Piney River Brewing Company

Posts Tagged ‘Masked Bandit IPA’

Honey, I Shrunk the Piney River Cans

In The Beer on October 12, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Today was a cloudy, rainy day on the Piney River Farm; not too different from the cloudy, rainy night in 2011 when Piney River first canned craft beer in the Ozarks. Today’s first–12 ounce Piney River cans.

Those of us that have been canning beer on the Farm are still trying to adjust to these smaller cans in our hands, but we’re doing what many of our consumers and our distributors have asked us to do by putting our beer in a smaller can.

Waaay back in 2011 when Piney River was the first microbrewery in the state to can beer at their brewery, we were following suit with the 16-ounce pint can like our craft beer brothers and sisters in the Midwest—Tallgrass, Surly, Sun King. We’re in the Show Me state, why not show our customer a true pint? Plus, it was perfect—the Piney Pint.

Back then, there wasn’t much canned craft beer on the shelves in 2011 and 2012 or even 2013, but now canned beer is growing by leaps and bounds, and breweries that were once only bottling their beer are now canning it, too. Twelve-ounce cans are easier to source, plus, if you were a brewery already packing 12-ounce beers, it only makes sense to continue that in a can form. And now, it’s easier to find 12-ounce cans on the shelf here in the Ozarks than it is possible to find 16-ounce cans on the shelf.

I even had a conversation with a fellow brewer that packaged beer in 16-ounce cans and started packaging certain beers in 12-ounce cans for grocery stores. He thinks that it will ultimately lead to the demise of his 16-ounce canned beers.

Our distributors were also asking for 12-ounce cans from Piney River. For those distributors that sold 12-ounce/6-packs and 16-ounce/4-packs, they felt like they could sell more cases of 6-packs than 4-packs. Truly, a case of 6-packs equals four purchases to be empty the case, and a case of 4-packs require six purchases to empty the case. Plus, we’re hearing about this issue that the consumer can’t generally do the math that even though a 4-pack usually costs less than a 6-pack, all the consumer sees is 6 beers versus 4 beers.

And while we love floating down the Big Piney with pint of Piney in our koozie, we have heard from some of you that your 16-ounce beer gets warm before you finish it. Can we suggest here that you drink just a wee bit faster, perhaps? Just an idea….But never fear, your warm beer concerns have also been heard!

So, raise those Piney pints high in the air (or save them for your beer collection); either way, they are going away.

Today, we canned Piney River’s Black Walnut Wheat in 12-ounce cans, and that will be followed up by 12-ounce versions of all of our core beers in the coming weeks. Depending upon your distribution market and the stock of 16-ounce beers your distributor has in place, you will see 12-ounce 6-packs of Piney River beer in your favorite drink-buying place very soon or shortly down the road.

In the upcoming months, you will also see us release “Raise a Ruckus” (an Imperial Stout) and 2017 Mule Team Imperial IPA in 12-ounce 4-packs. We thought 10% ABV might be a little more easy drinking in the smaller sized can, and we can keep it at a good price point, too.

Four brands will remain in 16-ounce cans until we run out of the blank pounders. Masked Bandit IPA and Old Tom Porter are two brands you already know well. Two new Piney River offerings in 16-ounce 4-packs will be River Access Ozarks Lager and Aux Arcs Dry-Hopped Saison.

Same delicious Piney River beer. Same commitment to quality. Same love of what we do…just in a smaller package and lots more of them.

Cheers!

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Chchchchanges Coming in 2017

In The BARn, The Beer on September 21, 2016 at 10:59 am

We are so excited to bring you the Piney River Brewing Company 2017 release calendar!

Twelve ounce cans are headed your way! There will be more information about that later, and actual 12 oz cans sooner rather than later, too. Stay tuned for that!

We are releasing–in limited quantities–new canned beers throughout the year. They are Raise a Ruckus Imperial Stout, River Access Ozarks Lager and Aux Arcs Saison. 

And that foeder, those barrels, the original BARn is officially where we’ve got the funk going on.  The first of our Farm Raised Funk was Lizzie Twister, the first funkified beer from the BARn.  We plan to release even more Farm Raised Funk in 2017.

Thank you so much for raising a pint with us in 2016.  None of this would be possible without your incredible support. Let’s raise a few more together in the upcoming year!


Cheers!

Party Like It’s Been Five (?!) Years on the Farm

In Beer Events on February 24, 2016 at 7:27 am

5th aleiversary posterPiney River Brewing Company is celebrating their fifth anniversary on Sat., Mar. 19th at the brewery in Bucyrus.

The “5th Aleiversary” party will be held at the BARn—the brewery and tap room located off Junction ZZ—from 12 to 7 p.m.

“Once again, we are looking forward to enjoying a beautiful spring day in the Ozarks at our upcoming Aleiversary,” Joleen Durham, co-founder and owner, said.

Durham described the Aleiversary as “the biggest event in Bucyrus”. Last year’s event brought in almost 1,000 people from across the region to the Piney River Farm.

