Idea for Beer Releases: Release Components of Blended Beers

Thought of this idea with the recent Lost Abbey release of Track #2, the second release in its Box Set series set for monthly releases. While Track #1 was a new beer to begin with, Track #2 was a blend, and an interesting blend at that: 60% Bourbon Angels Share spiked with peaches, 20% Cuvee de Tomme, and 20% of Project X (Wild Fermentation Projection). I have not had two of these beers, the peach-infused Angels Share, and this Project X and it would have been nice to taste the individual components that went into these beers.

My suggestion then is for breweries to release in (super small amounts), the individual components that go into a blend. I’m thinking just 2 oz samples of each, and charge a little bit more on top of the beer purchase. For instance, Track #2, with 3 2oz samples of the individual components of the blend go for an additional $5. This could be an educational tool for the consumer as well, getting to taste the individual beers that went into the blend and gain a better appreciation for the brewmaster’s blending process.

Firestone Walker had done this exact concept with its 15th Anniversary release. A blend of multiple beers, Firestone Walker had put together “15 Deconstructed” an event in Los Angeles that offered every individual beer that went into the final blended anniversary beer.

The downside to this proposition is that it will lower the total yield for the final release. Especially so with these Track beers from Lost Abbey, which are super limited to release with, I am not sure if this concept is even conceivable. As a beer geek, I’d like to gain a better knowledge of the product I am enjoying, and with something like my proposition above, it would be a great opportunity to gain some knowledge in the trial and process that beer blending is.

Cheers!

-Manny O.

I’m going to head over to KnB Wine Cellars this evening. $3 beers!

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2012 Beer Trends

I know I may be a little late to the game on this one, but with over 90% of 2012 left, thought I’d share my thoughts/predictions for what this year has in store for craft beer.

Beer style on the up? Berliner Weisse. Very limited and with few breweries actually producing sour beer, I think that the style will receive more attention this year, especially in the summer months. Low in alcohol, (under 5%) it is light, refreshing, tart, and with fruit or syrup additions, it’ll gain more female appeal.

Breweries will take greater control and have differing methods of releasing highly limited and pricy beers. With Stone last year, releasing the first of its 500mL barrel aged beers to have a raffle benefiting charity, Stone was able to allow more people a shot at the beer, escape the mayhem of hundreds of beer geeks lining in front of the brewery, and also benefit a local charity. There will be differing methods, The Reserve Society put on The Bruery is also a different avenue by buying into an annual membership that gives you rights to exclusive beers and events. Flying Dog, out of Maryland recently adopted a similar membership idea with their Junto Society. More local, The Lost Abbey, took a drastic step in their release of their monthy “Track #’s” beers. By limiting beers to be an on-site consumption only and not allowing any distribution, Lost Abbey was able to eliminate any second hand beer market or trading. Whether it is raffle, exclusive memberships, or limiting beer to be draft or on-site consumption only, I think breweries will take greater control in releasing sought after beers.

Lastly, beer mixology? Hmm.. not buying it, but what I do think may be on the rise is beer mixing. Weird for sure, mixing two different styles of beers in hopes of incorporating both flavor inputs. Mix an oatmeal stout with a vanilla infused wheat beer? Vanilla chocolate stout sure does sound awesome and more or less, that’s the result when you can find combinations that will work. Beer mixing is not going to huge, but I can see a few restaurants/bars advertising certain beer only cocktails on their menu. 

Cheers,

Manny O. (the younger)