BFF (Beer Friends Forever) San Diego Pale Ale

BFF usually stands for best friends forever, but in the case of this collaboration, the acronym takes on additional meaning, as it celebrates the friendship, support and camaraderie of more than 20 years shared by two San Diego craft beer pioneer breweries: Stone Brewing and Pizza Port. Stone Brewing Senior Innovation Brewing Manager Jeremy Moynier stated, “Taking inspiration from our original Stone Pale Ale (that first keg sold to Pizza Port!), and combining both of our breweries’ histories with our continuing innovative practices, we crafted a very unique Pale Ale…a mix of English, New Zealand and newer American hops creates a complex mix of aromas and flavors, combined with a perfectly crisp and complementary malt background.” Pizza Port Director of Brewing Operations Sean Farrell added, “The beer is a modern take on an English Pale Ale. Maris Otter barley gives the beer a rich, but clean, malt background. London III yeast with New Zealand, American and English hops provide flavors of passion fruit, oro blanco grapefruit and earthy tangerine peel.” After tasting this brew I imagine it would have been considered an IPA back in the days when both breweries were founded, but compared to today’s over-the-top hop monster IPAs it is more subdued, but in a good way, for the vibrant citrus flavors are allowed to shine without being overpowered by an overload of hoppy bitterness. BFF is a summertime seasonal release and is available in AZ, CA and NV. 

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey

Coming out of Prohibition, the Federal Government approved four straight whiskey standards: Bourbon, Rye, Wheat and Malt, which were the types of whiskies produced in the US prior to Prohibition. This new expression from Woodford Reserve has a grain bill of 51% malted barley, 47% corn and 2% rye; is aged in new charred oak barrels; and should appeal to bourbon lovers. Based on historical recipes and driven by Master Distiller Chris Morris, tasting notes for the 90.4-proof blended malt whiskey include aromas of light caramel, milk chocolate and tropical fruit; flavors of dark chocolate and caramel-covered nuts dried out with a sprinkle of cocoa and brown spice; and a nutty finish with an enduring subtly sweet chocolate malt note. This new addition to the Woodford Reserve portfolio joins its original Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked and Woodford Reserve Rye. 

New Packaging for Lindemans, Samuel Smith’s and
Du Bocq Blanche de Namur

The Lindemans family brewery has been in operation in the quiet town of Vlezenbeek in Belgium’s Senne River Valley southwest of Brussels since 1822, producing fruit lambics made using locally-grown wheat and barley fermented via wild, airborne yeast. The multiple strains of yeast lead to complex flavors and fresh fruit are added to balance the tart notes with sweetness, which have become huge crowd favorites in the US and around the world. Where previously you could only purchase 750 mL or 12-oz single bottles of its spontaneously fermented ales, the brewery is now packaging its popular Framboise (Raspberry), Peche (Peach) and Strawberry Lambic in 250 mL (8.45 oz) four-packs. 

Samuel Smith’s was established in 1758 in Tadcaster and is Yorkshire’s oldest brewery and one of the few remaining independent breweries in England. This iconic brewery is considered an early pioneer of authentic beer styles and to this day uses a strain of yeast that dates from the early 1900s. Two of its most popular beers—Nut Brown Ale and Pure Brewed Organic Lager—are both now available in four-pack 14.9-oz cans. 

Witbier or bìere blanche (“white beer”) is a wheat ale style that originated in Belgium hundreds of years ago. The Belgian brewery Du Bocq, founded in 1858, now has the distinction of being the first to package a wit beer in cans, as its Blanche de Namur is now available in 16.9-oz cans. Blanche de Namur is made from barley malt, unmalted wheat, hops, a touch of brewer’s licorice and the classic witbier spices: coriander and bitter orange peel.