Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tea + beer

Suddenly my in-box is frothy with news of different attempts to combine tea and beer. If that sounds like your cup of ale, here are some of the watered/tea'd-down summertime combinations:

• The now-venerable Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto has its Green Tea Ale, which is reportedly big on the actual tea flavor but gets medium reviews.

• Coors, of all places, now has its own blend: Coors Light Iced T. Says the WSJ: "The citrus-like, iced tea-flavored beer will have roughly 4% alcohol content but no caffeine." So the point of drinking this would be ...?

• A more innovative and promising idea is fermenting on the other side of the world: the Yeastie Boys in New Zealand have created a trophy-winning "Gunnamatta" India Pale Ale, using Earl Grey tea leaves (from fellow Wellington business t Leaf T) instead of hops — so the tea is an integral part of the brew and not a mere flavor additive. As one of the brewmeisters says, "I just got fed up with chocolate and coffee beers being the trend du jour and thought it was time to put tea into the limelight." Amen, brother. Alas, Yeastie products aren't exactly easy to find over here.

1 comment:

  1. Tea and beer! This is amusing; I love both drinks. But combining them??? I think I'd rather keep them separate...I see them as hot and cold, night and day, not easily combined while retaining the good aspects of either.

    On a separate note, Great Lakes is one of my favorite breweries, but it's not their gimmicky or flavored beers that I prefer, but their straight, traditional brews, ones that stick to the basic four ingredients specified by the German purity laws. I don't know if Great Lakes has a Toronto location, but for clarification, they are based in Cleveland, Ohio...I used to go to events in the brewpub there. It's a fantastic place; they also make half-decent soft pretzels out of byproducts of the brewing process. Have you tried any of their beers? If you're a beer person too, I'd certainly recommend trying some of their standards if you have a chance. I like bitter, dark beers, and their Edmund Fitzgerald is my favorite.