Ray's Craft Beer Newsletter
A New Beer Frontier 
July 2013
Volume 2 Issue 14 
Dear Rays Craft Beer Lovers,


Some big changes are a brewing in the newsletter world. I, the Osiris of your fermented barley journey, will be trading in my snow shovel for a surfboard and moving to San Diego, California. Rest assured, though, Ray's Craft Beer Newsletter will continue in my absence. Since this will be my last one, I decided to feature some of my favorite current beers. It's a lot like Oprah's favorite things. You may not get a Volkswagen Beetle, but I guarantee you'll get a buzz.




Dan Downes
Black Husky Sproose Joose
Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout
Founders Rübæus
Stiegl Grapefruit Radler
I wonder how long it will take until I start to look like Matthew McConaughey? Via
Black Husky Sproose Joose 

The worst thing about moving to California is that I won't be able to enjoy some of the incredible beers Wisconsin has to offer (Oh...um...besides not seeing family and stuff). Since I don't see Tim and Toni at Black Husky hand bottling their beers for California distribution any time soon, I'm trying to get my fix while I still can. We've discussed them in the past, but this time around we'll focus on Sproose Joose, their most well known beer. Brewed with locally harvested spruce tips, you'll be hard pressed to find anything like it no matter where you live.

As Sproose Joose strikes your palate initially, it may seem somewhat mild. Soon afterwards, though, you'll believe the label when it says, "this aggressive double IPA won't leave you wondering if you caught a whiff of pine; rather you'll know you bulldozed through the forest and came out on the other side." With heavy emphasis on the botanicals, this is the type of beer that would convert a gin drinker. Spruce and citrus combine with a heavy dose of hops unlike anything else you've had before. Sweet up front, it ends dry along with a lingering bitterness. For most people this is a love it or hate it beer. Obviously I'm in the camp of the former, but then again, I've always been that type of guy. 
Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout 



From Pembine we head 150 miles southwest for another star of the Wisconsin craft brewing world. Central Waters has been changing a lot recently. Not only have they started to roll out their amazing new packaging, but they also have a whole new line of 22 oz bottles! The first beer in this series is an returning favorite -- Brewhouse Coffee Stout, infused with coffee specially roasted for them by Emy J's in Stevens Point.  


An opaque, dark brown, this CW offering proves that coffee stouts have a place in the summertime. The coffee aromas come to the fore, but it's not the overly roasted, charred type from which many others in the style suffer. Combined with the malt profile, it gives the illusion of chocolate dessert bread. The taste mirrors the aroma in many ways. Coffee and chocolate blend with a medium-light body for something that can be enjoyable even in the hot weather. Not overly sweet, who needs iced coffee when you can have a coffee stout? 

Founders R�b�us

From Wisconsin we move to another classic Midwest brewery with Founders out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many people were upset when they decided to let go of their cherry beer Cerise, but I think they knocked it out of the park when they brought R�b�us out of retirement. Last brewed in 2008, they add fresh raspberries at five separate stages of the fermentation cycle to produce something that avoids the artificiality that turns many off to fruit beers in general.



A deep purple hue, R�b�us advertises raspberries and it delivers with an aroma reminiscent of raspberry jam. Taste wise, raspberry certainly dominates, but there's a complexity there as well. The initial tartness transitions to a sweetness on the finish. This is where the use of fresh raspberries makes a big difference. The sweetness feels natural, not cloying and clunky. Medium bodied, the malt gives a hint of toastiness to round things out. I know fruit beers are a hard sell, but this is one you don't want to miss!


This was the type of thing Franz was trying to avoid.
Legend has it that the radler was invented by a former railroad worker turned innkeeper named Franz Xaver Kugler.   After World War I, cycling became a German pastime and Kugler happened to have his establishment near a popular trail. One fateful Saturday in 1922, about 13,000 cyclists descended on his place of business...and they were thirsty. Not wanting to learn what happens to an innkeeper that refuses thousands of Germans beer, he needed to think of something quick! Apparently he had several thousand bottles of lemon soda in his cellar (you know, in case of emergency) and decided to create a 50/50 mix of beer and soda. He dubbed it the Radlermass (radler translates to cyclist and mass means liter), and claimed that he did so on purpose so the cyclists wouldn't fall off their bikes!


Steigl Grapefruit Radler 

The German equivalent of a Shandy, radlers are normally made with lemonade. Stieglbrauerei in Austria, however, recently started canning another version which combines grapefruit soda and their Goldbrau lager. Hazy, golden colored with high carbonation, there may be nothing terribly complex about the radler, but it's refreshing and smooth. The grapefruit flavor up front takes me back to drinking Squirt with my Grandpa Downes (I eventually discovered that he was adding gin to his glass). Finishing with some bready malt and a light, lemony citrus, you may be wary of a beer/soda combination, but trust me, it works!
Save 10%
Receive 10% of all beers featured in Volume 2 Issue 14 of the Ray's craft beer newsletter. Thus, it is limited to Black Husky Sproose Joose, Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout, Founders R�baeus and Stiegl Grapefruit Radler. No limit. Not redeemable with any other special offers. 


Offer Expires: Sunday July 15 at 5:00pm
It's been a lot of fun sharing some beer knowledge, having fun and meeting all the great customers. My successor (sounds regal, huh?) will be Kaleb Schwecke. He has over six years experience in the beer retail world and is incredibly knowledgeable! If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to email him at kaleb@rayswine.com

Thanks again for subscribing to and reading the newsletter. When I first started it, I wasn't sure where it would end up. But it's been amazing getting to known and interact with other craft beer lovers. 

Dan, Kaleb & the gang at Ray's

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