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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • The Beer Nut: New beers from Harpoon and others

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  • It’s time to empty the ol’ email inbox and catch up on some news and notes from the world of beer.
    With the change of seasons (at least in brewery seasons) a bunch of new beers will be hitting liquor store shelves in the next few weeks.
    The Harpoon Brewery in Boston has its annual release of the Grateful Harvest Ale. It’s brewed with New England cranberries and is a perfect accompaniment for a Thanksgiving meal.
    And the best part of the beer is that for every six-pack of Grateful Ale sold, Harpoon will donate $1 to food banks in the area where the beer was purchased. Since its first release in 2010, Harpoon has donated $84,000 to local food banks.
    In addition, for every pint of Grateful Harvest sold at Harpoon’s Boston and Windsor, Vt., breweries, or for every pumpkin spice pretzel sold at Harpoon in Boston, $1 will be donated to a local food bank.
    Guinness & Co., producers of the most famous stout in the world, has announced the release of an all-new fall beer, Red Harvest Stout, which is in stores now.
    The new stout is described as “mildly sweet,” with a “velvety taste and deep red hue.” It is brewed with roasted barley and Irish malt.
    Red Harvest Stout comes in at a light 4.1 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), and is available in four-packs of 14.9-ounce cans that have a nitrogen widget that gives the beer a smooth feel in your mouth. You should be able to find it for around $9 a four-pack.
    Portland, Ore.’s Widmer Brothers Brewing’s Brrrr Seasonal Ale is coming back to stores in the next few weeks.
    This beer is a hoppy red ale that comes in at a hefty 7.2 percent ABV. It is brewed with four different hops and five different malts.
    “Brrr is a beer that our brewing team wanted to drink during cooler months, and was definitely influenced by the Northwest’s’ love of hoppy beers,” said brewer Doug Rehberg in a press release.
    Brrr is available through January and is available on draft, in six-, 12- or 24-packs, as well as in the Widmer Brothers Brothers’ Best variety pack.
    One of my favorite breweries, Victory Brewing Company, has a new double IPA called DirtWolf.
    DirtWolf is a fabulous beer – the hop aroma is absolutely amazing. Victory uses whole flower hops, rather than hop pellets, and the 8.7 percent ABV is perfectly balanced with the German malts.
    The DirtWolf is also the first of Victory’s beers to be released in four-packs rather than the traditional six-pack. If you’re a hophead, seek this beer out now.
    One of the most notorious beers to hit liquor store shelves lately is the Rogue Ales’ Beard Beer.
    Page 2 of 2 - Here’s the story behind the beer. Last year, Rogue was sending some samples to a lab to see if they had any fermentable yeast. As a joke, they included a sample of longtime brewer John Maier’s beard beer. He has been rocking a beer for several decades, and low and behold, some fermentable yeast took residence in his bushy face hair.
    So Rogue decided to harvest that yeast, and they brewed the Beard Beer, a beer that piqued some people’s curiosity as it repulsed others.
    How is it? It’s OK. It’s a Belgian golden ale, and the yeast harvested from Maier’s beard gives it a slightly funky flavor. It’s more of a gimmick than anything. It’s worth trying once just so you can say you tried it.
    As a fellow man of the beard, I’ll make this offer to any brewer – if you want to test my beard for yeast and want to brew a beer from it, give me a call, we’ll work out a deal.
    Norman Miller is a MetroWest (Mass.) Daily News staff writer. Email nmiller@wickedlocal.com or call 508-626-3823. Check out the Beer Nut blog at blogs.wickedlocal.com/beernut. Follow him on Twitter at @realbeernut or on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/beernutnorman. Also check out The Beer Nut on Facebook.

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