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.
Ellen Burkhardt, Managing Editor
Seedlip Spice 94
Spoiler alert: This spirit is not really a spirit. Before dismissing it, hear me out. I thoroughly enjoy a good cocktail. But sometimes, I want to have a couple and still be able to drive home. So when I saw a Spice 94 & Tonic on a menu recently, I gave it a shot—and was pleasantly surprised. Cinnamon and cardamom come through on the nose, with citrus and allspice rounding things out. It’s refreshing and not a bit cloying (there are no added sweeteners or artificial flavors). It’s missing the mouthfeel of full-proof alcohol, so mix it with a good tonic and top it off with a grapefruit slice.
■ Milk & Honey Cider Rosé
■ Antico Colle Chianti Colli Senesi
■ Barterhouse Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
■ La Vieille Ferme Rosé
Zach McCormick, Social Media Coordinator
New Belgium / Cervecería Primus Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza
Times change and tastes change quicker. Three years ago, I would have sneered at New Belgium’s collab with Mexico’s Cervecería Primus. Watermelon? Hibiscus and agave? Inspired by crushable south-of-the-border lagers? Move over, my tooth enamel has a date with the latest triple IPA. But when the weather warms up, I can’t get enough of the Mural. It brings back that same joy I felt the first time I had tacos al pastor and an agua fresca at a real taqueria.
■ Writers’ Tears Irish Whiskey
■ Une Année Esquisse Wild Ale
■ Fulton Pils
■ My dad’s mandarin IPA homebrew
John Garland, Deputy Editor
12welve Eyes Trillsner
To be perfectly honest, my first sips of 12welve Eyes’ beer were not encouraging. They had off flavors, under-attentuation—all the hallmarks of a brewing program that wasn’t ready for prime time. But when I heard that 12welve Eyes was brewing a good Pilsner, I knew it was time to challenge my biases. Hot tip, confirmed. It’s bright, clean, balanced, and crisp. Made with local malt from Maltwerks in Detroit Lakes, it’s a wonderful representation of a style that challenges a brewer to execute perfectly. My challenge to you: give that brewery you think you don’t like a second chance.
■ Plain Spoke Moscow Mule
■ La Hechicera Rum
■ Bad Weather Munich Helles
■ Torre Oria NV Brut Cava
Brian Kaufenberg, Editor-in-Chief
Keepsake 2018 Orchard Reserve
Keepsake’s orchardist and cidermaker Nate Watters is inspiring when talking about his mission to create ciders that are true expressions of Minnesota. But it’s the cider that makes the hard sell. Take, for instance, Keepsake’s 2018 Orchard Reserve, a dry cider blended from heritage and local apple varieties and—like all of Watters’ ciders—100-percent fermented with native, wild yeast and bacteria found on the apples and floating in the orchard. Orchard Reserve is complex, with flavors of pear, fresh squeezed orange juice, and a mild goatiness that is tempered by light, tannic minerality. Sold!
■ Tin Whiskers Fourier Series: Hefeweizen
■ Lakes & Legends Brune
■ Glen Scotia 15 Year Old
■ The Cider Farm Equinox