s largest craft brewery, Flying Fish Brewing Company (1940 Olney Avenue, 856-489-0061), is flaunting its home-state pride with a new Exit Series of Big Bottle Beers. A fanciful tribute to the New Jersey Turnpike and all the Garden State has to offer, these special brews are Flying Fish’s first foray into large bottles. The first in the series, Exit 4 American Trippel, a Belgian-style bottle conditioned ale, was just released.

“At Flying Fish, we’re proud to hail from the great state of New Jersey ,” says Gene Muller, who founded the brewery in 1995. “Our success comes from being focused on our home base, and this is a great opportunity for us to celebrate that in a very public way.”

Exit 4 American Trippel is named for the exit nearest Flying Fish Brewing Company’s headquarters, and is Belgian-inspired to represent their role as one of America ’s first craft breweries to embrace Belgian-style beers. Future Exit Series Big Bottles will be named for other exits, chosen based on videos, photos and testimonials submitted to Flying Fish by fans at www.exitseries.com. This series will continue with three or four beers a year to eventually encompass all turnpike exits.

“We were among the first craft breweries to commit ourselves to using the Internet to build and enhance our business, and this new site allows us to reach out to our fans in a tangible way,” says Muller. “ New Jersey is great because the people here are great, and we want to make sure that they can participate in this special series of beers.”

With a hazy golden hue and aromas of citrus, banana and clove, Exit 4 American Trippel bears heady malt flavors that give way to a subdued, bitter finish. As a bottle conditioned ale, it will develop as it ages. This one-time-only release is now available until it sells out across New Jersey , Pennsylvania and Delaware .

Flying Fish was the world’s first ‘virtual’ microbrewery, establishing an Internet presence as early as 1995. That presence helped to generate press interest and woo investors to the fledgling brewery, which would not open for business until late 1996. Today, Muller and his team oversee four full-time styles, as well as a variety of seasonal beers. Their brews have been featured at the Great British Beer Festival, Oregon Brewers Festival and Canada ’s Biere de Mondial Festival. They have won medals at the Great American Beer Festival, Real Ale Festival and the World Beer Championships, and are the only New Jersey brewery featured in Best American Beers. Flying Fish was recently named “Local Hero: Beverage Artisan of 2009” by Edible Jersey magazine.

For more information about Exit 4 or Flying Fish, please visit them online at www.flyingfish.com or call (856) 489-0061.

Firestone 10

The first in a series of anniversary ales produced by Firestone Walker Brewing out of California, of which an Eleven and Twelve have also been produced. This particular vintage is highly sought after and has been "hyped" quite a bit by beer lovers since it's release. It is nearly impossible to find at this point and I was lucky enough to score a bottle from a generous soul awhile back.

Finally cracked the lone bottle of this I had in my cellar. Pours a deep dark brown with a quarter inch of tan head that leaves spotty lacing. Head quickly falls. Aromas of dense caramel and roasted malts colliding with boozy bourbon and wood tannins. Lots of dark fruits moving around here with some vanilla in the background as well. Alcohol comes through slightly.

First sip brings sweet rich caramel and dark malts upfront moving into roasted flavors with molasses and dark fruits popping through. Bourbon flavors move in along with woody barrel accents and tannins. Flows down with a touch of aged hop bitterness and quite a bit of alcohol bite on the end. Somewhat harsh overall, it doesn't come together as nicely as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick, but thinner than I expected for this brew. Sharing the bomber with a friend was the right decision as this would have been tough to take on solo. Maybe it was the age on the bottle, but this one really didn't live up to the reputation that was out there for this beer for me personally. Glad I tried it, but also glad I didn't spend / trade an arm and a leg just to do so.

Overall I gave this one a rating of Enjoyable.

Check out more from Firestone Walker by surfing over to http://www.firestonewalker.com/