“The event is family-friendly, and there is no charge for admission,” Durham said. “Many Piney River fans look forward to this day at the BARn all year long.”

The Piney River tap room will pour several beers that are available year round in the tap room including Float Trip Ale, Black Walnut Wheat, McKinney Eddy Amber Ale, Bronzeback Pale Ale, Old Tom Porter, Missouri Mule India Pale Ale and Masked Bandit IPA.

Crankbait Cream Ale, the brewery’s spring seasonal will also be available. Paw Paw French Saison will be poured again for the day, and some yet-to-be-named beers may also be available.

“Our most anticipated limited release beer to be available at the Aleiversary will be our Mule Team India Pale Ale,” Brian Durham, co-founder and head brewer, said.

Mule Team IPA is an imperial India pale ale that was first brewed for Piney River’s 2014 anniversary event.

“This year’s Mule Team IPA has strong hop flavor and aroma,” Brian Durham said, explaining that the 2016 imperial IPA will be 10 percent alcohol by volume.

“All of the brewing staff is very excited about releasing this year’s version of Mule Team IPA at the Aleiversary,” Brian Durham said.

Mule Team IPA takes almost a month to complete from brewing to packaging. The “5th Aleiversary Limited Release” Mule Team label thanks the team—“dedicated employees, partnerships with distributors, support of friends, neighbors and craft beer lovers”—that has helped the brewery achieve success over the past five years.Mule TeamNEW

Mule Team IPA and the other beers will be available all weekend long, beginning on Friday afternoon when the tap room opens and going through Sunday evening, if they do not run out.

“Saturday’s party can be a little too busy for some people, so we will plan to have enough Mule Team IPA available to last all weekend long,” Joleen Durham said. “You will be able to enjoy a pint in the tap room or purchase a four-pack to take home.”

Durham noted that because Mule Team IPA is only released once a year, many people purchase multiple four-packs to ration it out throughout the year.

“Mule Team IPA is a beer that can be enjoyed a few months down the road if it is cellared properly,” she said.

In addition to the handcrafted ales, the Aleiversary will feature two bands providing live music—Casey Lynne and the Dealbreakers and Deep Fried Squirrel, both from Springfield. Both bands feature multi-talented instrumentalists and singers that perform Americana, folk and rock covers and original songs.

Two food trucks will be available on the 19th. Mike and Julie’s Smoked Meats of Huggins will provide unique handmade foods such as Irish nachos and smoked meat sliders. Twisted Mikes Food Truck of Springfield will provide a tasty twist on traditional sandwiches, tacos and fries.

Piney River Brewing is located on Durham’s 80-acre farm, operating out of a restored 70-year old barn. Durham founded the brewery with his wife, Joleen, in 2010 with a 10-gallon brewing system.

In 2015, Piney River Brewing produced over 2,200 barrels of beer. A $1.2 million expansion was completed on the farm, allowing the brewery to increase production with a new brewhouse, canning line and cold storage.

The brewery has distribution throughout most of Missouri and Arkansas.

Getting Ready for GABF 2014

In Beer Events on August 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm
Our first Piney River toast with our Gold medal winning Old Tom Porter.

Our first Piney River toast with our Gold medal winning Old Tom Porter.

You may have heard that at the Great American Beer Festival in 2013, Piney River took home a gold medal. Yep, we’re still kind of in shock about that win. But after our Gold Award experience at the World Beer Cup in April, it’s safe to say that we are really excited about entering in the 2014 GABF Competition. The chances are much greater that we will come away empty handed than with any awards, but our level of excitement for the competition is much higher in 2014 than it was when we shipped off a slew of Piney Pints in 2013.

So, if you happen to be in Denver the first week of October, come see us! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to represent craft beer made in the Ozarks again, and since many people have been asking, here’s the Piney River line up:

float trip aleFloat Trip Ale, 4.5% ABV, 18 IBUs  The 2014 World Beer Cup Gold Award for American-Style Wheat Beer, Float Trip Ale is a wheat-based blonde ale featuring subdued fruitiness a light hop bitterness and a crisp, smooth finish.

black walnut wheat labelBlack Walnut Wheat, 4.5% ABV, 18 IBUs  Black Walnut Wheat is an American style wheat beer with a black walnut aroma and a crisp, black walnut finish.

sweet potato aleSweet Potato Ale, 6% ABV, 24 IBUs  Sweet Potato Ale is our fall seasonal.  It is a malt forward blonde ale featuring the flavors of roasted sweet potatoes, spices and vanilla with a balanced hop profile, a subtle vanilla and spice aroma and a smooth finish.

