Get Me Some of That Cranberry Good Good
Regardless of what they say, you can never have too much of a good thing. It’s a good thing. The more the better.
That’s why, when someone said, “Hey. You know what would be awesome? If we brewed The Bog but bumped up the ABV to, like, Imperial levels,” we all responded with, “Well, damn. Why didn’t we think of this sooner?”
Well, wait no more. A limited run of That Cranberry Good Good drops on Saturday.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before,” says Head Brewer Brian Hink, “so this is a first to my knowledge.”
And, truth be told, Brian’s knowledge is pretty extensive. If it’s ever been done before and he hasn’t heard of it, then we know we are onto something special..
The Bog is one of the most popular beers we make. When we first released it in 12-ounce cans back in June, people were lining up around the brewery to get their hands on a six-pack. It was the largest limited release we’d ever done and it sold out in one weekend.
We think it’s pretty safe to say that people are going to like The Bog even more when it’s at 8% ABV.
“Honestly, I can’t wait to see the reaction this gets,” Brian says. “Are people interested in an imperial shandy? Is too much of a good thing too much? Are people going to get wasted on Thanksgiving and start telling off their entire family? Let’s find out!”
The Bog began its life when we brewed up a batch of Cranberry Wheat — the first one we brewed on our old 15-barrel system, and we didn’t quite scale it up properly. Luckily, we’ve learned a lot in the intervening years — scaling up is pretty much routine, now.
Regardless, that batch — usually slated for release around Thanksgiving — came out entirely too tart, so we shandied it up. The Bog became The Bog, and has become so much bigger and better than we’d ever hoped. Now, keeping it to a Thanksgiving release simply doesn’t make sense. Not for you, not for us, not for anyone.
“Time-wise it makes sense to do a cranberry wheat beer right before Thanksgiving,” Brian says, “but we know everyone is just going to want The Bog. And The Bog just kicked a short while ago, so it’d be too soon to bring back The Bog and make it special, so doing a special big version really made a lot of sense. When I pitched the idea during a meeting regarding limited releases, everyone was like, ‘Yup, that’s a winner, let’s do it.’ So, it was almost a no-brainer.”
Laboratory Manager Lauren Appleman is definitely in agreement on this one.
“Cranberry and turkey are a match made in heaven,” she says, “just like pineapple on pizza. (Fight me.) Is it weird? Yeah. Is it delicious? Absolutely. And That Cranberry Good Good will help get you to your turkey induced-coma just a little bit quicker.”
Formulating this recipe, we had a few different choices as to which way to go with it. We could double the ABV and leave the cranberry, lemon, and sugar additions the same, or we could double the ABV and appropriately scale the other components.
“After going back and forth on the pros and cons of each approach,” Brian says, “we felt it was best to double the ABV and appropriately scale the other ingredients. It’s still sweet, but the cranberry takes more center stage on this go-round, with the lemon and sugar playing more complementary parts instead of it all being equally in-your-face.”
Since the ABV is doubled, there’s a bit more body and heft to the flavor, so we didn’t make it twice as sweet, and a little lemon goes a long way, so that’s pretty close to the original Bog recipe.
“But we did double the cranberry to help tie everything together,” he says. “It definitely still looks, feels, and tastes like The Bog, just bigger, and heartier for the impending cold months.”
So, this is definitely The Bog. But it’s not The Bog. It’s like The Bog on steroids. It’s enough of The Bog that grandma will enjoy it — and, let’s face it, turkey and cranberry is a match made in culinary heaven — but with enough of a kick that even the most diehard DIPA lover will be satisfied.
“If you’ve ever drunk The Bog and longed for it to be just a little higher in alcohol, you’re in luck,” Lauren says. “I don’t usually drink The Bog, but I may or may not have to drink one of these before strolling into Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I’m going to enjoy the gratitude that I get from the people that I’ll be buying this for even more than I will enjoy it myself.”
So, kick your Thanksgiving dinner up a notch. Grab a few 4-packs of That Cranberry Good Good when it drops on Saturday. It’s subject to the same re-fermentation issues as The Bog, so be sure to keep it cold, but, if you share this at dinner, your family will thank you.