Nothing says summertime like a cool and refreshing gin and tonic. From the piney, botanical nature of gin to the tart and citrus bite of lime wedge, a well-made G and T epitomizes summertime in a glass. When Insight’s Ilan Klages-Mundt had a gin and tonic for the first time last summer (I know, I was flabbergasted, too). Ilan’s initial reaction to the gin and tonic was, “Holy f#@%, this is really good.” In fact, he liked it so much that he wanted to make a beer that tasted like the drink.
Insight utilized several local gins (Tattersall and Gunner Ghost from Bent Brewstillery) to establish what aromatics the beer should have. After that, they brewed 7 test batches to dial in the recipe. Ilan wanted the beer on the lighter side in body while still having flavors of coriander, juniper, lime, and tonic water. On the body, Ilan said that was where they felt they had to hit the mark. “The challenge was how to make it taste and feel as light as it should while still tasting alcoholic.”
Fast forward to last week when I got to try Insight’s newest summer seasonal, Crazy Aunt, a gin and tonic-style ale. At 6%, this baby drinks really crisp and refreshing. It has all the flavor elements that I love in a gin and tonic. Lime? Check. Quinine bit in the tonic water? Check. Slight aromatic of juniper? Check. All the flavors are there.
To me, they hit the mark on the body and flavor. The juniper and coriander are evident up front. Then you transition into more of the tonic water with the bite from the quinine. However, what brings it all together at the end is the refreshing tart and slight acidity from the lime. Like Doe Eyes and Sunken City, Crazy Aunt adroitly uses fruit in beer to give it a balance.
Mix It Up
While this beer is certainly refreshing on its own, you can use it to make a few different cocktails. As a matter of fact, if you order one at your favorite watering hole where Insight is proudly served, the glassware will have a recipe for a Tequila Tonic. Crazy Aunt also works well in a Michelada, a French 75, and an Insightful Garden, all of which Insight will have recipes for.
Crazy Aunt will be available from May to August in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans and on draft at Insight accounts. Keep your eyes out for it and don’t forget to ask your bartender to mix you a cocktail made with it.
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