As the days start getting longer and the weather starts getting warmer, it’s time to turn our heads from those “winter warmers” and start looking toward our refreshing, springtime beers. As such, it’s the perfect time for a nice, sweet shandy.
Be sure to catch The Purp.
We know… we know…. It was your favorite beer ever. We don’t blame you. We’d brew up thirty barrels of it and it would be gone in a week. Foreshore was a delicious beer, but it’s time for it to retire. It’s part of the past. It is a memory.
Feel free to cry out to the heavens.
Fans of craft beer often ask the question, “Why did they stop making that?!? That beer was awesome!”
Well… usually, it’s to make room in the schedule for a new awesome beer. Like everyone else, we have neither unlimited time nor unlimited space. Sometimes, we need to cast off the old to make room for the new.
And, as Barney Stinson taught us in How I Met Your Mother, “New is always better.” (We may currently be binge-watching that show.)
Heading into winter last year, we held a company-wide “Fantasy Draft” selection process for our 2019 calendar. Each department — marketing, sales, production, and the Tasting Room — polled their teams for ideas on draft-only, seasonal offerings like Foreshore.
“Sales really loved having Foreshore as a leadup beer to The Bog — kinda sets the tone and lets people know that summer is right around the corner,” Brian explains. “But with Foreshore filling that role for five years they wanted to try something different, so they ‘drafted’ in a purple grape shandy.”
So, ruminate on your fond memories of Foreshore as you sip The Purp.
“Foreshore was awesome,” says Innovation Director Brian Hink. “but for the most part, I think the Foreshore and The Bog fan will have a new favorite beer on their hands.”
(No worries. The Bog isn’t going anywhere. It’ll be out sometime in April. Deep breaths, everyone.)
And we’re excited about The Purp! You’re gonna love this one.
“When I heard the name The Purp, my mind immediately went to a bright purple, overly sweet, melted popsicle,” says Lab Manager Lauren Appleman. “I’m not sure if that was the original vision for this beer, but I think we’ve achieved that.”
The rest of the beer is designed to get out of the way of that flavor: our standard “wheat beer.”
“The fun thing about these shandy-style beers is that the base beer is such a blank canvas,” Lauren says. “The worst thing about these beers is also that the base beer is such a blank canvas. You can start going down the path with a vision of how you want the beer to taste, but when you get there you’re always thinking of can we Make it Better (Core Value #6 for those keeping track at home).”
The Purp is no exception.
“We thought the beer was good, but was it good enough?” she continues. “Some tinkering always goes on, mostly because Brian is a perfectionist.”
To brew a shandy, we essentially brew up our basic wheat beer then “shandyize” it. Also, “shandyize” isn’t really a word.
“I made that term up about four years ago when our production team started to grow to more than just me and one other guy, and we needed to start planning things out,” Brian explains. “Originally when it was two of us it was easy enough to be like ‘we need to add the cranberry and lemon juices to the beer before kegging it’, but as the team started to grow we needed to utilize more of a production schedule, and I needed a shorthand to communicate that we needed to add the shandy ingredients.”
This time around, the grape flavor in The Purp is supplied by real Concord grape juice, so it’s not that fake, quasi-grape flavor you’d get in something like a Crush grape soda.
“I think it tastes like a melted purple grape snowcone,” Brian says. “You know that extra liquidy, sticky juice in the bottom of the paper cone cup that you drink up after chewing through the crushed ice on the Boardwalk? I think it tastes like that.”
And it’s about as sweet.
“It’s backsweetened less than The Bog,” Brian says, “but that’s because The Bog is damn near a sour beer with all the cranberry and lemon, and it needs more sugar to balance out the sour. The Purp is about two-thirds the sweetness of The Bog, but it comes across as about as sweet on the palate.”
So, feel free to mourn the passing of Foreshore Shandy. We’ll be standing right next to you.
But, then, we’re heading back to the luncheon to sip on The Purp.
“In the end,” Lauren says, “I think Foreshore lovers are going to enjoy The Purp as well.”
The Purp is on tap now in the Tasting Room and is out for distribution. Enjoy it!