“What is the newest beer you got?” has replaced past beer questions like “What is the highest ABV beer?” and “What is the hoppiest beer you’re pouring?” in the minds of some independent beer consumers.
This has led to some truly groundbreaking beers to be ignored, or worse, dismissed out of hand. A new beer movement, #FlagshipFebruary, wants to remedy this situation.
Flagship beers have come to define breweries in the past and were growth and profit drivers that allowed breweries to build equipment and the rest of their beer line-ups. The premier example being Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada which is oft noted as the first beer that many a new brewer had on their craft beer journey.
Noted beer writer Stephen Beaumont read this post on Vinepair about the current Flagship struggle and tweeted, that #FlagshipFebruary should be a thing. The quickly turned around campaign has gathered steam as writers have used their influencer powers to promote it and beer bars have created events around the theme. A website is also in production as well.
It is easy to participate once or all month. You can go for national brands such as New Belgium Fat Tire or Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen. Or you can stay local and pick up say, Foam Top from Beachwood Brewing, 24th Street Pale from Strand Brewing. You can also broaden the mandate and get a long-standing world classic like Orval or Duvel.
Considering the current partial government Trump-down and its effect on new beer labels, it is an advantageous time to remember the beers that may not have graced your shopping cart in months or years.
There is also no need to worry about your current beer crush. Milkshake and hazy IPAs will still be around in March. Creativity doesn’t stand still and having a Flagship should only increase your craft beer street cred.
Your Non-IPA Beer of the Week is part of the burgeoning trend of rose beers on the market but with a Firestone Walker local twist. The Paso Robles brewery teamed with their R&D brewery, The Propagator, to create a wine/beer hybrid that celebrates the grapes grown in the Paso Robles area. Castoro Cellars provides the wine juice base with a variety of grape styles and this is combined with a light base beer and hibiscus for a little splash of red. I think this spritzy and balanced beer will be a gateway for wine drinkers to beer as well as for beer geeks who want to get into more adventurous hybrids.
Mark your calendar for Sunday, January 27, as Angel City Brewery will be bringing Sour to the People to DTLA with special barrel-aged sours. This day also marks the opening of their brand-new outdoor beer garden.
In addition to their regular lineup, Angel City will also tap into a full list of specialty sour styles for the event, including their Session Sour, Sunbather, Brett Bloke, a barrel-aged Old Ale and Stoned Fruit, and a sour wit aged with peaches in Sauternes barrels. You will be able to buy that beer along with Nothing At All, a Flanders Red Ale, for $14 each.
Sunrise Movement Los Angeles will be on hand raffling off Angel City gift baskets and talking about their goal of combatting climate change as well.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.