It is day two of the Great American Beer Festival and things are more than underway. Over 700 breweries from around the world have convened in Denver, and among the pile is Samuel Adams. The fine folks at Sam Adams have brought with them three new ales and each presents something unique and different.

The trio is made up of Fresh As Helles, Hopscape and Rebel Juiced IPA. The first two are going to be seasonal beers for Sam Adams, while the new Rebel is a year round ale. Each of these will be available at different times of the year, and all three showcase a different sort of palate.

Starting with the beer I absolutely love, the Fresh As Helles brings a lighter and smooth presentation. The malt Sam Adams features is the Sam Adams two-row pale malt blend. Its hop stars the mandarina, with special ingredients from orange blossom petals. Sam Adams lager yeast is the Fresh As Helles’ strain and the beer possesses a light amber color.

For those who like to stay away from the hoppier beers fear not because this one is right up your alley. Fresh As Helles contains a low 18 International Bitter Units (IBUs) metric, plus its alcohol by volume (ABV) is a reasonable 5.4 percent. The small amount of hoppiness and lower ABV makes the Fresh As Helles something you can enjoy often.

Fresh As Helles possesses a nose that sports orange scents in addition to honey notes. I found the orange to be the dominant note when it came to analyzing its aromas. Its palate doesn’t change a whole lot from there, as orange is very strong during the initial taste. After the initial hints of orange, a sweet honey malt takes over for the rest of the palate.

The ending is extremely smooth and possesses a welcoming balance. This is my favorite beer out of the three because of its high drinkability, delectable sweetness and smooth finish. Fresh As Helles will be available during this coming January and February, and will be part of Sam Adams’ new seasonal brew model.

Next up is the Hopscape, which is a wheat ale that tends to lean more in the hoppy region than you might expect. The wheat contains Sam Adams two-row pale malt blend and white wheat for malts. Its hops are noticeable and are made up of zeus, centennial, citra and chinook.

A deep gold holds its color, while the yeast strain is Sam Adams ale yeast. As I was saying, this is definitely a more hoppy wheat as its IBUs checks in at 30. From an ABV standpoint, the Hopscape isn’t much different from the Fresh As Helles. Hopscape contains a 5.5 percent ABV, which is just 0.1 over the Helles. Beer drinkers will be able to pick up this seasonal during January and February, much like the Helles.

The nose of the Hopscape contains notes of grapefruit, though others of you may find generic fruit flavors. I found the grapefruit to be the dominant aroma. Palate-wise, Hopscape delivers a strong bitterness and finishes with pleasant pine notes. I also found the grapefruit to be a large part of the palate, but it’s the hoppiness that will surprise those who are thinking they’re getting a traditional wheat beer. It’s actually a nice change from some of the routine wheats that are out there.

Finally, the Rebel Juiced IPA is the final beer Sam Adams showed off today. This tropical IPA also contains the Sam Adams two-row pale malt blend, though its hops are different. This Rebel contains zeus, mosaic and mandarina hops, as well as a special ingredient of mango juice.

Rebel Juiced’s color is golden, with a yeast strain of Sam Adams ale yeast. Its IBUs are the highest of the three beers, with its metric checking in at 55 IBUs. ABV for the beer is marking in at 6.2 percent.

The nose of this beer was absolutely taken over by mango notes. While there is other notes you could jot down, the mango is the main aroma most will find. For the palate, mango again steps forward and turns out to be the primary tasting note. You may find generally tropical flavors, but its mostly mango. Hop heads will love the Rebel Juiced IPA, though it won’t be accessible for those just getting into hoppier beers.

Unlike the previous two seasonals, Rebel Juiced IPA will be available year round starting at the end of this month on draft. It will only be available on draft until bottles debut this coming January 2017. That is going to be followed by the release of cans in February 2017.

Sam Adams clearly has some exciting new offerings set to release over the next handful of months. I’ll be watching out for the Fresh As Helles seasonal, but for those who will seek the Rebel Juiced IPA, it arrives later this month on draft. Stick around here at We Write Things for more from GABF 2016.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.

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