Our September Rare Beer Club Exclusive, Vérifiez vos Fruits!, a sour fruited Belgian strong ale aged in merlot oak barrels, was just blended. Brandon is quite pleased with how it’s progressing. We know you’re going to dig this one.
So you didn’t win the grand prize in our recent beer naming contest with Yazoo and are weeping tears of sorrow into your freshly poured glass of Space Ace Oddity. Am I right? A bit of a tangent first. Did you dig that beer as much as I did? A fellow craft beer lover and vendor we work with sent me a bottle a year or so ago when it was first introduced to a very limited Michigan market and I was genuinely floored which doesn’t happen much these days. Really, really love that beer and hope you did too.
So on with the good news. You’ve got one more chance this year to win a 6 month, 2-bottle membership to The Rare Beer Club by naming our next exclusive beer, brewed by none other than craft beer legend Ron Jeffries at Jolly Pumpkin!
Ron wasn’t sure he could work us into his production schedule this year when I first pinged him in the new year, but then he reached out a couple months back and asked if I was still interested because he was kicking around a Blackberry Pumpkin Saison recipe that would work nicely in October. It took all of a nanosecond for me to concur that this was indeed a primo idea.
We’ve done 6 exclusives with Jolly Pumpkin over the last 23 years and in all honesty…No seriously, I really mean it…They all kicked ass. You will not be disappointed and it will indeed be an honor to have been the one to name it so put down your device, bust out a yellow pad and start noodling on some ideas.
Wait. Don’t power down just yet. Are you still there? There’s some stuff you gotta know first.
The beer is a 7.0% Spelt Saison that’s been aged for 7 months in oak foeders which will contribute spice, and sour fruit notes developed through barrel aging and naturally occurring Brettanomyces yeast and Lactobacillus bacteria. Perle, Vanguard and Southern Cross hops were used along with pilsner malts and spelt to make the beer. A pumpkin and blackberry puree was added to the oak foeders 3 months into their resting period.
Here’s another secret squirrel tip. The last 5 JP beers featured were named Ursae Majoris, Los Vivos y Los Muertos, Rosie Del Barrio, Lupulo de Hielo, and Biere de Goord so you could say there seems to be a bias toward foreign language based names. Don’t let me stifle your creativity baby. Run with what feels good. I’m just sayin’…
Here’s what you need to know to play, good people of Gotham.
Entering the Beer Naming Contest
Although the new beer will only be available to members of The Rare Beer Club, both members and non-members are invited to enter the contest and submit up to three names for the new beer. The contest officially begins on Monday, June 26th, 2017. Entrants will have until 2 pm PDT on Monday, July 17th, to submit up to three names. That gives you a week to think about each name! You can do this!
Finalists will be chosen by The Rare Beer Club and Jolly Pumpkin on July 20th, at which time contestants, club members, and the general public can vote for their favorite name. The winning entry will be announced on Wednesday, July 26th and the contest winner will receive a 6-month, 2-bottle membership to The Rare Beer Club.
To receive this special beer, and many more, join the Rare Beer Club online or call 800-625-8238. Be sure to start your membership by October 2017, or earlier, to receive this exclusive beer from Jolly Pumpkin.
Can we talk about sours for a minute here? You’ve no doubt noticed an uptick in sour beer production over the last few years. And quite a few of them are pretty approachable even for those who haven’t previously enjoyed them. Seems like every time we put a sour up to another beer in any given month, the sour is considerably more popular.
Of our 24 annual selections, we’ve run anywhere from 4-6 sours each year over the last 3 years. Thinking about doing more, but we want to make sure we’re keeping everyone happy as much as possible. One way to do it is to offer more sours via special offers. In fact, we’re thinking an ALL SOUR special offer. Okay, so we’re not just thinking it, we’re doing it. Anybody heard of O’so Brewing Company in Plover, WI? I hadn’t until one of the guys on our SEO team sent me a bottle of Space Ace Oddity, a one off run of a brett-fermented double dry-hopped Belgian white IPA made to commemorate the work of David Bowie. Really nice beer. We liked it so much that we’re having them brew us another batch just for our members which will be featured in May this year. But we’re talkin’ about sours here, right? Right. Marc Buttera, founder, CEO and super cool cat, sent me a care package like I have not received in a few years that included twelve 750s, half of them pretty damned amazing sours. It was really hard to pick just 4, but we suffered through it and are running with the following in our July 2017 RBC special offer:
On top of that, we’ve already got 7 sours slotted for 2017 and are looking to lock down on an 8th, including offerings from AleSong, Mystic, Panil, Sudwerk and an exclusive from Jolly Pumpkin.
