Hamburg Brewing are looking to have some fun with their new IPA series, Just Saying, a relaunch of their Just Saying New England IPA from this past winter, which has been revamped into a rotating IPA series with a new hop bill planned for each volume. The first installment in the series, Just Saying… Volume 1: We’re Having Fun Dammit!, is available now on draft and in cans in the taproom ($13.99 per 4-pack 16oz. cans). The 7.5% hazy IPA features four different malts and Citra, Palisade and Simcoe hops with a healthy amount of oats.
I’ve tried the beer, and can honestly say it is one of the best, not just hazy, IPA’s the brewery has created to date. There’s an initial touch of green to it that fades rather quickly, opening up a rather potent bouquet of tropical fruit – mango, peach, tangerine, bright citrus, etc. It’s incredibly smooth with a beautiful soft finish to it, making it a dangerous brew at 7.5%. Take it from me, you’ll drink three or four of them in relatively quick fashion and not realize it until it hits you.
The name, in addition to being a rebranded and reworked beer with the same name, as the brewery explains, comes from a phrase that can often be heard at the brewery, especially from Owner John Russo. Not to mention it keeps in line with the brewery’s idea of keeping things light and fun.
“‘Just Saying’ is a phrase famous inside the walls at HBC – and is one you’ve likely used yourself!” the brewery explains. “‘We’re Having Fun, Dammit!” is said with a hint of irony. We invite you to laugh at yourself in those moments where stress is at an all-time high – everything that can go wrong, does – and DAMMIT you just need a drink! Remind yourself to grab a cold one and then you really will be having fun. Cheers!”
Hamburg’s Taproom Manager Matt Piazza says that he is ‘super pumped and excited’ about the new beer. “It’s about drinking beer and having fun. It doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. We just want everyone to have a lot of fun with this beer. The branding is like nothing we’ve ever done before, so we’re very excited to put this out there.”
Hamburg’s Marketing Manager Ashley Jachimowicz explains that the new branding approach comes from a carefree and cheerful place, while looking for something the brewery had not yet done with their packaging.
“When the idea of this rotating IPA series first came about, we were brainstorming different ideas and the idea of ‘just saying’ came about because it’s something people throw into conversation all the time, so it’s a light hearted, fun approach to things,” Jachimowicz said. “And the ‘we’re having fun dammit’ is a little satirical as well. The idea of a comic book theme came to mind, and honestly did not plan this around The Avengers – it just happened to work out with the timing. But that’s what we were going for – something really fun and different from Hamburg’s typical branding. It’s a bit more loud, fun and light hearted.”
She adds that the next entry into the Just Saying Series will follow the look of Volume 1, with a few minor tweaks. Hamburg is looking to release a new Just Saying beer each quarter; Volume One will be released for three months, then Just Saying… will rotate to a new IPA for Volume Two, Three and Four. Piazza adds that each new beer in the series should be hazy and juicy, like the first entry, and should fall inside the 7-8% ABV range.
Just Saying… Volume 1: We’re Having Fun Dammit, which was canned just this past Monday, was the smoothest canning run the brewery has ever had, Piazza adds.
Craft beer is meant to be fun, and let’s face it, we can all stand to add a little more fun into our lives, can’t we? I’m just saying.
For more info, visit Facebook.com/HamburgBrewingCompany.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter (@buffbeerleague), Instagram (@buffalobeerleague), Facebook (@thebuffalobeerleague) and www.buffalobeerleague.com.