Hop into Spring with Sierra Nevada and Payless Liquors

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The Spring season is a favorite time of year for many in the Hoosier state. Especially after such a brutally cold and snowy winter, the warmer and longer days of Spring can’t seem to get here fast enough!

Just as nature starts to transition in late March and early April, so do the palettes of many beer drinkers. Out go the winter warmers and stouts and in comes something new. Why not make it a hoppy, delicious IPA this year? Sierra Nevada has several great ones to choose from:

Harvest Single Hop IPA

Sierra Nevada’s Harvest Single Hop IPA is the first beer to kick off its Harvest series. This IPA utilizes a new, yet to be named, hop #291. Harvest Single Hop offers a tropical and citrusy aroma. The taste is moderately bitter with tones of citrus and some sweetness. This 100 day IPA is made to drink fresh, and won’t last long. 24 oz bottles are $5.99 at Payless Liquors.

4-Way IPA Variety Pack

New for 2014, Sierra Nevada’s IPA variety pack has lots to offer hop lovers! It features three new India Pale Ales and their year-round IPA, Torpedo Extra. Here’s the scoop on each of these beers:

Snow Wit White IPA – A hopped up version of a Belgian Wit brewed with experimental Dwarf hops and a Belgian yeast strain. It received a “very good” score of 85 of BeerAdvocate.

Blindfold Black IPA – A new take on the Beer Camp Black IPA, Blindfold melds dark roasty malts and fruity American hops. It also received a “very good” score of 85 on BeerAdvocate

Nooner Session IPA – A lighter and less alcoholic take on the style, Nooner focuses on citrusy hop flavor and drinkability.

Torpedo Extra IPA – The year-round offering uses the “hop torpedo” method of dry-hopping to extract maximum hoppy aroma and flavors.

12-packs of this sampler pack are $14.99 at Payless Liquors.

Have you tried any of these offerings from Sierra Nevada? If so, we’d love to hear what you thought of them. Reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or our website and let us know what you thought! Until then, here’s to good beer and warmer weather!

February Beer Round-Up Part 2

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We had so many great beers to choose from this month, it was pretty hard to narrow it down to three!

After much nail-biting, your fearless author chose three brews, typed up a blog, and relaxed with a bottle. Of course, that bottle contained yet another beer that should have been discussed in our February Round-Up. Long story short, we’ve expanded our February round-up of beers to include three more. When you see the contenders, you won’t blame me for adding to the list!

Schlafly Beer American IPA: Brewed and dry-hopped with Simcoe, Centennial and Amarillo, this golden beauty contains the best hops around. The aroma of this amber beer is bright with citric and floral hop notes. Flavors include hints of grapefruit rind and pine sap, with enough caramel malty sweetness to balance the taste perfectly. Seasonal availability, so stop in soon! You can get a case of six for $11.99 right now.

Sun King Brewing Company’s Ring of Dingle Dry Irish Stout: This Indy favorite is a mouthful in more ways than one. I was a tad worried they couldn’t get the whole title on the bottle. This is a traditional roasty Irish Stout named for a series of scenic roads in Ireland. This brew has a rich, full flavor that ends in a clean, dry finish. Ring of Dingle also won the Silver Medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup for Classic Irish-Dry Stout. Get this four can Olympian at Payless for $13.99.

Southern Tier Brewing Co.’s Creme Brulee (Imperial Milk Stout): This thick, creamy beer is brewed with lactose milk sugar. Custard, vanilla bean and brown sugar flavors dominate this beer for a flavor that really nails the elements of Creme Brulee. It’s best served as a dessert, or even over vanilla ice cream. You can pick-up this after-dinner treat for $9.99 at Payless.

Like all sequels, we hope you enjoyed our expanded story. What amazing new brews have you run into this February? Any big surprises or disappointments you’d like to share with us? We’re always happy to talk beer, friend. Find us on Twitter, Facebook, or at our winterwebsite.

The Victorious Night

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Superhero movies are very popular right now. These films make billions of dollars in the theaters and then proceed to make even more money from t-shirts, video games and toys. Why do these movies do so well? They’re fun of course, but how do they grab our imaginations and refuse to let go?

