It’s Actually Been A Great Year For Lovers Of Unique Craft Beers
Not trying to make light of a tragic situation (the pandemic and the associated quarantine and shutdown), but If you believe in "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade", then this has not been a bad year for craft beer lovers.
Yes, the breweries have suffered (for example, Bell's announcing this week, that at the end of March, they lost 38% of their business due to the shutdown.) But, brewers like Bell's have also come out with some interesting, and in some cases, one time only, beers.
During April and May, Bell's made Mango Oberon available through their website, and it sold out almost immediately. And the reaction to it led to it being sold full time. Incessant was Bell's Double New England IPA, and it was quite good, too. Several beers that were General Store Exclusives were quite interesting, including a raspberry variant of Oberon, and a limited release of Mars from the Planet series.
Now comes Hop Grandslam. If the name is familiar, it is, but don't confuse it with HopSlam, which fans say should be accompanied with a chorus of angels.) Bell's says the recipe has been tweaked, and it goes on sale at 11am, Thursday, July 9th, as part of the General Store Exclusives.(Warning: If you have you're heart set on buying this beer, be on the website at 11am, and here's a tip - pick a pickup time as late as possible.)
But other brewers are doing some interesting things this summer. Up the road in Holland, New Holland has a new variation of Dragon's Milk named Solera. (It's a way of aging the beer called "fractional blending". But it still has the kick of a mule (10.0% ABV) and will be available year round.
And, Short's bought the recipes of Arcadia Ales, and a new Whitsun Ale was available for the Fourth of July holiday.