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Tuesday, December 31st 2013

Gerry Dog Stout
(Big Elm Brewing Company)

Gerry Dog Stout is one of three beers currently being canned by Big Elm Brewing Company. The brewery is tucked away in a small town in the far southwestern corner of Massachusetts and also brews an array of beers that are available on tap locally. 

From the Big Elm Brewing site:

“Our rich and satisfying Oatmeal Stout is made with choice American and English barley, rolled oats, herbal American hops and good vibes from our brewery mascot Gerry. This deep and dark beverage transcends what you thought about stout! - Slainte!”

Here we go...

Pour - inky black with a head of thick, beige foam. It wouldn't be a stout if it didn't look like this...

Aroma - Roasted, toasted malts, some sweet caramel notes, cocoa, chocolate, and espresso. Very enticing on a cold fall day.

Taste -  Gerry Dog is a medium-bodied stout with ample chocolate and coffee flavors.  There is some definite sweetness comign from all those rich, dark malts and the rolled oats add a nice depth to the mouthfeel.

Overall - A semi-sweet, rich, and flavorful oatmeal stout with plenty of dark roasted chocolate flavors. This is one that you'll be happy ordering a few times during the night.

Note -  Big Elm Brewing Company was founded by husband and wife, Bill and Christine Heaton. The two actually met at Victory Brewing Company back in 2003 and opened a brewpub in Pittsfield, MA called Pittsfield Brew Works in 2005. After 5 years of running a restaurant and a small brewery the two decided to move on and open a production brewery. After a lot of planning and searching, Big Elm began brewing in Sheffield, MA in the fall of 2012. 

Can Scale:
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Gerry Dog Stout
Style: Oatmeal Stout
Brewery: Big Elm Brewing Company
Sheffield, Massachusetts  
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: American and English barley, rolled oats
Hops: ???
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: ???
Date: December 31st, 2013

Posted by Russ

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Labels: Stouts

Saturday, December 28th 2013

Surly Teaming Up With 3 Floyds and Real Ale Brewing for cans of BLAKKR Imperial Black Ale


Three breweries with a penchant for heavy metal are collaborating on what should be a (three-headed) beast of a Black IPA to come in an equally bad ass pint can. The brewing minds at Surly Brewing Company, Three Floyds Brewing Company, and Real Ale Brewing Company have come together to brew up BLAKKR, an Imperial Black IPA to be packaged in both 16 oz. cans by Surly and 22 oz. bottles by Three Floyds. Cans will be hitting Surly's distrubution area in mid-late February.

If you're a fan of these three breweries you can probably see why it makes sense that they'd come together. Surly's head brewer, Todd Haug, is himself a guitarist in the Minneapolis-based metal band Powermad. Surly has also released a string of beers featuring artwork that would look quite at home on a metal album cover...not to mention the cult following around their annual release of Darkness, it seems they've weaved an intricate web between craft beer and heavy metal.


Three Floyds has collaborated with a number of metal bands in the past for beers such as Permanent Funeral Pale Ale, Toxic Revolution Stout, and Warmullet Double IPA. The Indiana brewery also showcases metal bands at their annual Dark Lord Day.


Real Ale Brewing Company, located in Blanco, Texas, can also lay claim to having an affinity for metal. The brewery recently teamed up a local metal act, The Sword, for the release of Iron Swan Ale cans. 

Both the can and bottle label design for BLAKKR were done by Michael Berglund, a graphic designer at mnfx in Minneapolis. Berglund was also responsible for the 2011 Surly Darkness label design

For more on the "History of Heavy Metal and Craft Beer Collaborations" check out this piece over at First We Feast. 

Posted by Russ

Thursday, December 12th 2013

Now You Can Ski & Drink Snow King!


Jackson, WY – Snow King Mountain and Snake River Brewing Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming announce the creation of Snow King Pale Ale to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Snow King Mountain, Wyoming’s first ski area.  Snow King Pale Ale is an American/English hybrid inspired by hoppy U.S. pales and uses very classic English hops along with U.S. hops in generous quantity.  The new beer is available in limited-edition cans at local liquor stores and will be on tap at Snow King Resort’s new restaurant, Hayden’s Post.

