It's the buzz of a beer and the flavour of a cocktail without the sugar - seriously.
If we can somehow comprehend beer infused with marijuana, then beer that emulates a cocktail doesn’t feel so farfetched.
Introducing Ascot Beer Cocktail Company – a unique line of beer cocktails that uses natural ingredients.
Backed by twenty years of bartending experience, Nick Devine is the mastermind behind the balanced brews. As a partner in the successful Cascade Company, which owns The Cascade Room, El Camino’s, The Union, Charlie’s Little Italian, as well as Main Street Brewing (where the beer cocktails are currently sold) Devine is no stranger to designing cocktails that appeal the masses.
“I wanted to create a line of beer cocktails using fresh, quality ingredients that were approachable and convenient and delivered on taste,” he says.
In the case of his two current concoctions – No. 1 Mojito and No. 2 Paloma – it’s mission accomplished.
Three-parts beer to one-part juice, each blend encapsulates the sophistication of a cocktail with the crushable nature of a beer.
The mojito features mint leaves muddled with cane sugar, citrus oils and spearmint oils, and fresh lime juice blended with premium craft beer. The Paloma, which is usually a tequila-based cocktail, is sweetened with blue agave syrup, fresh squeezed pink grapefruit, lime, and a pinch of salt, all added to premium craft beer.
New flavours are also on the horizon, including Devine’s take on the rum-based cocktail Dark ‘n’ Stormy. To emulate the rum he will add a touch of molasses with the cane sugar, fresh ginger, ginger extract, and lime juice, again with a craft beer base.
Both the Paloma and Mojito are quite high in alcohol content, finishing at 7.5%. With a malty backdrop and a pop of flavour that mimics the cocktail (citrusy or minty) the drink is lower on the sugary-sweet scale than I had assumed. You can also mix it with a weaker lager or a Mexican beer if you are inclined to enhance the flavour of beer.
I enjoyed it as is.
One of Devine’s biggest challenges in the process of bottling his beer cocktails was figuring out how to keep the flavours of the cocktail from fading over time.
“It's the oils," he says. "They are meant to enhance the natural flavours and keep them prominent when it sits in the bottle.
One might assume that such a product would have beer-lovers cringing like vampires in daylight upon heading the word 'cocktail.' But those fears are quickly dismantled when the cap pops off. With a hint of a classic cocktail at the forefront (without the whoosh of sugar) followed by a malty finish, even the most stringent beer-drinkers will find the flavours pleasing.
“When we opened Main Street Brewing two years ago, my focus shifted to using beer as the base instead of spirits, and was so taken with the results, that I never looked back.”
Well played, Devine.
The Mojito and Paloma are currently available exclusively at Main Street Brewing, both in the Tasting Room and Retail Store, located at 261 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.