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MadTree Releasing Cans of Blood Orange PsycHOPathy IPA
Wild Goose Canning and Maheen Manufacturing Join Forces
Craft Beer's First 8 oz. Cans!
Q & A with Flat 12's Sean Manahan
Arrogant Brewing Unleashes Cans of Who You Callin' Wussie Pilsner
Left Hand Brewing Cans are Coming
Brewery Spotlight:
Q & A with Platform Beer Company
Fort George Team's Up With Barley Brown's and Melvin Brewing for 2016's 3-Way IPA Release
6th Annual AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival Winners Announced
Almanac Beer Company Releasing Cans Beginning this Summer
Brewery Spotlight:
Q & A with Rhinegeist Brewery

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Masked Bandit IPA
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Friday, May 25th 2012

Here's what to drink this summer! (a definitive canned beer guide)

Summer is just about here and with the increasing amount of breweries taking the canning plunge, we've decided to put together a definitive quide to summer's bounty of canned craft beers. A number of seasonal favorites are back for summer 2012, as are a number of new, and soon to be new, releases. So whether you're looking for something to stock the cooler for a backyard BBQ, stick in you're backpack for a weekend of hiking, or to take a long for a day at the beach, we've got you covered with 60 different canned craft beer options! Check out our definitive guide below and have a great summer! Cheers!



















If you still can't come up with something good in a can to drink this summer let us know and we'll try and help you out...Cheers!

Posted by Russ

Labels: Summer Beers

Thursday, May 24th 2012

15th Anniversary Abbey Ale
(Oskar Blues Brewery)


A very limited canned offering from the folks at Oskar Blues. These pint cans were hand labeled with love in celebration of the original Oskar Blues Grill & Brew's 15th Anniversary, which took place at the end of April. This was the location where Dale's Pale Ale and friends came into being and it was only steps away, in an old barn, that cans were first hand filled and seamed with sheepish grins. Cheers and a Very Happy, and a little belated, Anniversary!


Here we go...


Pour – a beautiful dark amber, almost maroon color with a creamy, rich off-white head that looks like it could belong on a pint of Guinness. This is a great looking beer!


Aroma - lots of tree fruit aromas like apples and pears along with plums and red grapes. Some faint hints of leather and tobacco. Very aromatic and hard to get your nose away long enough to bring your mouth to the glass. It smells that good.


Taste – smooth, sweet and crisp. Lots of those dark fruit flavors as well as toffee and caramel. The finish is semi-dry and leaves you licking your lips as you follow up with another sip. As it warms the flavors become more pronounced and the yeast flavor begins to develop. The apple flavors eventually take on a baked apple flavor and each sip is a little adventure. 


Overall - this is an absolutely fantastic beer. We're blown away by just how good this beer is and really, really implore the folks at Oskar Blues to somehow bring more of this to the masses. If only we had more of these, one was certainly not enough.


Note - This year Oskar Blues celebrate 15 years of slinging food and drink at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew, 10 years of canning Dale's Pale Ale and the opening of a new brewery in North Carolina! You guys are making 2012 one hell of a year! Cheers!


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15th Anniversary Abbey Ale
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
Longmont, Colorado  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 9.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: May 24th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Tuesday, May 15th 2012

Firestarter India Pale Ale
(Bonfire Brewing Company)

The town of Eagle, Colorado (pop. 3,000) is about a two and a half hour drive due west of Denver. This is where you'll find Bonfire Brewing, home to a now famous barleywine called "Tebrew"and makers of this particular IPA which they've just recently begun canning with the help of Longmont-based, Mobile Canning. We love the theme with Bonfire's beers and the idea of sipping some great beer around a big fire with friends is one of those joys in life that is hard to beat.

From the Bonfire site:

"A traditional India Pale Ale recipe, bitterness-enhanced with Falconer’s flight hops and aroma-strengthened with an extra dose of Cascade hops.  At 6.6% ABV, this one gets the fire going quickly."

Here we go...

Pour – a glowing orange with yellow hues. The head forms loose but leave some decent lacing as it slinks away. Carbonation might be a bit on the light side.

Aroma – citrus, lime leaves, vanilla, a bit of pineapple and perhaps some mango. Nothing too overpowering in the aroma.

Taste – that first sip provides the malty sweetness and its quickly followed by a nice smooth bitterness coming from those hops. Some lemon and lime citrus flavors are present as is a caramel malty sweetness that sticks around. In the end my tongue is dried out a bit, which means the hops have done their job. 

Overall - a solid IPA with some nice floral hop aromas and flavors. Not overly bitter and without a real "bite" so to speak. Still, at 6.6% and 72 IBUs this is an extremely refreshing and easy-drinking IPA. 

Note - Bonfire Brewing's story is one that has been echoed a number of times in the craft beer world. A story of years of homebrewing turned into a business plan and eventually a small brewery that is a labor of love. You can read more about it HERE!


