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Presented by Consumer Beverages
by Paul Marko, Chris Groves
>by Paul Marko
Founded in 1994, Smuttynose Brewing Company is named for one of the Isles of Shoals, a rugged archipelago that lies off the craggy New Hampshire coast. The name Smuttynose appears on nautical charts dating from the seventeenth century, and although its origins have been lost to time, it’s brewing namesake will forever be known as one of the American craft beer pioneers of the early 1990’s. The brewery puts out a wide range of yearly and seasonal beers, but many know the Smutt best for their sensational brown ales and porters—with their Baltic and Robust Porters standing with the best in the world in their respective styles. Not to be outdone in the craze for the “big and rare,” Smuttynose has gone on to create a sour and barrel aged series of beers under the moniker of “Smuttlabs,” releasing small batch, creative brews a few times a year. A recent tasting release event here in the B-Lo featured several Smuttlab formulations, with one wild ale jumping out as truly special. “Brett and I” is a Belgian style ale brewed with Trappist yeast, inoculated with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis and aged in oak barrels for a full year. The Brett did it’s job and ate up most of the sugar, revealing funky oak notes amidst the lingering tart lemon and pineapple esters. It’s a special treat to enjoy such a fussed over beer, made even better when our US brewers can create offerings that conjure memories of drinking the classics in a Brussels pub.
>by Chris Groves Certified Cicerone ®
Whats this? An American IPA from Brewery Ommegang? Who’da thunk! Back in October 2013, news was made when Ommegang’s parent company Duvel Moortgat had acquired Kansas City based Boulevard Brewing Company. For those who may not know or may not care, this acquisition was a good thing. Ommegang has been at the forefront of producing some of America’s best Belgian-style ales since it’s inception and it now has a sister brewery in the midwest to work with! Ommegang’s new Nirvana IPA is the first Ommegang beer that is being brewed in Kansas City at Boulevard and their first ever American IPA. Why IPA? Are we not flooded by a sea of them? Well....yes but if you’ve had any hop forward beers brewed at Boulevard...enough said. Clocking in at a cool 6.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, Nirvana is mouth-wateringly juicy with flavors of pineapple, citrus and a touch of honey. Aromas of tropical fruit mosh with floral notes to bring everything into harmony. This beer is clean on the finish and certainly a step in a new direction for styles we will be seeing from them. What’s cool about having a sister brewery is that we are going to be seeing more neat, small batch beer come out of Ommegang’s Cooperstown brewery while their bigger year round brands’ production will be heading out to KC. This means more beer. Are you excited yet? It’s ok if you aren’t. I am.
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