By Chris Maza
Reminder Assistant Editor
So 2011 has come and gone and while I did my best to always get my hands on at least one glass of any beer that truly got me excited, there were some I just plain missed out on.
So this year, I decided that since this is the year of the Apocalypse, I want to make sure that I get my fill. Therefore, I have started making my list, my resolutions, if you will, of exciting beers slated to come out this year, or ones I’ve wanted to try, but just haven’t been able to get my hands on.
First and foremost, the brew that may be the hardest to get a hold of is the one that intrigues me the most. It’s also the most a propos.
Elysian Brewing Company, located in Seattle, Wash., has announced they will be releasing this year the 12 Beers of the Apocalypse, starting this month with Nibiru, which is “named for the mysterious planet X supposedly on a collision course toward Earth,” according to their official release. The beer is described as a Belgian-style Tripel that features “tea-like” flavors.
Nibiru will be followed by Rapture, a heather ale, and Fallout, a pale ale. Beyond, that, who knows? Nibiru is slated to be released at a kick-off party on Jan. 21.
The tricky part for those of us in New England interested in this series is getting it. Unfortunately, New York City is the closest place that Elysian is distributed.
Closer to home, Harpoon has begun rolling out the 40th session of its 100 Barrel Series the Black IPA (India Pale Ale).
Available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles, the Black IPA gets its almost pitch-black color from a new specialty malt called Midnight Wheat with the signature IPA character and bitterness coming from Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade, and Citra and Ahtanum hops. Very rarely does Harpoon have a real miss, especially with the 100 Barrel Collection, so this is one I don’t want to miss.
Goose Island went from a well-kept secret to tremendously popular very quickly. So quickly, that it caught the attention of Anheuser-Busch, which bought the microbrewery for almost $40 million.
Some cringed at this move, afraid that the product would suffer, but I’m willing to give the hard workers at Goose Island the benefit of the doubt that they are not going to suddenly care less about the quality of their livelihood.
That’s why I was excited to find out recently that the Goose Island Nut Brown Ale is being re-released in March. It’s won two World Beer Cup gold medals and was one of the better of its kind before its bottling was discontinued.
Hopefully if the re-release is well-received, the company will also consider bringing back their Oatmeal Stout, which has also been discontinued.
Every so often, you just want to be knocked on your butt by hops.
It’s been a while since I’ve had an IPA that really wowed me with copious amounts of hoppy bitterness. Stone Brewery’s Ruination IPA is probably the last that fit that bill.
That’s why I’m interested to see what Cambridge Brewing Company, located right here in Massachusetts, can do in terms of satisfying a craving for waves of bitter goodness with their offering, called The Audacity of Hops.
The beer claims to be “hopped to an audacious degree” with Simcoe, Chinook, Amarillo, Hallertauer, and Spalt hops, complimented by fruity hints and a spiciness brought out thanks to Belgian yeasts.
Last, but not least, is a beer from Foothills Brewing whose name should be intriguing enough for anyone.
Two words: Sexual Chocolate.
Need I say more?
Do you have a suggestion on a beer that I should add to my list of beer resolutions? This list is a work in progress and is only the beginning, so if you have tried something, or have heard of something you’ve yet to try, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
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