Hops Scale:
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Firestarter India Pale Ale
Style: American India Pale Ale
Brewery: Bonfire Brewing Company
Eagle, Colorado  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: Falconer's Flight, Cascade
ABV: 6.6%
IBUs: 72
Date: May 15th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Saturday, May 12th 2012

2nd Annual AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival Winners Announced

Chandler, Arizona - In a special ceremony held earlier this evening, and streamed online, the winners were announced in the competition part of the 2nd Annual Ameri"CAN" Canned Beer Festival hosted by SanTan Brewing Company. A total of 113 beers were entered from 10 different states and 8 hours was spent tasting and judging all of them. Below you'll find the nine different categories which were judged and their respective winners. CANgratulations are in order! The beer festival portion of the event will be held next Saturday, May 19th and will see more than 40 different craft breweries sharing their cans. Cheers!


GOLD - Big Swell IPA (Maui Brewing Company)

SILVER - Bitter American (21st Amendment Brewery)

BRONZE - Osiris Pale Ale (Sun King Brewing Company)


GOLD - Oasis (Tallgrass Brewing Company)

SILVER - Scape Goat Pale Ale (Big Sky Brewing Company)

BRONZE - Special ESB (SKA Brewing Company)


GOLD - Panorama Wheat (Two Beers Brewing Company)

SILVER - White Water Wheat (Grand Canyon Brewing Company)

BRONZE - Apollo (Sixpoint Craft Ales)


GOLD - Buffalo Sweat (Tallgrass Brewing Company)

SILVER - Zonker Stout (Snake River Brewing Company)

BRONZE - Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout (Anderson Valley Brewing Company)



GOLD - NOLA Brown (NOLA Brewing Company)

SILVER - Righteous Ale (Sixpoint Craft Ales)

BRONZE - Wee Mac (Sun King Brewing Company)



GOLD - The Crisp (Sixpoint Craft Ales)


SILVER - SunBru (Four Peaks Brewing Company)

BRONZE - Grand Canyon Pilsner (Grand Canyon Brewing Company)



GOLD - CoCoNut PorTer (Maui Brewing Company)

SILVER - Hell or High Watermelon (21st Amendment Brewery)

BRONZE - Mana Wheat (Maui Brewing Company)



GOLD - Back in Black (21st Amendment Brewery)

SILVER - Siamese Twin (Uncommon Brewers)

BRONZE - Velvet Rooster (Tallgrass Brewing Company)



GOLD - Lumberyard IPA (Lumberyard Brewing Company)

SILVER - Deviant Dale's IPA (Oskar Blues Brewery)

BRONZE - Happy Camper (Santa Fe Brewing Company)


NOTE: Lumberyard IPA has now won this, the most popular category of the festival contest, two years running! Congratulations to Lumberyard Brewing Company of Flagstaff, Arizona! That is quite a feat and we're anxious to see if they can make it three next year! 


If you're interested in attending the Ameri"CAN" Canned Craft Beer Festival you can still get tickets by going HERE!

Posted by Russ

Friday, May 11th 2012

Upslope Belgian Style Pale Ale
(Upslope Brewing Company)

Upslope is back with their second canned Limited Release offering with a Belgian Style Pale Ale. The all white can is a nice contrast to the all black can from their Foreign Style Stout, which was their first Limited Release in a can. We love what these guys are doing and are excited by what future Limited Releases we'll see from them. Cheers!

From the Upslope Brewing site:

“The beer that won our brewery’s first medal has always been a special one”, says Matt Cutter, Founder. “It was the 2009 Great American Beer Festival and our brewery was only ten months old. We were awarded a bronze in the Pro-Am Category which celebrates the bridging between home and production brewers. We were still essentially homebrewers ourselves.

This bright, Belgian-inspired ale has a fruity aroma, with a flavorful and light body. The finish is crisp and dry, and laced with coriander.”


Here we go...


Pour - golden straw colored, soft in appearance with a snow white head on top thats foamy and leaves some nice lacing. Quite a nice looking brew once it settles and fills the glass.

Aroma - spicy clove notes, some bready and biscuity aromas, bubble gum and banana. The yeast really takes over in the nose here. Some slight hints of citrus perhaps from the hops are also apparent.


Taste - sweet and spicy. Plenty of malty goodness helps pack a 7.5% punch but this is followed by the clove and bananas from the yeast strain and punctuated by a nice citrusy, hop finish. Lots going on with the flavors in this beer but its layered well and enjoyable at every stage. The hop finish is quite nice, a little bitter and sharp but refreshing along with the spicy yeast components. 


Overall - definitely a fan of Belgian Pales and Belgian IPAs. The spicy Belgian yeast can really make an American-style Pale Ale or IPA into something quite unique. Upslope did a great job with this as it really hits all the marks and makes for a really enjoyable drinking experience. Looks good, smells good, tastes good. Well done! We can't wait to see what comes next.


