Fulton Beer Replaces Ringer with Pils in Year Round Lineup
(Minneapolis, MN) – This week we are releasing an all-new Continental Pilsner, simply titled “PILS.” PILS will be available year-round on draft and in six packs of 12 oz bottles. Why a Pilsner? Simply put, most of us at the brewery love this style of beer. It’s usually the first beer we seek out when we visit a new town or another brewery. Whenever the ageless “desert island beer” conversation comes up, one Pilsner or another gets an impassioned debate. The only problem was, Fulton had never brewed a Pils. So, we set out to make a great one. Ours is built on a base of Minnesota-malted Rahr Pilsner. It features a smooth, well-rounded bitterness provided by German Perle, and a pleasantly floral aroma provided by the style’s hallmark Saaz hops. Pilsner yeast punctuates the beer with a beautifully clean finish. At 5.3% ABV and 30 IBU, this is a beer that leaves your senses wanting for nothing – except another.
It’s always exciting to add a new beer to our repertoire. In the 10 years since we started homebrewing in a one car South Minneapolis garage, we have come to appreciate and enjoy nearly every style of beer. To us, a large part of what drew us to homebrewing was the ability to create any beer, with our imaginations being pretty much the only limitation. As the number of styles and substyles of beer continues to grow and evolve, and the quality and diversity of ingredients available to brew with grows as well, the permutations and combinations of recipe possibilities approaches infinity—or at least a number way higher than we can count. But as a production brewery, the unfortunate reality is that there is a finite number of tap handles and shelf spots in the world; we can’t brew every beer we want, all the time.
So begins the long process of narrowing down the world of endless choice to perhaps a couple dozen beers that will appear in our lineup over the period of a year. Many are small releases of only a few hundred cases and a few dozen kegs. Some are draft only, and some never even make it out of our taproom. A handful make it into our year-round lineup. If you’ve ever drank a Fulton, you’d had one of these. For the first five years of Fulton’s existence, we had only two Core beers – Lonely Blonde and Sweet Child of Vine. We were unusual in that way; most breweries have four or five year-round beers the first day they open for business. We chose to do fewer because we believed investing our efforts in perfecting just a couple beers rather than a half dozen or more made long term sense, in terms of quality of beer and of building brand recognition. Meanwhile we quenched our fans’—and our own—thirst for variety by releasing a growing number of seasonals. First came Worthy Adversary, then Libertine. Later on, it was Expat, Randonneur, and many many more. In 2014, after years of it being a taproom favorite, we added The Ringer to our year-round lineup. Last year, we increased our Core lineup to 5 beers, with the addition of 300 IPA and Standard Lager. In total, we brewed about 25 beers in 2016, with 16 of those making it out in both draft and package formats.
So we have finally have a full calendar of year-round and seasonal beers, and it took just seven years to build. What to do now? Tear it up, of course! Well, not entirely…but substantially. In the name of creative destruction, we’ve re-worked much of our lineup this year. We’re introducing some all-new beers, making some familiar favorites into taproom exclusives, and even retiring a few.
The biggest change: to make room for PILS, The Ringer is moving out of our year-round lineup. Ringer loyalists need not fear, as it will continue to be available in the taproom on a regular basis. And the last of the bottles are still on shelves of some stores, so you may still be able to pick up a sixer for a short time.
There have been even more changes in the seasonal camp. Last month we released a brand-new NE-style Session IPA, “Hopstar.” It’s been in such a high demand that it’s gone from our warehouse already, so if you see it on shelves, grab it while you can, because we are out except for a few kegs that our taproom will continue to pour. Meanwhile, in the “addition by subtraction” column, we have drawn back on our saison lineup. You may have noticed Randonneur didn’t appear in bottles this year. We have dialed that back to a taproom-only release, which is pouring now. Our other two saisons, Expat and Maitrise, have retired. Does that mean you’ll never taste them again? Not necessarily, but we don’t yet have a timetable for their return.
On the all-new side, 2017 will see 3 releases in our Culture Project series. Two, a golden ale aged in oak for two years on lacto, pedio, and brett, came out in April. Later this year, Tanager, our 100% Barrel-fermented Brett IPA makes its bottle debut, followed by another Culture Project release late in the year.
Enough change yet? Almost, but not quite. In addition to our just-released collaboration with the Star Tribune, Extra! Extra!, we have a couple more collaborations in the works that we can’t talk about just yet. And we’ll have more all-new taproom-exclusive releases dropping occasionally throughout the year.
That gets us back to where we started—brewing what we want, when we want. At any given moment, we generally have 20-24 beers available in the taproom. The lineup changes on an almost weekly basis. Keep an eye on the taproom page of our website; we keep the taps listed there as fresh as the beer. Of course you can always find our perennial favorites on tap, and every limited release visits the taproom as well. Drop by for a beer sometime soo, and meanwhile, pick up a six pack of Pils next time you’re in the liquor store – it just might become your desert island beer.