February’s Transitional Products

February is an interesting time for craft beer. Some breweries look to bridge the gap between their big, boozy, cold weather offerings and others jump right into their spring seasonals. This issue, we feature a smattering of both. From the incredibly sessionable Bitter American to the barrel-aged Better Half, this month’s selections are sure to work in any climate.

Odell Brewing. In February, Odell Brewing Co. will release RegionAle, a special brew that pays tribute to each of the 10 states in which it will be distributed. The finished product features a blend of 10 five-barrel batches and one 50-barrel batch, all with unique ingredients from each state. The beer will be available on draught and in 750 ml bottles and for a suggested retail price of $13.99. RegionAle checks in at 9.5 percent ABV and will see distribution in CO, AZ, ID, KS, MN, MO, NE, NM, SD and WY.

Redhook Brewery is bringing back Mudslinger, but this time under the name “Nut Brown.” The brewery kept the same recipe, but changed the name in an “effort to keep it simple.” Nut Brown checks in at 5.8 percent ABV and 30 IBU’s and will be available nationwide on draught and in 12 oz. bottles. The suggested retail price for a 6-pack is $7.99.

21st Amendment. Though it’s not a new offering from the San Francisco, Calif. based craft brewer, Bitter American did recently move year-round. This low-ABV (4.4 percent), hoppy session offering was previously only available between January and March. 21A responded to consumer requests and will now offer Bitter American in its core lineup. It is available across all 16 states in which 21st Amendment currently distributes, both on draught and in 12 oz. (can) 6-packs for a suggested retail price of $8.99.

F.X. Matt has blended two popular styles in their newest offering, Saranac White IPA. The beer is a hybrid of the classic Belgian witbier and IPA styles, and checks in at 6 percent ABV. White IPA is available in 6-packs, 12-packs, on draught and in the brewery’s “What Ales You,” variety pack. This offering is currently being distributed in all markets Saranac products are sold for a suggested retail price of 8.99 per 6-pack.

Smuttynose Brewing Big Beer Series features “big beers in big bottles,” released seasonally in limited quantities. The first release in the series for 2012 is Baltic Porter, a style that stems from the traditional British Porter. Their version checks in at 9.24 percent and 35 IBUs. Only 150

barrels were made and packaged into 22 oz. “bombers” for distribution across 19 states. The suggested retail price for Baltic Porter is $7.99.

Founders Brewing. Curmudgeon’s Better Half is the newest release from Founders Brewing in its “Backstage Series.” A barrel-aged version of the company’s Curmudgeon Old Ale, Better Half was aged for 254 days in maple syrup bourbon barrels. A limited amount of the beer will be available on draught, and only about 12,000 750 ml bottles were produced. Every market that Founders distributes to will receive Better Half. The suggested retail price is $16.99 per 6-pack.

The Bruery’s spring seasonal will be making its way to retailers’ shelves by February. Saison De Lente is light blonde in color with a fresh hopppiness and a wild, rustic brettanomyces character. It checks in at 6.5 percent ABV and 35 IBUs and will be available in all 20 states The Bruery beers are sold. The suggested retail price for Saison De Lente is $11.99.

Narragansett Beer. In the 1960s and 1970s, Narragansett produced a cream ale that found favor amongst New Englanders and at the end of 2011 fans voted to bring the beer back. The new beer is brewed to be light and refreshing with a fairly subdued hop and malt character. Cream Ale will make its debutin February both on draught and in 6-packs. The suggested retail price is $8.99 per 6-pack. Distribution for Cream Ale includes New England, Southern New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.