Coast to Coast CANarchy

One of the benefits of a network of breweries banded together is getting beers from out of state and now CANarchy and their IPA Mixed Pack will get us some Deep Ellum beer since we get the other (3) already.

Expatriate IPA, Jai Alai IPA, Can-O-Bliss IPA join the following:

“Deep Ellum IPA is loaded with American hops for a bitter punch. Over-the-top tropical fruit, citrus, pine and floral aromas and flavors make this 7% ABV IPA big and potent enough to bear Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s hometown name. Brewed in the historic Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas…”

FWIBF19 Featured Beer

For those holding golden tickets to the 2019 version of the Firestone Walker Invitational, the brewery list went live at the start of this month and now the collaboration beer which ticketholders get a special ticket for is now known….

It looks like the new beer plays to the strengths of both Firestone Walker and Cigar City.


I am not a fan of figs and dates but the rest of Bamburana,  a 12.2% ABV imperial stout collaboration from Cigar City and Oskar Blues “that has portions aged in three different ways: once in whiskey barrels, once in brandy barrels and for a final time in tanks with Amburana wood spirals.” sounds like something to look for when it arrives in 12oz can 4-packs. 

I have had one Amburana beer before, oddly enough from fellow Canarchy member Three Weavers and I quite enjoyed the unique flavors it added.

Once Only

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Can the three strong flavors of gin, grapefruit and a Belgian tripel live together? And how strange is the English language that comes up with a phrase like Hapax Legomenon?

Last question, who mentioned it to Cigar City Brewing so that it could be used for such a strange beer?

Review – Yonder Bock from Cigar City & Sierra Nevada

Does Sierra Nevada teamed with Cigar City create something different?  I ask this with the last Beer Camp beer because SoCal gets a few CC collaborations and I have yet to look at the contents of the glass with wonder.  Will Yonder Bock make me wonder?


I do like the idea of a Tropical Maibock. And the mixture of the guava notes from Calypso hops and the blueberry of what was known as Hop 366 aka Equinox should liven up a stalwart German style. Yonder pours a reddish tinted orange.  Lots of initial foam that fades into the ether completely.  The bock style comes through loud and strong.  The Mai part of the bock doesn’t enter the picture for me.  The aroma carries notes of a tropical cocktail.  One you might find in a tiki bar.  Pineapple and guava come through to my tongue.


This is certainly more bitter than your average Maibock which usually has more caramel in my reviewing history.  This beer substitutes that for fruit punch and a little residual bitterness in the back.  This is unique and I do like it but it is not the type of beer that blows your palate away at the start.  You do have to search your memory banks to identify the aromas and when they come they do reward you.

I am a bit sad that the Beer Camp has left my ‘fridge.  I wish a new box of 12 was coming down the pike.  I could review these type of beers each month.

Review – Hopped on the High Seas by Cigar City

First off. Here is the story behind this hoppy Cigar City beer.

“This 60 IBU Caribbean-style IPA was brewed at the Cervezas del Sur Brewery in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The mango tree-lined streets of Ponce put us in a tropical mood and Hopped on the High Seas is the result of that Caribbean feeling. High Seas is a 7% ABV IPA dry-hopped exclusively with one variety of hop; 165 lbs of them in fact! And since we wanted to put this beer in our favorite container, the 12 oz can, a sea journey was required to get the beer back to Tampa for canning. We took the opportunity to add the dry-hops to the refrigerated shipping container prior to racking. Which means this beer truly was Hopped on the High Seas. As the beer made its way home, the gentle motion of the ocean worked to infuse the luscious aromatics of the hops. The result is big tropical aromas and flavors, light balancing malt backbone and a clean bitter finish.”

I will be reviewing the sixth different version….

  • Batch #1: Simcoe
  • Batch #2: Ahtanum
  • Batch #3: Citra
  • Batch #4: Experimental Hop #529 (I would love to see this one in my ‘fridge)
  • Batch #5: Kohatu
  • Batch #6: Calypso

It pours a clear and strong dark orange with tints of red to it. Quite a head on this one. Like a cloud. Leaves quite the chunky lace pattern on the glass.

