When was the last time you walked into Magnolia or 21st Amendment and the bar wasn’t crowded? Right. But even though they pour to packed houses, the brewmasters, god bless ‘em, interrupt their already sold-out brewing schedule every February to insert six new beers just because they want to pour more season-appropriate heavies.
For eleven years, Magnolia Brewpub and 21st Amendment have been celebrating February as Strong Beer Month. Both breweries will craft six beers of at least 8% ABV and put them on draft 'til they run out. If you’ve been to either brewpub in years past and pop in this year, you’ll recognize some familiar names. Both breweries tweak the recipes on the regular strong beers and throw in a few newcomers to keep it interesting. They also enjoy creating pictorial parodies for these events and this year’s is based on the classic 1969 album cover for The Band.
While at either brewpub, pick up a Strong Beer Ticket and get it marked for each brew you imbibe. If you get through all 12 beers, you can turn in your ticket for a commemorative Strong Beer Glass. Be warned: You may need the glass to remember the event if you sample all 12 in one day.
This year’s lineup:
21st Amendment Brewery
- Dub Step–Imperial IPA (10.2% ABV) – A new addition for Strong Beer Month.
- Nelson, Jade and Helga–Imperial IPA (10.5% ABV)–This recent collaboration between 21st Amendment and Drakes is named for the dry hops they used from New Zealand and the US.
- Lord & Master–Strong English Blonde Ale (8.2% ABV)
- Red Giant–Imperial Red Ale (11.0% ABV)
- Two-Lane Blacktop–Imperial Black IPA (10.0% ABV)
- Hendrik's Imperial Stout (8.6% ABV)–Similar to last year’s batch, but this time without the coffee.
Magnolia Pub and Brewery
- Old Thunderpussy–Barleywine (10.6% ABV)–Named after the infamous Magnolia Thunderpussy, who ran a restaurant at the current site of the Magnolia Brewpub.
- Smokestack Lightning–Imperial Stout (9.8% ABV)
- Promised Land–Imperial IPA (10.5% ABV)
- Delilah Jones Rye–American Strong Ale (9.6% ABV)
- McLean's Wee Heavy–Scotch Ale (8.4% ABV)–Dave noted that they haven’t made this for a few years, but were inspired to re-create it when they cracked open some vintage bottles during their anniversary.
- Quadlibet for Tenderfeet, Belgian Quadrupel (9.4% ABV)–A new oak-aged quad this year. The name is a pun on an obscure Grateful Dead musical passage.
Also, for the last couple of years, Social Kitchen & Brewery has added their own take on strong beers during February. This year brewmaster Kim Sturdavant has crafted the following for their “Strong Beer Social”:
- Kilderkin Bowling Rye PA–Imperial English Rye Pale Ale (8.3% ABV)
- Double Midnight Lager–Baltic Stout (8.5% ABV)–This beer was brewed in collaboration with Steve Donahue of the soon-to-open Santa Clara Valley Brewing.
- Tripelpagne–Belgian Style Tripel (9.3% ABV)
- Sunshine Fix–American Double IPA (9.7% ABV)
- Bob Quad–Belgian Style Quadrupel (10.4% ABV)
- Big Barleywine–American Barleywine (10.6% ABV)