Cocktail inspired beers are so hot right now, and for good reason. The familiar flavours of an old fashioned or a whisky sour have remained relevant for more than 100 years because they work. They are delicious and balanced—with elements of bitter, sweet, sour and alcohol all working in perfect harmony.
For craft breweries, tapping into those flavour profiles allows their beer to at once taste familiar and completely revolutionary. Recent examples include Field House’s Whisky Sour and Twin City’s Vanishing Act, which tastes exactly like a piña colada. Central City even won Beer of the Year at the 2019 Canadian Brewing Awards for its Red Racer After Hours Old Fashioned Pale Ale.
Yellow Dog Brewing’s Run Free is another beer that arguably falls into the cocktail-inspired category. This rye and ginger beer instantly brings to mind a dark ‘n’ stormy or a Moscow mule with its refreshing, zesty kick. The spiciness of the rye wonderfully complements the earthy, woody tang of the ginger, while the citrusy hop bitterness stands in for the lime juice.
You don’t need to drink this beer from a copper cup, but it couldn’t hurt!
Run Free by Yellow Dog Brewing
Ginger beer • 5.7% ABV • 40 IBU • 473 mL tall cans
Appearance: Brilliant light amber with a fleeting fine white head.
Aroma: Ginger and spice and everything nice!
Flavour: Ginger, spice, citrus, earthy, woody, cereal, very refreshing, moderate hop bitterness.
Body/Finish: Medium bodied with a dry finish and a touch of lingering ginger and hop bitterness.
Pairs with: Spicy paella, jerk chicken, dickhead beef and passive aggressive duck.