My initial aroma is musty fruit leather. Citrus notes in the back. The flavor is powerful. It sits on the palate heavily. It is quite bitter but with an odd metallic note to it. It was canned on 3/14/14 so it is not super old. There is a slight jellied fruit taste at the beginning of the sip that fades into that big hop presence.

I would like to see this on a less aggressive base beer. Maybe a pale base with lighter malts to accentuate the dry hop. As it stands, it tastes more like a double IPA and the Calypso hop does not shine in the forefront. I would love to have gotten some tea and lime notes that that hop is known to sometimes impart.

The Firkin for March 2014


This rant was started after reading about the sad Hunahpu incident earlier in the month.  (You can read about this mess HERE).

Instead of doing a post-mortem on that particular event I think it is time we took a look at how many more overbooked one-offs do we need in the craft beer world before we all realize that the old model doesn’t work? And instead of trying to be the little Dutch boy plugging leaks with ticketing issues, tapped kegs, downed servers or rowdy patrons at these “events”, it is time to look at the supply and demand.

Now I know that some breweries produce these special limited releases for varied reasons.  And that some of these specials become whales for varied reasons.  And those whales beget the special once a year blow outs.

But once they become whales, the old way of doing things must be abandoned.  Why?  A, because it draws a MUCH different crowd.  You begin to draw the hoarders, collectors and snobs in MUCH higher percentages.  People specially planned and flew to Florida for Cigar City.  Not to mention the curious onlookers and lookey-loos who follow the latest trends.  And you end up creating an event that cannot possibly meet the expectations of a MUCH different crowd than the usual taproom day and becomes too much work to handle.

You can simply ignore the rest of this post and hire an event company to do the ticketing, security, admission and everything else and have your party in a big enough space to handle the crowds.  And hope for the best.  Or you can make more foundational changes.

Here are my Supply and Demand inspired recommendations:

1.       Undersell tickets.  If you have five bottles of beer to sell, sell three.  If you have space for 5 people, sell three.  You get the picture.  I understand that sales are monitored for overflow now but now may be the time to really tighten the screws.  If it is a special beer you will be able to sell it later.  Or do a charity auction.  You can send it to the White House, President Obama likes beer.  If you are not choosing to increase beer production then you have to manually decrease the demand.

2.       Spread out the celebration.  Have a morning session and an afternoon session.  Or a Saturday session and a Sunday.  Then follow rule # 1.  The goal being to thin the herd and make runs on the keg or bottle allocations less scary.  If you saw the video from Cigar City, imagine if half that crowd was at home waiting for their Sunday session and not there.  It is simply another manual lever for reducing demand.

3.       Release the beer through other distribution channels.  Preferably in intervals throughout the year.  This is the supply side of the argument.  Go ahead and have your big party once a year. But also, like a release valve, package some three months later and sell it through your distributor to great accounts.  Put it on tap randomly at your taproom for regulars.  Sell it separately to your mug club later in the year.  It means making the event less of an event but that is how you also make the event more manageable.

Now some places choose to not grow to meet over pent up demand.  Others want the press.  Others believe that making more means that the beer will no longer be THE coveted one.  If that is the path that a brewery chooses then good luck to you running an event.  Because the love of craft beer ain’t going away.  And as much as you learn about putting events on, you are still, primarily, a brewery first not an event company.

When It Rains, It Let’s Pours – Part the 3rd

The last of three large boxes from Let’s Pour (THANKS K!) arrived at BSP HQ recently and yet another bonanza of beer-y goodness was revealed.  This time centered on the SE portion of the brewing country.

We start with Cigar City…..


…from Florida we head to Georgia and Terrapin and the turtle….


…and then hopscotch amongst other states for this final tableau…


There is some good drinking ahead for me!

5 Years in One


I could not believe it when I read the label for this new Cigar City beer.  Really?  They hadn’t brewed anniversary beers.  I don’t know if that is refreshing or dereliction of duty.  Either way good to see the New Zealand hops in force.