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Previewing the Beers at Widmer’s Explore Your Craft

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As you may remember, Widmer Brothers Brewing Company is hosting a music, food, beer, you-name-it craft beer extravaganza on October 3 at Longview Gallery at 1234 9th Street NW. To buy tickets, click here.

In an effort to better prepare you for Explore Your Craft, here's a look at some of the beers that will be available on October 3:

Hefeweizen – 4.9% – 30 IBU – Billed as the first American-style hefeweizein, Widmer has been brewing this since 1986. True to its German brethren, this is an unfiltered (read: cloudy) wheat beer. What makes it American-style is a more pronounced citrus flavor and less sweetness. At 30 IBUs, this has double the top range of bitterness that the BJCP recommends for hefeweizens.

Rotator IPA: Falconer’s IPA – 7% – 65 IBU – Falconers Flight is a proprietary hop blend named after Glen Falconer of Hopunion, LLC. You may have seen this blend in a lot of DC Brau beers. They're big fans of it. This edition of the Widmer Rotator IPA series uses all Falconers Flight hops for aroma (although it uses Alchemy hops for bitterness). Lots of stone fruit in the nose and a solid malt backbone lend to an IPA experience more akin to an east cost IPA. Proceeds from the sale of this IPA go to the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation, which provides scholarships to professional and aspiring brewers. Widmer also makes additional donations from the sale of this beer to two other scholarships.

Drifter Pale Ale – 5.7% – 28 IBU – Nelson Sauvin hops come from New Zealand and offer a fruitiness reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. This might seem like an odd choice to hop a pale ale with, but then you see Summit, and the familiarity washes over you. This pale ale has a strong citrus quality, and the hop bill has a unique offering on the style.

Nelson Imperial IPA – 8.6% – 70 IBU – Nelson Sauvin is back in another beer. This is a heavy hitter both in terms of potency and bitterness. Along with Nelson Sauvin, find Cascade and Willamette to satisfy your taste for hops.

Pitch Black IPA – 6.5% – 65 IBU – The black IPA may have had its heyday a year or two ago, but Widmer is still putting out this good example of the style. They prefer to call it a "Cascadian Dark Ale," which, well, to each their own. We'll go with that when Cascadia achieves its independence. This beer has a blast of grapefruity Cascade hops that balance out against a complex combination of toasted malts.

Milk Stout – 7.6% – IBU unknown – This is a relatively new addition to the Widmer portfolio, and it's here just in time for fall and winter. Additions of lactose (milk sugar) will add a sweetness that will round out the roasted and toasted notes from a bunch of dark malts.

Brrrbon ‘12 – 9.5% – 40 IBU – Brrrbon is Widmer's barrel-aged winter warmer. After initial fermentation, the beer gets a fresh infusion of hops and a timeout in a bourbon barrel. The dry-hopping should yield a hoppy freshness, but this will definitely be primarily a malt beer (9.5% and only 40 IBUs to stand up to it shows you exactly where it'll be on the malt scale.)

SXNW Dark Ale – 9.3% – Perhaps the most complex of the beers available at Explore Your Craft, this brew features a lot of southwest flavors. Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, toasted pecans, and green chillies will all come together to make a really rich, and potent, beer.

We hope to see you at Explore Your Craft on October 3. If you can't make it, look for these other Widmer beers at your local craft beer purveyor!

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