Grapefruit Crushin’ It
You can never have too much of a good thing. Like sunshine. And summer. And beautiful days in Cape May. If all those things could never end, we’d be ridiculously happy.
But they do end. They have to end. The universe being set up the way it is and whatnot, we don’t get much choice in the matter.
Yet, we don’t have to accept it. We can rage against the changing of the seasons, shaking our fist at the heavens and cursing the fact that it gets dark sometime around two in the afternoon.
Luckily, at CMBC, we can hold onto summer just as long as we want. So, we’ll brew up a beer that’s so ostentatiously summer, so deliciously, perfectly, turn-your-face-to-the-sunshine-y summery that you’ll think you’re back on the beach in Cape May, soaking up the rays.
And, with an ABV of 8.0%, this newest member of our Crushin’ It line is sure to warm you up. It’s Grapefruit Crushin’ It!
“The original version of Crushin’ It was sweet and hoppy and refreshing and easy-drinking and is a wayyyyy too easy-drinking 8% ABV glass of orange juice beer,” says Innovation Director Brian Hink.
It’s true. Crushin’ It is so freakin’ delicious that we’re actually having some trouble coming up with words to explain how good it is, and that’s what we literally get paid to do.
But, when you’ve got that big a hit on your hands, you might as well come up with another variant.
“The Orange Crush was the first Crush cocktail, but a Grapefruit Crush quickly caught on as the second most popular version of the Crush,” Brian explains. “A number of other varieties have staked their claim, some of which we’re looking at for inspirations for future Crushin’ It releases, but a Grapefruit Crush was always at the top of our list to tackle and introduce.”
If you love grapefruit, this will definitely be up your alley.
“I love grapefruit and this hits the spot for me,” says Lab Manager Lauren Appleman. “I’ve really enjoyed drinks with grapefruit such as a Greyhound or a Salty Dog, so it’s nice to have a lower-alcohol version of them.”
While our fans who loved the original Crushin’ It will likely love the grapefruit version, there are definitely some differences.
“Grapefruit Crushin’ It has significantly less perceptible sweetness than the orange version because it’s more tart,” Brian says. “Think that rindy/pithy distinctive grapefruit flavor. It’s also more balanced than the OG Crushin’ It, which is nice to help differentiate them from each other.”
“I would say that the grapefruit version is a bit less on the sweet side than the orange,” she says, “and it definitely has that pithiness or slight bitterness you can get from grapefruit.”
Other than the juices, the two recipes are fundamentally the same; however, we switched up the hops for Grapefruit Crushin’ It.
“I didn’t want to just swap orange juice for grapefruit juice,” Brian says. “I felt that would be a bit of a copout, so we opted for more grapefruity hops as opposed to the more orangey citrus quality of the OG hop bill. I figured it would only help push the whole grapefruit package more and make the whole beer more balanced.”
From a brewing standpoint, the Rio Red grapefruit juice we used in Grapefruit Crushin’ It is relatively similar to the orange juice of the OG Crushin’ It.
“The juices are relatively similar in the manner that we use them,” Lauren says, “but some are easier for the cellarmen to work with than others. Some of the juices we use are more viscous and that can sometimes be a pain while trying to incorporate them into the beer.”
We get some background fruity esters from our London Ale III yeast, and the pilsner, oats, and wheat in the grain bill sits in the background, as well. Since this is a brut IPA, we added glucoamylase enzyme to break down some of the unfermented sugars left behind in the grain bill, so, while that combination of grains usually creates a light and fluffy brew, the enzymes break all of that down.
“The beer isn’t fluffy at all, it’s more dry and snappy,” Brian says. “For this beer, it’s more about getting out of the way of the hops and the fruit.”
Regardless, we’ve all been looking forward to this release.
“It’s really nicely balanced,” Brian says. “Tart, hoppy, zesty, fruity, hint of sweetness. I think it’ll be a great breakfast/brunch beer.”
And Lauren, lover of grapefruit cocktails, will definitely be enjoying this beer.
“I’m looking forward to kicking back with some Grapefruit Crushin’ It when I feel like drinking a fancy cocktail, but I’m too lazy to actually make one for myself,” she says.
Grapefruit Crushin’ It releases this Saturday, November 16, only in the Tasting Room — this beer is not going out for distribution. Six-packs are $14.99 + tax.
See you then!