Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Alt-Brews: Hard ciders, spiked iced teas and more at the Great International Spring Beer Festival

At the Great International Spring Beer Festival, we pride ourselves on showcasing the
finest craft brews from around the country. But for us, craft brewing isn’t just about beer.
There are plenty of great artisanal producers making hard ciders, root beers, and other
creative libations that are just as rich and complex as any ale or lager.

Cider lovers will find plenty to enjoy at the Beer Fest. New England’s own Downeast
Cider will be pouring their new seasonal, Downeast Summer Blend. It’s made with
freshly ground ginger and fresh pressed lemon juice for a sparkling, smooth flavor.
Angry Orchard will also offer “cider with an attitude.” They create a variety of styles
ranging from “Crisp” to “Hop’n Mad,” and feature seasonal flavors like Summer Honey
and Elderflower. While most of us know Sonoma County as one of California’s premiere
winemaking regions, it’s also home to ACE Hard Cider. Their premium ciders range
from classic apple to berry, pumpkin, and even pineapple.

The alterna-brews aren’t just limited to ciders either. Root Cellars’ “Formidable
Fermentables” include old world style hard sodas like their Pedal Hard Ginger Beer and
Row Hard Root Beer, made with pure cane sugar and molasses. Their most unique
“brew,” however, has got to be the Himmel & Erde (Heaven & Earth) Carrot Apple Ale –
just trust us on this one.

If a tall, refreshing iced tea is your seasonal beverage of choice, Twisted Tea has you
covered with a kicked-up adult version. Their smooth sipping line-up includes original
iced tea, lemonade, and, of course, half-and-half.

If you’re looking for something on the lighter side that still packs boozy punch, try a
spiked sparkling water. Yes, that’s right: water with a kick. SpikedSeltzers are made from
purified water and natural fruit essences, like Cape Cod Cranberry and Valencia Orange,
and clock in at 6% alcohol without the sugary sweetness of wine or the heaviness of beer.
The new Truly Spiked & Sparkling also delivers a clean, refreshing dash of effervescence
with their line of exotic flavors like Colima Lime and Grapefruit & Pomelo.

With an eclectic selection of creative adult beverages, even those who are watching their
calories or just don’t like beer can have a delicious day at the Great International Spring
Beer Festival. Did we mention that most of these are gluten-free, too? We’ve got
something for everyone.