Surely the beer gods are smiling upon us. As mentioned before, cult Scotch ale Skull Splitter goes on tap at Pub on Passyunk East Thursday. It’s a first for the U.S. And at the same time, Troegs seasonal Nugget Nectar should be arriving on beer stores’ shelves. Meanwhile, over in Jerz, State Senator Donald Norcross will do the honors of pulling the first pint of Jersey’s Finest at Maple Shade’s Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant on Wednesday. The new brew is the second collaboration from Iron Hill’s Chris LaPierre, and Flying Fish’s Casey Hughes.
The “assertively hopped” American IPA is the second beer the two brewers have teamed up to create. Its tapping will double as a celebration of Norcross, who was instrumental in passing the recent New Jersey Craft Brewers Bill, which helps expand craft brewers’ and brewpubs’ operating in the Garden State to produce and sell their beers.
Flying Fish is also working on Forever Unloved (F. U.) Sandy, a wheat-pale ale hybrid. The brewery made 100 barrels of it, and intends to donate 100 percent of the proceeds from its sales to New Jersey residents who were hit hardest by 2012’s Superstorm Sandy. Fans of the beer, and its makers, can nominate charities deserving of the donation through Flying Fish’s Twitter and Facebook. It will begin showing up on draft lists in February.
Also in February, Delaware’s Dogfish Head Craft Brewery will begin celebrating “A Hop Eclipse Now!,” a series that will honor the brewery’s one-of-a-kind approach to the India Pale Ale genre. The festivities will include a roll-out of two new additions to the category, as well as solid lineup of its existing IPAs. The brewery will also debut a newly reconfigured, proprietary fresh-hopping contraption, Randall the Enamel Animal. They plan to bring the beers and the hop-filtering technology to a variety of beer dinners its lining up for February and March. Details are still being worked out, but look for Dogfish Head to touch down at American Sardine Bar on February 7, Memphis Taproom on March 6, and Alla Spina on March 26.