05 March 2010

New Stegmaier Craft Beers Coming

From information posted at Lew Bryson's blog comes word that The Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. is putting the historic local brand Stegmaier (purchased by The Lion in 1974) on a line of craft beers to be released by the brewery.  And, ironically, it will most likely, at this point, show up in Maryland first,. according to Lion brewing supervisor Darel Matthews:

Steg IPA (internal code name: The Reaper) is resting comfortably in Tank 25. 400 lbs of hops finished out at 17 Plato [I'm assuming that this is an OG reading] and 105.9 IBUs (this will drop during fermentation, should wind up around 75-85 IBUs in finished beer). The basic recipe is light crystal, Munich and wheat malt, with bittering from Galena and Centennial, and a MASSIVE late-hop addition courtesy of Cascade and Nugget. This was by far the largest hop bill we've ever had for one recipe - and it was for a small batch of "only" 200 barrels. It was awesome...leaving work today, the entire Valley smelled like hops!

There has been some debate about releasing the IPA and the new Steg Pale Ale at the same time. Our intention was to formulate both beers to complement one another - IPA is a big beer for dedicated hopheads, and if your feeble palate can't handle the IPA, we crafted the new Pale Ale as a true session beer, between 4-5% ABV, but with a very clean, hop-centric character that allows you to enjoy 5 or 6 crisp, hoppy beers and still make it to work the next day.

Guys, one thing is CRITICAL with these beers - we are meeting a LOT of resistance from middle-tier distributors (Lew, one more reason to loathe the 3-tier). I'm not afraid to say that most of this beer will go out of [Pennsylvania] unless you specifically request them from you local distributor. So...do it! As it stands now we're hitting a brick wall locally (not from bars or retail outlets mind you) so we're going to have to work our way from the outside-in, starting in Virginia, Maryland, etc.
This isn't their first foray into "craft beer;" they've done an Oktoberfest beer in the fall and hosted an Oktoberfest celebration at the brewery.

First, Yuengling Bock, and now this.  Pennsylvania's craft beer scene is getting quite interesting......

No comments: