Beer Man

Oskar Blues Debuts Pinner Throwback IPA -- a Lower-ABV, Session Beer

The challenge for Oskar Blues was to make a hoppy, low-alcohol "session" beer that wasn't a "watered down Dale's Pale Ale," says Oskar Blues spokesman Chad Melis. And the result, Pinner Throwback IPA, will hit liquor store shelves in six-packs of twelve-ounce cans later this month in Colorado and North Carolina.

See also: Oskar Blues Selling Crowler Machines to Breweries for Canned Beer to Go

"The brewers were really excited about what we are doing with the hops in this beer, and once the brewers are into it, you can see the momentum coming together," he adds. Pinner is the first new, year-round beer that Oskar Blues has developed for a twelve-ounce can since it introduced Mama's Little Yella Pils in 2009.

Weighing in at just 4.9 percent ABV, Pinner is the end result of more than a year's worth of experimentation with low-alcohol IPAs. "It starts with being creative in the brewery. Then there is the testing grounds in our taproom and at the restaurant. That's how we know something is really working," Melis says.

It's the lowest-alcohol canned beer that Oskar Blues makes, and part of a trend that has seen several breweries making lower-alcohol brews this year. Known as session beers, they are typically lower than 5 percent ABV. The Longmont brewery is primarily known for its high ABV offerings, but this one complements those nicely, Melis says.

Pinner is dry-hopped with Mosaic, Citra, Eldorado and Azsaca hops, for aroma and flavor. "They were key to getting the mouthfeel we wanted," he adds. After going on sale in Colorado and North Carolina this month, it will hit other states in February as part of a mixed twelve-pack before going to six-packs in those states on March 1.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes