One wine my customers have been fairly raving about has been the Grayson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. The California wine comes in a non-descript bottle that you easily might pass by.
Terrapin Beer Co. introduced its newest Side Project with a six-minute video posted on YouTube.
But rather than the usual beer nerd breakdown of the brewing process, “The Legend of Krunkles” is a sly company mockumentary that looks like it might have been made by the TV characters on “The Office” or “Parks and Recreation.”
As with previous Side Project releases, Volume 15, Indiana Krunkles Wheat IPA, is a limited-edition one-off brew. It follows the story line of last year’s Volume 10, a Black IPA known as Capt’n Krunkles.
The video portrays Krunkles as a mysterious pirate adventurer who was also a great hop-obsessed brewer. Mugging for the camera, Terrapin brewer, Brian “Spike” Buckowski, deadpans that he’s has discovered some of Krunkles’ secret recipes.
To further develop the satiric Capt’n Krunkles lore, Buckowski said he plans to release a new Krunkles brew every year.
“Krunkles will be a continuing series,” Buckowski said.
Around the same time we saw the first screwtop bottles, we also started seeing boxed wines with premium wines inside. These were received with the same amount of skepticism, confusion and mockery. Then as now, most people scorn the idea of a quality wine from a cardboard box, even though this category of wine has seen double digit sales increases for the past few years.
Max Lager’s, Atlanta
$5/pint at Max Lager’s, 320 Peachtree St., 404-525-4400, maxlagers.com
Profile: Max Lager’s brewmaster John Roberts teamed with Glenn Golden of JailHouse Brewing in Hampton to create an exciting collaborative beer in honor of American Craft Beer Week, May 16-22. For Max Security, Roberts and Golden decided to fiddle with the formula for a schwarzbier, a black German-style lager. They used cherry wood smoked malt, rye malt and molasses. The result is a complex dark beer that is surprisingly easy to drink, with woody, fruity notes, a touch of sweetness and a subtle smoke character.
Pair with: The woody, smoky flavors of Max Security are a natural match for smoked or wood-grilled meats, such as brisket, pulled pork, ribs or steak. Or try it with grilled mushrooms.
Max Lager’s will be tapping Max Security on May 16, kicking off a string of America Craft Beer Week events through May, 22.
American Craft Beer Week events are
Because I write about beer, certain people sometimes feel compelled to make a joke when they see me enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine.
My stock answer is usually, “It’s my day off.” Or if I’m feeling sinister, “Haven’t you heard? I hate beer, now!”
Of course, I’m an omnivore when it comes to both food and drink. It’s true, I rarely crave sushi or chardonnay. But I’m equally happy with oysters and champagne or steak and ale.
When it comes to beverages other than beer, red wine and bourbon top the list. And if I meet a favorite vintner or distiller, my own little joke is that I wish their products were as good a bargain as the best beer.
I didn’t try that one on Julian P. Van Winkle, III, the third generation scion of Kentucky’s celebrated Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery.
Van Winkle’s tiny, family-run operation produces a wondrous line of carefully
crafted bourbon whiskey that’s become famous for its complex oak-aged
Urthel Brewery, Ruiselede, Belgium
$3.69/11.2 ounce bottle (4-packs and draft coming later)
Profile: With Hop-it, Urthel brewer Hildegard van Ostaden practically invented Belgian-style IPA. Now van Ostaden has created another tasty hybrid called Saisonniere. Urthel calls it a blond special ale. But as the name suggests, Saisonniere has many qualities in common with Belgian-style farmhouse ale.
Brewed with 20 percent wheat and bottle-conditioned, it’s effervescent, brisk and refreshing, with a tart touch of lemon and an elegant bitter edge. Urthel recommends pouring two-thirds into a glass, then rolling the bottle and pouring the final third, as you would a German or Belgian wheat beer.
Pair with: Saisonniere would be great with salads, goat cheese and seafood of all kinds, from fish and chips to lobster, clams, calamari or mussels. Or try it with bright Thai or Vietnamese dishes.
Bob Townsend is editor of Southern Brew News, a bimonthly beer publication