GSN Brews News: July 20th 2021 Edition

Monaco Cocktails has added Tequila Sun Crush, the newest spirits-based RTD in the company’s portfolio. Like the other Monaco Cocktails, the newest addition is canned at 9% abv and is made with two shots of Tequila, orange liqueur, and orange flavoring. Tequila Sun Crush is now available across the U.S. in 12-ounce cans retail priced between $2.50 and $3. The new release joins Citrus Rush, Tequila Lime Crush, Blue Crush, Cranberry, and Mango Peach, among many other flavors, in the Monaco Cocktails portfolio.

California-based Twisted Roots hard cider is relaunching with new packaging. Formerly presented in capped 750-ml. bottles, the European-style cider, made with a blend of five apple varieties, will now be sold in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. Its new logo displays a red, cross-sectioned apple on the tall black cans. Each can is at 6% abv and has 100 calories. Located in Carmel Valley, Twisted Roots is best known for Old Vine Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines.

Fort Collins, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing is partnering with Ojai, California-based kombucha producer Flying Embers on a new release. The two beverage makers collaborated on Oh, Hi!, a limited-edition session sour beer made by blending Flying Embers’ Original Essence Kombucha with sour beer produced by New Belgium and then finished with pixie tangerines and sage. Both companies support wildfire relief efforts and will together donate $10,000 to the Embers foundation to benefit the California Fire Foundation and other organizations. Oh, Hi! is at 6.5% abv and will be available in select premium retailers in California and Colorado.

Vermont-based Stowe Cider is expanding its non-alcoholic options with Fresh Squeeze. It’s an off-shoot of Fresh Press, Stowe’s apple cider and sparkling water RTD. Rather than apple cider, Fresh Squeeze is made with lemonade and sparkling water and is also at 0% abv. Available now in Stowe’s taproom and from its website, Fresh Squeeze will be available in Vermont retailers in the coming weeks, priced at $9 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Pacific City, Oregon-based Pelican Brewing is releasing Head Out Hefeweizen to celebrate a summer spent outdoors exploring nature. The 4.8% abv wheat ale is made with white wheat malt and contains aromas of melon and flowers. As part of the beer’s outdoorsy message, Pelican is sponsoring a number of events for Trailkeepers of Oregon this summer to support the maintenance of coastal trails, including two of the organization’s new Volunteer Vacations in August. Head Out Hefe is available now in 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles and select Pelican variety 12-packs.

Atlanta, Georgia’s Sweetwater Brewing Company has launched 420 Imperial IPA, the first line extension for the brewery’s flagship label. The 9.1% abv ale is brewed with nine varieties of hops during the wet and dry hopping phases of production, and is available in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans and 19.2-ounce cans as well as on draft across Sweetwater’s distribution footprint. The brewery has also launched a new limited-edition beer: 710 Hazy Double IPA. The 7.5% abv ale is part of the Dank Tank series of brews.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: January 5th 2021 Edition

Portland Cider Co. has released Bubbly Brut, billed as a Champagne-style sparkling cider. The small-batch cider is made from 100% Northwest apples, fermented separately with two different Champagne yeast strains on neutral French Oak, then blended. Bubbly Brut has 50% more carbonation than the cidery’s other products. It comes in at 6.9% abv with zero grams of sugar and is available in 19.2-ounce cans and on draft. Bubbly Brut is available now through February at Portland Cider Co.’s two Oregon taprooms and select retailers in Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northern California.

Ventura, California-based Flying Embers has introduced Kombucha Bubbly Brut Nature. Billed as a Champagne-style hard kombucha, the new entry is fermented with real botanicals and Champagne yeast and aged in Chardonnay wine barrels. The 6.9% abv offering has no residual sugars or carbs and is packaged in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans. Flying Embers has three taprooms in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Boston, respectively, and its products are sold in 40 states.

Lawrence, Kansas-based Fields & Ivy brewery is launching Kansas Lager, brewed with 100% barley malt grown in Kansas. Launching through distributor Worldwide Wine and Spirits, the new entry is a Vienna-style lager and will roll out across the state in 12-ounce bottles. Fields & Ivy says it’s likely to be the first lager brewed with 100% Kansas-grown barley malt since 1890 or earlier. Founded in 2019, Fields & Ivy has a 20-barrel production brewhouse, dining room, and beer garden in Lawrence.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: September 29th 2020 Edition

Portland, Maine’s Allagash Brewing Company has launched North Sky, a new stout, and is bringing back fan-favorite Haunted House, a dark hoppy ale. North Sky is at 7.5% and brewed with a Belgian yeast to impart fruit character to the beer’s roasty core, according to the company. Haunted House is a 6.66% abv ale brewed with roasted barley and Blackprinz malt, plus Crystal, Nugget, Cascade, and Northern Brewer hops. Both brews will roll out this month in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans across the brewery’s distribution footprint. North Sky will also be available on draft at a later date.

