Friday, November 19, 2010

Beer Series

For whatever it is, there is a certain allure about drinking beers that are released in a series.  Recently, I have had the opportunity to partake Vertical Epic 10-10-10, Three French Hens and Scratch #35.  These beers are a part of a series that have will have the next bottle released a year later.  They are special releases, but not as limited as beers such as Dark Lord, Pliny the Younger, et cetera.

The Stone Brewing Vertical Epic series have been around since 2002; the beers are released on the matching month, day and year.  The first was released February 2, 2002 (hence 02-02-02).  This year's Vertical Epic was released on October 10, and is a Belgian Strong Ale that has honey and spices. 

The Bruery's 12 Days/Years of Christmas series is in its third year.  It started with Partridge in a Pear Tree, last year's release was Two Turtle Doves, and this year gives us Three French Hens.  These beers are all Belgian Dark Ales, but each has a twist.  A portion of the Three French Hens is aged in French Oak Barrels. Two Turtle Doves features cocoa, taken from the turtle chocolate candies.  Partridge in a Pear Tree was a Belgian Dark Ale that helps form the base of the future beers.

Troeg's Scratch Series are one-off beers that the brewers make when they want to try something out.  It could be an IPA, saison, Belgian pale ale or stout.  The sky is the limit, and sometimes the beers have been bad, and sometimes the beers have been so good they put it into production (like the Flying Mouflan).

These two lines of beers are very good, and I have enjoyed them immensely.  But what makes them special?  Being special releases helps.  Knowing when the beers are released (Vertical Epic on the matching day, The Bruerys around Christmas) allows beer geeks to plan on them.  I have found that they are great beers.  The Vertical Epic 09-09-09 has been one of my favorite beers to drink.  And has lead me to pick up the beer whenever I see it on the shelves.  The Scratch Series is different, as the beers are released on a more random basis.

These series are very intriguing, and have lead to many people being happy.  The Vertical Epic series is always highly regarded, the 12 Days/Years of Christmas are always great Holiday beers and the Scratch Series are always well crafted beers that leave you wanting more. 

I look forward to finding and trying more beer series, and eventually becoming addicted to them all.

1 comment:

  1. Just had Stone 10.10.10 last week. I was impressed (and I am NOT a stone fan). Very nice ale and I highly recommend it.