Ray's Craft Beer Newsletter
Spring Beers Have Sprung!
April 2013
Volume 2 Issue 7 
Dear Rays Craft Beer Lovers,
It finally appears that spring is around the corner! Now while none of us may be looking forward to cleaning out the basement (I know I'm certainly not), luckily there are a variety of craft beer options to ease the process. In this edition of the newsletter, we'll shift away from the heavy, rich stouts and porters of the world and feature beers that are perfect for the changing season. Then to wrap up we'll give the world of barleywines one last shot with an oak aged version of Substitute Teacher.



Dan Downes
Black Husky Pale
The Bruery Mischief
Stift Engelszell Gregorius
Tallgrass Pub Ale
Substitute Teacher
Spring flowers are soooo passÚ
Black Husky Pale Ale 


The first beer up is from Wisconsin's very own Black Husky nanobrewery. Labeled as a pale ale, it's extensive Simcoe dry hopping makes this beer seem more like an IPA. At the end of the day, though, I agree with brewer Tim Eichenger when he says, "whatever -- just drink it already."


A dark amber color, the resin, grapefruit and herbal hop notes strike immediately subsiding into a biscuity sweetness. The flavor mirrors the taste in a lot of ways. The hops deliver huge grapefruit and pine flavors. Again, though, the hops transition to a malty sweetness. Recognized by Milwaukee Magazine as one of Wisconsin's best beers, no matter what style you want to classify it under, you'll just call it delicious.

The Bruery Mischief


From the North Woods of Wisconsin, we head to Orange County, California for another unique combination of Old World style and New World ingenuity. Brewmaster Patrick Rue's inspiration for this beer was to marry a Belgian golden ale (think Duvel) with an IPA.


Pouring a beautiful golden color, bready malt aromas and a mild clove spiciness pair with floral hop notes. Bready malt, lemon zest, and a slight sweetness are keeping with the golden ale style. The hops, though, make this different from any other golden ale out there as they contribute extra citrus flavors and a strong, bitter finish. Grapefruit and white pepper tones are also present. Despite having a stronger hop profile than a traditional golden ale, they do not overpower the other senses. Highly carbonated, this refreshing beer goes great with salmon or BBQ. 

Stift Engelszell Gregorius
So good, even Ed Asner drinks it

From California we skip over to Austria. Dating all the way back to the 13th century, the modern iteration of Stift Engelszell can be tied to 1925 when German monks seeking refuge from the First World War fled and established a Trappist monastery under the authority of abbot Gregorius Eisvogel. Fast forward to 2011, the monastery had fallen into a state of disrepair. Faced faced with large repair costs, the monks turned to prayer and another monastic tradition -- beer! After updating and building a brewery, in 2012 the International Trappist Association recognized them as the 8th official Trappist brewery and only the second outside of Belgium.


A dark brown hue, aromas of raisins, brown sugar present themselves in addition to a strong bouquet from the locally sourced hops and honey. The yeast delivers those familiar Belgian aromas of clove and banana. The malt strikes up front with a mild toastiness, bittersweet chocolate and a bit of toffee. Well balanced, there's a dryness to the finish that counters the initial sweetness. Combine that with some cinnamon and clove undertones, this is certainly one welcome addition to the Trappist family! 
Tallgrass Pub Ale

From a traditional Trappist beer we head to a classic English beer from the CAN-oisseurs at Tallgrass brewing. Originally their flagship beer, this is the first time it's made its way to Milwaukee. A unique blend of of German, American and English malts, overall this beer will remind you of classic English session beers. Caramel and lightly roasted nuts will be the most apparent aromas. The taste mirrors the nose in a lot of ways.


Slightly sweet with caramel and a light roasted character, the combination of English and American hops provide more of a bitter characteristic than floral or citrus. Incredibly smooth and creamy, the Tallgrass Ale perfectly encapsulates the term "session beer." Full of flavor, but not strong enough to overwhelm your palate.


If you try this beer and like it, be sure to check all the other Tallgrass offerings when they come to the Ray's Educational Center! (click here for info)

Substitute Teacher
If you like...Firestone Walker žucaba
Then you'll like...Weyerbacher Insanity

This edition may focus on the transition to spring, but that doesn't mean that barleywines still don't have a place! One of the most well regarded beers in the style is žucaba from the Firestone Walker brewery out of Bullerton, CA. Sadly, FW does not distribute to the Badger State. All is not lost, though! There's another excellent barrel aged English Barleywine from the fine folks at Weyerbacher Brewing Company out of Easton, PA.

Blithering Idiot is Wyerbacher's well balanced, malt intense English style barleywine. They then age it in bourbon casks to create Insanity. The bourbon and oak characteristics come through strong initailly, After that fades, you'll pick up how the dark fruits and bready attributes create the aroma of fruitcake/spicecake! Don't let that description throw you off. This doesn't taste like the fruitcakes you're used to. 
Save 10%
Receive 10% of all beers featured in Volume 2 Issue 7 of the Ray's craft beer newsletter. Thus, it is limited to Black Husky Pale Ale, The Bruery Mischief, Stift Engelszell Gregorius, Tallgrass Pub Ale and Weyerbacher Insanity. No limit. Not redeemable with any other special offers. 


Offer Expires: Sunday April 7th at 5:00pm
Thanks again for subscribing to and reading Ray's craft beer newsletter. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to email me at dandownes@rayswine.com

Lastly, for up to the minute beer arrivals and release information, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We have also added lots of great craft beer events (in addition to excellent wine and spirit ones, too) in our upstairs tasting room. A full list can be found here

Dan & the gang at Ray's

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