Like many other residents in Michiana, we lost our power during the recent storm. It’s amazing how much I take for granted, like drinking a hot cup of coffee, charging my cell phone or turning on my computer to write a blog post for Hop Notes. Chalet Party Shoppe on Chicago Avenue in Goshen did have power, so I stopped in to see what was new on the store’s shelves.
Eric Strader writes about the craft beer scene in Indiana and Michigan. He’s a dad, husband, potter, soccer coach and special education paraprofessional who likes to read, bike, hike and canoe. You can read more from him in his community blog
for The Elkhart Truth, Hop Notes
Here is some of what I found:
Founders Devil Dancer (triple IPA, 12 percent ABV, IBUs 112)
This gem is only available for a very short time and was released in June. There are still a few bottles on the shelf, and if you are a hop head, this is a tasty treat you will probably enjoy.
Flat 12 Hinchtown Hammer Down (German Pilsener, 5 percent ABV, IBUs 27)
Although I have not had this offering from Flat 12, I have enjoyed most beer from the brewery. I believe this is the first time I have seen a Flat 12 beer in cans. The brewery is joining the ranks of many others making canned brews a choice for beer lovers.
Rivertown Brewery Lil Sipa (IPA, 4.5 percent ABV, IBUs 55)
Here’s another canned beer choice for your summer. This Ohio brewery has combined Citra, Galaxy, Columbus, and Cascade hops to create a big flavorful session IPA.
Sun King Popcorn Pilsner (5.1 percent ABV, IBUs 40)
The brew was the winner of the silver medal in the International-Style Pilsener Category at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. This also is a seasonal beer, so when it’s gone there will be no more until next year.
Bloomington Brewing Company Rooftop IPA (7.4 percent ABV, IBUs 80)
This beer is from Indiana’s oldest brewery, and it’s the first time Bloomington has released a bottled beer into distribution. The brewery announced this back in March, but it was only last week that I was able to enjoy this for the first time. It is dry hopped with Cascade hops, and although it is not an incredibly aggressive IPA, it is a very enjoyable beer.
New Belgium/Three Floyds Gratzer (4.5 percent ABV, IBUs 30)
Gratzer is a Polish-style beer that was developed prior to “lagering” – the process of fermenting and storing beer at cool temperatures. It is brewed with mostly oak-smoked wheat malt, which gives it a hint of sourness. Both New Belgium and Three Floyds are very respectable breweries, although the label is a bit dark. According to New Belgium’s website, it has “unearthed the best of beer zombies.”
New Belgium/Odell Brewing Focollaboration (pale ale, 6.75 percent ABV, IBUs 55)
Here is another collaboration from New Belgium in which it teamed up with fellow Fort Collins brewery Odell Brewing. Although these two breweries are less than a mile apart, this is the first time they have collaborated on a beer.
“Over the years we’ve shared everything from laughter, to beers, to perspective,” New Belgium Brewing CEO Kim Jordan said in a press release. “FOCOllaboration celebrates that camaraderie and the mutual respect of being a couple of brewers who grew up together in the same neighborhood.”
Stone Brewing Ruin 10 (imperial IPA, 10.8 percent ABV, IBUs 110)
This beer was first released by Stone in 2012 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their Ruination IPA. They pack a full 5 lbs of hops into each barrel, and now offer it once a year. I can clearly remember my first bottle of this shared two years ago in Ann Arbor, MI with my college roommate who was visiting the States from his home in Austria.
Stone Collective Distortion (double IPA, 9.3 percent ABV)
Stone added a musical dimension to this collaboration by bringing two guests into the brewhouse: Kyle Hollingsworth, keyboardist of hippy jam band String Cheese Incident, and Kerri Kelli, hard rock guitarist of Alice Cooper fame. This is probably a one-time release using some historically traditional ingredients such as coriander and elderberries, along with a new Australian hop. I am really looking forward to opening this one.
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and Anchorage Brewing’s Calabaza Boreal (saison/farmhouse, 7 percent ABV)
Lastly, I just got word from Chalet Party Shoppe that they received two cases of the Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales/Anchorage Brewing collaboration, Calabaza Boreal. I have been keeping my eye out for this release, and I’m really glad it is available in Michiana. The C.R. 17 store location should have it by Wednesday, and Cassopolis Street and the two Goshen stores should have it by this weekend. Even at $14.99 for a 750 milliliter bottle, with only two cases available these will not last long.
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