Digileaks: Brewvival 2011 beer details trickle in (update x7: on food)

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Update February 19: Grub is an important part of any beer festival, and Brewvival is no different.

This year they are really upping the ante with four food vendors (five lines) on the premises, serving up reasonably priced, fest-friendly goodies:

Side note: The Digileaks have ceased because beers are being added to the official site at an alarming rate.  Stay tuned over there, but only if you like staring at a computer screen with your mouth agape.

Update February 13: Going side-topic for just a bit about music.

On February 26th, Brewvival will also bring out food vendors in musicians to accompany all those tasty pours, and details are out about the three who will be playing bringing jazz, Latin, Cuban, and rock to the festival — read about it at the Charleston City Paper.

Update January 26: Just when you thought the leaks were plugged, here comes the latest on Stone Brewing Co.'s lineup for the fest.

This information is brought to you by way of a microscopic, remote camera thrown into the mouth of brewery CEO and Co-Founder Greg Koch while making his infamous #gregface prior to last year's fest.

  • Bourbon barrel-aged Arrogant Bastard Ale: So the first two of these need little explanation.  You take your Arrogant Bastard Ale, the brewery's flagship American Strong Ale, and you throw it in a bourbon barrel.  Then you drink it.  You're probably even less worthy of this than you are of regular Arrogant Bastard Ale (according to the bottle).  7.2% ABV, B+, 94.
  • Dry-hopped Double Bastard Ale: Double Bastard Ale is essentially a stronger, hoppier, and altogether more dangerous cousin of Arrogant Bastard Ale.  You can multiply the hop factor on this one, as it went through two rounds of dry-hopping.  This is the process of adding hops to the beer after the boil is over, imparting outrageous amounts of gooey hop aroma with minimal added bitterness.  11.2% ABV, B+.
  • El Camino (Un)REAL Black Ale: This totally black black ale was a 2010 collaboration with Stone, 21st Amendment Brewery, and Firestone Walker Brewing.  These three brewers all being Californian, they decided to go with ingredients indigenous to the area.  These included fennel seed, chia seed, pink peppercorns, and mission figs, in addition to big roasty malts and a characteristically hefty hop addition.  9.5% ABV, B+, 98.

Update January 20th: The second annual appearance of Allagash Brewing at Brewvival promises to be a very special one.  

At least that's message we got back from the Portland, Maine brewery via our east coast relay team of reconnaissance carrier pigeons.

  • Allagash Avancé:  Allagash Four is a big member of their year-round "classic" series of brews.  It's a study in numbers, brewed with four malts, four sugar additives, four kinds of hops, and even four different strains of Belgian yeast.  How could you do more with one beer, one might inquire?  You age it in oak barrels with strawberries, and call it Avancé. 10.8% ABV, A-, 98.  (P.S. - A small bottle release of this just occurred at the brewery, making the ravenous thirst of trade-happy beer geeks still fresh on this one.)
  • Allagash Little Big Beer:  This beer has about the most convoluted story of any I've heard.  Big Little Beer was a collaborative brew between the folks at Allagash and the Alström brothers, founders of BeerAdvocate, made exclusively for their November 2010 Belgian Beer Fest.  It's a relatively mild Belgian Pale Ale, weighing in at 5.5% ABV.  Little Big Beer, however, is the result of taking the first runnings from Big Little Beer, fermenting it "with a blend of Allagash house yeast and Allagash house brettanomyces," and aging it "in a mix of french oak wine barrels and bourbon barrels for 2 months."  Wow.  10.5% ABV, A.

Update January 16th: If you were at last year's Brewvival, you might remember the gang from Thomas Creek Brewery serving a doppelbock with chocolate shavings, or a double IPA run through a Randall full of whole cone hops.

They are poised to repeat the trend this year, adding some zany ingredients to a more select group of base beers.  Big ups to Mr. McWhiskers, who was paid handsomely after being sent into the brewery with a tiny Bluetooth receiver on his collar to get this info.

  • Conduplico Immundus Monachus (randallized):  This impossibly named beer is a new addition to the Thomas Creek lineup, the first in its new Atypical Series of limited brews.  The Belgian Strong Dark Ale will be run through a Randall full of black cherries and figs, which should complement the deep fruit notes normally present in the style. 10% ABV, A-, not enough reviews for a Ratebeer score.
  • Banana Split Chocolate Stout served with vanilla bean ice crease:  Having read the description, you now know everything about this beer that we do.  The base beer is apparently new, possibly a one-off, and your guess it as good as ours how it will be served with the ice cream.  We're not sure if it could sound any more awesome, however.
  • Special IPA (cask):  Here's another mystery, not actually called "Special IPA" but instead a, well, special IPA.  All we know is a cask of this stuff dry-hopped with Amarillo hops and floated on Spanish cedar wood will grace the fest.

