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.
It’s always fun to get recognized for being the best! We’re excited to announce that our U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club has been chosen as the best beer club in America by the online men’s lifestyle magazine, Mantelligence. In fact, of the eight beer clubs on their list, Microbrewed Beer of the Month Club membership options were awarded three spots!
Mantelligence pointed to our rigorous selection process and high quality beer selections as key differentiators between us and the competition, as well as the ability to create custom memberships combining our beer club options with any or all of our five other top quality clubs (Wine, Cheese, Cigars, Chocolate, and Flowers). Check out Mantelligence’s list of the Best Beer of the Month Clubs.
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.
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.
This month’s featured Space Ace Oddity is bottle-conditioned with Brettanomyces, which adds significant layering of tropical flavors and aromatics to that beer. I recently finished reading a sample copy of Michael Tonsmeire’s American Sour Beers (Brewers Publications), which heads into a serious and wisely focused study into how the most influential U.S. sour-beer brewers are handling things like different combinations of Brett strains and souring bacteria, aging on wood (and elsewhere), spontaneous fermentation (and wild-yeast wrangling), and a great deal of the process-based nuance and personal flair that goes into making these complex beers. It also has a detailed section about how ten key places—New Belgium, Jolly Pumpkin, Russian River, Lost Abbey / Pizza Port, Cambridge, Captain Lawrence, The Bruery, Cascade, Ithaca, and Allagash—approach sour beer production (including production-schedule flowcharts).
It’s pretty geeky and glorious stuff. And, in the context of The Rare Beer Club, many of these are familiar names. I rummaged through my collection of rare empties to see what I’d tasted and kept around that was mentioned in the book, snapping photos for Instagram, obviously, but my oldest experiences with at least a few formative beers in the book came from orders I must have placed with The Rare Beer Club like a dozen years ago. My first taste of Pizza Port Cuvee de Tomme—a hugely influential beer with raisin puree, sour cherries, and three house strains of Brettanomyces, created by Tomme Arthur—was through The Rare Beer Club back in March 2005. Ditto for Rodenbach Grand Cru, a feature in January 2006, and Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire (August 2007) and Weizen Bam (July 2008). Either I or someone else in our DC tasting crew snagged it via The Rare Beer Club. While I’d shortly thereafter leave the country and subsist on Nicaraguan lager for a number of long months, these and similarly formative beers were a big part of why I started writing about the drink professionally when I got back. If you’ve been digging the sour stuff for a bit—Tonsmeire’s book offers top-notch nostalgia.