ASTORIA, Ore. — Fort George is less than a week away from releasing Fanzine IPA, their highly anticipated Spring seasonal collaboration with Grains of Wrath Brewery of Camas, WA.
In an ever hazier world, West Coast IPAs have nearly gone the way of the landline and fax machine. Fanzine IPA comes into focus as a crisp and clear collaboration between the Oregon and Washington breweries. The beer is characterized by a piney bitterness backed up by heavy hop additions with grapefruit and other citrus notes. Mild sweetness from the malt bill lingers with the taste of orange juice and a crisp, dry mouthfeel. A test batch of Fanzine took home the Gold at the 2020 Oregon Beer Awards for Best American IPA before it was officially released.
Brewed by Fort George head brewer Michal Frankowicz and Grains of Wrath’s Mike Hunsaker, Fanzine IPA is the result of a long-standing friendship, a couple pints and some whiskey. “Mike Hunsaker from G.O.W. and I met years ago at a hop conference when he was working for Fat Heads Brewery,” Frankowicz recalls. “We really enjoyed each others beers and had a blast hanging out. We ran into each other year after year and always talked about making a West Coast IPA together since it is our favorite style. When he started Grains of Wrath a couple years ago we really dug into trying to get a collaboration together.” With the inception of Fanzine and the desire for a West Coast IPA, Frankowicz knew it was the perfect opportunity to make an IPA together.
Beta 19.0 and 19.1, test batches of Fanzine, were released in early December for pub goers to try. Beta 19.1 reigned supreme and went on to win Gold at the 2020 Willamette Week Oregon Beer Awards just weeks ahead of its official release. Fort Georges Festival of Dark Arts also took home the gold for Best Beer Festival (as it has every year since the OBA’s inception) as well as Best Brewery in the coastal region.
As for the inspiration behind the name, Fort George Marketing Director Brian Bovenizer says “Fanzines are deeply rooted in the DIY ethos – fiercely independent, small run, self-published, xeroxed and stapled testaments to the object of a true fan’s reverence. Fort George’s first labeled Seasonal, Fanzine IPA, was intentionally designed to look like a paper zine comic and features the art of independent folk legend Michael Hurley, who’s art just so happens to be the subject of its’ own Fanzine.” Michael Hurley, now a local to the Astoria area, is an American Folk Singer, Cartoonist and Painter. A favorite of the Fort George team, Hurley is a regular performer on the Fort George block and had previously voiced interest in designing a can for the brewery. An inspiration behind the Fanzine series, Hurley’s art can be found on this year’s can.
Fanzine might not be the last you see from Fort George and Grains of Wrath. Mike Hunsaker, G.O.W Co-founder, says “I’m super happy to have finally made some beer with my buddy, Michal, and Fort George Brewery. I’ve been a fan of theirs and respect the beer that’s been coming out of there for years. I look forward to getting them out here to our place to brew something else soon.” The Fanzine series will return in 2021 with another brewery, another artist and a new recipe. You can try Fanzine IPA across the Northwest at one of the release parties listed below, or when it releases on the Fort George Block on February 29th.
Fanzine IPA Release Parties –
Wednesday, February 26th
Grains of Wrath Brewery
5 pm – 8 pm
Friday, February 28th
Tap Union Freehouse
5 pm – 8 pm
Saturday, February 29th
5 pm – 8pm
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