July 4th: Celebrate America’s Independence Day with beer

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By: Eric Strader
ericstrader69@gmail.com

Photo supplied/Eric Strader

If you were lucky enough to pick up some bottles from the most recent release of Dogfish Head American Beauty (imperial pale ale, 9 percent ABV, IBUs 55), then you will be having a great Fourth of July. If you are lucky enough to be drinking one of these at this weekend’s Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary Grateful Dead tour in Chicago, then you will be having an amazing Fourth of July. I unfortunately was one of the many who didn’t get any tickets through the mail order lottery, so I will be enjoying a bottle on the beach of Lake Michigan.  

American Beauty was inspired by the Grateful Dead and was first released in October of 2013. It was just released again a few weeks ago with a different label, and only a few cases made it to Indiana.

If you are around Michiana this holiday weekend, then you don’t want to miss the special bottle release that will be happening at Bare Hands Brewery in Granger. Beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, July 3, Bare Hands will be selling bottles of Bourbon Barrel Mail Order Bride (Russian imperial stout, 10.2 percent ABV). These will be 22-ounce, waxed-capped bottles at $20 per bottle with a case limit per person.

Here are the tasting notes from the brewery: “Chocolate and roast malts, hints of dark fruit and earthy hops create a truly great beer. This version is special. She was treated with an extra long voyage inside of the best bourbon barrels we could get our Bare Hands on. She soaked up complex notes of oak, vanilla and fine bourbon to create a unique, drinkable stout for that special occasion.”

This is not the first time this special beer has been brewed or bottled. Previous batches have been aged in Buffalo Trace and George T Stagg bourbon barrels, but I was not lucky enough to taste either of those batches. This newest amazing batch was aged in Angel’s Envy bourbon barrels. Another friend of mine, Jim Moler, who is a member of MEGA (Michiana Extract and Grain Association) and quite an accomplished home brewer was able to sample just a bit, and here are his tasting notes: “Full-bodied, silky smooth mouth feel, subtle hints of dark roast and chocolate with typical oak, light vanilla and a rich, smooth bourbon flavor.”

If you also did not get tickets for the Grateful Dead shows, you can catch them on a livestream at Bare Hands this weekend.

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