Friday, December 18, 2009

Curiosity Killed The Cat - Cran-phyre

While I haven't written about it much, in my non-MBR life I've been a bit obsessed with beer cocktails. You know, the idea of mixing beer with other, non-beer (or other-beer), liquids or solids to achieve a new drink. I know among the beer cognoscenti that you can have your red velvet cape and goblet forcefully taken from you if you admit even being in the same room as a beer cocktail.

For me, it started with the Chelada debacle that wrote about back in June of 2008. The idea that there was a group of people in the universe who put clamato juice (CLAMATO!) in their pale lager, liked it, convinced others that this was a good idea, and that this idea became a big enough force that Anheuser-Busch dedicated shelf space to it. I find the mere existence of such a culture fascinating.

Shortly thereafter I linked to an article from BeerAtJoe's (a San Francisco-an with some ties back here to Madison) talking about a drink consisting of tomato-water with lager in a salt-rimmed glass called a "redeye". Heck, serve it in a fancy a glass, someone might actually be fooled into purchasing this rich-man's chelada. Then I saw Zane Lamprey's TV Show called Three Sheets." And this dude gets into a whole panoply of beer cocktails.

Not to mention my obsession with shandy at this year's Great Taste of the Midwest.

So, I had a bottle of Eisphyre and a bottle Cranbic open from my tastings this past week. I wonder what would happen if you mix the two 1:1.

Wisconsin Cran-phyre
Appearance: looks like Eisphyre, with bubbling; a little more "yellow" than the deep amber seen in the original
Aroma: malt on fruit with a pronounced lambic character that comes through
Flavor: tastes like Cranbic with a lot of alcohol
Body: softness from the Eisphyre is predominant, but Cranbic cleans up the finish; the alcohol continues to linger
Drinkability: actually pretty damn good; the cranberry flavor component is a little weird, cherry might work really well, but actually pretty darn good; I'd drink more of this
Summary: I was surprised. I had no idea what to expect when I mixed these two, but they complimented each other amazingly well. Like I said, the cranberry was a little weird, but not really that weird. It tasted both like, and not like, each of the two beers and was quite complex and enjoyable.

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