When you’re rated #5 out of all the newly opened breweries in the world by ratebeer.com people expect big things from you. Saturday’s (2-25-17) multiple 750 ml bottle and 16oz can release fell easily within those guidelines. This was the first time the Civil Society Brewing Co. released anything other than an extremely hopped up can.
I arrived a half hour before the 11:00 am release armed with only my camera and inquisitive thirst. I claimed the 60th spot in line and started making my rounds taking pictures and sampling a few beers that were offered up. I stumbled into pours of 2014 ‘Bourbon County Coffee’, Other Half Brewing’s ‘Double Dry Hopped Broccoli’, and Oskar Blues ‘Rum BA Death by Coconut’. It was certainly not a bad way to start a bottle release. At 11:00 on the dot with about 85 people in line, the doors were opened, ID’S were checked, and folks started to head for the beer. Once acquired, a quick walk around the bar could score you any number of Civil Society’s liquid goodness, including, of course, the four releases.
My favorite of the day was ‘BA King Gary Goes Bananas’. It’s a 10% abv bourbon barrel aged Imperial Milk Stout reminiscent of bananas foster and coffee. I really enjoyed how the barrel character came through giving a big ol’ hug to King Gary. The other bottle release was ‘Bella’s Revenge’, a 9% abv Imperial Stout brewed with barrel aged Maple Syrup from Single Barrel Cellar based out of Wakefield, Massachusetts, and coffee from Mostra Coffee out of San Diego, California. The first of the two IPA’s released, called ‘Snacktime’, was a 6.5% abv chocolate IPA hopped with Amarillo, Columbus, and Mosaic and brewed in collaboration with the Finback Brewery of Queens, NY. To be honest, I was expecting a bit more chocolate than what appeared on the backend. In saying that, the beer itself was a solid IPA. The second can released, ‘Can’t Touch This’, was 7.2% abv IPA brewed in collaboration with the Southern Grist Brewing Co. out of Nashville, Tennessee. It was brewed with flaked maize and seriously hopped with Vic Secret, Galaxy, Motueka, and Simcoe Lupulin Powder. The beer was deliciously hazy with citrus and pineapple coming through.
To put it simply Civil Society Brewing has the release game down to an art. I have been to a number of their releases now and have yet seen or heard of anyone complaining about the process. The bottles were gone by about 1:00 and cans of ‘Can’t Touch This’ lasted until Sunday morning. A few cans ‘Snacktime’ are currently still available. With a count of only around 155 bottles of each and Civil’s growing popularity, the bottles that end up on the trade market should do well on returns as these beers are definitely a thirst quenching prize!
The morning of Saturday, May 28th, 2016 had been just like any other, but for one thing. I wasn’t waking up to take care of my son, which I do every morning. I was waking up to head 15 minutes north to the Civil Society Brewing Company for their first official can release. Civil was releasing Pulp for the second time through a special release. The first time it was released in 32oz crowlers and if interested you can read about that release here. This time around Civil was also releasing Fresh in cans for the first time. Both would be released in four-packs of 16oz cans for $16.00. The limit was set at a reasonable twelve cans of each beer per person. A total of 165 cases of Pulp and 150 cases of Fresh were available for the release.
Now that I’ve got your curiosity up let’s talk about the beers being released. Pulp is an American Wheat Ale double dry hopped with copious amounts of Mosaic hops and comes in at 6.3% abv. If you didn’t know any better you would swear it’s an IPA. On beeradvocate.com Pulp has a rating of 97 and is listed at #14 on the list of the top 250 beers for the state of Florida. Ratebeer.com lists Pulp at a healthy 96. Fresh, on the other hand, is Civil’s flagship IPA and it comes in at 6.2% abv. It is brewed with Columbus, Amarillo, and Citra Hops. Beeradvocate.com lists Fresh as an 87 while ratebeer.com lists it at 94. After the release and through the weekend I heard that this is the best batch of Fresh to date.
