This week, we’re back with a very special edition of the Friday Four Pack- the 2022 Craft Brew Conference Edition. We were fortunate that this year’s CBC was located relatively close to us in Minneapolis. Having attended CBC going back to 2015, the show is always a great opportunity to meet with customers, vendors, learn about emerging industry trends, and try some great beer from around the world. So today we’re bringing you four of our favorite beers from CBC 2022.
Russian River- RnD Crosby Hops (8% Imperial IPA)
We come out of the gates with a big hitter from Russian River & Crosby Hop company- a specialty one off double IPA with brewed with 100% Crosby Comet and Amarillo hops. Crosby is located and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon Coast, the Willamette Valley is an ideal hop growing environment, known for big hop aromas.
This beer lives up to that reputation- I get big citrus and stone fruit notes on the nose, with a light palate that bitters nicely on the finish. At 8%, it’s a dangerously easy drinker.
Blackstack Brewing w/ Pinthouse Pizza- First Rodeo (7.2% BV Hazy New England IPA)
Blackstack is one of my very favorite Minneapolis based breweries and make it a point to swing by most every time I get to the area. So when I saw Blackstack on the pour list at the Yakima Chief Hops both, I nudged my way to the front of the line.
First Rodeo was brewed in collaboration with Pinthouse Pizza out of Austin and uses a new experimental hop out of Idaho, EXP ID 158 along with hand selected Yakima Chief Citra hops. As expected, I got a big tropical nose packed with honey and guava. The palate was pillowy soft and herbaceous, with almost a spicy wood flare. Then, the citrus notes pick back up on and the beer closes with a juicy jammy orange finish.
Surly- Hops for the People (6.5% ABV American IPA)
Another staple of the Minneapolis area is Surly. While Surly does see some distribution down in the Chicago area, they have some great smaller batch beers that are only available in their native territory.
I’m not exactly sure which version of Hops for the People this is- there are a few- that this sure was an easy drinker. A fair amount of transparency, I got a melon and peach nose. Surly beers usually strike me as malt forward, and this one is no exception, balancing nicely with some hoppy herbal notes. The finish is smooth with subtle bittering.
Social Project Brewing Company- Rivers and Roads (7% ABV New England IPA)
Social Project Brewing Company is a new one to me, coming to us all the way from Bentonville, Arkansas, the birthplace of Walmart. Fortunately, Rivers and Roads is anything but a big box beer. Loaded with all things Citra, including Citra Incognito and a generous Citra dry hop, this juicy treat bursts with citrus and floral nose. That palate is spicy and somewhat dry with a bit of tang. The finish is full of orange rind and stone fruit.
Just like that, another week and another Craft Brew Conference in the books. We look forward to it every year and can’t wait to see everyone again in Nashville for the 2023 vintage!