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, Editor-in-Chief
Ferme de Beau Soleil Cidre Fermier Breton Bio
As a lover of Old World ciders, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all the imported ciders I’m seeing pop up on the shelves these days. After an admittedly over-zealous shopping trip to Scott’s Liquor in St. Paul, I came home with a trove of European bottles, this organic French cider included. From the pop of the cork, it was apparent that this brut cider from Brittany was going to be challenging. Meaty smoke, funk, and musky apple aromas sat inside the rim of the glass. While these flavors are present on the sip, they give way to a rich, slightly sweet body that finishes fairly dry but not overly tannic.
■ Ursa Minor Ewok Cuddles Belgian Dubbel
■ FINNEGANS Jacqued Up Double IPA
■ Spiral Session IPA
■ Carlos Creek Marquette
Lauren Sauer, Editorial Assistant
Surly Sound Into Color
Spring may have officially arrived, but there is still some coaxing required before we see the return of life to this frozen, colorless landscape we so lovingly call home. I, for one, am aggressively beckoning its return with Surly’s recent BC Small Batch release, Sound Into Color. This 7.7% ABV imperial kettle sour is brewed with tart cherry and raspberry, packing enough of a fruity punch to wake up those taste buds from their long winter’s nap. If, God forbid, we should be cursed with a late April snowstorm à la 2018, this is what I’ll be leaning on to get me through to hotter months.
■ Herkimer Fastback Pale Ale
■ Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon Whiskey
■ Earth Rider Coffee Pale Ale
■ Raina Rosso della Gobba 2015
Ellen Burkhardt, Managing Editor
Schell’s Keller Pils
The windows are open. You’ve just spent the afternoon deep-cleaning your apartment and swapping out winter clothes for their springier counterparts. What was gray is now green, and after months of enduring static-filled, stale air, there’s finally a touch of humidity in the breeze. It’s Pilsner season, and there’s no better Pils to toast to spring’s arrival than the latest Schell’s iteration. Dry, unfiltered, and balanced, with bright citrus and subtle fresh-baked bread aromas, it’s a refreshing take on an age-old classic—and undeniably handsome in Schell’s brand-new cans.
■ Vikre Boreal Juniper Gin
■ Fulton Sweet Child of Vine
■ E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc 2016
■ Number 12 Cider Helix
John Garland, Deputy Editor
2017 Luigi Giordano Langhe Rosso
There may not be a red wine grape that benefits more from time in a decanter than nebbiolo (see pg. 52). There are great values to be had searching for “Langhe Rosso” in the Italian aisle—these are the entry-level reds from the Langhe region, home to prized nebbiolos like Barolo and Barbaresco. Luigi Giordano has some of the finest vines in Barbaresco, and their 2017 Rosso is 85% nebbiolo and 15% arneis (a white grape) co-fermented like a field blend. It’s a lovely wine, a bramble of cassis and blackberry with allspice and anise. Lengthy and dry, and a little stuffy at first, so give it an hour in the decanter. A steal at $20.
■ Tattersall Pear Ratafia
■ Able Supergiant Golden Ale
■ Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
■ 2017 Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano