Investigating the uncommon, unusual, and rare within the craft beer community.


Firestone Walker SLOambic Release Nov. 15

Firestone-Walker-SLOambicNext up from Firestone Walker is the final Barrelworks Liberation release of 2014, featuring SLOambic. Ready to release on Saturday, November 15, this is Sour Opal fermented in French oak barrels with 1500 lbs of ollallieberries, finishing at 5.7% ABV.

Release info is TBA, stay tuned.

Commercial description:

In 2009, Masterblender Jim Crooks, found a peculiar sounding fruit called the Ollalieberry, grown in San Luis Obispo County (SLO), California, home to our brewery. Pronounced oh-la-leh berry, this large blackberry-resembling fruit was first bred in Oregon, but flourishes in California. The discovery led to Jim’s creation of a delicious beer we call SLOambic. For this vintage, 1500 lbs. of berries were added to Sour Opal, a beer matured 18 months in French oak barrels, then fermented using our proprietary blend of microflora for an additional 4 months. Bursting with ripe berries, brambles, as well as jam, the fruit eventually gives way to a tease of funky yeast, spicy oak, and a robust mouth-watering acidity. Dark, brooding, yet bright, we herald in our first bottling of SLOambic. A Santé! 5.7% ABV

Hill Farmstead Art Release Oct. 22

Hill Farmstead LogoHill Farmstead Arthur fans, rejoice! The barrel-aged treatment of their flagship farmhouse ale is upon us again, as Art is ready to launch at the retail shop on Wednesday, October 22 at noon. This particular release is seen few and far between, so don’t sleep if you have designs on landing a bottle.

The details:

  • $40 per 750mL bottle
  • Limit 1 per person
  • Clara (grisette) will also be available – $10 per 750mL bottle, limit 2 cases per person

Hill Farmstead Brewery is located at 403 Hill Road in Greensboro, VT.

NoDa Monstro Bottle Release Nov. 1

NoDa Monstro Imperial StoutNoDa Brewing Company is dropping some exciting news on us these days, with Monstro bottles slated to drop at the brewery on Saturday, November 1 at 10am. This is a whale (pun intended, I’m sorry) of a Russian Imperial Stout aged in those fabled Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels your grandfather keeps telling you about, finishing at 11.2% ABV.

The details:

  • $18 per 22oz bottle
  • Limit 1 case per person

Commercial description:

Neptune said to the sea there should be a terrible Monstro, born from its darkest depths. It should be stout with the strength of a whale. This is that beer…of toasted barley mass, rounded out by the vanillas, molasses and oak of bourbon barrel aging. Enjoy the deep. 11.2% ABV

NoDa Brewing Company is located at 2229 N Davidson St in Charlotte, NC.

Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Maple Stout & Barrel-Aged Narwhal Release Today

Barrel-Aged NarwhalHappen to find yourself in Chico or Berkeley today? You’re in luck – Sierra Nevada will be dropping bottles and draft of Barrel-Aged Maple Stout and Barrel-Aged Narwhal TODAY at their Chico Brewery Gift Shop (10am), as well as the Torpedo Room in Berkeley (11am). While the bourbon barrel spin on Narwhal will see limited national distribution “in what should be a few weeks,” BA Maple Stout will exclusively be available at the brewery only. Have fun, I’m jealous.

The details:

  • 22oz bottles and draft of both will be available
  • Limit 4 bottles of BA Maple Stout per person (subject to change)

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is located at 1075 East 20th Street in Chico, CA. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room is located at 2031 4th Street in Berkeley, CA.

Upright Single Cask Late Harvest On Sale Today

upright-single-cask-late-harvestChalk another Sole Composition release up for Upright Brewing. The next installment in their series of limited, small-batch beers is Single Cask Late Harvest, hitting the tasting room today when doors open at 4:30pm. This is a single-cask bottling of their Late Harvest saison from 2013 which has been resting in a California syrah barrel. No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – 45 bottles produced.

Price and limit TBA.

Commercial description:

Late Harvest was a larger annual release that revolved around a malty saison base with a rotating set of botanicals/spices and barrel-aging. The 2013 brew was reduced to only three casks, all previously used for California syrah. Because they are showing individual character, we decided to keep them separate in single cask bottlings. This is the first of those (the remaining two are continuing an extended maturation). The brew used whole lemons for a big citric acidity, and muna muna, a minty and earthy herb collected in the mountains of northern Argentina that is traditionally used as a digestive tea or flavorful adition to yerba mate. The beer warms to a tart, layered profile where the syrah shows smoothly on the finish. 7% ABV

Upright Brewing is located at 240 N Broadway #2 in Portland, OR.

