The wonderful world of sweet wet delicious gold is always changing and forever evolving. Some mainstream makers mix things up with special brews and seasonal recipes. While other local labels become folklore legends by imaging and producing small batches of artisan brews. This week Liquid Lunch focuses on Massachusetts' very own urban legend and brewing label Tree House Brewing. We also discover something new out in old Newport and find out what Sam Adams is mixing and matching.
Tree House Brewing's Bright
For well over a year I've been hearing about this mythical brewery out in the woods in Mass were beer lovers come from all over to wait in exorbitant lines just to get a taste. Stories have spread far and wide about otherwise rational beer lovers becoming irrational waiting for hours for a fill. Turning their friends, colleagues and even their own grandparents into beer mules forcing them to wait patiently for their expensive ration. I am proud to say I have never suffered such a fate. However it took me years to finally get my hands on a can of Tree House.
After hearing all the legends when I cracked that first can of Bright an American double IPA coming in at 7.8% ABV I prepared myself for what I was told would be a life changing experience. It wasn't. Now please don't misunderstand it was delicious. The grapefruit, clementine papaya notes greatly complimented the mosaic hops. Bright featured very little bitterness and had a sweet juicy aftertaste. It is an easy beer to simply relax with and sip.
So what's the problem? Although tasty the long lines and primarily the rising price of their brews on the trade market reaching fees of over $10 per can have put this beer makers product in an precarious position. Their legend has become so bold so legendary that it might very well be impossible to live up to. It's like growing up idolizing your favorite ball player or movie star only to later meet them and discover that they are not that extraordinary after all.
The issue has been that Tree House can not put out enough product to satisfy the masses. This for them has been a great problem to have. They can charge what they want and their legend continues to grow as thirsty craft drinkers everywhere dream of drinking from their cans. However the craft beer whores out there (such as myself) sleep easy at night knowing that the beer gods have provided us with high quality options with shorter lines and higher yields.
Overall Tree House Brewing's Bright gets 4 stars out of 5.
Tree House has recently completed building their new state of the art facility in Charlton Mass which should ease the market and the back of granny beer mules across the area.
Samuel Adams Launches Brewing the American Dream Collaboration Pack
To celebrate the independent and entrepreneurial spirit of the craft beer industry, Samuel Adams has collaborated with five different breweries across the country to brew a limited release 12-pack for the first-time ever, aptly named The Brewing the American Dream Collaboration Pack. From bartenders to chefs, the collaborative spirit of "craft" is stronger than ever. No industry better exudes this spirit than the craft brewing community, where independent brewers put aside competition to collaborate creatively and challenge each other to push the envelope.
Unlike any other beer collaborations before, this pack features brewers who are part of Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, the brewery's signature philanthropic program. Nearly a decade ago, Sam Adams created Brewing the American Dream to provide loans and coaching to craft brewers and small business owners pursuing their passions and the American Dream of starting their own business. All profits from this collaboration pack will be donated to non-profit program partner and small business lender Accion to support loans to food and beverage entrepreneurs nationwide.
The pack's five brewers - Roc Brewing Co. (Rochester, NY), Bosque Brewing (Albuquerque, NM), ChuckAlek Independent Brewers (Ramona, CA), Woods Beer Co. (San Francisco, CA) and Brewery Rickoli (Wheat Ridge, CO) – have participated in the program and received a loan to kick start or grow their craft breweries. And most have participated in the Brewing and Business Experienceship, receiving individual coaching from the team at Sam Adams.
"This pack represents the independent spirit, passion and collaboration that is core to our craft beer industry," said Sam Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. "We're proud to have collaborated with these creative and passionate brewers in a way that allows us to continue to pay it forward and empower fellow independent craft brewers to be successful and to grow."
The pack, which contains five unique collaboration beers and Sam Adams' flagship Boston Lager, hits stores nationally in late July.
Newport's Newest Storm
Newport Storm’s is re-releasing LocAle! “While similar to the last version, the brewers couldn’t resist making interesting tweaks to this one”, says founder and president, Brent Ryan. Little changes have been made to this honey colored saison ale such as teaming up with another great local honey from Annie B’s Honey Farm. The finish is also drier than the last version, giving rise to more spicy character. Annette, a local bee keeper, turned her one hive into career of caring for over 80 hives that rest on two and a half acres in Cumberland, RI. It's her Clover Honey that adds a touch of sweetness to this golden ale.
The pure saison yeast worked around the clock like a busy bee creating hints of lemongrass, pepper and ginger. Golding, Equinox and Tettanger hops don't bitter this beer, but rather bring out fragrant aromas of apple and pear. Canada pale, Canada wheat and honey malts round out the brew for a balance.
LocAle is 7% ABV and is available in 4-packs and on draught starting the week of July, 17th! For more information on where you can track down this limited batch brew and all of Newport Storm’s beers go to NewportStorm.com or like Newport Storm Beer on Facebook. Interested in learning more about Annie B’s Honey Farm then check out their website or follow them on Facebook at @anniebsfarm.Cheers!
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