Every season, Ohio gets a bunch of new reasons to celebrate our good fortune as one of best states for beer distribution and this fall is no different. I did the legwork to discover and uncover the brews that will be appearing on our shelves in the upcoming months. Please note, sometimes things change but these products have all been recently approved for sale in the “Buckeye” State. Some may end up being draft-only but many will be in bottles and will be at your favorite better beer store. Some may be on shelves in the next week, while a few may get delayed, but there’s good reason to believe that we’ll be seeing even more great beers to round out 2011. Here’s the list of what we can expect before winter’s cold takes hold! And, as always, I’ll keep you updated on Twitter as the releases hit the shelves, so be sure to follow me!
Three Floyds is coming back to Ohio in the next few weeks. Although a set date is still to be 100% confirmed, I will report in the next week what the date will be as well as what beers will be appearing (and quickly disappearing) from local shelves. Remember that Ohio is only getting specialty (AKA 22oz) bottles and shipments will be very, very limited.
Even though their football team still sucks, Michigan is a powerhouse of all things brewery and beer related. Bells and Founders are two of the nation’s best. They’re both bringing their ‘A’ game to Ohio this fall. Bells will be releasing a limited amount of their new ale called This One Goes to 11 – it’s a follow-up to the now retired 1,000 batch series. The style is still a guarded secret, but we’ll get some in Ohio in the next few months! Lucky Clevelanders can also get ready for the state’s first ever keg of Kalamazoo HopSolution during Cleveland Beer Week. The other two mammoth new releases come from Founders. CBS Imperial Stout will be very, very limited with just somewhere around 80 cases for the state (exact number to be confirmed, release early in October). But there will be another great beer from Founders, All Day IPA – the exact date has yet to be confirmed but Ohio will get this thirst quenching hoppy session ale when it makes it to shelves. Stone always represents with the big releases and, as of press time today, a palate of Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA is on the way to Ohio from San Diego. The beer will be released to stores as soon as it arrives, hopefully the week of 9/19. Winking Lizard will have this amazing Black IPA on tap on October 6th! Look out for the roll-out of Stone Double Bastard the week of October 16th! Also from California, Green Flash is bringing Rayon Vert Belgian Pale Ale to Ohio in 4 packs in November!
Cleveland Beer Week is always the most wonderful time of the year for beer in Northeast Ohio, but our friends from Southern Tier are giving us even more reason to get excited this year. I-90 Pale Ale will make several appearances during Cleveland Beer Week, including a keg tapping at each Winking Lizard in Cuyahoga County on October 14th. I broke the news on this special offering earlier this month, so read all about it here. Another Southern Tier beer called Eurotrash Pilz should also be appearing in 6 packs – yep, this rare tap-only offering is going to bottles and the Czech Pilsner lover in me can’t wait to seek it out. Victory Brewing introduced my personal favorite beer so far this year with an unbelievable American Pale Ale called Headwaters. How can they possibly follow that up? Well, here’s a scoop that big beer lovers should enjoy – Victory’s new Belgian style smoked beer Otto will be appearing on Ohio shelves soon after October 15th in very limited numbers. This unique Belgian dubbel recipe does wonders to smooth out the traditional smoky flavor of rauchbier with the addition of caramel malts, creating an accessible treat. As if that wasn’t enough, I’ve confirmed that a very, very limited number of bottles of Barrel-aged Storm King Stout, AKA Victory Dark Intrigue will be heading to Ohio at the end of November. I’m sure this amazing bourbon barrel delight will come and go in a blink of the eye, but look for it at a few select locations and, maybe, just maybe, there will be a release event of some kind. I’m also very hopeful that the incredible Victory Village coffee brown ale will make it to Ohio, but I’m probably just dreaming – maybe someone at Victory can send a keg to a Cleveland Beer Week event? Pretty please??
