Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Craft Beer Crosscut 10.2.18: A Flight of Cocktail Beers


Beer-Flights-Logo-no-wordsPeaks and Pints doesn’t pour the cocktails the Sterling Cooper staff drank all day and all night, but we can come close with craft beer. Many brewers have brewed craft beers that mimic mixed drinks. When beer is your job, you don’t necessarily want to go home and drink more beer. So it’s no shocker that on his or her down time, brewers like a stiff cocktail — which has led to craft beers that taste like cocktails; what a vicious, delicious cycle this is. The base is beer (usually, but not always, a strong one), but then the brewer became a bartender, measuring in specific ingredients that seem like novelties until you actually taste how uncannily the final product resembles a cocktail. Today, we salute cocktails with a beer flight we like to call Craft Beer Crosscut 10.2.18: A Flight of Cocktail Beers.

Perennial-Jack-Rose-TacomaPerennial Jack Rose

8% ABV

Established in September 2011, Perennial Artisan Ales is a small-batch craft brewery based in St. Louis, focusing on seasonal beers with locally sourced ingredients, farmhouse releases and barrel-aged varieties. Jack Rose is the second installment of the brewery’s Dealer’s Choice Series of cocktail-inspired craft beers. Brewed in collaboration with their friends at Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C., this hybrid of beer and cider is inspired by the Jack Rose cocktail. Fermented with lime and pomegranate juice it pours a red ochre color with a wispy white head. Aromas of cinnamon, baked apple, red apple and pear leap out of the glass. It tastes like Christmas spiced beer with lots of cinnamon and apple pie.

Elysian-Pumpkin-Bens-Old-Fashioned-TacomaElysian Pumpkin Ben’s Old Fashioned

8.5% ABV

Elysian Brewing’s Ben’s Old Fashioned is like pumpkin pie in a rocks glass. Bittered with Chinook, Mandarina Bavaria with a squeeze of orange juice and a twist of zest to finish, this strong ale also is brewed with white sugar, maple syrup, clove, allspice, Angostura Bitters and pumpkin. It seriously tastes like an Old Fashioned cocktail.

Black-Raven-Second-Sight-Scotch-Ale-TacomaBlack Raven Second Sight Scotch Ale

6.9% ABV, 34 IBU

Scottish style beers can be a malt lover’s dream beer, with its smooth sweetness and body. The epitome of malty, scotch ales are boiled twice as long as ordinary beer, caramelizing the sugars to build these deep flavors of maple and molasses. Scottish ales commonly fall into four general types: Light, Heavy, Export and the Scotch Ale. Historically these distinctions carried labels of the shilling currency, which reflected the price charged per barrel of beer in the 19th century. For example, 60 shilling was used for Light Scottish Ales, 70 shilling for Heavy, 80 shilling for Export and above 90 shilling for Scotch Ale and Wee Heavy. The Scotch Ale, compared to other Scottish Ales, offers richer color, more malty sweetness and higher alcohol, which describes Black Raven’s Second Sight Scotch Ale (6.9%) pouring from Peaks and Pints’ Western red cedar tap log. According to Redmond brewery Black Raven, “Ravens in the Scottish Highlands were once thought to possess the gift of second sight, the ability to see future events before they occur. Second Sight is built around malted barley with hops playing a balancing role. This beer is ruby in color with large malt aromatics, delicious malt flavors and a full bodied finish.” Indeed, this creamy Scotch ale hits with massive fruity sweetness of raisin, date and toffee notes then flies forever with a woody finish, slight peat and a slight alcoholic aftertaste, warming if you will. Complex and rich, it finishes with a whisper of smokiness that calls to mind a fine single malt scotch.

Founders-Barrel-Runner-TacomaFounders Barrel Runner

11.1% ABV

Founders Brewing’s Barrel Runner is the fourth installment in the brewery’s 2018 Barrel-Aged Series. Barrel Runner, a mosaic-hopped ale aged in rum barrel-aged is preceded by Dankwood, Backwoods Bastard and KBS in the series. This is the first time the brewery has released a rum barrel-aged beer in package. “I drink tiki cocktails probably more than I should and looked to them for inspiration when creating Barrel Runner,” said Brewmaster Jeremy Kosmicki in a news release. “You get a lot of bright, tropical character from the abundance of Mosaic hops plus a nice kick of oak and rum from the barrels. Add a tiny umbrella and you got yourself a beer perfect for enjoying poolside.”

Stone-Scorpion-Bowl-IPA-TacomaStone Scorpion Bowl IPA

7.5% ABV, 76 IBU

Stone Brewing’s IPA version of a Scorpion Bowl cocktail is a brash, Mosaic, Loral and Mandarina Bavaria hop-forward ale that hinges on an assault of fruit that is so bold it borders on being electric. There’s a wee bit of pineapple, Mandarin orange and mango in the middle of the sip — and all the passionfruit — but all of the fun stuff happens in your mouth after the Scorpion disappears. That’s when an intense, tart fruitiness takes over, like you’re sucking on one of those sour candies. The finish is dry at first, but then your mouth starts to water again and that fruitiness comes back with a vengeance.