It’s not strange to find my wife and me at Columbia’s World of Beer on any given night of the week, but Tuesday evening was something special. Westbrook, a brewery you might have heard me talk about once or twice, held a beer pairing dinner along with Motor Supply, one of Columbia’s exceptional and more popular restaurants.
A full rundown of the (incredible) food and drink is coming later this week, but there are more pressing things to get to. Namely, three big pieces of news that came straight from the horse’s mouth – the hose being brewery founder Edward Westbrook – and surprised a lot of people.
New cans – Prior to the pairing with Westbrook’s Citra Rye Pale Ale, Ed gave the rundown about the history of the beer and how it’s grown in popularity over time. It’s become so popular that Westbrook has decided to make it – or at least a variety of it – a little more available.
Starting later this year, the brewery will add a version of its Citra Rye as the third year-round canned beer in its repertoire. This new beer will join White Thai and IPA as an everyday 12 oz. offering from Westbrook. Exactly what the beer will be called, when it’ll be released or how it’ll differ from the current Citra Rye recipe wasn’t touched on, but soon enough you’ll have another Westbrook option to safely enjoy poolside or at the beach.
Mexican Cake goes seasonal – The evening’s dessert was paired with Mexican Cake, my favorite beer of last year as well as one of my all-time favorites. While having the beer on draft was good enough, Westbrook dropped some huge news that made it even better:
Starting this May, the 10.5% imperial stout will become a seasonal release.
It’s been rumored for some time that Westbrook would be releasing Mexican Cake again sometime early this year. Kegs have slowly been popping up around the state for the past few months, and I’ve seen a few cases of the bottles chilling in the brewery’s barrel room. And while I thought it would be a one-time deal, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The initial release of Mexican Cake was gone from store shelves nearly as soon as it was released a year ago. To say the beer is popular is a massive understatement, and if the reaction from the people sitting around me was any indication, it’s showing no signs of losing popularity.
Again, details of the release are TBA.
New barrel-aged series drops in March – Asked what new brews they had in the works, Morgan Westbrook announced a new series of barrel-aged sours brewed in collaboration with the Charleston Beer Exchange will be bottled and released starting this March.
Last week, the brewery’s Facebook page featured photos of the Westbrook and CBX crew sampling some of the varieties of the beer, which has been aging in cider, red wine and rum barrels, among others, for more than a year. The series – dubbed Old Time after CBX Manager Brandon “Old Time” Plyler – will first be bottled in a couple of months and may make an appearance at Brewvival, but don’t quote me on that last part. It’s unclear which variety of the beer will be released first. As for Westbrook’s other series – Single Hop and Bearded Farmer – there was no news on when the next entry in each will show up.
And as usual, you can expect full reviews of all the aforementioned beers right here whenever they’re released.