I’d love to hear any and all thoughts you have on the direction we’re taking!
Wanna win a 6 month, 2-bottle membership to The Rare Beer Club® Of course you do. Who wouldn’t? Well, you’re going to have to do some work then, okay? You good with that part? It’s kind of important that you’re good with that part. Although, it’s not really work if you generally associate work with things that aren’t fun. Trust me, you can have fun with this one. One of the past winners of this particular project was an 8.5% smoked Dopplebock that was given one of my all time all-time favorite names…Prostator!
We need help naming a beer people.
This contest is our annual collaboration with Pints for Prostates, and this year Rick has secured Yazoo Brewing and the celebrated head of their sour program, Brandon Jones, to create a beer to help PFP educate dudes about getting properly screened for prostate cancer. Suffice to say…It’s a really worthy cause.
It’s always fun to jump on a call with a brewer and see what kind of creative ideas they’re kickin’ around on their pilot system or what glorious goodness awaits in a barrel program. Talking to Brandon didn’t disappoint. In his words, “I have a batch of an incredible merlot french oak barrel aged aged sour and Brettanomyces Belgian Golden Strong ale we are going to fruit with a combo of blackberries, tart cherries and raspberries. The base beer before fruit is showing nice character of pepper, dark fruit, and bright lemon lime.”
There was a long pause on the call and then Rick and I simultaneously and resoundingly said, “WE’RE IN”!
Suffice to say, it’s gonna be a pretty sweet offering and we’re really fired up about it.
Here’s what you need to know to play kids.
Although the new beer will only be available to members of The Rare Beer Club, both members and non-members are invited to enter the contest and submit up to three names for the new beer. The contest officially begins on Wednesday, May 24th, 2017. Entrants will have until 2 pm PDT on Monday, June 12th, to submit up to three names.
Finalists will be chosen by The Rare Beer Club, Pints for Prostates, and Yazoo Brewing Company on Wednesday, June 14th, at which time contestants, club members, and the general public can vote for their favorite name. The winning entry will be announced on Thursday, June 22nd and the contest winner will receive a 6-month, 2-bottle membership to The Rare Beer Club.
To receive this special beer, and many more, join The Rare Beer Club online or call 800-625-8238. Be sure to start your membership by September 2017, or earlier, to receive this exclusive beer from Yazoo Brewing Company.
We’ve been kicking around the idea of running 2-3 beers a year in The Rare Beer Club that are not packaged in 750ml bottles, but rather 22 oz. bottles for quite some time now. There are some pretty sweet beers out there that are only packaged in 22s and ultimately, it would open up that many more breweries and beers as prospective features. Think special offers or RBC exclusives from Shmaltz Brewing Company like Funky Jewbelation or Cigar City’s Marshal Zhukov’s Penultimate Push, an 11.5% Imperial Stout with Coffee and Vanilla.
Most recently, we’ve been presented with a special offering from Humboldt Brewing Company. Specifically, they sent us a couple bottles of 2015 Black Xantus, an 11% Imperial Stout infused with fair-trade, organic coffee from a local roaster, Jobella, and aged for 6 months in a combination of Bourbon, retired Firestone Union and wine barrels. It’s taken the gold at the Denver International Beer Competition and US Open Beer Championship and boasts a 99 overall rating on RateBeer.
The short of it is, we loved it. A lot. It poured opaque with a dense light brown head. The nose showed big roasted and chocolate malt contributions, coffee, and toffee, all on a notable malty molasses backdrop. The nose was a solid representation of the flavor profile: Dark caramel, molasses malty goodness, chocolate malt, coffee, and roasted malt. And with nearly a couple years in the bottle, some sherry notes started to emerge. This baby’s only going to get better with time. Mouthfeel was viscous as hell and body was full.
Anyway, we liked it enough to put it out there to our members to see how you’d feel if a couple times a year one of your Rare Beer Club bottles was in a bomber (22 oz.) rather than a 750ml (roughly 25 oz.). We’re talking about 3 ounces less beer, but in our humble opinion, well worth the trade-off.