Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Two cans coming soon from Armadillo

Image credits: Armadillo Ale Works, Collin Lewis.

Followers of Armadillo Ale Works have reason to celebrate, as cans of a fan favorite are set to return to local shelves alongside a brand new brewery offering. Greenbelt Farmhouse Wheat and Royal Champ Texas-Style Champagne Ale will ship to distribution on Friday, April 7, otherwise known as National Beer Day, with retail deliveries expected to commence the following week.

The beer returning to packaged form is Greenbelt Farmhouse Wheat, one of Armadillo's original products, though consumers may notice a slight alteration in its branding. What was once Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale is now Greenbelt Farmhouse Wheat, a change founders Yianni Arestis and Bobby Mullins say was made to better set expectations for consumers.

"Greenbelt is still the same beer, we just decided to re-brand it," says Arestis. "Since it's a saison/hefeweizen hybrid, putting 'wheat' in the name will better communicate the beer's primary ingredient."

Greenbelt and Royal Champ both fall in on
the lower end of the strength scale with
ABVs of 5.2% (Armadillo Ale Works).
As for what's new, that would be Royal Champ Texas-Style Champagne Ale. Brewed with purple corn and fermented with champagne yeast, the choice of the beer's off-the-wall ingredients was driven by a desire to add more complexity to a classic cream ale.

"Royal Champ started out as a cream ale, but Bobby wanted to make it more interesting and flavorful while keeping the easy-drinking qualities of the style," explains Arestis. "The purple corn works with the champagne yeast to achieve the desired body, mouthfeel and ABV. These ingredients also combine to give the beer a unique and slightly fruity aroma, along with a hint of rose gold appearance and a dry finish."

The fact that both beers are seen as highly quaffable makes each an ideal fit in cans enjoyed by craft beer drinkers on the go. That made for an easy decision as to which of the company's current and future offerings would be picked for a packaging re-launch. Of course, in the case of Greenbelt, demand was a consideration as well.

"Since our return to the market, people have been asking when they could get Greenbelt in cans again, so we knew it had to be one of the beers chosen for the launch," says Arestis. "As for Royal Champ, we think it's going to be our most accessible beer, meaning someone who likes craft beer can take it to a BBQ or pool party and know that their 'non-craft' friends can also enjoy it. So, like Greenbelt, we feel like Royal Champ is a sessionable go-to beer that will appeal to craft and non-craft beer drinkers alike."

Look for six-packs of both beers to reach most retail outlets by April 14 (a list of stores planning to carry Greenbelt and Royal Champ in cans is given below). Official launch parties for Royal Champ will also be held, with celebrations scheduled at the following locations:

Friday, April 7
  • Oak St. Drafthouse, Denton - 6-10 p.m.
Saturday, April 8
  • Dot's Hop House, Dallas - 12-4 p.m.
  • Brewed, Fort Worth - 6-9 p.m.

List of retailers: The Bearded Monk, Central Market, Choice Beverage, Eskimo Hut Denton, Lone Star Beverages, Lone Star Taps & Caps, Metzler's BBQ, Midway Craft House, Midway Mart, Paradise Liquor, Spec's, Total Wine and Whole Foods.

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