Middlebury, Vermont’s Aqua ViTea has launched two new flavors in its AfterGlow line of hard kombucha. The releases—Cherry Sour and Apricot Dream—come in at 5% abv and expand the AfterGlow line up to four, including the previously released Ginger Blue and Citrus Rush. AfterGlow Hard Kombucha is available in 4-packs for $10 and 6-packs for $12 in select markets.

Abita Springs, Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Company has added Jockamo Juicy IPA to its year-round lineup. The 6% abv ale is brewed with Citra and Apollo hops, plus a blend of experimental hop varieties to create a hazy IPA with tropical fruit flavors. Jockamo Juicy IPA is now rolling out in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans and on draft throughout Abita’s distribution footprint. Abita is the 24th-largest craft brewer in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: September 8th 2020 Edition

Ventura, California-based Flying Embers hard kombucha is releasing three new offerings as part of its limited Flight Series. The newcomers include an unflavored Original Essence kombucha, which is at 7% abv and billed as drinking like a white wine, as well as Strawberry Lemongrass (7% abv) and Prickly Pear Heather (4.5% abv) expressions. Distributed to 40 states, Flying Embers also recently extended its range with a line of probiotic-infused hard seltzers.

Portland, Oregon-based Cascade Brewing has introduced Framboise Northwest, a new sour ale made with locally sourced raspberries. The 7.9% abv ale begins life as a blonde ale before aging for up to two years in wine barrels with added raspberries. The beer is now available for local pickup at Cascade’s Barrel House and The Lodge, as well as online. Beginning September 14, Framboise Northwest will be available in 500-ml. bottles and on draft throughout the brewery’s distribution footprint.

Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery has launched its latest IPA variety pack, the Pack-o-Bliss. The 12-pack contains three 12-ounce cans each of Oskar Blues’ Can-o-Bliss Citra Double IPA, Can-o-Bliss Resinous IPA, Can-o-Bliss’ rotating seasonal IPA, and Pinner Session IPA. This releases marks Pinner’s return to the brewery’s portfolio after fans on social media requested the brew’s return. The new variety pack is now available in retailers across the U.S. In addition, Oskar Blues’ latest seasonal Can-o-Bliss IPA is also available on draft.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Flying Embers Flight One & Flight Two Limited Edition Hard Kombucha

On March 19th when the shelter in place was enacted for many states Flying Embers quickly mobilized and launched a new practice they call “DTC360” – a holistic digital retail marketing practice designed to optimize and streamline the direct-to-consumer brand experience. In less than ten days Flying Embers launched this new initiative which included a website redesign to allow consumers to order directly for pickup, delivery, or shipping within certain states.  Flying Embers also worked hand-in hand with retail partners and third party delivery platforms to create new programs and streamline delivery offerings for consumers across the country.  This quick pivot and ability to adapt business practices has created an opportunity for a series of Flying Embers new product launches.

In June, Flying Embers released three unique flavors, in what they are calling a Flight Series, available to both new and existing customers. These releases are an insider’s view into Flying Embers HQ, where every Thursday afternoon staff taste new creations. The first flight was just released featuring three new flavors, under the theme “Flight One: From Sea to Sky”: GSN also has a sneak peek into what will become Flight Two.

Flying Embers Flight One
Watermelon Basil + Sea Salt 4.5% abv 
Rhodiola Rose 7% abv 
Blueberry Cassis 7% abv 

Flying Embers Flight Two
Raspberry Meyer Lemon 7% abv
Cucumber Juniper 4.5% abv
Adaptogen Super Tonic 4.5% abv

GSN’s Thoughts: We’ve reviewed some of the Flying Embers kombuchas in the past, and these new limited editions are excellent. Very creative flavor profiles which are perfect for the scorching days of summer. We particularly enjoyed the Watermelon Basil + Sea Salt and Blueberry Cassis from Flight One. Both are great straight out of the can or poured over ice. Flight Two’s highlights are the Cucumber Juniper and the Adaptogen Super Tonic (which is an excellent substitute for your usual tonic water). A real bonus with Flying Embers is the subscription option on their website, so you wont miss a single new release before they sell out.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Flying Embers

GSN Brews News: June 23rd 2020 Edition

Ventura, California-based Flying Embers has announced three new flavors of hard kombucha, part of what the company is calling the Flight Series. The new flavors are Blueberry Cassis (7% abv), Rhodiola Rose (7% abv), and Watermelon Basil (4.5% abv), which also has added sea salt. The new releases are available from the company’s taproom as well as throughout its distribution footprint in 16-ounce cans.

San Francisco-based 21st Amendment Brewery has debuted Soma, a new hard seltzer brand. Rolling out now across 21st Amendment’s 30-state footprint, Soma is at 4.8% abv and comes in Watermelon, Guava & Passion Fruit, Mango, and Black Cherry flavors, containing 100 calories a 12-ounce can.