My theory is that people love a great dramatic performance. Whether it’s a heart-racing action movie or a flavorful beer (see where I’m going here?), we love the bright and the bold. If you want to see a good movie, I suggest you go rent Thor 2. If you want an amazing new brew, you need to keep reading.

First up we have Victory Brewing Company’s Hop Ranch Imperial India Pale Ale. If nothing else, this beer at least tells the uninitiated what IPA stands for. Brewed with the newly popular Mosaic and Azzaca hops, Hop Ranch is brewed to celebrate the farmers dedicated to harvesting the high alpha varieties that popularize good IPAs. While the nose on this beer is big and tropical, the bold flavors reminded me of candied grapefruit, pine sap and caramel slathered toast. With seasonal availability, Hop Ranch is one IPA you need to try, and try fast.

We also recently got a hold of Two Brothers Brewing Company’s Night Cat. This dark, hoppy wheat beer got an 86% on Beer Advocate, and we can see why. Brewed with a Citra hops (of Three Floyd’s Zombie Dust fame!), Night Cat is a deliciously well balanced addition to the Two Brothers lineup. Its citrus and tropical fruity notes balance well with a strong, rich and roasted malt backbone that make for a really tasty seasonable beer. Come in and grab a case, because this one is going to fly off shelves.

Ready to slip on your body armor and drive the Batmobile down to get these beers? We understand. Or maybe you’re not a fan of fruity beers? Please feel free to talk to our knowledgeable staff. They’re always happy to help you find the perfect flavor. You can also reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or our website. We’d love to hear your thoughts on Hop Ranch, Night Cat or both.

February Beer Round Up

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We are all creatures of habit. We tend to get the same pizza delivere and see the same rock bands when they come to town. Not only is familiarity comforting, but it’s also risk-free. You know what you’re getting when you get the same thing over and over again.

But where’s the fun in that? Variety is the spice of life, as they say. The problem with adding something new to your drinking palette is that there are so many choices. How the heck can you pick out a new beer when Payless Liquors has so many to choose from?

That’s where the February Beer Round-Up comes in. We want to provide you with some new choices from beers we love at the store. While these brews may not be as safe as your old favorites, they will spice up your routine.

Bell’s Hopslam: Brewed with six different high alpha hops and then dry-hopped with Simcoe, this IPA bruiser is in high demand around Indy. A massive malt and honey flavor adds plenty of heft and balance to this 10% ABV hop bomb. In stock now, but there is limited availability and high demand! Get a case of 6 for $18.99.

Founders Imperial Stout: This fan favorite is brewed with ten different roasted malts and plenty of hops for heavy dose of 90 IBU’s. Weighing in at 10.5% ABV, this dark masterpiece is dangerously drinkable. A stout cut above the rest, Beer Advocate gives it a world-class score of 97%. Only $12.99 for a pack of 4.

Humboldt Brewing Company’s Black Xantus: This Imperial Stout is infused with fair-trade, organic coffee from local California roaster Jobella. Then this 11% ABV beer is aged for 6 months in bourbon, retired Firestone Union and wine barrels. Black Xantus is deliciously complex, and sure to keep you warm on a winter day. In stock for a limited time. Our 22 oz bottle is only $14.99.

As you can see, we love new beers here at Payless Liquors. In fact, we love to geek out at the counter about it. What new brews have you tried in the New Year? Did you discover any new favorites? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter, Facebook or at our website. Cheers!

Wild Turkey: The Spirit of America Lives On

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Did you know that in 1964, bourbon was declared America’s “Native Spirit?” In fact, bourbon is one of the few spirits the U.S. can claim as their own. That’s why the U.S. Congress declared September “National Bourbon Heritage Month” in 2007. The bill was sponsored by a Kentucky senator, and passed without opposition.

