A Look Back at 2011 Part 4- Jackie O’s, Hoppin Frog, Surly and Founders
Dan recaps some memorable moments in the craft beer year of 2011 by running down some milestones from the likes of midwest/Great Lakes players Jackie O’s, Hoppin’ Frog, Surly Brewing and Founders Brewing. Cheers!
Jackie O’s Pub and Brewery – The very young brewery, Jackie O’s has made quite an impression on the craft beer scene in 2011. They’ve done many bottle releases, including favorites Barrel Aged Dark Apparition, variants of Oil of Aphrodite, and they’ve continued on in their Cuvee series, and haven’t really hit too many snags doing so. Unlike other brewers of their size doing barrel aged releases, they have the luxury of not being easily accessible, and thus don’t get the shit storm other small batch releases get. You’d also be hard pressed to here online complaints about these guys too.
Hoppin’ Frog – This brewery out of Akron, OH has stayed the course over the past few years, and did well in 2011. One of their flagship beers, BORIS The Crusher Oatmeal Stout won gold at the GABF this year and they sold a special version of BORIS, aged in Crown Royal barrels, known as BORIS Royale. They finished off the year releasing Barrel Aged Frosty Frog, and are enjoying the overall rise in popularity of their brand with locals and traders a far.
Surly Brewing – Like other small breweries with huge followings in 2011, Surly made the plunge into a large expansion project (to the tune of $20M). They have established great products and a loyal following they probably can’t meet demand with. They also executed a great dark sour in Surly 5 this year, and participated in Three Floyds XV Anniversary Beer Blend, Baller Stout, adding in Darkness Imperial stout into the mix.
Founders Brewing – Directly related to the rise in popularity of craft beer, Founders was put in a position of not being able to meet the demand and subsequent frenzy for KBS earlier this year. In past years, this has been an easy beer for locals and traders to get their hands on. Then, they started up the Backstage Series, using the premium bottle model many other breweries have adopted by putting a big beer in a big bottle and selling it for $20-30 a bottle. It started out with a Fruit Sour called Blushing Monk. Then it was announced that the legendary Canadian Breakfast Stout would be the second in this series. As a backstory, Canadian Breakfast Stout (Imperial Stout with chocolate and maple syup aged in emptied syrup barrels) has been on the radar of uber geeks for years, rated highly on the two top ratings sites. It’s been available scarcely on tap in the midwest, and was hand bottled by traders for years. Unlike Blushing Monk, the release of CBS caused chaos in the midwest geek eco-system. Hoarders were buying them up in hopes of landing the big trade, liquor stores in the area were marking up the prices of the bottles from $20 to $100, largely due to the immediate price tag opportunists assigned to the product on EBAY! After many threads piled up online of outrage, Founders issued a press release explaining what there role in all of this is, and where their responsibility ends. After the CBS hyped died down, they released news that another cult beer that has been draft only would be Curmudgeon’s Better Half, an old ale aged in maple syrup barrels. For all the hype beers Founders makes, they also make plenty of solid, under rated beers. so if you don’t get your hands on C.B.H (see, I just made that up), chill out and try a Centennial IPA.
We will continue to recap the year in craft brew until the ball drops, so stay tuned loyal readers. Cheers!