Last summer, on a whim, a former associate brewer at Scuttlebutt Brewing took a keg of the brewery’s flagship hefeweizen and threw in some cut up pineapple and pineapple puree. After letting it rest for a while, the brew team sent the keg down to the restaurant to see how it went over with the fans.
It blew in a weekend.
After testing a larger two-barrel batch that took a couple of weekends to go through, the brewers knew they had a winner.
“I said, ‘You opened a can of worms now,’ ” said Scuttlebutt’s new head brewer Eric Nord.
Scuttlebutt decided to scale up the pilot recipe for the Pineapple Hefeweizen and make it its first canned seasonal release. The beer will be released on draft and in 12-ounce cans today.
“Really it came down to the fact we were just sick of people coming in and asking for it,” Nord said. “We’ll let the popularity of it now in the wider release decide if we bring it back next summer or make it year-round.”
Even though the brewer who started the pilot project left the brewery, Nord worked closely with him to refine the recipe. He changed the grain bill slightly, added just pineapple puree to the ferment and post-ferment, and changed the hop profile to highlight hops that would play well with pineapple, including Mosaic (notes of blueberry, tangerine, papaya) and Eukanot (melon, berry, orange peel, lime, papaya).
The beer is sweet up front with the pineapple puree dominating the aroma and first tastes. It settles into a nice subtle bitterness on the finish that balances out the fruity sweetness. It’s not a beer for everyone, but I can envision a lot of folks grabbing this at the weekend barbecue.
This will be the second can release from Scuttlebutt after its Tripel Seven was released in 12-ounce cans in February. The brewery plans to release four seasonals in 12-ounce cans each year to go with its three bottle seasonal releases (Charlie Noble, Nitro Circus and 10 Below). Nord said that after the Pineapple Hefeweizen, Sundiver, a fruit forward IPA, is scheduled to be released next, with a double IPA and lager to follow.
The Pineapple Hefeweizen cans are gorgeously designed, with a colorful and tropical motif backdrop and simple black and yellow circular logo. Scuttlebutt worked for six months conceptualizing and refining the can designs with a new design company, Blind Tiger.
“We’re really excited to see these hit the shelves,” Nord said. “They really stand out and catch your attention.”
Scuttlebutt is hosting a luau and pig roast Saturday at 6 p.m. at the brewery to celebrate the release of the Pineapple Hefeweizen. There will be live music. Tickets are $20 and include food and a can of beer.
Also on this week’s taster tray:
Hop the Castle Wall, Whitewall Brewing: The Marysville brewery teamed up with the new Marysville pinball arcade, Another Castle: Arcade Edition, to brew this West Coast IPA. Made with 100 percent Skagit Valley Malting triticale, a wheat-rye hybrid grain, and hopped with traditional “C” hops, this beer has notes of pine resin, orange zest and tropical fruit. Available on tap at the brewery and Another Castle: Arcade Edition.
Out to C IPA, Sound to Summit Brewing: The five traditional “C” hops — Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, Chinook and Citra — and a light malt backbone give this beer notes of pine and orange. Available on tap at the brewery.
Sudden Swell, Lake Stevens Brewing: Made with Cascade and Mosaic hops, this hazy New England IPA comes with a small taste of the Pacific Northwest. Available on tap at the brewery.
Scuttlebutt Brewing, Everett
Style: Fruity hefeweizen
Stats: 5.4 percent ABV, 12 IBUs
Available: On draft at the taproom and restaurant and select locations and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans in bottleshops and grocery stores.
From the brewery: Hefeweizen made with pineapple puree and Nugget, Mosaic and Eukanot hops.