Less than a year later, another awesome thing occurred. Wild Turkey released American Spirit. This rare alcohol is a 15 Year Old Bourbon produced in 2008 as a limited run by Wild Turkey. Only 24,000 bottles were produced world-wide to celebrate National Bourbon Month. To commemorate the release, the bottles were designed with a unique shape, and shipped in beautiful wooden box with an insert explaining the history of the spirit. Every bottle comes with a 100% wood stopper, and a limited edition coin affixed to the bottle. A strip stamp seal on the bottle was added for additional authenticity.

American Spirit is 100 Proof bourbon that’s a nod to the history of bourbon making. This is considered a Straight Whiskey, with no additional flavorings added. But enough history. What can you expect when you open the bottle up?

Nose: American Spirit has a very alcoholic smell, so let it aerate for a moment. Afterwards you should expect strong elements of leather, vanilla and nuts. There are lesser hints of rye, maple syrup and citrus. Overall, the head is robust. It will probably run off any drinkers that expect this bourbon to be mixed with cola.

Taste: American Spirit starts off smooth and sweet. It’s almost surprising how light the initial flavor is. After that, you can expect a spicy middle flavor. The burn is nice without being painful. Overall the taste is very smooth and rich. Again, American Spirit isn’t for the rookie bourbon drinker.

Finish: This is a strong finish, but not overpowering or even complex. The finish is smooth and dry, with hints of almonds, oak and vanilla. Don’t expect any fireworks—this is a slow, refined finale.

Overall: If you’re expecting a giant, obvious flavor like 101 or Maker’s Mark, you’re looking at the wrong bottle. This is a strong, rich bourbon with a smooth flavor. The finish isn’t as strong as some like, but many will enjoy the simple subtlety of American Spirit.

I highly recommend Wild Turkey American Spirit for both the bourbon fan and collector. For those that love to drink bourbon, this is a smooth ride that you can appreciate. For the collector, you’re purchasing a beautiful product from a rare, limited collection. Interested in buying? Wild Turkey American Spirit is $130.00 a bottle at Payless Liquors. Stop in now before they’re all gone!

The Rockies Come to Visit the Mid-West

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It’s always a special occasion when friends come to visit for the holidays, especially when they’ve traveled pretty far. Oskar Blues Brewery comes to Payless Liquors all the way from Lyons, Colorado. Oskar Blues has a rich history that you can read more about here. Suffice it to say, they were the first US craft brewer to can their own beer, and they’ve grown quite a bit since they started creating beers in the basement of their brewpub.

But history was never our strongest subject in school. Here, in no particular order, are a few of the Oskar Blues beers that you can now pick up at Payless Liquors:

Dale’s Pale Ale is the flagship beer of Oskar Blue Brewery and the first to be canned. Described as an ale with “a hoppy nose,” this beer delivers a strong but balanced taste from beginning to end. We have it available in 6 packs and 19 oz cans.

Mama’s Little Yella Pils is a pale lager that Beer Advocate describes as “malty and grainy.” With so much focus on hops in the current market, it’s good to see a lager getting so much attention. Available in 6 packs of cans.

Ten Fidy was created in 2007. It’s a viscous stout with flavors of chocolate, caramel and coffee. Weighing in at 10.5% ABV, Paste Magazine offers that “you don’t want to swig these bad boys.” With such amazing flavor, why would you want to? We’ve got these heavy weights in 4 packs of cans.

Old Chub is a Scottish ale that comes in at an agreeable 8% ABV. Old Chub won Oskar Blues GOLD at the 2008 World Beer Championships. Rate Beer gave this Scottish brew a 97%. We couldn’t agree more. Also available in 6 packs at Payless Liquors.

Deviant Dale’s IPA is Oskar Blues Brewery’s latest creation, and their first can to come in the 16 oz variety. With aromas of citrus, grapefruit and pine, this IPA has a beautiful copper color and amazing finish that will leave you wanting more. We carry them in  4 packs.

As you can see, Oskar Blues Brewery produces top quality beer. That might be why they’ve been steadily expanding into new states and facilities for over 10 years. Payless Liquors is only too happy to help with that expansion. Don’t miss the boat—come visit our new Colorado friends!

