GSN Brews News: June 16th 2020 Edition

Armada, Michigan-based Blake’s Hard Cider has added three new releases to its Lite Cider line of products. The new releases—Mimosa, Strawberry-Kiwi, and Melon—come in at 5% abv and have 100 calories per serving, just like the brand’s original Lite Apple cider. Mimosa is available in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans and the other new flavors are available in a four-flavor variety 12-pack. All three new flavors are rolling out now to Blake’s 15-state distribution footprint.

Ninkasi Brewing is releasing new flavors for its Pacific Sparkling seltzer brand. The new flavors from the Eugene, Oregon-based craft player include Marionberry Lemon Twist and Sun-Kissed Grapefruit, which join Tangy Key Lime and Crisp Cucumber in variety 12-packs. The marionberry and grapefruit flavors are now also available in 19.2-ounce cans. Pacific Sparkling is distributed throughout Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: April 14th 2020 Edition

Louisiana brewer Abita has entered the hard seltzer category with its latest release, Spring Loaded. The 5% abv seltzer will launch in two flavors, Watermelon and Splash Berry; both contain 2 grams of carbs and 100 calories thanks to the efficient fermentation of the drinks’ sugar base. The two flavors are available now in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans in Louisiana and will roll out to Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Texas in the near future. Abita is the 24th largest craft brewery in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.

Clackamas, Oregon’s Portland Cider Co. has released Ciderade, a new summer seasonal. The 4% abv cider is made with apples grown in the Pacific Northwest with added lemon and lime juice and sea salt. Ciderade will be distributed in 19.2-ounce cans and on draft throughout Washington, Oregon, Northern Idaho, and Northern California. It’s also available to-go from Portland Cider Co.’s taprooms.

Minneapolis-based Fulton Brewing has launched a new year-round entry, Chill City Chugger. The 4% abv golden lager is rolling out in 12-packs of 12-ounce cans (retailing at $12) and on draft, and joins Proper Porter, Standard Amber Lager, 300 Mosaic IPA, Lonely Blonde, and Hopstar Session IPA, among others, in Fulton’s year-round portfolio. Fulton’s distribution footprint includes Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Kansas.

Colorado craft player Lone Tree Brewing has launched three new beers in retailers across the state. First up is Lone Tree IPA, a 6.2% abv ale brewed with Centennial, Cascade, and Zythos hops. It’s the first flagship IPA from the brewery. The company has also released Castle Rock Pale Ale, a 5.6% abv beer brewed specifically to launch at the opening of a Whole Foods in Castle Rock, Colorado, and also available at Lone Tree’s tap room. Finally, the brewery has released Strawberry Kiwi Blonde Ale, a 5.2% abv summer seasonal that’s available in Colorado and Kansas.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: ANXO Ciders

ANXO District Kosher (6.9% ABV) Perhaps the only Kosher for Passover cider in the country. 100% Pennsylvania-grown Northern Spy apples fermented naturally in stainless tanks.
GSN’s Thoughts: Quite dry indeed. This is what I would term a brut cider. The apple flavor is slightly tart, but is toned down by some wood aging. This also adds a lovely, yet subtle caramel tone. The slightly higher than normal ABV adds some punch as well, making this an ideal cider to have over a meal. Perfect for the rest of Passover, this is also perfectly fitting for any celebration calling for a Kosher meal.
GSN Rating: A

ANXO Nevertheless (6.9% ABV) Vermont & Pennsylvania apples fermented by ANXO with native yeasts in stainless tanks.  Released in March to celebrate women cidermakers during Women’s History Month.  A portion of the proceeds to be donated to women’s health initiatives.
GSN’s Thoughts: Very similar in character to the District Kosher with a bit more of a yeast character. Tasty, dry and refreshingly tart.
GSN Rating: A

ANXO Rosé (6.9% ABV) Red-fleshed apples impart radiant color and red fruit notes in this apples only Rosé . Red cider is fermented by Snowdrift in Washington State and blended with GoldRush cider in DC.
GSN’s Thoughts: Slightly sweeter in character, but still dry and tangy. The color is lovely in the glass and adds a festive and spring-like note.
GSN Rating: A

To order ANXO Ciders online and have them delivered to your home go to: Anxo Cider

GSN Brews News: February 18th 2020 Edition

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Founders Brewing Co. has released Unraveled IPA, a juicy India Pale Ale that’s the latest addition to the Founders year-round lineup. The 6.6% abv beer was initially introduced as Mucho Lupu in Founders’ taprooms, and is made with hops and Lupulin powder as well as wheat and oats. The brew is now available in the company’s Grand Rapids taproom and will launch in Detroit next week. Unraveled IPA will be available nationwide in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans and on draft beginning mid-February. Last August, Spain’s Mahou-San Miguel purchased a controlling stake in Founders Brewing Co.

England’s Dunkertons Organic Cider has partnered with Winesellers Ltd. to bring cans of the cidery’s ‘Craft’ cider to the U.S. The 5% abv cider is certified organic and will be available in 4-packs of 330-ml. cans for a suggested retail price of $15. In addition to the newly canned ‘Craft’ offering, Winesellers will bring bottles of Black Fox Cider ($8), Dry Cider ($8), Breakwells Seedling Organic Cider ($9), and Organic Perry ($9) to the U.S. This year, the Herefordshire-based cidery is celebrating 40 years of production.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: January 28th 2020 Edition

E.&J. Gallo’s Barefoot Wine is jumping into the hard seltzer category. Barefoot Hard Seltzer will launch in four flavors—Pineapple & Passion Fruit, Cherry & Cranberry, Peach & Nectarine, and Strawberry & Guava—that are at 4% abv and contain only wine, seltzer water, and natural flavors. The move follows the success of 5.5% abv Barefoot Spritzers, which have boosted the franchise in recent years. Barefoot Hard Seltzer will begin rolling out nationally next month, retailing at $8 a 4-pack and $20 for a variety 12-pack.

