The quarterly rotation of seasonal beers is always a bittersweet moment for us. On one hand, we’re sad to see the previous two be unavailable for the next nine months, especially when that means no more Overgrowth mimosas. But on the other hand, it’s refreshing to get something new onto the board. Especially when one of those things is the single most inquired-about offering we’ve ever released. So this summer we bring back an old friend and introduce a new one: Garden Party, our long-awaited cucumber wheat beer, and Akamai, our new summer double IPA.
Many of you are already familiar with Garden Party, which we released last year at our eponymous event (side note: this year’s Garden Party will take place in August, as opposed to June). It became an immediate hit, and we’re extremely excited to bring it back. This year’s version is sure to be even better than the last – we’ll be using a more flavorful base malt and a smoother water profile, making it even cleaner and more refreshing than ever.
Our second summer seasonal, however, is a brand new endeavor – a full-bodied, juicy monster of a double IPA made with Citra, Simcoe, and Chinook hops. Akamai, which means ‘clever’ or ‘street smart’ in Hawaiian Pidgin, is a bigger, meaner version of our standard practice when brewing hop-forward beers: huge flavor, huge aroma, refined bitterness. We’ve never made a full-on traditional American double IPA yet (not that tradition has ever been something we’ve been interested in strictly adhering to), and it’s also the first time we’ve used this specific hop combination: Citra, a strongly-flavored hop with notes of mango, peach, and lemon; Simcoe, a dank, citrusy orange-bomb; and Chinook, used in the whirlpool for flavor, bringing the other two hop components together. It’s the perfect counter to such a light and refreshing companion as Garden Party, and a welcome departure from the prevalent low-flavor, low-alcohol American Summer Ale.
With the addition of Akamai, we’ve now released seven out of our eight seasonals, leaving only one remaining beer to join the gang in the fall (alongside returning favorite Mexican Coffee) before we’ve fully realized our seasonal lineup. I spoke a bit when we released Loose Seal and Overgrowth in the spring about how the development of our flagship and seasonal lineups have been one of the most exciting and fulfilling parts of getting The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. off the ground. Watching as each piece of the puzzle falls into place, tasting each one for the first time as Zach creates new offerings and updates old ones, bringing them to life with names, designs, and identities – a lot of owning a brewery is phone calls and paperwork, but this is the side of it that we live for.