The folks at SweetWater have been a little quiet most of this year since their 15th anniversary blowout earlier this year. Growing pains have thrown their new release calendar off a bit, but they’ve recently come back with a couple new brews that have recently hit shelves.
Up first is LowRYEder, their new year-round 6.2% ABV rye IPA that replaced their Sch’Wheat wheat ale. LowRYEder was formerly a limited-release beer released under the Crank Tank label. That beer supports Camp Twin Lakes and will be re-brewed sometime soon with a different beer going into the bottle. But the SW folks decided to give the rye IPA a promotion and bump it up into regular rotation.
LowRYEder pours a beautiful crystal clear copper orange color. There’s about half a finger of a really filmy head that dissipates really quickly. Not much lacing to it but some pretty good-looking alcohol legs.
On the nose is a big floral punch of tropical fruits. There are bits of melon, orange, papaya and grapefruit that are all really thick and juicy. It’s got a bit of a piney hop note and a good bite from the rye as well.
There’s a strong hop bitterness on the front of the tongue which continues across the palate and is pretty strong on the end along with the bite from the rye. The mouthfeel is almost syrupy and very smooth. There’s a big biscuit malt flavor in the middle of the palate and the citrus fruit flavors really pop on the back. The grapefruit compliments the rye nicely. The tartness and rye bite linger on the back, but those juicy orange and melon flavors are the first to show up.
The other new offering making the rounds is Danktoberfest, the newest entry into their one-off Dank Tank series. The 8.5% ABV imperial Oktoberfest is the first true lager the brewery’s made, and it’s a big one at that, especially for an Oktoberfest.
The pour is a very clear copper brown color. There’s a good finger’s worth of a bubbly head although it dissipates fast. There’s some really nice, strong lacing and alcohol legs as well.
SweetWater likes to twist their styles a bit, but Danktoberfest has a surprisingly classic Oktoberfest nose. You get those big sweet bready malts, lots of nuts, caramel and toffee. There is a slight hoppiness to it – it wouldn’t be a SweetWater beer without it – but the malt is what’s the most prevalent.
There’s a slight hop bite and a lot of malt flavor on the front of the tongue. That’s followed up with a slight carbonation across the mouth, but a good, smooth mouthfeel. The end is really nice: Sweeter malt notes start off the finish but a surprisingly bitter hoppiness lingers on the finish. There’s a lot of pine to the hops. Overall, the flavor is dominated by those nutty, bready flavors that you’d expect in a Oktoberfest.
It’s been a hot minute since my guys in Atlanta have cranked out anything new, but these two show they’re still going strong as year 16 approaches.