We were first made aware of ‘apple ale’ when we saw the Redd’s Apple Ale commercial during the Super Bowl. Then we started seeing it on menus and in bars. So we’re wondering: what’s the deal with apple ale?
First things first. Apple ale is not the same thing as hard apple cider, a trend that has been popular the last year or two. Ale is brewed first and natural or artificial flavors are added later in the brewing process. On the other hand, cider is fermented with fruit from the beginning so that the juice and sugar from the fruit turns into alcohol.
One of the first apple ales out there was New Glarus Apple Ale, which is a wheat ale brewed with fresh apples. Since then, breweries and big brands have been intrigued, and slowly started experimenting with and producing their own apple ales. There seems to be a clear distinction among the ales: ones that use natural flavors and those that take the lazy artificial route. Big names like Shipyard Applehead and Blue Moon Caramel Apple use artificial apple flavors in their ales.
Now Redd’s has joined the category, artificial flavoring and all. The MillerCoors ale debuted nationally this February with a slew of commercials, billboards and ads. For spending so much $$$ on advertising, we hear it’s not that good. A lot of fake flavor and not enough real beer.
Since we’re not about taking the east way out, we suggest the naturally flavored ales like New Glarus, Floris Apple or Hopworks Organic Apple Ale.
Have you ever tried apple ale? Tell us about it below.