Note - Upslope recently purchased Oskar Blues' old canning line which can fill 160 cans but their current brewery isn't large enough for it. They're doing some real estate shopping and plan to stay in Boulder.

Also, there are currently 5 different Belgian-style Pale Ales being canned by American brewers. There is currently only one Belgian-style IPA being canned, Triomphe, by Michigan's Brewery Vivant.


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Upslope Belgian Style Pale Ale
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Brewery: Upslope Brewing Company
Boulder, Colorado  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 7.5%
IBUs: ???
Date: May 11th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Wednesday, May 9th 2012

AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Fest Coming to Scottsdale on May 19th

Over 40 Local & National Breweries To Serve Up 150 Unique Craft Brews 
At Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival on May 19 in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale Civic Center set to host canned craft beer festival pouring ice cold beer from more than 40 breweries across the country and featuring headlining performance by Reel Big Fish 

Scottsdale, AZ (May 8, 2012)— Event producer, HDE Agency announced that the growing list of breweries participating in the Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival includes more than 40 local and national breweries. Among the breweries set to represent the craft beer movement on Saturday, May 19 at the Scottsdale Civic Center are several Arizona based breweries including SanTan Brewing Company, Four Peaks Brewing, Grand Canyon Brewing and Lumberyard Brewing. Alongside the local brand, breweries from across the country participating this year include Oskar Blues Brewing, SKA Brewing, Maui Brewing, Black Star Brewing, NOLA Brewing, Redhook Brewing, Sierra Nevada and 7 Seas Brewing.

In all, there will be 150 different brews served, several of which are extremely rare beers not previously available in Arizona. Rare beers coming in from across the country include Monk’s Blood a Belgian Dark Ale, 8.3% ABV, from San Francisco based, 21st Amendment Brewery. Then, all the way from Brooklyn, NY, Sixpoint Brewery will feature three of their best brews including the Righteous Ale, the Crisp and the Bengali Tiger—a homebrewed IPA, that’s bright orange in color with an abundance of citrus hop bitterness and a full pine and grapefruit bouquet in the aroma, ABV 6.4%.

Other rare beers to expect include Sunlight Cream Ale and Wee Mac—a Scottish style brown with a hazelnut character and rich toffee undertones, 5.3% ABV from Sun King Brewing in Indianapolis. Also, all the way from Jackson, WY, Snake River Brewing will crack open cans off their Snake River Pale Ale and Pako's EYE-P-A. Finally, Tallgrass Brewing Company from Manhattan, KS will bring the smooth tastes of Midwestern comfort in a can with their Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat, Oasis and Buffalo Sweat—made with a cream sugar to balance the roasted barley to create a rich, complex and delicious brew, 5.0% ABV.

“Last year, we celebrated the canned craft beer revolution and we were impressed at the resoundingly positive feedback from festival goers,” said Anthony Canecchia, owner and head brewer of SanTan Brewing Company. “Beer fans are beginning to appreciate that the can is the superior package for craft beer, and it is our intention to continue educating the world of this fact.”

Patrons will enjoy this bounty of frosty brews accompanied by rockin’ beats when Reel Big Fish and 2Tone Lizard Kings headline the Second Annual Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival from 2-6 p.m. Local bands will perform from noon-1:45 p.m.  Reel Big Fish are best known for such hits as Sell Out, Everything Sucks and Turn the Radio Off.

General admission includes entry into the festival with collectible 4 oz. sample can, which can be used to sample up to 20 beers from participating breweries. This is a 21 and over event, no exceptions. Ticket purchasers and all guests must be 21 or over and must present a valid picture ID upon admission. Designated driver tickets are also available for $10 and include non-alcoholic beverages.

Presale general admission tickets for the Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival are available for $25 at www.cannedcraftbeerfest.com. General admission on the day of is $35. For the ultimate beer lover, VIP tickets are $100 and include general entry with a 4 oz. souvenir can, VIP lanyard for all access and exclusive entry into VIP Beer Garden, unlimited catered food and treats, private restrooms, meet and greet with brewers, and a seat at the Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Championship Awards Ceremony (presale only, while supplies last).

Presented by SanTan Brewing Company, the Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival will celebrate the craft beer movement with an awards ceremony, live music, food, a VIP tent, Beer Science Garden and Beer Olympics activities.

This year, the canned craft beer festival has moved to a new venue–the Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater, there festival goers will enjoy more space, more beer and a rockin’ afternoon of ska-punk entertainment. The event runs from 1-6 p.m. Doors open at noon for VIP ticket holders. The Scottsdale Civic Center is located at 3939 North Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

A portion of event proceeds will benefit the Scottsdale Cultural Council, serving Scottsdale residents, visitors, cultural institutions and artists by creating and advancing high quality arts and cultural experiences and opportunities. For more information about the Scottsdale Cultural Council.

