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NRG Announces “Four-Headed Beast” of Exclusive Beers for Snallygaster

Neighborhood Restaurant Group's Third Annual Snallygaster, set for September 13, was already set to be a marquee craft beer event, but the folks at Bluejacket are upping the game by brewing exclusive Snallygaster-only beers for the festival.

Bluejacket will release four Snallygaster beers, three of which will be barrel-aged and only available at Snallygaster. The base beer will be tapped at Bluejacket during DC Beer Week on August 21 at 5pm. Any time someone orders this beer (which is unnamed as of this moment) leading up to Snallygaster, they can provide their name and email for a chance to win a grand prize that could include a case of Bluejacket beers–including beers never released before, barrel-aged rarities, cool sour ales, an epic in-depth brewery tour, and the Beer and Food Experience led by Greg Engert for the winner and five of their friends. Plus Bluejacket swag, because you know what you want after unreleased beers and exclusive tours is a t-shirt.

The beer ,set to be released on August 21 according to Bluejacket, is "a funky ale that will end up being a 7% golden farmhouse-style ale, brewed with 30% wheat (a portion of which is malted and a portion unmalted), hopped with New Zealand-grown Southern Cross and Oregon-grown Horizontal hops, then fermented with a blended culture of Brettanomyces (Bruxellensis and Lambicus strains), Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces (saison ale yeast). Each of these strains was cultured and propagated in Bluejacket's lab and chosen for the promising flavors exhibited during the propagation. The strains were then blended and added, en masse, to the brewed wort."

This base beer was brewed about three weeks ago, and the brewers will likely dry-hop it after fermentation is complete. This decision will be based on the flavor development as fermentation finishes. The beer will continue to ferment and mature until mid-August. Greg Engert notes that he expects the finished brew to be dry with a complex funky, showing balanced acidity, earthy-rustic aromatics, hop-driven hints of citrus, fresh-cut flowers and spice, and a melange of green strawberry, guava and cherry pie in the nose.

A portion of this base beer has already been transferred to thre separate 60-gallon oak barrels in Bluejacket's sour barrel-aging room. Each barrel was dosed again with the aforementioned Brett-lacto-yeast culture once they were filled with the base beer and further funky fermentation has already begun for the three barrel-aged versions.

Here are the three barrels filled, with their expected flavor evolutions, courtesy of NRG:

  • Grgich Hills Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California: American oak barrel-aged Chardonnay will lend bright flavors of lemon, pear, vanilla-cream, and subtle spice.
  • Larkin Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley, California: Larkin's Cabernet Franc-soaked French oak barrel will impart notes of flowers, raspberry, black pepper, black cherry and forest floor to the base Snallygaster beer.
  • Barboursville Octagon, Piedmont Region, Virginia: This French oak barrel–which previously housed the locally-produced Octagon Bordeaux-style blend (primarily based on Merlot)–will layer flavors of plum, cassis, tobacco and cocoa into the base Snallygaster beer. 

The brewers worked with Stephen Corrigan, their farmer at Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, to harvest three interesting fruits from the new Arcadia farm grounds in Middleburg, Virginia. Over the next week, they will be incrementally adding each Arcadia-grown and harvested fruit to a specific barrel, reaching 100 pounds or so of fruit in each barrel. 

Husk Cherries will be added to the base brew fermenting and aging in the Grgich Hills barrel (husk cherries will provide Chardonnay-friendly notes of pineapple and cinnamon, as well as a touch of acidity), Black Mulberries and Blackberries to the Larkin barrel (with fully pronounced blueberry-esque notes to meld with the character of the Cab Franc), as well as Ground Huckleberries and Blueberries to the Octagon barrel (intense, dark fruit and tannins melding nicely with the rich Bordeaux-style red wine flavors).

These three fruited, barrel-aged versions will have about two months of maturation before being debuted, and exclusively-served, at Snallygaster, alongside remaining kegs of the base beer previewed during DC Beer Week.

 
According to NRG, VIP tickets are more than halfway sold out, and they encourage folks to scoop those up before they're gone, especially if they're someone who wants access right away to the more rare beers that are likely to kick earlier on in the festival. 
 
Here are the beers that have already been announced for Snallygaster:
1. Avery Uncle Jacob's Stout Vintage 2013 – Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
2. Perennial Barrel-Aged Abraxas – Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Imperial Spiced Stout
3. Anchorage Galaxy White IPA – Dry-Hopped & Spiced IPA with Brettanomyces
4. Green Flash Silva Stout – Bourbon Barrel-Aged Double Stout
5. Allagash Golden Brett – Oak Foudre-Finished Blond Ale with Brettanomyces
6. Stone Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard – American Strong Ale Aged in Oak Whiskey Barrels
7. Bluejacket & New Belgium Sideshow – Dry-Hopped Sour Blond Ale
8. Smuttynose Brett & I – Belgian Strong Ale Fermented with Brettanomyces
9. Prairie & Brewfist Grappa Barrel-Aged Spaghetti Western – Imperial Stout Aged in Grappa Barrels
10. Aeppeltreow Kinglet Bitter – Single Varietal Dry American Cider
11. Perennial Barrel-Aged Sump: Rwandan Kyoto Edition – Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout Blended with Kyoto-Brewed Rwandan Coffee
12. Blue Mountain Barrel-Aged Sour Cherry Weizenbock – Weizenbock Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Cherries
13. Kraus Lager Hell – Rubber-Clad Gravity Keg – Unfiltered Franconian Kellerbier
14. Schlafly Rye IPA – Schlafly Taproom Exclusive
15. DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon – Imperial IPA
16. Döllnitzer Ritterguts Gose – Authentic German Gose
17. New Belgium Local Peach Felix – Sour Blond Ale Aged on Virginia Peaches – Washington, DC Debut!
18. Avery Gore'd  – Pumpkin Ale
19. Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA – Cask – Real Ale American IPA
20. Nøgne Ø & Monarchy The Best Brewjob Ever – Imperial Altbier – Washington, DC Debut!
21. Millstone Sidra Americana – Spanish-Style Funk-Forward Cider
22. Bluejacket & Stone Suede Vintage 2013 – Imperial Porter with Calendula Flowers & Jasmine
23. Boulevard Saison Brett – Hoppy Farmhouse Ale Finished with Brettanomyces
24. Koutska 10º  – Authentic Czech Pilsner
25. Off Color Papillon – Wild Ale Aged in Gin Barrels with Brettanomyces – Washington, DC Debut!
26. Sierra Nevada & Allagash Beer Camp: Myron's Walk – Hoppy Belgian Pale Ale
27. Göller Rauchbier – Traditional Franconian Smoked Lager
28. Saucony Creek Captain Pumpkin’s Maple Mistress – Imperial Pumpkin Ale
29. Green Flash Mango-Fresno Chili Pepper West Coast IPA – Real Ale IPA with Mango & Fresno Chili Peppers
30. Neuzeller Original Badebier – Traditional Dark Lager – Washington, DC Debut!
31. Flying Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo – Imperial Porter Aged in Whiskey Barrels
32. Allagash Bourbon Black – Belgian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels
33. Smuttynose Schmutzig Hopfen Weisse – Hoppy Bavarian-Style Hefeweizen
34. Mahr's Saphir Weisse – Franconian Hefeweizen Hopped with Saphir
35. Avery Lilikoi Kepolo – Tart Witbier with Passionfruit

We will keep you updated as Snallygaster announces more beers and news related to the event.

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