 “Snow King Mountain called us this summer, asking whether we’d be interested in doing a special beer for the 75th Anniversary of Snow King Mountain,” said Chris Erickson, Snake River Brewing Company’s Director of Brewing Operations.  “Not a week goes by when we don't get a similar request and our standard answer is no, because we are just a small brewery, after all.  However, every Jackson Hole skier has a special spot in their heart for ‘The King.’  It's where we learned to ski, it's where we ski night-time powder under the lights and it's the whole town's uphill climbing gym.  So, how perfect is it that this will become our first-ever custom can? There was just no way to say no to this one." 

Snake River Brewing Head Brewer, Cory Buenning, was inspired to combinetwo of the UK's most classic hops, Challenger and Fuggle, with a U.S.-grown, High Alpha Magnum. Dry hopping brings out the delicate flavors and aromas. The result is a copper-colored, fully hop-flavored and moderately bitter beer for skiers.  In addition to the beer, Snake River Brewing and Snow King Mountain will produce special pint glasses, t-shirts and other swag to commemorate the occasion.

Snow King Mountain plans to launch its 75th Anniversary festivities on Saturday, December 14 with a Free Ski Day & Party.  After a day of free skiing on the Mountain, Snake River Brewing invites those who are 21 and older to the Lodge Room at Snow King Resort to taste test the new beer beginning at 3 p.m.  The event will then move to Hayden’s Post at 5 p.m., for the official tapping of the restaurant’s inaugural keg of Snow King Pale Ale.  A plethora of Snow King swag and raffle prizes will be awarded, including a season ski pass to Snow King Mountain.

In addition to the beer and Free Ski Day event, Snow King Mountain will host a 75th Anniversary Grand Celebration on February 8th, 2014, complete with a snow bike race, Randonee race, and free concert at the base area.  For ongoing updates on all SK Mountain events and festivities visit: http://www.snowkingmountain.com/. 

Snow King Mountain, Wyoming’s first ski area began with a single cable tow in 1939 and established Jackson’s reputation as a ski town.  Seventy-five years later, the “Town Hill,” one of the steepest little mountains around, remains a vital part of the community, cultivating generations of world-class skiers.  From its founder, Neil Rafferty, to the latest faction of Jackson Olympians, “The King” represents the heart and soul of Jackson, Wyoming.  

Posted by Russ

Tuesday, December 10th 2013

Narragansett to Release Cans
of Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout

Narragansett's Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout
Hitting Shelves Next Week!

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  –Narragansett Beer announces today the release of its limited-edition Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout, a unique collaboration between two iconic Rhode Island companies. A custom blend of Narragansett’s bittersweet milk stout with dark, delicious Autocrat Coffee makes for a delightful beer that is more Rhode Island than Roger Williams himself.

Since the 1890’s, Narragansett Beer and Autocrat Coffee have been home-grown Rhode Island favorites. With more than 100 years of shared heritage, the two local legends joined forces to celebrate the art of craft brewing and bring New England an emblematic brew that pays homage to their history.

“I’ve been a big fan of Autocrat since my Little League days, so I’m especially excited to introduce this brew to the market,” said Mark Hellendrung, president of Narragansett Beer. “My Little League coach worked at Autocrat and drove one of the big delivery trucks—we would try to aim homers toward the truck in hopes of hitting the big Autocrat swallow.”

The full-bodied milk stout is enriched with the robust flavor of Autocrat Coffee to achieve an extraordinary taste experience. Brewed under the supervision of award-winning Brewmaster Sean Larkin, Narragansett’s Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout delivers a flavorful, smooth, dark brew with notes of roasted barley, chocolate malt and rich crystal malt. The exacting touch of hops provides just the right amount of bitterness to balance the sweet notes of the malts and milk sugar.