Event sponsors include, Draft Magazine, Grimaldi’s, Red Hook, World Class Beer, Arizona Society of Home Brewers, Crescent Crown Distributing, Cask, The Full Pint, YELP, The Brew Bros, Hopunion, Local Dines, Discount Cab, CraftCans.com, ReXam, Brewers Supply Group, Marty’s Trophies & Awards and Briess Malt & Ingredients.

About SanTan Brewing Company

Open since 2007, SanTan Brewing Company has made a name for itself as Arizona’s favorite craft beer destination, operating with a commitment to advance the culture of craft beer. SanTan Brewing Company accomplishes this goal through beer production using the highest quality ingredients and methods. In addition to great beer, SanTan has gained a loyal following of craft beer enthusiasts in the Arizona area by offering delicious food, happy hour specials, live music and participating in beer festivals.

Visit SanTan Brewing Company at 8 S. San Marcos Place, Chandler, AZ. They’re open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Also, check out SanTan Brewing Company online at www.santanbrewing.com and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SanTanBrewingCo or follow them www.twitter.com/SanTanBrewing for more information on upcoming specials and promotions.

About HDE Agency

HDE Agency is a full service agency dedicated to expanding client visibility and establishing marketable brand positioning. We offer a wide range of brand development services including public relations, design, advertising, social media, print collateral and event production. By establishing a strong foundation of action based campaigns, HDE Agency strives to transform our clients’ goals and objectives into tangible efforts measurable by an increase of customers, sales and community relationships.

HDE Agency is one of the largest producers of special events in Arizona with an impressive roster of more than a dozen annual signature events. HDE’s roster of special events includes the Downtown Chandler Oktoberfest, Taste. Chandler’s Culinary Festival, Chandler Summer Splash & Dash and Ameri-CAN Canned Craft Beer Festival. HDE’s most notable signature event, The Great American Barbeque & Beer Festival, was designated as an official centennial event in the City of Chandler for 2012.

Visit HDE Agency online at www.hdeagency.com for a complete list of services and learn about our current projects, events and community engagements through the HDE Agency blog at www.hdeagency.com/blog. HDE Agency can help you expand your reach!

Posted by Russ

Tuesday, May 8th 2012

Three Kings Ale
(Stevens Point Brewery)

Stevens Point Brewery has been keeping its customers supplied with fine beers for over 150 years, and has offered many of those brews in cans for the better part of the last 50. Their striking blue cans of Special Lager have graced the shelves of many a can collector over the years, and we’re pleased that they continue to put more of their seasonals in our favorite lightweight recyclable containers.

Three Kings Ale is their latest seasonal to hit the market in cans and was just awarded a bronze medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup. Cheers!

From the Point site:

"Point Three Kings is a highly drinkable golden colored Kölsch-Style Ale inspired by the story of the three kings whose remains reside in the Köln Cathedral (see below) in Köln (Cologne), Germany. Köln is the birthplace of Kölsch ale, often referred to as the ‘crown jewel of brewing art’. Elegant and well-balanced Three Kings is hand-crafted with a delicate fruity aroma, clean soft maltiness, and crisp subtle hopping – an adventure fit for a king."

Here we go...

Pour – Very pale gold with a large, loose head on top.

Aroma – A very nice combination of summer-suited lemon citrus, freshly cut grass, and pale grains.

Taste – Round, medium-full mouthfeel with some sourness before a dose of wheat introduces itself to the palate. The hop presence is mellow and cuts ever so slightly into the sour fruit flavor at the finish, leaving us with a noticeable coating on our tongue between drinks.

Overall – Three Kings is an easy drinking beer that goes well with summer weather. It is refreshing and carries an ABV that is manageable for most drinkers. What stood out for us was the more noticeable wheat presence this one carries compared to the other Kölsch beers we’ve sampled. The wheat in combination with the clinging sourness at the finish reminded us a bit of what a very clean hefeweizen might taste like, and likely helped it stand out against other Kölsch beers at the 2012 World Beer Cup.

Notes - America’s 5th oldest brewery in continuous operation has one of the more informative websites we’ve come across. Want to know what hops went into the Three Kings kettle? Find out HERE. How many carbs are in a can of Nude Beach? Calories in your can of Drop Dead Blonde? Or maybe you want to find a sixer of 2012 Black Ale before the end of mankind arrives…their Brew Finder will point you in the right direction (pun intended).

an already imposing feature of the German city of Cologne,
Köln Cathedral dominates the war-torn cityscape during World War II (AP Photo)

Can Scale:
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Three Kings Ale
Style: Kölsch
Brewery: Stevens Point Brewery
Stevens Point, Wisconsin  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: 2-row, Pilsner, White Wheat, Munich 10
Hops: Northern Brewer, Hallertauer Mittlefrau
ABV: 4.9%
IBUs: 13
Date: May 8th, 2012

Posted by Trent

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Labels: Kölsch

Monday, May 7th 2012

Churchkey Pilsner Style Beer
(Churchkey Can Company)


Here it is! The much anticipated, and perhaps a little surprising, return of the "flat top" steel beer can, or that is at least what these types of cans have been called ever since they were replaced by pull-tabs and ultimately the current "stay-tabs" - who get their name because they "stay" on the can. Churchkey Can Company has certainly had a good deal of press lately with this, their first release. We've got to admit, there is something pretty cool about holding one of these cans. They're the same size as a 12 oz. aluminum can but a good deal heavier and the act of opening one of them is also a pretty neat experience, having never done it before. Let's see how the beer inside holds up!



