Time for September Round 2. If you thought it was impossible for our special projects ninjas to reach even more dizzying heights of fermented delectability, you thought wrong, friend. For this next portion of September's singularly awesome special release lineup, we've got some seriously stellar beverage offerings up our sleeve: imperial stout singles (!!), two Extraordinary IPAs, multiple specimens of collaborative excellence, and the return of one of our most vaunted crispy bois.
Let’s get this party started with Abaddon. Originally brewed as a collaboration with the lager powerhouses at Wayfinder out of Portland, Oregon, this Helles has seen a meteoric rise through the ranks of crispy bois, and now boasts a residency in the hearts (or at least Top 5’s) of employee-owners & regulars alike. We started with German malts and tossed in conservative amounts of Hallertau Mittelfruh & Perle hops throughout the boil for light bittering & flavor. This beer was then "spunded" (which is where the CO2 produced during fermentation is used to naturally carbonate the beer) during the end of fermentation & lagered for over 3 weeks. This resulted in a magnificently complex beer with a malt profile of fresh bread & honey, light spice, and a delightfully mild floral quality from the hops. An important message from our PDX Head Brewer, Mat Sandoval: Shotguns are not the suggested means of consumption for this one; please enjoy it at a leisurely pace.
The next portion of our flavor journey is a slight detour through ciderville: Lost Times. This is the second version of a very special cider collaboration with the apple-sorcerers at Shacksbury in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. They specialize in pushing the cider-envelope, often using wild-harvested apples. For this batch, our friends surprised us with some super special pinkish-orange juice from red-fleshed apples. Our special projects ninjas were so shocked upon receiving said super special juice, they thought it was some kind of mistake. It totally wasn’t, and we’re convinced you’re going to experience a similar delighted surprise when you sip this rosy beauty. We kept it simple, fermenting the juice with any naturally occurring bugs in the cider, plus our house funky cultures before bottle-conditioning it on champagne yeast. The finished beverage is an effervescent marvel that drinks more like natural wine than cider, but still with the tannins & acidity you’d expect. The clear 750mL bottle is an unusual vessel choice for us, but we’d be remiss to not let that beautiful pinky hue have her moment.
Next up: Arcosanti. This stunning Portland-brewed fresh-hop IPA is a collaborative effort with some of our favorite Arizonians, Pueblo Vida, based out of Tucson, who have focused on using locally grown malts & hops since before it was cool. We’ve brewed Arcosanti a couple years running now (it medaled at the Fresh Hop Fest in Yakima last year, NBD), but we are unbelievably amped for its first canned iteration. For the unfamiliar, the term “fresh-hop” means exactly what it sounds like it means; during harvest season (now-ish), brewers visit hop farms (in this case, Goschie Farms) to snag hops right off the vine, quickly & excitedly return home to pretty much immediately use them, and crank out some seriously aromatic, dare we say...fresh-ass beer. It’s the best smelling brew day all year, trust us. For this batch of Arcosanti, we focused on fresh, Oregon-grown Strata hops...like, 300 lbs per batch of the stuff. We also warm dry-hopped this beer with 88 lbs of Strata & 88 lbs of Citra, just to fully bring it over the top. It pours an opaque golden-straw, with intense aromas of peach & passion fruit, a delightful soft mouthfeel & tropical notes underscored by a slight dankness.
We shall now proceed to Whatcha Thinkin’, a West Coast-style IPA that we brewed with Green Cheek in Orange County. They’re deservedly known for their California IPAs, which are kind of like modern West Coast IPAs, but more well-balanced & slightly less bitter, making them the perfect partners for this dance. We started with lots of pilsner malt, and then went with New Zealand-grown Riwaka hops, which are notoriously hard to grow & produce low yields, but are straight-up beautiful, super aromatic & expressive. We also used a little Idaho 7 for some blueberry fruitiness, & a tiny bit of Mosaic & Simcoe to balance it all out. The first thing you smell is the wonderful Riwaka, which is followed up by a rollicking celebration of citrus and tropical character rounded out by a pleasant, refreshing bitterness that you’d expect from this sort of libation.
We have not one, but TWO new additions to our 2020-inspired series of exorbitantly tasty beers: Extraordinary Times DIPA with Galaxy and Extraordinary Times DIPA with Nelson Sauvin. Our brew-wizards opted to highlight the deliciousness of simplicity with these, utilizing single-hop profiles for each. ET with Galaxy features 2019 Australian-grown hops, which we used to copiously dry-hop (5.5lbs/bbl) this haze-beast, yielding enchanting notes of juicy peach, ripe tangerine, & passionfruit. ET with Nelson Sauvin features fresh 2020 New Zealand-grown hops in the same staggering quantities as its Galaxy-packed counterpart. This beer boasts a fruity, white wine-laden complexity that’s virtually guaranteed to electrify your taste receptors with pleasure. It’s a great tip-of-the-hat to Southern Hemisphere hops, and we can’t wait to hear about all the nuances you find in their murky depths in a side-by-side tasting.
Last, but certainly not least: Temple of Silence with Coconut, Cocoa Nibs, & Marshmallow. Let’s be clear; the fact that this Portland-brewed stout isn’t barrel-aged does not mean it is lacking in decadence in any way. It’s slam packed with hand-toasted cocoa nibs, toasted coconut, raw coconut, & a gooey mountain of vegan marshmallow. It delivers all the dessert-y goodness with aroma alone (like walking through a Mounds factory), but follows through with rich malty flavors of sweet dark caramel & dark chocolate malts, followed by toasty coconut with a marshmallow finish. It pours pitch black with a light brown head, and as it warms, the marshmallow blossoms, the coconut becomes more intense, & this dynamic behemoth achieves a perfect balance with the cocoa nibs.
The second portion of September’s bounty of mythically tasty beverage offerings will be available for pre-order in the online special release sale Saturday 9/19 at 10AM. While you’re there, you’ll also want to scoop a reservation time, which you must acquire through a separate transaction. These glorious beers will be ready for you the Wednesday or Friday following the sale, depending on your designated pick-up location. There’s a whole lot going on out there, but we hope by providing delicious beveragery, we can stave off the crushing uncertainty of 2020, even just for a moment. Stay safe, and stay excellent, friends.