Caleb's Beer Notes 4.17.18

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I owe you an apology. With the beautiful weather we’ve had lately, I was under the impression Spring was here, hence the reason why I’ve been keeping you informed on a variety of warmer weather offerings. But it was all a lie. Winter was always here and was just playing a cruel trick on us, awaiting for the moments we dusted the mowers off, planted the sunshine sensitive plants and traded your fur coats in, so it could come out of nowhere and slap you in the face, stomp on your plants and spill coffee all over  you coat. There’s no better way to remedy this delayed seasonal depression than with Atwater Vanilla Java Coconut Porter. If you read the name of this beer out loud, you’ll conclude that the name says it all. This is one of the few porters that, due to its light body and sweet vanilla finish (and now coconut vanilla finish), does well year round. The coconut variant is very limited and will taste great weather it’s frost bite or sunshine.

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One of the most entertaining aspects of beer is discovering what new, random ingredients they can use in its creation. How many beers have you had that include the aphrodisiac Floridian state flower known as Orange Blossom (the Barry White of flowers in the botany industry)? Often used in Middle Eastern and French cuisines, this is the main ingredient in the new Gypsy Circus Cider Lotus  Dreamer variant. If that’s not tasty enough, they also infuse vanilla at the end to give this cider a pseudo orange cream sickle flavor. It’s unique. And delicious. And in kegs and package. And it’s the only TN brewery that uses apples grown in TN and sources nothing from other states.  

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It’s no secret that many of you reading this have worked as a French farmer at one point in your life, which means you’ve had your fair share of saisons to drink. While most, traditionally, are between 6%-7.5% abv, there are some that are brewed with sessionability (not a real word) in mind. Ommegang Short Sleeve falls in this category. Maintaining a delicate balance of dryness, spice and fruit, this 4.5% saison is a great option for those who love Hennepin, but want to drink twice as much. 

When you think about the origins of pink lemonade, you probably trace it to someone’s grandma who soaked strawberries in a pitcher and served it to the underprivileged farmer’s kids after school. Well, you’re in for a rude awakening: It actually is the creation of a circus vendor who, after selling his whole stock of it during a busy night, needed to make a new last minute batch. There was no running water or a well, so he, like any sane, sanitary person, used a tub that was reserved for washing the red tights of the performers, hence giving the lemonade its pink hue. Now that your palate is watering, it’s time for me tell you that Harpoon just released their Pink Lemonade Shandy. This beer is special because it’s one of the few shandy’s not made in a tub, which could be a turn off to some of you. If you’ve had their past releases such as Big Squeeze Orange Shandy and enjoyed it (according to past sales, many of you did), then you’ll like this. 

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There is a famous story about an old blues player named Robert Johnson, who sold his soul to the devil in order to achieve success. There is another Robert Johnson who owns a honey farm in Goodlettsville, whose honey is so good that you’d probably think he sold his soul to an evil deity to achieve such recipes. The farm actually comes from his great grandfather and it’s been in the family for over a century. This information is relevant because this local honey is used in Honky Tonk’s King Bee Blonde. This is an actual blonde that has an actual natural honey taste, similar to what you’d find in mead, but not as heavy and much easier to drink. Now in package and keg.

Also, check out Stone Exalted IPA, Southern Prohibition Strawberry Saison, Terrapin Tea Time Berliner, Cigar City Guayabera Citra Pale and Jolly Pumpkin/Jester King Collab called Gamma Deluxe.