From the Churchkey Can Co. can holder:

"Churchkey Pilsner is a handcrafted pilsner style beer made from the highest quality ingredients. The body of the beer comes from the light, grainy pilsner malt taste, accented by a smooth clean bitterness. The Saaz hop taste and aroma featured in the Churchkey Pilsner make for a uniquely complex yet sessionable finish. Protected from both light and oxygen by our flat top steel can, the freshness of the beer is kept intact, just waiting to be enjoyed."

Here we go...

Pour – after succesfully opening my first beer can ever with a churchkey it's time to pour this beer. I've got to say that it was pretty cool to open a can of beer like my grandfather did. The pour is actually a lot smoother than with conventional cans, no glug, glug action, just a steady stream of straw colored liquid filling the glass. A thin, wispy head forms on top. By the time I take a sip the head is totally gone. Carbonation still looks good though.

Aroma – honey, orange marmalade, brown bread, a little grassy along with some grainy/cereal smells.

Taste – sweet at first on the tongue and then a nice sharp bit that dries the mouth a bit while leaving a tangy aftertaste. Lots of malt flavor in this pilsner, a little toasty and bready with some spicy, earthy notes from those Saaz hops. Love the crisp, kick of a finish. 

Overall - solid pilsner. Not an easy brew to make and certainly one that doesn't give the brewer much margin of error. Aside from a missing head after a few minutes of settling, this was a nice brew and a well executed initial offering from Churchkey Can Company. I can't help but think it would be cool to have an IPA of some sort in these cans, perhaps one day we'll see that!

Note - the recipe for Churchkey Pilsner was actually put together by two homebrewers from Portland, Oregon. Also, in case you were wondering, the cans are filled and seamed using a modified Cask Brewing line and each of the steel cans is lined with the same lining as traditional aluminum beer cans. The cans can be recycled the same as aluminum as they're quite similar to the cans that you're vegetables and soup come in. Pretty cool.

Churchkey's six-pack holder come with a free opener

Churchkey Pilsner
Style: German Pilsener
Brewery: Churchkey Can Company
Seattle, Washington  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner malt
Hops: Saaz
ABV: 4.9%
IBUs: 29
Date: May 7th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Saturday, May 5th 2012

Top Rope Mexican-style Craft Lager
(Upslope Brewing Company)


Happy Cinco de Mayo! This is hands-down one of our favorite can designs that has come out in the past couple years. Top Rope Mexican-style Craft Lager features, front and center, the famous Lucho Libre mask that is a symbol of Mexico's "free wrestling" in which many of wrestlers don such colorful facewear (in and out of the ring). Top Rope is brewed using the same recipe as Upslope's recently released Upslope Craft Lager, you could call it an alias (hidden behind a mask).


From the Denver Westword Blog site:

"Big Red F (a Colorado restaurant group) tapped its relationship with Boulder's Upslope Brewing Company to come up with a Mexican-style lager that paired well with the food at its restaurants.

The result of that collaboration is Top Rope, a light, low-alcohol lager with a Mexican wrestling theme that goes well with spicy dishes and even hotter summer days."

Here we go...


Pour - fills the glass a straw color, clean and clear with a relatively thin, white, wispy head.

Aroma - cereal grains, lemon, fresh cut grass, some hints of melon and a bit of an earthy, spicy hop aroma.


Taste - very crisp and refreshing right from the first sip. Some malty sweetness hits the tongue first and is followed by a sharp, dry finish. There are some nice citrus and soft fruit flavors to this lager as well. Within the world of canned lagers this one is certainly near the top for us. A job well done by all involved! Salud!


Overall - we could definitely get behind having a few of these with some fish tacos or a huge Mission-style burrito with lots of fresh salsa. Love the fact that Upslope teamed up with some local restaurants to make this one happen, not to mention the label art is just fantastic. 


Note - cans of Top Rope are usually only available at Big Red F's Colorado restaurants; Lola, Zolo and Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace. Upslope has however sold some cans at the brewery and small amounts do get distributed locally to a few liquor stores. 