Surly Darkness Day 2014 Set for Oct. 25

Surly Darkness 2014It’s almost here. Darkness Day 2014 is all set to descend upon Surly Brewing Company on Saturday, October 25 from 11am to 5:30pm. Veterans will note the lines typically begin the day before, with bottle sharing and revelry lasting all night until the sun breaks on one of the regions largest craft beer releases.

Some of the more pertinent details are still TBA (such as draft beer list, Darkness bottle limit and wristband info), but here’s what we have so far straight from Surly (UPDATED 10/20):

Beer list coming soon!

Darkness Tappings (ONLY outside): Barrel aged and non-barrel aged Darkness will be tapped at both outside locations at 1, 2, 3 and 4pm.

We’ll also be pouring The Devil’s Work, Todd the Axe Man, Damien, Cacao Bender, Overrated, Hell, Furious and Cynic.

AND we have a few special casks for you to try:
* Non-barrel aged Darkness dry-hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo
* Damien dry-hopped with Chinook and aged on Red Oak
* Overrated dry-hopped with Chinook
* Mole Bender (Bender with cacao nibs, vanilla, ancho and chipotle peppers and aged on oak)

Beer tickets are $5. CASH ONLY.

Food Trucks:
6am – 11am:
Chef Shack

11am – 5:30pm:
Chef Shack, Red River Kitchen (Republic’s food truck), Stanley’s On Wheels, Asian Invasion, Groveland Confections, Natedogs and AZ Canteen.

Live Music:
God Came From Space
Oozing Wound

Darkness swag including chalices, posters, and shirts featuring 2014 Darkness art by Erica Williams, as well as other Surly swag will be available for purchase. Erica Williams will be signing artwork from 2-3pm in the Taproom.

Purchasing Darkness Bottles:
More details regarding wristbands and bottles coming soon.

1,500 wristbands for Darkness bottles will be given out on a first come first serve basis. Darkness bottles are $20 each, CASH ONLY, with a limit of 6 bottles per wristband.

Darkness wristbands will be color-coded and marked with your purchasing time. The bottle purchasing line is no longer in the brewery, it has moved just down the street to a warehouse near the corner of 48th Ave. N. and Drew Ave. N. Don’t worry, it’ll be clearly marked on the day of the event. Please remain within the event grounds until it is your specified purchasing time. No loitering in the street or around the warehouse will be tolerated.

If you miss your allotted time, you will be able to enter up until 2:30pm to purchase bottles. If there are extra bottles after the initial sales, you will be able to buy up to four bottles of Darkness starting at 3pm (while quantities last, which typically is not long).

Surly’s neighbors have been gracious enough to let us use their parking lots. Don’t make a mess. Overflow parking is available at Caribou across Hwy. 100. Limited bike parking is available for those of you who are hardcore enough to go green. Look for it on the North side of 48th and Drew. If you need to leave your car here, no problem. Please have it moved by Sunday morning or it will be towed.

Must be 21+ to enter unless accompanied by parent. No tickets needed. DON’T SHOW UP BEFORE 3:30pm on Friday! If you do we will ask you to leave. Neighboring businesses will still be open and we want to respect their space and employees. Any tents/structures that are up during daylight hours will not be allowed. We will have volunteers helping with the line overnight. Please follow their direction as they can blackball you from the event if you don’t. As always, be safe and arrange a ride or take a taxi home.

Pro Tip:
The event always thins out later in the afternoon. Come on out in the afternoon to enjoy the free bands and the brewery.

Surly Brewing Company is located at 4811 Dusharme Dr in Brooklyn Center, MN.

Avery Antonius’ Carmen Bottle Release Oct. 26

Avery_Antonius_CarmenIf it’s more barrel-aged wild ales you want, then that’s what you’re going to get from Avery Brewing Company. Barrel-Aged Series #23 is on the horizon, with Antonius’ Carmen ready to roll on Sunday, October 25 at 1pm. This is a sour ale aged in Madeira barrels (new one for me), coming in at 7.72% ABV.

The details:

  • $12 per 12oz bottle
  • Bottle limit TBA (typically 12 per person)
  • 291 cases produced*
  • Rare beers on tap beginning at 11am

Avery Brewing Company is located at 5763 Arapahoe Ave in Boulder, CO.

*Amount quoted by Avery, which is different from the label pictured above

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