21A Lowers de nips

BDHkieRCQAA4peXIn a first for American craft beer in cans, San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewing unveils its American-style barleywine, Lower de Boom, in a proper British-style nip package, albeit aluminum rather than glass keeping in line with all of 21A’s packaging. Says co-owner Shaun O’Sullivan,  “Historically, barleywines, with their high alcohol, were brewed for their winter warmer quality…Enjoy one now and lay another can down as this beer will age quite nicely as the hops pull back and the malt and complex flavors meld together.”

Adds co-owner Nico Freccia, “When they were first brewed, barleywines were almost exclusively sold in small bottles and we wanted to recapture that tradition in a new way, with a new can. Plus, at 11.5% alcohol, any larger a serving and you might feel like the boom has been lowered on you!”

There we have it: one of the very few beers you can say is worthy to “lay another can down” and the only one packaged in a responsible portion, 250 mL or 8.4 oz, as historically intended.

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Nippon’s Nips

Photo: Tokyo5

It’s been brought to our attention that our use of, nay, championing of “nips” can be offensive or viewed as derogatory to some, but we assure you that nips as it pertains to beer has its origins in German, Dutch, and/or olde English. It just so happens that the Japanese Kirin Beer comes in some of the best nip cans we’ve ever seen. Yes, there’s the classic 250 mL one, but dig it–a 135 mL half-nip! A nip blip. Perfect for when you only want…a sip.

Rocky Mountain Nips

The 375 ml bottle (or 12.7 ounces) is “a perfect size to have by yourself or share over dinner,” (Crooked Stave‘s Chad Yakobson) said.

Photo: ThreeBarrelBrew.com

That line is from Eric Gorski’s latest post in his First Drafts blog on DenverPost.com. Gorski’s in the enviable position of writing about beers, events–and trends–in the Colorado brewing scene (and showing some love to others in equally enviable positions around the country such as the PacNW). The post, “Goodbye bomber? Boutique breweries switching to smaller bottles,” shows Colorado brewers such as Crooked Stave in Denver and Three Barrels in the southwest corner eschewing bombers and 750s and espousing 375 ml bottles! Brilliant! And now they’re on record doing it for all the right reasons (pricing, responsible portion, and a new one: risk-aversion). We’ve had the pleasure of trying Crooked Stave’s beers, meeting Chad, and even writing them up, and look forward to discovering Three Barrels beers. (Good thing we have family in nearby Durango.) Finally, as someone commented on the blog, “…this is great news! I appreciate the difference in price too as that has always kept me from being able to try everything I was interested in.” Go small or go home!