You asked and Big Ditch listened – oh boy did they. Cans of Double Dry Hopped Hayburner, the next level version of the brewery’s much adored flagship IPA, are coming this weekend. No, this is not a drill. This is actually happening. Cans will be made available in the taproom starting at noon on Saturday, and if that isn’t enough, cans of the latest batch of Lock IPA Series #2: Fip and Deep Cut Double IPA will also be available. All beers sold in 4-packs of 16oz. cans (1 case pp limit).
And, yes, there’s more, a limited amount of Bidwell Wild bottles, a mixed fermentation beer made in collaboration with Elmwood Village Farmers Market and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, will also be available, so don’t sleep on those.
This Double Dry-Hopped version of Hayburner features even more bold citrus, stone fruit, and dank hop flavor and aroma for a more intense hop experience. It’s double dry-hopped with Falconers Flight, Galaxy and Mosaic hops.
Big Ditch President Matt Kahn said that canning this beer, which has previously only been available in casks, is something they have always thought about. He says that the timing just needed to be right so they could make it something truly special.
“We’ve previously done DDH Hayburner in cask several times and people have really seemed to like it,” he says. “With the proliferation of “DDH” as a thing, we thought this was a no-brainer. To clarify – this is a truly Double Dry-Hopped beer, not just a new beer where we split up the dry hops into multiple events (which is a technique brewers have been doing for many, many years). We’ve added 2x the dry hops of regular Hayburner to make this beer. The only other thing we changed was that some portion of the second dry hops added were changed to Galaxy and Mosaic, because those are great hops and we wanted to make sure this was special.”
So, if DDH Hayburner is getting canned, then what other Hayburner variants could be earmarked for a packaging run? Does it open the door for Citraburner or even Hazeburner to be canned in the future? And why stop there? How about 16oz. cans of Hayburner or 12 packs? Kahn says that all options are pretty much on the table right now (including other Hayburner variants he won’t name), well except for 16oz. cans of Hayburner, which he says won’t be happening, and Hazeburner, which, as it turns out, we’ve all been drinking for some time now.
“Hazeburner was a beer we made when were first experimenting with eliminating fining agents in Hayburner. We all liked Hazeburner better than regular Hayburner, and therefore eliminated the fining agents; so, Hayburner really has been Hazeburner for a long time now.”
“I’d be surprised if you didn’t see Citraburner in cans at some point,” he adds. “We have some ideas for a few other Hayburner variants as well. We reserve 16oz. cans for specialty beers, whereas 12oz. cans are for our signatures and seasonals – so regular Hayburner will remain in 12oz. cans. We’ve talked about putting out 12 packs of Hayburner, but have no capacity to fill these in the near future. (Perhaps in the long term future? Difficult to say at the moment!)”
Fip, the second of Big Ditch’s Lock IPA Series, is named after a coin worth about six cents that was used during the days of Canal construction to purchase a glass of ale. Fip is brewed with Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo and Simcoe hops, resulting in an IPA with a burst of citrus, honeydew, and tropical punch flavor. Deep Cut DIPA, named after the final obstacle in constructing the Erie Canal, a 7 mile section of the canal 40 feet deep between the Flight of Five in Lockport and Lake Erie, that needed to be dug by hand, is layered with citrus, tropical punch, and wild berry flavor, with moderate bitterness and a dry finish.
Fip, 363 and Dibble have all been re-released as of late, so does that signal that Packet, one of the most critically acclaimed beers the brewery has ever made, could hit the market once again? Kahn says that yes, there is a chance that could happen.
“As Packet is the beer that everyone keeps constantly asking us to make, yes, there is definitely a chance. We need a lot of Galaxy to make Packet, that’s the main reason we haven’t tried to make it again yet. Hopefully when we actually do make it, it lives up the high bar everyone has set for it!”
And with all of this, the obvious question is, what’s next? “We’re currently piloting Lock #5, but no firm dates yet for release. We may see a little break between this DDH/Fip release and our next 16oz. IPA release.”
“Don’t forget about Bidwell Wild!” Kahn adds. “We still have a few cases left, and it’s not often you’ll see a mixed fermentation, 2-year old barrel-aged beer made with local organisms available! IPAs are great, but there are so many other great styles out there, be sure to diversify the beer styles you’re drinking!”
For more information on the release, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/475142016233158/.
Brian Campbell is a co-founder/Brand Manager of the BNBA’s enthusiast arm, Buffalo Beer League, and writes the weekly Buffalo Beer Buzz column. If you have beer news that should be included in the Beer Buzz, Brian can be reached at email@example.com, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.