BONUS: There is a typo on the Top Rope can that has since been corrected. See if you can find it!

the, still growing, Upslope family

Top Rope Mexican-style Craft Lager
Style: Vienna Lager
Brewery: Upslope Brewing Company
Boulder, Colorado  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner, 2-Row and caramel malts
Hops: Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.8%
IBUs: 15
Date: May 5th, 2012

Posted by Russ

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Labels: Lagers

Friday, May 4th 2012

Canny Award Winners Announced:
Best of Craft Beer Can Designs

‘Canny’ Awards Honor Best of Craft Beer Can Designs

Winners Receive Awards at Craft Brewers Conference

BROOMFIELD, Colo., May 4, 2012—The best can graphics in the craft beer industry were on display as part of the first annual “Canny” Awards, a competition that recognizes the high-quality, captivating graphics featured on craft beer in cans. Awards were presented during the Craft Brewers Conference, May 2-5 in San Diego, California.

21st Amendment's Bitter American was awarded "Craft Can of the Year"

During this inaugural competition, 83 craft breweries submitted 231 entries in seven categories. The "Craft Can of the Year Awardwent to Bitter American Extra Pale Ale by 21st Amendment Brewery, with second place going to The Corruption IPA by DC Brau and third place to Johnny’s America IPA by Moab Brewery.

Category winning entries include:

Best Shelf Presence:
Johnny’s America IPA by Moab Brewery


Best Graphics Design:
Diesel by Sixpoint Craft Ales


Best Use of Color:
Pearl-Snap German-Style Pils by Austin Beerworks


Best Seasonal:
Santa Fe Oktoberfest by Santa Fe Brewing Co.


Best Character:
Bitter American Extra Pale Ale by 21st Amendment Brewery

 Best Illustration of Beer Name:
Hop-A-Potamus Double Dark Rye Pale Ale by Great River Brewery


Best Local Tie-In (State, Town, Geography, Local Activity):
Colorado Kolsch Ale by Steamworks Brewing Co.

The judges panel included: Donna DiGiola of The Art Institute of California-San Diego, Dr. Amy Galpin of The San Diego Museum of Art, Dave Mevoli of L. Knife & Sons, Randy Mosher of Randy Mosher Design, Tom McCormick of California Craft Brewers Association, Robert Fondren of Brewery Collectibles Club of America, Ginger Johnson of WomenEnjoyingBeer.com, Jay Brooks of Brooks On Beer, Ashley Routson of the Beer Wrench Blog, Evan Hughes of Draft Magazine, Chris Fumary and Matt Kennedy of Brewbound/BevNet, and Matt Thomas of Whole Foods.

The “Canny” Awards honor craft beer and the distinctive graphics created in an industry known for unique brands and brews. The competition is sponsored by four leading suppliers to the canned craft beer industry – Ball Corporation, Cask Brewing Systems, Hi-Cone and Mumm Products.

Winners received a custom Canny Award trophy that includes their can graphics and recognition at the Craft Brewers Conference and in industry publications. A complete set of listed winners is available on the “Canny Awards” Facebook page and Twitter.

Ball Corporation is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2011 sales of more than $8.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit http://www.ball.com.

Cask Brewing Systems launched the canned craft beer revolution when it introduced affordable, small footprint, high-performance canning systems. Cask Brewing puts cans in the hands of craft brewers and their customers worldwide.

Hi-Cone is a leading supplier of plastic-based multipackaging systems for global beer, soft drink, pharmaceutical and general consumer products industries. Hi-Cone is a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE: ITW), a diversified manufacturer of advanced industrial technology.

Mumm Products is a leading supplier of beverage multi-pack packaging and equipment to craft brewers and retailers. Mumm offers tailored products for craft brewers in partnership with Hi-Cone. Mumm supplies low-weight photodegradable carriers to minimize environmental impact and highly efficient application equipment to save labor.

Posted by Russ

Tuesday, May 2nd 2012

(Sun King Brewing and Oskar Blues)

Chaka is the brainchild of brewers Dave Colt and Clay Robinson of Sun King and Dave Chichura at Oskar Blues, old friends who met in Indianapolis years ago. Leave it to these three guys to not only brew a beer together that is altogether unique in its indigenous ingredients (shagbark hickory syrup from Indiana and a Belgian pale malt from Colorado Malting), but then to also choose to be the first to launch a craft beer in Ball Corporation's 16 oz. resealable Alumi-Tek® pint "bottles". The beer itself just made its debut at the Craft Brewers Conference out in San Diego today and will hit shelves in both Oskar Blues' and Sun King's local markets next week. 

From the Sun King site:

"The end result is a delicious Belgian-style ale crafted with a blend of ingredients from each brewery’s home state: Shagbark Hickory syrup from Hickoryworks in Trafalgar, Ind.; grain from Colorado Malting Company; and a special yeast blend from Brewing Science Institute, also in Colorado. Brewers from both breweries worked together to formulate the recipe and traveled between Colorado and Indiana to brew at both locations."


Here we go...


Pour - dark reddish amber in appearance with a half inch of off white foam on top that is quick to sink. Pretty cool to pour this beer out of this container! 


