2016 is off to a fast and furious start – new beers, new seasonal beers, funky beer and soon sour beer. We challenged ourselves to up the bar for new and exciting beers this year.
To that end, we are happy to introduce our new spring seasonal Near and Far, an American-style kolsch. We brew this like a classic style kolsch, but then take a detour and dry hop it like an American IPA.
One might say this would be a bastardized version of the style and a complete disrespect of the classic example. They would be right. I can’t begin to tell you how much sleep I don’t lose at night over these things. We never claimed to brew beers to style guidelines, and in this case, we are coloring far outside the lines. But guess what…it’s still delicious!
This concept is something the staff has been excited about for a while, and it’s already becoming a favorite amongst the crew. This kolsch is absolutely crushable, with a bright but not overpowering American hop aroma. Near and Far is a beer that showcases something we talk about a lot here – perceived bitterness vs. actual bitterness. The actual bitterness in this beer is quote low, but the perceived is high given the dry hop addition. In fact, this beer is less bitter than Southern Drawl, which isn’t very bitter in the first place.
In short, Near and Far is a light, easy-drinking kolsch with beautiful dry hopped character not often seen with this style. Classic? No. Crushable? Yes!
Why not can it then? Great question. This beer would be great in a 16 oz can, 19 oz stove pipe or 32oz tall boy. Hard to argue that. A lot of our beers would be great in a can, but we are holding off on that for a while given the high cost of cans and our tendency to changes things from time to time. For now, enjoy this beer fresh and dream about the days of dry hopped lager(ish) beer in a can.