I arrived at about 9:15am to find 10-15 people already in a half ass line. It was really more along the lines of my share group with a couple of guys I hadn’t met yet and a few other folks who had their chairs set up in line. After the usual top of the mornings I broke out my Cigar City snifter and poured my first beer, which was ‘Need a Hug’ from Fonta Flora followed by ‘Big Shrug’ from the same brewery. Twenty-two different beers later the one that stuck out the most was a 14% Imperial Breakfast Stout brewed with coffee, maple syrup, and vanilla by Transient Artisan Ales called ‘Buckley’. Talk about an absolutely delicious beer. Everything came out perfectly and the 14% was dangerously hidden. It was definitely a great way to spend the time before the doors opened. At 11:55am, five minutes before the doors opened, there were 107 people in line which is forty more than the first release. Just like the first release everything went very smooth. Folks filtered through the line at a decent pace and proceeded to grab a seat at the bar. I gave Pulp a try and I’m happy to report the original haziness is back. I also tried Life Skillz, which was Civil’s latest Double IPA and just like everything they throw hops at it was delicious. I left at about 1:15 pm with the line still moving. If I was to guess there were another 50 people added to the line after I counted.
I think it’s safe to say we all had a great morning between the beer share and release. If I had to complain about something, it would be that Civil didn’t have a treatment of their Milk Stout, Gary, on tap. It definitely wasn’t a bad day if I’m just complaining about a beer that wasn’t there.
Did I miss anything or is there something else you would like to know about the Civil Society Brewing Company and the release of Fresh and Pulp? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.
March 19th, 2016 forever changed the beer landscape in Jupiter, Florida. This was the first of what will be many bottle and/or can releases for one of the newer breweries to grace the South Florida horizon. A woman walking by asked me what the line was for. I proceeded to explain how Civil Society Brewing was having their first bottle release, which in this case was in the form a 32oz crowler. 375 crowlers (3 per person) would, in fact, be released to fans who had come from as far away as Miami.
What is Pulp you ask? Well, it is an American pale wheat ale that comes in at 6.3% abv. Civil takes the wheat beer to a whole new level by lovingly caressing it with Columbus and Mosaic hops, which give it the sweet smell and taste of a myriad of citrus flavors. Pulp pours with just the slightest of yellow haze with a hefty white creamy head that laces the glass as you drink it down. At the time of this posting, Pulp is ranked #11 on Beeradvocate.com’s Florida top 250 list.
I arrived outside of the brewery a couple of minutes after 10 to meet up with a few buddies for a pre-release bottle share. We opened a growler of Tree House Brewing’s Double Shot, a bottle of Hardywood Park Craft Breweries Foolery, and a bottle of Casey Brewing’s East Bank. By the time 11:00am had rolled around the line had reached 67 craft beer loving souls. The doors were opened and ID’s were checked. The whole process ran very smooth. Folks waited in line for a few minutes until reaching the front where they chose a wristband which was color coordinated with the number of crowlers they were purchasing. Once the wristband was received, we were able to purchase something from the tap menu. Other than Pulp the two hits of the morning seemed to be the two treatments of Gary. Gary is Civil’s milk stout, which was treated with Hazelnuts for ‘Gary goes nuts’ and with bananas foster for ‘Gary goes bananas.’ I’m usually not a big fan of hazelnut beers, but ‘Gary goes nuts’ was delicious. ‘Gary goes bananas’ was also very good, but the hazelnut took the win for me. The last crowler of Pulp was sold just before 2:00pm to finish off Civil’s first release with flying colors.
Civil pulled this release off perfectly. It’s all too easy to over complicate a release as I’m sure most of you reading this have experienced. If I had to pull one complaint out, it would be that Pulp had lost its haziness from the first batch to the second. Now it was still a delicious beer but for me personally a beer named Pulp should be hazy to the point of not being able to see through it, like a glass of orange juice. I am pretty sure the next time Pulp is released it will have the haze that we were missing.
Did I miss anything or is there something else you would like to know about the Civil Society Brewing Company and the release of Pulp? If so, please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.