It’s a phrase each of us hears all the time. The context, of course, being “What have you been up to lately?” In the beer world, this is the phrase we hear nine times out of ten when we introduce ourselves, whether that’s to a customer taking a seat in our taproom or a beer buyer at your local liquor store or bar.
Brand loyalty and the idea of “go-to beers” in the age of the craft beer boom have been replaced with a constant desire for the next new brew. For smaller breweries like us, this can present a huge challenge. Our five fermenters are big enough for us to maintain a steady stream of flagships and seasonal offerings, but for our regulars, we needed to find a way to offer them something new on a weekly basis.
Back in January of 2015, we launched a new series of test batch beers in our taproom called the Fourier Series. Using our single barrel pilot system, we’ve been able to try out new recipes and experiment with wild ingredients (a Belgian dubbel brewed with tamarind and lemongrass? a peanut butter and jelly brown ale?). We also launched an infusion program, using customized kegs, as seen below, with an access port cut and welded into them. This allows us to infuse a single keg of an already brewed beer with almost any ingredient we want: fruits, herbs, spices, chocolate, tea, and more. Our brewers take this as a chance to play with new flavors and challenge themselves to think about our beers in new ways.
These small batches of Fourier Series or infused beers often only lasted through the weekend before thirsty customers would drain the kegs and ask the always important question: when will you make more?
Now, almost three years later, we’ve launched our newest program: the Spark Series. Produced with its namesake in mind, the Spark Series includes beers that challenge our talented brew team to experiment with new flavors, new techniques, and new styles. It also allows us to capture some of your favorite taproom-only beers, as well as infusions or pilot batches, and release them in cans out in the wild. But just like a spark, these limited-run beers are here one minute and gone the next, so act fast when you see one you like!
We’ve already released Volt (an elderflower and rhubarb wheat), Distortion (a New England mango IPA), Irish Cream Stout (a St. Patrick’s-themed stout with chocolate, vanilla, almond, and coffee), and Mexican Punch Wheatstone (our honey chamomile wheat with cinnamon, guava, sugarcane, apple, and other fruits and spices) to the Spark Series, and we’ve got a lot more planned.
Keep an eye out for the first ever canning runs of Electric Love (our immensely popular cactus and hibiscus wheat ale) in June and a radler of our Wheatstone Bridge with a house-made blood orange soda in July, both coming to the Spark Series. We’re excited to continue bringing you additional exciting options throughout the year, in addition to our normal flagship and seasonal lineup, all artfully engineered for you right here in Lowertown, Saint Paul.