Last fall, the 16oz Helles Lager cans joined the year-round canned beer lineup that includes the 12oz Czech-style Pilsner, Cream Ale, IPA, and Pacific Pale Ale. The Helles Lager brings together delicacy and richness with the palest, softest celebration of high-quality German Pils Malt. The style was born on March 21, 1894 at the Spaten Brewery in Munich; Buoy Helles was born 120 years later with nothing lost in translation.
“An authentic, nuanced Helles puts the “B” in balance and the “Sesh” in sessionable,” says Dan Hamilton, Founding Brewer. “Our Buoy Helles just leaves one wanting another, and with Helles now in 16oz cans, you are part way there!”
This spring you will also find 12oz Double IPA cans available in stores throughout the distribution area. Double IPA is a new recipe from the Buoy brewers, crafted for big taste without the heavy malt sweetness of other high-alcohol beers.
Double the Buoy, double the fun. Big, balanced, and memorable with punchy grapefruit and ripe, zesty citrus, our Double IPA is rounded out with aromatics of floral and pine. This IPA, brewed at the shifting sandbars, tidal rips, and unpredictable weather of the mighty Columbia, is the perfect balance of subtle and bold.
“More Buoy for your buck!” says Matt Jones, Head Brewer. “This beer has a great piney spicy aroma balanced with a touch of citrus and a hint of grapefruit pitch. It’s medium-bodied and drinks like a standard IPA while having the alcohol of a double. Minimal residual sweetness, no astringency, and no booze heat or solvent character.”
By popular demand, Buoy will continue to offer year-round draft selections of NW Red Ale and Dunkel Lager in the 12oz rotating can lineup. Soon to join the list will be the Buoy Kolsch, which was originally part of the 16oz rotating cans. Kolsch will be available in 12oz cans this June through August.
Crisp, soft, and thirst-quenching, Buoy Kolsch weaves the strict Reinheitsgebot rules with touches of the Pacific Northwest. Heidelberg Pils, Vienna, and White Wheat malts build a light, bready body while Opal and Saphir hops blend spicy and floral aromas with a sturdy bitterness. Top it off with high carbonation for that satisfying fsssssssstttt.
“We love easy drinking beers here at Buoy Beer and have brewed a number of Kolsch beers over the years,” says Kevin Shaw, Director of Production. “Initially, we brewed these on our 3 bbl pilot system and they were available almost exclusively on draft at our restaurant in Astoria. A couple of years ago we decided to brew some larger batches and make it part of our 16oz rotating series so that we could share it with more folks. This year we are very excited about moving our Kolsch to our rotating 12 oz can. Since our 12oz rotator has wider distribution reach, the Kolsch will be even more readily available for fans to enjoy. Get it while you can!”
Come December, Buoy will introduce a new IPA to the rotating 12oz can mix. Still in the R&D phase, this 6% ABV beer will join the growing list of Buoy favorites.
Discovering and supporting new organizations is something we look forward to every year, and we are happy to announce the inaugural Benefit Series partnership will be with Ocean Blue Project.
Ocean Blue Project is a grassroots, boots-on-the-sand nonprofit. Their mission is to rehabilitate and conserve the world’s oceans, beaches, and rivers to allow wildlife and human communities to thrive. Everything flows downstream and the ocean is a mirror reflection of our city streets, which is why they educate, empower, and lend their technical expertise to communities and governments around the world to support microplastics recovery, river restoration, and programs to teach kids to be stewards of the earth and wildlife.
“We’re excited to partner with an Oregon-founded organization and support their mission to remove garbage from the oceans,” says David Kroening, Co-Founder. “We all love the area in which we live, and it’s a great opportunity to help offset some of the environmental impacts of Buoy’s building collapse last year. We truly appreciate the community helping us clean up and we’re looking forward to continuing our efforts this year through donations and organized events.”
During the Benefit Series, 3% of sales will go to Ocean Blue Project. Stay tuned for details about organized cleanup opportunities around the area.
Benefit Series Styles
First on the rotating Benefit Series list is the Baltic Porter, which is back for the new year. Crossing the boundaries between rich, crisp, smooth, and brisk, the Baltic Porter’s thirty days and thirty nights of below-freezing lagering brings resonant flavors of coffee, filberts, and bittersweet chocolate. It’s the perfect beginning to our partnership with Ocean Blue Project.
Following the Baltic Porter will be a brand-new lager simply named LAGER, available April-June. Deep gold in color, LAGER gets its malty sweetness and biscuit aroma from Pilsen and Vienna malts while Magnum, Hallertau and Saaz hops add grassy, floral notes for a balanced, medium finish. Those who join us for the Buoy Lager Fest May 13-14th will have the opportunity to try the new recipe first-hand.
Next, just in time for the height of summer, Buoy will introduce Easy IPA, a new IPA brewed for easy drinking. At just 5.5%, Easy IPA is a citrusy west coast-style IPA that’s approachable, crisp, and clean with lots of aroma – perfectly refreshing and thirst-quenching for those hot July, August, and September days.
Rounding out the Benefit Series will be Buoy’s Strong Gale. Available October-December, there’s no better match for the stormy seasonal weather than Strong Gale, brewed with Caramel and Chocolate malts and balanced by copious amounts of Simcoe, Centennial, and Columbus hops for a slightly sweet, slightly roasty taste.
If you haven’t reached for one yet, Buoy’s TALLER 19.2oz cans hit regional stores this past fall. These cans showcase a bold design with brighter colors and a unique logo tilt to stand out on store shelves. The label was created as a mixture of both the classic Buoy 12oz cans and the newer 16oz cans and for the first time ever, feature a wavy illustration as well as the beer’s ABV as a front-and-center note. The 8.7% ABV Double IPA can be found year-round while Strong Gale can still be found as the rotating selection. This spring, look forward to Hellesbock as it drops in as the rotating replacement.
“Our 19.2oz cans are our most fun cans yet,” says Kevin Ames, Graphic Designer. “It’s the first time we’re wrapping artwork fully around the can as well as using neon ink colors. The goal was to create a look that’s reminiscent of Buoy’s classic cans but with a design that stands on its own as something new.”
As the Lager Series continues into its second year, Buoy Beer will be bringing back some 2022 favorites and debuting some new styles. The year will start with Helles Bock, a strong, rich, and malty beer that embraces the strength of a bock and the lightness of a helles. This traditional deep gold lager balances biscuity malt aromas with floral hop notes.
Come May, Buoy’s Vienna Lager will return. The Vienna Lager embodies a classic Austrian-style lager brewed with Vienna and Pilsen malts. It’s then cold-fermented and lagered for 5 weeks and bittered with Magnum and Saphir hops for a toasty, slightly caramelized flavor.
To find out what’s in store for the rest of the year, stay tuned via the website.
“Every season needs a lager,” says Jessyka Dart-Mclean, Marketing Manager. “This series has been a pragmatic creative avenue for the team to dive into what lager drinkers want, when, and why. Plus, it’s always amazing to see what deliciousness the Buoy brewers come up with.”
River Barrel Series
Buoy Beer’s barrel-aged series, River Barrel Series is growing this year. Joining the Love, Lost at Sea Barleywine and Decapitator Doppelbock, a draft only Rum Barrel-aged Baltic Porter will be released at the height of King Tide season in December. This barrel-aged version of Buoy Baltic begins with the resonant flavors of coffee, filberts, and bittersweet chocolate and layers notes of vanilla, subtle oak, and spice.