Full Sail Releases Citrus Maxima Citrus Pale Ale in Cans

Just in time for spring, Full Sail Brewing Co. is releasing Citrus Maxima Citrus Pale Ale. Here are a few interesting facts about this new year-round beer. First, it's a can-only release. Second, it uses Simcoe and Citra hops, fresh grapefruit and pomelo. Finally, it's dry "hopped" with hundreds of pounds of citrus peels.

Full Sail already has Blood Orange Wheat in its year-round lineup, so it'll be interesting to see how this new offering compares. Look for Citrus Maxima in six-packs of 12 oz. cans as well as the in the new Grab 'N' Go Variety 12 Pack of cans. I wonder if this has any Vitamin C? Sounds like it might pair nicely with breakfast...

For more details, check out Full Sail's new release below.

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One Sip and Citrus Maxima Will Be Your Main Squeeze
Full Sail’s new tart and juicy citrus pale ale hits shelves this month

Hood River, Oregon – March 22, 2018 – Here at Full Sail Brewing Co., when life gives us citrus, we make Citrus Maxima Citrus Pale Ale. Maximum citrus levels of grapefruit, pomelo, citrus peel and – of course – hops, make Citrus Maxima a balanced and refreshing pale ale.

The brewers at Full Sail have a zest for life – and beer. In case you were wondering, Citrus maxima comes from the scientific name of the pomelo, one of the three primary ancestors of citrus fruits. Playing on this, as well as the unique grapefruit-like character of pomelo, Citrus Maxima is an easy-drinking pale ale that’s well stocked with Simcoe and Citra hops, while fresh pomelo and grapefruit peels lend citrus and grapefruit notes.

“This was a fun project, but certainly complicated and labor intensive at this scale,” says Full Sail Brewmaster Greg Doss. “Our goal was to blend aromas from citrus-forward hops with fresh grapefruit and pomelo in a refreshing and drinkable pale ale. I think we did it.” You’ve heard of dry hopping – so why not dry peeling? “Hundreds of pounds of fresh citrus peel are infused into each batch,” says Doss, “but it’s worth it.”

The greatness of tart and juicy, fresh-squeezed citrus cannot be contained but it can be canned. Full Sail Citrus Maxima Citrus Pale Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. can 6-packs and in the Full Sail Grab ‘n’ Go-Go variety 12-pack. 5.7% ABV, 38 IBUs. 

About Full Sail Brewing Company
Perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the mighty Columbia River’s epic wind and kite surfing and the snow-capped volcanic peak of Mt. Hood, Full Sail is a true craft-brewing pioneer. Since 1987, Full Sail has been pouring pure Mt. Hood water, local ingredients and responsible processes into each and every pint. Full Sail’s brews and sustainable practices have garnered more than 300 national and international awards, including more than 200 gold medals and Beverage World’s “Craft Brewer of the Year” distinction. From Full Sail Amber and IPA to Session Lager and bourbon barrel-aged beers, Full Sail consistently strives to brew complex, balanced and ridiculously tasty beers. Learn more at www.fullsailbrewing.com.

Haze Craze: Brewers Association Releases "Juicy or Hazy IPA" Style Guidelines

Hazy, or NE style IPAs have been “the” thing in craft beer geekdom for well over a year. But if you wanted one, you typically had to find it on draft at a beer bar or growler fill station. However, breweries are now offering this popular style in wide release and are packaging it in convenient small format bottles and cans. 

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay! In fact, just yesterday, the Brewers Association declared that "Juicy or Hazy IPA" is now an official style and released the following guidelines:

Juicy or Hazy India Pale Ale
  • Color: Straw to deep gold
  • Clarity: Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of hazy appearance within this category.
  • Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Low to low-medium malt aroma and flavor may be present
  • Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-high to very high hop aroma and flavor are present, with attributes typical of hops from any origin
  • Perceived Bitterness: Medium-low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity-estery aroma and flavor may be present, but are usually overwhelmed by hop fruitiness. Diacetyl should not be perceived.
  • Body: Medium-low to medium-high. Perceived silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to overall flavor profile.
  • Additional notes: Grist may include a small amount of oat, wheat or other adjuncts to promote haziness. Descriptors such as “juicy” are often used to describe the taste and aroma hop-derived attributes present in these beers.

Haze is relative thing. When I drink the style, I'm looking for an opaque beer (not required by the new guidelines). I want to taste and smell lots of juicy hop flavors, but without the harsh bitterness.

If you're looking for an excellent example of the style, that's widely available it the Northwest, I suggest you quickly seek Ecliptic Brewing's Phaser Hazy IPA. Here's the brewery's description:

"Juicy and unfiltered, Phaser Hazy IPA stuns with a lively array of fruity hop notes.  Phaser features Citra, Azacca, Mosaic, Motueka, and Calypso hops."

