Beer, Beer, & Better Beer | HopCat

Beer, Beer, & Better Beer

HopCat GR's 'unicorn' beers for Wood & Wild
Rick Martinez, HopCat Grand Rapids Beer Program Manager | October 19, 2017
Wood & Wild, Barrel-Aged

We're counting down the days, hours and minutes until the Wood & Wild Festival, taking place Oct. 22 at every HopCat. In anticipation, we're checking in with our expert beer managers for suggestions about amazing things to try at each of our locations. Today we hear from HopCat Grand Rapids beverage guru Rick Martinez, who suggests a few "unicorns" - beers so epic and legendary they defy comprehension - that will be available at the GR event:

•2016 Rodenbach Alexander:
Brewed only once since 1999, this Sour Flanders Red is one of the world’s most highly coveted beers.

•2015 Perrin Brewing Company No Rules:
Perrin’s No Rules Vietnamese Porter ranks in the top 0.0016% out of 60,000 beers in the world. This 15% Imperial Porter was made with coconut and turbinado sugar then laid down and aged in bourbon barrels for several months.

• Speciation Artisan Ales Black Currant Incipient:
Speciation has been one of the top-rated breweries in the world since jumping onto the scene this year; the Black Currant Incipient proves why. This Golden Sour’s brewed with pilsner malt, oats, and wheat with loads of black currant added to dominant the flavor.

• Odd Side Ales Double Oaked Hipster Brunch Stout:
A new twist on a local legend, Hipster Brunch. There are so few of these barrels in existence, very few will ever see it on tap…except for us, of course. We always get the best for you.

•2016 Arclight Brewing Company Soursmith Cherry:
Soursmith Kriek Cherry won the gold medal at the 2016 Festival of Barrel Aged Beers in the Wild/Sour Beer (Fruit) category.

• Witch's Hat Brewing Company Bourbon Barrel Cookies and Cream Night Fury:
While all of the beers on our W&W list are rare, this may be the rarest. It's seldom seen outside of their tap room.

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Can't-miss 'unicorn' beers at HopCat Chicago's Wood & Wild
Doug Wise, HopCat Chicago Beer Program Manager | October 18, 2017
Wood & Wild, Barrel-Aged

The Wood & Wild Festival is so close we can almost taste it. The event - happening Sunday, Oct. 22 at all HopCats - puts a spotlight on barrel-aged and sour beers. The lists can be daunting, so we're checking with our beer experts at each location about the can't-miss beers that will be tapped throughout the day. Below are some suggestions from Doug Wise, beer program manager at HopCat Chicago, whose full tap list is available here.

Lagunitas Rum BA Brown Shugga - Brown Shugga on its own is maybe the smoothest 9.7% beer you can find, and I'm a sucker for brown sugar. Adding the the sweet booziness of a rum barrel makes this a must-try! [More info via Untappd]

Moody Tongue Bourbon Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter - Moody Tongue is one of the best breweries in Chicago, and this limited brew has me daydreaming. Baltic porters are not so common, and feature malt complexity with the smoothness of lager yeast. Everything I have read so far about this beer suggests a harmony of coffee, roasted malt, vanilla, and oak. [More info via Untappd]

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout 2015 - Hailing from Grand Rapids, Founders is one of our oldest partners. I've come to be pretty familiar with KBS, a yearly limited release, during my time with HopCat, but I've never had it aged two years, and I'm excited to see how it has evolved over time. [More info via Untappd]

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'Unicorn' highlights at HopCat AA's Wood & Wild fest
Marty Rivard, HopCat Ann Arbor Beer Program Manager | October 18, 2017
Wood & Wild, Barrel-Aged

As we continue the countdown to our Wood & Wild Festival -- taking place Oct. 22 at every HopCat location -- we're checking in with our expert beer managers for suggestions about beers to try at each of our restaurants. Here, HopCat Ann Arbor's Marty Rivard suggests a couple of "unicorns" (beers so epic and legendary they defy comprehension) that will be featured at A2's Wood & Wild event:

I'm pretty pumped for the Saule by The Bruery. This beer is made so scarcely that it is near impossible to find and it's a blend of every Anniversary Ale they've ever made. Which is pretty dope.
Also, our 2015 Madrugada Obscura - Dark Dawn. This is a Jolly Pumpkin Oak BA Belgian-Style Imperial Wild Stout... mouth-full, eh? I'm a huge Jolly Pumpkin fan, they make really fantastic sours and I've been really into sour stouts and porters lately. I think the chocolatey, roasted maltiness of the beer adds a very nice addition to the sour and fills the mouthfeel nicely. I'm excited to see how the Belgian yeast will complement this one.
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