New Belgium brewery's latest release tastes like shit, on purpose. The beer, called Torched Earth, was specifically designed "to illustrate what the future of beer will look like if we don't get more companies to commit to aggressive climate action. This beer uses the kind of ingredients that would be available in a climate-ravaged future…and they're less than ideal."
In place of fresh hops, Torched Earth gets its bitterness and floral aromas from hop extracts and dandelions. The water has been smoked, to mimic the effects of wildfire. In lieu of malted barley, the beer is made with buckwheat and millet, which are more drought-tolerant grains. PorchDrinking offered this more detailed tasting review:
Torched Earth Ale pours a cloudy amber and has a troubling aroma right out of the bottle, not unlike a friend's first batch of homebrew. The brewers used smoky malt, and sure enough, there are overwhelming notes of forest fire and skunk. One whiff conjures up the mental image of a crying Smokey Bear. The smoky flavor is actually more balanced than expected, though it is overpowering and leaves an unpleasantly dry finish. Shelf-stable hop extract was used instead of fresh hops, and the difference is noticeable: there is a thinness and a staleness to the aftertaste that makes your insides feel polluted. Dandelions were also added because, as anyone with a yard knows, dandelions are an indestructible force of evil and could never be eradicated, even on the surface of the sun. They do not add much in flavor, though, and the end result is a beer that tastes like you left your Fat Tire out at a party and your friends used it as an ashtray.
The company's flagship beer, Fat Tire, is "America's first certified carbon neutral beer," according to the company, who has also released a larger sustainability plan in conjunction with Torched Earth. The website includes a tool where you can look up which Fortune 500 companies still don't have a plan to address climate change by 2030.
Last Call For Climate Action [Steve Fechheimer, Chief Executive Officer at New Belgium Brewing via LinkedIn]
This new beer tastes like climate change, and it's not good [Kerrin Jeromin / Washington Post]
New Belgium's Torched Earth Ale for Earth Day Is, Literally, Hot Garbage [Jaclyn Menendez / Porch Drinking]
The Beer of the Future Tastes Like Ass [Brian Kahn / Gizmodo]
Image: Public Domain via Pexels