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“Cherry and lime are a great pair and my go-to Sonic beverage.”

Tiny Drink Umbrella: Cherry Limeade

We’ve been going at it pretty strong with our Tiny Drink Umbrella series, with the first iteration with blueberries and raspberries hitting the Brewtique in July of last year. We followed it up with the passionfruit, orange, and guava version in September and the pomegranate, dark cherry, and black currants version March.

We’re back at it again with the Tiny Drink Umbrella, and, this time around, longtime fans of the brewery may notice a familiar fruit combination.

IMG_8923For several years, as springtime rolled around, we’d release Foreshore Shandy, an absolutely killer brew based upon some of the snow cone flavors you might find on the boardwalk over the summer: cherry and limeade.

This year, we wanted to change it up a bit and released The Purp in the slot normally held by Foreshore. A fantastic shandy in its own right, it was exactly like drinking an alcoholic grape Crush. 

People loved The Purp, but the flavor combination of Foreshore Shandy was entirely too delicious for us to completely leave in the dust.

“During one of our Tasting Room Only beer meetings in the spring,” explains Innovation Director Brian Hink, “we were discussing what the next Tiny Drink Umbrella over the summer might be.”

That meeting took place in March — just around the time that Foreshore would normally hit taps throughout the area.

“Someone threw out the idea of doing a Foreshore-ish version of Tiny Drink Umbrella,” he says, “and it was too good of an idea to pass up.”

While the flavors are very, very similar, there are certainly some differences between the two beers. The Tiny Drink Umbrella version is not nearly as sweet as Foreshore Shandy was, and, being a smoothie ale, the mouthfeel is quite different.

IMG_8909_1Smoothie ales such as our Tiny Drink Umbrella series add copious amounts of fruit pureé — completely unlike the cherry juices and limeade we added to Foreshore. The fruit is added at the very last second: after the beer has been fermented, crashed, conditioned, centrifuged, and added to the brite tank. Then we add the fruit pureés, stir it up for a bit, and package it off.

Just about everything else about this beer is meant to have as low a profile as possible as to get out of the way of the fruit.

“It’s all about the fruiting,” Brian says.

There’s pilsner, oats, and wheat in the grain bill, keeping things as light as humanly possible as to counterbalance the fruit pureé. We used a fruity hops blend on this brew, as well, mostly because beer needs hops, but, for the most part, you won’t taste them. You won’t notice any of the esters from the London Ale yeast, either.

IMG_8912“London has a great fruitiness to it that certainly doesn’t come through after the abundance of fruit purees thrown at it,” Brian says, “but it certainly doesn’t hurt it at all, either.” 

Essentially, this beer is insanely refreshing: perfect for the sweltering heat of July.

“Cherry and lime are a great pair, and my go-to Sonic beverage,” says Lab Manager Lauren Appleman. “This brew is slightly sweet, slightly tart, and all easy-drinking. This is one to bring to that pool party or down the shore.”

As far as Brian is concerned, there’s only one way to enjoy this beer:

“With a Tiny Drink Umbrella, of course!”

Tiny Drink Umbrella: Cherry Limeade will be available this Saturday on draft and in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans, only in our Tasting Room. Don’t miss out!