It’s been a good year for the crew at Empyrean Brewing Co., the oldest and largest craft brewery in the state of Nebraska. This year they redesigned their branding, reformulated and added to year round brands, and expanded distribution in Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas and Missouri. To celebrate their very busy year, they have got not one, but two more new beers launched just this month.
First of note is a Chocolate Stout–the first in Empyrean’s new limited line called Carpe Brewem. Head Brewer Rich Chapin tells us that Carpe Brewem means ‘sieze the beer.’ And that’s just what you’ll want to do with this limited beer because once it’s gone, it’s gone.
“Carpe Brewem Chocolate Stout is smooth and roasted with hints of chocolate, closing with a slightly dry finish.” Chapin’s original recipe is brewed with a mix of midnight wheat malt and roasted barley, which creates subtle roasted overtones. The chocolate character comes from the all-natural raw cacao nibs, or unsweetened chocolate, that Chapin adds to the brew. Carpe Brewem Chocolate Stout logs in 14.0o OG, 30 IBU and 5.6% alcohol by volume.
Joining this is Winter Axis Festiv’Ale, their winter seasonal. Brewed each year with a new recipe, this year’s ale is certain to stand up to winter’s chill with an alcohol by volume of 6.0%. Chapin says this Festiv’Ale is a fresh take on a traditional Belgian Abby Ale. “Deep gold in color with the aroma of fresh biscuits and ripe fruit, it’s tart in the middle with a crisp, herbal finish.” Winter Axis is balanced in flavor with 15.2o OG and 41 IBUs.
Both are available now through the end of the year. Winter Axis is packaged in 6-pack bottles as well as on draft. Carpe Brewem, however, has a limited distribution–on draft only at Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill and FireWorks Restaurant in Nebraska. So if that doesn’t work for you, the brewery is planning to bottle the Carpe Brewem line for retail in 2013, making it available at liquor stores and convenience stores across the Midwest.