The liquor industry is an interesting beast. There is a constant mix of ideas being passed around from sect to sect. Wineries are experimenting with bourbon barrels, breweries are using wine barrels and yeast strains to create some funky beers, and some distilleries are even using hops or aging distillate in barrels that once held beer or wine in an attempt to pull those unique characteristics into their respective liquids.
Something new to this mounting desire to cross streams is cocktail inspired beers. Although this isn’t necessarily new in the beer world, it has definitely been picking up some muster this past year or so. I’m looking at Insight’s Crazy Aunt, a gin and tonic inspired ale, and now their new Rowdy Uncle, which is an ale meant to mimic a Moscow Mule. Now, there are more breweries getting into the game. Trend watch? Not sure yet, but we’ll see. Maybe we will stick to our Moscow Mules being made vodka, our Pina Coladas with rum and our Irish Coffees with Irish whiskey. Let me know your thoughts on these and other cocktail inspired beers.
And Now, the Brews
|Lift Bridge | Irish Coffee Stout | Stout|
|We’re starting it out with a Minnesota classic. This Irish Coffee Stout is a blend of a whiskey barrel aged Imperial Stout, a heavy-duty Milk Stout, and some coffee from Five Watt in the cities. This collaboration had been in the works for some time and, in my opinion, it has been perfected. The blend of the three different liquids gives the nose a fair amount of roasted coffee, a touch of molasses, milk chocolate, with very subtle hints of whiskey, oak, and vanilla. The creamy mouthfeel helps balance out the flavors of coffee and chocolate against the more noticeable, on the palate, whiskey and oak characteristic. If you’re looking for a little pick me up, Irish Coffee Stout is up to the task, day, morning, night, or whenever really.|
|22 oz Btl | 8.5% ABV | 50 IBUs|
|Evil Twin Brewing | IPA Kolata | Imperial IPA|
|Are you into this whole “Milkshake IPA” craze? How about that “Hazy Beer” thing? If you said yes, I have the beer for you! This IPA, from the nomads over at Evil Twin, is brewed with lactose, pineapple, and coconut to replicate the beach sippin’ cocktail Pina Colada. The aromas of this beer are ridiculous! It’s as if someone was cutting fresh pineapple and coconuts, and that someone was you, and that you picked those fresh from the tree, and that tree was in Hawaii. It’s the Old Spice commercial of the beer world… in a can. Not a fan of IPAs? No worries, you’ll find almost zero residual bitterness since it tastes almost purely of pineapple and coconut with hints of grapefruit, nectarines, malt, and only a pinch of pine. Don’t like the taste of beer? Here’s a can of juice. Well, a Pina Colada, actually.|
|4 pk 16 oz Cans | 8% ABV | N/A IBUs|
|Ballast Point | Moscow Mule | Ale with Ginger & Lime|
|Now, I’m sure the two of you still reading are asking “Why isn’t he reviewing Insight’s Rowdy Uncle? That was released on May 1st, it’s a locally made beer, and is also a Moscow Mule inspired ale. I mean, he even referenced it up top.” Well, let me tell you why I chose Ballast Point’s over Insight’s. I’m in the pockets of “big beer”… beers with high ABVs, that is. In actuality, I chose it because there is a bit more information about Ballast Point’s in terms of the beer’s creation, and it does have a higher ABV. Moscow Mule starts its life as a kettle sour and has the addition of fresh lime zest and ginger. The lime and ginger tickle your nostrils accented by a bit of malt. Huge notes of ginger, with a good amount of lime mixed in to help mellow the ginger burn. There are also notes of a sugar cane sweetness that gives way to an almost salty bright finish. Personally, I like my ginger to be abrasive. If that’s not your cup of tea, this beer may not find it’s way into your teacup. Although, on one of those hot humid summer days, this could be a great companion to your porch.|
|6 pk Btl | 10% ABV | 10 IBUs|