Schlafly Beer has announced the upcoming release of The Variant II, the next Ibex Rare and the most exclusive series from the largest, locally owned craft brewer in St. Louis. The Variant II will be the only Ibex Rare release for 2018. On Saturday, December 8 at 11 a.m., Schlafly Beer will release The Variant II at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust), and a limited number of bottles will also be available in the market.
The Variant II follows its predecessor Ibex Rare: The Variant, which was released in Spring 2017 and met with great fanfare with a line around the block. The Variant II is a blend of two different variations of the base 9.4% Imperial Stout, offering a multi-layered experience. While The Variant was aged in port barrels with cocoa nibs, The Variant II is a blended stout that is both aged in brandy barrels as well as aged with sour cherries. The brewers aged a portion of the stout with the sour cherries for four weeks and another in the brandy barrels for six months. After the aging process, they developed the ideal blend of the two liquids.
“We were blown away with the response to The Variant so we wanted to be sure that the next variation was something special,” explained Lead Brewer Jared Williamson, who oversees the Ibex Rare program. “The conversations started amongst our brewing team, and we are getting really inspired by cocktails at Schlafly with a lot of our beers (such as our Cellar Series Kentucky Mule and Paloma Gose) so we started kicking around ideas about flavors inspired by classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan. The combination of the brandy barrels and cherries was the perfect blend to evoke those flavor profiles with our base Imperial Stout.”
For tasting notes, Williamson says, “Rich notes of sour cherries are the first aromatics to jump out of your glass, followed by luxurious dark malts and candy-like booze notes from the brandy barrels. As your glass warms, you will find more barrel character and nuances reminiscent of a classic Manhattan.”
The Variant II continues the values of the Ibex Rare series: to showcase the Schlafly brewers’ commitment to the artistry, ingenuity and passion for craft beer. The series showcases what happens when the brewers take a no-holds-barred approach to brewing beer. The series predecessors include: Lazy Ballerina, The Eleventh Labor as well as Devil’s Farmhouse.
The Variant II will continue the look of The Variant and Devil’s Farmhouse with a simple embossed plaque on a unique 750 ml bottle. Each bottle will be sold for $30 with a limit of three per customer. There will also be 50 bottles of The Variant available for purchase for $30 on a first come, first serve basis.
Schlafly Beer, Missouri’s largest locally-owned, independent craft brewery, proudly offers over 60 unique styles of beer. Each is handmade at the Tap Room in Midtown St. Louis or Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. Utilizing 102 hop varietals, 77 malts and grains, 59 different spices and fruits and 10 separate yeast strains from around the globe, Schlafly also works with local suppliers for everything from farm-fresh food to packaging and labeling. As part of its commitment to sustainability, Schlafly donates spent grain to local farmers to feed their livestock and utilizes 100% renewable energy throughout its operations. The largest Missouri-owned-and-operated beer maker offers free tours of the Tap Room (2100 Locust Street) every Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the hour and Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue) from noon to 5 p.m. every half hour on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The brand continues to define craft across 12 states and throughout countless fine establishments, backyards and basement bars.