AVL Beer Week 2019: Local brewers talk about cocktail-inspired beers

COOL MULE: The Moscow Mule cocktail inspired Ginger's Revenge's Lime Agave ginger beer. “Drinking it is very reminiscent of a Moscow Mule, and we hear from a lot of wholesale accounts that many people add vodka or tequila to the beer,” says Ginger's Revenge co-owner Cristina Hall Ackley. Photo courtesy of Ginger's Revenge

“We like to say ginger plays well with others,” says Cristina Hall Ackley, co-founder of Ginger’s Revenge. “Ginger is such a fun flavor to play with for our beers. We also love to take inspiration from different cocktails and see how we can make it work in beer.”

The obvious cocktail inspiration — the Moscow Mule — led to the brewery’s Lime Agave, she says. “Drinking it is very reminiscent of a Moscow Mule, and we hear from a lot of wholesale accounts that many people add vodka or tequila to the beer. It works as a solo beverage and in cocktails.”

Most of Ginger’s Revenge’s cocktail-inspired beers — including Cosmo Ginger Beer and Ginger Bloody Mary — have been small-batch releases and are no longer available. But Lime Agave is a standard, always on tap at the Riverside Drive tasting room and sold in bottles.

Highland Brewing Co.’s Slow Crush Tart Spritz Ale, which was just added to the brewery’s year-round offerings, was created by research and development brewer Trace Redmond after he had a couple of Aperol spritz cocktails for inspiration. “It began in a purely indulgent space, but, turned out, everyone really liked it. It is super-refreshing, and it’s easy to put down a couple without even realizing it. I say that from experience.”

Wicked Weed Brewing’s gin cooler-inspired Coolcumber hit it out of the park when it debuted at the 2011 Brewgrass Festival at Memorial Stadium, and it’s been a warm-weather staple at the pub ever since. It’s back in the Wicked Weed lineup starting Memorial Day weekend, along with two other variants, one with hibiscus, mint and basil, and the other with blackberry, currant and yuzu. Recently, the Funkatorium channeled its Terra Merita ale into the Terra Merita Mule. “We cover it all,” says Wicked Weed spokeswoman Alanna Nappi. “Cocktail-inspired beers and beer-inspired cocktails.”

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About Kay West
Kay West was a freelance journalist in Nashville for more than 30 years, contributing writer for the Nashville Scene, StyleBlueprint Nashville, Nashville correspondent for People magazine, author of five books and mother of two happily launched grown-up kids. To kick off 2019 she put Tennessee in her rear view mirror, drove into the mountains of WNC, settled in West Asheville and appreciates that writing offers the opportunity to explore and learn her new home. She looks forward to hiking trails, biking greenways, canoeing rivers, sampling local beer and cheering the Asheville Tourists.

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