I'll try any beer. Chile beer. Glitter beer. Coffee and maple syrup beer. Dill pickle beer. And now mustard beer. Yes, the same stuff you slather on a sandwich.
Colorado brewery Oskar Blues (of Dale's Pale Ale fame) partnered up with iconic condiments brand French's Mustard to create a concoction billed as a "tropical wheat beer brewed with French's Mustard and other natural flavors."
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I like mustard. I like beer. I loved Oskar Blues' dearly departed Priscilla wheat beer. (How about bringing it back, y'all?) All signs pointed to go, so I ordered a six-pack of French's Mustard Beer on Saturday and it arrived (warm) by courier on Wednesday.
After chilling the cans for hours, I was ready. I popped the top and sniffed it. Mustardy and fruity with a citrus flair on the nose. It smelled like a summer picnic. I poured it into a flared glass where the scents asserted themselves more strongly.
Here's where I need to pause a moment. You might think you're mentally braced for mustard beer. You may have rationalized it and affirmed its right to exist. But that won't prepare you for the experience of actually drinking it.
"Oh, that's weird," was the first thing I said. It tasted like drinking a hot dog and a fruit salad at the same time. There's an emphasis on tartness rather than sweetness, which was a smart move.
Oskar Blues gave some tasting notes that called out "hints of key lime, lemon, tangerine and passion fruit." Those were all there, but so was the distinctive zippy flavor of French's. The mustard floated up inside my sinuses with every sip.
Though French's Mustard Beer is currently sold out online, Oskar Blues made a home-brew recipe available (PDF link). It involves a lot of fruit puree and a decent glob of French's, in case you're wondering.
With the rise of craft beer across the globe, we've also seen a lot of daring flavor explorations, including fried chicken beer, brains beer and belly-lint beer.
One of my recent favorite weird-brews came from Albuquerque, New Mexico's Bosque Brewing. They made a pickle beer that tasted exactly like it sounds. It would've gone great with the mustard beer. Or maybe I'm crazy.
I'll have no problem polishing off the mustard beer sixer, but my plans moving forward are to work in some food pairings. This is where I think it'll shine. The beer came with a recipe for mustard-beer-basted sausages and onions, which sounds like it would provide a helpful counterbalance to the lemon-lime overtones.
I'm not yet convinced the beer's combination of tropical citrus and mustard was a massive success. It was a bold choice, but I would've been interested in an even bolder one: all mustard, no compromises.
Give me a straight-up French's Mustard beer. Perhaps a gose version. Don't temper it. Don't apologize. Make it fizzy, liquid mustard. I will drink it. I promise.
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