Update January 13th: The Foothills Brewing lineup for Brewvival has been partially announced on the official site

We'll rehash those below. For those keeping score, that makes the last beer listed here the only Digileak in this update, obtained with the help of famed Cheaters P.I., Detective Gomez.

  • Sexual Chocolate (draft AND cask): This great big Russian Imperial Stout is an annual release for the Winston-Salem brewery, deriving its name from the addition of delectable cocoa nibs to the brew. The bottle release, held at the brewery on the last Saturday of January this year, has become a beer geek pilgrimage of sorts. Folks come in the night before for a gigantic tasting, spilling over into more tasting the morning of while waiting in line starting around 4 a.m. While gatherings like that are undeniably fun, the central player is this sinfully delicious beer, which will be on hand at the fest in cask form for the first time and draft form for the second. 9.75% ABV, A-, 100.
  • Pappy Van Winkle Barrel-aged Total Eclipse Stout: If you've never heard the word "boozy," get ready to learn it. It's the second annual appearance for this one at the festival, and last year's was packed to the gills with bourbon essence (in a good way). This is largely due to the base beer being a delicious, but not quite "imperial" stout, weighing it around 7% ABV and without the outrageously dense feel of a big stout like a Sexual Chocolate, for instance. Less density in the base beer leaves plenty of room for the bourbon to seep in, giving your taste buds a massive dose of Van Winkle goodness. 7% ABV, A-, 94.

Update January 9th: As with any top secret affair, the price of secrets decreases as we get closer to the event.  

Lucky for you readers, getting the rest of the Bell's lineup from our confidential informant(s) only cost us a hot lunch and a back rub.

  • Bell's Batch 9,000:  This deliciously dense, dark American Strong Ale is making is second annual appearance, so it will be interesting to see how it's aged over the year.  Like each in the series commemorating Bell's batch number milestones, it was brewed once and won't be made again. 12.5% ABV, A-, 98
  • Bell's Sparkling Ale:  This guy is a 2010 draft-only release, the Michigan brewery's take on a Belgian Tripel.  It was brewed with a "blend of two Abbey-style yeast strains with citrusy hops from the Pacific Northwest to offer a heady, fragrant mix." 9% ABV, B+, 93.
  • Bell's Hopslam (cask):  I'm a still a little choked up over this one.  I got my first taste of fresh Hopslam last year about this time, and I've been thinking about it ever since.  It's a huge double IPA, packed with grassy, citrus-y hops and given the perfect touch of sweetness from a honey addition.  In a word, it's immaculate.  My brain can't handle how awesome the cask version of this could be.  10% ABV, A, 100.

First reporting: After an extensive investigation involving fake moustaches, dumpster diving, and a Ouija board, we here at TheDigitel have uncovered some very sensitive information: the scoop on four beers that will appear at Brewvival 2011 (in addition to COAST's Blackbeerd, which was announced early on).

  • Bell's The Wild One Ale:  This draft-only wild ale is the end result of the brewers blending from over twenty individual, wood-aged ales.  Should sport a "refreshing tartness, supporting a heady fragrance of fruit, toasted oak, & vanilla." 6%-8% ABV, A-, 97
  • New Belgium Tart Lychee:  Another draft only selection, this uber-rare wild ale is brewed with the Asian lychee fruit and a Sri Lankan cinnamon, then aged for three years in oak barrels. ABV unknown, A-, 98.
  • Terrapin Big Sloppy Monster:  This is a version of the brewery's perennial imperial red ale, Big Hoppy Monster, aged in Jack Daniels barrels for over a year.  8.3% ABV, A-, 92.
  • Terrapin Hoptaneous Combustion:  The last in the four-beer Georgia Theater Sessions series, brewed to help raise funds to rebuild the recently burned Athens venue, this is a smoked imperial IPA.  Certainly the only attempt at this hybrid style I've ever heard of.  9.3% ABV, no reviews yet!

When you get done drooling, remember that Brewvival 2011 will be held on Saturday, February 26th from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the field across from COAST Brewing, 1250 N 2nd Street in North Charleston.  Tickets are $50 in advance and are available at Charleston Beer Exchange, or COAST Brewing during tour/tasting hours, for cash only.  They can also be purchased online here.  Designated driver tickets are available for $10 as well.