Aroma - as this filled the glass there was a very apparent Belgian-yeast arom and some sweetness like caramel and cotton candy. Sticking a nose in the glass you can pick out some spiciness and sweet, bready aroma. There is also the essence of apples and pears present. Very aromatic and quite obviously Belgian-esque.


Taste - from the first sip the spiciness from the Belgian yeast strain presents itself and stays in the background. There is a tangy sweetness to this beer as well as a hard to define sour or tart flavor that comes at the end of every sip. Perhaps that's the hickory syrup? Not sure. Regardless, it is a positive. As this warms and settles the flavors tucked away in this beer come out. The sweet, soft fruit flavors, the spiciness (ripe bananas and cloves) and the maltiness all meld together very nicely.


Overall - calling a beer simply a "Belgian-style Ale" certainly leaves a lot to be discovered by the consumer. There are so many options that fit the category. This is a great example of two well-established brewery sharing a passion for trying new things and bringing in some special ingredients to make a special beer. Packaging certainly plays a part in today's craft beer world but irregardless of how this is presented to you, what is inside is truly exciting and altogether fantastic. We're already excited for the next "CANlaboration", whenever, and whatever, that may be!


Note - The story behind "shagbark hickory syrup" is a modern Americana legend that has roots in a 200+ year old mysterious recipe. You have to read THIS to really appreciate how unique this product is to the state of Indiana and to two people in particular. You can check also check out the Hickoryworks website if you want to know even more about shagbark hickory syrup. We had no idea just how special of an ingredient this was in this beer.


Monk Scale:
(See All Rated)
Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Style: Belgian Ale
Brewery: Sun King Brewing Company
Indianapolis, Indiana  
United States  
Container: 16 oz. Alumi-Tek® bottle
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 8.0%
IBUs: ???
Date: May 2nd, 2012

Posted by Russ

Have you had this beer? Thumb it:

Wednesday, May 2nd 2012

Oskar Blues Announces NC Brewery


Longmont, CO.  Funky little Oskar Blues Grill & Brew started 15 years ago when Dale Katechis and his high school sweet-heart stumbled across the small town of Lyons, Colorado while on a road trip north from their home in Alabama. That Rocky Mountain trip continues east as Dale finds the same downhome feeling in the rolling hills of Pisgah National Forrest of Brevard, North Carolina.

Riders From Sycamore Cycles Reflect on a Great Day of Mountain Bike Riding w/ Oskar Blues Brewery

Oskar Blues, named “The hottest place to be on a Saturday night in Colorado” by Rolling Stone Magazine, has announced plans for a restaurant/music venue and brewery location just off the bike path to Bracken Mountain in the small downtown of Brevard, N.C. The brewery plans to have the soul-savin’ live music venue and brewery up and running by December 2012. 

“I’ve left a bike in Brevard for years as we’ve been coming here to ride mountain bikes and check out our buddies Mountain Song Music Festival.  This place rings true with the same eclectic mountain charm that inspired Oskar Blues to put Dale’s Pale Ale in a can back in the day in Lyons, CO.” says soul-founder Dale Katechis.  “Brevard and Lyons share a small town main street tone mingled with live music and an energy emerging from the surrounding hills.”

Oskar Blues, one of the fastest growing breweries in the country, sells over 35 percent of their beer east of the big muddy river, making for a great opportunity to look into a local location in that area.  They have secured a contract on a 30,000 square foot brewery space along with a 6,000 square foot restaurant/music venue location in downtown Brevard. 

“We’ve looked at the options of growing our Colorado based brewing to the next level and the thought the idea of opening another small, intimate restaurant and brewery on a grassroots level sounds like a lot more fun.” says Dale.  “With that much beer traveling east of the Mississippi it allows us to invest in another small town that shares our passions and recoup the investment as we contribute to the community and streamline our shipping costs amongst other things.”

Oskar Blues has worked hard to keep that hands-on feel with small Colorado projects like their Hops & Heifers Farm, that provides homegrown beef, pork and vegetables to their restaurants, and handmade mountain bikes with REEB Cycles as the brewery & restaurants have been blessed with growth.  “It’s important to us to keep that trailside comradery amongst each other and the community.” said Katechis.


Click HERE to read the Mountain Flyer Magazine article around Oskar Blues Brewery’s recent trip to “The Assault on the Carolinas” cycling event in Brevard, NC.  You can also view images from the Oskar Blues built REEB Cycles HERE via Facebook. 



Three-dimensional brewing since 1999, Oskar Blues began the “Canned Beer Apocalypse” in 2002 when Dale’s Pale Ale became America’s 1st CANNED craft beer. For additional info, interviews, images or samples please contact Chad Melis at chad@oskarblues.com, # 720.273.8888 or visit www.oskarblues.com 

Posted by Russ

Tuesday, May 1st 2012

Oskar Blues & Sun King's Chaka
to be First Ever Craft Beer in
16 oz. Resealable Aluminum Bottles


Longmont, Colo –Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery and Indiana-based Sun King Brewery  have created a CANlaboration project to unite the brewer’s friendship and passion for pushing the boundaries of craft beer in a can.   The two brewers have traveled between locations for months and are excited to bring you CHAKA, a limited-release Belgian-style ale -- the first craft beer to be packaged in the Alumi-Tek® re-sealable pint bottle from Ball Corporation. CHAKA will be released May 3rd 2012, at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego in each attendee’s hotel room and special events throughout the weekend.   The following week the brewers will make limited quantities at Oskar Blues Tasty Weasel and in Sun King’s home market.

