Local Beet Beer Finale
You never really know.
I rolled out The Local Beet Beer at The Local Beet Farm Dinner last Sunday, September 20. According to the label, it’s “An English-style Bitter completely screwed up by the addition of beets in the mash, and beet juice in the secondary fermentation.” Since beets are naturally sweet, I made it as a fairly sweet beer. People said nice things about it.
But, have you ever been to a dinner party where the chicken breast was about as juicy as the Anza-Borrego Desert? And upon leaving, have you said something like “Everything was soooo good!”?
When I offer a taste of my homebrew to friends, I try to encourage them to be brutally honest. And some are. But still, with many of them, they’ll take a sip and say “Gee, that’s nice.” Even though I clearly saw them wince as the brew passed into their gullet. And they didn’t take a second sip.
I recorded a few reactions to the Local Beet Beer.
Michael Morowitz, The Local Beet’s Grand Poo-Bah: “I like the sweetness. It’s very smooth. I don’t think I could drink a lot of this, though.”
Random taster: “It’s interesting … is it beer beer? Does it have alcohol?” [Yes, it does, but not a lot.]
Local Beet Backyard Columnist Brad Moldofsky: “It’s got the beet flavor. I think it’s the sweetness… it was surprising at first.”
Another random taster: “The Magic Hat [Wacko – the only commercially-made beet beer distributed in the Chicago area] tasted like something that was recycled through my dog. I normally like Magic Hat beers. But your beet beer is far superior.”
I blushed and mumbled at that comment.
Perhaps the most forthright assessment of Local Beet Beer came from the very young son of a prominent Chicago food writer. No, he didn’t sample it. It was just intuition that made him go up to the serving table, grab an open bottle, and dump it out on the ground.
You’ve gotta love an honest opinion.
But you never really know.
As a recap, the idea for a local beet beer came from an evening spent sampling beers at the Hopleaf.
No one has yet identified the beet beer’s secret ingredient, despite the fact that subtle hints are sprinkled within some of the updates linked above. So, I am now offering to award a thoroughly inconsequential prize to the first person to accurately identify the secret ingredient in a comment on this article. (I could even make it a consequential prize, since I’m reasonably sure no one will get it. But I’m a cheap bastard, so I’ll leave it at inconsequential.)
Note to all of those who took a bottle of the beet beer home. It has a fairly high carbonation level. Be sure it’s very well-chilled before opening, unless you’d like a pinkish-red version of Old Faithful all over your pants.