Click to Enter
About
The Beer
The Tap Room
News/Events
Store
Beer Finder
Contact
Rotating Specials
Rotating Specials

Our ROTATING SPECIALS feature a wide variety of ales and lagers that our brewers have been crafting for over eight years. After Switchback Ale's creation, it took ?ve years before we released our second beer, Roasted Red Ale, and two more years until we had the capacity to add Slow-Fermented Brown Ale and Dooley’s Belated Porter to our Rotating Special lineup. Since the release of these specials, we have worked diligently to create beers that are as complex, balanced, and distinct as Switchback Ale itself. We pride ourselves on brewing the highest quality beer and never putting anything in the market we are not 100% enamored with.

Because of our commitment to quality there are times when we have to divert from our plan for beer release dates. As much as we try to put together an annual schedule, sometimes things happen and we need to make a switch up here and there. Below we show our anticipated availability of our Rotating Specials for the upcoming year. Check out our website and social media pages to see when and if these brews are available near you.

First Sold: June 2015
Availability: Rotating Special
7% ABV and 38 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated

SwitchBOCK is the newest offering in our line of Rotating Specials and brewed in the traditional German Maibock style. A strong golden lager brewed with pilsner malt and a touch of red caramelized malt to bring out a nice warm golden hue in appearance. At 7% ABV SwitchBOCK has a full bodied, malty mouthfeel but it is more aggressively hopped than a typical bock, giving the lager a nice spicy bite in the finish.

All Switchback beers are brewed in Burlington, Vermont and are carbonated during fermentation by the yeast itself resulting in a 100% naturally conditioned beer. After aging, we simply move the beer to the keg or bottle, leaving it unfiltered for the freshest, fullest, most natural flavor possible.

First Sold: August 2010
Availability: Rotating Special
5.2% ABV and 26 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated

Slow-Fermented Brown Ale is a beautiful chestnut brown colored beer with a rich roast and caramel malt flavor delicately balanced by hop undertones and a subtle sweetness in the finish. Fermenting at cool temperatures with ale yeast causes a stress-reaction leading to a clean flavor coupled with a rich and full mouthfeel.   As a test, we fermented our Slow-Fermented Brown Ale recipe normally and also at a lower temperature just above the yeast’s tolerance. The results were remarkable. A testament to the importance of yeast to a beer’s flavor, the slow-fermented version has a gentle creaminess that balances perfectly with the soft caramel overtones of the brown ale recipe, ending in a crazy smooth finish. It is a difficult and touchy beer to make, but we are hooked on the results!

All Switchback beers are brewed in Burlington, Vermont and are carbonated during fermentation by the yeast itself resulting in a 100% naturally conditioned beer. After aging, we simply move the beer to the keg or bottle, leaving it unfiltered for the freshest, fullest, most natural flavor possible.

First Sold: June 2014
Availability: Rotating Special
4.8% ABV and 47 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated

Our Extra Pale Ale (XPA) is a hop-forward pale ale that employs an abundant use of whole cone hops. We have balanced the amazing bouquet and flavors that whole cone hops possess with a subdued malt character, creating a crisp refreshing beer. We developed Extra Pale Ale as a test brew on our 5 gallon pilot system utilizing Vermont grown hops from the UVM Hop Extension Program, and we loved the test beer so much that we decided to put XPA into production on our original 15 barrel brew house. Using whole cone hops created the challenge of reconfiguring the brew house just for this beer, but we’re overjoyed with the resulting aromas and ­flavors of the Centennial, Chinook, and Cascade hops.

All Switchback beers are brewed in Burlington, Vermont and are carbonated during fermentation by the yeast itself resulting in a 100% naturally conditioned beer. After aging, we simply move the beer to the keg or bottle, leaving it unfiltered for the freshest, fullest, most natural flavor possible.

First Sold: October 2014
Availability: Rotating Special
5.2% ABV and 30 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated

Märzen (“Maer-tsen”), our first lager, is made in the traditional fest beer style. Often called Oktoberfest Lagers, these rich fest beers are great for any festive occasion. Switchback’s Märzen is wonderfully malty with a balanced and crisp hop character. Our Märzen is aged six full weeks using a traditional lagering process. Following in that tradition, the beer is naturally conditioned, using the yeast to create carbonation in the aging tank. Going through a slow, multi-step fermentation process allows this beer to highlight the best characteristics of a lager. It is all about the malt and the hops, with the yeast staying in the background flavor-wise, keeping the beer exceptionally clean, crisp, and refreshing. Like all Switchback beers, Märzen is not filtered. The clarity is from the long aging process, whereby the cloudiness has slowly settled out of the beer.

All Switchback beers are brewed in Burlington, Vermont and are carbonated during fermentation by the yeast itself resulting in a 100% naturally conditioned beer. After aging, we simply move the beer to the keg or bottle, leaving it unfiltered for the freshest, fullest, most natural flavor possible.

First Sold: December 2009
Availability: Rotating Special
5.7% ABV and 43 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated

Our Porter features a blend of roasted and caramelized malts giving it a luscious malt signature that has an earthiness derived from the non-traditional use of ­baked barley in the grain bill. The bold use of only Simcoe hops for both bittering and aroma highlights this hop varietal and balances the malt to create a robust, yet smooth finishing porter. Long ago, the owner gave his first employee, Chris Dooley, the honor of selecting the next beer style to produce. Dooley (never call him Chris) chose porter. However, the demand for Switchback Ale, our fl­agship brew, exceeded our capacity, preventing the release of this new beer for FIVE years. Our first kegs of Porter were finally sold in December 2009. Considering this long delay, we christened it Dooley’s Belated Porter.

All Switchback beers are brewed in Burlington, Vermont and are carbonated during fermentation by the yeast itself resulting in a 100% naturally conditioned beer. After aging, we simply move the beer to the keg or bottle, leaving it unfiltered for the freshest, fullest, most natural flavor possible.

First Sold: November 2007
Availability: Rotating Special
5.6% ABV and 50 IBU
Unfiltered and 100% Naturally Carbonated

Roasted Red will not be released as a Rotating Special this year, although we are planning on brewing a batch or two for our Tap Room. Stay tuned for small batch release dates.

Our Roasted Red Ale is a deep mahogany-red colored ale. Its flavor leads with a rich caramel maltiness balanced with a bold hop signature, and followed by a delicate cocoa roasted finish. When selecting the hop varieties to complement our  flagship Switchback Ale, we discovered the then new variety of hops called Amarillo. Not the right hop for our Ale, we decided to feature it in our next beer. The pungent citrus and ¬flowery aromas of Amarillo demand a big malt character for balance. We use dark caramel malts to provide an intense malt profile, with a touch of roast malt to cleanse the palate of the inherent sweetness of red ales. To create hop complexity, we add a bit of Simcoe hops to the Amarillo for kettle additions and dry-hopping.

All Switchback beers are brewed in Burlington, Vermont and are carbonated during fermentation by the yeast itself resulting in a 100% naturally conditioned beer. After aging, we simply move the beer to the keg or bottle, leaving it unfiltered for the freshest, fullest, most natural flavor possible.

Stay up to date on Switchback news and events!