What's old is new again

We canned up a batch of Siamese Twin Ale this morning that represents a bit of a throwback. There's an evolutionary process in play with any product like craft beer. Materials and equipment change over time. Our skill set and taste preferences change, too. With the Twin we'd seen some drift that took the beer closer to a traditional Belgian-style Dubbel, using some darker European caramel malts and downplaying our southeast Asian spice profile. The beer has been darker and showing more deep notes of dried fruit in the body than what we used to make.

It was a beer from Against the Grain that swung us into throwback mode. Their Galangal Action used galangal and kaffir lime to produce a delicious and bright southeast Asian character. It was a reminder of where our Twin used to be.

We upped the dose of kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass and dropped most of the Special B from our grain bill. This throwback Siamese Twin Ale is a few shades lighter in color than what we've been brewing for the last few years. It's also brighter in body, with clearer citrus notes in the nose and a more refreshing finish. It’s a continuation of the process, a slow evolution towards an impossible perfection.

Last week's re-release of the Golden State Ale was also a sign of where the brewery is going with our label design. The wrap labels have been hugely popular, for good reason. After eight years on shelves our labels finally look the way they were supposed to in 2008. The first beer with our new label layout was the Steamers Lane Lager. We started using that same basic design for all of our new releases immediately afterwards.

The goal with those labels was to simplify our overall design and make the beer names. In that it was a success, a bit too much of a success. The old main-line labels ended up looking cluttered in comparison. The new Golden labels mark the beginning of our transition to a unified can format that hopefully makes all of the beers easier to find and identify on the shelf.

New Leaf, 41st Ave Liquors, and Shoppers Corner have always been great places to find our beers on Santa Cruz County shelves. Those shelves now include Safeway stores as well. Keep an eye out for our core lineup and seasonal releases in the locals area of Safeway stores in the area.

There will be Long Form Tripple coming back to join the Flamenco Roja for our Spring releases. Look for Tripple to start shipping later this week.