Green Bullet Triple IPA: Tropical and Bitter

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Green Bullet Triple IPA was produced by Green Flash Brewing in San Diego, CA. Green Flash is an award-winning brewer that was founded in 2002. The beer was named after its New Zealand high alpha hop. The beer was initially brewed to celebrate Green Flash’s ninth anniversary in 2011, but the popularity of the Triple IPA has made it a seasonal regular. The beer is brewed with Green Bullet hops as well as Pacific Gem, and is heavily dried. Both hops are quite strong and very sweet. After the hops are dried pine sap, caramel, and tropical hops are added for flavoring.

But enough history—let’s move on to the good stuff. This beer pours a medium-dark orange with hints of yellow. The colors swirl as you pour, catching the light. The head is thick and white, and will overtake the glass if you aren’t careful. It dissipates quickly, leaving very little residue on the glass. The aroma is quite complex. There are hints of tropical fruit like pineapple, but you also get a very grassy smell. The mint and caramel are also present too, but those are less potent.

Green Bullet is one of the first beers I’ve ever had that tasted almost exactly like it smelled. There is an earthy, grassy taste with floral hints at first. The middle taste has that exact same mint and maple combination. The end taste is a pretty strong bitter alcohol flavor. That might be one of the few things about this beer that will run some people off.

The overall feel of the beer is medium thickness, with nice notes of sweet and bitter. The ABV on this beer comes in at a whopping 10.1%. Be careful with this one. Green Bullet has a really nice carbonation that even the uninitiated will enjoy. A great beer for a cold night.

This is a very well balanced and beautiful beer; I would recommend it to my friends just starting on their hops journey. Other than the bitterness and strong alcohol content, this is a perfect beer that stands up to other IPAs nicely. Green Flash Brewmaster Chuck Silva says of the beer: “Green Bullet is an extremely well-rounded and quaffable triple IPA.” I couldn’t agree more. Green Bullet Triple IPA is available at select Payless Liquors for a limited time. Stop in and grab one, because I don’t expect them to last ($12.99).

Fat Head’s Brewery Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale Now Available

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Something weird happens to me towards the end of September. Like the werewolves of legend, I begin to change. I don’t crave virgin flesh, though. No, I want pumpkin flavored ice cream. I remember when the craze first hit in the late nineties. It was like the McRib for ice cream lovers. Now the pumpkin flavored thing has become a mainstay in our culture. But perhaps some of the best pumpkin-flavoring comes not from sweets, but from craft beer.

Take Spooky Tooth Imperial Pumpkin Ale. It’s a seasonal pumpkin-flavored beer produced by Fat Head’s Brewery, who originates from North Olmsted and Pittsburgh, PA. Now Spooky Tooth is by no means the only pumpkin flavored beer out there. There are some good opponents, but I feel Fat Head’s creation blows them all out of the water. This beer scores 4 out of 5 stars on Untappd and has a 98 out of 100 on Rate Beer. Brewologist Steve Goble comments that Spooky Tooth has a “very smooth feel” and “quickly climbed near the top” of his list of pumpkin beers. Second place, if you read his full article.

Spooky Tooth pours a deep orange in the glass, with a nice thick off-white head. The foam residue is minimal. The aroma is immediately that of pumpkin pie, and spiky smells will make your mouth water. The mixture that you drink has a medium body, but you will feel pretty full drinking it. Some drinkers have commented that it has a chewy, thick feel to it.

The first hints of taste are, again, pumpkin pie. You then get tastes of nutmeg, vanilla, and brown sugar that will remind you of floury pie crust and whipped cream. As the beer warms, the brown sugar will become more apparent. Despite sounding so sweet, the overall flavor isn’t overwhelming. If you’re a fan of ales, this will sit well with you. At 9% ABV, the lasting flavor is warm and alcoholic, but the booziness is slightly hidden. Be careful—especially if you’re new to higher alcohol craft beers. This one can sneak up on you.

Overall, I cannot say enough good things about this beer. I would suggest you go out and get it now. I know it is still early October, but this seasonal craft beer is going to fly off the shelves like a vampire bat. If you have any more questions, please hit us up on social media, or speak with our Beer Guy Josh at the SR 135 store in Greenwood.