“Having been on retailers’ shelves for more than 100 years, Autocrat is proud to partner with another iconic brand to support Narragansett Beer in the development of Coffee Milk Stout,” said Richard M. Field, Jr., Autocrat partner. “This is the perfect collaboration between two long standing Rhode Island traditions.”

Narragansett’s Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout, priced between $8.49 - $8.99 SRP, will be available the week of December 16 in six packs of 16-ounce tallboy cans throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The beer is 5.3 percent Alcohol By Volume and 30 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).

For further information on the Narragansett’s Autocrat Coffee Milk Stout or to find a retailer near you, visit www.narragansettbeer.com

ABOUT NARRAGANSETT BEER:                                                              

Narragansett Beer…Brewed since 1890. ‘Gansett is a straightforward, quality beer that has been a New England tradition for generations, producing a classic family of award-winning American lagers & ales. Today, ‘Gansett is produced at top-rated breweries in Providence, R.I., Rochester, N.Y., and Buzzard’s Bay, Mass. and is one of America's top 50 regional brewers and the fastest-growing in the Northeast. Narragansett is available for purchase in local restaurants, bars, and liquor stores throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin and Nashville, Tenn.

Thirsty for more? Visit: www.narragansettbeer.com.


Headquartered in Lincoln, RI, Autocrat, LLC, is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of premium coffee and extracts, utilizing a multi-million dollar custom extraction system and a state-of-the-art pilot plant and research and development lab to meet increasing global demands.  Certified as Level 2 SQF (Safe Quality Food), Autocrat offers regular and organic coffee extracts, as well as premium black and green tea extracts, that are used to flavor a variety of applications in the food and beverage industry.  For more information call 1-800-288-6272 or visit Autocrat on-line at www.autocrat.com.

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Posted by Russ

Sunday, December 1st 2013

West Sixth Brewing Releasing Cans of Christmas Ale - First Seasonal

West Sixth's Christmas Ale Hits Shelves December 2nd

(Lexington, KY) – West Sixth Brewing is releasing its first ever seasonal beer – The West Sixth Christmas Ale – in cans.

The beer, a dark spiced ale, will be released in limited quantities starting the week after Thanksgiving. It is being canned at the brewery on West Sixth Street in Lexington this week and then will be sold at its taproom beginning at 3pm on December 2nd, and then in several retail locations throughout Lexington and the rest of the state.

“We have a very limited amount of this special beer, so we expect it to sell quickly” said founder Brady Barlow.

The beer will be the first ever Christmas Ale brewed and distributed by a Kentucky Brewery. In addition, it will be the first ever seasonal product from West Sixth Brewing and first seasonal beer canned in Kentucky.

“The can is a great product for this beer because it will keep the beer fresher longer than a bottle will.” said founder Ben Self. “That said, we design our beer to be enjoyed immediately, so we hope people will toast the holidays with this fun new beer”.

Head Brewer and West Sixth Founder Robin Sither says:

“The West Sixth Christmas Ale is spiced ale with aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg with a sturdy malt backbone that will hold up to the chilliest of nights. It’s a higher gravity beer weighing in at 9% ABV. This is our slightly darker take on a holiday beer – perfect for evenings by the fire.”

The can label, designed by Lexington-based Cricket Press, is bright red with snowflakes, and includes several fun holiday tributes including a wrap around the top that says “Give our planet a Christmas present – please recycle me” and an indication that the beer was “brewed by elves”.

Because of the limited quantities of the beer, West Sixth is using a specially designed can wrap to label the beer. One of the challenges of canning beers is that cans need to be ordered by the truckload – 200,000 at a time. Because West Sixth is only planning to can around 15000 cans of the Christmas ale – around 2500 6 packs – they had to come up with an alternative solution to produce this beer.

“We’ve produced this can by attaching a shrink wrap around a blank aluminum can. This wrap allows us to produce a limited number of cans in any design.” said founder Joe Kuosman. “And the best part is that it is still recyclable!”

More info about the release, including details for December 2nd can be found at West Sixth Brewing’s website westsixth.com

Posted by Russ