Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor
■ Trabanco Cosecha Propia
When considering the top cider regions in the world, France, England, and the East and West Coasts of the U.S. may come straight to mind. Rarely do we think of Spain, even though they’ve been making cider since the 11th century. This sidra from Trabanco, a small cidermaker in the northern province of Asturias, features all the funky, leathery notes and sharp acid Spanish cider is known for. While these are considered flaws in other cidermaking traditions, this cider proves that one cidermaker’s flaw can be another cidermaker’s craft. At around $12 a bottle, this is a sour beer drinker’s dream cider.
■ Utepils Moment Czech Style Dark Lager
■ Sociable Cider Werks Spiced Mead
■ Lift Bridge Irish Coffee Stout
■ Sweetland Borealis Ice Cider
Joseph Alton, Editor-in-Chief
■ Tattersall Straight Rye Whiskey
Tattersall’s Monongahela-style rye whiskey (85 percent rye, 15 percent malted rye), aged for two years in charred oak casks, is easily one of the best whiskeys to come out of Minnesota in the craft era. The nose of sweet, toasted grains, a little hay, and subtle nuttiness and vanilla emulates the finest examples of the style. It drinks with a big, soft mouthfeel and a tannic rye punch that mellows to rounder notes of caramel, cherries, and cola. It finishes earthy, with a dose of black pepper and an ever so slight astringency that entices another sip. Make a Manhattan with it if you must, but it really does stand quite nicely on its own.
■ BlackStack On One Hazy IPA
■ Coors Banquet
■ Bent Paddle Pôrdij Imperial Pale Ale
■ Bad Weather Batch 200 Bohemian Pilsner
John Garland, Senior Editor
■ Coeur de Terre 2013 Oregon Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is perhaps the most difficult grape in the wine world to find in memorable bottles under $20. But a recent article we published about former Minnesotans making wine in Oregon’s Willamette Valley turned me on to this $16 gem. It packs a concentrated core of black fruit in a supremely balanced sip, with just enough grippy tannin and late-coming acidity to give the finish some lasting definition. A nuanced bargain pinot that doesn’t taste like melted strawberry jam? I’ll take a case.
■ Beaver Island Check Pils
■ Sipsmith V.J.O.P (Very Junipery Over Proof) Gin
■ Fair State Mirror Universe Hazy IPA
■ AleSmith San Diego Pale Ale .394
Kate Murphy, Assistant Editor
■ Château Ferry Lacombe Mira Rosé 2016
Springtime sparks thoughts of renewal and the desire to be outside, especially after so many months of hiding away from the cold weather. And to usher in the warmth, I reach for lighter, aromatic, delicate libations that beg to be sipped on under the sun. Provence in the south of France is certainly a champion region for rosé, and Château Ferry Lacombe proves just that with Mira. Flaunting a pale peachy-pink hue, the wine opens with a bouquet of crushed red berries, only to unfold with soft sweeps of lemon and mandarin for an acidic tang. Pair this rosé with complementary fresh fare, such as salmon or a crisp mixed salad.
■ Blacklist Artisan Ales Dark
■ Grain Belt Nordeast
■ Urban Growler Cowbell Cream Ale
■ Witch Hunt The Familiar