When I tasted Phaser, juicy grapefruit dominated the aroma and taste. It also had tropical fruit notes in the middle and finish. Now the bad news...  Phaser is a seasonal release that's nearing the end of its run. It will be replaced as Ecliptic's canned seasonal in April by Espacio Mexican Lager with Lime Zest. If you like Hazy IPAs, this is one you'll want to try! Go grab a six-pack or two!

What are some of your favorite Hazy IPAs?

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Afternoon at Cider Rite of Spring '18

This past weekend was packed full of great events in Portland! I managed to attend two of them. On Saturday, my wife and I attended Cider Rite of Spring. The event has grown and festival organizers moved it to the Leftbank Annex, after holding it at the Tiffany Center for the last few years. The new venue was bright, airy, with loads of room. More on that in a bit...

This was the third time we attended Cider Rite of Spring, and this year was the best yet! Here's a rundown of some of my thoughts. In full disclosure, festival organizers provided us with free VIP tickets.

What I liked:

New Venue: The Leftbank Annex is a beautiful venue. There were lots of tables and plenty of room to spread out. The 1st floor even had a large lounge with big comfy couches (suitable for napping). The location is ultra convenient. It's just a ~5 minute walk from the Rose Quarter Transit Center. Yep, no need to drive! Leftbank Annex is a winner, and I hope Cider Rite of Spring returns to it next year. I'd love to see more beer events here as well.

The Leftbank Annex

The Great Room around 1pm

Comfy lounge in the Club Room

Event Layout:  The festival was spread out over two floors, with the VIP Lounge on a 3rd level balcony. The event program contained a map, so it was very easy to find any given cider maker. The fact that they were arranged in alphabetical order made it event easier.

Delicious Snacks:  Throughout the entire event, Whole Foods stocked a table with a delicious selection of cheese, dried fruits, nuts, crackers, and even a summer sausage from Olympia Provisions. This was available gratis to all attendees.

Great cider pairing snacks from Whole Foods!

Food Trucks:  Pizza and taco trucks were onsite, directly within the back lot of the venue. 

Meet the Makers / Short Serving Lines:  At this festival, the cider makers pour their own ciders. It's fair to say cider geeks attend this event, so most seemed to ask about the cider selections. Even so, lines were never more than 3-5 people deep, and wait times (if any) were very reasonable.

A rep from Wildcraft Cider chats it up

VIP Lounge:  In the upstairs balcony, Square Mile offered free pours of three ciders during the entirety of the event.  In addition, four other cider makers offered free samples during the course of the afternoon. Whole Foods stocked another snack table in the lounge. VIP ticket holders were allowed to enter and begin tasting at noon, an hour before normal entry.

The VIP Room free tasting schedule

View from the VIP Room at 1pm

Snacks from the VIP Room

Cider:  30ish cider makers served up over 100 ciders. Whether you like your cider syrupy sweet (not me), bone dry, or anything in between, there was something for everyone. I had two favorites for the day... Snowdrift Cider's Red Cider is made from red flesh apples. Carton Cyderworks' Summer Set, made with crab apples, heirloom apples, and Fresh bittersweets, is wild fermented and wonderfully balanced. Both were slightly acidic and delicious!

Quince cider from Art + Science

A few bottles from Woodbox Cider Co.

Strawberry & Pear ciders from 1859 Cider Co.

Improvements to Consider:

Water Stations:  OK, I'm really stretching here, but I need to offer some constructive feedback. Water was provided, but the containers were small, and sometimes ran out. There were several, so it wasn't a big deal. There's always room to improve, right?

Did you attend Cider Rite of Spring? How was your experience? For details about more cider and beer events, check out the Oregon Beer Event Calendar.

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Near the peak, there was still plenty of room to stretch out!

Home Hop Garden '17: The Harvest

This post is six months late! Throughout last spring and summer, I dutifully blogged about my home hop garden. But I never wrote about the most exciting partthe harvest. Until now, anyway. Better late then never!

Overall, 2017 was a great hop growing season at my estatesideyard, I should say. I planted several new varieties (Cascade, Columbus, Mt. Hood, Sterling, and Zeus). All of the first year rhizomes grew quite tall and even produced cones. My second year Chinook really came into its own this year! Here's my final output of dried hops:

  • Cascade: 4.6 oz.
  • Centennial: 3.6 oz.
  • Chinook: 9.8 oz.
  • Blend of Sterling, Mt. Hood, Columbus: 3.7 oz.
  • Zeus: 5.5 oz.

I'm extremely disappointed to report that my oldest plant, a three-year old Willamette produced one cone. Yes, one measly, well-formed cone. I'm hoping it's a late bloomer. If it doesn't produce in 2018, it's a goner.

Overall, it was a fun growing season! I even brewed my first wet hop IPA. I did have some leaf rot issues on 2-3 of my plants. I'll keep a close eye on that this year. Anyway, for a look back at my 2017 growing season, click the links below.

Diseased hop plants

I don't plan to add any new varieties this year, as I'm running out of space. On the plus side, I've got some fairly mature plants so I hope the 2018 season will be fruitfulor is it hopfull?

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