Vermont-based Citizen Cider is launching a new range of hard seltzers. Citizen Seltzer is debuting in three varieties—Apple All Day, Ginger Love, and Lemon Spritz—across Citizen’s 14-state footprint. Made using only local ingredients from Vermont, the new offerings are at 5% abv and come in at 100 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of sugar a 16-ounce can. A mixed pack will join the launch starting next month. Citizen’s core cider range includes the traditional semi-dry Unified Press, ginger-infused The Dirty Mayor, dry-hopped The Lake Hopper, and dry ale-style Wit’s Up varieties.

Longmont, Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery has launched Death by Affogato Porter. The 6.5% abv beer is brewed with chocolate malt, malted oats, vanilla, lactose, cacao nibs, and coffee sourced from Colorado’s Traction Coffee Roasters. Affogato is the second release in the Death by Porter series, following January’s Death by King Cake. The beer is now available across the U.S. in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: May 19th 2020 Edition

San Diego, California-based JuneShine is launching a spinoff to its line of hard kombuchas. Called JuneShine100, the new drinks offer the benefit of containing only 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar per 12-ounce can. While JuneShine’s original lineup is at 6% abv, JuneShine100’s two launch flavors, Pineapple Orange and Hibiscus Lime, both are at 4.2% abv. The new offerings retail for a suggested $15 a 6-pack and are available in select retailers nationwide, with next-day delivery available now in California, Nevada, and New York, with Oregon and Virginia to be added in the near future.

Pabst has relaunched Pearl xXx, a San Antonio, Texas-based heritage beer brand tracing its history back to the late 19th century. The 3.8% abv lager is brewed with Pilsen malt, caramel malt, and wheat, with its package design inspired by the beer’s original packaging. Pearl xXx is rolling out now in Texas, with wider distribution to follow in June.

San Diego, California’s Coronado Brewing has brought back Peach Cruiser for the summer season. The 6.8% abv IPA is brewed with Mosaic, Citra, and Azacca hops, with fresh peach, apricot, and lactose added. The beer is the second release in Coronado’s Knoxville series of limited releases, which first launched in 2018. Peach Cruiser is now available at Coronado’s tasting room, brewpub, and restaurant, and will enter wider distribution by the end of the month. The brew will be available in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans.

Portland, Oregon-based Cascade Brewing is launching Citrus Noyaux 2019. The new release is a sour blond ale aged in oak barrels for up to two years with fresh orange, grapefruit, and lemon peels, as well as apricot noyaux (kernels extracted by hand from the fruit pits). It’s available on draft in Cascade’s two tasting rooms and in 500-ml. bottles throughout its distribution network. Due to Covid-19, the brewery now offers home delivery and curbside pickup ordering options that can be placed through the company’s website, where Citrus Noyaux 2019 is priced at $12 a 500-ml.

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Asheville, North Carolina-based Hi-Wire Brewing has a new release called “Donate To Service Industry Workers By Drinking This Beer.” It’s a hoppy session IPA at 5% abv. A portion of the proceeds from every 6-pack sold will be donated to the USBG National Charity Foundation and the North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. It’s currently available on Hi-Wire’s website for $11 a 6-pack and in select retailers in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio. Additionally, Hi-Wire recently released Citrus Wit (4.8% abv), Citra Gose (4.2% abv), and Pink Lemonade Sour Session Ale (4.2% abv), all now available at Hi-Wire taprooms and throughout its distribution area.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

What’s Brewing: Flying Embers Organic Hard Kombucha

Flying Embers, adaptogenic organic hard kombucha, recently launched its fermented alcohol (4.5% ABV) beverage line. Flying Embers is now available with its innovative brews: Ancient Berry, Lemon Orchard, and Ginger & Oak. The Organic Hard Kombucha features live probiotic cultures, botanical adaptogens, and functional wellness benefits. Each brew is vegan, gluten-free and certified organic.

Served locally throughout Southern California, the brews are now available statewide in 22 oz bottles, 16 oz cans, and consumer-friendly kegs at mainstream and naturals grocery — including Whole Foods, Safeway, Erewhon, Berkeley Bowl, Bristol Farms, and Mothers Market.

“Flying Embers is the culmination of my passion and knowledge of twenty plus years of fermentation and creating better-for-you beverages,” said Flying Embers Founder Bill Moses. “I could not be more excited to bring forth a new and functional way to experience kombucha.”

“We are thrilled for Flying Embers to join our portfolio of brands,” said Tom Reyes, President of Reyes Beverage Group. “Their unique craftsmanship and commitment to organic, premium products offer a new experience for kombucha and alcohol drinkers in the Southern California market. Our sales and distribution service will allow Flying Embers to grow its range of availability across its existing and future product portfolio.”

Three flavors are available including Ginger & Oak, Lemon Orchard and Ancient Berry. Each of them are tart, refreshing and just boozy enough to help you relax. Our favorite was the Ginger & Oak which had a nice and easy burn, paired with a curious Sarsaparilla flavor. These all make for a great beverage on their own, but you can certainly add some vodka, gin or rum for an extra kick. Kudos to Flying Embers for being the first on the market with what will undoubtedly be THE alcohol trend for 2019.

GSN Rating: A

For more information go to Flying Embers