The connection between these two breweries is deeper than the fact that they both can their beer. Oskar Blues head brewer, Dave Chichura, began his professional brewing career in Indianapolis fifteen years ago where he became friends with Dave Colt and Clay Robinson, the two brewers who created Sun King. The three friends have been talking for years about working together on a collaborative beer, so when the opportunity came to assist in the introduction of a new packaging option for craft beer, it was an easy yes.

The end result is an 8 percent A.B.V. Belgian-style ale crafted with a blend of ingredients from each brewery’s home state: Shagbark Hickory syrup from Hickoryworks in Trafalgar, Ind.; grain from Colorado Malting Company; and a special yeast blend from Brewing Science Institute, also in Colorado. Brewers from both breweries worked together to formulate the recipe and traveled between Colorado and Indiana to brew at both locations.  

Dave Chichura of Oskar Blues with Dave Colt and Clay Robinson
from Sun King brewing up some Chaka!

“Until we undertook this project, only large breweries and beverage companies had access to this type of packaging,” said Clay Robinson, Sun King co-founder. “Sun King and Oskar Blues worked closely with the Ball Corporation and Cask Brewing Systems to design and build a simple, functional small scale system that will allow craft brewers to take advantage of this unique packaging option.”

Oskar Blues is a pioneer in the craft canning movement as the first American craft brewery to can their beer with the release of Dale’s Pale Ale in 2002. They have grown to become the largest American craft brewery to package beer exclusively in cans, producing 59,000 barrels of beer in 2011.

Sun King began crafting beer in the summer of 2009 and has grown to become one of Indiana’s largest breweries, producing nearly 10,000 barrels of beer in 2011. Sun King was the first Indiana craft brewery to can their beer and the first brewery ever to create a customizable can for their seasonal and specialty beer releases.

“Unique packaging like the Alumi-Tek bottle provides both Oskar Blues and Sun King the differentiation we need to make our limited-release beers and B.Stiff & Sons Old Fashioned Root Beer (Oskar Blues Brewery) distinct from our core lines.” said Chad Melis, marketing director of Oskar Blues Brewery. “Craft beer in aluminum bottles is another step forward in the evolution of craft beer.”

      image by Oskar Blues

CHAKA will be available in limited supply at Oskar Blues locations and to-go via The Tasty Weasel Taproom in $15.99 6-packs.  You can get your hands on CHAKA and meet the brewers from both breweries at the below Craft Brewers Conference events in San Diego:

Wednesday May 2nd 9pm – BLIND LADY ALE HOUSE

Can Diego Event – Featuring Canned Craft Beer from 6 Industry leading Breweries

Thursday May 3rd 7pm – TIPSY CROW

CHAKA After Party – CHAKA plus Barrel Aged offerings from Oskar Blues Brewery.

About Oskar Blues Brewery

Founded by Dale Katechis in 1997 as a brewpub and grill, Oskar Blues Brewery launched their craft-brewed beer canning operations in 2002 in Lyons, Colo. They were the first American craft brewery to can their beer. Today more than 173 craft breweries are canning their beers. The original crew used a hand-canning line on a tabletop machine that sealed one can at a time. Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont packaged 41,000 barrels in 2010 and grew to 59,000 in 2011. Visit www.oskarblues.com for more information.

About Sun King Brewing Company

Sun King Brewing Company is the brainchild of Dave Colt and Clay Robinson. With the help of family and friends – Omar Robinson, Andy Fagg and Steve Koers – the first keg of Sun King beer rolled out the door for delivery in July 2009. Sun King is the first full-scale production brewery in Indianapolis since Indianapolis Brewing Company closed its doors in 1948. Now available on tap and in cans at hundreds of locations around central Indiana, Sun King has grown into the third-largest beer brewer in the state of Indiana. The company's commitment to handcrafted seasonal and specialty beers has been rewarded with multiple medals at the Indiana Brewers Cup, Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions. Visit www.sunkingbrewing.com for more information.

About Ball Corporation

Ball Corporation is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 14,500 people worldwide and reported 2011 sales of more than $8.6 billion. For the latest Ball news and for other company information, please visit www.ball.com

About Cask Brewing Systems

Cask Brewing Systems launched the canned craft beer revolution when it introduced affordable, small footprint, high-performance canning systems. Cask Brewing puts cans in the hands of craft brewers and their customers worldwide. Visit www.cask.com for more information.


Posted by Russ