Providence, Rhode Island-based Keel Vodka has entered the hard seltzer category with Keel Sparkling, a spirits-based RTD made with Keel’s calorie-reduced vodka. The 4%-abv canned vodka soda will launch in two flavors—lemon-lime and grapefruit—clocking in at 80 calories, zero carbs, and zero sugar per 12-ounce serving. Keel Sparkling is now available in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Colorado for around $10 at retail. The company intends to launch in Florida, Texas, and Georgia in February with more states to follow through the year.

Portland, Maine-based Allagash Brewing has debuted its first certified organic beer. The new brew, Crosspath, is a Belgian-style golden ale brewed with Maine-grown oats, buckwheat, base malt, hops, and GrandyOats Granola. Crosspath is debuting in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans and on draft across the entirety of Allagash’s 17-state footprint beginning in March. Allagash is the 30th-largest craft brewer in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.

Escondido, California-based Stone Brewing has debuted Stone Viking Space Probe Double IPA. Named in honor of NASA space probes Viking 1 and Viking 2, the new brew blends Citra and Ella hops with Belgian Candi Sugar. The 8.5% abv Stone Viking Space Probe Double IPA, which is the third beer produced at Stone’s Napa facility, is available for a limited time in 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles, as well as in 22-ounce bottles. Stone is the ninth-largest craft brewer in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.

Seattle Cider is launching a grapefruit cider to its seasonal range. The 6.5% abv offering is fermented on grapefruit and white wine yeast and is rolling out in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans, as well as in 1/6- and 1/2-barrel kegs. Seattle Cider is distributed in 15 states. Its seasonal portfolio also includes Spiced Peach, Pumpkin Spice, and Pineapple Agave ciders, while the year-round lineup encompasses Dry, Semi Sweet, Basil Mint, Berry Rosé, and Tangerine Turmeric offerings.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Wrap-Up: 2019 Philanthropic Foodies Pop-Up Syracuse, NY

The 2019 edition of Philanthropic Foodies was again held at the AAA Four Diamond Award Syracuse Marriott (formerly the Hotel Syracuse). A fundraiser for the Central New York community, the selection of local foods and beverages prepared and crafted by local chefs gave the attendees a chance to try something new. There were a lot of farm-to-table items this year, along with some innovative craft cocktails and beers, ciders and New York State wines.

Live music provided by local artist Ashley Cox-Sullivan and her husband Shawn Sullivan was the background for guests as they visited food and beverage stations. There were also plenty of items on display for the silent auction fundraiser for the Friends of Dorothy House and Joseph’s House for Women. The two organizations support those affected by AIDS and women who need support during unplanned pregnancies. This year, over $50,000 was raised.

Photos of some of the highlights are below. (Photography by Alheydis K.)

GSN Review: Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack Tennessee Cider

Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack is a seasonal blend of apple cider liqueur, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey and holiday spices, based on an original family recipe from Jack’s home in Lynchburg, Tennessee.  (Available for a limited time in all 50 states & Canada.)

Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack Tennessee Cider (30 proof)
Visual: Pale gold.
Nose: Spiced apples with a hint of bourbon.
Taste: Exactly what you’d think. Spiced apple cider with a tempering of bourbon’s sweet fire.
Finish: Fairly short, with a hint of apple lingering.
Overall: This is so easy-going, you could easily drink half of the bottle before realizing it. Tastes even better warmed up and with an orange peel freshly dropped into a mug. Since this is a limited product (and extremely inexpensive) we suggest you pick up 2-4 bottles to get you through the winter.
GSN Rating: B+

Here’s a recipe for you to try courtesy of Jack Daniel’s:

Winter Jack Apple Negroni
3 oz. Winter Jack® Tennessee Cider
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet Vermouth
1 large orange peel

In a shaker filled with ice combine the Winter Jack, Campari and sweet Vermouth. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Run the orange peel around the edge of the coupe and squeeze as you drop into the glass.

For more information go to: Jack Daniel’s

GSN Review: Rekorderlig Hard Apple

Incredibly clear and filtered, the initial observation is that this hard cider will be crisp, and the flavor doesn’t disappoint. The apple taste comes through very well, and although it is sweet, it’s balanced by a dry quality that tastes like a fresh apple without tasting outright sugary. It’s a clean flavor that starts off sweet, but finishes cleanly and that’s somewhat of a rarity with sweeter ciders. There is also a hint of tartness that balances the overall flavor composition, and doesn’t hinder the taste for those who are used to sweeter imbibing.

For those who like bubbly Moscato this won’t be too far off the beaten path. For those who enjoy a strong authentic apple taste, this certainly won’t disappoint. While my lasting impression of the cider leaves me satisfied, it’s just that. Just one can and I don’t need any more. It’s certainly flavorful and well-brewed, but the sweetness becomes cloying about halfway through and gives the impression of a dessert drink. This could pair well during the fall with a large heavy meal, but as a standalone drink, it leaves a little to be desired. The flavor is strong, and while tasty, it gives its full impressions early on enough that one doesn’t need more than a twelve ounce serving to see if this is a good fit. The slightly higher than average ABV can be a bonus for some, but as most ciders either swing between refreshing or too strong, this one tends towards the latter.

Overall impressions are a great authentic flavor, crisp mouthfeel, but the sweetness steadily grows and becomes cloying by the end of the first can.

GSN Rating: B

Review by Kieran Jerome Matthew