Craft Beer Ingredients by Season

seasonal craft beer by Columbia Distributing

 

In the past few years, the rise of craft beer has been startling — in fact, the total number of breweries in the States rose by almost 20% from 2013 to 2014; signaling the growing popularity of the many types of flavor profiles. The market has been trying to meet the demand, and so marketing your craft brew has been easier if you do it by season.

What Does the Season Matter?

The reasoning is actually somewhat similar to the wines you should drink with different kinds of meat and chocolate; some tastes simply complement others better. As examples, it is generally acknowledged that you want to save your darker, more involved beers for the cold wintertime crowd, and your lighter beers for the spring and summer. Incorporating this into your plan will have a distinct difference in results when marketing your craft brew.

Summertime Examples

If you’ve been in business for an length of time, then you’ve probably already got a solid plan in place for marketing your craft brew; something that incorporates search marketing in your local region and even paid advertisements. The next step is to tailor the flavors such that the seasonal ones dominate. In spring and leading into the summer, you should opt for fruit beers because of the lightness they confer to the cocktail. A cool shandy — lemonade and beer mix — goes a long way on a warm summer day.

Wheat, classic pilsner and pale and hoppy beers also work for summer evenings. You’ll appreciate the citrus flavor and fleeting spiciness at a summer barbecue, for example. Make the correct measurements for the additives, though, because you do not want a heavy brew this season.

Fall Brews

The gathering clouds and markedly cooler days make way for pumpkin, maple and amber brews. Autumn is the perfect time for nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice cocktails to liven up the spirits (pun intended). The lightness of summer is gone, and American renditions of the great German beer festival known as Oktoberfest crop up in towns everywhere. Consider adding appropriately colored banners when marketing your craft brew in the online space — they will attract more attention because of the season.

Winter Brews

The season of the heavy beer, as it were. Winter is the right time to brew those thick Imperials and Stouts and Porters that were much too heavy as summertime fare. These beers are like the Old Norse meads from the time of Thor and the Asgardians — they WILL leave you full and warm — and drunk, if you have as many glasses of this as you did of the classic Pilsners last summer.

An American favorite is eggnog-inspired spirits, which are more of a dessert beer. Lastly, Winter is also a great time for bourbon and chocolate/coffee mixtures to your liquor. Market these variously-flavored brews at the right time and you should see your bottom line go up.


10 Beers to Try this Summer

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Well, summer is officially here and that means it’s time to bust out the tank tops and enjoy an ice cold beer on the patio! It wasn’t easy but we combed through our portfolio of awesome pilsners, wheat beers, pale ales and more to give you our list of 10 refreshing beers you can enjoy on those hot summer days.

1. Fremont Summer Ale

Availability: April 1 – August 31

ABV: 5.2%

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This simple craft, summer ale tastes like endless summer days and tangerine flowers in a glass.

2. Deschutes Hop Slice Summer Ale

Availability: April 1 – August 31

ABV: 5%

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Floral and citrus hop notes meet smooth caramel maltiness in this refreshingly balanced golden ale. This year’s batch includes Lemondrop Hops!

3. Full Sail Blood Orange Wheat

Availability: Not listed

ABV: 5.2%

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The Blood Orange Wheat offers a medium malt body with a crisp wheat finish and subtle orange flavor.

4. HUB Ferocious Citrus IPA

Availability: Not listed

ABV: 6.2%

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Big citrus hop flavors meet up grapefruit juice for a complex and fun to drink citrus sipper.

5. Cascade Lakes Blonde Bombshell

Availability: Year Round

ABV: 4.3%

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Blonde Bombshell combines subtle malt and wheat flavors with a delicate Liberty hop aroma to create a sensational beer. Originally brewed as a seasonal, this beer was so popular, they pushed it into their regular line-up.

6. Backwoods Gifford Pinchot Pilsner

Availability: Year Round

ABV: 5.1%

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A Czech Pilsner brewed the exact way they do it in Prague. Made with a Czech Saaz hop, this beer has a spicy floral aroma with grassy notes and a clean crisp finish.

7. Dogfish Head Seaquench

Availability: April – December

ABV: 4.9%

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The release of SeaQuench Ale kicked off a new partnership between Dogfish Head and the National Aquarium that will focus on inspiring conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. This session sour quencher is brewed with lime peel, black limes & sea salt.

8. Lagunitas Czech Pilsner

Availability: Year Round

ABV: 6%

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This Czech pilsner is brewed with loads of imported Saaz hops and a bottom-fermenting yeast strain that leaves it Light and Crisp, yet full of real flavor and all the things you yearn for.

9. Crux Gimme Mo IPA

Availability: Year Round

ABV: 6.2%

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Consider this the next generation IPA. It’s slightly sweet with lower ABV. It’s complex aromatic layers, suggest mango, melon, pine, and berries, are driven by whole-leaf Mosaic and Citra hops which are then balanced by an acidulated and pilsner malt bill. It’s silky smooth mouthfeel will leave you asking for “mo!”

10. Ballast Point Pineapple Sculpin

Availability: Year Round

ABV: 7%

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The Pineapple Sculpin IPA came from one of many small-batch cask experiments to enhance the flavor of Ballast Point’s signature IPA. The combination of fruity flavors and hop intensity definitely packs a punch.

 

Don’t see your favorite summer beer on the list? Let us know at Social@coldist.com.

 

 

 


Best Craft Breweries and Beers in Oregon

Oregon is a utopia for great craft beers, and Columbia Distributing proudly represents and delivers so many of them. However, the vast selection can be overwhelming, even for an aficionado. Explore this guide, broken down by Breweries for convenience, to find the best beers across the state.

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Barley’s Brown Beer

They have a great selection of all types of beers, although their Shredders Wheat was awarded the 2015 silver for “American Style Wheat Beer” in the Oregon Beer Awards. At the same time, their Pallet Jack IPA won Bronze in the Copa Cervezas de America, showing off their impressive versatility.

Hop Valley Brewing Co.

Started by four lifelong Oregonians, this brewery is as local as it gets. With an extensive selection of drinkable yet distinct brews and dedication to the hop history of Oregon, there’s a lot to enjoy from Hop Valley. They boast many rotating seasonal flavors, including their Blonde Ale and Citrus Mistress IPA, which both placed at the Beer World Cup in 2014.

Deschutes

Deschutes is a well-known name among craft beer enthusiasts, and for good reason. Their Abyss beer was chosen by Oregon Live as the second best of 2016 thanks to its dark, complex flavor. They also have a wide range of beers and exciting new brews coming out seasonally.

Hair of the Dog

Besides a great name, Hair of the Dog is one of the most established independent breweries. Barrel-aged, family run, and locally sourced, this business stays true to its values. Their “Adam” beer is a classic, but they have a lot of great flavors, including the Blue Dot IPA, which has been making waves in the craft community.

Hopworks Urban Brewery

Hopworks can be found in the heart of Portland and uses hops from the surrounding area. Their Ace of Spaces is an Imperial IPA that packs a punch. Those who like hops, hints of citrus, and a sliver of sharp bitterness will love this beer.

These excellent craft beers make Columbia Distributing proud to work in Oregon. Even better, they represent but a small number of the total Oregon-based selection!