Do you like a good pale ale? Do you like blueberries? Do you like vanilla? How about hibiscus? Now, what if you combine all of these things together and then can them? The result would be Kitty Kat Blues Pale Ale in cans from Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor).
Kitty Kat Blues is not a new beer. Black Raven has been making it for years, but this is the first time ever they’ve put it into cans. It’s also the first time I’ve seen a change in the recipe. Prior to using hibiscus, Kitty Kat Blues got some of it’s unique and distinct flavor from the use of catnip in the recipe. Yes, catnip. I’m not certain why Black Raven has swapped out the catnip for the hibiscus. The photo for the can release event on Facebook even still uses the old label – which clearly shows catnip as an ingredient, but I’m curious to try this new iteration. Kitty Kat Blues in cans arrives this Friday, 3/16 at 3 pm.
Last year, I told you about a new Spring Seasonal from Pike Brewing Company: Hive Five – a tasty collaboration between Pike Brewing Company and Salish Lodge & Spa. Salish has 120,000 honey bees that live in their apiaries, which produce 600 pounds of superb and local honey every year. Pike’s brewers use this honey to brew Pike Hive Five.
After last year’s release, Hive Five was so popular that Pike has decided to bring it back year-round. Starting now, you’ll be able to pick up Hive Five year-round in cans at Pike Brewing Company and your local craft beer retailer.
Back in 2009, Black Raven Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) introduced one-off Cask beer that was brewed with vanilla, blueberries and a slightly more unusual ingredient: Catnip. Their press release below says it was called Kitty Kat Blues but I can also recall a version (which you can still get) of Kitty Kat Blues mixed with Trickster IPA – called Tricky Kitty.
The combination of ingredients worked well and, despite it’s slightly unusual description, Kitty Kat Blues has become one of my favorite Black Raven beers. Until now it’s been a seasonal offering, so it wasn’t always available when I wanted one. Now that’s all changed. This Friday, March 3rd Kitty Kat Blues joins Black Raven’s stable of year-round beers during a Cat Shirt launch party.
The ‘Session’ IPA has become a popular style for hopheads who sometimes want a lower alcohol brew, so that we can enjoy more of them in an afternoon without getting too sloshed or being ready for a nap. I have a few local favorites (including Trailhead ISA from Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Son Of Birdserker from Black Raven Brewing (CBM Sponsor)), however both of these beers are Seasonal and not available year round.
The same was true of Firestone Walker’s Easy Jack Session IPA when it first arrived last Summer. Due to its popularity, Firestone actually ran out of the hops needed to make this tasty brew. To ensure that won’t happen again, Firestone’s own Matt Brynildson traveled to Germany last year to secure the necessary supplies of the hops he’d need. As a result, Firestone Walker Brewing Company is now set to offer Easy Jack Session IPA year round.