What’s up, friends? Something rad & new, that’s what. Moving forward, we’ll be giving a written flavor breakdown for each bimonthly special release sale. While you totally get a brief brief on each offering via the email newsletters, we’re diving deeper here, serving up juicy details, spilling the production tea, and providing bonus tasting notes from brew-wizards, production mavens, righteous collaborators, and the like. A wealth of glorious, otherwise-unknown tidbits await.
We’re kicking this new effort off with part one of September’s kickass lineup. This sale embodies the perfect party playlist: a mix of old school jams, new bangers, & a couple remixes that do their original iterations proud. A few of our heaviest hitters are back this time around, now with some new hop variations, plus another 375mL in the ultra-cool Radix cider series, some Germanic wonders to give us a real taste of fall (eat your heart out, PSL). Pull up a chair, don your fanciest reading spectacles, and get ready for a literary beer tasting.
Let’s start with Tentbier. This seriously well-loved pillar of our crispy program is a collaboration with the supremes at Heater Allen of McMinnville, Oregon, purveyors of some of the finest German & Czech-style beers in the game. This festbier is a cross between a Marzen (traditionally found at Oktoberfest) and a Weizen (a newer, paler beer now common on the Oktoberfest scene), making for a 5% amber golden, lighter-bodied beer that’s still splendidly malty,. You can expect a delightfully dry beer with notes of biscuit & hazelnut, balanced by honeysuckle & allspice. Lisa Allen (the Allen of Heater Allen) swung by Belmont for a little rooftop beer sesh with our PDX Head Brewer, Mat Sandoval, and confirmed that this batch of Tentbier is particularly dope. As Lisa so eloquently put it: “it’s crisp, clean, & easy drinking.”
Next, we’ll move on to Poly-Rythmo with Tettnang. We started this ultimate Italian-style (meaning brewed in the traditional pilsner fashion, but dry-hopped for an extra-bomb aroma profile) refresher with a base of Weyermann Bohemian Pilsner malt, a Czech-grown grain known for imparting complex, full-bodied maltiness, and a sprinkling of Carafoam. We then hopped it with two German varieties, Tettnang & Hallertau Mittelfrüh, on the hot side of things before going in again with a light dry-hopping of more Tettnang. The resulting 5.1% beer is an extremely quaffable yet pleasantly complex, deep gold, and slightly more robust than your average pils, with a lovely biscuity quality underscored by floral notes of jasmine, citrus, black tea, & the slightest hint of fresh-cut grass. It’s a stunning tapestry of all the best lager qualities, but beefed up in the best ways.
Now, it’s time to funk things up with Radix: Single Varietal Wickson Cider Aged in Sauvignon Blanc Barrels. Radix was our first ever cider, and to truly respect the beautiful, Oregon-grown apples, we used solely one variety: the Wickson. This magnificent juice was fermented with a collection of our house saison cultures, imparting a delightful funk that complements the tartness of the apples impeccably. This masterful work of cider-craft also spent 7 months in Acacia wood Sauvignon Blanc barrels, which, unlike their oak counterparts, yield floral characteristics, as opposed to a discernable woodiness. After being bottle conditioned with champagne yeast, this cider emerged dry, 8.4%, and delicately effervescent, with notes of pear & peach blossoms, juxtaposed with that familiar funk we know and love.
*INTERMISSION. PLEASE RETURN WITH A BEVERAGE WHEN THE LIGHTS FLASH*
Let us cross the tracks into dank territory. Sky Party was originally concocted by our PNW brewing badasses to celebrate the Modern Times expansion into the heavens with the opening of our rooftop party destination. This iteration of an already absurdly delicious DIPA is double dry-hopped—but this time, both hoppings were executed on the warm side (verus the typical one-cold-one-warm). The resulting Galaxy Sky Party is an astonishingly well rounded beer; it’s 8% and softer than its predecessors, starting with elegant notes of pear & lychee, followed by bright, citrusy hop character through the middle, and finishing tropical. An all around really, really beautiful beer.
The next checkpoint on this lupulin-laden trail is a beacon of Nelson radness. Stratos was originally brewed in collaboration with the wonderful humans at Alvarado Street (fun fact: Head Brewer, J.C., started his career slinging craft beer & rotisserie sandwiches here in San Diego before returning home to Monterey). We started off with malted oats, white wheat malt, and a touch or cararuby malt (which adds a unique color), then created a solid Mosaic hop base before loading it with fresh 2020 Nelson. Nelson Dry-Hopped Stratos is 8%, positively exploding with notes of passionfruit & red berry; a bona fide juice bomb of the highest order.
The penultimate flavor destination on this special release voyage is Extraordinary Times: West Coast IPA. IT’S CLEAR! At 7.2%, with 4 lbs/bbl of Idaho 7--plus Crystal, Mosaic, & Citra in the whirlpool--on a solid malt foundation of 2-row, Vienna, & Carafoam, this miracle of hop-craft is high carb with fluffy, cloud-like foam retention. It’s tasty in all the ways you’d expect a West Coast IPA would be (scrumptiously resinous & piney), but what’s surprising is the prominent fruit character that starts citrusy and finishes like fresh-sliced pineapple. As Leisuretown’s Production Manager, Brandon Castillo, remarked, “if you like sitting by the pool crankin’ foamers, this beer is for you.”
As we summit this momentous flavor peak, it’s time to experience a new spin on a certified hype-beast: Mosaic Hedge Witch. This legend of murk nobility has reigned supreme in the eyes of MT haze-fiends for some time now, and with all due respect to its original dankness, we’ve shifted the hop-focus from Citra to Mosaic. It’s opaque, golden, and super smooth--almost creamy. It's 9% and smells like a recent farmers’ market fruit haul, with notes of cherry & clementine, and drinks like perfectly ripe peaches and nectarines, with an orange twist. Also contributing to the epic newness of this crowd-pleaser: this batch was brewed in Anaheim. Considering new tank geometry & water chemistry, we’d be very interested to hear your take on this re-re-remix.
As always, feel free to hit us up via email with any questions, concerns, or profound findings. These beers will be up for grabs in part 1 of the September special release sale, which goes LIVE tomorrow morning (9/5) at 10AM. We are shocked & amazed at the caliber of beers our fantastic special projects ninjas & brew-sorcerers continually conjure, and it gives us a singular pleasure to be able to share them with you all. Stay excellent, friends.