In other Domestic microbrew news, North Peak has three new beers on the way to complement their core lineup– a wet hop IPA called Hoodoo, Nomad Cider and Hooligan Pumpkin. Hooligan will be draft-only, so keep an eye out – according to my friends at North Peak, “Although it won’t be a sour beer, Ron Jeffries, of Jolly Pumpkin wrote the recipe for us and it is amazing”. The incomparable Clipper City has gotten approval for an amber lager (altbier) called Heavy Seas Obrycki’s – I expect this to be a draft-only offering since the beer was brewed especially for Obrycki’s Crab House in Baltimore – maybe it will be for an event or restaurant around Ohio. Not content to stop there, Heavy Seas also has a fresh hop beer called Hop Haarvest on the way in bottles, probably this week! This is more of a hoppy porter than the traditional lighter harvest IPA’s or Pale Ales. Flying Dog has a duo of new fall beers – Fear the Pumpkin ale and Secret Stash wet hop harvest ale. Epic will have limited amounts of Big Bad Baptist, the next release in the Exponential series flying off shelves around the country, and Ohio should see a small amount. This beer is a coffee and chocolate Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels. Two Brothers Heavy Handed returns in late September with an overload of hops – how do they stuff it all into that bottle? Finally, Summit is sending Ohio an “Unchained” beer called Honeymoon Saison, an ale brewed with Honey.
Not to be outdone by the nimble little guys, the big craft breweries have some new brews coming out as well! Samuel Adams has a Double Pumpkin ale on the way for fall as well as a Coffee Stout called Black & Brew. The Pumpkin beer looks to be tap-only while the Coffee Stout will be bottled as well as on draft. Sam Adams The Vixen Chocolate Chili Bock will also be headed our way to warm us up for the colder weather along with Griffin’s Bow Blonde Oaked Barleywine. Magic Hat Ravell porter, brewed with Vanilla Beans, is making a return from its hiatus, having been last produced in the mid 2000’s. Tommyknocker is jumping on the Pumpkin bandwagon with a Small Patch Pumpkin Harvest Ale. Rogue has first growth Good Chit pilsner on the way. Sierra Nevada will roll out the next beer in the Ovila series, a quad called, prepare yourself, Quad. Finally, a few months ago, I tweeted about Yuengling’s Ohio entrance before the official news broke across the state. On October 3rd, Yuengling Lager, Light and Black and Tan will be available in bottles, draft and in cans (I dare you to tell the difference between all three!). Their entrance to Ohio has been long anticipated by those from parts east, although I personally fear that the beer actually may cannibalize sales of entry-level craft beer (more on that in a feature expose coming soon). There’s no word if the new Yuengling seasonal Octoberfest will make it to Ohio or not, but the company has hinted at the Porter and Chesterfield ale following the initial release. Just what we need, more corn based products on our shelves! La de fricking da!
Internationally, the biggest beer coming our way from overseas has to be Guinness Black Lager. I got to try a bottle a few months back and, while it loses the trademark mouthfeel I associate with Guinness, it is a refreshing UK twist on the schwarzbier. Canada’s outstanding Unibroue is bringing a brew to the market called Ale Eau Benite, a honey and spiced tripel that never previously left their home turf of Quebec. A new batch of 3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek is on the way along with a Belgian Porter called Zwet.be. Duchessic Ale, a Birra Del Borgo & Cantillon collaboration, will arrive in time for Cleveland Beer Week. De Ranke’s delicious Saison De Dottignies makes its Ohio debut this fall. More Struise Pannepot is ready to hit shelves. Timmermans Oude Gueze will be puckering mouths all around, and, finally Mikkeller has one more 750ml on the way (in addition to the Koppi IPA and incredible Nelson Sauvin Brut that just hit shelves) – a Tripple Bock called Fresler. For you session beer fans, look for Cain’s Dark Mild and Cain’s Bitter, appearing for Cleveland Beer Week.
And, finally, I’d like to welcome another great brewery to our shelves. San Diego’s own Coronado brewery is the latest Southern California export to grace our great beer state with some fantastic bottled offerings. I first had a fresh Coronado Idiot IPA back in October of last year as a result of a beer trade, and I was impressed with its solid flavor and finesse. It really was another wonderful Southern California hop bomb in the tradition of Alesmith and Alpine, so I have high hopes for the rest of their offerings. There are no less than six of them headed our way: Hoppy Daze Belgian Style IPA, Idiot Imperial IPA, Red Devil Imperial Red Ale, Islander IPA, Mermaid’s Red and Avenue Wit. They should start to show up on shelves soon.
I thought this list was overwhelming enough without the local brewers, but I’ll post another article after Cleveland Beer Week that will let you know what to expect in the months ahead. That’s the news and I’m outta here!
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