The Reason Twin Oast Expanded its Portfolio with Latest Offering

Debuting this morning to Northwest Ohio consumers, Twin Oast Brewing took a feet-first approach in the Thiolized IPA game with its first Hazy Double IPA, Humble Giant.

Twin Oast founder Cory Smith shared with Brewer a preview of the beer this week before it was released to consumers. Located in Port Clinton, Ohio — near the famous amusement park, Cedar Point — the brewery/brewpub is very much what Smith calls a “summer seasonal” type of place that banks on tourists during the summer to help with sales while locals make up the majority of sales as the months’ temps cool.

It’s the brewery’s second Hazy IPA and a few years of positive response from its first release, Rutherford B. Haze, gave them the confidence to dive into the world of thiols and come up with a hop-bomb like Humble Giant that used the thiolized yeast strain Helio Gazer from Omega.

​”​With our on-premise clientele that come here to the brewery, we get so many people who just want the ‘Bud Light’ version of what we make, just because of our area,” Smith said. “Hazies were like, yeah, we’ll do one eventually, but we kind of have to build our clientele for that first.

“When Rutherford went out, the initial response was awesome. We started seeing it flying off the taps too, not just distro sales.”

The addition of fellow area brewery CLAG, which focuses on hazies and pastry stouts, helped build some confidence as well Smith said.

READ MORE: Can Thiolized IPAs Help the Environment?

“You can look at Untappd .. you know if you throw the word ‘Hazy Double IPA’ on there people are gonna be interested in it. It’s gonna sell,” Smith admitted. “I think the trick was, how do you still make it drinkable? How do you still make it a good enough beer that people are gonna want more than one. That’s always been our goal.

“We saw the customer reaction, the need for more Rutherford B. Haze, and said, let’s amp it up and keep that still as its own special release and see if we can throw a couple more hazies in there throughout the year.”

Hopped heavily with Nelson Sauvin and Cryo Citra, Humble Giant’s 30-barrel batch netted about 23 total barrels left to sell with a lot of it being canned and planned to sell directly over the bar with some going into distribution to Cleveland and Toledo. Again, being that the season is winding down for the brewery, this release can help stem the tide of slower in-house sales this winter.

“Before we even release the beer, we knew people were happy with it,” he said of distro. “For us, this is also a financial decision for the tap room, because this is when we start slowing down. And so if I can start getting people in to buy four packs from the taproom, that’s helping our off-season tremendously too.”

Smith said the artwork is representative of the Greek goddess of the sun.

“Because it was Helio Gazer yeast, we went that route,” he explained. “So she’s towering in the heavens and radiating. It’s going to be this fun, bombastic image of the Greek goddesses.”

As breweries continue to experiment with thiols, Smith laughed and said “We just went with it,” when discussing iterations.

“We didn’t pilot this one out at all. Kudos to (head brewer Will Daniels) for kind of knocking it out on the first try,” he said. “The first two days of fermentation were insane. It was like huge guava, pineapple, and passion fruit. Just these huge tropical things that I haven’t smelled in another beer that we’ve done before.

“It’s a completely different take on a hazy than Rutheford is. I was blown away by how that kind of worked out for us. That yeast ripped. It was one of the few beers that were blowing off into the bucket and was going wild. And it was a spectacle.”

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