Last year on Friday night we had to stop serving Sweet Potato Ale because we were into our second keg, and we were asked not to run out.  On Saturday the Sweet Potato Ale ran out in the first session.  We thought we should bring back this crowd pleaser for another go round, since beers made with sweet potatoes aren’t easy to find in the GABF hall.

old tom labelOld Tom Porter, 5% ABV, 25 IBUs  The 2013 GABF Gold Medalist in the Brown Porter Category, Old Tom Porter is full of roasted malts featuring chocolate and coffee flavors with a balanced hop profile for a smooth finish.

masked bandit black rye ipaMasked Bandit India Pale Ale, 7.5% ABV, 70 IBUs  Masked Bandit IPA features full-flavored dark malts and spicy rye combined with citra, centennial and amarillo hops to create a rich, full-bodied and complex India pale ale.

This year we have the awesome opportunity to share our Old Tom Porter at Friday’s GABF Media Lunch.  Old Tom will be paired with one of the courses at the lunch, and we’ll have a chance to share a little bit of our story with those present.  How cool is that?!

Let’s just say, the Piney River crew will work our way through the next few weeks, and we’ll be hopping on a plane bound for Denver.  We’re so excited about yet another trip to Denver.  We’re excited about pouring our beer for over 40,000 craft beer lovers. We’re excited about being with “our people” for four days.  We’re excited about the possibilities at GABF 2014!

 

Raccoons, Hops, Craft Beer & Good Times in the Ozarks

In The Beer on February 3, 2014 at 10:38 pm

As a brewer, there’s that moment when you send that first case of a new beer out to the distributor or when you hand the first new pint over to a customer.  You feel like a parent.  You want the best because, after all, you created this beer.  You want the beer to stand on its own.  You want the beer to be a great representative of you.

If you’ve followed Piney River Brewing for any time, you know that we’ve had a few proud parent moments…the consumer demand for Black Walnut Wheat, the GABF Gold medal for Old Tom Porter, the packaging option we came up with to brew and package seasonal beers–Float Trip Ale, Sweet Potato Ale, Hot Date Ale and most recently, Masked Bandit India Pale Ale.

Masked Bandit India Pale Ale is another one of those beers that we began developing over a year ago.  Brian and I are admitted India Pale Ale fans, but we also love black IPAs like Wookey Jack and Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.  Marshall Brewing in Tulsa makes a special release Black IPA, El CuCuy, that you need to try if you ever have a chance.  There’s something wonderful about a roasty, dark beer with a thick tan head that reeks of hop aroma and has a wonderful balance of roasted malt and hop flavor.

As we began playing with roasted malt and hops in search of our own black IPA, I thought of a way to pay homage to one of my favorite Ozark animals–the raccoon.  Thinking of animals that thrive in the dark of the Ozarks, my mind turned to the raccoon.

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Raccoons and the Ozarks go hand in hand.  They rob the corn patch.  They steal the perfect watermelon the night before you plan to pick it.  We even caught a mama raccoon and her six babies stealing peaches from our tree in broad daylight.  If you frequent Ozark river banks, you’ll find empty mussel shells and crawdad carcasses littering the gravel bar where a raccoon or two enjoyed a little midnight dining.  Those glowing eyes on the edge of the yard or on your porch eating cat food at 2 am?  Hello Mr. Masked Bandit.

Little known fact–I was named after coon hunters.

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Joel & Aileen Hatch on my first coon hunt.

My dad got college credit for raccoon hunting, and yes, he wrote a paper about it.  The first dogs I ever knew were coon hounds.  And some of my earliest memories involve sitting in the back of Aileen Hatch’s blazer while she and my dad listened to coon hounds howl in the Texas County hollows on cold, clear nights.  I thought, “This is what all four-year olds do on a weeknight.”  Right?

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Me, my dad, a big ol’ raccoon and a coon hound in the yard behind us. The good life for a young girl in the Ozarks.

And just like the black mask that makes a raccoon face so distinctive, our Masked Bandit IPA is an IPA that doesn’t look like an IPA until it reaches your nose–a trickster of sorts, but a delicious one.  In addition to dark malts we’ve added some rye for a nice spice punch, and the Citra and Amarillo hops shine providing flavor and aroma for Masked Bandit.

Masked Bandit IPA

Masked Bandit IPA

Due to the limited availability of the hops we use for Masked Bandit, it will not be produced after February of this year.  We will have to wait to brew more Masked Bandit until next year when our new hop contracts become available.  Meanwhile, Masked Bandit can be found in draft and Piney pints throughout our distribution area until it’s gone.  Masked Bandit has been a featured beer at every tap takeover, tasting and beer dinner that we’ve done in the past few weeks, and it seems to be well loved.

Masked Bandit IPA is our newest offering to the craft beer world.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed crafting it, brewing it and naming it.  (And, as always, special thanks to Brooke Hamilton at Grindstone Studio for capturing our vision of the Ozarks with her graphic designs.)

In the Ozarks, the masked bandit is notorious for raiding the corn patch. Or, for finding—and eating—the perfectly ripe watermelon in the garden just before it’s picked. Our handcrafted Masked Bandit India Pale Ale is a black rye IPA that is raccoon proof…as long as the raccoon in your neck of the woods isn’t a hop head.

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