We love this time of year as it gives us a much needed excuse to take a bit of time off and get together with family and friends. We also love this time of year as it gives us an excuse to craft a festive beer that all of us can enjoy with our loved ones!
Last year, we brewed a small batch of Cranberry Wit (a.k.a Rudolph’s Elixir) using fresh NH cranberries that were unexpectedly dropped off at our brewery by PJ- one of our customers. Turns out that PJ’s family has some property in with a decent sized wild cranberry bog on it. Thrilled by the cranberry present, we asked PJ to play Santa again this year and bring us even more cranberries, which he did! Thank you PJ!
Annette and I went back and forth a bit on what to do with the cranberries. Inspired by a delightful cranberry ginger drink we had at the District (that happened to use some of PJ’s cranberries as well), we decided to create a cranberry ginger beer. We wanted the beer to take on the beautiful red / pink tones of the cranberries, and to be refreshing and festive enough to want to drink before Christmas dinner or on New Years’ eve. As a result, we created the recipe using a light ale as the base.
We weren’t sure how the beer would come out, as we don’t typically brew (or, frankly, tend to drink) light ales. But, Annette and team worked their magic, and I, personally, think the beer is fantastic! It is, as designed, a beautiful pink color and very effervescent. The ginger is strong on the nose and the palette – but in a very pleasing, not overpowering manner. It almost takes more like a delightful sparkling cranberry ginger drink than a beer. In fact, if you have friends that think they don’t like beer, you might want to pick up a growler of this and have them give it a try!
Here are a few more details on this beer:
- The ginger comes from Wild Miller Gardens at Tuckaway Farms. They gave us a boatload of ginger which we have been saving for a special occasion, and we couldn’t wait to use it!
- We think the beer would go great with a first course of a larger meal, as a pre-dinner drink, or as a special drink to ring in the new year.
- The cranberries and ginger were added in the secondary.
- 5.1 % A.B.V and ~20 IBUs
This beer will go on tap starting tomorrow (Sunday. December 16th).
Wondering about the wacky name (Merry! Happy! Dreid-Ale!)? Well since this our holiday beer for the year, we decided to cover all celebrated holidays with one beer – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Years, etc. So, merry happy dreid-ale to all of you!