First up, Full Sail is releasing Vesuvius as a part of their Brewmaster Reserve line. They introduced it at last year's OBF and it was in the vanguard of the current Beervana meme--Belgian Strong ales. In my review last year, I described it as "extremely approachable, quaffable, and tasty, concealing its substantial alcohol.... with nice fruitiness, a very slight Belgian tartness, and a long, dry finish. Very tasty and very dangerous. [Belgian golden, 8.5% abv, 20 IBUs]" This year's version is tweaked a bit, I think--it's listed at 24 IBUS. Should be available now in 22 ounce-bottles (which you know I love!) through November. Buy an extra to pop in the cellar.
Ninkasi has released a beer as nearly the opposite of Vesuvius as possible--a "cheap light lager" (Ninkasi's words) called Schwag. (Although it's the opposite of Vesuvius, there may be a connection between these breweries--Full Sail pioneered the nouveau-retro lagers with Session.)
This beer will be available only in Eugene for now, sorry Portland crew! It will also be our featured beer at Eugene Celebration. So the next time you're out and you got your mind on your money and money is on your mind, drink Schwag. It's locally made, none of those nasty rice and corn fillers, and great for social nights on the town.I don't know that I'm going to enjoy Schwag, but it's an interesting experiment. Holler if you see it on tap in Portland.
5% alc./vol. 10 ibus and 100% malt.